Attn JMS: anything to say about Dickens?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Sep 15 06:33:54 EDT 1997

From: bethany at (Bethany Grenald)
Date: 14 Sep 1997 21:44:46 -0400
Lines: 18

Much apologizings to all, but the message below is a repost. I titled it
incorrectly before, and I think JMS didn't see it, so I wanted to try again
with an "attn JMS" in the subject line this time.

Dear JMS:
A friend of mine is a high school English teacher, and I have managed to
convert her into being as big an admirer of B5 as I am.  I'm writing because she
is currently teaching A TALE OF TWO CITIES to her10th graders, and she was
struck by how the opening line of the book resonates with the season 4
intro to B5. So she asked me to ask you if Dickens' writings have inspired
you, and if so, in what ways?  She'd like to share whatever you say with
her students.  I checked the archives of the Lurker's Guide, and saw that
you've mentioned Dickens several times, and in your scriptwriting book, you
mention writers whose writings have been particularly influential to you in
your craft, but I cannot find any place where you address this particular
thank you!

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 14 Sep 1997 23:48:18 -0400
Lines: 19

Dickens is certainly a good metaphor and study for the show.  His books
were serialized, released a bit at a time, telling a long story in a medium
not well suited for it.  He found ways to turn its shortcomings to his
advantage, and the structure of many of his longer works makes them
readable even today because of it; each piece had to end strongly when
originally published, but keep readers advancing towardn and wanting the
next installment.  It was a very difficult dance to dance, but the way he
did it did to some extent help show me how B5 should be done.

His technique was so successful that people used to line up at the docks
in New England and New York for the latest installment to come in over the


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