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  • Season 4/5 order

    If Joe has addressed this, I apologise, but I'm fairly new here, so please don't flame me.

    I just got through all five seasons on dvd, and listened to all the commentaries. My question is, how would season four and five have been sequenced differntly if PTN hadn't folded and he had been allowed to do the series as originally imagined? He said the fourth would have ended with "Intersections in Real Time," but how much of the fifth would be devoted to the Earth war? And how much to the fall of Centauri Prime? Would the TeeP colony have still popped up on B5? How would Ivanova been involved?
    I also assume Londo and G'kar friendship would have been longer in the coming(it struck me odd how one episode G'kar hesitantly buys Londo a drink, and the next they were chummy), but maybe I'm wrong.

    Like I said, if this has already been addressed, I apologize.

  • #2
    Paraphrasing various JMS posts here:

    If S5 were a lock from the start:

    Every TV season a certain percentage of viewers are sampling shows that are new or at least new to them, deciding what they're going to watch on a given night and time. So JMS always tried to start each season off a little "slower" with a couple of mostly stand-alone stories and shows that could explain some backstory in small doses so that new viewers could get up to speed without being overwhelmed. (This is exactly how S1, S2, S3 and S5 begin. S4 is really the only exception)

    So, S4 would have stretched the mystery of Sheridan a bit more, given us one or two "calm before the storm" episodes showing the effect of the war and the search for the First Ones, and then plunged us into the climax of the Shadow War. JMS original pencilled "Into the Fire" in as a two-parter on the schedule, but he says he may have changed his mind when he sat down to write it, since it mostly would have been the same story padded out with another big battle or two. Then the focus would have shifted to the brewing Earth and Minbar Civil Wars, concluding with Sheridan's interrogation in "Realtime" as the S4 cliff-hanger.

    The major difference in this alternate universe is that this mysterious guy named Byron would turn up on B5 and start quietly establishing his colony of telepaths on the station without anyone quite noticing during the last five or six episodes of the season. We'd see the teeps in the background and they'd be involved in "B" and "C" stories, and thus become a much more oranic part of the story - and be established while the station was still an independent entity, before EarthGov took over again and re-established Psi Corp's authority over Human teeps there.

    Again, things would have ramped up a little slower at the start of S5, going into the final three or four concluding Earth Civil War stories, to let newbies catch up with the universe. Ivanova would still have been mortally injured, and Marcus would have died saving her. Ivanova would have taken command of B5 on Sheridan's recommendation, but their relationship would have changed. With Clark gone Ivanova would be a symbol of an EarthForce healing the wounds of the Civil War. As Earth's representative, she'd find herself at odds with President Sheridan over some issues - a new and uncomforable position. She'd especially be conflicted about the Teep Colony, and want its memebers to leave the station.

    Because Byron's teeps are rogues, Capt. Ivanova would legally be required to report them to Psi Corps - regardless of her personal feelings. As the responsible commander Ivanova would not lightly ignore the law. Sheridan's decision not only to keep the colony going on B5 but to use the teeps as undercover agents would not only put her in an impossible position professionally, it would put the station and its mission at risk. Add to this her attraction to Byron himself, whose cause she admires and who - at least superficially - reminds her of Marcus. This emotional confusion would lead her into a brief affair with Byron - but she'd soon realize that Marcus really was her last chance at true love. (I wonder if Byron would have used her and betrayed her, as Talia 2.0 had) Certainly Ivanova's latent telepathy would have come center stage and a thread opened in S1 finally pay off.

    In the end, when the teeps turn to blackmail and hostage taking, it would be Ivanova who would have to call in Bester and the Corps to end the crisis. (Imagine the irony.) Byron's fate and their brief, doomed love affair certainly put the wounded, bitter Ivanova of "SiL" into perspective.

    Lyta would have been somewhat starstruck by Byron, and probably more than a little in love with him, but he would have focused on Ivanova until it was too late, either out of cynical self-interest or genuine affection. Unrequited love is theme of B5 Still that would have still put Lyta in the ideal position to become his heir and successor, and to carry on his work.

    That's mostly it. As JMS said when he realized early on that S4 was probably going to be it he could look at his S4 and S5 outlines, which comprised 44 episodes. Drop 5 standalone episodes from each and you've got 34. Do "Into the Fire" in one show, you've got 33. Shift all the Teep material into S5 and you lose the equivalent of 6 more. Now you're down to 27. Do the Minbari Civil War in fewer episodes, drop some "C" and "B" stories and other subplots, and you find that you can end the major story threads and still get to "SiL" without doing violence to the story if you have to end in S4, because nobody will miss the stuff you don't introduce. OTOH, if you do get an S5, you can start fresh telling the story of the first year of the Alliance, Londo's fall and setting up the Teleapath War story that he hoped might follow in one way or another S5.

    In the event the biggest problem he had was Claudia Christian's almost literally last minute decision not to return for S5. He simply didn't have time to totally restructure his S5 outline, not given that he was already on deadline for the first scripts and the start of pre-production as soon as the cast all returned from the U.K. (where they were attending a convention.) He had to come up with a new commander, introduce her, change the Lyta-Byron dynamic and blend it with the growing Centauri story. (Which is there from the beginning. For much of what most people remember as "the Teep arc" the Teep story is actually the "B" story in episodes that primarily focus on other issues, and the whole thing only runs 8 episodes total.) That weakend that section, as did the simple absence of the latent teep Ivanova. Four years of history was supposed to pay off in that part of the season, and the main character wasn't there. No wonder it had some of the dramatic life sucked out of it. Under the circumstances, I'm surprised the whole thing is as good as it is.

    Regards,

    Joe
    Last edited by Joseph DeMartino; 06-10-2004, 05:39 PM.
    Joseph DeMartino
    Sigh Corps
    Pat Tallman Division

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    • #3
      Marcus was not supposed to die saving Ivanova originally. He was part of the original story treatment for Crusade.
      http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-16999

      I think that Jason Carter wanted to leave the series too, but I can't find a supporting quote.

      For once I get to correct Joseph DeMartino in a detail.

      In my own mind I envisioned Ivanova's relationship to Byron a bit differently. I would have thought that she would have been the one supporting the establishment of the Teep colony due to her own experience (her mother's suicide) and hatred for the Psi Corps. I think that instead of Lochley against and Sheridan in favor we would have had Ivanova convincing Sheridan of allowing the colony... and that would have made the consequences even more tragic for her.

      But for the most part I think it's a great analysis.
      (Seriously, Joe, with all the details you know and remember I am in awe.)

      I suspect that we remember the "teep arc" that way because even if it was B stories it was the one arc clearly developing, and the A stories seemed standalone. I haven't watched recently so I may be wrong.
      Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
      James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Capt.Montoya

        I think that Jason Carter wanted to leave the series too, but I can't find a supporting quote.
        Are you kidding?!? You've most certainly never met the man, because one thing he's quite bitter about is that he *was* killed off and wasn't on the show for 3 seasons. Hell to this day I'd say he's up there with one of the people who just *really* *really* loved working on that show.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
          Marcus was not supposed to die saving Ivanova originally. He was part of the original story treatment for Crusade.
          http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-16999
          I read this differently. Since Marcus died long before CC's departre was known, the "monkey wrench" must have been that she wasn't there to revive Marcus. That also makes the JMS "if there is a Season 5, Jason, Marcus will be alive" remark make sense.

          So Jason Carter was the guy who really got shafted by the inability of CC and WB/BP to communicate. It is a pity, really. Someone like him was badly needed on Crusade.
          I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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          • #6
            Well, after reading this, all I have to say is

            CRAP!!!!!


            Here's hoping JMS has written his resuscitation into TMOS
            "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NotKosh
              Well, after reading this, all I have to say is
              CRAP!!!!!
              Here's hoping JMS has written his resuscitation into TMOS
              Nope. The canon version has already been written. See if you can find a copy of Space, Time and the Incurable Romantic. Failing that, look for "Marcus, dead or frozen" on the DVDs. Cant' remember if it's 4th or 5th.

              Nope, I'm not gonna be the one to spoil it!

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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jan
                Nope. The canon version has already been written. See if you can find a copy of Space, Time and the Incurable Romantic. Failing that, look for "Marcus, dead or frozen" on the DVDs. Cant' remember if it's 4th or 5th.

                Nope, I'm not gonna be the one to spoil it!

                Jan
                I am. S P O I L E R

                S

                P

                O

                I

                L

                E

                R

                JMS has set up his own version of Lost in Space. An interesting possible spin off.
                Andrew Swallow

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan
                  Nope. The canon version has already been written. See if you can find a copy of Space, Time and the Incurable Romantic. Failing that, look for "Marcus, dead or frozen" on the DVDs. Cant' remember if it's 4th or 5th.

                  Nope, I'm not gonna be the one to spoil it!

                  Jan
                  Jan, you assume Marcus can only be frozen once!

                  Also, the JMS comments on the DVD contradict what was said in the story, so the canon appears to be in flux (and we are back to an earlier thread of mine). Surely you cannot doubt that JMS planned both Marcus's sacrifice in Endgame (aired October 13, 1997) and his resuscitation in time to appear in the Crusade treatment dated 6/16/98?
                  I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                  • #10
                    Why do you guys make things so complicated?

                    JMS has stated that episodes 418-421 would become episodes 501-503. Season 4 would have ended with Sheridan's capture as the cliffhanger. That's it. According to JMS' message on this subject, there was very little changed.



                    (Aside: I don't understand why the fans ignore JMS' comments. If he says little was changed, then I believe him. But for some reason many fans refuse to accept that.)

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                    • #11
                      RCM:

                      If you want to argue that JMS's words contradict what I (for one) am saying, just post those words. I don't think they exist. I think JMS's posts clearly imply that the original plan was to have Marcus be revived in Season 5.
                      I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had no idea that Jason Carter felt shortchanged, and I missed JMS comment on Marcus revival.

                        I think that his sacrifice would have been meaningless had he been revived easily so I'm left wondering if it would have worked.

                        But having Marcus come back would have interfered with Ivanova's intended relationship with Byron, from that I still doubt he'd be revived, or maybe if it had happened (very) late in season 5....

                        I still think that his sacrifice works much better with him staying dead/frozen for a long time.
                        Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                        James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
                          I had no idea that Jason Carter felt shortchanged, and I missed JMS comment on Marcus revival.

                          I think that his sacrifice would have been meaningless had he been revived easily so I'm left wondering if it would have worked.

                          But having Marcus come back would have interfered with Ivanova's intended relationship with Byron, from that I still doubt he'd be revived, or maybe if it had happened (very) late in season 5....

                          I still think that his sacrifice works much better with him staying dead/frozen for a long time.
                          Agree with all of this, but again I point out the Crusade treatment dated 6/16/98 (i.e. after Endgame) that had Marcus as one of the main charactors in Crusade. Clearly, something had to happen in Season 5 to bring him back for Crusade, and this knowledge, coupled with JMS's statement to Carter that "if there is a Season 5, you were just frozen," and knowing that the departure of CC was the motivator to changes in Season 5, we can infer that Ivanova was important to the revival story, which was subsequently dropped.

                          I just cannot come up with another plausable rationale for the appearance of an unfrozen Marcus in the Crusade treatment and the subsequent abandonment of that idea.
                          I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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