Compressed 4yr Arc Omissions????

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sun Oct 29 04:28:39 EST 2000

From: "Iain Clark" <iainjclark at>
Date: 28 Oct 2000 22:52:49 -0700
Lines: 84

"Taum" <taum at> wrote in message
news:20001028123238.26334.00001786 at
> I believe the 5 yr arc was compressed to resolve the story due to 5th year
> uncertainty.  I might have even read a comment to this effect somewhere.
> So the $64 question is:  What was the actual 5 yr Arc?  Is there any
> posting, book, comic, or whatever that discussed what was left out or put
> out of order in the 5th year?

There are plenty of jms postings about this on the Lurker's Guide
(  Whilst there's no one authoritative version of
what would have happened, overall the original arc of the last two seasons
*seems* to largely resemble what we got.

>From memory, some 'stand-alone' elements of S4 were removed to speed up the
arc.  For example, In the Beginning was originally a three parter relating
to Atonement.  Also, Into the Fire may originally have been a two-parter,
and the Shadow War may have ended slightly later in the season?   The season
would originally have ended on a cliffhanger with Sheridan incarcerated by
Earth Force (Intersections in Real Time), and the end of the civil war
pushed back into Season 5.

This would have compressed the plot of Season 5 as we saw it, but the main
story would have remained basically the same. The main difference is that
had Ivanova not left (which is actually unrelated to the changes to season
4) it would have been she and not Lyta who had the relationship with Byron,
due to the fact that he reminded her of Marcus.

> There were a lot of loose ends that would have been wonderful episodes.
> name a few:
> 1) The Great Machine Planet never really got used in the Final Conflict,

No, although it was key to the resolution of Sinclair's plotline, so at
least it was used.  The absence of any further involvement in the plot seems
to have to do with John Shuck's limited availablity to return as Draal.

> 2) The Technophages seemed to drop out of sight,

That thread (which is actually only mentioned in one B5 episode) is picked
up in Crusade, especially the unproduced scripts.  Galen appears in the
current Centauri Prime trilogy, and there's also a forthcoming Technomage
book trilogy.

> 3) Psi corps hidden base in hyperspace.

Hmmm. Something laid in preparation for the story of the Telepath War,
perhaps?  BTW, Bester appears in another excellent unflimed Crusade script
by Fiona Avery.

> and one of my concerns from the start:  Kosh's ship was underdeveloped.
For instance, when Kosh was killed, the ship did practically nothing.

We certainly don't know its full capabilities or how able it was to act in
that situation.  On the other hand we know that it was a living being with
some form of mind, that it could communicate, that it sang to its occupants,
and that it was so closely tied to Kosh that it committed suicide after
Kosh's death.  (There's also something more about Ulkesh's ship in the jms
short story Hidden Agendas).

> Assuming that there was a lot of stuff that had to be dropped to
accomodate the potentially reduced season, it would be an interesting
project to get these
> lost bits completed and told in retrospect.  A novel, a movie, a comic?

The difficulty is, how could you tell what amounts to several alternate
versions of the arc?  Most of the events still happened but at a different
point or with different people. The closest we may get are the short stories
and novels which continue some elemets of the story.

"Signs, portents, thing
we'll be reading tea leaves and chicken entrails."

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 28 Oct 2000 23:17:52 -0700
Lines: 23

What people tend to keep forgetting in this discussion about "dropped threads"
is that the only way to wrap up ALL threads is to destroy the universe or make
sure nobody does anything not directly related to the plot.  Life is going on
all around our characters, that's what makes the universe feel real...stuff was
going on before we opened the window to the B5 universe, and stuff started
during that time was going on afterward.

The key to B5 is that it's a history of the events covering these five years. 
It's a slice of time.  To talk about dropped threads in this respect is to talk
about a WWI documentary and complain that it didn't follow up the threads about
Hitler, who was after all, alive at that time.  No, that's another story.


(jmsatb5 at
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
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SFX Magazine)

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