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  • Have B5 fans . . . well, ever done anything!

    I know Amy managed to pull together a small group of folk to grab a prosthetic mask and donated it to a NY museum, which was pretty cool btw.

    But I was reading what fans of other show got up to - like Firefly fans and their letter writing campaigns, taking out an ad in variety, organising charity screenings (raising lots of cash) creating fan made documentaries, raised money to donate copies of the series to naval personnel . . . . . one of them even took a copy of the thing up to the International space station and itÆs now part of the media collection currently viewing up there. ; )

    I turned up pretty late to the fan scene, but searching around I canÆt see that B5 fans ever really did much other than speculate/discuss the show on forums (with the exception of Amy and the example above), and throw together the occasional CG animation sequence.

    IÆm obviously missing something (probably a lot of things) because that canÆt be right, or is it!?


    (Did notice the fledgling ôbabylon bucksö campaigne, which wasnÆt really needed as things turned out)

  • #2
    Depends on what you're looking for, I suppose.

    Were there letter writing campaigns back in the day? Sure were, every year. Thing is, the fans needed to write to their local stations, not to WB. Because if there weren't enough stations signing on, the show would be cancelled. So no, there weren't any campaigns where fans sent pencils or tabasco or other silly things to the network.

    How about the fund-raising for Rick Biggs' family that a whole lot of fans joined in on? Some sent money directly and others sent stuff to be auctioned off. Things came in from all over the world. Lori Biggs told me that the money went into a college fund for Rick's sons.

    A lot of fans pitch in to help Pat Tallman's 'Be a Santa' program every year and have been for 11 years.

    I know of at least one prison inmate who recieved a few script copies (with JMS' approval, of course) because those scripts spoke to the person he hoped to become.

    As for whether the 'B5 Bucks' and other letters regarding the feature film might have eventually done any good, we'll never know. But it can't really be discounted just because there's no movie.

    B5 was about the power of the individual so I think it's greatest legacy is probably going to be individual acts that nobody ever hears about.

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

    Comment


    • #3
      That's something I've been curious about also. There doesn't seem to be the same desire to get the show continued or brought back or whatever. After seeing how little effort there was after "the lost tales" I was quite disappointed that there wasn't any kind of collective attempt to continue the momentum and apathy won out… I'm sure it didn't spur on JMS anyway

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by valens_shadow View Post
        There doesn't seem to be the same desire to get the show continued or brought back or whatever.
        It's one of those things that doesn't seem to have any concensus among fans. Some are discouraged that Crusade was cancelled without even a chance at ratings, Rangers never went past the pilot, TMoS dead-ended and JMS pulled the plug on any more low-budget Lost Tales.

        But there was quite a bit of discussion when it came out that there was almost a reboot of the series earlier this year and everybody has their own opinion of what they want and don't want.

        After seeing how little effort there was after "the lost tales" I was quite disappointed that there wasn't any kind of collective attempt to continue the momentum and apathy won outà I'm sure it didn't spur on JMS anyway
        I'm not sure what you're talking about there. There were two things that were required for more Lost Tales - sales and a bigger budget. JMS and Doug Netter told us that at Comic-Con the week the disks were released. Even though WB did very little in the way of promotion, they were reportedly very pleased with the sales and did want to do more. Where the problem arose is that they refused much (if any) more in the way of budget than the first disk. You can read JMS' announcement of no more Lost Tales here.

        Basically, the fans did everything withing their power for Lost Tales, and that was to support it by buying the disks.

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Tim and Heather Fleming were behind the campaign to save Crusade which included a Variety Ad. and that included a letter writing campaign to TNT, The Sci-Fi Channel and Warner Brothers. I still have and treasure the excellent Save Crusade Buttons that Tim and Heather put out.

          Of course, Crusade was not saved (because TNT, The Sci-Fi Channel and Warner Brothers all have their heads up their collective butts at all times. It's how they keep their ears warm.), but it was still a noble effort and one in which I took part.

          http://www.webcs.com/b5/crusade.html

          I tried to upload some of the JPEGs of the buttons, but all attempts have failed. Evidently, that function isn't working. (Yes, all the files were less than 100KB.)

          If you send me your email address via Private Message, I could you sent you some JPEGs (the button images, the Variety Ad. , etc.).
          Last edited by KoshN; 12-20-2011, 05:17 PM. Reason: typo
          Mac Breck (KoshN)
          ------------------
          Warner Brothers is Lucy.
          JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
          Babylon 5 is the football.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by valens_shadow View Post
            That's something I've been curious about also. There doesn't seem to be the same desire to get the show continued or brought back or whatever. After seeing how little effort there was after "the lost tales" I was quite disappointed that there wasn't any kind of collective attempt to continue the momentum and apathy won outà I'm sure it didn't spur on JMS anyway
            We've been fighting the fight for a long, long time. After beating your head against the Warner Brothers stone wall for 10+ years, you get a little tired.

            Warner Brothers is HOPELESS.
            Mac Breck (KoshN)
            ------------------
            Warner Brothers is Lucy.
            JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
            Babylon 5 is the football.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by valens_shadow View Post
              That's something I've been curious about also. There doesn't seem to be the same desire to get the show continued or brought back or whatever. After seeing how little effort there was after "the lost tales" I was quite disappointed that there wasn't any kind of collective attempt to continue the momentum and apathy won out… I'm sure it didn't spur on JMS anyway
              At the time that’s one of the things that surprised me a little (I’d not long discovered the on-line fan community at that point). I know jms said something about fans not mounting a letter writing campaign aimed at the studio as that does little or nothing.
              I'm not lobbying for it, I'm not asking fans to write in about it (nor should you) because such campaigns never really have much impact...
              Which is fair enough, it’s a much used technique so maybe doesn’t have the impact it once might’ve. But, in the case of something like Firefly, they did a fair few other (headline grabbing) things, as mentioned above. It just seems . . . . . I don’t know, like there wasn’t the same level of get up and go – as there was lets sit down and argue about what we wanted. (something that *seems* to apply to more than just TLT). It’s true that such activity would have most likely had a negligible impact on studio decision making. But the apparent lack of any kind of attempt seems a bit sad.

              Take a look at the various petition “campaigns” to have B5 brought out in Blue ray – sporadic, uncoordinated and poorly advertised, rarely receiving more than a few hundred signatures. Maybe there’s a little bit too much individuality going on. I dunno. ; )

              Anyway. Discussing that was not the point of the question at the start of the thread. I was just curious as to what sort of things B5 fans might have done as a group(s) in the past, and which I have obviously missed.


              @ KoshN
              That sounds like the kind of thing I was looking for, especially the Ulysses Foundation - I've never heard of that, obviously, duh. Cheers.

              Do you know if there was any media coverage on it, or something which may still remain on the net (beyond fan site type stuff). Can always use the Wayback machine at a push. ; )

              [edit]
              But I'll use what's on that site to try a bit more digging as well. Thanks (again).
              Last edited by Triple F; 12-20-2011, 03:51 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                @ KoshN
                That sounds like the kind of thing I was looking for, especially the Ulysses Foundation - I've never heard of that, obviously, duh. Cheers.

                Do you know if there was any media coverage on it, or something which may still remain on the net (beyond fan site type stuff). Can always use the Wayback machine at a push. ; )

                [edit]
                But I'll use what's on that site to try a bit more digging as well. Thanks (again).
                Most of the links are dead. The activity to save Crusade took place from 1999 to about 2003.
                Mac Breck (KoshN)
                ------------------
                Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                Babylon 5 is the football.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just did a bit of searching on the Ulysses Foundation, and found a few things advertising this.

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sftvnews/message/198

                  CouldnÆt find any follow-up, like if anything was raised, or much else about the non profit organisation. Christ, I hate the internet. ItÆs getting late here otherwise IÆd try a bit harder while checking out the ad in variety.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                    But, in the case of something like Firefly, they did a fair few other (headline grabbing) things, as mentioned above. It just seems . . . . . I donÆt know, like there wasnÆt the same level of get up and go û as there was lets sit down and argue about what we wanted. (something that *seems* to apply to more than just TLT). ItÆs true that such activity would have most likely had a negligible impact on studio decision making. But the apparent lack of any kind of attempt seems a bit sad.
                    There's a huge difference between B5 and Firefly. B5 reached the end of it's 5-year arc. Many fans are satisfied with that. Firefly barely got going, which left fans with an unsatisfied hunger for more.

                    Take a look at the various petition ôcampaignsö to have B5 brought out in Blue ray û sporadic, uncoordinated and poorly advertised, rarely receiving more than a few hundred signatures. Maybe thereÆs a little bit too much individuality going on. I dunno. ; )
                    For good or ill, many of us are all too aware of how WB operates. Each division of the company *competes* against the other divisions. They're far more likely to go after the easy money of putting out a blu-ray of 'Friends' (I think that was a WB release I saw recently) that costs almost nothing than they are to put time, energy and (especially) money into upgrading B5. See KoshN's comments and repeat as necessary.

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Triple F, check this out.

                      http://s222.photobucket.com/albums/d...hN/B5-Crusade/

                      I just uploaded all the images.
                      Mac Breck (KoshN)
                      ------------------
                      Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                      JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                      Babylon 5 is the football.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jan View Post
                        There's a huge difference between B5 and Firefly. B5 reached the end of it's 5-year arc. Many fans are satisfied with that. Firefly barely got going, which left fans with an unsatisfied hunger for more.
                        That, for me, hits the nail squarely on the head, but it goes further than that. B5 started and ended its run before the internet really began to take off as a mechanism for these things, whereas Firefly began when there was a strongly internet-based fan culture.

                        Add in the fact that B5 was not a network show, which negates any campaign aimed at WB, since they have no control over where, or whether the show is on air. As a syndicated show the individual, local TV stations decide that. If they don't show sufficient interest then the show dies, so that is where campaigns should be directed.

                        As far as The Lost Tales is concerned ... again, there is a difference.

                        WB were impressed by disc sales and wanted to do more. JMS pulled the plug unless he got a bigger budget ... and then told fans not to get involved in ineffective letter-writing campaigns. As just the latest in a long line of disappointments, it was probably the last straw.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jan View Post
                          It's one of those things that doesn't seem to have any concensus among fans. Some are discouraged that Crusade was cancelled without even a chance at ratings, Rangers never went past the pilot, TMoS dead-ended and JMS pulled the plug on any more low-budget Lost Tales.

                          But there was quite a bit of discussion when it came out that there was almost a reboot of the series earlier this year and everybody has their own opinion of what they want and don't want.



                          I'm not sure what you're talking about there. There were two things that were required for more Lost Tales - sales and a bigger budget. JMS and Doug Netter told us that at Comic-Con the week the disks were released. Even though WB did very little in the way of promotion, they were reportedly very pleased with the sales and did want to do more. Where the problem arose is that they refused much (if any) more in the way of budget than the first disk. You can read JMS' announcement of no more Lost Tales here.

                          Basically, the fans did everything withing their power for Lost Tales, and that was to support it by buying the disks.

                          Jan
                          To be fair I wonder if JMS pulled the plug more to do with the reaction of the fans. I also think that some positive fan reaction and a bit of organisation might have pushed Warner Brothers to act quicker before JMS himself changed his position. Yes sales were very good but then with a little research there was a lot of disappointment with the Lost Tales that Warner Brothers could've been aware of and could've been the negating factor that maybe fans wouldn't be so interested in the next one? Anyway being a little proactive wouldn't have hurt the cause. I remember reading quite a few fans on here weren't even willing to post reviews on places like on Amazon, when clearly masses of good reviews would have done far more for the cause than just clicking yes I find this review useful on a handful of positive reviews. Especially given Star Trek fans were trying to spoil the party by badmouthing the Lost Tales with fake reviews and comments around the Internet.

                          I think that's the problem that fans thought buying the discs was all theyy could do within their power. Like what the original poster said by firefly fans had campaigns going where they were buying firefly and donating them to libraries, to the Navy, to firehouses, gifts for friends. Even without spending money some people might not have (including myself) people could have spread the word. I personally spent hundreds of hours joining forums, starting topics on Babylon 5 and spreading the news about the Lost Tales trying to encourage higher sales. Clearly my individual effort fell short and had more people been more proactive, who knows we could have had several batches of Lost Tales by now with proper budgets and maybe some impetus within the Babylon 5 universe. Instead we're talking about reboots and a situation where JMS is trying to negotiate the rights off Warner Brothers where all our beloved characters will cease to exist, at least played by the actors that made the roles.

                          I understand some of you guys are tired having fought for the cause for so long it just seems a shame that the fan base didn't have one final push. At least at the time campaigns were still effective. I think in years to come we will realise it was a turning point and I'm sure as the years roll by with more and more mediocrity posing as science fiction, some will regret not trying harder. I know I do, I let my foot off the gas sensing the apathy or lack of enthusiasm to do anything.
                          Last edited by valens_shadow; 12-21-2011, 04:11 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jan View Post
                            There's a huge difference between B5 and Firefly. B5 reached the end of it's 5-year arc. Many fans are satisfied with that. Firefly barely got going, which left fans with an unsatisfied hunger for more.
                            That is essential. B5 is one of the few shows that lived up to its potential; B5 is done, it is finished. I'd love to see it on Blu-Ray, but the fact is that the story that matters has been told. I'm more interested in talking about what it means than in getting more of it. I appreciate Babylon 5 as a work of art, as a story that is powerful to me. I don't want to dress up as Garibaldi. It's the story that really matters, not the franchise.

                            (Not that I mind people dressing up as Garibaldi.)

                            What I would like to see is a better public appreciation of the show on an intellectual and cultural level. Too many people know nothing about B5, or don't take it seriously. The internet is full of essays about even the most superficial of shows - B5 deserves that too, and much more.
                            Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I can't stand it when someone says something like "wasn't that like DS9?" Uggh! It's no comparison in my mind but to a casual observer that doesn't like (or care about) science fiction the both have a space station with a number in the title, what's the difference?

                              I'm sorry, but I don't think I've done anything to help B5 except talk about it to the few people I can. I bought all of the associated dvds.

                              I think it's a much harder thing to do, probably impossible, to get a series that was cancelled before the first episode was shown uncancelled than keeping a series from being cancelled, which Crusade suffered as we know.

                              B5 really never was cancelled so there really isn't anything to "fix" there. That is a big difference compared to other situatons because as many people liked B5 I'm sure there wasn't as much enthusiasm for the later projects. Not saying no enthusiasm, just not as much. Again, for my part, I didn't learn about TMoS until well after it fell apart, I didn't learn about LoTR or Lost Tales until years after the fact and somehow, I'm embarassed to admit, I completely missed Crusade when it was actually on and did learn of it until years later. I don't think I'm alone in these things and it's hard to rally to a cause that died years ago. I'd have been willing if it was current, but what could you do after it's over and done years ago?
                              "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                              "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                              "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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