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Old May 25 2013, 01:15 PM   #1
Jan
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Location: ...is insane. --JMS
Babylon 5 - Why 'Sinclair' left the show

I'm luck enough to be at the big Babylon 5 20th anniversary celebration at the Phoenix Comicon this weekend. One of the many B5 related panels was a special one that JMS requested and asked all the fans to attend. He didn't say why, but said we would be helping him keep a many years promise.

The first part of the panel was...stupid. A mod who wasn't a fan asked JMS a few generic questions and then let fans ask questions (that wasn't stupid, just the first guy) for a while.

For the second half of the panel, JMS shooed to 'moderator' off and talked about Rick Biggs, Andreas Katsulas, Jeff Connaway and Michael O'Hare. It was a true tribute to their courage and grace in ways that inspired him. Rick's love of life, Jeff's courage at beginning his career again with B5 and Andreas' courage and grace at facing terminal cancer. Then he told us about Michael O'Hare.

Toward the last third of season one, both JMS and Michael realized that Michael had a problem of increasingly delusional episodes, typified by paranoia. This can be helped with medication but that takes time and there really wasnt time while the show was shooting. JMS was even willing to shut down production for Michael to be able to get the help he needed but Michael didn't want to be responsible for the show shutting down and asked JMS to let him try to complete shooting. JMS did, and admired Michael was he struggled every day.

After shooting was done, they all knew that Michael couldn't carry on so JMS let him know that when the time came, Michael could come back to complete Sinclair's arc. Thanks to friends, JMS knew when Michael was able to come back and perform in "War Without End". Afterward, JMS promised Michael that he'd 'keep the secret to his grave' but Michael asked him to keep the secret to *his* (Michael's) grave instead. And so...JMS told the story of Michael's struggle today. And he told us how there were times when the fans really helped Michael keep. going.

JMS' admiration for the courage that each man showed was obviously deeply felt and sincere and the entire room (which was full to capacity) gave him a standing ovation and thanked him for what he'd said. It was an amazing experience and, I think an important moment in B5 history.

Jan
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