[B5JMS] What now - And What Went Wrong?

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Thu Apr 11 04:38:55 EDT 2002

From: jbonetati at aol.com (Jan)
Date: 10 Apr 2002 12:50:02 GMT
Lines: 28

Nathan asked:

<<Why isn't that worth fighting for just as B5 was worth fighting for? Why
isn't five years of that show just as important as the completed five year arc
of B5?>>

I'm not JMS but I can guess maybe.  

B5 was the dream. JMS' masterpiece, if you will, in the old sense of the word
where one particular work was what demonstrated to his peers that he was worthy
of the title Master Craftsman.

He fought for 5 years to get the show on the air at all and then fought for 5
more to keep the show on the air and to keep it of the highest quality.  And he
accomplished that by putting aside any life outside of Babylon 5.  He
accomplished his dream and he still loves the B5 universe well and may still
have things to say there, TV gods willing.

But the masterpiece is out there for all to see and there are other stories to
tell in other universes so why fight again for it when anything more is just
icing on the cake?  If B5 showed us anything, it's that JMS enjoys stretching
his writing muscles and trying new things. New things don't have to be in the
B5 universe and eventually could stifle his creativity.

Hoping I'm not too far off base, JMS.


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 10 Apr 2002 22:20:21 GMT
Lines: 36

>Hoping I'm not too far off base, JMS.

No, that's just about right.

The other thing that needs to be emphasized, in terms of fan letter campaigns,
is that the currency of the fan campaign is that it's been in large measure
devalued by over-use, at least in terms of how the studios see it (having been
told this straight up).  These days *any* show that is nominally SF or fantasy,
when its time ends, gets a writing camapign to get it back or keep it on the
air.  Good show, bad show, indifferent...the campaigns come regardless.  So it
doesn't really carry the same weight it did once.

And I think they've always been of limited impact anyway...it did have some
impact on S3 of the original Trek, and if a show is "on the bubble" as they
say, bordering between renewal and cancellation...but beyond that, it really
doesn't have an impact.

The first ST feature wasn't commissioned because of fan mail, it came because
Star Wars came out and did huge bucks and somebody in the Paramount brain trust
said, literally, "waitaminnit, don't WE have one of those?" and rushed ST

It's not passivity on my part as much as just trusting to the forces of
history.  Sooner or later, what goes around, comes around.  My job is to make
sure it's done right when it happens.  


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
and don't send me story ideas)

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