ATTN: JMS--Thanks for B5, S5, and Holographic Writing

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Tue Dec 1 06:06:02 EST 1998

From: schroeder william r <wschroed at>
Date: 28 Nov 1998 14:25:44 -0700
Lines: 53


Like so many others, I want to thank you for the immense labor of love you
gave to every season, every scene, every line, and every aspect of the
production of Babylon 5.  I offer my gratitude to everyone who worked with
you to realize your vision. 

I especially want to thank you for Season 5, the full meaning of which I
am only beginning to glimpse now that it is complete.  I only wish others
had had the patience to see its finish before rushing to judge it.  

Most remarkable for me is the series' ability to speak to deeply personal
issues (through the arcs and imperfections of each of the characters) and
to larger social-political and cosmic-spiritual themes.  I also never
cease to be amazed at how you were able to make each episode stand on its
own (thematically) and also grow and expand in meaning when connected with
other relevant episodes.  It makes our task as interpreters a daunting
one, but it will make the series last for a long time to come. 

My reaction to SiL is not simply to watch the last 8 minutes again and
again, but to watch the entire series again and again. 

Though you may not see this, buried as it is amidst so many well-deserved
words of affection and appreciation, I did want to say that the philosophy
course on Babylon 5 at the University of Illinois did happen.  We only
finished through the end of the Shadow conflict in Season 4, and we had to
sharply limit our thematic focus (mainly to the political issues) to make
progress. It was a small group (about 10 students), because I insisted
that everyone who enrolled know the the series in advance.  I talked about
5 episodes per session for about 50 minutes; then we had about 25 minutes
of discussion (twice a week).  We also covered In the Beginning and Novels
7 and 9.  The students wrote a character analysis; a thematic
interpretation paper; and a take-home final exam that asked them to define
and defend their own views on one of the philosophical questions raised by
the show. Now that the tapes are being released for purchase by libraries,
the possibility of doing similar courses elsewhere will increase. 

Finally, thanks for doing everything you could to make much of the
background and side stories of Babylon 5 available in the novels and
comics.  And for all the time you have taken to answer questions on line.
(I'm curious:  was there a question you wanted to answer that never came
up?  What was it?  What is the answer?)

It was a great journey.  Every step mattered.  

Bill Schroeder

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 30 Nov 1998 15:08:55 -0700
Lines: 12

But what was the end result of the class?  What final conclusions did they come


(jmsatb5 at
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