Fed up with S5 naysayers

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at shekel.mcl.cs.columbia.edu
Sat May 16 06:15:39 EDT 1998

From: mike.evans at pobox.com (Michael Evans)
Date: 13 May 1998 17:39:39 -0600
Lines: 53

On 13 May 1998 11:12:55 -0600, "mArAuDeR" <mArAuDeR_HlBr at hotmail.com>

>Im getting a little tired of those people asking JMS wether S5 was planned.
>It was, and always had been, a Five-year story.  The only reason that JMS
>wrapped up the Earth Civil War thread in S4 was because the prospects for a
>Season five to ever exist were Grim.  He wanted to Wrap it up so there would
>be closure at the end of S4 incase S5 didnt go through.

Maybe you are getting a different feed than I am, because I've seen
very few questions as to whether S5 was planned.  I do see legitimate
questions about how many details of S5 were planned, however, given
the late notice that B5 got picked up by TNT and the departure of CC
and necessary integration of a character with no prior background in
the series with Lockley.  

Was the fiasco known as A View from the Gallery planned well in
advance?  I hope not.  I prefer to consider it the result of being in
a rush to complete the writing for the season.  At best, maybe an idea
that sounded good at the time (and it was a damn good idea), that,
like Grey 17, just didn't get pulled off.

> Also, the same bunch has been going on about the "weak" episodes of S5.
>Just because every ep isnt an arc story or dosent have a big EFX-laden
>firefight does NOT mean it is without value.

Correct.  I like non-arc episodes.  I like low or no EFX episodes.  If
they are interesting, have a good story to tell, and are well
presented.  But for TVLNoLM, though, most of the episodes this season
haven't done that.  I personally don't care whether they are arc or
not, or whether I will experience an epiphany late in the season where
all the pieces presented in these earlier episodes click into place.
The fact remains that most of these episodes have not been
particularly good (though I'm not as anti-S5 as people like Cronan).
I liked the Londo/G'Kar sequences quite a bit, but the telegoth
mini-arc, and dreadful episodes like No Compromises and A View from
the Gallery, were uninspiring.  

>  The problem is that the TNT
>promos have put B5 off like an action series (the latest promo, which, btw,
>is 75% scenes from ItB, is a perfect example of this) so it pulls in the
>action junkies.  Then they start moaning when they air an ep like TVLNoLM
>because, beyond the replays of the bombing of Narn, there is little in the
>way of action.

A lot of the people who have been complaining are not newbies to B5.
They are people who watched the show prior to the TNT days and who
appreciate it for the depth of characterization, the acting, and the
intelligence shown in past seasons, not just for EFX, and I can
understand why people would be disappointed so far.

>Just getting something else off my chest.

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 14 May 1998 10:47:18 -0600
Lines: 40

Bottom line for me is, I don't shy away from criticism.  Frankly, the things
I've said about my own episodes have often been harsher than anything anyone
else has ever said or will ever say.

But what you have to be careful about is this kind of statement:

>Was the fiasco known as A View from the Gallery planned well in
>advance?  I hope not.  I prefer to consider it the result of being in
>a rush to complete the writing for the season.  At best, maybe an idea
>that sounded good at the time (and it was a damn good idea), that,
>like Grey 17, just didn't get pulled off.

This comes under the heading of "In my opinion."  All too often these things
are stated as *facts*, which they are not, rather than *opinions*, which is
what they are.  In point of fact, there are a LOT of people who enjoyed AVFTG
enormously, some even considering it the best of the last year or so.  (In
fact, interestingly enough, the British fans seemed to have across the board
liked it far more than the US fans...I'm still parsing that one to figure out
why...and many of them can't figure out why some folks here had such a

Anyone who has ever been involved with a writing workshop knows that there is a
difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.  The main
difference is the person who says "This sucks," rather than saying "This is why
this story didn't work for me."  The former is a unilateral statement that does
not allow for anyone else to hold different viewpoints; the latter allows you
to more constructively address the elements that didn't work for you, and may
not work for others.

You didn't like View.  Fair enough.  I loved it, and still do, and many others
do.  Also fair enough.  Doesn't mean it's bad, doesn't mean it's good.  Either
way, it's precisely what I wanted to write, and in this show, I write what I
want, what I enjoy, what I want to see.  If enough others like it that we stay
on the air, then I'm doing it sufficiently well; if not, not.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
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