JMS on CompuServe (May 19, 1997) *POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

bbarrett at bbarrett at
Mon May 19 18:18:58 EDT 1997

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 [ Summary of subjects in this section: ]
    Sb: #669775-#<Rumors> and Lennier
    Sb: #669750-our open letter to JMS
    Sb: #669871-#Babylon5 Omnipedia
    Sb: #670096-<RB&L> Donkey's 2x4
    Sb: #670119-Babylon5 Omnipedia
    Sb: #670259-production schedule?

 #: 669775 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    17-May-97  13:03:24
Sb: #669709-#<Rumors> and Lennier


    "Delenn, you must understand, is a True Seeker . . ."

    Question: Do you feel that anyone else in your story would qualify as a
True Seeker (for other reasons, or even the same reasons)?

    Obviously, most people in the story are seeking something, and everyone has
their own flaws and gifts, but I was curious if you saw any other True Seekers
in your main characters.


  -- Brent

 #: 669825 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    17-May-97  16:02:12
Sb: #669775-#<Rumors> and Lennier

      There are elements of the true seeker in many of our characters; Sinclair
for one, G'Kar certainly (now that he's been enlightened a bit), and Sheridan
didn't start out that way, but in his own stumbling way has slowly begin
growing into that.


 [ Summary: More "we are the victims, not the criminals" defenseive text
   from two of the German con organizers. ]

 #: 669828 S5/Babylon 5: General
    17-May-97  16:27:24
Sb: #669750-our open letter to JMS

      You still don't seem to get it.

      Let me take off the kid gloves for a moment and explain it to you.

      I work 20+ hours a day on B5.  You came on here and began demanding I
investigate claims made by a German convention.  I didn't have time initially
to get into it, and in response there was letter after letter here demanding
that I look into this, even though I had no firsthand knowledge of the
situation, and then more or less condemning me for not getting personally
involved in this.

      You (and others involved in this) continued emailing me and posting
public messages on this, and began emailing members of our cast, our
crew...becoming, frankly, a pain in the ass.  Email demands for me to take a
stand, to investigate, to proclaim something, began showing up in more than one
of my accounts, which are already flooded with other requests.

      Finally, I had the chance to sit down with Bruce and a few other actors
(who were, at that time, already annoyed with the demands for explanations put
on them by yourself and several other German fans) and said, "Are you going to
this con?"  I then posted what they told me, assuming that would be the end of
it...and AGAIN you came at me for it.

      One reaches a point where one says, at last, "A pox on *both* your
houses."  Or, as the Brits say, "Bugger off."

      You have been rude to myself, and my cast, and several of my staff. You
have harrassed us with email and demands for our attention and our involvement
in something we have no direct involvement in.

      If a convention is advertising guests who in fact are not going to
appear, that is fraud.  Fraud is prosecutable under German laws.  If they show
up, then it's not fraud.  If they don't, then it is, and they can be taken to
court.  Our job is not to interfere with German jurisprudence or make
statements that could GET US SUED under German law about people we do not know.

      If you want confirmation about whether or not a guest is coming, you can
find that out through the actor's agents or find means of doing this other than
harrassing me about it.

"We don't understand why this is such a big problem to him?"

      Because you're being a pain in the butt, *that's* why, and making demands
on us that we do things that a) we're not authorized to do, b) don't have time
to do, c) are best done in Germany, d) you and others have been yelling in our
ears and filling our email boxes and making demands and carrying on cranky and
throwing around accusations of disinterest in the affairs of our fans now for
at *least* three months, and frankly neither I nor any of my cast or crew want
to hear it anymore.

      If you have a local problem, it should be *solved* locally, through the
means you have there at your disposal.  I am not your lapdog to run around and
take care of your errands and I am not going to jump every time you make
demands on my time.  We care *deeply* for our fans, who are worldwide, and we
do all we can to assist them.  We have gone far beyond the call of duty in ways
you will never know.  But every once in a while, someone shows up who is
obnoxious and demanding and won't take "please go away" for an answer, and who
by their rude behavior gives all fans a bad name.

      Neither Babylon 5, nor Babylonian Productions, nor Warner Bros. has any
direct involvement in this or any other German convention.  Our cast sign on as
free agents, as individuals.  We do not, and will not, get involved in any
convention situation unless I *personally* have direct knowledge of something
involving a con which I will be attending.  Not only would it be inappropriate,
it would also be impossible...our cast members are attending cons now in
hundreds of cities and many countries around the world.  I can't keep track of
it all, and shouldn't be expected to.  My cast members are grown adults, and
the fans in each area should pursue whatever local resources they have in
determining a con's legitimacy.  The only way I get involved directly in
conventions is if I attend personally, or if we should reach a point where
Babylonian Productions endorses a convention, which to date has not happened.

      My problem, in short, is not with the German fans.  It is specifically
and directly with *you* and a few others who have far, far exceeded the limits
of polite behavior, harrassed me, harrassed my cast, and taken up space on this
forum to no good end.  That was the intent of my prior note.

      Resolve your local problems locally.


 #: 669871 S5/Babylon 5: General
    17-May-97  20:47:40
Sb: #669707-#Babylon5 Omnipedia


Do you know if this "view-it-and-weep (or throw something -- viewer's choice)"
ep is among the currently batch or is among the final four being held over
until next October?


To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.  -- Emily

 #: 670113 S5/Babylon 5: General
    18-May-97  19:17:47
Sb: #669871-#Babylon5 Omnipedia

      I've forgotten which we were discussing....


 #: 670096 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-May-97  17:32:41
Sb: #<RB&L> Donkey's 2x4

jms -

In a way, the whole episode was an ironic followup to the last line of "CoI,"
-- The Truth Is Back in Business.  Rumors, bargains or lies are each, to a
degree, perversions or dilutions of the Truth.

That wonderful small shot of Londo's severe portrait aligned with his current
jovial reflection sort of encapsulated the episode for me -- RB&L showed the
same operation on the Truth from both the comic and tragic viewpoints.  The
ironic bit on both sides was that what was heard publicly was true; it just
wasn't the complete truth.  This works in parallel with the recent ISN
reportage (although, to be sure, ISN added their "expert commentators" to
sweeten their reportorial pot).

The kicker (in the gut) was Lennier's speech about Delenn's walking in a
different world.  This took the Truth ambiguity to a whole new level. I was
viscerally reminded of Don Quixote (especially in reference to Aldonza), whose
"truth" was a lie, but was more likely to lead to a greater truth than reliance
upon the observable "truth."  The noumenon is a lie, because it is athwart of
phenomenon, but phenomenon is a lie in that it has not achieved noumenon.  The
weird-but-wonderful thing is that this DQ-delusional aspect leads straight back
to Sheridan's appearance of possible madness previously.

Probably somewhat related, but also independent, observations:

I get the feeling that Zack's confrontation with Garibaldi from the last
episode led to his ease with the "top dogs" of the Alliance in the breakfast
scene. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time we've seen him at ease as an
equal.  Good for him -- he's dealing with a new truth.

Mira was gut-wrenching as Delenn anticipating the destruction of her world --
the very bones of her face seemed to be under siege as she related the "truth"
of the capital city as she knew it.  The word-picture that you had her present
made the eventual shot of the burnt-out city more vividly an obscenity.

The music of the first Delenn/Neroon meeting was a wonderful combination of
both castes -- martial rhythm with elegaic melodic line.

The Gaim breathing unit and the breathing unit Lennier used in the maintenance
chute are visual muzzles, which links to Sheridan metaphorically muzzling Londo
& G'Kar concerning the White Star Fleet's activities, Lennier's self-muzzling
of the Truth concerning the Religious Caste's involvement in the "accident,"
and probably more that I cannot currently call to mind.

Intriguing parallel you've established with Garibaldi/Sheridan and
Neroon/Delenn -- both explore the "cult of personality" problem.

One oddball question:  Are tears a normal Minbari physical reaction, or is
weeping (for Delenn) one of the changes mandated by her chrysalitic experience?
I don't recall seeing Minbari in tears before this, but I may be forgetting
seasons 1-4.


To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.  -- Emily

 #: 670141 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-May-97  21:40:11
Sb: #670096-<RB&L> Donkey's 2x4

"Are tears a normal Minbari physical reaction, or is weeping (for Delenn) one
of the changes mandated by her chrysalitic"

      We've seen Delenn cry before, when she and G'Kar were in her quarters and
she was explining why she did not get involved in the Narn/Centauri war.


 #: 670119 S5/Babylon 5: General
    18-May-97  20:32:12
Sb: #670113-#Babylon5 Omnipedia

<<      I've forgotten which we were discussing.... >>

The one that counts as your most subversive...


To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.  --
Emily Dickinson

 #: 670162 S5/Babylon 5: General
    18-May-97  23:43:27
Sb: #670119-Babylon5 Omnipedia

      Ah...yes, that one will air in this batch.


 #: 670259 S5/Babylon 5: General
    19-May-97  12:13:53
Sb: #production schedule?


Do you film episodes as they appear to us, that is a discrete entity or do you
try to combine things so the filming and SFX for several episodes are combined?


 #: 670283 S5/Babylon 5: General
    19-May-97  14:29:23
Sb: #670259-production schedule?

       Every once in a great while we'll nail a scene for one episode while
we're shooting another, by bringing in the director for that episode for just
half a day or so, but generally we tend to avoid it because it creates
complications with the guilds, and it takes a while to get the waivers.



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