San Jose Merc's Faint Praise for B5

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Jan 5 06:30:30 EST 1998

From: Andrew Lias <anrwlias at>
Date: 4 Jan 1998 23:54:11 -0700
Lines: 41

Whoever covers the science fiction scene at the San Jose Mercury seems
to suffer from a deep bias against B5.   I still recall one article that
was supposed to be a listing of the SF that was currently on the air.
Most shows got a brief paragraph, but B5 earned several long paragraphs
worth of vitriol and castigation.

The trend seems to have persisted to this day.   This morning I was
delighted to see that they not only had an article announcing "In the
Beginning", but that there was a pointer to it on the front page.  Alas,
the article was a textbook example of damning with faith praise.  Among
other things, the article implied that B5 fans were universally
childish, that we had to wait for TNT to pick up the series before we
could claim that it was successful, and that, now that TNT has picked it
up, JMS would probably break his promise to end it in S5.  What praise
was in the article was constantly qualified with such statements as "the
quality of the writing is highly uneven".  The author mentions the five
year arc, but opines that it ought to be no more difficult to jump into
the middle of the series than it would be for someone to jump into the
middle of the X-Files, heavily implying that there is nothing unique
about B5's format.  No mention, what so ever, is made of the fact that
B5 has earned a Hugo or, for that matter, any of its other awards.

I know that I should ignore it, but it frustrates me to see such a large
newspaper in such a major market presenting such a thinly veiled attack
from a person who obviously has some sort of personal dislike of the
series.  It would be one thing is the article was a review of B5, but it
is presented as though it were just a regular feature article announcing
the move to TNT.

I suppose that the best way to view this is to realize that the show has
survived all of its detractors, and that (as JMS notes) it will exist
long after such articles as this one have been long forgotten.  Never
the less, I felt the need to vent.  :-)
Andrew Lias | anrwlias at | andrew.lias at | Siste viator
Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely
powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is
deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 5 Jan 1998 00:41:07 -0700
Lines: 10

The San Jose Mercury basically predicted our demise a long time ago, and
critics have a way of getting snippy when what they say will happen, doesn't. 
We've seen that in a few other reviews as well.  They don't like having their
noses (and their predictions) rubbed in our success.


(jmsatb5 at
B5 Official Fan Club at:
-*** B5JMS SUBSCRIBERS: Replies to messages go to the list maintainer,
-*** <b5jms-owner at>.  If you want to reply elsewhere, adjust
-*** the "To" field.  See for all
-*** other information about this list.

More information about the B5JMS mailing list