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B5 - original storyline

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  • B5 - original storyline

    I'm just wondering, and it may be covered in the script books, but does anyone know what:

    a - the original five year plot was which contained Sinclair, Takashima, Dr. Kyle etc (basically, the cast from the pilot)?

    b - what the plan was for season's four and five had they both been given a greenlight prior to season four beginning?

    I love B5, it still holds a special place in my heart and always will (my friends are sick of me trying to get them to watch it!) but I'm really curious how things changed from the original plan.
    I'm a pessimist: that way you're never disappointed but frequently, pleasantly surprised

  • #2
    The arc memo that was in volume 15 of the script books was a narrative only a little over seven (single spaced) pages long. While there are some items that were spelled out in detail, most of it was in the broad strokes. It was later, on cards that broke out episodes that JMS worked out the details.

    As for the seasons four and five, the shadow war might have gone another episode or so, some of the stand-alones would have been in four and that season would have ended with Sheridan's capture. The telepaths probably would have started arriving quietly toward the end of four and in five, Ivanova would have seen Byron's superficial resembance to Marcus and gotten into a relationship with him. Lyta would still have been a devoted follower but not involved with him romantically.

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

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    • #3
      Thanks Jan. You're like an oracle, do you sit on a mountain top somewhere

      Also, thanks for the link to the lottery for the script books, but unfortunately its out of my price range at present. I've my fingers crossed for Saturday's lottery though!!

      Also, are there any websites out there where you can post B5 short stories? I don't want to step on any toes if its frowned upon, or if this is something you don't want posted, but I know lots of other shows have fans posting stories, and being a writer I'd love to write about characters from this universe.
      I'm a pessimist: that way you're never disappointed but frequently, pleasantly surprised

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      • #4
        I don’t know if this is the sort of thing you were looking for, and I’m not sure where in the grand scheme of things (time wise) that this memo was created. I'm guessing it's a differnt memo from the one Jan mentioned.

        Here's a couple of links to a two part review of the thing jms released with the 15th script book. B4 went forward in time, Sinclair married Dellen, B5 was destroyed by the Minbari warrior caste, Vorlons all but wiped out, Shadows ran the galaxy behind the scenes, no vallen . . . . . . A second 5 year story/series where Sinclair, Dellen and their (strange) kid fight back, etc.

        Quite different in places.

        Part 1
        http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...tion-babylon-5

        Part 2
        http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&ct=clnk&gl=uk

        [edit]
        Had to point to googles cached version of the second part. For some reason the address shows up as not found when linked directly from the forum!?
        Last edited by Triple F; 01-13-2011, 12:41 PM.

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        • #5
          Yeah to a degree, thanks for that, much appreciated. I've had a quick flick through and from what I've seen and what you've said it seems radically different.

          I always knew that with the cast changes there would have been some plot changes and I've always wondered what it would have looked like. Think I'll print those links off and have a good read through them.

          Thanks again
          I'm a pessimist: that way you're never disappointed but frequently, pleasantly surprised

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Triple F View Post
            I donÆt know if this is the sort of thing you were looking for, and IÆm not sure where in the grand scheme of things (time wise) that this memo was created. I'm guessing it's a differnt memo from the one Jan mentioned.
            Yeah it is. Jan was talking about what the plan for season 4 and 5 would have looked like had JMS been told at the end of season 3 that he was getting the final two seasons, rather than being told season 4 was going to be the last.

            You are quoting the original(?) plan from before the show was bought by WB.
            The Optimist: The glass is half full
            The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
            The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
              You are quoting the original(?) plan from before the show was bought by WB.
              No, that was the early season 1/pilot plot, still around when Michael O'Hare was first cast.

              However, if you read the broad plot summary written by JMS when he had just conceived the show, you'll notice that it's a pretty good summary of both plot structures, and even anticipates Sheridan.

              Also remember that the show was conceived, from the beginning, with trap doors for all the characters, i.e. alternative ways the show could go depending on actors leaving, divine revelation, etc. Some of these were probably quite radical.

              Personally, I feel that JMS took his original plan and sped it up and restructured it, giving it a much better pace. Had he gone with his original outline, the show would have had the rhythm of most TV of that time (awful), whereas ultimately the show is much tighter.
              Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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              • #8
                Originally posted by I, Zathras View Post
                b - what the plan was for season's four and five had they both been given a greenlight prior to season four beginning?
                Well as early as season two he said the Shadow war wouldn't last more than three seasons; beyond that I think the civil war probably would have lasted into season five, and we would have been introduced to the telepath colony in season four; also Ivanova would have still been in the show if they had received the go early enough.

                Originally posted by I, Zathras View Post
                I love B5, it still holds a special place in my heart and always will (my friends are sick of me trying to get them to watch it!) but I'm really curious how things changed from the original plan.
                One of the things to understand about Joe's writing process is that his plan is to not stick to the plan. As he describes it, he likes to be surprised.

                Although this goes over the major points, it also fills in some spots that weren't actually spelled out, such as how many episodes in to a particular season something might take place (never mentioned; only which season major events take place was mentioned), and other stuff seems to come from nowhere that I have ever read (there is no mention of G'Kar ever leaving the show for example, there is no mention of Vorlons being extinct; what is described is one ship "hundreds of miles long, containing a large segment of their population ... hundreds of thousands", and there is no mention of the Shadows as "behind-the-scenes rulers of the galaxy"). In fact, the list of who is after Sinclair at the end of five years is Earth, Minbari warrior caste, Londo and the Centauri, and the Vorlons. The one we do know is that Londo is controlled by the Shadows by the keeper, but there isn't mention of Shadows being on any of the other worlds.
                Last edited by JoeD80; 01-13-2011, 09:07 PM.

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                • #9
                  Also, even with the best of plans, some ideas just turn out to be silly. The same happens when you're writing a novel - you may have had a great outline, but maybe as you write the actual story, you realize that that idea in Chapter 54 with the Vorlon and the methane toilet wasn't all that brilliant...
                  Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                  • #10
                    I know what you mean Jonas. I've been writing for a few years and just recently I came up with what I thought was a great idea, but then when I tried to put it into the story I thought it would work with, it just wouldn't fit. You have to know what to leave out or what to add in, and JMS got it right with B5
                    I'm a pessimist: that way you're never disappointed but frequently, pleasantly surprised

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                    • #11
                      In Neil Gaiman's intro to JMS' Rising Stars comic, he summarised his own writing method thus ...

                      "... knows how it begins, how it ends, and some (but not all) of what happens in the middle"

                      From everything I have read about B5, I would guess that JMS works to that kind of method too. He knows where his story starts and where he wishes it to end but allows it to take its own shape along the way. Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't change the end at some point if you feel the need to ...

                      The Optimist: The glass is half full
                      The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                      The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

                      Comment

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