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Babylon 5- The Lost Tales *SPOILERS*

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  • I wonder how much influence the network who was interested in broadcasting it will have on the release schedule, if they should end up signing on.

    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
    I hope so to, and I'm confident that he will be used if he's (a) interested, (b) available and (c) a deal can be made. When the Rangers pilot was being planned JMS mentioned that both he and The Sci-Fi Channel saw it as a B5 project that was being done because of B5's ratings, and that as far as he was concerned Franke is the composer for B5. If Sci-Fi ever expressed an interest in doing something with Crusade, on the other hand, he'd call Evan Chen. Seems fair enough to me. And he did, indeed, get Christopher Franke for Rangers, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Regards,

    Joe
    That almost makes me wish they would get Chen, since it would mean some resolution to Crusade.

    I actually have only watched a Call to Arms so far, which I really liked, but I have sort of been dreading to pick up Crusade, both because JMS apparently wasn't happy with the quality the show ended up with after all the TNT shenanigans we've heard about, but mostly because I know we never got the chance to get any resolution to the big plot point set up in a Call to Arms with Crusade.

    Although, someone who also was at the Comic Con panel told me JMS was asked about potential Crusade resolution in TLT, and he point blank said no, although he might give some more info in potential Crusade script books. Jan, do you know what exactly he said about this?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Shabaz
      I wonder how much influence the network who was interested in broadcasting it will have on the release schedule, if they should end up signing on.
      Hmm...interesting question. Wish I knew an answer. But JMS does seem to be posting regular updates so with luck we'll find out more soon
      I actually have only watched a Call to Arms so far, which I really liked, but I have sort of been dreading to pick up Crusade, both because JMS apparently wasn't happy with the quality the show ended up with after all the TNT shenanigans we've heard about, but mostly because I know we never got the chance to get any resolution to the big plot point set up in a Call to Arms with Crusade.
      I don't think he's all that unhappy with the final product because he did resist what he could of the TNT notes. Yes, changes were made and I don't think the (black uniform) episodes were quite as strong as they could have been. But a JMS 'watered down' episode is still head and shoulders above most. As for the resolution...well, we know that it does happen because we've seen 'Sleeping in Light' even though we don't see it. The episodes are worthwhile for their own sake, though. I love the characters!
      Although, someone who also was at the Comic Con panel told me JMS was asked about potential Crusade resolution in TLT, and he point blank said no, although he might give some more info in potential Crusade script books. Jan, do you know what exactly he said about this?
      I recall that he said that his notes for Crusade would be included in the Crusade script book(s) but I don't recall his mentioning the Crusade story regarding TLT. I'll check the recording when I get home from work and post again.

      Jan
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jan
        I don't think he's all that unhappy with the final product because he did resist what he could of the TNT notes. Yes, changes were made and I don't think the (black uniform) episodes were quite as strong as they could have been. But a JMS 'watered down' episode is still head and shoulders above most. As for the resolution...well, we know that it does happen because we've seen 'Sleeping in Light' even though we don't see it. The episodes are worthwhile for their own sake, though. I love the characters!
        I'll try to pick it up one of these days then. As for knowing the resolution because of SiL, as I think JMS has said, it's all about the context. I would like to see exactly how it played out, preferably in a proper story format, rather than script book notes. According to this website, he has considered using the B5 Graphic Novel to tie up some loose ends, which would make me really happy too (although I looked through the newsgroup post archives, and haven't been able to find where that website got its info from).

        I recall that he said that his notes for Crusade would be included in the Crusade script book(s) but I don't recall his mentioning the Crusade story regarding TLT. I'll check the recording when I get home from work and post again.

        Jan
        Thanks. And small clarification to myself, the person who told me, on an other board, said she asked JMS herself about Crusade in relation to TLT, and was told no, although the script books might help answer questions.

        Comment


        • ...but mostly because I know we never got the chance to get any resolution to the big plot point set up in a Call to Arms with Crusade.
          I assume you're talking about the Drakh plague - but that was never meant to be the major plot thread of Crusade, in part because we already knew the plague was, in fact, cured. (We'd already seen "War Without End", "Sleeping in Light" and "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", all of which are set well after the Drakh deadline.) The plague story was a starting point for Crusade, much as the Minbari War and Sinclair's missing 24 hours were a starting point for Babylon 5. Think about it. If all we'd had of Babylon 5 was The Gathering, or TG and the first 13 episodes of S1, how much of the ensuing series and over-all story could we have deduced? So in a sense you wouldn't be missing that much by watching the existing 13 episodes, because they don't even really touch on the story the series was going to tell and therefore don't "leave you hanging". Do we know the details of how the plague was cured? No. But it was never all that important anyway. I predicted that the plague story would be resolved by the 3rd season before shooting even started on the series, and JMS replied, "...or even sooner." The plague story was the "McGuffin" of Crusade.

          Regards,

          Joe
          Joseph DeMartino
          Sigh Corps
          Pat Tallman Division

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          • Originally posted by Shabaz
            I'll try to pick it up one of these days then. As for knowing the resolution because of SiL, as I think JMS has said, it's all about the context. I would like to see exactly how it played out, preferably in a proper story format, rather than script book notes.
            As would I, definitely. I was just trying to present reasons why you should get the Crusade DVDs.
            According to this website, he has considered using the B5 Graphic Novel to tie up some loose ends, which would make me really happy too (although I looked through the newsgroup post archives, and haven't been able to find where that website got its info from).
            That's a compilation of several of JMS's posts, I think. There's one other that I can't locate right now where he talks about zigging the GN story away from the feature film story as well.
            Thanks. And small clarification to myself, the person who told me, on an other board, said she asked JMS herself about Crusade in relation to TLT, and was told no, although the script books might help answer questions.
            In that case, it's my memory that's faulty. I'll get the exact answer he gave from the recording. I do recall that he seems to be giving some thought to playing with the Telepath Crisis in TLT, if that's any consolation.

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • ...And small clarification to myself, the person who told me, on an other board, said she asked JMS herself about Crusade in relation to TLT, and was told no...
              Of course it depends on the exact question. If your friend asked if the main Crusade storylines could be resolved in TLT I can well imagine that the answer would be a flat "No." This doesn't necessarily rule out other stories that ovelap with Crusade, especially if Lochley is the focus of some of the Lost Tales down the road. But I don't see the Lost Tales being a venue for resolving any of the really major plotlines that people would like to learn more about (the Teep War, the Drakh War, Sinclair's fate.) Instead they will probably explore small, personal side stories in the B5 universe and illuminate aspects of it the JMS never found time to explore in the regular episodes. The script books contain memos listing numerous "B" and "C" story ideas that couldn't fill out a whole episode, but which he never found a place for as supporting stories, and these notes seem to have been one of his inspirations for suggesting The Lost Tales to Warner Bros.

              Regards,

              Joe
              Joseph DeMartino
              Sigh Corps
              Pat Tallman Division

              Comment


              • I'm confused, will The Lost Tales be a television show or a feature film???

                Comment


                • Neither. It's a Direct to DVD project, though JMS reported that there is a nework interested in broadcasting it. The DVDs will consist of three segments about half an hour in length. Additional material will bring each disk to about two hours.

                  The segments will be from ideas JMS had for stories while B5 was in production but that he didn't have time or opportunity to work into scripts. As of JMS's latest update, shooting should now be happening in October and they're looking at a second quarter 2007 release.

                  Jan
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                    Of course it depends on the exact question. If your friend asked if the main Crusade storylines could be resolved in TLT I can well imagine that the answer would be a flat "No." This doesn't necessarily rule out other stories that ovelap with Crusade, especially if Lochley is the focus of some of the Lost Tales down the road. But I don't see the Lost Tales being a venue for resolving any of the really major plotlines that people would like to learn more about (the Teep War, the Drakh War, Sinclair's fate.) Instead they will probably explore small, personal side stories in the B5 universe and illuminate aspects of it the JMS never found time to explore in the regular episodes. The script books contain memos listing numerous "B" and "C" story ideas that couldn't fill out a whole episode, but which he never found a place for as supporting stories, and these notes seem to have been one of his inspirations for suggesting The Lost Tales to Warner Bros.

                    Regards,

                    Joe
                    See, context. But that's an interesting point, that because it did not get the chance to go into enough detail about how the resolution of the Drakh plague would've played out and kickstarted new and bigger story lines, that it doesn't really keep you hanging. I guess I'll just have to see for myself. I do remember reading some bits about what he was going to do in a wonderful interview IGN did with him a while ago. It's linked in a thread in the general discussions board atm, but I remember reading it a few years back.

                    Ok, looked it up:
                    PLUME: Where would Crusade have gone? What was your grand plan for it? It was rumored that, about halfway through, they would have found the cure...

                    JMS: Or sooner...

                    PLUME: ... and then the problem would have been getting it back. Is that accurate?

                    JMS: Not per se. Yeah, they would have found the cure around year two. Have you read the script for "End of the Line" yet on bookface.com?

                    PLUME: No.

                    JMS: "End of the Line" is one of two scripts that act as bookends. That one was the season finale, and the other one ("To the Ends of the Earth") would upped the ante midway through the season. We discover that there's a much broader problem even than the plague û it had to do with Earth using Shadow technology in ways they shouldn't be doing, and who was responsible for the destruction of captain Gideon's ship. Suffice it to say that û through a series of incidents û the Excalibur crew would have been considered traitors and have to basically be on the run. Further, the cure that Earth would have believed to be the right one would not in fact work as they think it would have worked. Our guys would find out about this, and no one would have believed them. As things unravel, it's a larger conspiracy, so basically û after the second year û the show you think Crusade is would be a whole different show, with much more depth to it, more political, more controversial in some ways, and would deal with the impact of technology on society, would cast our characters as renegades and loners without port, and turn the whole series upside-down. The whole plague thing was really just a way to get the thing going and give them something to do in the beginning while we establish the characters before we pull the plug and change the whole nature of the show into something I think would probably have been revolutionary... but we never got that far. You can see the hints of it in those two scripts that are up on bookface.com.

                    PLUME: Are you disappointed that you never got to tell the story?

                    JMS: Who wouldn't be?
                    Which really only makes me sadder about only having 13 episodes.

                    As for the TLT stories, I did get personal and more character focused from what I read from Jan's descriptions of the panel, but not necessarily small, as in not having any of the big events tying into one of those character focussed stories. E.g. Jan just mentioning the Telepath War. But I may be wrong; I haven't seen the script books stuff.

                    And I'll ask the person who asked the Crusade question how she phrased it.
                    Shabaz
                    Confirmed User
                    Last edited by Shabaz; 08-30-2006, 03:19 PM.

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                    • If The Lost Tales has anything from Crusade in it, I want to know what the heck was going on with the Apocalypse Box.

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                      • Originally posted by SLerman
                        If The Lost Tales has anything from Crusade in it, I want to know what the heck was going on with the Apocalypse Box.

                        I want to know what the heck was going on with crusade period!
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                        • In JMS' own words

                          Okay, I'm home now and checked what I've got transcribed. Mind you, this is *not* complete, and *not* in any order. What I've been doing is finding questions and transcribing as people have been discussing TLT. Here's the Crusade question first:

                          Q: Since TNT kind of screwed over Crusade, is there any chance, and maybe this has been on the newsgroup but I donÆt really follow it, is there any chance that weÆll ever get to find outùin some form, either in the Lost Tales or a graphic novel or novelùwhat really would have taken place over the course of the five seasons. Because I know it couldnÆt have been just been the plague, there had to have been more to it.

                          JMS: There are no plans for that right now. We will eventually be issuing the scripts through the script company weÆre using and my notes will be in there. (JMS goes on to explain to the crowd about the script book project)
                          and here are some others, starting with the original announcement in JMS' own words:

                          Every so often, Warner Bros. calls me up and ôWe have to do something with Babylon 5.ö ItÆs usually like Lucy and the football, you get up there and itÆs not there anymore. They made half a billion dollars on the DVDsàthatÆs with a Bàand my profit statement still says 50 million dollars in the red, by the way. We needed a hundred million to make the show, 50 million in the red, theyÆve made half a billion on the DVDsàI donÆt think so. I mentioned that to the Warner Bros. guys at a recent meeting. ôHow come IÆm still 50 million in the red and youÆre making half a billion in profits?ö WB Guys: ôWe made a really good deal, didnÆt we?ö

                          Anyway, they call every so often and want to do something with B5 and asked ôDo you want to do a feature film?ö and I thought about it for a while and I said, ôNo.ö And hereÆs why. A) I donÆt trust movies that much but B) most important, I canÆt see the structure of a B5 movie right now as long as long as Andreas and Rick insist on staying dead. As much as B5 was about the stories of Sheridan and Delenn and those guys, thereÆs the Londo and GÆKar arc that was the clothes line from which I hung all that. And without GÆKaràmaybe in a year or two I can start to see the structure of it but right now I canÆt do something big right now. IÆd love to but I canÆt. Do you want to do something else?

                          WB: ôWhatever you want to do, letÆs do.ö

                          So I thought about it and I came back to them and said, ôHereÆs what IÆm thinking. When we did Babylon 5, what I liked were the small little stories that we did as æBÆ plots and as short stories. What if we did a whole bunch of short films? Little mini-movies, each one worked around established B5 characters, not somebody else. One thatÆs worked around Sheridan, one thatÆs worked around Delenn, one thatÆs worked around Lochley or Garibaldi or whoever it is, and put these things out on DVDs and sell them to networks, whatever you want to do, make them short stories. An anthology show set in the Babylon 5 universe. They said, ôOkay.ö We already have an network that wants to carry them, by the way. WeÆre negotiating with them now. In addition to the network who wants to broadcast them, put them on DVD, three per DVD and sell them and build up an inventory of these: Babylon 5: the Lost Tales, basing a lot of them on stories I had for the series but never had a chance to actually put into gear-a bunch of different stories I never had time to produce.

                          WB: Okay.

                          JMS: And I want no interference. What I write is what I write. I donÆt want notes, I donÆt want interference, I want complete creative support and I want it in writing.

                          WB: Okay.

                          JMS: And I want to direct it.

                          WB: Okay.

                          We will shoot in September. ItÆs greenlit. We had a meeting a week ago where they turned on the lights. ItÆs greenlit. IÆm still writing the script. We havenÆt figured out which three actors weÆre going to use out of the B5 repertory company. We have to figure out which those three actors are going to be and IÆll write the script around those three actors and weÆll shoot three mini-episodes with these actors. IÆll direct it and itÆs going to be a lot of fun.

                          I want to do things that I can sink my teeth into the characters-to do nice little character stories which we all like. The best scenes in B5 for me were the elevator scenes-two guys in a room. IÆm a playwright by nature and love those kind of small stories so to me thatÆs the joy of it. To have WarnerÆs say ôYouÆve got complete creative support. You can do whatever you want, you can direct it, black and white, we donÆt care, do whatever you want, go bugfuck, we donÆt care.ö is terrific. So weÆre going to go ahead.

                          I just started the script and weÆre looking at stages now. The theory is that we get it shot in September, Post October, November, December-thereÆs a lot of CGI in this thing-then weÆll probably come out in the second quarter of 2007. So thatÆs the big one for B5 fans out there. Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. [looks under con tote on the table] Oh, there they are! I found them again.
                          One more before I start a new message:

                          Q: Do you imagine that the look and feel of the show will be the same or reimagined?

                          JMS: I want it to feel the same but not be exactly the same. We have tools available to us now with CG and virtual sets and environments that we had a little bit of in B5 but not that much. I want to try and à if I were starting B5 now without the prior show behind me, but keeping the same castàwhat would it look like? What tools do I have now that I didnÆt have then? I want it to be fresh but still be of that same universe so it feels like B5 but [as an example] When I saw Simon and Garfunkel in concert, it was the same songs but they did a good job at reimagining how they were put together so that kind of thing.
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                          • In JMS' own words Part 2

                            Q: My question is, there is still a great big gaping hole in the Babylon 5 story. Will we ever see anything of the Telepath War?

                            JMS: As IÆm laying out these DVDs IÆm thinking ôWe can do this story with Sheridan, this story with so-and-so, this storyàooh, Lytaàthe Telepath War. So IÆm starting to play with that for down the road. HereÆs the deal, if these first DVDs sell well, if the broadcast get good ratings, these will be an ongoing thing. We will keep putting out æThe Lost TalesÆ and broadening that out until weÆve got ten thousand of them, whatever it is. If you want to get to the Telepath Wars, get the first ones. Eventually we do plan to get to that, yeah. Or I plan to get to that anyway.

                            Q: Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. Thanks you first of all. Any chance of Ivanova?

                            JMS: Who can say? Who can say?

                            Q: You trust them? After Crusade, after Rangers, you believe them?

                            JMS: WarnerÆs has never actually lied. What happened with TNT and Crusade was a different situation where they said, after we started making the show, they said they werenÆt getting a new audience with science fiction and they wanted to get out of the deal at TNT. Which is a different division over here and they set about to sabotage the show. And then Rangers was a good show and Sci-Fi wouldÆve picked it up except that it wasnÆt owned by Universal, it was owned by Warner Bros. and the deal was not something they wanted to get into. But WarnerÆs themselves have always been very stand-up. With B5 itself, starting with episode 2 of year 2, they never gave us any notes. They just brought in the guy whoÆd been our liaison on B5 the series, a guy named Greg Maday, to be our liaison on this as well. GregÆs a great guy, heÆs a former Jesuit student, a scholar. Seriously, heÆs a really smart guy and understands story and heÆs coming back to be our liaison. Very smart guy. So WarnerÆs, yeah, I do trust them. They actually have kept their promises to me. The contract negotiation was a different scenario but thatÆs just business. Creatively theyÆve been great.
                            Q: Just curious, what actors have already consented to going into these Babylon stories?

                            JMS: We just now got the green light about a week and a half ago so we havenÆt gone to the actors to make deals yet. WeÆre going to be in that process starting about ten days from now and see whoÆs available, what kind of deals can we make, who wants to do it, what the story is, that sort of thing. So once we have determined that weÆll know which ones weÆre going to use.
                            That's what I've got so far and I think it's all of the questions that directly pertained to TLT. If I find anything else, I'll be sure to post it.

                            Jan
                            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                            • Thanks Jan! That was really useful information, especially the bit about the telepath war. I'll watch the dvds and the broadcasts woo.
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                              • Thanks for the transcripts, Jan. Reading what was said exactly is very informative and interesting. And I know it takes a lot of time to transcribe these things, and the effort is appreciated.

                                I asked her, btw, and what she replied to me sounds pretty much like the first question you posted, so I guess that was her.[edit]This was her reply (I wanted to ask if it was ok to repost first):
                                Oh well I asked if we were going to get some resolution to Crusade. I said I know that the plague was only going to be a small part. He responded that he was going to release the scripts complete with his notes and that should answer some of my questions. But that was it. I take that as no but here is sort of something.
                                And sounds like he is waiting until a moment where he feels that he is guaranteed that there will be multiple Lost Tales installments before he sinks his teeth into the big story arcs of the universe. Which is cool, gives him the opportunity to give those stories a appropriately sized canvas. Fingers crossed that the first DVD will contain 3 great stories, that will hopefully make it a good enough seller for such a studio commitment.
                                Shabaz
                                Confirmed User
                                Last edited by Shabaz; 08-30-2006, 06:21 PM.

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