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Thoughts on season 4 - 5 transition....just wanted show again

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  • Thoughts on season 4 - 5 transition....just wanted show again

    I just watched the show again for the 3rd time (only 2nd time for season 5). I'm curious if JMS ever stated what would have been different had he known he would have a season 5?? Season 4 feels so rushed, and I've read where he was told he'd need to wrap it up in 4 seasons, so I understand why it does, but has he ever stated what he originally had planned for season 4-5 minus the interruption?

    Also, something I think about as I watched the series again, does anyone know what type of budget the show had?? I know it was very small, but I wasn't sure what it was compared to some shows like ST:TNG or DS9, etc??

    Thanks in advance!!!!!!
    Peace, Love, & Recycle

    -Synbios1978

  • #2
    Ya know, I have just been watching the series through with my wife. It's her first time watching it, and we're just finishing S4. I feel bad because with the way S4 ramps WAY up for the last 2/3 of the season we get such a let down with "deconstruction" and the first 2/3 of S5. It's too bad because I'm convinced that S5 would have been much more interesting if the stories from S4 had been spread out a bit more, allowing things to be foreshadowed before being blasted at you. I guess we'll never know.

    But

    IIRC, JMS has said that "Intersections in Real Time" would have been the S4 finale and that "Into the Fire" would have been a 2 parter. I will defer to more knowledgeable posters, though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Synbios1978 View Post
      Also, something I think about as I watched the series again, does anyone know what type of budget the show had?? I know it was very small, but I wasn't sure what it was compared to some shows like ST:TNG or DS9, etc??
      I don't know what the Trek budgets were but IIRC, B5 never got much over $900,000 per episode.

      As for changes, TurkishZath is correct about the original plan being for "Intersections in Real Time" being slated to be the fourth season ender. In addition, if Claudia had stayed, it would have been she who became romantically involved with Byron and Lyta would have been a devoted follower. There would have been some of the stand-alone episodes that went into season 5 in season 4 and the Telepath arc would have started earlier and built up steam gradually instead of being the focus for several episodes in a row.

      That's all I can remember at the moment.

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

      Comment


      • #4
        DS9 which ran concurrently, was, IIRC, roughly $2 million, or more than double B5's budget (and I think B5 frequently came in under). I don't remember what the TV movies were budgeted at.

        I believe I read somewhere that there was 2-parter planned for S4 - possibly something about the Minbari (the civil war?). S4 would have ended with Sheridan's capture after Garibaldi's betrayal. Endgame / Rising Star would have come roughly 6 episodes into S5.

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        • #5
          I believe, if seasons 4 & 5 had gone as originally intended, the Army of Light would have continued fighting the Shadows through most of 2261. Also, the Earth Civil War would have been the central plot to season 5. The second-to-last episode of season 5 would have probably been much like 'Rising Star' with Sheridan returning to Babylon 5 or Minbar to head up the Interstellar Alliance in time for the last episode 'Sleeping in Light'.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jan View Post
            In addition, if Claudia had stayed, it would have been she who became romantically involved with Byron and Lyta would have been a devoted follower.

            That's all I can remember at the moment.

            Jan
            Mmm no, i dont think it would have been in Ivanovas character to fall for Byron. Not after what happend to Ranger Marcus.
            "We are the universe, trying to understand itself."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BabylonRebel View Post
              I believe, if seasons 4 & 5 had gone as originally intended, the Army of Light would have continued fighting the Shadows through most of 2261. Also, the Earth Civil War would have been the central plot to season 5. The second-to-last episode of season 5 would have probably been much like 'Rising Star' with Sheridan returning to Babylon 5 or Minbar to head up the Interstellar Alliance in time for the last episode 'Sleeping in Light'.
              I have to disagree there. Remember that JMS structured the arc along the lines of a novel so the last season would be the denoument as JMS posted here. The fifth season had to be about the consequences of the Shadow and Earth Civil war and about the Dawn of the Third Age, learning to stand on their own.

              Originally posted by EarthandBeyond
              Mmm no, i dont think it would have been in Ivanovas character to fall for Byron. Not after what happend to Ranger Marcus.
              That's exactly why it would have happened. Knowing that she'd lost her chance with Marcus, she'd have grasped at the chance of somebody who had a superficial resembance to Marcus. As JMS says here. In that scenario, it's Lyta's unrequited love for Byron that fuels her passion for revenge as well as her desire to serve her people.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Also remember that Ivanova was a latent telepath, so her relationship with Byron would in part have been based on his helping her to unlock and understand her talent - it's not as out there as it seems at first glance.

                Marcus might then have appeared to her in Day of the Dead (although I don't know if JMS ever confirmed this, and it would presumably have depended on Jason Carter's schedule).

                So S5 would probably have had a strong Ivanova plotline, just as S4 had a strong plotline focusing on Garibaldi.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RMcD View Post
                  Marcus might then have appeared to her in Day of the Dead (although I don't know if JMS ever confirmed this, and it would presumably have depended on Jason Carter's schedule).
                  As I recall, JMS left it up to Neil Gaiman who he wanted in Day of the Dead.

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BabylonRebel View Post
                    I believe, if seasons 4 & 5 had gone as originally intended, the Army of Light would have continued fighting the Shadows through most of 2261. Also, the Earth Civil War would have been the central plot to season 5. The second-to-last episode of season 5 would have probably been much like 'Rising Star' with Sheridan returning to Babylon 5 or Minbar to head up the Interstellar Alliance in time for the last episode 'Sleeping in Light'.
                    Personally I don't think the Shadow war would have been more than 1-2 episodes longer at the most, what else was their to cover? Maybe an episode focusing on the choas the war was causing(say with some character traped on a planet the Shadows were attacking with their planet killer) but I can't think of much else.

                    I didnt actually find much of season 4 to be rushed personally, I'd have liked the formation of the allience to be less clear cut and the Minbari civil war to have lasted longer but everything else got the time it needed IMHO. I think atonement would have been better in season 5 aswell since it gave the impression thing on Minbar declined much more quickly(otherwise wouldnt Delenn have seen/heard about them?) rather than slowly following the councils disbanding.
                    Who are you?
                    What do you want?
                    What is the average inflight speed of an unladened swallow?

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                    • #11
                      I believe "Into the Fire" was meant to be a two-parter, which would lengthen the Shadow War a bit, but I'd see the Earth Civil war and the Minbari Civil War and the other threads developing more slowly. I think we'd have seen more episodes like "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" which establish a mood more than develop the plot.

                      And that there'd have been at least one episode between the wars, instead of just jumping righ into "the Illusion of Truth"

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                      • #12
                        Interesting thoughts.....it was done extremely well as it was, but it always makes season 5 a little bit harder to gear up for as most of the major storylines get resolved by the end of season 4.
                        Peace, Love, & Recycle

                        -Synbios1978

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think there's an important bit from jms about this whole Season 4-5 discussion that hasn't been really cited or added to the mix, so I'll take the liberty of doing so.

                          First thing I did was to flip out the stand-alones, which
                          traditionally have taken up the first 6 or so episodes of each season;
                          between two years, that's 12 episodes, over half a season right there.
                          Then you would usually get a fair number of additional stand-alones
                          scattered across the course of the season. So figure another 3-4 per
                          season, say 8, that's 20 out of 44. So now you're left with basically
                          24 episodes to fill out the main arc of the story.

                          Now, that arc is very intensive, and has three primary threads: the
                          resolution of the Shadow war, the situation regarding Earth, and a
                          series of smaller sub-threads that feed off those main threads. But if
                          you charge right from one to the other, it's going to feel rushed,
                          you're going to need some breathing room between major movements,
                          particularly after the shadow war. Not so much stand-alones as episodes
                          that let you begin to rearrange your pieces for the next major
                          movement. So now you're back up to about 27.

                          Okay, so *now* what do you do? The solution to that came in several
                          unassociated pieces.

                          First came the word of the two B5 TV movies for TNT, which were
                          envisioned as taking place within the arc of our main story. Suddenly
                          I had 4 hours into which I could slide some of this material. One
                          sub-thread I'd been planning on was a 3-episode arc that would look at
                          how the Earth/Minbari War started, and Delenn's situation at the start
                          of the war, joining the Council, that sort of thing. Now I was able to
                          split that out. So in the series I can, in an episode, get into
                          Delenn's role in the war and go into the background of how she got to
                          know Dukhat, how she got into the Grey Council, and so on...all the
                          stuff you'd need to see prior to the war. Then the two hours covering
                          the rest, the progress of the war itself, could be covered in the
                          two-hour movie.

                          Now, again, having the second 2-hour movie lets me slide that piece of
                          story into that category and cover nearly all of that ground in doing
                          so. The remaining material could (and will, one hopes) be covered in
                          the actual sequel itself. (If the sequel never ends up going, the
                          material will be sufficiently stand-alone to still work on its own.)

                          Then, finally, you take the stand-alones you pulled out earlier (which
                          nobody would miss, not knowing what was in them), and the final couple
                          of sub-threads (not yet introduced or implied in the main series) and
                          slide them into the sequel series, CRUSADE.
                          Full discussion can be seen here

                          Rather interesting, since his stated goal with the Minbari War stuff is exactly what happened, wheras Crusade storylines didn't really effect Season 5 at all, but were in the last tv movie.

                          I think the end result though is that we got a lot of the freebies and the b-story (Telepaths) dropped from Season 4 in the first portion of Season 5 pretty predominantly. But I think, if it's not apparent from his above break-down of what he did to the arc in the above post, I'd say that ultimately the Earth Civil War probably would have only covered the first four episodes of Season 5. Not nearly as much as some people suggest sometimes.

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