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Should there be a Condensed version B5 series?

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  • #31
    I agree. A short version of B5 would be a real stupid idea. Everything that this series stands for comes from the detailed storylines. Imagine the text of the holy bible condensed down to the thickness of a average newspaper. Thats just stupid. But this is the actual point where someone must decide. If you like a episode-based series like Star Trek you need to watch those. I think that a episode based Series that starts with every episode at a certain "zero point" (because no one remembers the events from the episode before) is far less quality compared to a real story like B5. But this lies in the eye of the beholder. Some like a good book and a good story with every detail...some just like the battles and explosions. But B5 looses everything it stands for if you do not know WHY there is something exploding. You need to understand the characters. That can only be done in the way JMS did. B5 demands to think about what you have seen. Thats not "everybodys cup of coffee" of course. Sorry, I dont mean to insult anyone...just speakin my mind.
    "It is our last best hope for peace, for victory, for freedom, it is Babylon 5"

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    • #32
      As you say, it's a matter of taste. I've always been slightly bemused that, considering that JMS set out to write a saga, I've never had any major interest in other great sagas. Lensmen left me cold, I don't think I've ever finished the Dune books, and while I loved the Hobbit, I barely made it through Lord of the Rings.

      Maybe it's the fact that B5 is told visually but I've never had a problem with visualization when reading and, in fact can be immersed in a universe by just reading a few words. Anyway, if it were a visual thing, why would I have been so singleminded about getting the scripts? Dunno.

      So I'm still in the 'B5 original is just right' camp but it has been an interesting discussion.

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

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      • #33
        You know I am slow to this thread but to condense B5 .B5 doesn't have that many spinoffs to shorten or lengthen and IMO all the B5 are impotent to the arc of the storyline with the possible exception of a few.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by grumbler
          Oh, and on the original topic: the more I think about it, the more I am attracted by the idea of a series of B5 "mini-series" taken from crosswise slices of the show, each illustrating a different theme from the show and drawing from the series as a wholeà Theme: Some must be sacrificed if the rest are to be savedàThat would make fr some compelling hours of TV and while they would not be explicable to someone not familiar with B5, why would this be a concern to us?
          Originally posted by rallytbk
          I could concentrate on either LondoÆs rise to the top (Londo and G'Kar), and/or the religious overtones associated with John Sheridan or Jeffery Sinclair (Vorlon = good/shadows = bad).Thanks for the idea.
          Originally posted by RaySeventy8
          A short version of B5 would be a real stupid idea... Imagine the text of the holy bible condensed down to the thickness of a average newspaper. Thats just stupid. But this is the actual point where someone must decideà Thats not "everybodys cup of coffee" of course. Sorry, I dont mean to insult anyone...just speakin my mind.
          Actually, thanks for the Bible reference to illustrate my point; The Holy Bible stories are written in to one book. Each chapter reads, as a short story and each story can be taken as a whole or in parts independent from the rest. Such as: The creation of the World, AbrahamÆs Sacrifice, the story of Joseph, David the Shepherd, the story of Moses, Jacob and Easu, the birth of Jesus, the last supper Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

          Now using this as a base, Babylon 5 can be (scene by scene) condensed to show.

          1) LondoÆs rise to the top (Londo and G'Kar feud),
          2) and/or the religious overtones associated with John Sheridan
          3) Religious icons (Vorlon = good/shadows = bad).
          4) or Jeffery Sinclair (War without End cycle)
          5) or Babylon 5 alien politics (President Clark)

          any one of these points could be taken alone or as a whole for the story. ThatÆs where I am going for with this thread.
          "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

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          • #35
            I would personally like to see something set in the B5 universe, but not B5. Maybe something set within the B5 universe history / timeline would work.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Satai Delenn
              You know I am slow to this thread but to condense B5 .B5 doesn't have that many spinoffs to shorten or lengthen and IMO all the B5 are impotent to the arc of the storyline with the possible exception of a few.
              I think people have misunderstood what I was proposing. I never proposed "leaving out the unimportant bits" because that would not be possible - everything can be related to the main thrust of the show, and that was the point.

              Maybe an architectural analogy would be helpful. I do not propose that the blueprints for this five-story building be truncated by eliminating floors and rooms, but by looking ONLY at, say, the plumbing, or the electrical circuits. I used the theme of "some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved" as an organizing point, and that may have thrown people off.

              Suppose we have a special edition of the series that just shows, with commentary, the examples where the show demonstrates that hubris always rebounds on the individual, and show this by showing how:
              1) Londo's desire for "restoring the glory of the Centauri Republic" forces the Centauri into a war, leads to the ascension of Empreror Cartegia, leads to the death of Londo's True Love, and finally leads to the threatened destruction of Centauri prime itself (and DOES lead to its partial destruction).
              2) Then, we abandon that Londo thread to follow, perhaps, Refa's discovery of the same.
              3) Follow with Delenn's struggle with the Grey Council, disbanding it, and discovering the price,
              4) etc.

              It could draw all kinds of parallels and links that can otherwise only be seen by watching the show many times.

              I see new things all the time when I watch the show (as I noted a coupla months ago, I only recently realized what Delenn was referring to [as *it*] when she went to Kosh and asked him to reveal himself by noting that "I must know if *it* is true"). Imagine how much fun people could have by seeing this when they have seen the series.

              It will not happen, of course, because there is no market for it. That does not mean that it could not or should not happen.
              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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              • #37
                Who knew this was coming???


                Also at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/14/bu.../14warner.html

                Yes, this is going ahead. I've been quietly working with WB on this
                for a while now, both for the AOL material and the wireless phone
                component...editing down various parts into differently-sized bites for
                when you're standing around in line at the bank. So there's "make me
                laugh" and "thrill me" segments (the elevator scene in "Convictions"
                being one, and a big Narn/Shadow fight for the latter) of 3-4 minutes,
                "Tell me a story" which is 12 minutes long on average, being an a- or
                b-story pulled out on its own, and of course "show me an episode."

                This combined approach will help to put B5 out there in front of a huge
                audience of both regular viewers, computer folks, and people just
                curious to sample the show in brief bites.

                jms
                I now wonder if this thread will still be considered moot, especially now with the big guy negotiating with AOL/WB and wireless phone companiesà Having sound bites and video clips from the show is one thing, but now with subscriptions for downloadable episodes or seasons make you wonder whoÆs been reading our posts?

                Originally posted by rallytbk
                Now using this as a base, Babylon 5 can be (scene by scene) condensed to show.

                1) LondoÆs rise to the top (Londo and G'Kar feud),
                2) and/or the religious overtones associated with John Sheridan
                3) Religious icons (Vorlon = good/shadows = bad).
                4) or Jeffery Sinclair (War without End cycle)
                5) or Babylon 5 alien politics (President Clark)
                Originally posted by grumbler
                The more I think about it, the more I am attracted by the idea of a series of B5 "mini-series" taken from crosswise slices of the show, each illustrating a different theme from the show and drawing from the series as a wholeàThat would make for some compelling hours of TV and while they would not be explicable to someone not familiar with B5, why would this be a concern to us?

                Originally posted by Spoo Junky
                Babylon 5 is intertwined so much. But if you could isolate one storyline with all its references to other storylines, you could peak a newbie's interest to watch other parts as well.
                Thanks for the support guys.

                80 hours (110 eps @ 40 mins + 5 movies @ 90 mins) Wow that's alot of Cliff Notes at any rate.


                From: J. Michael Straczynski <[email protected]>
                Subject: Thank you from the uk
                To: CIS
                Date: 9/17/1996 10:39:00 AM
                Tony Cherrington <[email protected]> asks:
                > I have just watched Shadow Dancing, and I felt I had to finaly
                > take the plunge and say publicly *thanks*, Have you any idea of
                > what the next seven days are going to be like ?

                Thanks. If we come even close to someday being classified as
                literature, that would be a good thing; a chance to show you can tell
                a quality SF story for television. But the day they put out a Cliff's
                Notes version of the series, I'm leaving for the Arctic Circle.

                jms
                "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by rallytbk
                  Hello all,
                  I was wondering if anyone here has brought up this subject beforeà

                  While I enjoy watching Babylon 5 Seasons 1 thru 5 plus the movies at my leisure, it occurred to me that the shows are kind of slow when watching them with family member/friends. I am aware that each episode while crafted beautifully to include as much information as possible about how each character interacts and compliment each other and the purpose of the station, as a saga which continues throughout the five seasons is too long for the average viewer. It was pointed out that there was not enough time to watch every season to get to the end of the story within a day unless you fast-forward or skip certain episodes.

                  Other shows on television get to experience seasonal and/or weekly marathons on a regular basis example: Law and Order, Star Trek OS, Twilight Zone, Honeymooners, etc. those shows have episode endings that satisfies the current story line and interest the viewer for more showings.

                  It occurred to me that Babylon 5 if condensed properly could be in a marathon format.
                  Could Babylon 5 be condensed to just a couple of hours for a day marathon (instead of five seasons)? Should JMS tinker with his masterpiece and show all the action while keeping the series strong? I, for one would like to see a condensed version for family/friends, at home and broadcast television. Broadcast marathons would be easier for new viewers and they could get hooked on the series either by buying the 5-season DVD set and/or support broadcast mini series showings if they become available (future)?

                  What do you think?

                  Thank you

                  Reply requested

                  That would be like trying to condense the whole of Lord of the Rings into 9 hours. Hang on...

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by therichieboy
                    That would be like trying to condense the whole of Lord of the Rings into 9 hours. Hang on...
                    Well, if you want to split hairs, then yeahà and focus on leading characters or supporting relationships from the beginning, middle and end of Lord of the Rings (book, movie or other).

                    What if I was interested in ôAragornö or better yet ôGollumö? I could cut every scene associated with character development (the others) and only use what applies to the character I am focusing on, and then show events taking its course to the end of the story.

                    Now it would not be LOTR as we know it, but if it is done with thought and taste in mind it could influence people to get the whole package and absorb more of the story the second time around. Note: Did you watch 9 hours (or the extended versions), read all 3 LOTR books or other, because you knew it was up to your speed and interest? Or did you take a chance and tried a little, put it down and tried it again? Previews and trailers are small bites leading to a bigger fish, which is what gets a person hooked as intended.
                    Last edited by rallytbk; 12-16-2005, 05:25 AM.
                    "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by rallytbk
                      Note: Did you watch 9 hours (extended version) ...
                      Without wanting to be too pedantic, even the theatrical versions of LotR add up to more than 9 hours. The extended editions are probably nearer 11-12 hours.

                      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


                      • #41
                        Yeah, I know it's more than 9 hours but my point's more or less the same. Don't get me wrong, I loved the movies and think Peter Jackson's nothing short of genius (he even made a pretty good job of Return of the King in the extended version- I thought the cinema version was quite weak). What I'm saying is the books really give more of a sense of scale both geographically and chronologically than the movies. I'm not faulting the movies themselves but do believe LOTR should have been adapted instead as an ultra high budget TV series showing over the course of a couple of years. The films do seem a teeny bit rushed despite being 3 of the best films ever made. (No pleasing some people, eh?)

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by rallytbk
                          What if I was interested in ôAragornö or better yet ôGollumö? I could cut every scene associated with character development (the others) and only use what applies to the character I am focusing on, and then show events taking its course to the end of the story.

                          Now it would not be LOTR as we know it, but if it is done with thought and taste in mind it could influence people to get the whole package and absorb more of the story the second time around.
                          Kind of like "Lion King 1 1/2". Take the story from a different point of view.

                          What about the Shadow War arc from Morden's point of view? Or more of Anna's? (I know Anna's POV was in "The Shadow Within" and the Technomage trilogy)

                          How about the entire Minbari arc from Neroon's point of view?

                          or the entire series from the point of view of Lennier? I'm sure Sheridan would look quite different there.
                          "Ivanova is God!"

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by therichieboy
                            Yeah, I know it's more than 9 hours but my point's more or less the sameà I'm not faulting the movies themselves but do believe LOTR should have been adapted instead as an ultra high budget TV series showing over the course of a couple of yearsà
                            Originally posted by SpooRancher
                            Kind of like "Lion King 1 1/2". Take the story from a different point of viewà
                            Yeah, if using the same footage from the showà The point of view would be shorter/condensed, but if it was done as in Lion King 1 1/2 , imagine the additional footage that could be added as behind the scene stuff in to any of the characters.

                            Or in the case of having a mini-series, full season shows... Yeah, providing the actors don't have other things to do or leave in mid-production.
                            "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by rallytbk
                              Well, if you want to split hairs, then yeahà and focus on leading characters or supporting relationships from the beginning, middle and end of Lord of the Rings (book, movie or other).

                              What if I was interested in ôAragornö or better yet ôGollumö? I could cut every scene associated with character development (the others) and only use what applies to the character I am focusing on, and then show events taking its course to the end of the story.
                              That is, of course, precisely what PJ did in "Fellowship..." - he cut out everything that did not have to do with Frodo.

                              Such is the demands of cinema, and why books are superior in some regards, because they do not have cost caps. Another scene is just some ink and paper.

                              When PJ got away from this model the movies wandered. They recovered.
                              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


                              • #45
                                I was really upset that he didn't show the full extent of the battles over Middle Earth in ROTK such as the Elven and Dwarf fighting up north. This omission affected the scale of the story I think. I think the scouring of the Shire was fundamental to the point of the story too.

                                There was also a lack of characterisation for any of the creatures, objects and places of Middle Earth. Part of the whole richness of Tolkien's writing was that everything had a story and a voice. Even little things like Merry finding the Elven sword in the Barrow Downs, which had a name and a story, should have been included. It adds depth and meaning to the slaying of the Witch King.

                                A TV series could have set aside whole episodes to concentrate on the intricate sub plots.

                                When I make my version I'll just have to try and do a better job.

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