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  • #46
    Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
    Joe: How did you feel about Joe Straczynski suggesting
    you'd stolen his idea for Babylon 5?
    One issue there Joe...jms never suggested Piller stole his idea. He even said that Berman and Piller probably had no idea what Babylon 5 was. What he suggested was that other studio executives were steering Piller's development in certain directions to co-opt Babylon 5.

    jms:

    And just to be clear, so the sarcasm doesn't get in the way: I have never, *ever* felt, or believed, or thought, that Berman or Pillar EVER saw or knew about the B5 information. Had anyone suggested anything of a less than straightforward nature, they would have refused; of that I have no doubt. No sarcasm, that's what I think.
    Were Pillar and Berman aware of B5 at any time? No. Of that I am also confident. The only question in my mind is to what degree did the development people steer them? One scenario is that they did not steer them at ALL...but knowing of B5, and knowing how swell it would be if they could co-opt B5, if Pillar and Berman came up with a space station on their own, they would likely say nothing, even though they might be viewed as being under a moral obligation to say something. Another scenario is that they gave direction to the creative folks without telling them the origin of that direction.
    Back to the Piller quotes.

    Michael: The irony is, when we got the go-ahead to do Deep Space Nine, Straczynski's wife was working for me as an intern. I walked in, and we were talking about something,
    Say what? Kathryn Drennan worked with Piller as an intern??!?!?!

    [Michael]: Now that the situation is reverse, he can know how it feels to be doing something that is along the same lines as what somebody else is doing
    Jeremiah was based on a story that already existed wasn't it?
    JoeD80
    Confirmed User
    Last edited by JoeD80; 05-05-2008, 04:33 PM.

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    • #47
      Just to be completely fair and not cause any conflict where none should exist, while the quoted material I have in my files is completely accurate in terms of answers, sometimes I have a habit of putting down shorter questions in my notes, since I know that nobody but myself will read them. I went back and listened to the original, and the way the question appeared in my book was, 'How did you feel about suggestions by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski that the concept behind Deep Space Nine may have been taken from ideas he'd developed for the show?' As I said, I don't want to re-fuel any fires, and while I thought it was Piller's answer that was important, I realized I'd better re-check the question as well. The last think I want is a JMS versus Piller argument, especially when Piller is no longer around, so thanks for pointing that out, JoeD.

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      • #48
        That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying that. I don't want a Piller vs. jms argument either, especially since I liked a lot of things they both did (I was a big "Probe" fan back in the day!)

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        • #49
          I thought the first season of Dead Zone was very good as well. I think it lost a lot of steam later on, but that first batch of episodes still holds up quite well.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Triple F View Post
            It doesnÆt take away from his impressive creative abilities, the imagination, flexibility and commitment to get the morality tale out. But it does show that statements like he had a detailed story 1,000 years on either side of the 5 year arc (something mentioned on the dvd features) could be viewed (along with other things) as more mythos building than fact. Again no bad thing û donÆt see anything wrong with it û good advertising, but only as long as no one, including jms, starts really believing the ôgreat makerö thing. As it was coined as a joke after all. On this issue IÆm in the, good story lets leave it at that, camp..
            Despite the sound of my posts, this is how I feel about it too.

            BABYLON 5 was excellent TV. I owned the VHS (we still have them actually, our son has them in his room), I have ALL the DVDs (and will upgrade to BluRay IF the appear in the format), I have the novels, the cds, the cards, dozens of autographs etc. I LOVED the show. The next best in quality is the much more recent BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - in my opinion.
            http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
            Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
            47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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            • #51
              Originally posted by glindros View Post
              I guess the definition of original comes into play, similar to Jan's thought about always.

              Is jms referring to the original pitch, the Series bible, or his index cards with the series layout?
              Much of the series pitch brief seems to track on season 1 and then the season 2 finale. I would guess that sometime during the latter half of Season 1 he started replanning and reordering things and crystallized those ideas when he decided to swap Sinclair out bring Sheridan in.

              About the Shadows - in the brief he says they are not revealed physically until Season 4. This is a lot later than when we first saw them. I think Sheridan first saw them during In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum, while I can't remember how much of them we saw in the room with Morden during Chrysalis.

              It is too bad we didn't also get the index cards as well

              Neil

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              • #52
                Originally posted by nottenst View Post
                It is too bad we didn't also get the index cards as well

                Neil
                jms has to save something for the Deluxe Edition
                What a wonderful world you live in. -
                Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by nottenst View Post
                  Much of the series pitch brief seems to track on season 1 and then the season 2 finale. I would guess that sometime during the latter half of Season 1 he started replanning and reordering things and crystallized those ideas when he decided to swap Sinclair out bring Sheridan in.
                  I found it interesting that even with changes a lot of the outline matched -- the Minbari didn't like the idea of Sinclair's DNA in their bloodline in the outline and that idea was still used in Season 4! Even the Babylon 4 thing -- the station is used in a great war against the Shadows -- was used for the same thing even though it moved from the present to the past. Londo being controlled by a keeper. The Narns becoming the closest allys to the humans. Garibaldi resigning as Security Chief (although in the outline he gets his job back -- I guess since Jeff Conaway joined the cast later he got to have some fun instead). The Warrior Caste attempting to take over the Grey Council (although I like what happened in the show better; Neroon was a great character)

                  Interestingly on the Valen thing, jms did once say he thought of it after season 1 had been progressing:

                  All I can say is that the deeper we got into the series, and the more I *saw*
                  the dynamics of the characters, the more I kept looking back and forth, from
                  the Minbari to Sinclair, Sinclair to Minbari, and thinking...hmmm...y'know
                  what'd be *real* neat...?

                  Which is all I can say on that for now...except to add that in any novel,
                  there's always some surprises that the author didn't plan for, and the key is
                  to be open to that.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by nottenst View Post
                    About the Shadows - in the brief he says they are not revealed physically until Season 4. This is a lot later than when we first saw them. I
                    I think thatÆs a good example of why things can change and develop from point A to B. As well as a good example of that open mindedness jms was referring to

                    More importantly, with respect to this conversation, it also demonstrates there's usually good reasons why these strange apparent anomalies in time lines and initial plans take place. i.e the creation process is very dynamic and fluidic and can often be influenced by things that jump out at the writer from the left field.

                    So holding him to something he said at the start (without knowing every single fact of the matter) is really an interesting exercise in speculation but who would have guessed that (part of) the reason for the early appearance of the Shadows was this (from Ron Thornton). Though I think he did mention it in one reply to someone.


                    Joes original idea was to give the aliens a more human shape and called them Shadowmen. We debated on making them VERY alien. So John Teska and I came up with the bug concept and showed Joe. He liked it and that became the Shadows. When I saw the Starship Troopers bug I panicked and asked Joe to write them into an earlier episode. (He didnÆt intend to show them till later). But I didnÆt want everyone to think we ripped off Troopers as the design predated them by a huge margin.

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                    • #55
                      I think that the people complaining about Joe's statements about the series having been completely planned don't quite understand the way a writer works. (I'm not saying this to offend!)

                      There are several aspects to this:

                      a) The process is enormously flexible - and yet, even after profound changes, you may still be telling the same story. To someone just looking at two outlines, this may appear to be a strange statement, but

                      b) you generally don't put everything into an outline. Especially not one for a studio or a publisher. Hell, a lot of the time you don't put it into outlines you write for yourself. Outlines are mostly a structural help. A lot of the "good stuff" and, perhaps more importantly, the "deep stuff" remains in your head. In part because writing it out often takes away the magic. It needs to be written as a story, not as notes for a story.

                      c) As Joe said, there were always trapdoors and alternative plans. When one of these is used, it's not a "failure." It's just how story-writing is done. Good plans are rarely linear.

                      d) When world-building, as a writer, your priority is still the story. If you come up with something really brilliant, you go back and put it into the world, unless it's already been established as nonexistent via publication or airing - that is if you're the kind of writer who doesn't want to contradict himself. (If you're a Lost writer, you just do it.) Tolkien did it, and I sure would like to see someone accuse Tolkien of not having built a detailed background for his tales.

                      What we're seeing is actually just the normal process of writing, with the addition of the writer talking about the story while it's still happening. There's a reason writers don't do that much.
                      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                        I think that the people complaining about Joe's statements about the series having been completely planned don't quite understand the way a writer works. (I'm not saying this to offend!)

                        There are several aspects to this:

                        a) The process is enormously flexible - and yet, even after profound changes, you may still be telling the same story.
                        <snippage>
                        What we're seeing is actually just the normal process of writing, with the addition of the writer talking about the story while it's still happening. There's a reason writers don't do that much.
                        Nicely said. JMS once said:
                        Similarly, there are story changes that come up at me by surprise, which make total sense, which result in actor changes. As a writer, you have to be flexible enough to recognize a stronger, better path when it presents
                        itself; to be so rigidly locked into your prior structure eliminates
                        spontaneity and the chance to explore new routes.
                        <snip>
                        No outline survives contact with the
                        enemy. It's a *guideline* that keeps you on track when you waver, and
                        serves as base camp, providing security when it strikes you to go off and
                        explore a path you hadn't noticed before.
                        We knew of some of the changes along the way such as the change in Commanders and when it became Vir who killed Cartagia but changing an 8 page outline into 110 episodes required a whole lot of writer's decisions along the way.

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

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