ATTN JMS: My Take on Season 5

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Feb 23 06:18:29 EST 1998

From: "Charles J. Walther" <profengs at>
Date: 22 Feb 1998 00:20:36 -0700
Lines: 70

No Spoilers Here

I have just finished watching Learning Curve which is the fourth
episode(I hope) of Season 5. I have not commented on this season up to
now cause I wanted to get into before opening my mouth. In general,
Season 5 is OK. I have seen better on B5 and I have seen worse. Even as
being ok, it is still light years ahead of the stuff the TV producers
are trying to pass off as science fiction. What I like about the season
is that the heavy, almost punishing arc stories are behind us. The
Universe is safe at least until next Tuesday. What I dislike are some of
the characters I am seeing. I am sorry, but the new Captain is not a
favorite. This is not a "I miss Ivanova," troll, but a general comment.
She is a stereotype of other hard ass female characters I have seen on
TV shows. In order to prove they are better than the guys, they think
they have to be harder than the guys. The actress also seems to be
uncomfortable in the roll, or she is playing it like she is
uncomfortable. If you look at season one and two episodes, Ms. Christian
radiated an aura of power, but it is non-directed power. She can be
relaxed and at times very funny. In short she knows she is good, she
knows she can do the job and she know she can back it up when needed. No
one on that station wanted to try going one on one with her. Ms.
Scoggins shows directed power. She is never relaxed, her power is worn
on her uniform and she makes it vocal. In short, like a person who has
doubts that she knows what she is doing. Joe, if this is your idea for
the character, forgive me, but to be honest, she is not someone I would
follow into a fight. 

I am glad you are not making the Sheridan-Delenn relationship the
cornerstone of every episode. That was getting real old in late season
three and most of season four. Actually, I like Sheridan better as a
President, than as a Captain. He fits into the role better, and I can
buy into him more as a politician than a naval officer. (And yes, I do
like the beard despite with Bruce thinks.) Delenn is also getting more
active in her other duties and not just being Sheridan main love
interest. Zack I have not seen enough of. Mr. Garibaldi is another
matter. He is becoming almost unbearably paranoid. Yes, I know it comes
with the new job, but he is really pushing it. You think after season
four he lighten up and go back to his old way. It is too
serious and Mr. Doyle does not come off as being an overly serious
actor. Londo and G'Kar are still my favorites. The TLNOLM ep is still
may favorite of the young season. I like stories that deal with
redemption and forgiveness. Of course I also think you are setting up
the new G'Kar-Londo relationship so you can beat it over the head with a
2x4 later on in the season. 

My main problem with the season so far is that I am still not sure what
the point of it is. In the first two seasons I had little idea where you
were going, but I was sure we were on our way somewhere. I also liked
the humor and characterizations better. In the third and fourth season,
the arc was the story, and you really hung the arc over the characters'
heads like the Sword of Damocies. The humor and characterization when by
the board, but the story did move. In season 5, I am seeing none of the
above. I hate to say this, but the season reminds me of the epilog of a
book. A long epilog. You know what happened, you know how we got there,
you know how it came out. Oh, by the way, here is what happened later

I assume that TNT is awaiting the February sweeps ratings before
committing to another series. I am now going to piss everyone off and
say to Joe.....Drop the Crusaders idea and do something completely
different. Yea, after ten years of putting you heart and soul into
something, that should be real easy to do....NOT! I think you should
take pen and paper (or computer and printer) and do something else.
Start another world and bring us along in it. I am sorry, but I am
really not interested in having Babylon5 characters, new or old, cross
the galaxy to find the cures to planet Earth, when I already know what
is going to happen. I would like to see new people, new races and a new
story. I know you got the imagination for it. I know you have the talent
for it. If all else fails, jump into the shower again and ask for
another revelation. I am sure the Cosmic Buddha won't let you down.

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 22 Feb 1998 01:15:23 -0700
Lines: 69

Charles, at risk of being terribly unproducerish...will you for chrsissakes

Everything you're saying about Lochley here -- and I mean EVERYTHING -- was
said about Claudia Christian when she came on board as Ivanova.  "Oh, she's
wooden, she's trying to hard to be tough, get rid of her and bring back

I told people to give her time, they'd learn that there's more there than meets
the eye.  They said I was making excuses for a poor casting choice.  So let's
all just give the woman and the character a chance, okay?  You've seen her now
in a total of 3 episodes, which were designed to put her toe-to-toe with
Garibaldi.  There's more there.

And yeah, I wanted to give viewers a rest-up for a bit after the excesses of
S4.  Okay, so you can't see where it's going.  That's okay by me (you don't see
the coming telepath situation, for starters?)...people were saying in seasons 1
and most of 2 that they didn't see it then, either...then they saw it when I
chose to let it be seen.  

This year has one of the most intense series of arcs we've ever DONE.  And by
the end of it you'll be happy you HAD these few lighter episodes because I'm
going to kick the crap out of the viewers.  We have not just one, but two and
maybe (depending on how it comes out) three episodes this season I'd put toe to
toe with Coming of Shadows for intensity, for arc, for major shifts.


People saw "By Any Means Necessary," and said it wasn't an arc was
just about a strike.  But later, after what came up, this was seen as the FIRST
EPISODE in the real turn-around and reversal of Londo/G' Londo was
being the bad guy for the first time, and here G'Kar was showing a spiritual
side.  That one episode marked the absolute start of that reversal...which only
became clear well AFTER the fact.  DURING the fact, I had to put up with people
assuming that it had nothing to do with the arc.

How can you say you don't think it's going anywhere when you haven't seen where
it's gone?  

Y'know if I were just an audience member, I'd be sitting back and enjoying this
show and wondering where it's going to go without making judgements based on
ZERO information on where it is or isn't going.  Have you read the scripts?  Do
you know what's in 518?  

Have you seen the shot where a tearful Delenn embraces Londo for what may be
the last time?  Have you seen the phoenix that rises out of Byron's actions? 
Have you heard about the bombing of Psi Corps back home?  Have you seen what's
living under the palace on Centauri Prime?  Have you seen what the regent sees
when he looks up on the very last night of his life?  Have you seen the
terrible darkness that Lennier discovers at the worst possible moment of his
life?  Have you seen the REAL other side of Lyta, and what she can do?  Have
you seen the Drazi homeworld, and the terrible secret they're hiding there?  

Have you?

Because that's only a FRACTION of what is coming this season, the smallest

Maybe you're getting reruns of episodes...I'm getting reruns of comments from
past seasons...which were shown to be wrong then, and they're wrong now.

Let's talk about Season 5 as a whole once you've actually SEEN it, shall we?


(jmsatb5 at
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