ATTN JMS: Disappointed by Season 5 Credits (Credits Spoilers)

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat Jan 17 06:26:49 EST 1998

From: Brian Watson <kerr at>
Date: 15 Jan 1998 14:49:52 -0700
Lines: 117

Rich Harkins wrote:

> I've been watching B-5 since mid-season 1.  Every year I thought the
> credits were new, fresh, exciting.  Although I think the idea behind the
> season 5 credits is a good one, the actual implementation (at least the
> downloadable version) was to me extremely disappointing.  Contained are my
> reasons why.

I have to admit.. I was a little hesitant the first time through, but after
repeated viewings I love the new opener!

> First off, the voices were too soft.  I am hoping that this is only the
> case because of the download and reproduction on the computer.  Many are
> not understandable at all.  If the purpose is not to be able to understand,
> I would think that there should be more voices (creating a sea of
> differing, conflicting thought so to speak, which is part of the soul of
> B-5 IMHO).  However, I do like the idea of recapping the last four years
> and the general idea about presentation.  I just was hoping for more depth
> I guess.

Some of the voices are soft on the .mov file, and they are also probably soft
on the actual video.  I do wish they were a little stronger, but I can make out
what they are saying.. and I don't think they are supposed to be right out
there and so obvious.  As for how in depth it can go, please.. they only have
87 seconds, and half of that is the character credits.  I think they did a
pretty good job of picking relevant voice clips.

> The new portion of the theme (not the one in the first half, I loved that
> from the soundtrack CD and was wondering where it was going to fit in) was
> not, IMHO up to Mr. Frank's standards, and although he is not my favorate
> composer, he still is most certainly on the positive side in my book.  I
> felt that the build-up should have been followed through with something
> more solid (like perhaps the rest of the theme from the first part).  The
> new one sounds to me, well, cheezy to be perfectly honest.  It has the
> vague feeling of a fanfare, but lacks the overall substance to carry it
> out.  I hope at least this is reconsidered.

You have to remember that the music essentially mirrors the feeling of the
seasons.. example:1)  First season was about discovery of the characters.. all
seems to be well in the universe, except for a few squabbles between the races
and a few typical problems in your own government (besides assasination).
Things begin to get a little difficult towards the end..
2) The second season picks up a slightly harder edge.  The music is sharper,
and there is much more than the stringed instruments.  The season is about life
getting harder on the characters, of things coming to light that people wish
had never come back...
3) The third season life just gets worse.  The music has apparently almost no
stringed instruments in the opening music.  It's very hard, a lot of percussion
sounds (I guess.. I'm no music expert).. but notice how the music changes the
moment the Whitestar is shown in the credits.  It seems to give a brief moment
of hopeful suggestion.. then it goes into the slightly harder music over the
character credits, suggesting there is a LOT of work to be done..
4)  The fourth season.. this is the only season (other than first) that has
music that has an upbeat tone to it.. it suggests more is happening, things are
being resolved, that the good guys are finally winning!  It still has the tone
of a lot of work to be done.. but it has a more positive note to it.

So.. what does this seasons music suggest?  I'm not sure.. it seems to have a
sense of victory.  It says to me that things are much better in their world..
that they've come a long way and now are reaping the benefits of their victory
of the Shadows, the Vorlons, over their inability to work together.  Things may
be a lot brighter on a larger scale, but there seems to be a lot of smaller
events that will be giving them problems, as opposed to entire worlds being
destroyed out of the spite of first ones.

Or maybe I'm just nuts.

> Another problem I have is the lack of "present day" commentary from any of
> the voices.  The last thing we hear is that Sheridan is planning to remove
> Clark.  It would have been nice if the year was wrapped up in a nice
> package like the other years IMO.

Mmmmm.. well.. what do they have to say that is present day?  I don't want the
opening credits to spoil something happening in the season.  I /do/ wish they
had said something about the Anla'shok or the Interstellar Alliance.. though I
guess that's what the B5/sword/shield is supposed to represent.

> But the worst part of the entire thing (and something I pray they can and
> are willing to do something about) is the extremely cheezy creator credit
> embedded in the rear-end of the station.  I'm sorry but this looks really
> terrible from where I sit at least (and I downloaded the biggest .mov I
> could get).  I don't remember JMS ever going for anything like this in the
> past.  It rubs me as the sort of thing one would find on Third Rock from
> the Sun which is admittadly an alright show, it's just that this sort of
> thing is inappropriate for Babylon-5.

Okay.  I have to admit.  It /is/ a little cheesy.  But.. I look at it this
way.  JMS has had to fight HARD to get B5 on every year... WE have had to fight
hard to get B5 renewed with our letters and our voices.  So it's time that JMS
gets to have a little fun.  We can at least give him that..

> To me an opener of this nature damages the suspension of disbelief, drawing
> my mind into a state of wondering what is going on back there at Babylonian
> Productions instead of concentrating on the story, where my attention
> belongs.  I know that it is probably already a done deal, but I suppose I
> can hope those in charge will reconsider.

Feh.  They are having fun!  Celebrating that after years of being shelfed away
in lousy time slots that they are getting the recognition that they DESERVE!

> Anyway, those are my thoughts... hope they're useful or used for something
> other than taking up TNT's hard drive.

I just wish that they would get the actual graphics right from the Netter
Digital (or whatever the name of the new CGI company is) and convert it into a
MPG so it'd have better video and audio quality.  I like the mov format, but
MPG is much better..

        Brian "Kerr" Watson     <*>
   "What you build, endures...  what you love, endures...
  and Babylon 5... Babylon 5 endures."
      -Delenn, "Rising Star"

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 16 Jan 1998 18:35:11 -0700
Lines: 14

Re: the voices in the mov file...

1) The separation left-right isn't correct, so it muddies the sound.

2) We had to do audoi grabs from episodes for the first pass at the main
titles, since there wasn't opportunity to revoice the lines and make them
clearer.  Starting around episode 7 or so, we dropped in the re-do's and made
the thing clearer overall.


(jmsatb5 at
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