Rick Berman comments on Babylon 5

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by toughlittleship, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "There was a time when, I don’t know whether it was specifically Straczynski or other people, it was implied that he had pitched an idea similar to DS9 to Paramount and that it had been rejected and that, lo and behold, a year or so later DS9 came about. The implication being that Michael Piller and I perhaps stole all or part of his idea, which was always amusing to Michael and I because it was completely untrue. We had no knowledge of this gentleman. If he did pitch something to Paramount, we never heard about it. DS9 was a show that was created by Michael and me and Brandon Tartikoff, who was the recent head of Paramount at the time, without any knowledge of Straczynski or of anything that he had ever pitched. So when we were accused of stealing his idea it was a little sad but at the same time a little comical to us."
     
  2. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    Those are some comments of Berman's that I actually agree with.
     
  3. Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Every time I read the arguments claiming that DS9 ripped off B5, I think of this.
     
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    JMS has said he doesn't think that Piller and Berman stole from him, he thinks that some elements were suggested/forced on them by the Paramount Execs who DID know about B5.

    But this rivalry thing has really been blown up, the teams behind the two shows were quite friendly to one another the whole way through.
     
  5. Quinton O'Connor

    Quinton O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    Sensationalism's hand at work.
     
  6. timelord1010

    timelord1010 Captain Captain

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    I enjoyed both shows. I found it interesting that both shows had strong female first officers but other than that the only other major thing they had in common was that they were set on a space station out in the middle of nowhere and both stations became the central point in wars.
     
  7. Danoz

    Danoz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    These were still striking similarities for two major science fiction initiatives to appear at the same general time. Reminds me of the way you get "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" rolling one after the other in competitive fashion, and then "Truman Show" and "Ed T.V." popping up.

    Frankly, in the end, whether one was inspired by executive competition, it resulted in two very awesome shows. Beyond the "space station" outline, the similarities generally end there (I've heard defenses to the contrary but I find them pretty thin...)
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Anybody that thinks DS9's writers weren't influenced by B5 is kidding themself. Ron Moore's entire appearance is based on Marcus and we all know it! Also, Ira Behr made this t-shirt to honour the so-timid-nobody-even-noticed-it relationship between Ivanova and Talia:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, this is co-opting - trying to horn in on the other guy's market share by making a similar product. I'd say it's the only thing DS9 is guilty of and it's far from uncommon.

    For some reason, that looks like it's a cameo appearance by Behr on MST3k... Just the camera resolution and weirdness of the shot. Plus, without anything in the background in focus it looks like the Satellite of Love bridge or Deep 13.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  10. Quinton O'Connor

    Quinton O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    I've not seen Behr look so striking since I first noted his blue hair in last year's documentary on Biography.
     
  11. heavylids

    heavylids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    There is a big difference between being influenced and stealing ideas. If being influenced by anything meant that you were plagiarizing, then nothing would ever get made.
     
  12. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    No one on DS9 was influenced by anything on B5. Wolfe has said that he and the other DS9 writers didn't watch B5 because they resented (and rightfully so) how Straczynski accused them of being thieves.

    I don't know about "the teams," but I do know the DS9 showmakers resent/ed being called thieves by Straczynski. Also, Straczynski has made many snarky comments about DS9 which disparage DS9's showmakers as being thieves. For example, Straczynski posted spoilers to the Sisko's destiny in WYLB before WYLB originally aired, and when a fan called Straczynski out on that immoral behaviour, Straczynski's excuse was (I'm paraphrasing here): "I didn't see it as a spoiler because the hero dies and goes to live with the Ancient Ones, everyone already saw us do it on Babylon 5".

    So yeah, maybe the production "teams" or something were friendly to each other, but Straczynski was/is certainly unjustly hateful against DS9's writers and fans.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And what about when JMS got Majel to come on to B5 as a member of Royalty, and said that B5 was a monument to her "late husband's work"? I suppose that was also JMS being disrespectful?

    An anyways, what happened to Sheridan and Sisko are both just take off of what happened to Frodo at the end of LOTR.
     
  14. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    He was referring only to TOS and TNG, not DS9. JMS either ignores (and in ignoring, makes comments that are inaccurate, because in those DS9-ignoring comments he states that Trek has never done things which DS9 does in fact do) or disparages DS9. He never comments on DS9 in a positive way (AFAIK, and I've read a lot of his comments). He does, however, comment positively about TOS and TNG, which is what your quotation is talking about.
     
  15. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He openly admitted that he never thought Piller and Berman stole from him, that was mainly the B5 fans who say that.
     
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wasn't being serious. Any post where I include that weird picture of Ira should be taken with several grains of salt and a light dusting of pepper.

    It's possible that Behr and co stole ideas from B5 over the years, but I seriously doubt that's the case. The similarities just aren't that similar.
     
  17. heavylids

    heavylids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I see. I love that picture by the way.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He wore the t-shirt in some documentary about DS9 I was watching on YouTube and I wanted to get a picture of it, but the only time you could see the word "lesbian" in full was when he raised his arms up like that. I felt it added to the theme that he's somewhat eccentric.
     
  19. heavylids

    heavylids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    He definitely is. I always see photos of him with really odd looking glasses and attire. I'd say most creative people tend to be pretty eccentric. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
     
  20. antiquityscion

    antiquityscion Commander

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    I always have been fascinated by the people who say DS9 ripped Babylon 5. I never believed it, myself, and personally see them as very different shows and I like both.

    But the similarities are stunning:
    http://www.firstones.com/wiki/Similarities_between_Babylon_5_and_Star_Trek:_Deep_Space_Nine

    That said, I can see why someone would think that MJS has a point. By the same token, even if he were plagiarized to some degree, one could say that the whole premise of Babylon 5 was very Star Trek-ish as well. Not to mention, MJS had not just Majel, but also other Trek actors appear on his show, too, http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Babylon_5

    Everyone borrows from one another in show bizz and art in general. Sometimes it is overt, but most times it is subconsciously. And sometimes, people just come up with similar ideas independently.

    Both DS9 and Bablyon 5 were successful in their own rights, and both have their own fans, many fans if not most, cross over to the other show. I never understood the "this or that" mentality.