B5 vs VOYAGER: Mojo responds

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at shekel.mcl.cs.columbia.edu
Wed May 28 06:20:03 EDT 1997

From: Mojo at foundation-i.com
Date: 27 May 1997 15:18:13 -0400
Lines: 75

Hello, everyone!  Haven't been in here for a while...

I know I'll get nailed up for anything I say based on my new
affiliation, but what the hell?  Just wanted to add my opinion to all
the other outlandish comments ;-)

First of all, at no point when we were working on SCORPION did *any*
of us here at Foundation notice similarities between it and B5.  The
only similarity I'll grant is that of the basic *shape* of the Vorlon
ship and the Bio-Ship, but, IMHO, that's where it ends!  They're both
organic and both horizontaly oriented.  The detailing and paint scheme
are completely different and, if placed side by side, there's no WAY
you could confuse the two ships.

For the life of me I can't understand how anyone sees a likeness
between the Shadow creatures and Species 8472.  Both Ron and I are
really scratching our heads over this one!  I mean, the Shadows look
like nothing human, are spider-like, squat and black.  8472 are 12
foot tall, roughly anthropomorphic, have three legs and are pink and
blue!  Other than the fact that both are CGI, I really don't see it...

I can't argue that there will occasionaly be some similarities in the
look and feel of the FX, since, of course, we've done both (and I
really wish JMS would give credit where credit is due when he speaks
of his pioneering efforts in visual FX).  All of us have an ideal of
what we want FX to be and that was the basis of our work for B5.  That
ideal and high standard remains the same and is now being applied to
Voyager.  If that results in a few similarities, then I plead guilty.
As long as it looks good!

As for the other Voyager 'rip-offs...'

The quantum singularity and the Shadow phase-in effect?  Are you
kidding me?  As far as similarities go, I would say that the Shadow
phase-in effect looks a bit like a Star Trek ship de-cloaking if

And if you're going to get testy about that then you should also find
similarities between B5's jumpgate and Buck Roger's 'Stargate.'

If people are more concerened that both 8472 and the Shadows come from
another dimension, well... I really don't think B5 wrote the book on
this concept, either.

Is the idea that VOYAGER is faced with an evil new race bent on
Galactic domination *also* a B5 nod?  If so, then I sure hope you
credit JMS with the concept of bad aliens wanting to take over the
universe!  [Of course, Joe gave them good motivation, which was very
unique (and welcome) in B5]

These ideas have been in SF forever and will continue to be explored
for as long as the genre exists.  To fault TREK for stealing them from
B5 is like faulting "Law & Order" for having cops chasing robbers
'Just like NYPD Blue.'"

As has been pointed out by others, people will see similarities
wherever they choose.  I mean, you could go on forever about the
incredible similarities between the Centauri 'houses' and the
importance of honor to the Klingons' social system, but why bother?
Both shows have their faults and merrits and trying to pit one against
the other is of no help to anyone.

Many aspects of B5 are derrivitive of previous SF, but that's OK
because JMS put it all in a very unique package and it seemed fresh.
TREK does it's thing the way it's been doing it all along and either
you like that or you don't.  However, be careful about who is ripping
off whom, because the STAR TREK egg came long, long before the B5

Cluck cluck!


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 28 May 1997 02:33:22 -0400
Lines: 11

"the STAR TREK egg came long, long before the B5 chicken!"

And now we all know where the turkey came from.


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