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Musings on Sinclair Outline [SPOILERS]

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  • Musings on Sinclair Outline [SPOILERS]

    OK, bear with me a minute here. I was reading over old jms posts and the earlier script books and thought of a few things. These are my own musings on various posts and what has been written in the script books connected to the outline with Sinclair in Volume 15. I stuck only to what jms has written here and there, and what was in a couple episodes, so there are no new story ideas here that I am aware of.

    #1. In volume 2 of the script books, jms says the original other side of Babylon Squared would have been four years later...i.e. the beginning of Season 5. The outline has Babylon 4 being taken forward to replace a destroyed Babylon 5.

    #2. jms says he wrote the outline based on his 110 notecards. This would mean it only involved the Babylon 5 show and not the sequel.

    #3. jms may have added the sequel line in the outline so WB wouldn't think the show looked too hard to produce -- except, all that info is actually for the main show.

    #4. If Babylon 4 was planned to be taken forward in time in the beginning of Season 5, then Babylon 5 was to be destroyed at the end of Season 4!

    #5. Garibalidi was supposed to originally resign in Season 4 after getting drunk again, coming back at the very end of that season when most needed:

    #6. In Babylon Squared in the scene where the station is being attacked. Garibaldi says "Jeff it's ok. I finally understand! This is the moment I was born for!" -- moment when he's most needed (!) and he rigs the fusion reactors and blows the station at the end of season 4.

    #7. The outline describes Sinclair, Delenn, and their child aging when they travel with Babylon 4 through time. jms mentioned that the time shift connected you to whatever time you were in later -- so what if they are all older because instead of 2262, we find ourselves in 2278.

    #8. In the outline, it's mentioned that Londo captures Sinclair & Delenn during the time they have Babylon 4 while being controlled by a keeper and then lets them go at personal cost to him. This scene did show up in season 3 -- it's right before Londo and G'Kar kill each other. Another hint that they are now in 2278.

    #9. Sinclair & Delenn's child is described as the "religious symbol" who would bring all the alien worlds together in a new alliance. "The boy-man."

    #10. So Season 5 follows the rest of the outline, giving you an "all-wham!" season, with the end of the Shadow War and the beginning of the new Alliance.

    #11. The end of Season 5 ends the same way, except it's "Babylon Prime" that is retired.

    #12. When Sheridan was brought in he instead became the "religious symbol" who would bring all the alien worlds togehter in a new alliance. The civil war plot was brought in with him. I say this about the civil war because it's not mentioned anywhere in the outline, and in fact Earth still seems to control Babylon 5 until the Centauri declare it their own in the outline. jms mentioned that the episodes "The Coming of Shadows," "All Alone in the Night," "Acts of Sacrifice," and "Hunter, Prey" would show how Sheridan was not Sinclair, and some of those episodes lead directly into the civil war plot.

    #13. The Sinclair plot that was replaced was the one where goverment agents think more and more that he is a traitor. This started in "And the Sky Full of Stars" and continued in "Eyes." Originally, Walter Koenig was going to play Knight Two through all the seasons. The outline desribes this group still chasing him after Babylon 5 is blown up. So instead of this chase plot, we get Sheridan and the Civil War!

    #14. My brain hurts

  • #2
    I had another thought about the Sheridan's role. As I was reading another one of the script books (I can't quite remember which one at the moment) I came across a note where jms mentions that Sheridan was there because he was the only one who would stand up to the Vorlons -- because he was so interested in mysteries he was willing to just say "hey Kosh, what's your deal." Since Sinclair wouldn't likely do this, this could be more of the reason for Sheridan, as opposed to the civil war portion. Also, the defintition of the 3rd age of mankind changed somewhere along the lines. Initially, it was to be the new birth of the Minbari & Human races through the son conceived by Delenn and Sinclair.

    When jms decided to change this to the age when we no longer need the Shadows and the Vorlons to tell us how to behave, perhaps that's when he decided he needed a character to come in to be able to stand up to Kosh. The episodes "The Coming of Shadows," "All Alone in the Night," and "Hunter, Prey" do all have scenes involving the relationship between Sheridan and Kosh, so perhaps that's what jms was actually referring to, since it seems to be supported with his comments in the script book.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
      #12. When Sheridan was brought in he instead became the "religious symbol" who would bring all the alien worlds togehter in a new alliance. The civil war plot was brought in with him. I say this about the civil war because it's not mentioned anywhere in the outline, and in fact Earth still seems to control Babylon 5 until the Centauri declare it their own in the outline. jms mentioned that the episodes "The Coming of Shadows," "All Alone in the Night," "Acts of Sacrifice," and "Hunter, Prey" would show how Sheridan was not Sinclair, and some of those episodes lead directly into the civil war plot.
      In some of his posts JMS mentioned how, when he was contemplating Sinclair diappearing for an extended period, it would allow them to explore more things than if he stayed. This isn't the exact quote I was looking for, but it's close:

      This will also allow us to pursue some
      new directions avenues for the show that will help to expedite the
      overall story. Sinclair disappearing for an indeterminate period
      after the events of "Chrysalis" will allow us to tighten the screws
      of the story, and heighten the tension of things going on in the
      storyline.
      #13. The Sinclair plot that was replaced was the one where goverment agents think more and more that he is a traitor. This started in "And the Sky Full of Stars" and continued in "Eyes." Originally, Walter Koenig was going to play Knight Two through all the seasons. The outline desribes this group still chasing him after Babylon 5 is blown up. So instead of this chase plot, we get Sheridan and the Civil War!
      I've wondered if that was going to be intertwined with the 'Earth involved in black projects/looking for alien tech to give them an advantage' arc that we began to see all the way back to 'Infection', saw again when they dug up the Shadow vessel and started seeing more of in 'Crusade'

      #14. My brain hurts
      Thinking about time travel always does that to me.

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
        #1. In volume 2 of the script books, jms says the original other side of Babylon Squared would have been four years later...i.e. the beginning of Season 5. The outline has Babylon 4 being taken forward to replace a destroyed Babylon 5.

        #4. If Babylon 4 was planned to be taken forward in time in the beginning of Season 5, then Babylon 5 was to be destroyed at the end of Season 4!
        But Babylon Squared is at the tail end of season 1, so exactly 4 years later would be more towards the end of season 5?

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        • #5
          Well what he said was "about four years" not "exactly four years." The main thing I was working on was connecting the quote in "Babylon Squared" to the description of Garibaldi coming back when he was most needed:

          From the Babylon Squared script:

          Garibaldi: Look this isn't a conversation! Jeff...it's okay. I finally understand. This is the moment I was born for. Now...go. Hurry.
          From the outline:

          Also, during the season three/four bridge, Garibaldi will begin to slip back into his drinking problem. It will cause him to throw down his badge and resign as chief of Babylon 5 security for most of season four, coming back only at the very end of that season, when he is most needed.
          The very next paragraph in the outline is the description of the season one Babylon Squared episode, even though we are at Season four in the outline. That's the main reason I connected the two in my head, even though the outline says shortly after that the destruction of Babylon 5 is the end of season 5. This is where my guessing coming in on studio notes vs. jms notes comes in so I could be wrong, but the main reason I was guessing it would be at the end of season 4 instead is because there is no story listed for Season 4 beyond revealing the Shadows.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jan View Post
            I've wondered if that was going to be intertwined with the 'Earth involved in black projects/looking for alien tech to give them an advantage' arc that we began to see all the way back to 'Infection', saw again when they dug up the Shadow vessel and started seeing more of in 'Crusade'
            This also comes up in Season 4 in "Between the Darkness and the Light" when one of the Earth ships is revealed to have integrated Shadow Technology. I am thinking this would have been expanded on in Season 5 if Ivanova had stayed.

            From the script for "Rising Star":

            Anchor (V. O.): Captain Ivanova has been offered a choice between permanent duty as commanding officer aboard Babylon 5, or being given command of one of the new Warlock class destroyers.
            From the Empire Building Season 5 arc in Volume 10:

            Captain Ivanova divides her time between B5 and preparing to take command of the first of the Warlock class destroyers.
            The short story written later:

            Captain Susan Ivanova returns to Babylon 5, requesting help from President John Sheridan. Ivanova is concerned with a problem that she has with her new command, the Warlock-class destroyer Titans. It seems that Earth Force has made good use of the ShadowsÆ technology û and the only way to prevent this lies with the ship belonging to Vorlon ambassador Ulkeshà
            This makes me think that part of the Earth using Shadow Tech plot was originally going to be in Season Five.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JoeD80
              This makes me think that part of the Earth using Shadow Tech plot was originally going to be in Season Five.
              That would fit with the whole theme of "choices, consequences, responsibility".

              Comment


              • #8
                I seem to recall a statement by Tim Choate that he was told he would be needed in the series final again - does anyone else remember that, or even know where he said that, or am I imagining things?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, all I can say is this...

                  In previous posts, on other threads, I may have seemed to be very critical of JMS. I may have used terms that indicated that I thought he was just saying what he wanted and the fans be damned.

                  Not so.

                  Even if the finite details were open to flexibility and change, the story was the story. It must have been damned hard to rearrange things, shuffle the order of events and add new sections if there were gaps that needed bridging (and then the subsequent tweaking of what was already there to suit) once Michael O'Hare left the show.

                  Let's face it, the whole rest of that 'what-possibly-could-have-been' show (with that original plot direction) was based on what we got in season one, on the performances of Michael, Mira and Jerry particularly.

                  Despite the professionalism on display by both JMS and Michael, there must have been no small amount of somewhat panicked, soiled under ware in the B5 writing camp when Michael left the show. To have pulled off the story as well as he did denotes a Herculean effort in thought and writing on JMS's part to have done it so well.

                  I personally am glad the the show became condensed into one five-year story. It made for great drama and plenty of movement.

                  BABYLON 5 remains THE BEST SF show produced in a long time, equaling classic TREK.
                  http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
                  Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
                  47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LightStorm View Post
                    Let's face it, the whole rest of that 'what-possibly-could-have-been' show (with that original plot direction) was based on what we got in season one, on the performances of Michael, Mira and Jerry particularly.
                    I'm not sure exactly what you are saying here. What do the performances of Mira and Jerry have to do with the plot? Sure, I loved all the performances personally, but what happened with Delenn was always the plan for Delenn and what happened with Garibaldi was always the plan for Garibaldi (if a slightly different order).

                    Despite the professionalism on display by both JMS and Michael, there must have been no small amount of somewhat panicked, soiled under ware in the B5 writing camp when Michael left the show. To have pulled off the story as well as he did denotes a Herculean effort in thought and writing on JMS's part to have done it so well.
                    jms already had those plot changes in his head before Michael and the show went their separate ways. No panic involved.
                    Last edited by JoeD80; 06-08-2008, 11:04 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                      jms already had those plot changes in his head before Michael and the show went their separate ways. No panic involved.
                      I think that changes like that (plotwise as well as concerning the departure of O'Hare) don't happen all of a sudden. I could imagine a parallel process, JMS having new ideas with respect to the shadow arc and realising that all of it would place too much weight on Sinclair alone, and the growing discomfort on the part of O'Hare with the TV production schedule as well as difficulties between Doyle and O'Hare. Thus my question concerning the statement by Choate - does anyone else remember that? 'cause that would indicate that the decision to shift plot points from the (hypothetical or actually planned) sequel into the series proper had already been made when Choate was cast for B-Squared.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mandragora View Post
                        Thus my question concerning the statement by Choate - does anyone else remember that? 'cause that would indicate that the decision to shift plot points from the (hypothetical or actually planned) sequel into the series proper had already been made when Choate was cast for B-Squared.
                        As for Tim Choate, remember that his character existed on Epsilon 3 too, so it wasn't necessarily for the flip-side of the Babylon 4 story that he was going to be needed. The discussions with O'Hare didn't occur until after production ended on the first season, so I imagine plot changes weren't decided on until after the production season also. Remember in Babylon Squared there is that time-flash forward of Garibaldi rigging the fusion reactors and firing his guns at whatever is attacking which was likely to be actually seen, instead of being part of a future that didn't happen because they sent Babylon 4 back in time.
                        Last edited by JoeD80; 06-08-2008, 11:30 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I'm not sure exactly what you are saying here. What do the performances of Mira and Jerry have to do with the plot?

                          Ok, bad choice of wording. Conceeded...What I really was trying to get at was their chararcter's personal arcs.


                          jms already had those plot changes in his head before Michael and the show went their separate ways. No panic involved

                          Don't really see quite how that can work, when JMS himself has said that talks regarding MO'H's future involvment on the show occured between seasons. Besides which, even if he had still got some ideas re reshuffling pieces around, it is one thing to have some ideas in your head and another entirely to actually making it work so well that no real obvious logic flaws show.
                          Last edited by DGTWoodward; 06-09-2008, 02:30 PM.
                          http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
                          Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
                          47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LightStorm View Post
                            Don't really see quite how that can work, when JMS himself has said that talks regarding MO'H's future involvment on the show occured between seasons. Besides which, even if he had still got some ideas re reshuffling pieces around, it is one thing to have some ideas in your head and another entirely to actually making it work so well that no real obvious logic flaws show.
                            Huh? He can't make story change between seasons? He had the five years mapped out already! He can make story changes whenever he wants! He just redraws his map of the arc when needed!

                            What jms said is that what was dropped from season 2 was B-plots, because the humans needed to be emphasized more in Season 2 than they had been in Season 1:

                            Let me be clear on this: *no* arc-related stories will be sacrificed, at all. We're talking mainly in terms of B stories, not A stories. Most of our season 1 B stories concentrated on the alien ambassadors; Ivanova really gets only two strong B stories, and some smaller ones; Delenn gets something like six. It's just a question of finding the balance.
                            Season 2 still follows a lot of the outline (the finale for Season Two is exactly as written in the Sinclair outline, except of course it's Sheridan who gets rescued from the explosion). The Narn-Centauri war starts as in the outline (although it's in Season 3 in the outline). It's in later seasons in the series where things diverge.
                            Last edited by JoeD80; 06-09-2008, 02:51 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I found the quote I was thinking of earlier, where jms mentions the talks with O'Hare being after his ideas on story changes:

                              Yes, it's quite true. And it was precipitated, in large measure, by an in-house evaluation of the story, and where we stood, and what more we could do to make the story tighter, more interesting, and bring in some surprises. Then followed our talks with Michael, who had some thoughts of his own. And this is not a total separation; there may well be some sightings of Sinclair along the way from time to time....

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