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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Looney View Post
    After reading that last bit from Triple F I have to wonder if TNT was willing to pay for a more action based show, i.e. the effects of having big battles in space? Or was TNT expecting JMS to come up with low budget action minus effects? Just curious to know if anyone has an idea.
    Exceedingly unlikely. The way it went was that while the fifth season was still on (and IIRC, also the reruns stripped), TNT did a study that (I'm sure among many other things) showed that when B5 was on, the regular TNT audience tuned out. And when the regular TNT programming came back on, the B5 folks tuned out so there was no actual gain in viewership.

    By the time TNT realized it, Crusade was in production so they worked to make demands, often conflicting depending on which division was communicating) that couldn't be followed.

    As for:

    It wasn't nearly as planned out in Joe's head as B5 was...
    That's not news to anybody I don't think. He said from the beginning that it wasn't going to be nearly as arc-heavy. That's nothing to do with his creation of the characters, however, or how he might feel about not being able to continue writing them.

    ETA: This is the part that triggered the #FreeBabylon5 campaign - that it wasn't available to be discovered in syndication.
    Then, I think, suddenly we're going to be "discovered," much the same way ST was discovered in syndication after it left the network.
    Last edited by Jan; 08-10-2018, 09:40 AM.

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  • Looney
    replied
    After reading that last bit from Triple F I have to wonder if TNT was willing to pay for a more action based show, i.e. the effects of having big battles in space? Or was TNT expecting JMS to come up with low budget action minus effects? Just curious to know if anyone has an idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    Getting attached to characters he’s created is pretty understandable. But – and here I go again : ) – I don’t fully buy into the idea that he felt things like Crusade where a step too far. . . . . Way back in the day Babylon 5 was envisaged as a TWO part story covering TWO series each 5 years long. He spoke about it to at least some of the crew (and possibly cast, I dunno) as early as the pilot movie! Somewhere along the line, and for whatever reason it morphed into a single 5 year story – and a few of his posts quite eagerly talk about the possibility of a spin off series which he wouldn’t be adverse to (I chose this one as it mentions TNT before Crusade was a thing) .

    If I were to engage in predicting the future, here's what I think is most probable. The show will continue to go on, doing well enough in the ratings to continue for two more seasons. A comfortable level. In 1998, after we've finished our first run, we are
    contractually already sold to the TNT cable network, which is *extremely* excited about the show, plans to promote it, and sees it as a way of breaking into the SF genre. There, for the first time, we will have a regular, *daily* timeslot on a national network.

    Then, I think, suddenly we're going to be "discovered," much the same way ST was discovered in syndication after it left the network. Give it about a year or two for WB to notice this (see pre-Cambrian comment above), then suddenly they're going to start
    running around seeing what they can do to capitalize on this.

    At that point, I'm not sure which way the runes point. Certainly they'll start cranking out more merchandise stuff, which by contract I have to approve, to make sure it's quality stuff. If they want to do a feature, I'll have to be involved, and they'll have to negotiate with all the cast members, who by then will have moved on to other projects and may or may not be available. Ditto for any spinoffs.


    Getting involved with spin-offs was something he’d apparently always envisaged - if things turned out well - but John Copeland made a quite telling remark during his interview on the scrolls.

    I think that folks should just let Crusade go. It wasn't nearly as planned out in Joe's head as B5 was, he had five years to contemplate the intricacies of the series while we were trying to find a home for it on television and it is also hard to make lightning strike twice in the same bottle.
    I strongly suspect jms’s remarks about the “velvet Alley” and doing more B5 than perhaps he should have because some actors wanted to do more (but wouldn’t be involved with Crusade other than the occasional guest role!?) is tinged with perhaps a bit of arse covering to explain why everything that came later – as John C put it- wasn’t nearly as well planned out as B5, and that it’s difficult to make lightning strike twice in the same bottle. Doing that trick with the bottle is down to a whole mix of events (Warner leaving him alone was a HUGE one as it turns out), and he wouldn’t be the first writer/producer who took a stab at trying to do it again but couldn’t for all kinds of reasons. At this stage of the game I suspect B5 is pretty much a dead duck . . . and I know this isn’t a popular idea, far from it, but I suspect – to some degree or another – that’s down to jms himself, and him perhaps being a little too independent, confident and confrontational with the people who gave him the money to make stuff like Crusade. . . . . Here’s a bit from an article back in the day where he describes what happened when TNT first tried to give him notes (before all the silliness erupted) . Now, after years of jms telling everyone TNT was being unreasonable with their demands (with notes that came after that initial meeting BTW), the common wisdoms is that it was TNT who were the ones digging their heals in.

    "The scripts were very intelligent and well-rendered but extremely heavy on the talk and light on action," Safon said. "Joe was providing an adventure of the mind, and the network expectation was that it would be more visceral. That kind of back and forth between a network and a creator is part and parcel of what happens every day in Hollywood."

    But Straczynski, who had free reign on "Babylon 5," would hear none of it.

    "They went over the first five episodes and tried to give notes on those," he said. "They were on one side of the table, and I was on the other side. They went to turn the notes over and I said, 'No. No to the first, no to the second, no to them all.'

    "They're used to doing in-house productions, so when the word 'no' was used, they had to have someone come in to explain it to them."

    He knew best and wasn’t delivering the more action based show he’d promised TNT, and for a relatively small fish in a big pond (who wants money from the bigger fish), it might be an admirable stance to take but it's also not always the most prudent. I suspect (and it's very much just a personal opinion, obviously) because of this, and other things, that’s at least a part of why B5 isn’t on it’s third spin-off series and fifth movie. I think it’s a case of enjoy the show we have, and leave it at that.
    Last edited by Triple F; 08-10-2018, 07:58 AM.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Interesting to see it put that way by JMS.

    Personally, I remain surprised that anyone is holding out hope for a Crusade reboot, or continuation. It's definitely not going to happen. I think it was a stretch even at the time, and what I've gleaned form the Crudade WTHH books, something JMS somewhat regrets doing in terms of stretching the B5 thing a bit thin due to the cast wanting some form of continuation.

    The Velvet Alley, as he put it. He gave into temptation when the aim was initially to "get in, tell the story, get out". I've never been too into Crusade, it had promise, but felt dated even at the time of production, TV had moved on, and it just looked horrendously cheap and rushed IMHO. TNT definitely had a large part to play in that. I tried so hard to find value in it, but only really enjoy one or two episodes.

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  • JoeD80
    replied
    I dropped my best, are there gonna be more script books, question in there as I could. It seems even as much as he has let out before about his B5 ideas he is not willing to let out even now as much as he was then (the time of the previous script books). I understand what he is saying now but he did not even used to say that it hurt him this much. He seems in a different space in his life (which we are all entitled to, just surprised it showed up now).

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  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    short Q&A about CRUSADE remake

    Causa Mac Breck.
    The following tweets were the preceding tweets to what Jan showed us.

    Mac Breck (whom we know from rastb5m) tweet (08-08):

    "A friend mentioned today that he wishes you'd do a new B5 universe series (i.e. the US meaning, a show). How about remaking "Crusade" but with a different show title, as many of the original actors as possible (Gary Cole, Peter Woodward, etc) but ***WITHOUT*** TNT interference?"

    JMS re-tweet (08-09):

    "Trying to get a network, any network, to commission a remake of a show that went 13 episodes 19 years ago and is known to no one in the business, for which they'd have to negotiate with WB which would be difficult on the best of days, is simply not do-able."

    Never say never. Or in JMS words: "Never surrender dreams".
    What JMS tweets is the probable in the business.

    But if someone like f.i. Elon Musk (even he makes some other troubles these days) would love B5/Crusade and willing to put a big checque to WB, things would be possible we thought they were'nt at any time.

    So it's up to us to find s.o. Elon Musk alike...

    See: Someone knows someone, who someone knows, who someone knows with a good friend in the top management of a) WB b) Amazon Prime c) Netflix d) AT&T (grabs for WB) e) Disney ...

    B5-Stefan


    PS:
    Michael tweet (08-09):
    "Whatever happened to the Crusade: What The Hell Happened books?"

    As I pointed out: question of the week.


    --
    JMS: "Never Surrender Dreams"

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  • Jan
    replied
    A rare glimpse of how a canceled project looks from the creator's view. I think we tend to assume that when JMS says the characters are who tell the story and he transcribes them is hyperbole but for the creative mind it's far more.

    Read from bottom to top...

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by nottenst View Post
    Well, that's why I asked here first to see if anyone spoke up about recently asking him.

    Neil
    Thing is, I don't think there's a way of seeing if somebody asks him a question on Twitter unless he chooses to answer it. Me, I made it a policy years ago to try not to repeat questions and I'm pretty sure I asked him that one at *least* once!

    I've got no problem with him feeling a little nagged, though. I know it's a hard story to write but I don't think he should have started the series without plans to finish it (post eye surgery, of course!).

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  • nottenst
    replied
    Originally posted by B5-Stefan View Post
    If nottenst is not a "brave man", he's at least a "good guy" because now I must not push me to put this question myself.

    And believe me Jan, if we ask JMS "What the hell..." once a week, he would get upset. <--- this is another evil sentence

    B5-Stefan
    Well, that's why I asked here first to see if anyone spoke up about recently asking him.

    Neil

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  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    ?? Why the need for bravery? He's just a guy like any of us (or gal, in my case). While it may not be something he's able or willing to answer right now, I don't think it's anything that would upset him.
    If nottenst is not a "brave man", he's at least a "good guy" because now I must not push me to put this question myself.

    And believe me Jan, if we ask JMS "What the hell..." once a week, he would get upset. <--- this is another evil sentence

    B5-Stefan


    --
    Stephen Hawking: "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist."

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by B5-Stefan View Post
    Brave man!
    ?? Why the need for bravery? He's just a guy like any of us (or gal, in my case). While it may not be something he's able or willing to answer right now, I don't think it's anything that would upset him.

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  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    No, it's actually an answer to your question because that's exactly what I said. One was a late-teenager and one an adult. What they took from it was that they had to pay close attention and so they did.
    Sorry. I missunderstood.
    Thought it "theoretical" not a "practical" answer.

    B5-Stefan

    --
    "Perhaps it is time to stop sleeping on Minbari beds or breathing the air of the Vorlons chamber" [response to a jms tweet]

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  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Originally posted by nottenst View Post
    Well, just now I tweeted him the question - "Do you have any idea when you might find the time to assemble more of Crusade: What the Hell Happened?" Whether he answers it or not and if so, whether he answers it seriously is another matter.
    Brave man!

    B5-S

    --
    Elric: "You don't frighten easily."
    Vir: "I work for Ambassador Mollari. After a while nothing bothers you."
    [Babylon5, The Geometry of Shadows]

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  • nottenst
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    They get asked that all the time, I'm afraid. Fairly sure that it's entirely in JMS' court.
    Well, just now I tweeted him the question - "Do you have any idea when you might find the time to assemble more of Crusade: What the Hell Happened?" Whether he answers it or not and if so, whether he answers it seriously is another matter.

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  • Hypatia
    replied
    [QUOTE=B5-Stefan;185481]Captain Buzzkill? tweet:
    "@straczynski I, too, have a Babylon 5 question. :-) Do you have a surefire approach for getting one's teenagers to give it a try, given that their parents were fans at the time and would gladly rewatch it all?"

    JMS re-tweet (08-02):
    "Tell them it's too mature for them to understand."



    Perfect.

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