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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    Hands up. Guilty as charged. BTW I couldn;t see the post you mentioned over on the patreon. But someone on FB linked me to the video which sparked the response from jms. Here it is for anyone else who is wondered where that came from.
    Babylon 5 Reboot Killed by Stupidity?! B5 Writer Speaks Out! - YouTube
    Marc Zicree... FFS... this coming from the man who made some of the worst new SF I've ever had the displeasure of viewing. Still feel sorry for the Kickstarter backers.

    The difference is, Space Command is awful.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    Hands up. Guilty as charged. BTW I couldn;t see the post you mentioned over on the patreon. But someone on FB linked me to the video which sparked the response from jms. Here it is for anyone else who is wondered where that came from.
    Babylon 5 Reboot Killed by Stupidity?! B5 Writer Speaks Out! - YouTube

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    I'm not part of his patreon, and I'm assuming this was in response to something someone asked or pointed to. I also don't stay as up to date about who is saying what about the show as much as I used to - hence the reason for this question.

    Who is citing sources that they've learned that the show is dead - and if possible is there a link to it. I'm assuming there is one as jms seems to be responding to something specific seeing how he said "So let me put the lie to this latest one in terms that are clear, verifiable, and unambiguous."
    As I suggested on Facebook when you accused JMS of making things up, go to the post. The link is on FB as well as this thread at least twice. Yes, he's responding to something in particular. As I've said, it's a public post. No need to be a Patron. Go see what that is. I'm not going to repeat what was said or who said it simply because I feel JMS covered it admirably with : "...the desire to appear tuned-in to an industry which they were never a part of in the first place, or to which they are no longer relevant. (Or any combination thereof.)".

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    I'm not part of his patreon, and I'm assuming this was in response to something someone asked or pointed to. I also don't stay as up to date about who is saying what about the show as much as I used to - hence the reason for this question.

    Who is citing sources that they've learned that the show is dead - and if possible is there a link to it. I'm assuming there is one as jms seems to be responding to something specific seeing how he said "So let me put the lie to this latest one in terms that are clear, verifiable, and unambiguous."
    I trihd a quick google search and I can't find anything about it being consigned to the bin, but I did find articles about shifting it to 2023. I'll be a bit skeptical until I see those shiny new intro credits roll. Lots of hurdles to clear with the CW being sold off (if that goes through).
    Last edited by Ubik; 02-12-2022, 04:22 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    I'm not part of his patreon, and I'm assuming this was in response to something someone asked or pointed to. I also don't stay as up to date about who is saying what about the show as much as I used to - hence the reason for this question.

    Who is citing sources that they've learned that the show is dead - and if possible is there a link to it. I'm assuming there is one as jms seems to be responding to something specific seeing how he said "So let me put the lie to this latest one in terms that are clear, verifiable, and unambiguous."

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    From JMS' Patreon page, with permission:

    J. Michael Straczynski
    Feel free to quote this anyplace the “oh, the show is dead” nonsense sprouts up.

    Whenever there’s news in the TV/film business – good, bad or indifferent – there are always those who, for their own pleasure, throw dust in the faces of fans in the hope of eliciting tears. The history of B5 is rife with them. Every season they would cite sources who said the show was definitely not going to be renewed, only to be proven wrong, which never stopped them from doing the same exact thing the next season, and the next, to try and upset people.

    These stories are then repeated through ignorance, arrogance, spitefulness, foolishness, clickbaitery, or the desire to appear tuned-in to an industry which they were never a part of in the first place, or to which they are no longer relevant. (Or any combination thereof.) So let me put the lie to this latest one in terms that are clear, verifiable, and unambiguous.

    1) Every year, dozens and dozens of network pilots are picked up for production, or turned down. Telling those on either side of that equation where they’ve landed is not considered a big deal, it’s part of the everyday process of making TV. If the B5 pilot were dead, the network would not hesitate to say so because they’d have no reason to do so. They gain nothing by obscuring the truth. But the president of the CW network called personally (followed by a second call from his top executives) to say that they loved the script, that it was most emphatically not dead, and that they were going to roll the script into their development slate for 2023. And in the days since those calls there have been more discussions with the network and studio about how best to ensure B5’s future.

    2) In the nearly 35 years that I’ve been online, and the nearly 30 years of B5 history, I have never once prevaricated or soft-pedaled the facts related to any aspect of Babylon 5. The one and only time I withheld information was in regard to Michael O’Hare’s struggle with mental illness because it wasn’t my story to tell at that time, and while he was still with us it was none of anybody else’s goddamn business. In every other instance, I have been blunt and honest and straightforward with the fans through good times and bad. Don’t take my word for it, ask those who’ve been around for those 30 years. There is nothing to be gained by saying the show’s still in development if it isn’t, and much to lose, since doing so would agitate both the network and the studio and I would hear from legal affairs within an hour of making such a statement.


    3) When in doubt, always go with enlightened self-interest. In the event the pilot were not to be picked up, my contract gives me the legal right to immediately turn around and shop the pilot script elsewhere. If the CW had simply said we’re not doing it, end of conversation, I would be shouting from the metaphorical rooftops and knocking on every literal door to take it elsewhere, and the fans would know about it because their help in making that effort visible would be essential to the process. (And there are several networks who are very much aware of B5 and the fan base and how well it’s done on HBO Max who would be extremely interested in that prospect.) Saying that I and the pilot are sticking with the CW precludes the script from being taken elsewhere, so you can be damned sure I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

    It’s unfortunate that after all these years I still have to come online to do this sort of thing, but I suppose that, too, is just a part of the process.

    Onward.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    As the saying goes, 'If it's not on the page (in the script), it's not on the stage. In a lot of cases JMS gave detailed descriptions of what he was looking for from the design folks and it was their job to do their best to come up with designs that fit what he saw as he was making up the story, whether that was costumes or ship designs.
    That sounds all very good, and it's the sort of perspective and outlook that would come from someone who is first and foremost a jms fan (and I don't mean that in a disparaging way, it's just that your view of things is more focused on jms and how you view him, which is fine - but there is a more accurate picture to be had when you move away from that sort of singular focus). For example here's how jms described the look of the "Shadowman" ships in the script.

    If things worked as you described them, jms having a vision and the faceless and nameless "design folks" merely "doing their best to come up with designs that fit what he saw as he was making up the story", then the show would have looked very very VERY different.

    My focus of interest is more on the FX (obviously) so of course what I'm about to touch on is in that area.

    EXT. SPACE - NEAR OUTPOST
    There's not a jump point forming. Rather, first one, then
    another, then a total of four massive SHADOWMEN CRUISERS begin
    PHASING into view, as though moving from invisibility. They're
    deadly looking ships, huge, black, with highlights of crimson
    and purple. They begin to move in concert toward the moonbase.

    ANOTHER ANGLE
    As the fighters all start to move toward the cruisers. They
    get only a third of the way there when ENERGY BLASTS from the
    cruisers wash over them like a wave...not small bursts,
    practically walls of destructive power. The ships are
    demolished in a second.

    Yes, he describes the basic scene, yes the "Shadowman" ships are dark . . . but that's more or less where the writers influence in what was seen ended.

    He didn’t mention organic or spider like ships, and his description of the weapon used - creating walls of destructive energy washing over the narn cruisers in waves is basically the exact opposite of what the designer guy came up with . . . and that's because the designer folk had their OWN IDEAS of what would look cool based on the very basic description from the writer.

    Ron Thornton suggested then developed the whole organic ship thing that was used on B5, he also developed (without telling jms until he was finished) the Non-anthropomorphic Shadows to replace the "shadowman" idea. . . and of course I could continue with a long list of things that came from Thornton which ended up becoming large and small parts of the show.

    And that's the point. Ideas from Ron Thornton, Paul Bryant, Steve Burg, Everett Burrell, John Vulich, George Johnsen, John Iacovelli, John Flinn, Larry DiTillio, Ann Bruice and hundreds more people from every department (including other writers and even producers such as John Copeland) all went into the pot that became the Babylon 5 television series.

    To say if it's not on the page it's not on the stage, while catchy, is a ridiculously inaccurate description of what actually happened.

    B5 worked on a small budget due to the (highly invested) team that worked on it (and that includes the studio execs who were involved). That's it in a nutshell. jms was just ONE MEMBER of that team. You/me/anyone could argue about the importance of each team member or exactly who did what, but that's all fluff.

    This potential new B5 series will have another team, jms will be part of it, and the evidence to date (Crusade, LoTR and the Lost Tales) would suggest that's not enough to guarantee that it will recapture the richness in ideas, innovations, imagination and ingenuity which that original team brought to the table. That's one of the big reasons why it's so difficult to catch lightening in a bottle twice.

    Will any new series - if it gets made - be any good, no idea, but hope so.
    Last edited by Triple F; 02-11-2022, 08:33 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Ta'Lon View Post

    Only for myself :-D I just feel like JMS' contribution to B5 is generally overrated. Yes, he wrotes nearly all episodes. But when you look closer you see some large footprints from others. For example, some of the best episodes were directed by Mike Vejar and Salvador Trevino (they also on the best episodes of ST:VOY for e.g.) Harlan Ellison had made much more creative input as were noted in some B5 Making-Ofs. And generally the lack of budget had led to its unique look and feel. If you have not the money for more statists, give your main cast more screen time. If you have not the money for many costumes, give Londo and G'Kar more impressive ones. If you have not the money for outdoor shootings, use CGI (as one of the first TV shows ever!) But you need clever ideas to make the best of the small budget. I dont think JMS was the one from which this ideas came.

    And today, if you have the best script, the best story and more money (or simply better computers to make much more impressive CGI for the same money) it is not guaranteed that you see the same result at the end. The whole thing stands and falls with the teamwork between actors and the crew. Remember "Space Center Babylon 5" (the pilot): The entire setting was totally different in comparsion to the later series, even with the same actors. I think "The Gathering" would have been the better pilot because its made by the later series crew.

    When I say "the same result" I dont mean an word-by-word-remake. I mean the "magic" in the original B5. Remember the time in which B5 was came: It was the end of cold war and JMS told an story about the third age of mankind. It was an great feel of freedom and mind opening at this time. But what we have this days? Pandemic, depressive feelings, hate and intolerance. All of this wil reflect in B5 reboot. Would it be possible that people would like it? Yes. Would it be possible that I would like it? I think no.

    PS: Please excuse my limited english, I do not know if I can convey my philosophic toughts correctly ;-)
    First, I think your English is just fine.

    I think you many not be aware of just how JMS has always tried to give proper credit for the contributions of others. If you've ever seen any issues of the Official Babylon 5 Magazine, you'd have seen that entire issues were devoted to the different departments' contributions. Yes, JMS has been a visible spokesperson but he's always given as much credit as possible. That said, he, Copeland and Netter were the ones who put together the team so credit is due for that.

    As the saying goes, 'If it's not on the page (in the script), it's not on the stage. In a lot of cases JMS gave detailed descriptions of what he was looking for from the design folks and it was their job to do their best to come up with designs that fit what he saw as he was making up the story, whether that was costumes or ship designs.

    Both editions of the pilot were named "The Gathering" with 'Special Edition' was added to the TNT update. I believe, as Late Arrival said, that the name :Space Center Babylon 5" was a translation issue.

    Leave a comment:


  • LateArrival
    replied
    Originally posted by AstroBoy View Post

    First, the pilot film shown in 1993 was titled "The Gathering" Not "Space Center Babylon 5". Joe was never happy with the original version and has admitted that he didn't really know what he was doing and basically let the director have free run since he trusted him. When S5 was picked up by TNT he was able to go back and fix things more to his liking (but not as much as he'd have liked to ) as there were some shots that are typical in TV filming that the director failed to get, so it limited Joes ability to go back and edit it. So your point that The Gathering is a better pilot is kind of off base as it's the same thing just better edited.

    The "magic" of B5 stems from a variety of factors, The Budget played a big part as it required the creative use of CGI, and movable redressable sets. The actors were another part especially Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas as Londo and G'Kar. But the biggest part of the magic was the singular vision of the creator JMS. He was able to ensure that everything stayed on track as he envisioned it. he didn't work in a vacuum, but relied on others from Harlan to provide creative ideas and help from the scripts being crap. to the actors who brought life to the characters in Joe's head. Of which a great example is Andreas coming up with the idea that G'Kar is French (at least in mannerisms).

    One odd bit of trivia, I think (?) The Gathering might have been called Space Center Babylon 5 in Germany, or at least I've seen that name flash by on Ebay from time to time. Regarding the TNT version, didn't JMS mention that some of the original footage had been destroyed (mice/water got it) so he didn't have access to every possible scene that was filmed? One of the commentaries implied that the "alien zoo" footage was not a collection of single rooms but more of a "front porch" aspect, but as it was interpreted by viewers as an "alien zoo" that scene was removed from the TNT version.

    While not exactly a fan of reboots, was looking forward to B5's as not only was JMS going to be at the helm, 2021/22/23 JMS has much more experience as a writer/director/producer/etc than early 90s JMS, and considering what they were able to accomplish on the frayed shoestring budget of the original series with mid 90s tech, would have loved to have seen what could have been done with what is now available. The magic of the original series was once in a lifetime, but hopefully the reboot will have it's own magic with superb creative input and excellent chemistry between actors. B5 influenced shows from DS9, Lost and beyond to the concept of an ongoing story arc not only for the characters but for the show itself, and what influence might a new B5 have?

    Leave a comment:


  • AstroBoy
    replied
    Originally posted by Ta'Lon View Post

    Only for myself :-D I just feel like JMS' contribution to B5 is generally overrated. Yes, he wrotes nearly all episodes. But when you look closer you see some large footprints from others. For example, some of the best episodes were directed by Mike Vejar and Salvador Trevino (they also on the best episodes of ST:VOY for e.g.) Harlan Ellison had made much more creative input as were noted in some B5 Making-Ofs. And generally the lack of budget had led to its unique look and feel. If you have not the money for more statists, give your main cast more screen time. If you have not the money for many costumes, give Londo and G'Kar more impressive ones. If you have not the money for outdoor shootings, use CGI (as one of the first TV shows ever!) But you need clever ideas to make the best of the small budget. I dont think JMS was the one from which this ideas came.

    And today, if you have the best script, the best story and more money (or simply better computers to make much more impressive CGI for the same money) it is not guaranteed that you see the same result at the end. The whole thing stands and falls with the teamwork between actors and the crew. Remember "Space Center Babylon 5" (the pilot): The entire setting was totally different in comparsion to the later series, even with the same actors. I think "The Gathering" would have been the better pilot because its made by the later series crew.

    When I say "the same result" I dont mean an word-by-word-remake. I mean the "magic" in the original B5. Remember the time in which B5 was came: It was the end of cold war and JMS told an story about the third age of mankind. It was an great feel of freedom and mind opening at this time. But what we have this days? Pandemic, depressive feelings, hate and intolerance. All of this wil reflect in B5 reboot. Would it be possible that people would like it? Yes. Would it be possible that I would like it? I think no.

    PS: Please excuse my limited english, I do not know if I can convey my philosophic toughts correctly ;-)
    First, the pilot film shown in 1993 was titled "The Gathering" Not "Space Center Babylon 5". Joe was never happy with the original version and has admitted that he didn't really know what he was doing and basically let the director have free run since he trusted him. When S5 was picked up by TNT he was able to go back and fix things more to his liking (but not as much as he'd have liked to ) as there were some shots that are typical in TV filming that the director failed to get, so it limited Joes ability to go back and edit it. So your point that The Gathering is a better pilot is kind of off base as it's the same thing just better edited.

    The "magic" of B5 stems from a variety of factors, The Budget played a big part as it required the creative use of CGI, and movable redressable sets. The actors were another part especially Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas as Londo and G'Kar. But the biggest part of the magic was the singular vision of the creator JMS. He was able to ensure that everything stayed on track as he envisioned it. he didn't work in a vacuum, but relied on others from Harlan to provide creative ideas and help from the scripts being crap. to the actors who brought life to the characters in Joe's head. Of which a great example is Andreas coming up with the idea that G'Kar is French (at least in mannerisms).


    The reboot when it happens will be an entirely different story with different characters (though the names may stay the same (we don't really know)), different twists and turns and most of all a different plot. just the press release tells us that.

    Furthermore this from JMS after the news broke:

    "To answer all the questions, yes, it’s true, Babylon 5 is now in active development as a series for the CW. We have some serious fans over at the network, and they’re eager to see this show happen. I’m hip deep into writing the pilot now, and will be running the series upon pickup. The network understands the uniqueness of Babylon 5 and is giving me a great deal of latitude with the storytelling.

    As noted in the announcement, this is a reboot from the ground up rather than a continuation, for several reasons. Heraclitus wrote, “You cannot step in the same river twice, for the river has changed, and you have changed.” In the years since B5, I’ve done a ton of other TV shows and movies, adding an equal number of tools to my toolbox, all of which I can bring to bear on the question: if I were creating Babylon 5 today, for the first time, knowing what I now know as a writer, what would it look like? How would it use all the storytelling tools and technological resources available in 2021 that were not on hand then? How can it be used to reflect the world in which we live, and the even questions we are asking and confronting every day? Fans regularly point out how prescient the show was and is of our current world; it would be fun to take a shot at looking further down the road.

    So we will not be retelling the same story in the same way because of what Heraclitus said about the river. There would be no fun and no surprises. Better to go the way of Westworld or Battlestar Galactica where you take the original elements that are evergreens and put them in a blender with a ton of new, challenging ideas, to create something both fresh and familiar.

    To those who have asked why we’re not just doing a continuation…for a network series like this, it can’t be done because over half our cast are still stubbornly on the other side of the Rim. How do you telling continuing story of our original Londo without the original Vir? Or G’Kar? How do you tell Sheridan’s story without Delenn? Or the story of B5 without Franklin? Garibaldi? Zack?

    The original Babylon 5 was ridiculously innovative: the first to use CGI to create ships and characters, and among the very first to shoot widescreen with a vigorous 5.1 mix. Most of all, for the first time, Babylon 5 introduced viewers accustomed to episodic television to the concept of a five-year arc with a pre-planned beginning, middle and end…creating a brand new paradigm for television storytelling that has subsequently become the norm. That tradition for innovation will continue in this new iteration, and I hope to create additional new forms of storytelling that will further push the television medium to the edge of what’s possible.

    Let me conclude by just saying how supportive and enthusiastic everyone at the CW has been and is being with this project, they understand the unique position Babylon 5 occupies both in television and with its legions of fans, and are doing everything they can to ensure the maximum in creative freedom, a new story that will bring in new viewers while honoring all that has come before."

    Leave a comment:


  • Ta'Lon
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post

    No matter what prequels, sequels or reboots happe, the original will remain untouched. Just as every other art form that's had works based on it remain untouched.

    ...

    Speak for yourself. Some were more to my taste than others but none deserve such sweeping condemnation. In *my* opinion, of course.
    Only for myself :-D I just feel like JMS' contribution to B5 is generally overrated. Yes, he wrotes nearly all episodes. But when you look closer you see some large footprints from others. For example, some of the best episodes were directed by Mike Vejar and Salvador Trevino (they also on the best episodes of ST:VOY for e.g.) Harlan Ellison had made much more creative input as were noted in some B5 Making-Ofs. And generally the lack of budget had led to its unique look and feel. If you have not the money for more statists, give your main cast more screen time. If you have not the money for many costumes, give Londo and G'Kar more impressive ones. If you have not the money for outdoor shootings, use CGI (as one of the first TV shows ever!) But you need clever ideas to make the best of the small budget. I dont think JMS was the one from which this ideas came.

    And today, if you have the best script, the best story and more money (or simply better computers to make much more impressive CGI for the same money) it is not guaranteed that you see the same result at the end. The whole thing stands and falls with the teamwork between actors and the crew. Remember "Space Center Babylon 5" (the pilot): The entire setting was totally different in comparsion to the later series, even with the same actors. I think "The Gathering" would have been the better pilot because its made by the later series crew.

    When I say "the same result" I dont mean an word-by-word-remake. I mean the "magic" in the original B5. Remember the time in which B5 was came: It was the end of cold war and JMS told an story about the third age of mankind. It was an great feel of freedom and mind opening at this time. But what we have this days? Pandemic, depressive feelings, hate and intolerance. All of this wil reflect in B5 reboot. Would it be possible that people would like it? Yes. Would it be possible that I would like it? I think no.

    PS: Please excuse my limited english, I do not know if I can convey my philosophic toughts correctly ;-)

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Ta'Lon View Post
    "It's dead, Joe."

    And I can not say that I'm unhappy about that. B5 is a Legend. Leave it untouched. No Prequels, no Sequels, no Reboots
    No matter what prequels, sequels or reboots happe, the original will remain untouched. Just as every other art form that's had works based on it remain untouched.


    I know that I'm alone with this meaning. But remember there are more negative examples (Ghostbusters, Knight Rider...) than positive ones.
    I know I keep repeatin this but which of those were done by the original creator/writer/producer? Compare apples to apples.

    And EACH of former JMS' tries to continue B5 in any form was an epic fail.
    Speak for yourself. Some were more to my taste than others but none deserve such sweeping condemnation. In *my* opinion, of course.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Ta'Lon View Post
    "It's dead, Joe."

    And I can not say that I'm unhappy about that. B5 is a Legend. Leave it untouched. No Prequels, no Sequels, no Reboots. I know that I'm alone with this meaning. But remember there are more negative examples (Ghostbusters, Knight Rider...) than positive ones. And EACH of former JMS' tries to continue B5 in any form was an epic fail. I think, in the history of TV Shows B5 was an singularity, an unique stroke of luck. The producers, the directors and the actors. I cant believe in a repetition of all of this luck.
    Whilst part of me would be intrigued to see a reboot, a big part of me knows you're right. I mean, what was the last truly good thing JMS has done in the realm of TV or film, it's definitely the original run of B5... So, I understand the temptation to go back to it. However, it feel backwards looking and like getting the band back together for another tour because the fans want it.

    At this point, I just don't see it happening.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ta'Lon
    replied
    "It's dead, Joe."

    And I can not say that I'm unhappy about that. B5 is a Legend. Leave it untouched. No Prequels, no Sequels, no Reboots. I know that I'm alone with this meaning. But remember there are more negative examples (Ghostbusters, Knight Rider...) than positive ones. And EACH of former JMS' tries to continue B5 in any form was an epic fail. I think, in the history of TV Shows B5 was an singularity, an unique stroke of luck. The producers, the directors and the actors. I cant believe in a repetition of all of this luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by LateArrival View Post


    This seems like an echo of history (almost) repeating itself in a pattern similar to TNT in the 90s. Wasn't one of the issues then that TNT's regular viewers weren't watching B5, and B5 viewers weren't watching TNT's other shows? Am crossing fingers for a potential B5 reboot pilot in... 2023... but if the CW's core viewers are only interested in discount superhero shows, and if potential B5 viewers aren't interested in the CW's traditional programming, their Suits would tend to stick with the familiar rather than Something New. Plus taking risks and trying Something New is probably not ideal when the company is up for grabs. Though if JMS had the B5 command staff played by wrestlers, perhaps the former SF channel might be interested?
    I'm not sure this paradigm really exists anymore because of streaming. Any show can reach a wide AND niche audience due to exposure on multiple platforms, Netflix, HBO MAX, etc.

    Sabrina isn't really aligned with Arrow, etc. Yet it still works and both are successful.

    My own take, I honesty don't think the reboot is going to happen. If they were genuinely excited by it, it would be in the running this year. Pickup is probably even less likely if CW gets sold. Who is to say Mark Pedowitz will still be in post if a sale of CW goes through.

    However, if Nexstar Media Group bite and focus on the cable market (already their bread and butter), I feel like a lot of this stuff is doomed to failure if the move is away from streaming platforms. Hard to say if they will retain the relationship with Netflix, one would hope they will.
    Last edited by Ubik; 02-05-2022, 04:21 AM.

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