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Old November 23rd 09, 11:55   #41
Jan
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

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For instance, itís obvious Cahterine Sakai was set up to have the same fate as Sheridanís wife. As it stands, were are left with foreshadowing in Sakaiís arc to events that eventually DID expire, but with the replacement character instead.
While it may seem obvious, it's probably not quite that simple. In the synopsis of the arc that JMS wrote prior to the first season (published in Volume 15 of the script books), we're told that around the end of season 3 or beginning of season 4, Catherine would be mind-raped and all memory of her relationship with Sinclair lost. The only way Sinclair would have been able to get her back would be by esentially doing it to her again and he couldn't bring himself to do that.

That said, whe Claudia left the show, her planned romance with Byron did get moved over to Lyta.

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Old November 28th 09, 21:31   #42
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

Yeah, a whole lot of ugly, stupid reality interfering with the direction. In fact, if you've read JMS "Memo" - the B5 he'd set out to right is a very, very different show which more-or-less adds up to about the first two and a half sesons of the B5 we got. (Here's a link for anyone who's not already familiar with the "Original Concept" http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...tion-babylon-5 ) and his original spinoff idea was many things, but it certainly wasn't Crusade ( http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...prime%E2%80%9D )
It's really interesting - with hindsight - to see how much drifted and how many compromises and changes had to be made to keep the show running. The fascinating thing - for me, anyway - is that the show seems to have gotten better every time JMS went under the gun, and had to re-engineer the whole damn thing to keep it running. He seems to work well under adversity.
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Old November 29th 09, 02:05   #43
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

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That said, whe Claudia left the show, her planned romance with Byron did get moved over to Lyta.
Although I missed Claudia Christian in S5 and as mediocre as the telepath arc ended up being, I would have been aghast at Ivanova having a romance with Byron. I just couldn't see it being plausible, actually- not as plausible as her and Marcus (had he lived). The *romance* between Lyta and Byron- and her reaction to his death- made much more sense in the overall context of the series.
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Old November 29th 09, 06:06   #44
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

Wow. If that was JMS's original plan... it's a textbook case of why we writers rewrite. That outline is like something I might have cooked up when I was 17.
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Old November 29th 09, 10:21   #45
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

Blimey

Ivanova and Byron?

That's just all sorts of wrong right there. But then again, I really dislike half of the fifth season and Byron along with his tacky hand holding just takes the cake.
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Old November 29th 09, 22:41   #46
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

Well, to be fair, none of us know exactly what JMS intended for the Byron story. My impression was that Ivonova was going to be attracted to Byron because of his "This Year's Marcus" feel, but she was going to feel realy bad about it for the same reason. I've heard speculation that it was going to be something like Marcus chasing Ivonova, and Lyta chasing Marcus, which would make it a little more interesting and a little less Junior High.

Still, hard to judge things that none of us know anything about. My gut tells me that the original draft of the Byron thing would have been better than what we ended up with, all things being equal.

Anyone want to know what *my* beef with Byron is?
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Old November 29th 09, 22:53   #47
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

JMS has said that:

Quote:
It's no secret that I would've had Ivanova becoming somewhat
linked to Byron romantically (she would see him as a character like
Marcus, which is why there are certain similarities, and she would take
a chance only to find it wrong this time, underlining that she'd missed
her one major opportunity thus far for a good relationship). This was
expressed to Claudia toward the last part of S4, so she knew at that
time that her latent ability would be coming out, and that she'd have a
big part in S5.

In this scenario, Lyta would have become a devoted follower of
Byron's, much as she has, but it would have been more love from afar:
protective, somewhat unrequited but hoping for more...so that when he
met his fate, Lyta would end up right where she is now, just by a
different road.

jms
It would have been interesting to see Ivanova taking an emotional chance for once.

Sure, what's your beef with Byron?

Jan
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Old November 30th 09, 16:11   #48
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

My beef with Byron is just this:

He's an uterly useless character from a narrative point of view.

I don't think he was *conceived* of as one. Obviously, JMS had some important purpose in mind for him with the whole Ivonova is a Latent Teep thing, but by the time the Claudia Christian stuff all came down and she was out of the show, that part was lost, and all Byron was left with was the Martyr/Messiah/Mentor thing, which, as we've all noted, is agonizing and slow, and in the end it accomplishes nothing. It's superfluous.

Think about it: We spent seven episodes with Byron training Lyta, Byron dying, Lyta taking command of the rogues, and going off, without resolving the arc, so seven episodes with Byron himself, and one or two specifically dealing with the fallout from it, but no actual *resolution.* that's both frustrating and time consuming, made worse by the fact that Oz never did give nothin' to the Tin Man that he didn't already have.

By which I mean: This is Lyta Alexander! She doesn't *need* Byron to convince her of her powers, strength, and responsibilities - we've spent three seasons by this point watching her learn all that. She's not a wallflower, she's a chick who can blow up a planet with her brain, a chick who holds back out of defference to others, and gets taken advantage of for it, but she's braver than hell and plenty smart. She is no man's woman, and doesn't need to be.

How much cooler would it have been if Lyta went to Sheridan at the start of Season 5 and simply said "Here's what I want in exchange for my services in the war: I want to start a colony of Teeps on the station." Sheridan would have gone along with it - probably reluctantly, but he's an honorable man, he recognizes his debts. And from the start of S5 forward, Lyta would have been the leader of the telepaths, organizing them, training them, caring for them. She doesn't need a mentor, she already knows how to do this stuff. Certainly she doesn't need a preachy, longwinded black-and-tragic-like Hamlet figure. Wouldn't you much rather spend seven episodes with a character you already know and like, rather than some new guy that no one gives a damn about? If having Lyta leave the station was crucially important to JMS' larger plan, then fine, have her leave the station with her minions when it's no longer safe for them there, swell, I don't care, but having her casting googoo eyes and doing nothing else for a third of the season was useless. If JMS lost Ivonova, he should have lost Byron too.

Which brings me to my second problem with the Telepath arc. I get that JMS had some big, involved plans in mind for the Telepath War. I'm cool with that. It seems like he hoped to have it be backstory in Crusade, just as the Minbari War was backstory for B5. That's swell, no problem. There was talk of doing a Telepath War theatrical movie at one point - just talk, but still - and I know that a large part of the "Lost Tales" project was to involve the Telepath Wars. I totally get that things were going off the rails, and things didn't end up working the way JMS had hoped/intended.

However, there's an *Awful* lot of dead air in Season 5, an awful lot of standalones, not to mention seven episodes of Byron. Given that JMS was able to work the whole "War to Retake Earth" thing in to five or six episodes of Season 4 - and it was the high water mark of the series - it seems to me he could have probably worked the entire telepath war in to Season 5 if he'd wanted to.

I know, I know, I'm totally secondguessing the great maker. Sorry. He was banking on some hail mary passes that ultimately didn't get completed. Still and all, that's my beef. What do you guys think?
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Old November 30th 09, 16:15   #49
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

Republibot, did you heart the "lost notes" story about season 5? I think that accounts for some of that season's troubles... also the reason the Earth Civil War was resolved so quickly was because he wasn't banking on having a Season 5. 90% of the pacing woes would have been just fine if S4 had ended on "Intersections in Real Time" and the war had been wrapped up beginning in S5.
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Old November 30th 09, 16:38   #50
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

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Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 View Post
By which I mean: This is Lyta Alexander! She doesn't *need* Byron to convince her of her powers, strength, and responsibilities - we've spent three seasons by this point watching her learn all that. She's not a wallflower, she's a chick who can blow up a planet with her brain, a chick who holds back out of defference to others, and gets taken advantage of for it, but she's braver than hell and plenty smart. She is no man's woman, and doesn't need to be.
Here I have to disagree. There's no way the Lyta we saw for most of the series would become a resistance leader without a catalyst and Byron was utterly necessary for that. Face it, even though she was exploring her powers, Lyta was basically a doormat all too much of the time.

That said, JMS admitted that after the loss of his notes when he was about to begin writing Season 5, he clung to the Byron story too hard. When I was preparing the Joe Cuts for Volume 15, I also noted that there were a number of scenes where Byron was communing with his people cut from the final aired episode. I think that those would have made him a more sympathetic character. I also think that if there'd been some scenes where we saw why some of the teeps ran away instead of them being mostly mute it would have helped. Sure we saw some of that with the teeps talking to Talia early on but that was too long ago.

Quote:
However, there's an *Awful* lot of dead air in Season 5, an awful lot of standalones, not to mention seven episodes of Byron. Given that JMS was able to work the whole "War to Retake Earth" thing in to five or six episodes of Season 4 - and it was the high water mark of the series - it seems to me he could have probably worked the entire telepath war in to Season 5 if he'd wanted to.
Somebody (here, I think) once tried to find all of the episodes that didn't contain any arc progression. As I recall, he didn't find any. Personally, I don't think that B5 would have been anywhere near as good without the standalones, off-format etc. episodes. It was in them that we got the real character development. "A Late Delivery From Avalon" springs to mind as an excellent example.

That said, at some point JMS seems to have changed the timing of the entire series at some point. The synopsis of the arc that was printed in Volume 15 seems to show a much different timline than we had, with the Shadow War extending into the follow-up series, Babylon Prime. That would explain why Season One was sort of leisurly when compared to the others.

Jan
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