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Old February 26 2013, 08:08 PM   #106
Demiurge
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
A superficial similarity does not an inspiration make.
I'm a Tolkien purist through and through. Babylon 5 shows huge influence from Tolkien's legendarium and is undoubtedly its biggest influence. JMS' online comments consistently reference LOTR as a comparison and influence. Nagisa is right in that having the elder races leave the younger ones for the Grey Havens is a huge riff but there are countless others that are vital to the DNA of the show.

Some are obvious like the Rangers and Sinclair's Za'ha'dum fall and resurrection. Others are to do with the general structure of the novel-like story. And Sheridan/Delenn's romance is a clear homage to Beren and Luthien (My favourite chapter of Tolkien's!).
I agree with most of this, but the Beren/Luthien thing is a bit of a stretch. The star crossed lovers from different backgrounds goes back a bit farther than Tolkein. Other than them being different races, there isn't too much similarity.
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Old February 26 2013, 08:50 PM   #107
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

If not Beren and Luthien then he based them on Aragorn and Arwen I'd wager.
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Old February 26 2013, 09:15 PM   #108
Jan
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Location: ...is insane. --JMS
Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

This seems apt:

JMS wrote:
What you have to understand is that virtually all of the items
you list are generic tools used in great mythic sagas. A lone group
with great responsibilities, a dark force gathering strength, defenders
of light, beings of great power who are inscrutable or difficult...the
names change but the archetypes remain. Tolkein used those archetypes,
as I'm using them, as other writers have used them. Consequently, you
see in this show whichever myth-cycle you're most familiar with.

jms
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Old February 26 2013, 09:19 PM   #109
Demiurge
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

DalekJim wrote: View Post
If not Beren and Luthien then he based them on Aragorn and Arwen I'd wager.
Well, there's more than a fair comparison between the houses of Montague and Capulet too
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Old February 26 2013, 09:32 PM   #110
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

dub wrote: View Post
Someone claiming to be from the production staff of DS9 posted this on facebook:

They almost used this as the open for Season 7, but I stopped them because I told them they stole too much from B5 already:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlB-zCZ2PWo
Ah-HA!!
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Old February 26 2013, 11:35 PM   #111
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

So which one was Khazad-dum and which one was Z'ha'dum again?
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Old February 27 2013, 12:30 AM   #112
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

Z'ha'dum is the place where the hero falls to his death and is resurrected, only to leave for the distant land with the elder races at the end of his journey.

Oh, wait.
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Old February 27 2013, 12:40 AM   #113
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

EnsignRicky wrote: View Post
So which one was Khazad-dum and which one was Z'ha'dum again?
Khazad-dum was a location in a world-famous series of novels that have sold millions of copies, reliably, for decades and served as the basis for three of the most successful movies in history.

The other one was a place in a low-budget '90s TV show that almost no one watched.
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Old February 27 2013, 02:27 AM   #114
Jan
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

No 'dum today. 'dum tomorrrow. There's always 'dum tomorrow....
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Old February 27 2013, 02:40 AM   #115
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

'DS9 stole a lot from B5', I would not say 'stole' exactly, because that word is very loaded but certain developers and writers borrowed heavily from the original JMS script. As the seasons moved on Babylon may have lifted ds9 ideas or borrowed back, taking DS9 arcs and concepts and making it their own.

I wrote on this a long time ago

http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-7652

Was B5 brought to Paramount?
Yes, it was, and I have the correspondence to prove it. Were some of the
development people at Paramount who read the B5 screenplay and saw the series treatment and bible also involved in the DS9 development? It seems that this is indeed the case. That's not unsubstantiated "bs" as you say, and I really don't care what you think on that subject. All of that is a matter of record.

Were Pillar and Berman aware of B5 at any time? No. Of that I am also confident. The only question in my mind is to what degree did the development people steer them?


Campe98 wrote:

If you use that logic then any show with a starship with over a hundred people on it and travel faster than light should credit Gene Roddenberry.


In online interviews Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov, Bester) often talked about the freshness and originality of the B5 show, now why would a legend like Keonig who was always dedicated to Trek keep saying something like this ? Let's look at some of the other connections, both wanted charming characters but very different to Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek vision and because war, terrorism, poverty etc feature so often in DS9 and its tone is totally unlike the other StarTrek's it is refered to the black sheep of the Star Trek family, the only problem being B5 came first. Deep Space Nine was not announced by Paramount until long after the announcement of B5 by Warner Bros. Both DS9 and B5 had spiritual beings enigmatic god like people, the Vorlons, the Prophets. B5 and DS9 both had shape shifters, and the two doctors from both shows had hidden secrets. Bashir had his genetic enhancement and Franklin's involvement with the underground. Other possible links Jeffrey Sinclair a war vet while DS9 had Sisko veteran of the fight at Wolf 359, the commander of each station eventually became a religious figure....I believe as Babylon-5 moved on - the tide started to turn the other way and the B5 people began to think if you can't beat them join them. This might be why Babylon-5 then started to borrow DS-9 ideas such as the allegation that the Whitestar was DS9 inspired since DS9's Defiant came first.

The difference between the people behind both shows, is that JMS and other B5 people seem to have no qualms about giving credit to Star Trek, Dune etc and how they inspired JMS and his work etc but Wolfe, Moore and the people are Paramount only get all emotional when the B5 connection is brought up and IMO this only adds more fuel to the theory a lot of borrowing was going on.
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Old February 27 2013, 02:43 AM   #116
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

DS9 and B5 are both right at the pinnacle of sci-fi storytelling in television. True, DS9 didn't plot its arcs as well as B5 did but the story threads didn't completely fall to shit like in the ending to NuBSG, and were generally superbly executed.

DS9 had a good, satisfying ending. B5 probably has the best series finale I've ever seen.

Last edited by DalekJim; February 27 2013 at 02:54 AM. Reason: Weird typo.
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Old February 27 2013, 02:48 AM   #117
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

I can't believe somebody's trying to use "the doctors have hidden secrets!!!!" as a point of connection between these two shows.
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Old February 27 2013, 03:02 AM   #118
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

I think the shapeshifters comment was a worse comparison. It's one instance JMS memorably lost his shit over but it doesn't hold up at all.

DS9 has a shape-shifter as one of the main characters. He physically changes his form (Rarely!) throughout the series and his mysterious past is the key to the threat to the Alpha Quadrant.

B5 has a forgettable henchman use a shape-shifting device in one episode.
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Old February 27 2013, 04:02 AM   #119
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

Sindatur wrote: View Post
First let me state, again, I don't care about the who stole from who thing, DS9 and B5 are my two all time favorite shows, s, this is merely a curiosity, because it is an incredible coincidence

Sheridan took his Sunday Drive to Meet Lorien (Aired in November 1998, but, was ready to be aird a year earlier at the end of S4, until TNT saved the show for a S5)
Sisko took a Sunday Dive to hang out with his mother (Aire May 1999)

Did JMS pitch enough about the futur story plans to hint at the ending to his arc? I know his original idea was much different as to the end game for Babylon 5

This is not an attempt to stir up anything, or provide proof of anything, it's just a curiosity, since Sisko ws pretty much set up for his end of Arc with the pilot, and it was pretty similar to the end of Sheridan's arc.
How much was in JMS's pitch/package to Paramount? Did he include every single trap door and branching storyline? The series was originally about Sinclair,
. Instead, they just moved that up and crafted a totally new ending for Sheridan IIRC. Did he have backup characters for everyone mapped out, or just for the commander? The only time Paramount got B5 material would've been 1992 on back. They would not have secretly been getting material at later times. The Sheridan ending was a stretch for Paramount to have and plan all that time. Then again, maybe DS9's writers were inspired by having watched the B5 series finale in Nov 1998.


Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
JoeD80 wrote: View Post
I think Hopstaken's timeline is a little off. Babylon 5 was already in its first season when the Chris-Craft stations decided to pull out of PTEN and form the core of UPN.
Also I dont recall DS9 being affiliated with PTEN, it was a syndicated show that was shown on independent stations ( some of whom did join WB and UPN) I don't see a mention of Paramount in Wiki about PTEN just Warner Bros and Chris-Craft. Paramount and Warner did join forces to form the CW, but that was a few years later. And Star Trek Voyager was the show that launched UPN. Maybe the post's author is conflating several events?
Yes. PTEN was formed from an alliance of 2 of the partners that went on to make UPN & WB (Warner-Bros teamed up with Tribune to help form WB, Chris-Craft with Paramount to form UPN). After PTEN formed, they both decided to form a full-fledged network of their own. IIRC, the repeal of some law in 1993 made it much more favorable for Paramount & WB to get involved directly in making a network as opposed to this special quasi-syndication format that was PTEN. PTEN was hobbled by a few issues, not the least of which was both partners having their eyes elsewhere. They were committed to PETN thru the 94-95 season, but once each of the networks came along in Jan 1995, PTEN was abandoned, being a glorified syndication package schedulable for any time and no new shows were developed. We can tell this because when Time Trax ended, to keep a 3rd show, Pointman was created. After 1995, each show lasted as long as their ratings would take them, which was thru the ends of 1995, 1996, and late 1997 respectively.


JoeD80 wrote: View Post
DS9 was straight syndication, so it was often on stations with PTEN shows, because PTEN only had 4 hours a week of programming at its max. If you saw Voyager on that station it was likely one of the Chris-Craft ones. Chris-Craft itself had put up a lot of money for season one; in season two the stations themselves had to make up that difference when the company backed UPN instead. A lot of other independent stations were added at that time. Since UPN and WB didn't have full week schedules at the time either it was possible to see all the UPN/PTEN/WB shows mixed on the same channel.
It seems like a lot of people have a cloudy view of syndication.


PTEN: Most PTEN stations were independent, but some were Fox. They fell below the national clearance threshold so had to sell the shows to Fox stations for airing anytime (since Fox had a full schedule by 1993) to bring the percentage up or else they'd be a half-national network like Pax/Ion.

From there, some PTEN stations became WB affiliates, some because UPN affiliates.

JMS himself considered B5 to be functionally in syndication and the ratings publications regarded PTEN (Babylon 5, Time Trax, Kung Fu: TLC) as syndicated, not grouping its shows in looking at the networks duking it out (i.e. Big Three + Fox).


Syndication: DS9 (and TNG, among many other shows) were in first-run syndication. The majority of stations that bought TNG & DS9 (early on) were independent stations. Independent stations sought out first-run content because it gave them something potentially hot to get viewers regularly tuning into. Syndication was good for them. First-run sitcoms did well in the '80s, first-run cartoons did well in the '80s & '90s.

Except for an affiliate switch that was going on that claimed some CBS, NBC stations, WB & UPN were built from independent stations, Fox followed by WB & UPN leaving very few independent stations left in the country when once there were many.

Let me bold this:
There's no association with DS9 or Babylon 5 with UPN or WB!
For many, DS9 aired on a UPN affiliate. In my area, DS9 aired on a WB affiliate and a different station from the one that had TNG. And B5, despite being produced by Warner Bros, aired on a UPN affiliate in my area.

As noted by others, it took years for WB & UPN to fill up the schedule for 5 nights a week. UPN only launched with Mondays and Tuesdays, expanding to Wednesdays in 1996. WB started with Wednesdays, then claimed Sunday, and eventually took on more of the week. Until the late '90s, Thursday and Friday were still free on UPN & WB affiliates for syndicated series like DS9, Hercules, Xena, Earth: Final Conflict, and PTEN remnants like B5 and Kung Fu: TLC.



I was a Star Trek fan at the time. Regularly watched TNG & Voyager, watched DS9 in Season 1, but its boringness drove me away, only tuning in intermittantly for Season 3, getting back into it regularly for Season 4. B5 was mildly interesting and I do remember seeing some episodes, but I didn't get into it til 1996. I regularly watched DS9, B5, and Voyager eagerly over 1996-98 and watched the remaining series to their ends. I went straight from Voyager to B5 many nights (they aired back to back when B5 was on TNT and Voyager returned to its 8PM CT/9PM ET timeslot). Yeah yeah, I must be a sci-fi heretic or something, but I saw no problem with being fans of each of these series. I agree with the earlier sentiments it's great we got 2 excellent sci-fi series out of it and what, 286 episodes and some tv movies? What's to complain about?
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Old February 27 2013, 04:37 AM   #120
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
'DS9 stole a lot from B5', I would not say 'stole' exactly, because that word is very loaded but certain developers and writers borrowed heavily from the original JMS script.
No, they did not.

The suggestion that the studio "steered" the guys who made DS9 up, BTW, is a nice bit of sleight-of-hand to avoid stepping into real trouble but has no basis in fact.
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