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Old August 13th 14, 11:14   #31
Jan
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

Quick clarification: Harlan doesn't have a writing credit for either 'A View from the Gallery' or 'Objects in Motion'. He got story credit along with JMS. Different pay scale.

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Originally Posted by JMS
Suffice to say that Harlan got proper credit for having gently and graciously
suggested this story for five years, which is one of the few times more than one
writer was credited on a script in the history of B5. That the character of Mack
(according to some) bears a striking resemblance in many ways to Harlan is
unfathomable to me and can only be ascribed to inexplicable and wholly
unintentional coincidence.
(I suspect JMS tongue was definitely in his cheek with that last comment. ;-)

ETA: The option extensions had been signed a month before. The actual contracts were what needed to be signed in Blackpool, before those extensions expired. That was why the rush.

Jan
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Old August 13th 14, 11:18   #32
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

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Incidentally, JMS has said this ep was written in less than 24 hours. It shows. It's not even trying.
At the Blackpool convention in 97 just before the start of season five JMS had all his notes for season 5 thrown out by hotel cleaning staff Ė maybe that contributed to having to rush to put together the opening episodes.

The two Blackpool conventions were probably the best conventions I've ever been to, although the best way to describe the 97 event is probably 'organised chaos'. Credit to JMS you'd never have known at the convention what was going on behind the scenes with his lost notes and Claudia Christian leaving.
only went to the 97 one, and one day only (all I could get off work at the time) on the saturday. Twas epic. My best memory of being a B5 fan by far.
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Old August 13th 14, 11:54   #33
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Springer
At the Blackpool convention in 97 just before the start of season five JMS had all his notes for season 5 thrown out by hotel cleaning staff Ė maybe that contributed to having to rush to put together the opening episodes.

The two Blackpool conventions were probably the best conventions I've ever been to, although the best way to describe the 97 event is probably 'organised chaos'. Credit to JMS you'd never have known at the convention what was going on behind the scenes with his lost notes and Claudia Christian leaving.
I imagine it was a definite contributing factor. I mean, that whole situation left them very little time to get up and running. It must have been a REALLY difficult time for Joe. I can imagine his stress levels being through the roof. The notes being thrown out was a definite setback, and to have to then re-do everything from memory in terms of the S5ís structure, that canít have been much fun. Itís no wonder S5 has its flaws.

JMS has talked about being a bit burnt out when Crusade got going, but I can imagine he must have been under a lot of pressure and very tired by the time they got S5 off the ground. When you look at the odds he was up against, itís a wonder S5 is as good as it is.

Plus, itís always going to pale in comparison to the arc heavy Season 4, which was chock full of ongoing plot and big events. I still wonder what might have been, had JMS been allowed to spread out his plot lines between S4 and S5.
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Old August 13th 14, 14:34   #34
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

QUote thing is down again. Anway, Springer said:

"At the Blackpool convention in 97 just before the start of season five JMS had all his notes for season 5 thrown out by hotel cleaning staff Ė maybe that contributed to having to rush to put together the opening episodes."

I agree, and it shows. I'd heard it was just the first 5-7 episodes, however, not the whole season. That tracks with what we saw, as about a third of the year does seem rudderless.

I have often wondered why JMS didn't just bring in other writers to fill in the gap. "Here's what I need, and when I need it by..."

Or maybe he did. "Day of the Dead" sucked, and definitely deserves to be on the list of "Worst Episodes." And I know Peter David wrote one that JMS ended up rejecting...
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Old August 13th 14, 14:41   #35
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

Quotes thing isn't working.

Ubik said "JMS has talked about being a bit burnt out when Crusade got going, but I can imagine he must have been under a lot of pressure and very tired by the time they got S5 off the ground. When you look at the odds he was up against, itís a wonder S5 is as good as it is."

I can see that. In addition to switching networks, losing 1/10th of his production time per episode, losing Claudia, etc, he was also in preproduction for 4 TV movies and a new series, and re-cutting another movie. That's too much.

JMS said he was having dinner with an (Unnamed) friend when he got the call that Crusade was dead. His friend said, "Good. It wasn't your best work. Best to just let it go, and move on to something new that will be better." Since that makes his friend sound kind of like a dick (Though he certainly meant it to be encouraging) JMS has never confirmed who it was, though I suspected and asked, and the friend confirmed saying it to me.

ANd sad as I was to see it go, the friend was right. The whole TNT thing was a debacle.

Hell, you want to reboot something? Let's just reboot S5. That's it. Everything up to the end of S4 counts, and then a mysterious plastic surgery ray hits the station and changes everyone's voice and appearance, and we pull a Mulligan on all S5.

I'd be cool with that. How 'bout you?
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Old August 13th 14, 15:53   #36
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 View Post
Quotes thing isn't working.

Ubik said "JMS has talked about being a bit burnt out when Crusade got going, but I can imagine he must have been under a lot of pressure and very tired by the time they got S5 off the ground. When you look at the odds he was up against, it’s a wonder S5 is as good as it is."

I can see that. In addition to switching networks, losing 1/10th of his production time per episode, losing Claudia, etc, he was also in preproduction for 4 TV movies and a new series, and re-cutting another movie. That's too much.

JMS said he was having dinner with an (Unnamed) friend when he got the call that Crusade was dead. His friend said, "Good. It wasn't your best work. Best to just let it go, and move on to something new that will be better." Since that makes his friend sound kind of like a dick (Though he certainly meant it to be encouraging) JMS has never confirmed who it was, though I suspected and asked, and the friend confirmed saying it to me.

ANd sad as I was to see it go, the friend was right. The whole TNT thing was a debacle.
Crusade is better than anything JMS has done in the B5 universe since B5, and without the TNT idiots (and I am using that in the I.Q. sense, 0-25), Crusade could've been salvaged. It could've been made to be great. IT should be rebooted as I've said above.


Quote:
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Hell, you want to reboot something? Let's just reboot S5. That's it. Everything up to the end of S4 counts, and then a mysterious plastic surgery ray hits the station and changes everyone's voice and appearance, and we pull a Mulligan on all S5.

I'd be cool with that. How 'bout you?
Can't. It wouldn't match visually with the end of Season 4, due to so many years having elapsed.
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Old August 13th 14, 18:52   #37
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

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I have often wondered why JMS didn't just bring in other writers to fill in the gap. "Here's what I need, and when I need it by..."
I think part of the problem by then was that he didn't have a story editor after Larry DiTillio left and working with the freelance scriptwriters, editing them etc would take up almost as much of his time as writing the episodes himself. Neil Gaiman being the exception as JMS had been courting him to write an episode for some time.

Quote:
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Or maybe he did. "Day of the Dead" sucked, and definitely deserves to be on the list of "Worst Episodes." And I know Peter David wrote one that JMS ended up rejecting...
That's going to be a... controversial statement! I mean personally I don't have a strong opinion on the episode Ė I think it's fine, some interesting character moments, some fun parts, competently written although not necessarily my favourite episode, but to put it on a list of worst episodes? Not for me.

The lost Peter David episode was the one he co-wrote with Bill Mumy?
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Old August 14th 14, 08:12   #38
Ubik
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshN
Crusade is better than anything JMS has done in the B5 universe since B5, and without the TNT idiots (and I am using that in the I.Q. sense, 0-25), Crusade could've been salvaged. It could've been made to be great. IT should be rebooted as I've said above.
Hard to disagree with that. But the competition isnít exactly steep is it? Rangers (outright awful!) and The Lost Tales (so, so). I agree Crusade had potential, but it was produced at the wrong time, with an idiotic network, and with the wrong budget (far too low). Crusade felt too much like a rushed job to me, and looking at the circumstances under which it was came to fruition, thatís probably an accurate assessment. JMS talked himself into continuing B5 in some way to placate the existing cast and gave in to his own fears of doing something new. He says as much in the Crusade WTHH books. Iíd liken it to staying in a relationship because itís familiar and easy, but deep down you know itís no longer fulfilling for either party.

Visually, it feels outdated and well behind the curve of SFTV at that point. Production values had improved, so had CGI standards, but for the most part Crusade looks clunky at best. Cheap sets and lamentably bad CGI. Some of the designs are cool, but the implementation screams Ďwe have no money!í.

I donít think we can blame everything on TNT, as I find a lot of the writing a bit weak, and struggle to make it through the episodes that were produced. Iíve re-watched it a few times, and every time I convince myself that it must have some merit Iím missing, but as it stands I canít get too excited about it. An episode like ĎVisitors from down the Streetí should have never made it off JMS desk, itís his schoolboy humour at its very worst.

The one episode I liked was ĎThe Path of Sorrowsí, to me that actually felt like something that belonged in the B5 universe. It had the quality of writing Iíd come to expect and did a great job of enriching the characters. The rest, just didnít do that much for me. Sorry.

Crusade could easily be re-booted, but itíd need a lot of work to make the cut. Sadly, I think itís time has passed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0
Hell, you want to reboot something? Let's just reboot S5. That's it. Everything up to the end of S4 counts, and then a mysterious plastic surgery ray hits the station and changes everyone's voice and appearance, and we pull a Mulligan on all S5.

I'd be cool with that. How 'bout you?
Nah, cause as flawed as S5 is, I donít think itís a good jumping off point to revise things. Also, it does have its good moments - the conclusion of the Centauri prime arc is solid, even if we had to endure singing LíOreal ad campaign telepaths to get there.
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Old August 14th 14, 11:30   #39
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshN
Crusade is better than anything JMS has done in the B5 universe since B5, and without the TNT idiots (and I am using that in the I.Q. sense, 0-25), Crusade could've been salvaged. It could've been made to be great. IT should be rebooted as I've said above.
Hard to disagree with that. But the competition isnít exactly steep is it? Rangers (outright awful!) and The Lost Tales (so, so). I agree Crusade had potential, but it was produced at the wrong time, with an idiotic network, and with the wrong budget (far too low). Crusade felt too much like a rushed job to me, and looking at the circumstances under which it was came to fruition, thatís probably an accurate assessment. JMS talked himself into continuing B5 in some way to placate the existing cast and gave in to his own fears of doing something new. He says as much in the Crusade WTHH books. Iíd liken it to staying in a relationship because itís familiar and easy, but deep down you know itís no longer fulfilling for either party.

Visually, it feels outdated and well behind the curve of SFTV at that point. Production values had improved, so had CGI standards, but for the most part Crusade looks clunky at best. Cheap sets and lamentably bad CGI. Some of the designs are cool, but the implementation screams Ďwe have no money!í.

I donít think we can blame everything on TNT, as I find a lot of the writing a bit weak, and struggle to make it through the episodes that were produced. Iíve re-watched it a few times, and every time I convince myself that it must have some merit Iím missing, but as it stands I canít get too excited about it. An episode like ĎVisitors from down the Streetí should have never made it off JMS desk, itís his schoolboy humour at its very worst.

The one episode I liked was ĎThe Path of Sorrowsí, to me that actually felt like something that belonged in the B5 universe. It had the quality of writing Iíd come to expect and did a great job of enriching the characters. The rest, just didnít do that much for me. Sorry.

Crusade could easily be re-booted, but itíd need a lot of work to make the cut. Sadly, I think itís time has passed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0
Hell, you want to reboot something? Let's just reboot S5. That's it. Everything up to the end of S4 counts, and then a mysterious plastic surgery ray hits the station and changes everyone's voice and appearance, and we pull a Mulligan on all S5.

I'd be cool with that. How 'bout you?
Nah, cause as flawed as S5 is, I donít think itís a good jumping off point to revise things. Also, it does have its good moments - the conclusion of the Centauri prime arc is solid, even if we had to endure singing LíOreal ad campaign telepaths to get there.
S5 had massive reveals.. and virtually flunked it. We got the Drakh. Now you would have thought hey introduce a new antagonist and the series can kick on.. but then it became about saying goodbyes. We got Lytas arc and reveal regarding the Vorlons. It didnt have the impact tho because Byron....meh. Mind you at the end we got SIL... so not all bad.

Rebooting B5 from S5 is a really bad idea. You could reboot it by concentrating on one of the major story arcs tho.
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Old August 16th 14, 22:51   #40
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Re: I Have A New WORST B5 Episode, and it is....

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"A View from the Gallery" was truly horrendous. But it doesn't compete with the Season 1 clunkers.
What's interesting to me is that people insisted FOR YEARS that "Gallery" was brilliant, when in fact it was a great big ol' turd from the gitgo. Suddenly opinion has changed. I wonder why?

Anyway, what season 1 clunkers are there?
I don't remember that sentiment on the B5 moderated forum after it aired. Never met anyone that thought it was brilliant. Everyone thought the two workers were annoying and crummy actors.

For clunkers just as bad as AVFTG I'd say:

10- Believers
11- Survivors
14- TKO
15- Grail
17- Legacies

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