The Deconstruction of Falling Stars. ( *Spoilers* )

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Nov 3 06:14:05 EST 1997

From: brad at (Brad Templeton)
Date: 28 Oct 1997 15:21:16 -0500
Lines: 90

Spoilers for The Deconstruction of Falling Stars.

In article <19971023065501.CAA05880 at>,
Jms at B5 <jmsatb5 at> wrote:
>Things that *could* show up (leaving in some ambiguity just to keep some
> surprises):
>The start of the telepath war
>The start of drakh war
>Londo's fate on Centauri Prime
>The first year trying to make the Interstellar Alliance work
>Inter-faction fighting among the Alliance members
>The development of Mars as an independent state
>The legacy of William Edgars' black projects
>Fallout from the civil war, and the feelings about it
>How Lennier, Sheridan and Delenn will get along now
>How's that just for starters?
> jms

To be frank, I'm sure your team can make good shows about these and
other topics, but once you take your characters through a modern
Ragnarok, where they force and witness the exit of the gods, even
an Earth civil war where your lead character ends up president of
the galaxy is downhill.   The credit claimed the end of history and
the dawn of a new age, and so went the plot.

But there is a price for going over the top.  It sets a hurdle for future
jumps that is hard to clear.   You've read E.E. Doc Smith's Lensmen books,

Of course high hurdles can result in even greater achievement, so this isn't
always bad.

Story "arcs" are a two edged sword.  On the one hand they provide a
continuity that is rare in television, and allow the development of
deeper plots and characters.  On the other hand, they can overwhelm
other components of episodic work.  Like it or not, B5 is episodic work,
and almost always viewed that way by viewers.   Sometimes the best episodic
drama comes when the writer of the episode has full responsiblity for
the greatness (or lack thereof) of the plot.

Now what you've done is reminiscent of more traditional plots.  Shakespeare,
after all, wrote in 5 acts with the climax in act III, typically.
Modern audiences tend to prefer the climax at the end with short

Perhaps the best course is to be original.  The story of John Sheridan
and Dellen is done.  He's beat the gods and is president of the galaxy.  She's
reshaped her planet.  Lando is emporor of his, G'Kar could be leader of
his world if he desired.   These characters can no longer be real to
the audience.  They should now become a mostly off-camera character, and
new characters can develop new plots without expectations.  

Nobody's ever made a show about a roving band of crime-solving heads of
state without it being silly.  Real heads of state sit at desks or in
meetings 95% of the time.   The real exciting stories belong to their

Show us those stories.  (Unfortunately you have actors under contract so
you won't be able to follow this advice even if you agree with it.  :-()
Brad Templeton, publisher, ClariNet Communications Corp.	 info at
The net's #1 E-Newspaper (1,400,000 paid sbscrbrs.)

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 2 Nov 1997 15:27:15 -0500
Lines: 10

We hear this every season.  It's okay.  

The season will be better than this one, which was better than the one before. 

It's what we do.

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