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Old February 27 2011, 04:29 AM   #1
Mr Light
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Location: Pennsylvania
Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Obviously, spoilers for all of Season Four and Five.


A slow night and Babylon 5 on the brain! As we all know, at the outset of Season Four, JMS was told there would not be a fifth year,
so he condensed the storyline to fit into one season. So it's always been a fun exercise to try and guess what the original episode
order would have been.

I recall JMS saying the following things: there would have been more "explosions" to the Shadow War.
"Into the Fire" would have been a two parter.
The Minbari Civil War got the short end of the stick.
The season would have ended with "Intersections".
"Darkness and Light" was the most obvious sign of story compression (Sheridan getting rescued in a single episode)
Also, there were lots of hints that the Agamemnon crew was still working for Clark, that a lot of the "defectors" were really Clark plants. So I imagine part of "Darkness and Light" would have been an internal battle in the middle of the fleet, probably right before or during the Shadow Destroyer attack.
Of course in this original iteration, Ivanova remains a regular to the end and there's no Lochely (thank god).
The Byron storyline ended up getting stretched out in Season Five. And of course, as originally planned, Ivanova falls in love with Byron, and Lyta is just a loyal follower in love with him from afar. (Makes you wonder if Ivanova would have been involved in the teep resistance movement then, I'd never thought of that before)


SEASON FOUR:
67 401 The Hour of the Wolf
68 402 Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?
69 403 The Summoning
*** 404 New Shadow War Episode
70 405 Falling Toward Apotheosis
*** 406 New Shadow War Episode
71 407 The Long Night
72 408 Into the Fire
*** 409 Into the Fire Part Two
73 410 Epiphanies
74 411 The Illusion of Truth
75 412 Atonement
76 413 Racing Mars
77 414 Lines of Communication
78 415 Conflicts of Interest
79 416 Rumors, Bargains and Lies
*** 417 Actual Minbari Civil War Battle Episode
80 418 Moments of Transition
81 419 No Surrender, No Retreat
82 420 The Exercise of Vital Powers
83 421 The Face of the Enemy
84 422 Intersections in Real Time

SEASON FIVE:
85 501 Between the Darkness and the Light
90 502 The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari
*** 503 Darkness and Light Part Two
*** 504 Darkness and Light Part Three
86 505 Endgame
87 506 Rising Star
89 507 No Compromises / The Paragon of Animals
92 508 A View from the Gallery
94 509 Strange Relations
97 510 In the Kingdom of the Blind
98 511 A Tragedy of Telepaths / Phoenix Rising
96 512 Day of the Dead
100 513 The Ragged Edge
102 514 Meditations on the Abyss / Darkness Ascending
104 515 And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
*** 516 New Centauri War Episode
105 517 Movements of Fire and Shadow
106 518 The Fall of Centauri Prime
107 519 The Wheel of Fire
108 520 Objects in Motion
109 521 Objects at Rest
110 522 Sleeping in Light
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Old February 27 2011, 05:06 AM   #2
chrisspringob
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Mr Light wrote: View Post
The season would have ended with "Intersections".
He said that a couple of times. But he also said at least once (maybe in one of the script books?) that it would have ended with "The Face of the Enemy". It's possible that neither episode would have existed in its current form.

Remember that originally, "Intersections" wasn't going to be a full episode devoted to Sheridan's interrogation. There was a b-story about Garibaldi going over to the Mars resistance which ended up getting carried over to "Between the Darkness and the Light". Not sure what particular combination of story threads would have ended where under the "original" plan.
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Old February 27 2011, 05:44 AM   #3
Mr Light
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

I would have preferred "Face" as the finale, it's more eventful. And of course it would have put Sheridan in the exact same position he was at the end of the previous season, at the brink of death held prisoner by some werido
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Old February 27 2011, 07:10 AM   #4
Elemental
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I would have preferred "Face" as the finale, it's more eventful. And of course it would have put Sheridan in the exact same position he was at the end of the previous season, at the brink of death held prisoner by some werido
That is the one thing about this idea for the season 4 ending that I don't like as much - that it is basically very similar to season 3's ending, other than he was presumed dead in season 3.
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Old February 27 2011, 07:51 AM   #5
Candlelight
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Part of me would've even liked the events of season four stretched to remove as much of season five as possible. S4 could even have ended with Sheridan vowing to bring Clark down after the attacks on civilians, so Season Five begins with No Surrender, No Retreat.
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Old February 27 2011, 08:25 AM   #6
chrisspringob
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

If there had been no prospect of a spinoff series like Crusade, no prospect of a feature film, and no prospect of a series of novels, then I wonder if JMS might have actually included the full "Telepath War" story in Season 5 (and possibly merge it with the Byron story), rather than push it off two years in the future, for inclusion in a feature film that never ended up happening. He could have even had the resolution of the Garibaldi / Bester storyline happen in Season 5, rather than push it out 20 years for the novels.

The script books suggest that there was a great deal of fluidity with regard to which storylines were going to be included in the 5-year arc of the series, and which would be kept in reserve for spinoffs, so it's definitely possible.

Heck, when I first watched the series, between Lyta's comment in "Face of the Enemy" ("Some day there's going to be a war between telepaths and normals") and Delenn's narration in "Rising Star" that mentions the "Telepath War", I fully expected to see that war occur in Season 5, and was really surprised when the only telepath arc in Season 5 was the Byron story.

Also remember JMS's quote:

http://midwinter.com/lurk/guide/013.html

Now my job is to walk up alongside the story with a crowbar and give it a good, hard WHAM! to move it into a different trajectory. "Parliament" was just sort of a preliminary nudge. "And the Sky Full of Stars" was a good, solid WHAM! This week's episode, "Signs and Portents," is another WHAM, even bigger than the one that precedes it.

There are two more major WHAM episodes: "Babylon Squared," dealing with the fate of Babylon 4, and "Chrysalis," our season ender, which is really more of an atomic bomb rather than a crowbar. So roughly about one-fourth of this season's episodes are WHAM episodes. That figure will increase in year two to about one-third. Year three (Neilsen willing) will be half-WHAM and hal-not. Year four would be three-quarters WHAM. And year five is all WHAM.
By most people's measure, Season 5 was not all WHAM. But imagine an alternate universe Season 5 that included the final episodes of the Earth Civil War arc (picking up from "Intersections in Real Time"), plus the Telepath War, plus the resolution of the Bester/Garibaldi mind block story, plus the Centauri/Drakh storyline and Londo's ascension to the throne. That would have been something.
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Old February 27 2011, 09:48 AM   #7
Candlelight
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Don't forget this quote too:

JMS wrote: View Post

First thing I did was to flip out the stand-alones, which traditionally have taken up the first 6 or so episodes of each season; between two years, that's 12 episodes, over half a season right there. Then you would usually get a fair number of additional stand-alones scattered across the course of the season. So figure another 3-4 per season, say 8, that's 20 out of 44. So now you're left with basically 24 episodes to fill out the main arc of the story.
The original fourth season would've had stand alones in it, so maybe the extras that Mr Light has added might not have been related to an arc at all, but maybe just a 'meanwhile on B5' type of episode.
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Old February 27 2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Could easily be wrong, but I thought I'd read somewhere that the original season 4 cliffhanger would have been Sheridan's capture on Mars, meaning that Intersections in Real Time would have come at the beginning of season 5?!
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Old February 27 2011, 10:38 AM   #9
chrisspringob
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Angel4576 wrote: View Post
Could easily be wrong, but I thought I'd read somewhere that the original season 4 cliffhanger would have been Sheridan's capture on Mars, meaning that Intersections in Real Time would have come at the beginning of season 5?!
Like I said, JMS has said a couple of times that "Intersections in Real Time" would have been the season finale, and at least once that "The Face of the Enemy" would have been the season finale. Those two statements would seem to be in conflict, but it's also possible that the "Sheridan is captured" storyline would have played out differently enough that there would have been some kind of hybrid of the episodes or something.
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Old February 27 2011, 11:11 AM   #10
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

I know I'm a minority on this, but I much prefer the season four and five which we got to the planned outline. If season four had ended with "Intersections..." or "Face..." it would have felt like a rehash of season three (as has been pointed out upthread). So, the conflict is still running, but now Sheridan's missing, there's a pause in the action but the tension of what happens next is very much evident - that's pretty much just "Z'ha'dum" all over again. But as it is, the season four we've got ends very differently from season three - the conflict is over, the alliance is formed, it's a new beginning, and we end with a very satisfying sense of resolution. Then season five picks up soon after to detail the gritty business of actually making this new alliance work. And of course season five is a lot slower-paced initially - it should be. It's a changed galaxy, Sheridan has a new job, things have settled down. To me, the difference between the three seasons is a great strength of the show - stretching the Earth and Minbari civil wars over season four and five would, I feel, just leave us with three pretty much indistinguishable action/tension seasons, and the show would loose a lot of its subtlty.

And season five's Centauri war arc would have much less emotional power if it followed directly on the heels of another war. The period of quiet, slow-paced peace in the first half of the season is, I feel, necessary to really get a sense of the tragedy. We have to see the peace and quiet to fully appreciate the idea of "And all my dreams torn asunder", surely?
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Old February 27 2011, 02:32 PM   #11
Mr Light
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

The problem with JMS' statement about the first six episodes being standalone is that both S3 and S4 end on a cliffhanger that demands the story continue to frutition. Sheridan being lost at Z'ha'dum and then being captured by Clark. Unless he was just going to let Sheridan sit in the stir for six episodes before returning each time. But then you'd have the other characters dealing with random hijinks on the station while their beloved captain is missing all this time...

Oh crap I forgot something. "A Call to Arms" was supposed to have taken place inside Season Five because the TV movies didn't exist. And probably "Thirdspace" too. Oh yeah, and "In the Beginning" was going to be in the show, so probably "Atonement" would have expanded into a 2-3 part flashback. Obviously I'm going to leave out "River of Souls"

SEASON FOUR:
67 401 The Hour of the Wolf
68 402 Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?
69 403 The Summoning
*** 404 New Shadow War Episode
70 405 Falling Toward Apotheosis
71 406 The Long Night
72 407 Into the Fire
*** 408 Into the Fire Part Two
73 409 Epiphanies
74 410 The Illusion of Truth
*** 411 Thirdspace (let's say it's a single episode originally)
75 412 Atonement / In the Beginning
*** 413 In the Beginning Part Two
76 414 Racing Mars
77 415 Lines of Communication
78 416 Conflicts of Interest / Rumors, Bargains and Lies
*** 417 Actual Minbari Civil War Battle Episode
80 418 Moments of Transition
81 419 No Surrender, No Retreat
82 420 The Exercise of Vital Powers
83 421 The Face of the Enemy
84 422 Intersections in Real Time

SEASON FIVE:
85 501 Between the Darkness and the Light
90 502 The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari
*** 503 Darkness and Light Part Two
*** 504 Darkness and Light Part Three
86 505 Endgame
87 506 Rising Star
89 507 No Compromises / The Paragon of Animals
92 508 A View from the Gallery
94 509 Strange Relations
97 510 In the Kingdom of the Blind
98 511 A Tragedy of Telepaths / Phoenix Rising
96 512 Day of the Dead
100 513 The Ragged Edge
102 514 Meditations on the Abyss / Darkness Ascending
104 515 And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
*** 516 New Centauri War Episode
105 517 Movements of Fire and Shadow
106 518 The Fall of Centauri Prime
107 519 The Wheel of Fire / Objects in Motion / Objects at Rest
*** 520 Call to Arms
*** 521 Call to Arms Part Two
110 522 Sleeping in Light
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Last edited by Mr Light; February 27 2011 at 02:57 PM.
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Old February 27 2011, 02:59 PM   #12
Yoda
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

I'm surprised that JMS even admits that not everything that aired went exactly according to his master plan.

Anyway, if a more definite renewal would've led to less Byron, then what happened was a tragedy.
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Old February 27 2011, 04:54 PM   #13
Forbin
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Yoda wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that JMS even admits that not everything that aired went exactly according to his master plan.
He's always been open about that.
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Old February 27 2011, 04:58 PM   #14
saturn5
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Much as I loved Ivanova I'm really glad how it worked out as it gave Lyta a greater share of the storyline and let us have Captain Lochley. Still nice to have have everyone's favourite Russian/Jewish/telepathic/lesbian for the final ep
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Old February 27 2011, 10:06 PM   #15
Elemental
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Re: Babylon 5: The Original Season Four and Five

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I know I'm a minority on this, but I much prefer the season four and five which we got to the planned outline. If season four had ended with "Intersections..." or "Face..." it would have felt like a rehash of season three (as has been pointed out upthread). So, the conflict is still running, but now Sheridan's missing, there's a pause in the action but the tension of what happens next is very much evident - that's pretty much just "Z'ha'dum" all over again. But as it is, the season four we've got ends very differently from season three - the conflict is over, the alliance is formed, it's a new beginning, and we end with a very satisfying sense of resolution. Then season five picks up soon after to detail the gritty business of actually making this new alliance work. And of course season five is a lot slower-paced initially - it should be. It's a changed galaxy, Sheridan has a new job, things have settled down. To me, the difference between the three seasons is a great strength of the show - stretching the Earth and Minbari civil wars over season four and five would, I feel, just leave us with three pretty much indistinguishable action/tension seasons, and the show would loose a lot of its subtlty.

And season five's Centauri war arc would have much less emotional power if it followed directly on the heels of another war. The period of quiet, slow-paced peace in the first half of the season is, I feel, necessary to really get a sense of the tragedy. We have to see the peace and quiet to fully appreciate the idea of "And all my dreams torn asunder", surely?
I agree 100%. The end of season 4 is really the most at-peace these characters will ever be with each other before the alliance "cracks" (as Delenn put it in "Rising Star") in season 5. As is stated at the beginning of "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", it is a time to "pause, selah".
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