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Old December 13th 17, 23:16   #1
fyl2u
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What was the original 5-year plan?

Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm currently rewatching B5 for the 8th or 9th time, for the first time in the JMS recommended order detailed on this site rather than the box set order, and with my gf who had never seen the show previously but is also loving it.

We just reached the end of season 4 (barring Deconstruction, which we're saving until the very end, as recommended) and we started chatting about how certain things seemed rushed, almost certainly due to the imminent supposed cancellation of the show before season 5 was given the green light...

John and Delenn getting married off-camera, mentions of the coming psy-war and another war, mention of the new interstellar alliance almost falling apart but holding together, Marcus' death...

It got me thinking... At what point did they know (or at least think) they were cancelled?

It seems strange that the Shadow War that had been building for so long, ended abruptly mid-season. Was this planned from the start or was it supposed to be a season-ender?

Essentially, did they think they weren't getting the 5th season a long time before the end of season 4 or was it mere episodes from the end that they found out and had to start squeezing things in quickly?

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Old December 14th 17, 11:06   #2
Jan
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

They knew for sure they were cancelled after four when they got the season four green light. The PTEN network had collapsed after season three and the only reason season four was greenlit was because enough stations signed on. But a show doesn't outlive its network so JMS was told on no uncertain terms that there was nothing after four.

That said, there was less change than people often think. JMS has said that first he separated out the stand-alones (which explains why there are more of those in season 5) and moved a few things to the possible movies but that if he'd known he would have had season five, season four would have ended at 'Intersections in Real Time'.
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Old December 17th 17, 13:38   #3
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

I'm also reasonably confident that JMS has said the Shadow War would have ended at about the same time in S4 regardless -- he wanted it to be a shockingly abrupt conclusion.

By the way -- welcome, fyl2u! It's good to see we still have lurkers even now.
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Old December 17th 17, 19:23   #4
fyl2u
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

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They knew for sure they were cancelled after four when they got the season four green light. The PTEN network had collapsed after season three and the only reason season four was greenlit was because enough stations signed on. But a show doesn't outlive its network so JMS was told on no uncertain terms that there was nothing after four.

That said, there was less change than people often think. JMS has said that first he separated out the stand-alones (which explains why there are more of those in season 5) and moved a few things to the possible movies but that if he'd known he would have had season five, season four would have ended at 'Intersections in Real Time'.

Oh wow, so they knew for the entire season?

That must have been tough to take!

Interesting about Intersections. Wasn't that the torture episode? Would have been a harsh end to the season, that would!
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Old December 17th 17, 19:27   #5
fyl2u
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

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I'm also reasonably confident that JMS has said the Shadow War would have ended at about the same time in S4 regardless -- he wanted it to be a shockingly abrupt conclusion.

By the way -- welcome, fyl2u! It's good to see we still have lurkers even now.
Oh ok! Cool if that was the plan all along!

And thanks for the welcome! B5 is one of my all-time favourite shows, so it was inevitable I'd sign up and post eventually. I'm surprised it took me so long to get around to it, tbh.
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Old December 19th 17, 16:26   #6
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

I'm just glad to see someone new around here.
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Old December 19th 17, 18:40   #7
fyl2u
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

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I'm just glad to see someone new around here.
Glad to be here. I love B5 so I'm overjoyed that there's still an active community.
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Old December 19th 17, 20:18   #8
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

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I'm just glad to see someone new around here.
OOOOOOHHHHHHH so sorry we aren't enough to keep you entertained KoshFan!!!!! I know what you meant. I am also very glad to see fyl2u decided grace these Forums. We always need new input around here.
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Old December 21st 17, 01:24   #9
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

It is pretty amazing that JMS could adjust to all sorts of changes (actors leaving, aliens or plots not working as you had hoped, your network destructing then a sudden extra season.

No one can say he wasn't flexible.

And it is great to know people are still discovering this wonderful series. Still one of the most amazing series I've ever seen.

And hello, fyl2u.
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Old December 21st 17, 05:28   #10
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Re: What was the original 5-year plan?

JMS had all sorts of contingencies for disruptions in cast, etc., and used several of them -- but I'll bet he didn't have a plan for "the network exploded but you'll still get to do the last season anyway."
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