No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by TurkishZath View Post
    This seems as good a thread as any to ask: as someone who missed the unproduced scripts on Bookface, has it been announced as to whether or not they will be included in the script books stuff? I don't have money to buy all of them, but I'd damn sure get that one.
    Word on the site is that the Crusade scripts are planned for after the 14 volume set of B5 scripts. JMS has said that he does intend to put his notes in the Crusade books(s), too, so I'm pretty sure that the two unproduced scripts he wrote will be included. The third, written by Fiona Avery, can't be.

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


    • #17
      perhaps the SWGoA could negotiate a "linked" book for those B5 scripts written by others (including MR Gaiman) to be included in an offshoot volume. Maybe called "B5 - the non-jms scripts".
      I know it'd be tiny but stil...
      on the "not been posting much here recently, life stuff happening, will try and post more" ID
      "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "


      • #18
        Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino View Post
        All indications are that the IA date the founding from Sheridan's inauguration in early 2262, not from the signing of the initial treaties in the wake of the Earth Civil War in 2261.

        So the TV movie is pretty much going to have to say something about the Crusade story, since the Drakh attacked in late December 2261, during the run-up to the IA's fifth anniversary. And that means that the last living thing on Earth would be quietly dropping dead just before or even during "Voices in the Dark" if somebody hasn't done something about it in the meantime. I doubt the timing is an accident.


        Yes, you're probably right about it being early 2262. I think I had "period around 2261-2262 year change" in mind, in which case nine years after Objects at Rest sort of works. But it is indeed probably 2272, which is indeed Crusade's fifth year (Crusade season 1 being 2267, source).

        I had totally forgotten that ActA started with that mention of the 5th year alliance anniversary though! That's a really good point, since it pretty much 100% puts the 10th anniversary at the tail end of the plague (if uncured). And yes, especially with the Galen connection, there is almost bound to be some mention.


        • #19
          Originally posted by I love Lyta
          It's only logical that Crusade would also feature a plotline about more adaptations of left-over shadow tech used by earth. I'd say it's pretty damn sure the ship in the techno-mage trilogy and the advanced destroyer group we saw in Between the Darkness and the Light were just the tip of the iceberg.
          From the short story "Hidden Agendas", there's also...

          ... that the Warlock class ships, like the one commanded by Ivanova, had some Shadow programming hidden in the works.

          Originally posted by JohnFourtyTwo
          I read somewhere else, can't remember where, that it was pretty much Ted Turner and Company were trying to turn Crusade into Baywatch in Space was the main reason the show was cancelled.
          Quoting jms:

          I want the real truth to come out. Including the fact...I ran into some guys who worked for TNT about two years after Crusade went down. And they said, "Did you ever hear the rest of the story?" JMS: "What rest of the story?" TNT guys: "We found out, we did a research survey, a five year long study of our ratings. This was just after Crusade got going. And, we found out that the audience for B5 came for B5, then left afterward. And the TNT regular viewers didn't stick around for B5 and went away and came back. B5 wasn't adding to our viewer base." So...they decided to pull the plug on Crusade for that reason and use the money to buy another show. But they couldn't say that because they'd be in breach of contract with Warner Bros. So their job was to make it impossible for us so they could then say, "We aren't getting the show we want, our notes aren't being dealt with, therefore we aren't responsible, we're canceling the show, this is your nut Warner Bros., you take care of it." That is why all the notes became so egregious. If I had given them everything they wanted, they still would have pulled the plug. They just wanted out....


          • #20
            Originally posted by JohnFourtyTwo View Post
            I read somewhere else, can't remember where, that it was pretty much Ted Turner and Company;

            Originally posted by JMS at MegaCon '99
            ..."Not the Emperor. Not the Emperor Theodore and his wife Lady Jane. I ain't talking about them. I'm talking about the lower king of a particular land, all right."

            Originally posted by JohnFourtyTwo View Post
            ...were trying to turn Crusade into Baywatch in Space was the main reason the show was cancelled.
            Not really. The reason Crusade was cancelled was because TNT and sci-fi don't mix. The core TNT audience does not like sci-fi, and the sci-fi audience generally doesn't like the non-sci-fi stuff TNT offered. See the quote Vacantlook posted above from
            JMSNews is an archive of messages posted by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS)

            JMSNews is an archive of messages posted by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS)

            About Baywatch Meets Wrestling in Space....

            SCORCHED EARTH

            Crusade creator J Michael Straczinski explains to Paul Simpson and Jennifer C Fletcher the real reasons behind the curtailment of his sequel to Babylon 5...

            But... the word hangs in the air in Joe Straczynski's office at Babylonian Productions in Sun Valley on 21st April. On our previous visits, this was a bustling place, full of cast hurriedly snatching a break between rehersal and takes. Today there is an atmosphere somewhere between that of a home after the children have grown up and moved away, and a household suffering a bereavement. Although Straczynski still bears some hope that Crusade, his sequel series to Babylon 5, might change networks for a second season, and production begin again before the cast's option expires on 15 July, it's clear that everything is drawing to a close.

            The collapse of Crusade has been chronicled on the Internet through rumour and supposition, with 'facts' frequently being contradicted within days, if not hours, of their release. Throughout, Straczynski has been staunchly championing his programme, only rarely allowing some of his feelings about events to become known. At conventions, he has recently told a 'fairy tale' about a storyteller and a king, emphasising that the tale bears no resemblance to the relationship between himself and TNT, the American TV network who stepped in at the last moment to finance the fifth season of Babylon 5 and who then commissioned the new series. Straczinski has kept- moderately - quiet .

            Until now...

            Pinned on the wall behind his desk are the publicists' photos of the stars of his new series, alongside a picture of the Excalibur, the home for Crusade's characters. Still recovering from a flu bug, Joe welcomes us, and after some small talk, we ask whether he has any regrets about taking TNT's offer at the end of the fourth season of Babylon 5. He does not - "not in terms of the fifth year of B5," he adds. As he has explained on numerous occasions, "I wanted to finish off that story." To him one of the most interesting parts of Tolkiens Lord of the Rings was the return to the shire and how the central characters' lives have been changed by the events that have happened around them. "I wanted a chance to show that aftermath, and basically, to use that term one more time, the breaking up of the fellowship, how they went off their different ways, and getting whatever fate had held in store for having done what they did, good or bad."

            "This to me is the way to pay off five years of characterisation. If all we have in one episode is one shot of Londo sitting on the throne, we know, having five years of history, what that means to have him sitting quietly. No-one around him. No alcohol. In darkness. That was important to me. I was happy to get that done."

            He falls silent. "But..." we prompt...

            "I was lured to keep playing in the B5 universe - which I wanted to do," Joe admits. "I'd spent five years in this place, had a good team assembled here, and the temptation to keep playing in a part of it was there. I always had a side story I wanted to do of going off exploring this place. I thought, 'Well, okay.' And I signed on for Crusade."

            "There is a corollary experience. After Rod Serling did The Twilight Zone, which did very well, and he had total creative freedom, he not long thereafter did Night Gallery, and assumed that, being Rod Serling, and having a history of doing well, he would be left to his own devices and left to tell the stories he wanted to tell. This, he discovered, was not to be the case. The network had their own ideas, and they wanted to, in Serling's own words, 'turn it into maniacs in a graveyard. A cop show with this thing running around shooting things.' He was most unhappy. The series probably didn't go on as long as it might have gone on because he fought them tooth and nail, and was very vocal in his opposition to what they were doing. I find that everything old is new again. History has a tendency to repeat."

            It is a change of heart from the frequent praise that everyone at Babylonian - particularly producer John Copeland and Joe himself - was lavishing on TNT during the fifth season and the production of the TV movies. Why does he think things changed?
            "It's very simple. When TNT bought the fifth year of B5, they were buying a commodity that was a proven item. They knew what it was; we knew what it was. They were buying one more year of what was already there. They assigned us a woman called Kat Slonaker as our liaison, who was a big fan of B5, and we just kept on with what we were doing, and that was fine."

            "TNT has not had its own dramatic series before. This will be the first time. There will be a lot of prestige on the line, a lot of egos on the line, a lot of testosterone on the line." He breaks off to explain the background. "There are two TNT's: there's TNT Los Angeles, which is where the creative people are, who look over everything, and there's TNT Atlanta, which is the business side of the operation, and they never get involved creatively. However, this time, because there was so much on the line, the business people in TNT Atlanta, particularly the head of the network, said perhaps they should get involved after all."

            "We shot five episodes. Our liaisons were both Kat and Betsy Newman, and everything was fine. Then someone at TNT Atlanta said, 'Aren't you riding herd on the shows? Making sure they do things our way?' and they said, 'No, they're doing fine.' 'Wait. They shot five already?! Stop it! Let's examine what's happening here!' And they stopped. Out of that first hiatus came the new sets and new costumes, which we would have done down the road at any event, and the notes that they had I began to ignore, because they were wrong..."

            Wrong in what sense?

            Joe digs into his drawer, and pulls out a sheaf of papers, headed with the Crusade logo and 'Episodes 106-110' printed on the front. "Let me give you a fr'instance. At the end of Well of Forever, there's an investigator from the new version of the Psi Corps who is checking out Matheson and making sure he isn't breaking the rules. The crew outwit him at one point, towards the very end."

            "TNT didn't like the ending. What they suggested, and this is verbatim from their notes:

            Gideon arranges for Dureena to seduce the Investigator. She entices him to use his power to stimulate her, which is a serious violation of the Telepath Laws. The stakes are high. However, she must keep her focus on the seduction. If he reads her mind, he will expose her goal. He will kill her. Gideon catches him with his pants down and blackmails him.

            "So I said, 'What you're saying is, Gideon arranges for Dureena to be raped by this guy, so he can catch him in the act. This is what you want the captain of this ship to do to one of his crew? Are you out of your mind?'
            ....continued in next post....
            Last edited by KoshN; 01-18-2007, 03:27 PM.
            Mac Breck (KoshN)
            Warner Brothers is Lucy.
            JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
            Babylon 5 is the football.


            • #21
              Continued from the above....

              "All through, it is as offensive and reprehensible as what I just read you. [There was] this in-house memo, which I wasn't meant to see or hear about, but which I did, where they said that one of the characters should become a sexual explorer who when he makes contacts with aliens has sex with them, so he can understand them better. They wanted
              the show invaded by 'horny aliens' once in a while. They wanted fistfights and sex on the bridge."

              "The notes became more and more reprehensible. Leave aside creative differences, just morally they were outrageous, and if I did them, I would go to hell. Granted, I am probably on my way there anyway but I didn't want to accelerate the journey."

              "At one point they called a meeting. It was all the TNT folk arranged along one side of the table - the plenipotentiaries and the emissaries and the ambassadors and the functionaries - and me on the other side. They pulled out those twenty pages of notes I just showed you, and they said, 'Let's go through this'. And I said no. They had to have someone explain to them the word meant because they'd never heard it before. Then they said, 'No to what?' And I said, 'No to everything on page one and page twenty, and everything in between. No to all of its parts and pieces. I simply will not do it.'"

              "That sent shockwaves all the way back to Atlanta. They sent out someone from the promotions department who made on-air spots to help teach us what our show was like, and 'stand up to Joe'. We pulled his pants up over his head and sent him back to Atlanta. They complained that the episodes were way too dark photographically. We asked what they were talking about and they said it wasn't very clear. They were looking at the AVID output, which is not the same as looking at the film. The AVID outputs are dark and grainy. So we brought a functionary down and showed them the Beta masters and said, 'This is how it actually looks', And he went, 'Oh, alright'. We had to educate them in every step of the process. They were people who never got involved with this stuff before."

              "I simply refused to bend. To make the show they wanted to make - which would have been Baywatch meets Wrestling in Space - I would rather slit my wrists than do. Finally it came to the 13th episode and they then pulled the plug. Surprisingly, I found out later from Warner Business Affairs, their contract was for the whole 22, but they figured that Time Warners own Warner Brothers, and Warner's own them, so Warner's isn't going to sue itself, so screw it. So it has been a trial."

              However, don't let this put you off watching the 13 episodes of Crusade that do exist. Joe is at pains to point out that he is proud of all of them. "We told the stories we wanted to. I'd rather do 13 shows that I am proud of, than 110 that I am not. We ignored TNT to the best we could - we made one or two small token things to them, a line here and there - but the wholescale nonsense that they wanted to inflict upon the show was simply ignored. In fact, as a joke, one of the TNT people sent me the wastebasket over there which says 'Thank You For Your Suggestions'. That's where they went."

              One area that has not previously been clear is Babylon 5 Creative Consultant Harlan Ellison's role in Crusade. Ellison has spoken out at conventions about the problems facing the production, and on one occaision had to retract his suggestion that all was not alright at Babylonian. Joe states that Harlan wasn't involved "because we didn't have the budget to bring him on. He had to wave from the docks as we went off, and that was unfortunate. He was fine with it."

              He admits that "it would have been fun to have him at some of those meetings! I can be fairly diplomatic at times, and Harlan can not. I would have loved to see him take these guys on for me, and I could lay back and let him do things for a bit, but that wasn't to be."

              Joe explains what happened at the convention when Ellison 'recanted'. "I didn't know about it. He was there with Stephen Furst, and Stephen said things were working out fine. Harlan said he guessed he should have calmed down and not said anything, and the next day he said, 'Never mind what I said the day before'. He also did try to keep me out of trouble. If he said omething which made TNT mad, they were going to call me. I didn't necessarily hold him back from saying anything."

              "I have been quiet up until this point to try and keep the show going, but all bets are off now," Joe states, leading to the obvious question - is Crusade now dead now dead as a TV series? "I don't know that. Warners have said that if there are good enough ratings on the show, there could be a second season on the Sci-Fi Channel."

              During February, negotiations were taking place with the Sci-Fi Channel to take over production of Crusade - to finance, many fans understood, the 'back nine' episodes and complete the first season. This wasn't actually the case.

              "Sci-Fi wanted to do the show, but the numbers didn't work out financially," Joe explains. "They had committed so much to Farscape and to First Wave and everything else, that they didn't have the cash around to finance another season. They would have had to pick up the bill for the entire first 22. TNT didn't want to put up any money. They said, 'If Sci-Fi wants the show, they can pay for the entire show."

              If Sci-Fi do finance a second season, they have to decide by 15 July, by which time the first four or five episodes will have aired on TNT. Straczinski, however, is not at all sure that TNT will give Crusade much publicity, and has aired his concerns with Warners. "I said, 'If TNT has [screwed] us for the last time, then I'll go out there and scream bloody murder'. Warners said, 'Don't do that, because if the numbers do well and the show does well, we can take it somewhere else. If you start going round saying bad things, then it's not going to happen.' I said, 'Guys, they're not going to give this show any kind of support. It's a moot issue at this point.' The comment I got back, pretty much verbatim, was 'They plan to give us a big publicity campaign because they don't want to be perceived as being unsupportive of a new show.' I said, 'They cancelled the show. How much more unsupportive can they be?' To which they had no good answer! Then they had a meeting to try to calm me down, and showed the publicity campaign they had planned out - and I recognised it for what it was, which was a lot of numbers on a bit of paper which doesn't add up to anything."

              "I'm in scorched earth mode right now," he adds, before dropping his bombshell. "I had told Warners given that we were not going to get a proper publicity campaign, I was going to take my name off the show - the 'created by' credit - and put it out under my pseudonym (Eiben Scrood). At first they said that was my call, until they found out what my pseudonym is. Unfortunately, the [Screenwriter's] Guild, which originally approved the pseudonym, may revoke it, which means I can't put it on, which would upset me no end."

              Joe runs the tape of The Path of Sorrows, and we watch the teaser (a strong scene for Peter Woodward as Galen and Carrie Dobro as Dureena) and the credits, which conclude with the words:

              Created by Eiben Scrood

              When we've finished laughing, Joe says regretfully, "The Guild won't back [my using the pseudonym]; after they registered it and everything, now they won't back it. Warners are taking the position that you can normally put a pseudonym on within seven days of notification of the writing credits, which usually happens at the end of the process, but here we send them out as soon as the scripts were written, which was back in August last year. The Guild are getting pressure that this would be in violation. It may have to go under my regular name. So if I won't get my satifaction in one way, I'll get it another way."
              Mac Breck (KoshN)
              Warner Brothers is Lucy.
              JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
              Babylon 5 is the football.


              • #22
                Just to add one more tidbit to the story, which JMS didn't know about at the time he gave that interview: It wasn't just that TNT wanted Sci-Fi to pay for all 22 Crusade episodes that sunk the deal. Sci-Fi also wanted to take over the B5 reruns. This made sense since they were going to air a basically untried sequel to the popular series, and introducing their viewers to the original before starting Crusade was the logical thing to do.

                The problem was that TNT's exclusive for the B5 reruns still had a couple of years to go, so if Sci-Fi wanted them in the summer of 1999 it was going to have to buy them from TNT. And that's why TNT was able to use the B5 reruns as a poisoned pill to ensure that nobody picked up Crusade and embarassed them by making a success out of it. They demanded a price for the B5 reruns that they knew Sci-Fi couldn't possibly pay, and that was the end of it. (At the time I was in touch with a source at an entertainment law firm who was privvy to the negotiations and this person described TNT's proposal as a "ramsom note". When I mentioned this to a contact at TNT the characterization was not denied.)

                That put the final nail in the Crusade coffin. When I posted a suitably laundered version of what I'd been told, together with stuff from other sources and some speculation of my own about what had happened, JMS said that I didn't have every detail of the story right, but that the gist of what I had written was correct. Not content with turning the show down themselves, the embarassed TNT execs went out of their way to make sure that JMS couldn't take the series elsewhere. They were a real class act, those guys. Later, in a nice bit of Soviet Revisionism, they not only billed Crusade as a "limited series" when they finally burned off the completed 13 episodes, they also advertised a subsequent show as their "first original series" - despite the fact that both B5 season 5 and Crusade had been original weekly series produced for TNT.


                Joseph DeMartino
                Sigh Corps
                Pat Tallman Division