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Five year story arc?


Beyond the rim
I have heard, though do not know if it is true, that Babylon 5 - Legend of the Rangers will have a five year story arc if a series is approved.

I was wondering if people think it is wise to place such a boundary on the series.

There are two reasons for this:
First -
We have seen with Star Trek that science fiction television can have a life expectency of seven years, they have done it three times in a row, and are most likely heading for a fourth with Enterprise.
Second -
We have also seen the general lack of faith some executives seem to have in science fiction, so Rangers could realistically last less that a full year.

Personally, I want an arc, it is what made Babylon 5 unique, and above all else compelling, must see viewing. It allowed JMS the time to flesh out those characters whose backgrounds became lore, and gave him the canvas upon which to paint an extraordinary vision.

It would be great however, if there could be a door left open for a continuation if the shows popularity was high. A second arc dealing with the issues of the first (as season five seemed to be for the original) that could last for one, maybe two years.

I for one (though I started this topic) don't think he should make it episodic on the chance it might be cancelled, but I am interested in what everyone else feels about this.

"Officially, I'm a P5. Unofficially, my range is more... much more."
I prefer arc. But, I suspect that the 1st season will be much like B5--mostly standalone and written to provide background.

But, I also think a mix would be nice. There were some decent B5 standalones, but most of the really good ones were part of an arc.

"What are a few million lives compared to the glory of becoming a living god?"
--Emperor Cartagia, The Hour of the Wolf
5 years vs 7 years:

First rule of Showbiz:

Always leave them wanting MORE!

Yes, I like cats too.
Shall we exchange Recipes?
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> Second -
We have also seen the general lack of faith some executives seem to have in science fiction, so Rangers could realistically last less that a full year.

If Rangers becomes a series, it will have a much better shot at lasting 5 years than B5 did.

It is true that Star Trek had series that lasted for 7 years, but all those years weren't quality. I'd rather have 5 great seasons than 7 mediocre season.

A story, especially on TV, is more engaging when it's tight, compact, and to the point.

"You do not make history. You can only hope to survive it."
Well it has to be a minimum of five years, as that's the aimed minimum age for a show. So JMS might as well plan for five years, and if something happened... well that's life. I'm sure he would be able to extend it on if necessary, but sometimes it's nice to go out on a high at a pre-determined date.

Five years ain't long these days though, so I think 6 or 7 seasons would be better.

Dreg: "Most beauteous and supremely magnificent one, this dark spell I hold in my worthless and scabby hand is our gift to you, most tingly and wonderful Glorificus..."
Glory: "Please, call me Glory. And get up, looking at you is hurting my neck."
Dreg: "Forgive me, shiny special one. I beg of you to rip out my inadequate tongue."
Glory: "Gimme."
I'd settle for five years with 2 0r 3 tv movies thrown in for good measure.

5 years is the magic number for stripping a show in reruns (as Sci Fi is doing with B5 now) to be economically profitable.

And B5 had such a tight arc that JMS ended up writing an insane amount of it himself, but he's said in the past that he will not do that again. So, look for an arc, but not as tightly woven as B5s. He's made that point already, and the Vorlon doesn't like to repeat himself.


I have no surviving
enemies. At all.
Okay, the number three and five appeared quite a bit in Babylon 5. Three main characters, Sinclair, Delenn, and Sheridan. Five seasons, fifth Babylon station, triangle religious symbol etc.

So far we have a similar coincidence forming. The ship, is approximitly, (if the info is right) 20 years old. There 20 members of the crew. So why not 20 seasons!!
Y'see? Y'see? Okay, I'm a shmuck.

Marcus: You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
Well, I'd rather have five years of planned-out arc than seven years of willy-nilly. I'm actually kind of sad that there's not going to be such a tight arc; for me that was one of the best things about B5. But then again, if I were JMS, the last thing I'd want to do is write three whole seasons over again!

Channe, Freelance Writer Extraordinaire and The Next JMS
B5 Synchroninity of the Day: I just found out that the new dorm I'm living in next year has been named Breen Hall.
I agree with channe and others who have said that a planned 5 year arc is better than the alternatives. I do think that 5 year arc should be flexible, however. If it's too rigid, that's not good, in my opinion. I think JMS should have a couple of different ideas for the arc, different ways for the story to go, or just diffent paths for a character to go, so that changes are more easily made if there should be a need for them.

Sheridan to Bester:
And I could nail your head to the table, set fire to it, and feed your charred remains to the Pak'ma'ra.

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