View Single Post
Old August 16th 16, 00:53   #64
Psi Cop
Jan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,900
Re: Has There Been Any News Re. The New B5 ~2016+~ Theatrical Movie?

I got an email a little while ago:

Originally Posted by JMS
I was alerted to the conversation going on at about Crusade and wanted to dispel – once more – some absolute and provable inaccuracies about what’s being put out there (again). So feel free to repost.

The five scripts which I told them I wouldn’t do were the LAST five, not the first five. I takes a particularly amazing kind of stupid to suggest such a thing because the end of that conversation was “then there’s no show.” That was the day they pulled the plug. Had this been a meeting about the first five episodes, and they pulled the plug, then there wouldn’t have been a first five episodes, now would there?

What the clown posting here also fails to understand is that sometimes articles and interviews get it wrong: they misquote, they get things out of order, especially a post like the one referenced here.
To the point that the notes were not read: again, do you really think, for even a second, that I would wander in and be given notes for the first time and I’d simply refuse to read them? No, of course not. I had been given the 20+ pages of notes at the tail end of a process that had dragged on for roughly a dozen episodes by then. I was sent the notes, read them, realized that I could not do them and maintain any kind of integrity for the show, and went in to the meeting to tell them no. I never said I didn’t read them, I said I wasn’t going to do them. But the pinhead who posts here with seeming “inside” information gets that wrong as well, which is especially astonishing since there are so many OTHER interviews and articles out there that do give the correct chronology. But it’s easier to make a straw man argument when you just ignore the other 99% to cherry-pick the one you want to believe.

There are reams of correspondence between myself and TNT over the notes that season. Where we could, we tried to accommodate; where they violated every principle of drama, we didn’t. But the notes got increasingly egregious. What we didn’t know at the time was that during B5 TNT did a survey of their audience and found out they didn’t like SF. TNT then began looking for an excuse to pull the plug and get out of the contract. The key way to do this was to demonstrate that we weren’t giving them the show they wanted, and the way you do that is to give notes so awful, so terrible, that no producer in his right mind would oblige. Like the notes on “The Well of Forever” that instructed us to solve the problem by having Gideon – the star of our show – arrange for one of his crew members to be raped by the episode’s antagonist so he could be caught with his pants literally around his ankles and blackmailed.

Let me repeat: TNT insisted on having the star of our show, the hero of our story, arrange for one of his crew members to be raped to solve a story problem.

And that was not the exception, that was emblematic of their notes.

As for Mongoose…some of the folks who were there have been picking and sniping at me for decades since that whole debacle, and I can’t believe it’s still going on. Why did I have a problem with Mongoose publishing B5 novels? BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE A LICENSE TO DO B5 NOVELS, THAT’S WHY. They had a license for nonfiction books and print material supporting the games but that’s all. They kept trying to turn this into a novel license by just doing them and sneaking them out. I didn’t want any company that was not an established publishing firm with a solid track record in quality novels to get anywhere near B5. Despite that, I still went so far as to read the stuff, wanting to give them a chance to prove me wrong, and it was just dreadful. Some of the proposed Mongoose “novels” were fan fiction they found ON LINE which they wanted to then just publish and charge people for what they could be (and had been) reading for free.

The job of the licensor is to assure the quality of the product never falls below a level representative of the show’s quality. So I wasn’t about to let crap get out there because ultimately it would reflect badly on the show that we authorized something like that, which would have been especially galling since WE NEVER AUTHORIZED IT.

As to the B5 video game…no, I never asked them to do it all over again, and the idea is profoundly ridiculous because Christy Marx and others who were there at the time have gone on record many times saying exactly what happened inside the company when suddenly they were hit by cutbacks and budget shortfalls that ended up torpedoing the game.

But it’s easier to blame an “egomaniacal producer” and spread repeatedly-debunked rumors than to actually do the work entailed to find out what really happened. Normally I wouldn’t even bother to respond but this particular nonsense has been going on now for twenty years and I’m tired of it.

Grow the fuck up and if you’re going to start making accusations or spreading stories, take the time to do your homework to find out what really happened, because in the 20-plus years since B5 and Crusade, it’s all in the public record. As another show was wont to say, the truth is out there.

And apparently, so are the idiots.

And both, it seems, are eternal.
Note that JMS didn't become aware of this conversation through me.

Also, I was in contact with Matthew Sprange back in the day and he showed me some approvals for novel covers. I mentioned that to JMS and got this response:

Originally Posted by JMS
There were cover approvals because WB was asleep at the switch and they weren't keeping track of this stuff. The cover approvals for nonfiction books went through the usual process. So some covers were approved, some weren't, and the novels were definitely not approved because they didn't have the rights.

As for TLT, again, and you can quote me, Mongoose *never had a license* for The Lost Tales, so of course they wouldn't be given permission to use anything. This nonsense is being put forward by someone who, for years, has had a mad-on for me and keeps reposting the same debunked information over and over out of a personal obsession with smearing me. Sorry, TS, this stuff is no more true here than anywhere else you've posted it. Have you considered finding a new hobby? Golf? Knitting snoods, perhaps? Anything that doesn't involve twisting the facts to fit with the narrative you want to possess? Because this one's getting old.
Note again, that the above matches my memory of Matthew Sprange. He seemed like a nice guy but...well, sometimes challenged in either the memory department or the truth department. He'd been the one to contact me after the spat with JMS, and offered any and all proof of his 'side' of things but he never was really able to do so and I kept finding inconsistencies. Not saying he lied, just was never persuaded that he ever was completely accurate.

"You know, I used to think that life was terribly unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair? If all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." ~~Marcus Cole
Jan is offline   Reply With Quote