The Babylon File Volume 2

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu May 6 04:37:31 EDT 1999

From: Adnan Virk <adnanvirk at>
Date: 6 May 1999 00:00:05 -0600
Lines: 80

Jms at B5 wrote:
> There is a point, however, where bias and being opinionated leads to error and
> untruth, because one is so adamant to advance one's own viewpoint that all the
> other facts get skewed to support that.
> All through Lane's book, he skews the facts to bolster his point of view, much
> as a creationist skews the facts of science to bolster his point of view.
> For instance, he makes much of the fact that we shot 6 days instead of 7 for
> S5, and that this therefore led to a 1/7th decrease in quality.  Well, it
> didn't affect the writing, the stories were still the stories.  I wrote just
> what I would have written for a 7 day shoot.
> Further, a fact he omits because it would get in the way of his argument is
> that we *did* have the liberty to shoot 7 days when we thought it was
> appropriate *and did so*.  (I think it was either A Tragey of Telepaths or
> Phoenix Rising.)
> He omits the fact, documented through shooting schedules, that on virtually
> ever episode from S1-S4, we wrapped early almost every day, sometimes by an
> hour, sometimes by a couple of hours.  In 110 episodes, we had only about 20
> days of serious overtime, over 5 years of shooting, and in each case the
> overtime amounted to only a couple of hours here and there.  Never once had a
> forced call on an actor.

> Anyway, that kind of bias infects the whole book, because it wasn't done the
> way he would have done it, and therefore it has to be bad.  And he looks for
> anything to bolster that point of view, no matter how insupportable.  It's not
> just that this is his POV, it has to be the truth, and he insists that no one
> can have any other point of view, or that person is an uncritical fanboy.

If all the above is true, then shame on him...
> But it's possible to be an uncritical fanboy in a positive *and* a negative
> direction.  And that is the case with the Lane book.  He does not take the
> facts in a critical way, examining them on their own terms, he lines them up to
> try and reflect his thesis going in.
> A person can have a bias that leads them to be blindly praising toward
> something; and a person can have a bias that leads them to be blindly negative
> toward something.  This is a case of the latter.

Blindly negative? There were instances where praise was given to

> I've never had a problem with critical reviews.  Diane mentioned the B5
> magazine, but if you actually look at the reviews in that magazine, many of
> them do say negative things about various episodes.  Mind you this is in a
> publication that's licensed, and which I could have deleted that material if
> I'd chosen to.  But I let it go through, because I think we can all learn from
> criticism, and if our own publication was exempt from that, then it was no
> longer a proper magazine.  I gritted my teeth a lot, but it went through.
> There seems to be this perception that if something says positive things, then
> it isn't being critical; if it's negative, then somehow it's more objective or
> critical.  This is fallacious reasoning.  Criticism should be fair and
> evenhanded and constructive and, where possible, based in factual reporting.

I apologize if I'm adding to this perception, because I really don't
agree with it....

> This book is none of those things.

I enjoyed the book. I admit I have a bias going into it since I liked
Vol 1 a lot. Also I'm more inclined to agree based on the sole fact that
I felt the same way about many things and specifc episode. Maybe that
does not qualify me to look at it objectively, but well...if above of
what you said is true then shame on him....
well I dont know what else I can add to this conversation...

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 6 May 1999 01:50:14 -0600
Lines: 23

>I admit I have a bias going into it since I liked
>Vol 1 a lot. Also I'm more inclined to agree based on the sole fact that
>I felt the same way about many things and specifc episode. Maybe that
>does not qualify me to look at it objectively,

But that's okay, and that's the point...your feelings about the episodes are
subjective, there's no such thing as an objective *opinion*.  Facts can be
objective, opinions are a different creature.  The language means what it
means.  And you're as qualified as anyone else to give your opinion on anything
you so choose, and should not hesitate to do so.

It's when others try to disguise opinion as fact that I think a line gets


(jmsatb5 at
B5 Official Fan Club at:

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