JMS on CompuServe (Mar 22, 1998) *POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

bbarrett at bbarrett at
Sun Mar 22 19:55:37 EST 1998

 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 The following posts may contain SPOILERS for
 upcoming Babylon 5 episodes.

 Continue at your own risk.

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 [ Summary of subjects in this section: ]
    Sb: #25027-Congratulations
    Sb: #25022-#Severed Dreams
    Sb: #25104-Congratulations!
    Sb: #25187-Loose Ends
    Sb: #25166-#Severed Dreams
    Sb: #25117-<Corwin>
    Sb: #25186-End of the run

 #: 25027 S2/Bab 5: General
    20-Mar-98  18:38:10
Sb: #Congratulations

Dear Mr. Straczynski,

Congratulations on completing your 5 year story today. I have been watching 
Babylon 5 ever since the pilot premiered in 1993. It is in my opinion the best 
TV series I have ever watched. It is a very moving series, and the fact that 
its a continuing story makes it even more interesting. Watching events in the 
early seasons actually come true later on in the series really makes it have 
lots of impact. I also enjoy the details you leave in the episodes. I feel 
that everything you put in the episodes have a purpose one way or another in 
the greater sense.

I am sure you are relieved that your 5 year arc is completed. I know it must 
of been a long and hard road to get to this point, but I am sure people will 
be talking about Babylon 5 in the future as one of the great Sci-Fi series of 
this time. I am also happy to see how well TNT is promoting Babylon 5. More 
and more people are now aware of Babylon 5, and watching it too. I feel the 
great talent of the cast, crew, and yourself have really made this a success. 

How do you feel now that the 5 year arc is completed? How was the feeling on 
the set today while filming "Wheel of Fire" compared to "Sleeping in Light"? 
What do you plan to do now that the series has been completed?

Babylon 5 is a great series! I know the series has increased in popularity 
over the years. I now see more articles about Babylon 5 in the media. I do 
believe it is now getting the recognition it deserved for a long time. 

Thank you for creating this wonderful series. I have really enjoyed watching 
Babylon 5, and look forward to the rest of Season 5, upcoming TV movies, and 
hopefully The Babylon Project: Crusade. I also hope Warner Bros. decides to go 
through with a Babylon 5 motion picture. I look forward to the bright future 
of this outstanding series!


 #: 25059 S2/Bab 5: General
    20-Mar-98  23:36:09
Sb: #25027-Congratulations

      Thanks, for all that.

"How do you feel now that the 5 year arc is completed?"

      Exhausted, but relieved; we made it to the end.  We did what we said we 
were going to do, and nobody and nothing can take that away from us.

"How was the feeling on the set today while filming "Wheel of Fire" compared 
to "Sleeping in Light"?"

      The last ep filmed today is "Objects at Rest."  The attitude was a bit 
different than SiL, because there was some hope of a fifth season that took 
some of the edge off SiL...but here it's clear: I said this was a 5 year 
series, and it ends at five years, so everyone knew this was it, at least for 
the series.  There were a lot of tears, hugging, some was hard.

"What do you plan to do now that the series has been completed?"

      Make the next TV movies, and get going on the next project.


 [ Summary: "You must have carefully studied real battle tactics to 
   get those [battle] scenes [in "Severed Dreams"] so right.  Did you 
   have any particular historical battle scenarios in mind when you 
   mapped out how the SD space battle would look?" ]

 #: 25060 S4/Seas. 1-4 SPOILERS
    20-Mar-98  23:36:09
Sb: #25022-#Severed Dreams

      I didn't have any particular battle in mind, no, but I have a passing 
familiarity with battle tactics, and wanted to create that sense in a battle 
of never really see the whole battle, each soldier sees his or 
her part of it, and at the end, we call it the battle of X.  That sense of 
out-of-control events.  It was something I wanted very much to get right.


 [ Summary: "I'm **very** pleased over how things have worked out 
   for you." ]

 #: 25194 S2/Bab 5: General
    22-Mar-98  00:11:01
Sb: #25104-Congratulations!
Fm: J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI was a long and hard road, but we finally got here.


 #: 25187 S2/Bab 5: General
    21-Mar-98  22:56:04
Sb: #Loose Ends


    This message is probably going to ramble a little bit, but I do have a 
point (I think).  If you can just bear with me for a moment, I'll try to get 
to it.

    I found myself in a really strange funk for the last couple of weeks.  I 
honestly didn't know what was causing it, but I know that I was at least 
partially blaming it on my perception of the quality of this season's 
episodes.  Fortunately, I have some very stubborn friends, who, when they see 
that I'm being foolish, won't rest until they've beaten some sense into me.

    But even after a week of this rational medicine, I was continuing to slip 
deeper into a B5 depression.  That depression probably reached its deepest low 
on Thursday night.  But then came Friday, the day of the Wrap Party, and a 
light suddenly went off in my head.

    I hadn't truly been depressed over the quality of the show (I've really 
only had one, very subjective, gripe so far this entire season). I'd been 
depressed, as many of us have, over the end of the show.  Sure, we've only 
seen the first nine episodes of this season, but I knew, in the back of my 
mind, that filming was coming to an end, and that it was a REAL end.  The B5 
universe may go on in movies, books, comics and a new series, but the show, as 
we've all grown to love it, will not.

    So, in a sense, I, as a viewer, was having a sort of post-partum 
depression of my own.  And initially placing the blame for that onto you and 
the cast & crew of B5 was just plain wrong, and I'm sincerely sorry for that.

    But I tell ya, Joe, that depression was pretty awful.  I didn't get 
excited about the new episodes; I didn't re-watch episodes; I didn't add to my 
highlight tapes; I didn't update my web site; I didn't really feel like 
contributing to the Net B5 discussions; In short, I didn't even wanna think 
about B5.

    And I think that causing that sort of reaction in a simple fan of the 
series really says something about the quality of the show with which we've 
all fallen in love over the course of five or six years.  It was during the 
course of the Wrap Party chat, which I visited for a short while during the 
lunch hour, that I finally realized the incredible emotional tie I had created 
with your story.  I signed off there with a word of thanks, but I want to echo 
it here and now:

    Babylon 5, for all its strengths and weaknesses, for all its ups and 
downs, its gains and setbacks, has managed to take millions of people, 
worldwide, on an emotional, ethical and moral rollercoaster of truly epic 
proportions.  I may not have liked every last thing I saw, but, damn it, Joe, 
I wouldn't trade the experience of watching your story unfold for anything.  
This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime journey that I will be proud to tell 
people in the future that I took, along with you, your cast and crew, and 
everyone else watching B5 today.

    Congratulations on earning, through blood, sweat, tears, gray hairs and a 
broken tooth, the ability to tell your story, from start to finish, on your 
terms, the way you wanted to tell it.  Some day I do hope to meet you in 
person, to shake your hand and simply say, "Thank you."

    It's been one hell of a ride.  You should be very proud.

Best Regards,

  -- Brent

 #: 25195 S2/Bab 5: General
    22-Mar-98  00:11:02
Sb: #25187-Loose Ends

      Thanks...there are times I've felt the same way, not wanting to deal 
with it because I knew this was it.  It's natural and understandable. Endings 
are always hard.  And, of course, beginnings are also hard.  Then again, 
middles are particularly hard.  So I guess if we consider it all hard, then 
one shouldn't be any worse than the other.

      Fitting too that the last day of shooting was the first day of spring, a 
new beginning....


 [ Summary: Thanks JMS for showing us the depressing, but very real side of 
   combat in such stories as "GROPOS," "A View from the Gallery," and 
   "Severed Dreams." ]

 #: 25196 S4/Seas. 1-4 SPOILERS
    22-Mar-98  00:11:02
Sb: #25166-#Severed Dreams

      I think it comes from being a depressing person to be around.

      "Oh, look, you got a present!"

      "Yeah, well, I'll probably get a paper cut opening it...."


 #: 25117 S5/Seas. 5 SPOILERS
    21-Mar-98  11:59:03
Sb: #<Corwin>


Coupla questions about our Lt. Corwin:

First, I've noticed he's been wearing while on duty an undress gray shirt 
without any rank or branch insignia other than a B5 shoulder patch, instead of 
wearing the regulation EF tunic.  Visually, it makes a good statement about 
his character, making him appear more relaxed and assured, contrasting with 
his stiff and occasionally awkward presentation of a couple of years ago.  
However, I'm curious that the by-the-book Lochley hasn't taken him to task 
over this.  Is it something to do with the still-independent nature of B5's 
status, or is there some other reason?

Second, I'm also curious that Corwin, as second-in-command of B5, hasn't had a 
promotion to Lt. Commander come through.  He's been two years in his present 
grade, and has shown himself to be a capable officer.  This, coupled with most 
armed forces' desire to "fill up" the TO would seem to guarantee him a step to 
a command-level grade.  Or is there something going on behind the scenes that 
we're not aware of?

Best regards,

PS:  Cool Season 5 main title, BTW:  it still gives me goosebumps by the time 
the _Agamemnon_ bursts out of the fireball...

 #: 25197 S5/Seas. 5 SPOILERS
    22-Mar-98  00:11:02
Sb: #25117-<Corwin>

      Actually, I seem to recall he got a promotion from LT junior grade to 
full lieutenant a couple of years ago...he'd probably get one in year six.


 #: 25186 S5/Seas. 5 SPOILERS
    21-Mar-98  21:15:07
Sb: End of the run
Fm: DR. G

O great maker,

Thanks for the 5 year run.  It's hard to believe it's over.  Congratulations 
on a unique achievement in entertainment and science fiction.  It has been a 
wonderful ride.  I look forward to the TV movies and I hope some day you can 
bring your universe to the big screen.

Morris Gavant (Dr. G)
Give MEmphis Tennessee

 #: 25198 S5/Seas. 5 SPOILERS
    22-Mar-98  00:11:02
Sb: #25186-End of the run




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