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Old April 6th 15, 13:18   #1
Mororless
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Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

Theres always been a good bit of discussion of the merits of watching Sleeping in Light at the end of season 4 relative to season 5 but I'm wondering could JMS have actually kept it as the last episode of the former?

Personally I tend to be of the view that Sleeping it Light is most effective viewed at the end of season 4 as originally intended since it clearly feeds into the drama around Sheridan/Delenn and Ivanova that was highest at that point, the characters I would argue it really focuses on most.

To try and bend the fifth season back to its original intension to me always seemed to be somewhat trying to swim uphill, Might it have been better to accept that a change had happened and adapt to it?

To me Sheridan did feel a bit distant in season 5 just due to the nature of his role in the story(grand political reader though out), if you've actually capped his story in season 4 then to me this seems like potentially less of a disadvantage as your more naturally focusing in other characters and generally passing the torch.

There were of course a number of existing story threads for season 5 to tie up but personally I don't think showing Sleeping in Light first would really damage the best of these. Londo's story for example really isn't capped by Sleeping in Light, we see Vir still misses him of course but that's more of a conclusion to his character and if anything adds in a bit of mystery(although of course we know his actual death) as to what is going to happen. Indeed I think that capping Vir's story first actually makes a lot of sense since this is the point where Londo's story moves away from his, where he's less battling his conscience and more facing up to his fate.

The same could be said of Lyta and G'kar who have some of the most interesting plot threads in the fifth season and indeed dispite being featured Garabali isn't really capping his story of addiction. Lennier as well isn't really featured much beyond a quick mention and there was a lot of potential to give his story a bit more time as well.

Last edited by Mororless; April 6th 15 at 14:22.
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Old April 6th 15, 17:10   #2
Jan
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

Except that it was never *intended* to be viewed at the end of season 4. It was always intended to be the series finale, whether at the end of 4 or at the end of 5. The only reason it was filmed during season 4 is because JMS had been told at the very beginning of that season that it would be the end because the PTEN network no longer existed.

No, for me, it's a farewell and best viewed at the end of the documentary.

Jan
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Old April 7th 15, 20:36   #3
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

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Except that it was never *intended* to be viewed at the end of season 4. It was always intended to be the series finale, whether at the end of 4 or at the end of 5. The only reason it was filmed during season 4 is because JMS had been told at the very beginning of that season that it would be the end because the PTEN network no longer existed.

No, for me, it's a farewell and best viewed at the end of the documentary.

Jan
That's what I ment, unless theres some comment from JMS on the specifics I'v not read exactly to what degree he wrote sleeping in light to be an ideal finish to a 4 season B5 relative to a 5 season version will always be a bit of guesswork. Personally my feeling is that it was more of the former but obviously with the possibility of the latter which was obviously altered even more by CC leaving.

It would definitely have felt a bit strange from have the emotional finale of Sleeping in Light before restarting the story but as I said really most of the best drama/plot in season 5 isn't spoiled.

To me it seemed like part of the strength of B5 was that JMS turned changes like the switch from Sinclair to Sheridan into opportunities. A potential response to having to finish the show in season 4 then having it extended into season 5 would seem to be to shift the focus away from Sheridan/Delnn/Ivanova. I think we saw this naturally happen anyway but ending season 4 with Sleeping in Light would have been a much more definite line in the sand that focus in season 5 would shift.
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Old April 8th 15, 00:19   #4
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

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Originally Posted by Mororless View Post
That's what I ment, unless theres some comment from JMS on the specifics I'v not read exactly to what degree he wrote sleeping in light to be an ideal finish to a 4 season B5 relative to a 5 season version will always be a bit of guesswork. Personally my feeling is that it was more of the former but obviously with the possibility of the latter which was obviously altered even more by CC leaving.
From JMS:

Quote:
Re: 422...this one is a stand-alone episode which I specifically designed
in order to have the flexibility to air it either as 422 or as 522,
depending on what happens. This way if year 4 is all there is, we get to
where we need to get; if we get year 5, then we shoot 501 and air it in
422's spot, and air 422 in place of 522.


jms
Then there's this from Volume 11 of the B5 script books

Quote:
I’d held off writing “Sleeping in Light” until the last possible second,
hoping that the warden would come through with a one-year reprieve just as the
clock tolled midnight. I desperately didn’t want to write it to conclude season
four, I wanted it in year five, where it belonged, and committing that story to
paper at this point would be a concession to the forces of inevitability that said
we’d never get our fifth year, proof positive that you can’t buck the odds and win
One of the things he did was to leave 'Sleeping in Light' *unfinished* in order to be able to deal with season 5 without too much of the feeling of the show already being done. In addition, once the editing and CGI and score was done, he'd have had to turn it over to WB and then there would be the risk of it being leaked. Even so, it had to have been hard since he also directed 'Sleeping in Light'.

Jan
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Old April 9th 15, 08:25   #5
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

I think, thematically and even in terms of cinematography, Sleeping in Light works better coming after Rising Star, but at the same time, I think it would be odd to not have it at the very end of the series.

I know when I watched it, I could in a way tell that it was leftover from season 4, but that might have been because I knew it was leftover. It would be interesting to hear from people who discovered the series after it aired whether after watching SiL they felt it was a part of season 4, or followed on fine from the rest of season 5.
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Old April 9th 15, 15:07   #6
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

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I think, thematically and even in terms of cinematography, Sleeping in Light works better coming after Rising Star, but at the same time, I think it would be odd to not have it at the very end of the series.

I know when I watched it, I could in a way tell that it was leftover from season 4, but that might have been because I knew it was leftover. It would be interesting to hear from people who discovered the series after it aired whether after watching SiL they felt it was a part of season 4, or followed on fine from the rest of season 5.
You could I spose argue that Babylon 5 did several other "odd" things such as the flash forward to Centaury Prime in WWE revealing so much of the coming story.

Really my point isn't just that Sleeping in Light might have benefited from being included at the end of season 4 but that season 5 might have as well.

The changes that were forced on JMS in season 4 due to potentially having to end the show there clearly altered the nature of season 5 as did Claudia Christian leaving(which itself was likely the result of those changes as well). Ivanova obviously wasn't present and the earlier conclusion of the major stories involving Sheridan and Delenn made them more distant plus the season generally had more of a feeling of restarting the action.

I could see ending season 4 with Sleeping in Light it potentially helping there as you don't have to be as obvious trying to restart the story or get more drama behind Sheridan/Delenn. Rather it becomes a case of acknowledging that the story featuring those characters has been largely resolved and that other characters will be the main driving force for the last season.
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Old April 9th 15, 20:11   #7
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

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[
I could see ending season 4 with Sleeping in Light it potentially helping there as you don't have to be as obvious trying to restart the story or get more drama behind Sheridan/Delenn.
The sense of restarting the story came because many of the major plot lines had been wrapped up by the end of season 4, I don't think running SiL earlier would alter that. The civil war and Shadow War would still be over, rather than continuing into season 5 as they were mean to, so new plot lines had to start with that air of the series being rebooted slightly. Season 5 didn't focus all that much on Sheridan and Delenn anyway, they spent most of their time on the sidelines reacting to events happening around them. It was Lyta, Byron, Lennier, Londo and Garibaldi who were most in the thick of things and integral to season 5's plots.
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Old April 10th 15, 22:02   #8
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Re: Could/Should Sleeping in Light have been kept in Season 4?

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Originally Posted by Mororless View Post
[
I could see ending season 4 with Sleeping in Light it potentially helping there as you don't have to be as obvious trying to restart the story or get more drama behind Sheridan/Delenn.
The sense of restarting the story came because many of the major plot lines had been wrapped up by the end of season 4, I don't think running SiL earlier would alter that. The civil war and Shadow War would still be over, rather than continuing into season 5 as they were mean to, so new plot lines had to start with that air of the series being rebooted slightly. Season 5 didn't focus all that much on Sheridan and Delenn anyway, they spent most of their time on the sidelines reacting to events happening around them. It was Lyta, Byron, Lennier, Londo and Garibaldi who were most in the thick of things and integral to season 5's plots.
True but you could argue that the restart might have taken somewhat of a different form had a more definite line been drawn under the Sheridan/Delenn story. As you say they do naturally move more into the background in season 5 but perhaps a bit more of a shift that direction could have helped?

The very early parts of season 5 focusing more on Sheridan and the alliance did feel more "restartish" to me that some other parts of the story. I did rather feel that way about the Centauri story developing into a major conflict drawing Sheridan and Delenn more into it, I wonder whether focusing things more on Londo might have been more effective.

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