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-   -   What was the original 5-year plan? (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=45855)

fyl2u December 13th 17 23:16

What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm currently rewatching B5 for the 8th or 9th time, for the first time in the JMS recommended order detailed on this site rather than the box set order, and with my gf who had never seen the show previously but is also loving it.

We just reached the end of season 4 (barring Deconstruction, which we're saving until the very end, as recommended) and we started chatting about how certain things seemed rushed, almost certainly due to the imminent supposed cancellation of the show before season 5 was given the green light...

John and Delenn getting married off-camera, mentions of the coming psy-war and another war, mention of the new interstellar alliance almost falling apart but holding together, Marcus' death...

It got me thinking... At what point did they know (or at least think) they were cancelled?

It seems strange that the Shadow War that had been building for so long, ended abruptly mid-season. Was this planned from the start or was it supposed to be a season-ender?

Essentially, did they think they weren't getting the 5th season a long time before the end of season 4 or was it mere episodes from the end that they found out and had to start squeezing things in quickly?

Jan December 14th 17 11:06

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
They knew for sure they were cancelled after four when they got the season four green light. The PTEN network had collapsed after season three and the only reason season four was greenlit was because enough stations signed on. But a show doesn't outlive its network so JMS was told on no uncertain terms that there was nothing after four.

That said, there was less change than people often think. JMS has said that first he separated out the stand-alones (which explains why there are more of those in season 5) and moved a few things to the possible movies but that if he'd known he would have had season five, season four would have ended at 'Intersections in Real Time'.

KoshFan December 17th 17 13:38

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
I'm also reasonably confident that JMS has said the Shadow War would have ended at about the same time in S4 regardless -- he wanted it to be a shockingly abrupt conclusion.

By the way -- welcome, fyl2u! It's good to see we still have lurkers even now.

fyl2u December 17th 17 19:23

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 459915)
They knew for sure they were cancelled after four when they got the season four green light. The PTEN network had collapsed after season three and the only reason season four was greenlit was because enough stations signed on. But a show doesn't outlive its network so JMS was told on no uncertain terms that there was nothing after four.

That said, there was less change than people often think. JMS has said that first he separated out the stand-alones (which explains why there are more of those in season 5) and moved a few things to the possible movies but that if he'd known he would have had season five, season four would have ended at 'Intersections in Real Time'.


Oh wow, so they knew for the entire season?

That must have been tough to take!

Interesting about Intersections. Wasn't that the torture episode? Would have been a harsh end to the season, that would!

fyl2u December 17th 17 19:27

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 459932)
I'm also reasonably confident that JMS has said the Shadow War would have ended at about the same time in S4 regardless -- he wanted it to be a shockingly abrupt conclusion.

By the way -- welcome, fyl2u! It's good to see we still have lurkers even now.

Oh ok! Cool if that was the plan all along!

And thanks for the welcome! B5 is one of my all-time favourite shows, so it was inevitable I'd sign up and post eventually. I'm surprised it took me so long to get around to it, tbh. :lol:

KoshFan December 19th 17 16:26

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
I'm just glad to see someone new around here.

fyl2u December 19th 17 18:40

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 459960)
I'm just glad to see someone new around here.

Glad to be here. I love B5 so I'm overjoyed that there's still an active community. :cool::thumbsup:

Looney December 19th 17 20:18

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 459960)
I'm just glad to see someone new around here.

OOOOOOHHHHHHH so sorry we aren't enough to keep you entertained KoshFan!!!!! :p ;) :lol: I know what you meant. I am also very glad to see fyl2u decided grace these Forums. We always need new input around here. :thumbsup:

hypatia December 21st 17 01:24

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
It is pretty amazing that JMS could adjust to all sorts of changes (actors leaving, aliens or plots not working as you had hoped, your network destructing then a sudden extra season.

No one can say he wasn't flexible.

And it is great to know people are still discovering this wonderful series. Still one of the most amazing series I've ever seen. :cool:

And hello, fyl2u.

KoshFan December 21st 17 05:28

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
JMS had all sorts of contingencies for disruptions in cast, etc., and used several of them -- but I'll bet he didn't have a plan for "the network exploded but you'll still get to do the last season anyway."

fyl2u December 22nd 17 04:39

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 459981)
It is pretty amazing that JMS could adjust to all sorts of changes (actors leaving, aliens or plots not working as you had hoped, your network destructing then a sudden extra season.

No one can say he wasn't flexible.

And it is great to know people are still discovering this wonderful series. Still one of the most amazing series I've ever seen. :cool:

And hello, fyl2u.

That sounds like there's an anecdote or two waiting to be told?

KoshFan December 22nd 17 19:55

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
For aliens, I think he abandoned N'Grath pretty quickly because he wasn't satisfied with the look. And he had to abandon the "Bureau 13" plotline (or more precisely fold it into others) because that term was already copyrighted.

hypatia December 29th 17 04:30

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 459983)
JMS had all sorts of contingencies for disruptions in cast, etc., and used several of them -- but I'll bet he didn't have a plan for "the network exploded but you'll still get to do the last season anyway."

:lol:

Yea, as usual JMS seems to have been the first in the USA, at least. After B5, stories with arcs did suddenly become all the rage. Now, shows are being allowed to write a wrap up at least, or so it seems to me. It isn't like the old days where it was common for shows to just suddenly stop in the middle of cliff-hangers season finales.

hypatia December 29th 17 04:36

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
[QUOTE=fyl2u;459990]
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 459981)

That sounds like there's an anecdote or two waiting to be told?

I think/hope JMS is writing a biography that may include some of those anecdotes. One involves the sudden departure of Sinclair due to the actor's health problems. Not only did the departure have to be written around, but his eventual fate turned into one of the best plot twists in television science fiction history. An amazing twist. And I don't think any of that was planned, not originally.

b5historyman December 30th 17 20:35

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
[QUOTE=hypatia;460027]
Quote:

Originally Posted by fyl2u (Post 459990)
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 459981)

That sounds like there's an anecdote or two waiting to be told?

I think/hope JMS is writing a biography that may include some of those anecdotes. One involves the sudden departure of Sinclair due to the actor's health problems. Not only did the departure have to be written around, but his eventual fate turned into one of the best plot twists in television science fiction history. An amazing twist. And I don't think any of that was planned, not originally.

Michael’s leaving on Ill health grounds presented a problem as there was no out for Sinclair. So Joe did some fancy footwork on the keyboard and tweaked the arc. He exploited Sinclair’s connection to the Minbari and the missing 24 hour mystery, promising Michael that he would wrap Sinclair’s story arc in spectacular fashion.

hypatia December 31st 17 02:04

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
He certainly did that. And still got to follow something of his original story, too. Maybe not as impressive as the Valen backstory, but hey it did resolve a horrible cyclic war that wasted entire planetary systems. That's pretty good, too. :)

BIG ;)

fyl2u January 2nd 18 23:47

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 460027)
I think/hope JMS is writing a biography that may include some of those anecdotes. One involves the sudden departure of Sinclair due to the actor's health problems. Not only did the departure have to be written around, but his eventual fate turned into one of the best plot twists in television science fiction history. An amazing twist. And I don't think any of that was planned, not originally.

Oh? Was that why Sheridan arrived for season 2? I had been lead to believe by the guy that introduced me to B5 years ago that JMS had decided that there was too much plot to give to one character, so he split it between the two of them instead.

Or are both true and you're referring to something that happened later?

b5historyman January 4th 18 12:54

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fyl2u (Post 460061)
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 460027)
I think/hope JMS is writing a biography that may include some of those anecdotes. One involves the sudden departure of Sinclair due to the actor's health problems. Not only did the departure have to be written around, but his eventual fate turned into one of the best plot twists in television science fiction history. An amazing twist. And I don't think any of that was planned, not originally.

Oh? Was that why Sheridan arrived for season 2? I had been lead to believe by the guy that introduced me to B5 years ago that JMS had decided that there was too much plot to give to one character, so he split it between the two of them instead.

Or are both true and you're referring to something that happened later?

Joe is on record as saying had Sinclair stayed it would have been pushing credulity for him to have a connection to both the Shadows AND the Minbari, so planned to bring a Sheridan like character in during Season 2.

Interestingly in the pitch document from September 1989 Sinclair is described as a widower. :eek:

jumptheshark July 6th 18 20:00

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 459960)
I'm just glad to see someone new around here.

when us newbies ask dumb questions keep the warm feeling

KoshFan July 8th 18 02:56

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
For an old half-abandoned message board, we're pretty friendly around here.

And I'm a teacher, so I can officially say: there are no dumb questions! There are questions we may have answered many times before... but nobody's born knowing!

jumptheshark July 8th 18 22:32

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 460935)
For an old half-abandoned message board, we're pretty friendly around here.

And I'm a teacher, so I can officially say: there are no dumb questions! There are questions we may have answered many times before... but nobody's born knowing!

I am just happy to have a place to talk about B5

Looney July 9th 18 13:54

Re: What was the original 5-year plan?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 460935)
For an old half-abandoned message board, we're pretty friendly around here.

THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!!!!! :guffaw: :lol: :guffaw: ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 460935)
And I'm a teacher, so I can officially say: there are no dumb questions! There are questions we may have answered many times before... but nobody's born knowing!

As someone who loves to bring up questions over and over again I can attest to the fact that it is WONDERFUL!!!!! :lol: In fairness I haven't read every post in every thread, so I'm will admit that I don't know every question that has been asked. And for the questions I have repeatedly asked I want to say it is because I never received a satisfactory answer, but the reality is that I just forget that I asked. :wtf: Yes I end up watching an episode and then I think of the question all over again and forget I already asked it at some other point in time. Or maybe I posted it five years ago on JMS News and now I am posting if fresh here. ;)


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