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  • JMS interview

    JMS posted this link on Facebook. It's a good, long interview and it does go into some of what he'd planned for rebooting Babylon 5 and how he'd given thought to using some of the original actors.

    http://www.geekplanetonline.com/host...ent=FeedBurner

    It's about two hours long. I've only listened to the interview part but I do want to listen to the podcast about Chrysalis, too.

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

  • #2
    ***BAD LANGUAGE Warning***

    I should point out that this podcast contains two fools swearing relentlessly.

    As a fellow Briton...what a pair of idiots! Totally living up to all the negative stereotypes that SF fans have been trying to live down for centuries.
    http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
    Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
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    • #3
      I am not loving the hosts, but they were at least respectable when JMS talked. Liked the idea of President Sheridan coming back and that Babylon Prime is pretty much dead.

      Comment


      • #4
        I listened to most of this interview at work today and I just re-listened to the important part again.

        Regarding the recent B5 deal that fell through, JMS said:
        • The distribution venue is what fell apart in the 11th hour to the smallest of issues. It doesn't sound like a lack of wanting B5. The other three shows included in the distribution method got hit along with B5. Had it not fallen through B5 would have gotten a big ad campaign and big launch.
        • It would have been a reboot.
        • ..."Kind of starting over but in a different way,...as Battlestar was a reboot."
        • It would have been fun to start the story with a real budget.
        • Would have brought back as much original cast as possible -- some playing the same characters; some playing different roles.
        • He considered having Mira Furlan playing a human character.
        • He said "Sheridan" would have made a great President of the *Earth* Alliance. He did say "Sheridan," not Bruce Boxleitner, but he also said, "He would have been great in that role." So, I think he probably just meant Bruce acting in the other role, not the character Sheridan having a different profession.
        • He thought about what it would be like to make the show today knowing what he knows now, avoiding where he failed or where things fell apart the first time around, and what he could do with advances in CG, and he said it would have been "pretty freakin' cool."


        That was it on the subject (at least in what I've listened to so far). Instead of digging deeper, the interviewers acted depressed over the deal falling through and then asked a question about the possibility of Babylon Prime. JMS said that wasn't really a possibility.

        Okay, here are the questions that have my head spinning:
        • If he was willing to re-cast such pivotal roles as Sheridan & Delenn (under the assumption that Bruce & Mira could potentially play different roles, ala Richard Hatch who was Apollo in BSG1.0 playing recurring character Zarek in BSG2.0), which half of the characters could have still been played by the same actors? I would think that could get confusing or distracting. I'd rather it be all or nothing?
        • If Bruce could play an EA president, which one? Is he suggesting Clark -- that Bruce could be playing the villain? Or, would he be Santiago? If Santiago, would he still get assassinated? Or, would there be an entirely new president in this alternate timeline?
        • Would Bruce's president have been a recurring character, or would the EA president have a more central role the 2nd time around? With a bigger budget, could we have gotten more scenes set on Earth, even if indoor places like the EA Senate or the president's office?
        • The 250,000 ton, spinning, metal elephant in the room: Would there still be a G'Kar?
        • Would there still be both a Sinclair and a Sheridan? If so, is it a safe assumption Sheridan would be a central or at least recurring character from the beginning and that maybe Sinclair would still be a major character even after leaving B5?
        • Would JMS even bother with a Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima, Lyta Alexander, and Dr. Kyle, or would he jump straight to Ivanova, Talia Winters, and Franklin? Or, would we still get both of each pair? Didn't JMS originally intend to have Ivanova no matter what, but she would have started off as a junior officer to Takashima and would have eventually taken over?
        • How would JMS handle things like the Deathwalker twist, Garibaldi getting shot, the Londo/Refa/Morden dynamic, the Markab tragedy, the Vorlon reveal, Lady Morella's prophecy, the Messages/Point/Dreams trilogy, Babylon 4, the Valen reveal, Anna Sheridan, and the true motivation of the Shadows & Vorlons (among many other things)? Unless he changed the story *a lot*, wouldn't we see half of the things coming this time around? Or, would the uniqueness of this other show come from the new spin on things rather than shock value that we got the first time around?


        I could probably come up with a billion more questions (and might do so; give me time).

        The idea of a reboot makes me nervous for the reasons mentioned above. But, considering the time that has gone by, the number of original cast members that have passed away, the growth JMS has had as a writer & producer, the difference that a bigger budget & advancements in CG could make, and the unfortunate obscurity B5 has suffered in the interim, I can't help but wonder if a reboot is just as good of an idea, if not better, than a continuation.

        A reboot is definitely the weirder option -- the option that would have me the most nervous & worried. But, it's also the bolder, more intriguing option, and JMS doesn't do things halfway.

        Bottom line: I'm so starved for more Babylon 5, that as long as JMS is in charge, and he knows what he's doing, I'll take more B5 any way he chooses to give it to me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jan View Post
          JMS posted this link on Facebook. It's a good, long interview and it does go into some of what he'd planned for rebooting Babylon 5 and how he'd given thought to using some of the original actors.

          http://www.geekplanetonline.com/host...ent=FeedBurner

          It's about two hours long. I've only listened to the interview part but I do want to listen to the podcast about Chrysalis, too.

          Jan
          To hear what JMS means by a reboot in this case, pay particular attention to the 2:26:56 to 2:27:58 part of the podcast. I didn't like what I heard there.
          Mac Breck (KoshN)
          ------------------
          Warner Brothers is Lucy.
          JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
          Babylon 5 is the football.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ninja_Squirrel View Post
            The idea of a reboot makes me nervous for the reasons mentioned above. But, considering the time that has gone by, the number of original cast members that have passed away, the growth JMS has had as a writer & producer, the difference that a bigger budget & advancements in CG could make, and the unfortunate obscurity B5 has suffered in the interim, I can't help but wonder if a reboot is just as good of an idea, if not better, than a continuation.

            A reboot is definitely the weirder option -- the option that would have me the most nervous & worried. But, it's also the bolder, more intriguing option, and JMS doesn't do things halfway.

            Bottom line: I'm so starved for more Babylon 5, that as long as JMS is in charge, and he knows what he's doing, I'll take more B5 any way he chooses to give it to me.
            I agree. I was expecting more of a continuation, but JMS would't be willing to do a reboot if he didn't think it would be even better than the original. So if he wants to do it, I trust him 100%.

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            • #7
              I didn't mind the BSG reboot since I wasn't much of a fan of the original series. I was an infant when it originally aired and what I saw when I got older didn't interest me. It did take a while for me to watch BSG since that didn't hook me. I did give it another chance and didn't get as annoyed with the emphasis placed on the show's religion, and enjoyed the ride.

              A B5 reboot, though, I just can't watch.
              RIP Coach Larry Finch
              Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
              Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

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              • #8
                I very much like the BSG reboot, but then I never really cared for the original, even back in the 80s, and I'm a big fan of dramas like The Shield, The Wire and Sopranos, so BSG did really well for me. Regarding the rebooted Star Trek, well, I'm no fan of that one, it was entertaining in brain-switched-off-mode, but nothing more for me - but I see why it did well financially, and it might have made it easier for JMS to sell something B5-related.

                With the topic B5&reboot, it's different, of course. It'll be hard to watch knowing the original for such a long time, but it could also be very much fun, seeing everything from a new perspective, and I'm sure JMS would put many elements into new contexts to suprise even the "old" fans, I very much doubt he'd just tell the same story with minor changes. But into contrast to the new Trek, I hope (and am relatively certain) that he'll go again for a more complex and character driven way for B5 2.0, just the way we like it. So, all in all I would be open for it, I'm very much interested to know what JMS would have in mind, so I hope the new talks will go somewhere.

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                • #9
                  I'm sorry, but I don't think rebooting the show is a good idea. At all. Better leave it to rest. I don't want a B5 without Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs or Jeff Conaway, and I don't want a new B5 that will replace the old one in people's minds. Leave it be.

                  (If it's going to be a new story with new characters, why call it Babylon 5?)
                  Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                  • #10
                    I listened the interview and found it very informative and entertaining.
                    Like others here, I'm really scratching my head over this "reboot" issue.
                    When JMS compares a Babylon 5 reboot to Battlestar Galactica being a reboot of the original, to me this means a remake. I don't think there should be a remake of the original series. I mean JMS really worked hard on tying things so well together with regards to the Babylon 5 universe timeline that a remake would just screw the whole thing up.
                    Lets use the latest Star Trek film as an example. Eventhough that film was well done, they really screwed up the timeline in the Star Trek Universe when Vulcan was destroyed. This is like the entire Star Trek universe that we've known for decades in essence didn't happen.
                    I don't know, personally I think any new series or motion picture should be some kind of new story that is set in the B5 universe with obvious references to the already existing story/time line. Afterall that's exactly what JMS was doing with Crusade and Legend of the Rangers.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Truth66 View Post
                      I mean JMS really worked hard on tying things so well together with regards to the Babylon 5 universe timeline that a remake would just screw the whole thing up.
                      Lets use the latest Star Trek film as an example. Eventhough that film was well done, they really screwed up the timeline in the Star Trek Universe when Vulcan was destroyed. This is like the entire Star Trek universe that we've known for decades in essence didn't happen.


                      How would a remake screw the whole thing up? No one is going in and rewriting the episodes on your DVD's. They're still the same story. The new show would be a new story, not in any way connected to the original.

                      The Star Trek comparison doesn't work, since they used a time traveling Spock and Nero from the TNG era going back to the TOS era and changing history, creating a new timeline. I don't think JMS would have a character going back in time and changing history, it would just be the same starting point but likely going in different directions. A completely new universe, not in any way connected to the original or changing it.

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                      • #12
                        So why spend so much time in creating a universe and highlighting a 5 year slice of that universe's timeline, show some of the things that led up to that 5 year slice, show how that 5 year slice reverberates through the future of that universe, tell the fans that there's still more stories to tell in that universe, if one then says "y'know, I want a restart".

                        It's similar to when GRRM's "Song of Fire and Ice" is finished that he then says "I want to rewrite it".
                        RIP Coach Larry Finch
                        Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                        Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow View Post
                          So why spend so much time in creating a universe and highlighting a 5 year slice of that universe's timeline, show some of the things that led up to that 5 year slice, show how that 5 year slice reverberates through the future of that universe, tell the fans that there's still more stories to tell in that universe, if one then says "y'know, I want a restart".

                          It's similar to when GRRM's "Song of Fire and Ice" is finished that he then says "I want to rewrite it".
                          And why spend so much time in creating this universe, and then just let it die? It would still be the B5 universe we know. More adventures in it. The choice seems to be the reboot or nothing at all. If that is the case, I'll take the reboot. The B5 universe is too interesting for me to just let it die.

                          There are indeed more stories left to tell than just the 5 year story, and this might be the only way to do those as well.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by vakie View Post


                            How would a remake screw the whole thing up? No one is going in and rewriting the episodes on your DVD's. They're still the same story. The new show would be a new story, not in any way connected to the original.

                            The Star Trek comparison doesn't work, since they used a time traveling Spock and Nero from the TNG era going back to the TOS era and changing history, creating a new timeline. I don't think JMS would have a character going back in time and changing history, it would just be the same starting point but likely going in different directions. A completely new universe, not in any way connected to the original or changing it.
                            You're . then I am at your lack of grasping of the obvious.

                            We all know that JMS is not going to break into the homes of everyone that bought the VHS, the Laserdiscs (such as they were) and the DVDs and erase them all, simultaneously, across the globe.

                            Can you not understand, that what is meant is within the context of the story already as told by JMS. There is no point in doing it again, it's already been done.

                            And on a purely human level...

                            To 'go back' and redo the whole thing again makes the whole point of making to begin with essentially worthless, and really does negate all the effort, skill and labours of love committed to film that the struggle to keep B5 on the air, for a full run, represents.

                            It's like...oh we did the five years and it was OK...now we've got some real money, Let's do it again but this time, properly!

                            It would be like assembling all the cast, the camera crew, the grips, the builders, production design crew, both Foundation and Netter Digital FX teams, make-up teams, the people who swept the offices....everyone, and take them into large open field and telling them that you really appreciated all their effort and talent...

                            ...whilst simultaneously shitting on them all from a great height.

                            To say that it will have the same characters, and commence from the same starting point, but tell a new and unrelated story....

                            Well, that's not BABYLON 5, that's a whole other TV show based on a space station. To actually do that and still call it BABYLON 5 would be the the type of insult I have described.

                            To use JMS' own logic and idea (again paraphrasing slightly) that '...B5 was never meant to be a Deep Space Franchise...it was set so that we could get in, do five years, and then get out, if we could do that and get out clean, I would be happy'

                            So Joe, you really did it. And you now, confusingly, you seem to want to ddo teh thing you used to hate the most about formulaic TV shows like TREK...You're pressing the reset button. Well fine, I suppose...go and write your new 'space station series' but call it something else.
                            Last edited by DGTWoodward; 08-03-2011, 06:17 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DGTWoodward View Post
                              To 'go back' and redo the whole thing again makes the whole point of making to begin with essentially worthless, and really does negate all the effort, skill and labours of love committed to film that the struggle to keep B5 on the air, for a full run, represents.

                              It's like...oh we did the five years and it was OK...now we've got some real money, Let's do it again but this time, properly!

                              It would be like assembling all the cast, the camera crew, the grips, the builders, production design crew, both Foundation and Netter Digital FX teams, make-up teams, the people who swept the offices....everyone, and take them into large open field and telling them that you really appreciated all their effort and talent...

                              ...whilst simultaneously shitting on them all from a great height.
                              I agree completely with that view (but that won’t come as much of a surprise to some ; ).

                              But I also appreciate what the likes of Vakie is saying. Films, tv shows, books, hell, even things like paintings are reinvisioned – or re-booted.

                              Given the tendency of studios to try and play it safe, and the number of re-boots over recent years, perhaps this was a condition introduced by the Warner (or someone else in the decision making loop). I don’t know, but all things considered I have pop over to the other thread and vote no as well. Like all the votes it’s a personal thing.

                              B5 was truly ground breaking for many reasons, both in front and behind the camera. It was a product of it’s time and a level of commitment by a group of artists that will likely never be repeated on a mainstream television show – and is one reason why I suspect a new show wouldn’t be as good either. It also represents both the birth of pre-planned story arcs (in something other than daily soaps) and the extensive use of realistic CGI.

                              While it’s true a re-boot doesn’t erase the existing story from our DVD collections it will mean that in the future the orginal story (like the original pilot) gets pushed back to the point where one day things will be forgotten and history overwritten. Just look at the 1993 pilot movie entry over on the IMDB. Large chunks of the crew details are total nonsense, including two efx supervisors who didn’t join the show until season 4. Hell, Copeland (who did the original music, not Fanke) isn’t even named. . . . . . Personally, I feel that’s a bad thing, and a bad sign.

                              http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106336/fullcredits#cast
                              Last edited by Triple F; 08-03-2011, 07:16 AM.

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