[B5JMS] Almost 10 years ago...

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Thu Jan 30 04:25:13 EST 2003

From: janmschroeder at aol.com (Jan)
Date: 30 Jan 2003 00:58:11 GMT
Lines: 63

...the pilot for Babylon 5 was televised for the first time.  Many of the folks
still here saw it then; others of us came along later and several of us are
still ensuring that new fans will keep joining our ranks.

I read a story once about a man who considered himself a time traveler because
he'd been imprisoned, out of touch with any news for ten years.  It was quite a
shock when he returned home and had to adjust to the way things were 10 years
after he'd last been in touch.  Styles, presidents, slang...hundreds of things
had changed and he had to try to absorb it in one gulp.  We've all traveled
through time the ordinary way but maybe it illustrates something to mention
that the World Trade Center bombing (now usually referred to as the 'first' WTC
bombing) took place on 2/26/1993, four days after the B5 pilot aired.  It's
been a busy 10 years.

B5 is passing the test of time.  I haven't heard of any inventions that now
make either the technology on the show seem dated, nor are the effects looking
cheesy, though I imagine that they may in time. I can still watch the show from
beginning to end without fast forwarding or skipping episodes and still find
something new to see or think about each time. Every time, I'm convinced that
whichever season I'm watching has my favorite episodes and theme music, until
the next season of course.  Would that I were standing against time as well as
the show.  I'm much creakier than I was in 1993 and there's been a couple of
years in there that I'd really just as soon have skipped completely.

In some ways B5 is even more relevant today than it was 10 years ago.  Oh,
there are lots of shows that depict governments acting from convenience instead
of conscience, even some that remind us that vigilance is the price of liberty.
 I can't think of any of them that showed it as well or as thoroughly, though. 
Because of it's nature as a saga, we were able to see the signs of trouble as
they crept up on our characters and we went along with them as they realized
that they had to take action. It showed us that individuals matter and that
it's their stories that combine to make, as Zathras would say, the next great

All along the way was JMS.  Records of his posts at JMSnews.com begin on Nov.
20, 1991 very shortly after the project was announced.  It's a shame that
there's a gap of several months from Feb. to June of 1993 because I'd have
enjoyed reading JMS' reactions to what folks had to say about the pilot the
first time it aired.  JMS treats the fans with respect because he's a fan
himself and he took the opportunity to teach us what bringing a show to
television entails just by conversing with us and answering questions. In
addition, he's never blocked his email address to private mail, though I'm sure
it must have been tempting at times.  When the Babylon 5 magazine came out he
had a column at the end of each of them.  Some were longer than others but they
told us about making the show, about people behind the scenes and about hope
and keeping dreams alive. We've been privileged to see that B5 was a personal
quest that invited people to come and be creative to help fulfill that quest
and bring the story alive.  While not at all necessary for enjoying the show,
that personal touch enhanced the experience immeasurably.  Along the way, we've
touched JMS back.  He's heard from people telling him that patients have
listened to G'Kar's speaches for courage and inspiration while dying and many
other stories.  No matter what else he'll go on to write, he knows that his
words have made a difference and that his work had mattered.  How many of us
can know that with certainty?

So, jumping the gun a little, this is a very wordy way for me to celebrate the
tenth anniversary of Babylon 5 coming to television and thank it's creator for
sharing the story and himself with us.

Thanks, Joe. Looking forward to more of your words.


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 30 Jan 2003 05:46:52 GMT
Lines: 16

>Thanks, Joe. Looking forward to more of your words.

No, the thanks are entirely mine, for your very kind words.

Thanks again.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
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