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Old September 12th 10, 09:01   #11
Jan
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

The outline that Vacantlook refers to was definitely written after "The Gathering" and before Season One. There's no doubt about that, given the circumstances of when he showed it to Michael O'Hare. JMS said from the beginning that there was the potential for a spin-off series. He was always open to different and better ways of telling the story; witness the change in commanders.

Londo (and G'Kar) *became* much of the heart of the B5 story because of the quality of the acting. For the first season, maybe two, Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas didn't even have guaranteed numbers of episodes.

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Old September 12th 10, 15:12   #12
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

@ destron1

The story behind the creation of Babylon 5 is much more complex than a casual browser or casual fan of the show realises. Itís easy to believe many of the little (and big) myths that surround the show such as jms had the 5 year story (AS IT APPEARS ON SCREEN) worked out in advance and in detail, mainly because they are so widely repeated.

jms is the main writer of the show, he established a dialogue with fans, but heís also a television producer and that also makes him a cold hard businessman as well.

Iím not going to enter this discussion with examples, thereís no point, at some stage it would develop into a pie flinging contest as a small number of folks still see that as joe (as oposed to myth) bashing. But your at a bit of a disadvantage here not having seen the document. Hereís a link to the most detailed online analysis/overview of the thing that Iíve found.

Part 1
http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...lon-5?page=3,0

Part 2
http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...prime%E2%80%9D
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Old September 12th 10, 15:22   #13
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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Originally Posted by destron1 View Post
What your saying is in contradiction of what JMS said and did.
What I'm saying is what jms himself has said. He wrote the outline. He wrote the introduction to the outline. I have done nothing but relay the information therein.

Quote:
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
As jms has said, the outline was written as he was beginning working on season one. As JoeD80 and I have both pointed out, the thing in "The Gathering" that you cited as contradiction was not originally part of "The Gathering." Kosh's identification of Sinclair as Valen that you hear was not in the original version of "The Gathering." The addition of that line was one of several changes to "The Gathering" that was done as a TNT Special Presentation between the broadcasts of season four and season five.

jms wasn't adverse to changing things in the story. In fact, he was well known and explained early on in the show's production that he had designed alternate paths for characters as "trap doors" should he need to take characters out of the story, and that with the exception of two or three characters, he was prepared to lose any of the characters if necessary. It is not uncharacteristic of jms to be willing to change things about characters. His skills as a writer enabled him to do so while also keeping the ultimate story "essentially" the same.
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Old September 12th 10, 18:11   #14
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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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
Joe has often said that his "outlines never survive contact with the story" once he writes it. This outline is a 10-page synopsis based on 110 notecards that Joe broke out for the series; the notecards detailed dialogue, major events, and episode titles. Then each season he would break out the notecards, and organize that season's notes, and throw in other interesting ideas. You can get a sense of this in Volume 5 of the script books where his year three outline is shown (some highlights):

Quote:
Originally Posted by jms
Year Three Planning Sheet
...
Babylon 5 seceds from Earth Alliance, becomes independent
...
G'Kar becomes head of all Narn resistance, coordinating the movement back home.
...
Formation of new shadow-cabinet: Londo, Refa, Bester, and Morden
...
Ivanova goes behind enemy lines with the new Ranger, in the course of which the two begin to develop a relationship and become lovers.
...
Babylon 4 returns, as does Sinclair.
...
Shortly afterward, as thanks, Sheridan is given custody of a Minbari warship to use in the fight.
...
Possible element: B4's still-unstable time rift, emerging 20 years later...may get postponed until year four.)
So even here (dated 4/9/1995) details were in flux before the scripts were written for the season (White Star *after* Babylon 4, Bester advising Londo!). The key with the 10-page outline is that it's a just general synopsis to see the flow of the story. Even so, I once broke out for myself the 50 or 60 plot points of the synopsis and matched about 85% of them to what happened in the show.

Last edited by JoeD80; September 12th 10 at 18:53.
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Old September 12th 10, 19:57   #15
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

I think part of the disconnect is that many people don't understand that "The arc was planned" and "There were numerous changes along the way" aren't incompatible. We've known from the beginning of one major change: Delenn's gender and prosthetics change. The reasons for them were both that the voice-change technology wasn't up to what it needed to be and Mira Furlan's concern for the effect on her performance when there would be nothing of 'her' showing under prosthetics. Did that change the end result JMS planned for the show? No, not really.

Another that could have had an effect was the change from Lyta to Talia to Lyta and the plans to have Lyta's powers enhanced. When Lyta was changed to Talia, JMS had to find a way for her powers to be enhanced and so Jason Ironheart's 'gift' came to be. Then when Talia was gone, JMS had Lyta stop off in Vorlon space before returning to B5.

JMS has said that he ended up with 80-90% of what he wanted in the series, which is quite extraordinary. As a thoroughly professional writer, he'd have done the show (and viewers) a disservice if he'd not adapted the details of the story to reflect better ideas and real-life challenges along the way.

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Old September 13th 10, 02:26   #16
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

Another change that facinates me is the identity of who betrayed Garibaldi (his next in command in the show) and the identity of the character with the PsiCorps implanted "Control" personality (Talia in the show). Both of those -- the betrayer of Garibaldi and "Control" -- was originally planned to have been Laurel Takashima. But with the fun of Warner Bros. making Babylon 5 wait a whole year between making "The Gathering" and making the first season of the show, the actors contracts had to be renegotiated, and several actors chose not to come back, Tamlyn Tomita being one of them.
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Old September 13th 10, 14:08   #17
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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Originally Posted by JoeD80 View Post

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.
I'm pretty sure she was intended to be the Psicorps mole. She's uniquely well situated for that.
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Old September 13th 10, 14:13   #18
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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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
In...uhm...I think it was Science Fiction Universe midway through the first season of B5, JMS says in no uncertain terms that he's got a spinoff in his mind that (A) held stories that didn't quite fit into B5 itself and (B) was pretty fleshed out, and would go into production if there was enough interest. He also says that if there was enough interest, and there was studio demand for it, he had a vague idea for an anthology show set at various points and times in the B5 universe, and he jokes that he'd deliberately intend this to be an usustainably expensive show, so as to kill B5 once and for all.

I think what he meant was that he didn't intend for B5 to become a runaway franchise like Trek, but he clearly wasn't opposed to an integral spinoff or two. And of course the TV movies and two attempted spinoffs and one aborted movie script and dozens of tie-in novels and two runs of comics suggest he still isn't opposed to that too much.
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Old September 13th 10, 14:18   #19
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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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".

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
Two things a TV producer is never, never, never, never, never ever gonna' do:
1) Tell you their entire story up front
2) Admit when things go off the rails.

I asked Joe one time what he'd do if someone basically figured out his entire story from start to finish, in some detail, and told him about it. This happened once at an early screening of "The Gathering," some total stranger came up and said "Oh, you're gonna' do this and this and this" and JMS was flustered by it, and didn't know how to react. He told me that if something like that happened again, however, he'd dissemble and distract, but not lie because, of course, the story is *supposed* to come as a surprise.

Also, the producer needs some flexibility to change his own mind if he decides something isn't a good idea.
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Old September 13th 10, 14:19   #20
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Re: how the characters and concept develop?

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@ destron1

Hereís a link to the most detailed online analysis/overview of the thing that Iíve found.
Ah, thank you!
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