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  • Is B5 dead?

    There's this thread on the moderated newsgroup called "Is B5 dead?" JMS gave this answer:

    Originally posted by Frank Franklinson
    "Are we now reduced to hoping for a book once or twice a decade? Is
    there any
    reason to have hope for more of what we love so much?
    Is Babylon 5, as we know it....dead?"


    This question comes up periodically, and I'll give it pretty much the
    same answer that I always give...that there is a difference between
    *dead* and *complete*.

    If a novelist writes a book, and he doesn't write five more books in
    that universe, with those characters, is the book dead? Or completed?

    When I embarked on B5, I wasn't out to create a franchise, wasn't
    looking to springboard this out into a zillion other projects...I
    resisted merchandising, and made it clear to all parties that this
    would be five seasons, no more. Because that's I figured it would take
    me to tell that story. The only thing I asked of the universe was that
    I be able to tell the story to its end, and that I not die before
    finishing it. That's all.

    And somehow, both happened...and I'm happy with that.

    I've said it a hundred times before...if something happens to come up
    in the B5 universe that's fun to tell, and someone wants to provide a
    venue, great...if not, also great. I told the story that I wanted,
    needed to tell. When Zack says, in SiL, "We did what we said we were
    gonna do, and nobody can ever take that away from us," that was the
    author speaking through him.

    What I set out to do with that show, I did, and nobody can ever take
    that away. I told the story I wanted to tell. Everything else is
    lagniappe.

    jms
    Last edited by Anders; 06-11-2005, 12:13 PM.

  • #2
    I completely respect JMS' opinion on this, but I would love to have more from the B5 universe, and after his posts earlier this year and last year I actually thought we were going to get a lot more as well.

    Also the part about complete. This was the story he wanted to tell, but IMO there could be so much more to tell after Sleeping In Light. It's such an amazing universe he has built up, and I think it's a shame if it ends with only the years from the Gathering to Sleeping In Light.

    The Deconstruction of Falling Stars is my least favourite episode ever though. One thing is going ten year ahead, but 1 million years ahead of time is just too much.

    Comment


    • #3
      What about the 19 years between "Objects at Rest" and "Sleeping in Light?
      There are quite a few stories that could be told within those 19 years as well.
      Joan

      Comment


      • #4
        it would be nice to see these stories told. but for now, you can always look at the timeline of events that occured between "objects at rest" and "sleeping in the light"
        "It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past." -- G'Kar in Babylon 5:"In the Beginning"

        Comment


        • #5
          What I think that the original poster seems to miss is that, yes there are stories that could be told, that JMS is perfectly willing to tell, but he's not going out knocking on doors asking for people to let him tell them the way that he did with B5. He told the main story that he most wanted to tell. That part is complete.

          If you read his post regarding the fate of TMoS and the post above, you see that he was approached by the company wanting to make the movie and that "...if something happens to come up in the B5 universe that's fun to tell, and someone wants to provide a venue, great...if not, also great." He's content to let offers come to him.

          It can be frustrating, I know. When I went to the theater to see the latest SW and they showed the Firefly trailer I got incredibly upset that I'd never see TMoS on the big screen. I just hope that the next time something comes up it's by people who know what they hell they're doing with this universe.

          Thankfully, I generally like what JMS has produced in both TV and print since B5 and look forward to whatever the new TV project is.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't have the exact quote, nor have I started looking for it, but I do recall reading where JMS said he had the B5 universe mapped out 1000 years in either direction. I was paraphrasing and probably got the numbers wrong.

            The story told on B5 is complete. That doesn't mean there aren't more stories to tell that occupy the same universe. I would guess that any of those stories might make use of B5, however the station wouldn't be the forefront.

            It's sort of like the show "All in the Family". Hilarious show which spawned 2 shows that are just as funny "The Jeffersons" and "Maude". Now, I'm not saying that JMS should be like Norman Lear. What I am saying is that the universe JMS has created has more stories that have yet to be told. B5 was one which was completed. The part that's a real bitch is convincing some damned suits to have these other stories be told.
            RIP Coach Larry Finch
            Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
            Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow
              I don't have the exact quote, nor have I started looking for it, but I do recall reading where JMS said he had the B5 universe mapped out 1000 years in either direction. I was paraphrasing and probably got the numbers wrong.
              Nope, you're good:
              From: J. Michael Straczynski <[email protected]>
              Subject: 4 or 5? Be HONEST, jms
              To: CIS
              Date: 11/15/1996 3:33:00 AM
              gopher <[email protected]> asks:
              > Is my logic faulty?
              > Can you clear this up for me?

              I've worked out the details for 1,000 years in either direction
              for the B5 storyline in general, and in specific for 100 years in
              either direction; there's no chance of anything getting watered down no
              matter what happens...there's enough story there for several novels.
              And WB is currently very interested in the side-story/sequel series
              that I've mentioned from the beginning is a possibility.

              jms
              Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow
              What I am saying is that the universe JMS has created has more stories that have yet to be told. B5 was one which was completed. The part that's a real bitch is convincing some damned suits to have these other stories be told.
              Amen. What would be needed is either for WB to change their policy on only doing big-budget/big-star movies (so that any parts for the original characters can be played by the original actors) or for the person/company to be able to, as JMS put it "...put together a consortium of international interests and business plans rivaled in complexity only by the Allied invasion of Normandy Beach." Since movies get made all the time without huge stars, it must be possible.

              The one thing that's positive is that, as time passes, effects get better and better.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jan
                Amen. What would be needed is either for WB to change their policy on only doing big-budget/big-star movies (so that any parts for the original characters can be played by the original actors) or for the person/company to be able to, as JMS put it "...put together a consortium of international interests and business plans rivaled in complexity only by the Allied invasion of Normandy Beach." Since movies get made all the time without huge stars, it must be possible.
                The stuff about big stars is an excuse. They gave it to a first time producer who did not know what he was doing and wished to borrow something like $100 million.

                Dr Who came back as audio adventures.
                http://www.bigfinish.com/drwho/index.shtml
                There is still hope for Babylon 5
                Andrew Swallow

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow
                  The stuff about big stars is an excuse. They gave it to a first time producer who did not know what he was doing and wished to borrow something like $100 million.

                  Dr Who came back as audio adventures.
                  http://www.bigfinish.com/drwho/index.shtml
                  There is still hope for Babylon 5
                  WB isn't a bank. The person/company didn't want to borrow anything, they wanted WB to back the feature. Whether it was an excuse or not...well, I've heard the same thing said about WB and blockbusters before the subject of TMoS ever came up.

                  I'll take B5 in whatever form it ends up taking but I really want a feature film. Especially since that what JMS owns the rights to.

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As an individual admirer of JMS's work, especially the creation of not only Babylon 5 but the whole B5 universe (INCLUDING CRUSADE) , I will do all I can to support whatever he is able to add to the story possibilities. But we as individuals, unless we are fabulously wealthy, have no real say in what may or may not happen next.

                    Doctor Who did return through books and audio adventures. Star Trek came first to the big screen and later to TV and back to the big screen after years of reruns and some creative yet primitive cartoons using the ORIGINAL CAST voices.

                    It's only been a little over six years since the first run of the ABORTED Crusade. B5 ended almost immediately before Crusade started and was chopped at the knees by short sighted idiots at TNT. Since that time some of the actors have continued to find work, which is great news for all of us.

                    SciFi comes and goes in the entertainment world. I believe it is only a matter of time before money mongers decide to invest in it again. If we're lucky the B5 universe may sprout continued and/or new stories.
                    Michael Malloy

                    Never forget:

                    Moscow; Beslan 2004
                    Kosovo: 1999, 2004
                    New York City: September 11, 2001
                    Smyrna: September 9, 1922

                    http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
                    Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
                    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jan
                      WB isn't a bank. The person/company didn't want to borrow anything, they wanted WB to back the feature. Whether it was an excuse or not...well, I've heard the same thing said about WB and blockbusters before the subject of TMoS ever came up.
                      WB is a bank. So are most publishing companies and record labels. They may call the loan an advance but it is still money they want repaying.
                      Andrew Swallow

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow
                        WB is a bank. So are most publishing companies and record labels. They may call the loan an advance but it is still money they want repaying.
                        No, they want to recoup their investment which is something completely different. If the money isn't 'paid back' by the same person it's given to it's not a loan and WB et al are not banks. No matter how you want to simplify it, that doesn't change.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When we talk about there being more stories available in the B5 universe, I'd say that there are more stories than could ever be told! In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that virtually any quality work in the speculative fiction realm needs to have possibilities for more stories than anyone could tell completely. We are all used to a rich and complex tapestry of history in the real world, and in order to pull us into a great tale, there needs to be a suggestion of much more depth than we see. Mind you, that doesn't mean that the whole thing needs to be created. Just like a TV set, you only need create what might possibly be seen. You do very detailed work for the portions that will be seen repeatedly, you do less for the parts that only show up occasionally in the background, and you do very rough work for parts that probably won't show up, but just might. By it's very nature, that creates possibilities, and aren't they wonderful things!
                          "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Anders
                            I completely respect JMS' opinion on this, but I would love to have more from the B5 universe, and after his posts earlier this year and last year I actually thought we were going to get a lot more as well.

                            Also the part about complete. This was the story he wanted to tell, but IMO there could be so much more to tell after Sleeping In Light. It's such an amazing universe he has built up, and I think it's a shame if it ends with only the years from the Gathering to Sleeping In Light.
                            Oh, but B5 is dead.
                            And JMS himself shut down the lights.
                            B5 the station is dead, blown to pieces.
                            B5 the series is "dead" in that it is complete.

                            But now, if the question had been "is the Babylon 5 universe dead?" JMS would have just said:
                            I've said it a hundred times before...if something happens to come up
                            in the B5 universe that's fun to tell, and someone wants to provide a
                            venue, great...if not, also great.
                            And maybe JMS would have even elaborated more on that, which is what I think the thread starter wanted. Sometimes you have to ask the right question to get the right answer....

                            The B5 Universe is not dead, just taking a very long nap...
                            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)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
                              But now, if the question had been "is the Babylon 5 universe dead?" JMS would have just said: And maybe JMS would have even elaborated more on that, which is what I think the thread starter wanted. Sometimes you have to ask the right question to get the right answer....

                              The B5 Universe is not dead, just taking a very long nap...
                              I'm sure that's exactly what the thread starter did want -- news of something coming down the road. Thing is, even when things look pretty positive, they might still fall through. Witness TMoS as an example. I don't think JMS would have told us and hinted as he did if he hadn't been pretty sure that it would happen. After it dead-ended, a lot of fans were upset that he'd said as much he did. I was just encouraged to know that there's interest out there.

                              Because I really, really WANT a B5 feature film.

                              Jan
                              (or even WANT
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                              Comment

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