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Old March 4 2013, 10:58 PM   #36
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
There is no brilliant, successful example of an sf series following an overarching pre-plotted storyline from the beginning to the end of the series. That kind of narrow plot-focused writing produces mediocre drama.
Well that's some damn tasty bait you've got there, but I think I'll pass.
That's probably a good idea, because one would have to come up with an example to the contrary that holds up.
Hey i'll bite and throw in the obvious example.. Babylon 5 (as if you didn't mean that show ).

Season 1 was mediocre but than many shows have less than stellar first seasons including all Trek shows.. tying in with this thread BSG was the exception as i've rarely seen a better first season anywhere (and was maybe the reason why so many people stuck with the show to the end even if it was bankrupt by season 3).

Babylon 5 was a good mix of standalone and arch episodes, sometimes even mixing the main plot into standalone shows in a subtle way that you only realize once you've seen the entire show.

JMS had one overall story he wanted to tell and he plotted it out.. the Shadows really did have a plan as well as the Vorlons and over the course of that show this plan became slowly apparent. Now the show unravelled a bit after season 4 due to real world studio meddling and JMS had to rewrite it so in the worst case scenario he'd at least finish the main story only to find himself out of material once the show got the green light for season 5 and he had to come up with storylines he never expected to have to do.
Sure the show had some stinkers in between but once the ratio of arch episodes increased during season 2 they became less and by season 3 you were hooked because every episode was important to get the whole story.

It's right that there is no law requring arch based shows to have pre-planned stories for at least the major points so RDM was never obliged to do so but in the end it's just good advice.
Don't introduce cool new things without having an idea why and what to do with it in the future.. it's that simple and RDM violated that by going for style over substance.

No one was present in RDM's writing room but there are enough reports to go around to paint a picture of a laid back, creative environment. While most of us would like to work in such a place most of us also know it's usually not very productive. There's a reason that every project, every workplace has a boss.. sometimes you get a cool boss who handles his people well without standing behind their backs all the time and sometimes you have the slavemaster from hell but they all have the same goal in mind.. efficient work so as to avoid last minute scrambles which only invite mistakes.

In that regard Moore seems like a bad boss.. a good buddy but a bad leader and the show suffered for it greatly. I was disappointed how the show developed and really dislike the ending because it became an incoherent mess and for that i blame RDM's lax style and lack of focus.
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