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Seasons 4 & 5, what might have been..

I've read some very negative comments about S5 on this board and i don't think people have considered the entire issue. At the start of S4 things looked quite bleak for B5 and Jms thought there wouldn't be a fifth season. Something about UPN and WB networks eating up all the available syndication spots (hell i don't even know what syndication is)
So the great maker decided to plug out some filler stuff and give us fans some kind of conclusion to the story. Being an Engineering student I can this, putting in factors of safety makes your designs a bit bulikier and uglier, but they don't fall down(well , most of the time).
So. S4 ended up being way too rushed an S5 a bit sluggish(haven't seen it yet). Now hat would the original pacing have been: remebering that jms is a master at structuring each season, Just look at how S3 hots up.
We know from LG that Intersections would have been the 4th season finale, so it got compressed by just 4 eps(and what a difference that made to the pace of each ep in the entire season), imagine if there was no pick up and this was the last ever ep of B5.
In the Cinefantastique commerative double issue of B5, David Eagle (director) says Into the fire was gonna be a 2 parter. The LG page for Wolf: jms says the season would have started out a bit slower, so probably the shadow war would have ended by 408.
from No surrender till Intersections I think the pacing would have stayed the same , knowing how jms likes to crank the arc towards the season finale. That leaves another 2 eps to make up between Epiphanies and Moments of Transition. Maybe some character eps along the lines of Sic transit Vir, for Zack and Lyta. The minbari civil war, was also extremely rushed, considering its been building since, AVoice in the widerness, maybe even the Gathering with the Windsword.So that's S4 taken care of.
Now consider how much better season 5 would have been if it was compressed by 4 eps.(going back to jms's 100% Wham plan). At the LG page for Endgame, Jms says "What's in Endgame, and most of Between... was always going to be there, with or without a 5th season."So the events of Between would have used up 2 eps and I'm sure we would have got that Sheridan - Garibaldi reconciliation scene! The events of rising star can easily be extended to 2 eps. Now we would be 5 eps into S5 before the events of No compromises => an even more mindblowing season than previously. I don't thing Deconstruction can function as anything other than a season finale, so although those events were mapped out as early as Infection and Mind war we probably wouldn't have seen them.

Well that's my 2 cents
yes, I have thought, and agree

jms also said that then only half of season 5 would have been empire building (the ISA) instead of what happened with the whole season being that

ah well, it's tv - good story though /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
Gotta agree with Kin of Zathras though, S4 did seem a little rushed and I haven't seen s5 in order to formulate a complete opinion yet. Then again one must take into account if they tried to drag it out too much then we would have seen the proverbial flogging-a-dead-horse scenario. I mean look at star trek, it won't quit!
I suppose both seasons could have benefitted a little if there had been certainty of having a S5. I know that JMS has said the forced changes weren't all that big but I can't help feeling that had he *known for sure* there will be a fifth season, we might have got some more character stuff in S4 instead of the rushed action.

Just my opinion of course, and I'm well aware that it's contrary to that of many B5 fans, but I far preferred S5 - yes, even the first half of it - with its more laidback pace and a lot more character interaction to the last three quarters of S4.
I've kept quiet about it, Kribu, but I agree with you. Although I don't think I'd say Season 5 is better, I would say I tend to prefer the character development over the overtly action-based plots. Both are necessary.

Since there is someone here who has not seen season 5, I am not sure if I should use spoilers:
<font class="small">Spoiler:</font>
<table bgcolor="#000000" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0"><tr bgcolor="#000000"><td bgcolor="#000000" id="spoiler"><font color="#000000">I didn't even hate Byron like so many B5 fans here seem to have. From time to time I thought that part of the plot got a little silly, that's all. I just say Byron and the gang as a way for JMS to advance the Psi part of the plot (moving towards the eventual Telepath war).

Well, and it gave Lyta something to be good and mad at! Much more so than just being ignored after the Shadow war. </font></td></tr></table>
I never thought Season 4 went too fast. I think if they added anymore episodes to the Shadow War it would have drug out - things were broiling too much, nothing would survive very long if they didn't end it. As for a few stand-alone episodes then, I'm not sure the crisis with either Sheriden missing or Sheriden returned, the still on war, the mad Cartagsia, etc, would have allowed for much distraction.

As for the Earth Civil War, that seemed to flow nicely too. If there had been anymore, the series might have gotten bogged down with war. Most wars don't have exciting moments that often; a few exciting (well when watching a fiction) battles that are decisive and alot of build up and smaller squirmishes. The Civil War had three major battles - Sheriden's first attack, Ivanova against the Omega-X fleet, and the final battle. We only saw three major battles in the Shadow War (the Vorlon attack [which was only a few seconds], the first allied assult, and the final battle) - just many smaller battles - which works against an 'invincible' enemy but would not have so much against an Earthship every week - especially when the White Stars were (usually) more powerful. The Narn-Centauri War of 2259 (as opposed to all their other wars) also had little on screen time. I liked how that was done, myself. Plus wars in B5 always seemed to be over in a matter of months (if you count the Shadow War as officially starting when the Shadows began to attack openly in later 2260) ... except for the Earth-Minbari War ... never sure why it took the Minbari two years to reach Earth ...

As for Season 5 ... I like more each time I watch it. The Telepath arc was actually quite short - and most of the episodes piled together. The "mysterious" raiders arc was more spread out though not touched upon much except for a few hot spots. I think the last bit of the season was very excellent and had one of the best episode endings I've seen ... which we had to wait .. what, 5, 6 months? ... to see the next scene! Oy!
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by hypatia:
<font color=yellow><font class="small">Spoiler:</font>
<table bgcolor="#000000" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0"><tr bgcolor="#000000"><td bgcolor="#000000" id="spoiler"><font color="#000000">I didn't even hate Byron like so many B5 fans here seem to have.
</font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>

I could have forgiven him most things but not the singing, never the singing...
Actually my fav eps tend to be the dialogue and character intensive ones, like:
Passing thru Gethsemane
Whatever happened to Mr G
But, I do enjoy a good CGI blowout now and again!
If you compare to the previous seasons, you see that there is a clear pattern.

S1: couple arc episodes
S2: more arc episodes
S3: even more arc episodes
S4: most are related to the story arc
S5: everything related to the Great Story

Of course that was the original plan. S4 is a little bit rushed, but it was very entertaining and there weren't too many faults.

S5 is very slow. It seems that almost the spirit of the show is gone. Whole structure, stories and directing is somewhat tired. And there are so many stupid plot points that I don't want to discuss here. At least not now.

All in all I think that it may have been a little rushed but the fact of the matter is that the character interaction and cgi's were well balanced. So many sci-fi's sell out with cgi and forget that the storyline and characters count for more than three quarters of the show/movie. Jms more than delivered on that equation with B5.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by TheInfection:
<font color=yellow>S4 is a little bit rushed, but it was very entertaining and there weren't too many faults.</font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>
See, that's where my opinion differs radically. I was bored, utterly bored with the last three quarters of S4, so much that it took a lot of will power and sheer stubbornness to stick with the show, and I'm damn glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed S5. /ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

Isn't it just great how differently people can view this show? /ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
We be edjoomacated!
Thats why I enjoy the board so much! I cannot handle it when someone agrees for the sake of agreeing.
Furthermore If I were to compare season 4 to say, S3 or even S2 I would have to admit that it was a little bit lacking. For sheer goose pimple feelings season 2 and 3's finales were awesome!
Unfortunately I haven't had the privilege of watching S5, my country being somewhat behind! can't wait though
Wouldn't the world be boring place if we all agreed about everything.
Superbob, as far as tv is concerned, its more like we're in a different century. We only got B5 in Oct 1998.
I have heard that originally Byron was supposed to turn up late in Season 4 and start making overtures to Ivanova. That could have produced an episode. Also Into the Fire would IMO have been improved if it had slowed down into two episodes. Everything happened too fast for me. A couple of standalones would have completed Year 4 with IiRT.

The last four episodes would have been pushed into Year 5 and as someone said there would have been time for that much needed reconciliation scene between Sheridan and Garibaldi.

Since there are people here who haven't seen Year 5 I won't say any more about that.
Garibaldi and Sheridan issue. I'll agree that that whole scenario was a bit rushed. That definitely could have used more time!
Yeah, I hate how Garibaldi sells Sheridan out, then Sheridan is quick to forgive and forget once Garibaldi's back to his old self and the two of them act like best buddies and like nothing ever happened.
He was under Bester's control. I think if my good friend sold me out b/c he couldn't help it that it would be easy for me to forgive him. Maybe a scene where Garibaldi appologizes to Sheridan would have been kinda cool i must admit.

G: I ... I want ... I want to say that...
S: That's alright baby. You know i love ya.
*they hug*
Remember in SiL when Franklin hesitates about booking a flight for 2 to Minbar? What was that about? I like to think that in the original story plan Sheridan never fully forgives Garibaldi for selling him out.

BTW, I prefer watching B5 without S5 (watch Rising Star, then Sleeping in Light). This was the way in which they were made. And, IMHO, S5 has too much build-up and not enough resolution (especially in regard to Lyta and the Teep arc). Of course, if they ever put the Teep War on film it'll be a different story....
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bester:
<font color=yellow>Remember in SiL when Franklin hesitates about booking a flight for 2 to Minbar? What was that about? I like to think that in the original story plan Sheridan never fully forgives Garibaldi for selling him out.</font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>
No, it wasnt the original storyline, it was because of timing. Remember that SiL was filmed at the end of Season 4 because they werent sure if there was GOING to be a Season 5. If that would have been the case, S4 would have ended with the viewing auidence seeing Sheridan and Garibaldi at odds for most of the last season, so that little comment may have made sense in that context. But with seeing all of Season 5, and how they had mended things and became good friends, then that line looks out of place. It would have been more of a natural fit if S5 never happened, but as it stands now, it does seem odd.

It is especially odd, if you have read the Centauri trilogy. Hell, Garibaldi is the God father of David Sheridan. Not the kind of thing you bestow upon someone you dont get along with. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif