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Old August 16th 16, 12:38   #67
Triple F
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 230
Re: Has There Been Any News Re. The New B5 ~2016+~ Theatrical Movie?

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.
……. OK.

jms says the article – including those quotes it contains - got it wrong. That it was the last 5 scripts rather than the first 5 as stated in the article. I obviously didn’t make it clear, the opinions I have are rarely based on just one thing. For example, here’s a couple of extracts from one of jms’s newsgroup comments which were made 2 years after the article – emphasis added by me.

I think they would've kicked over the table and shown where the production, and the story, was going. They're also the ones I wrote after "Apperances," which is where I decided, "Fuck it, fuck TNT, fuck the notes, I'm just gonna go back to what I was doing for the first 5 and write what I want." I got pissed, and sometimes I write best when I'm angry about something………

………. Crusade is a good show. It got beaten down after the first five, stayed kind of beaten down through network notes and my own fatigue fighting fights that I shouldn't have had to fight, then picked up with the two post-fuck'em scripts because my energy was gearing up again at that decision. But overall it was a good show.
So in jms’s own explanation – like the article - he points out he ignored the notes on the FIRST FIVE scripts, and wrote what he wanted. He then did a few with notes - then ignored them again for the final TWO SCRIPTS……

So just to be clear about where I’m coming from, so to speak. jms had STARTED Crusade, ie the first five scripts, with the decision that he was going to ignore the notes from the studio. He only returned to the “Fuck em” attitude towards the end. Regardless of what he just typed.

Taking in isolation, that’s one thing. Taking it in the often repeated context of jms’s assertions that studio execs don’t know shit about sci-fi and aren’t very bright… it does come across as a bit of an arrogant stance. Of course there would have been some discussion at some point, but he didn't say that…. He’s saying “fuck em”, and he wrote what he wanted in the first five scipts….. and that's what's said in both the article and his own comments two years later……

I’m deliberately just focusing on that one point because a discussion like this always goes off on all directions, and jms has already picked the areas he wants to respond to, so I’m just witling it down a bit further – in order to try and explain why I have the opinion that I do…. It isn’t something just pulled out the air.

Though saying that. While you have the clown here, Jan, watching this discussion (I’m assuming that’s a term of endearment btw!, or does he pefer to be called idiot), and you’re obviously in contact with him. Can you ask him to clarify his various statements about any new B5 project has to include him or it doesn’t happen….. I’ve always wondered exactly what he meant by that, and how it might possibly impact on things like the Lost Tales and other stuff..
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Last edited by Triple F; August 16th 16 at 12:56.
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