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Old September 9th 10, 08:58   #1
destron1
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how the characters and concept develop?

I have been searching this site for a thread about character and concept development but couldn't find any so this is what this thread is for

As we know the original characters concept was a little difrent then what we saw in "The Gathering" and later the tv show. a natural evolution of an idea to a working manifestation of it.

For example, Delenn was originaly a male character and had a diffrent design, so did Babylon station itself

http://www.zteamproductions.com/b5char.html

Even the "The Gathering" had many elements in it change when it was reshown on tv

so I thoght it would be nice to dedicat this thread and write in it what we know about the development prosess

but before we start does anyone knows if a similer thread already excist?
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Old September 11th 10, 04:36   #2
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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Originally Posted by destron1 View Post
I have been searching this site for a thread about character and concept development but couldn't find any so this is what this thread is for

As we know the original characters concept was a little difrent then what we saw in "The Gathering" and later the tv show. a natural evolution of an idea to a working manifestation of it.

For example, Delenn was originaly a male character and had a diffrent design, so did Babylon station itself

http://www.zteamproductions.com/b5char.html

Even the "The Gathering" had many elements in it change when it was reshown on tv

so I thoght it would be nice to dedicat this thread and write in it what we know about the development prosess

but before we start does anyone knows if a similer thread already excist?
Well, it's fairly normal for a show to change a lot in the development process, before it hits the screen. It's also common for a show to change between the pilot and the first proper episode, both of which we saw in B5.

And of course there's the normal evolution during the course of the show. For instance, B5 was originally intended to be fairly small. I don't remember exactly how small - 500 meteres? A thousand? - and in the second season it 'became' five miles long, which meant that all the ships we'd seen zipping about were larger, too.

In the B5 series bible, there's a lengthy discussion of a "Mister Jones" who was to be a prominent supporting character who never turned up on the show.
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Old September 11th 10, 10:19   #3
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

I know its fairly normal, but still, it's a very nice thing to know

for example, Jeffrey Sinclair was originaly planed to be the last commender of Babylon 5 (said so in the intro of the original cut of "The Gathering"). In the pilot he had a girlfriend who was a sort of trasnport pilot and when she didn't returned to the series the character of Catherine Sakai was created to fill her place but when actor Micheal O'Hare left the show the John Sheridan character was created and the character of his late wife Anna Sheridan replaced Catherine Sakai in the overall story

now, imagine that O'Hare didn't leave the show, how diffrent the show would have been
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Old September 11th 10, 16:19   #4
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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now, imagine that O'Hare didn't leave the show, how diffrent the show would have been
Well, we do know what the original plan was because of the narrative write-up that was released in the bonus scriptbook that jms had done way back before O'Hare had decided to leave the show. And as much as there were many things the same, there were some things that were significantly different under that original plan.

The main one, in terms of Sinclair's character, being that Sinclair wasn't Valen.

The other big one being that the war with the Shadows, or Shadowmen as they were then called, wouldn't have been concluded during the show.

Catherine Sakai would not have filled the same role that Anna Sheridan did; instead Sakai was going to have had her memory removed telepathically, and Sinclair would have to decide between using a telepathic process the equivalent of rape to restore her memory or to let go of his relationship with Sakai and let her live out the rest of her life not remembering her relationship with him; he picked the latter, and that's when Delenn moved in to fulfill Minbari prophesy and have a child with Sinclair

The series would ultimately have ended with Babylon 5 being blown up by the Minbari as Sinclair, Delenn, and their baby fled the station; Sinclair being a wanted man by pretty much everyone: by Earth who thinks he's a traitor; by the Minbari warrior caste, who has taken over the Minbari government and exiled the Grey Council because they think the prophecy that Delenn is determined to bring to fruitition will destroy their civilization; by Londo because Sinclair knows that it was under Londo's guidance that the Shadows destroyed a huge Vorlon ship killing hundreds of thousands of Vorlons; and by the Vorlons who think that it was Sinclair (not realizing it was Londo) who directed the Shadows to do so.

And with the conclusion of Babylon 5, there would be a spin-off show called Babylon Prime, in which Sinclair, Delenn, their rapidly growing child, and some allies brought the Babylon 4 station forward in time to replace the now-destroyed Babylon 5 station. And they would use Babylon 4, which can travel through space because, despite being a space station, has engines and can move, as a base of operations in fighting against the Shadows. Ultimately, that show would end with Sinclair living by himself on some unpopulated world, and specirfically would have ended with Sinclair sitting, fishing.
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Old September 11th 10, 17:06   #5
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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Originally Posted by destron1 View Post
now, imagine that O'Hare didn't leave the show, how diffrent the show would have been
Well, we do know what the original plan was because of the narrative write-up that was released in the bonus scriptbook that jms had done way back before O'Hare had decided to leave the show. And as much as there were many things the same, there were some things that were significantly different under that original plan.

The main one, in terms of Sinclair's character, being that Sinclair wasn't Valen.

The other big one being that the war with the Shadows, or Shadowmen as they were then called, wouldn't have been concluded during the show.

Catherine Sakai would not have filled the same role that Anna Sheridan did; instead Sakai was going to have had her memory removed telepathically, and Sinclair would have to decide between using a telepathic process the equivalent of rape to restore her memory or to let go of his relationship with Sakai and let her live out the rest of her life not remembering her relationship with him; he picked the latter, and that's when Delenn moved in to fulfill Minbari prophesy and have a child with Sinclair

The series would ultimately have ended with Babylon 5 being blown up by the Minbari as Sinclair, Delenn, and their baby fled the station; Sinclair being a wanted man by pretty much everyone: by Earth who thinks he's a traitor; by the Minbari warrior caste, who has taken over the Minbari government and exiled the Grey Council because they think the prophecy that Delenn is determined to bring to fruitition will destroy their civilization; by Londo because Sinclair knows that it was under Londo's guidance that the Shadows destroyed a huge Vorlon ship killing hundreds of thousands of Vorlons; and by the Vorlons who think that it was Sinclair (not realizing it was Londo) who directed the Shadows to do so.

And with the conclusion of Babylon 5, there would be a spin-off show called Babylon Prime, in which Sinclair, Delenn, their rapidly growing child, and some allies brought the Babylon 4 station forward in time to replace the now-destroyed Babylon 5 station. And they would use Babylon 4, which can travel through space because, despite being a space station, has engines and can move, as a base of operations in fighting against the Shadows. Ultimately, that show would end with Sinclair living by himself on some unpopulated world, and specirfically would have ended with Sinclair sitting, fishing.
I don't agree with what you saying because

1. In "The Gathering" Kosh I.D's Sinclair as Valen. so the idea that Sinclair is Valen was there from the start

2. JMS said a couple of times, mainly during the first 3 seasons of the show that the Babylon 5 show is a self contained story, with a star, middle and end - and that the ending of B5 hasn't change from the ending JMS planned all along (just some twicks here and there)

maybe the narrative you refer to was a realiy early idea that was refined before the production of "The Gathering" but it sure cant be what JMS had in mind when he shot "The Gathering" and season 1

but as I said before, it's nice to see how ideas developed over time
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Old September 11th 10, 17:49   #6
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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For instance, B5 was originally intended to be fairly small. I don't remember exactly how small - 500 meteres? A thousand? - and in the second season it 'became' five miles long, which meant that all the ships we'd seen zipping about were larger, too.
2.5 km I believe was the first figure; but the five mile figure was decided on before The Gathering. Joe mentioned it January 1993.

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the character of his late wife Anna Sheridan replaced Catherine Sakai in the overall story
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Catherine Sakai would not have filled the same role that Anna Sheridan did; instead Sakai was going to have had her memory removed
Reading over Joe's old posts I get the impression that Catherine's arc beyond the mind-rape had something to do with corporations strip-mining worlds with sentient life on them. Sakai also mentions the policy against this in an episode, which leads me to believe it was a setup for something down the road.

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The main one, in terms of Sinclair's character, being that Sinclair wasn't Valen.
Joe said he came up with that about 2/3 through season one.

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Originally Posted by destron1 View Post
1. In "The Gathering" Kosh I.D's Sinclair as Valen. so the idea that Sinclair is Valen was there from the start
That was added for the special edition of the pilot movie which was re-edited between season 4 & 5.

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Originally Posted by destron1 View Post
2. JMS said a couple of times, mainly during the first 3 seasons of the show that the Babylon 5 show is a self contained story, with a star, middle and end - and that the ending of B5 hasn't change from the ending JMS planned all along (just some twicks here and there)
The ending was the station blowing up which is still there; just the reason changed. Joe also mentioned in the script books that he was heading toward "Movements of Fire and Shadow/The Fall of Centauri Prime"; Londo in the outline seems to be in much the same position - the Centauri break off relations with Sinclair and the Shadows are controlling Londo with the keeper (like the Drakh in the show). A lot of the details were shifted around, but it still went where it was going to go. The outline describes Sinclair & Delenn's child as creating an alliance and becoming a religious figure; much like Sheridan. Babylon 4 in the outline is taken to the future and used to defeat the shadows; in the show it ended up going to the past and used in the war with the Shadows then. Fluid details; arc still with a beginning-middle-end.

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maybe the narrative you refer to was a realiy early idea that was refined before the production of "The Gathering" but it sure cant be what JMS had in mind when he shot "The Gathering" and season 1
The outline referred to was written after The Gathering and around the time the first few season one scripts were being written.

Last edited by JoeD80; September 11th 10 at 18:04.
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Old September 11th 10, 20:32   #7
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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I don't agree with what you saying because
What I posted isn't an opinion with which you can agree or disagree; it's fact. jms wrote an outline "as [he] began work on Babylon 5's first season" (to quote the introduction to the outline in the 15th scriptbook). jms specifically wrote that outline to detail his plans for the show in a narative format just to make sure what was in his head made sense. That outline detailed how Babylon 5 would have progressed for its five years, and then in less detail how the Babylon Prime spin-off would progress through its story.

Quote:
1. In "The Gathering" Kosh I.D's Sinclair as Valen. so the idea that Sinclair is Valen was there from the start
I take it then that you've only seen the "TNT Special Presentation" version of "The Gathering". That version, sometimes refered to as Gathering 2.0 has several scenes added in that had originally been cut, a couple of things totally removed that had originally been in, and completely different music. This revised version of "The Gathering" does have Kosh refer to (what he thinks is) Sinclair as Valen; however that line of dialogue is not in "The Gathering" as it originally aired. It wasn't until sometime during the production of season one of the show that jms had the idea of making Sincliar into Valen.

Quote:
2. JMS said a couple of times, mainly during the first 3 seasons of the show that the Babylon 5 show is a self contained story, with a star, middle and end - and that the ending of B5 hasn't change from the ending JMS planned all along (just some twicks here and there)
That he said it was planned from the beginning does not contradict anything I posted; in fact, what I posted was the plan from the beginning with Sinclair being the main character for the entirety of the show. The plans were changed somewhat with O'Hare's departure. As jms says in the introduction to the outline,
"In the years since Babylon 5's first season, the most frequent question asked and debated by fans of the series has been, What would've happened if Sinclair has stayed on Babylon 5? How would the show have been different? My response over these many years has been, 'The show would be essentially the same.' Which, as Henry Kissinger once said about a White House position, 'has the added benefit of being true.' The key word, of course, is essentially."
Major things are there. The Narn-Centauri conflict. The Minbari warrior caste exerting out-of-balance power and control in the Minbari government. The Vorlons and Shadows being at odds with one another. The PsiCorps pulling strings behind the scenes in Earth government. It's the specificities that are different; the broadstrokes are still the same.

Quote:
maybe the narrative you refer to was a realiy early idea that was refined before the production of "The Gathering" but it sure cant be what JMS had in mind when he shot "The Gathering" and season 1
It was still the plan he was opperating under during season one of the show because in his introduction to the outline in the scriptbook, jms talks about how he had shown the outline to Michael O'Hare at lunch one day and it made O'Hare get a bit teary-eyed. The plan changed with O'Hare's departure from the show.

Last edited by vacantlook; September 11th 10 at 20:42.
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Old September 11th 10, 23:07   #8
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

In the "Lurker's Guide", EP: Sleeping in Light index, JMS is quotet saying -

"The Babylon 5 story ends at the final episode of year five.", "And there will never be a Babylon 6.", "There's always been a side-story that could spin off from B5, but the main core story is over at the five-year mark.", "I've always said that there's a side story that could follow the 5 year B5 storyline, which takes place in the B5 universe, and follows on the heels of the events in B5...but who knows if that would happen?", "The one thing I would hate is for B5 to become any kind of so-called "franchise." Because as soon as that happens, you're prevented from making any changes, from doing anything that might startle people, cutting into the piggy-bank. Once that happens, you're dead.",

"

I've also made no secret of my sense that, should B5 run its full five year course (and assuming the side-story doesn't go, which I would not exactly count on)...I plan to get out of TV. By that point, I would have said pretty much everything I want to say in TV, and it's time to get out, buy a small house somewhere outside London, and spend the rest of my years writing novels, which is kinda where this all began. (I've had 2 novels, 1 anthology, and a bunch of short stories published, as well as 500 or so articles.) I never got into this to make a ***FRANCHISE***, and never really intended to become an executive producer. I just don't like being rewritten...so I climbed higher, until finally there was nobody over me messing with my scripts. Outside of the B5 reality, if someone came to e and offered me *staff writer* on a show -- the lowest position in the TV totem pole -- but with the guarantee that I wouldn't be rewritten, they wouldn't change the words...I'd take it in a hot second. I'm here, now, strictly out of self-defense"

"What happens at the end of the five year arc? The "Babylon 5" series ends...if I have anything to say about it (and I do). If something else follows, we'll see what that is, but it won't be the same series, or the same title, or really the same characters. "

for the full episode index go to:
http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countr...guide/110.html

So, either JMS mind go 180 between writing the narrative and the time the forth season was coming to a close or I think that the idea of "Babylon Prime" probebly was something he was toying with at the very begining, something to pitch WB but as he began shooting the was always to make B5 a 5 season story and it wouldn't matter if O'Hare stayed untill the end

Last edited by destron1; September 11th 10 at 23:50.
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Old September 12th 10, 00:48   #9
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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So, either JMS mind go 180 between writing the narrative and the time the forth season was coming to a close or I think that the idea of "Babylon Prime" probebly was something he was toying with at the very begining, something to pitch WB but as he began shooting the was always to make B5 a 5 season story and it wouldn't matter if O'Hare stayed untill the end
Babylon 5 was always going to be a five-year show, even under this original plan. Babylon Prime, in the original idea, would have began after five years of Babylon 5. The resolution of what happend to Babylon 4, Londo as the puppet-leader of the Centauri Republic, though it's the Shadows the entire time pulling the strings, not the Drakh, the resolution of the conflict with the Shadows, and the creation of the Interstellar Alliance: All of that was planned to be in the spin-off, but got condensed into Babylon 5 when jms revised his plans upon Michael O'Hare's departure. But there are still things that are different, like "the Minbari are defeated by Earth, which clears Sinclair's name," and it being Sinclair and Delenn's son that heads up the Interstellar Alliance.

According to jms's own words, this outline was not something he did for the suits at Warner Bros. "To my knowledge, Michael O'Hare and I are the only people who have ever seen this document. If I showed it to WB or the other producers on B5, I don't recall it. But it certainly never went any further." And again, as he says in the introduction of the outline in the scriptbook, he wrote it when he was beginning work on the first season, well after the show had been sold to Warner Bros., so it wasn't written to pitch to WB. In the introduction, he explicitly says that he wrote it "as a whole piece, a unit, in broad strokes, to know if the story worked as a story." It was somethinge he did for himself.
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Old September 12th 10, 08:01   #10
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

What your saying is in contradiction of what JMS said and did. Londo' story couldn't be part of a spinoff because he's story is the haert of B5. that is the reason Londo is the narrator of "The Gathering".

"What happens at the end of the five year arc? The "Babylon 5" series ends...if I have anything to say about it (and I do). If something else follows, we'll see what that is, but it won't be the same series, or the same title, or really the same characters"

As I said, the outline you are referring probebly was written in the very very early stages and wasn't the final thing as things in "The Gathering" and the rest of the season contradict them. It could be the basis of season 1 but not the running plan that start with season 1

If it did then JMS change ALOT of his views and plans for the series, a thing that is not consistent with his later statements
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