CLUCK CLUCK! Lots more from MOJO

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat May 31 06:26:45 EDT 1997

From: Mojo at
Date: 28 May 1997 16:28:28 -0400
Lines: 106

Ah!  Such response!

It's nice to still be at the center of debate even after all has been
said and done...

It hardly seems neccessary for me to say anything further, since it
looks as if an equal number of people are arguing both sides of this
'issue,' but far be it from me to be the silent one...

LisaB wrote:

>After viewing the episode, a number of posters on this group have
>concluded that no, Scorpion wasn't "Shadow/Vorlons with the numbers
>filed off", although many think that there were at least a few things
>*inspired* by B5.  (BTW, that's a *good* thing in my book.  This was
>one intelligent episode, whatever I may think about many preceding

Well, if ST:V has been inspired by B5, then you need to say that B5
was inspired by _____ .  Vorlon/Bio-ship aside, I think all we're
seeing is a big, bad alien race that wants to take over the universe.
It's not a particularly original idea, and you could almost fault
Voyager for making use of such a tired concept.  B5 put a unique spin
on it and now TREK has done a good job of re-hashing it.  If *any*
sci-fi show had done a similar story everyone would be accusing it of
ripping off B5 too, so this argument is pointless.

Brent Schmidt wrote:

>Now I will admit when I first saw the ships, I said "Vorlon" in my
>brain, but I think that's similar to what people did when they saw a
>Starfury and said "X-Wing".  I think no matter what, your always going
>to be stepping on somebodies SF toes in some matter.

I think you've hit the nail on the head.  The Vorlon ship was designed
*five years* ago!  Now a new ship (by the same company) that looks a
*little* like it is introduced and people go apeshit.  It reminds me
of when John Fogerty was sued for writing a song that sounded too much
like an old Credence song... that he had also written!  Gimme a break!

However, as has been pointed out, organic ships have been around long
before B5 - it's just that B5 was the first time they have been
*popularly* seen.  Although BUCKAROO BANZAI did a nice job with them
too, so maybe B5 ripped *them* off!

Here's something Mr. Thornton himself posted to the Voyager newsgroup:

>The 8472 Bio-ships have only a passing similarity to the Vorlon 
>transport... Kind of how a Dog is similar to an Alligator..(four 
>legs, Teeth, and a tail).   The Concept given us was similar, 
>but had some very specific requirements. The Vorlon transport 
>which I designed even before B5 had been green lighted, had no 
>such specifics. At one point JMS wanted a design that looked 
>like a Red B-wing (ROTJ). The only way to convince him otherwise 
>was to stick a better design in front of him.

Craig Powers suggested:

>I think some of this furor may be caused simply by Voyager choosing to use some 
>basic ideas that were introduced by Babylon 5.  While Voyager has a perfect right
> to use these general concepts, the fact that B5 came up with them first and is a 
>superior show...
>Just trying to inject some perspective into the discussion (from someone who
>gave up on Voyager at the end of season 1).

Hmmm... this sort of thing really troubles me, since I think there is
more than one person who is arguing without even *seeing* the episode
in question!!  I love a good debate, but can the religous zealots who
follow blindly *please* stay out of it?  I promise not to critisize
the few B5's I haven't seen, ok?

More importantly, many people who haven't watched in a long time are
arguing against Voyager as a whole.  Many people who spoke against B5
in the early days had done so after seeing the pilot and ignoring the
series - harldy (in retrospect) a fair way to judge.  Likewise, DS9
was *abysmal* in it's first few seasons and, like it or not, it has
since turned into a fine program - although few would know it since
many people who 'can't stand the show' haven't seen it in years.

Voyager has certainly done it's share of chunk-blowing over the last
three years - but this year it has started to improve.  In fact, there
have been a few episodes that I would *easily* place over several of
this season's B5's.  Still, I get the feeling that there are some
people who will throw stones at Star Trek no matter *how* good a
program is turned out - and that's a shame, because all of us should
be able to recognize and enjoy all good science fiction - regardless
of it's derivation.

And finally, the great maker himself said of yours truly:

>and now we all know where the turkey came from.

LOL!  Actually, several people at conventions have pointed out a
similarity (which escapes me) between the Vorlon ship and a rubber

I guess we'll have to add a beak to the 8472 ship next season!

And maybe the Voyager could do with a couple of shiny new solar panels
along it's side...


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 28 May 1997 16:54:29 -0400
Lines: 19

>At one point JMS wanted a design that looked 
>like a Red B-wing (ROTJ). The only way to convince him otherwise 
>was to stick a better design in front of him.

Ron's memory is in severe error.  Nothing of the kind ever took place; I
don't know who or what he's confusing, but that ain't the case.  We asked
Steve Burg to come up with something -- I had no real preconceptions on it
other than that it had to behave by logical physics -- and after talking
to Ron and John and a few others, Steve came back with the basic Starfury
design, which is what we used.  If I'd *had* a specific design in mind, I
would've offered it...but I didn't.


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