Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by chrisspringob, May 4, 2008.

  1. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    That makes sense and could easily have been the case. JMS often noted that he was regularly told that they could do *more* than was in the scripts.

    Jan
     
  2. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS


    Late run, I believe, when the "Last Word" feature shifted from a black background with white lettering to a white background with skyblue trim and black lettering. According to Worlds of JMS, it's Issue 16 with a feature on the Crusade episode, "Each Night I Dream of Home."
     
  3. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Okay, got it. It's not the notes that he made when he got *out* of the shower after the lightning struck and he realized that the "massive saga told across a vast landscape covering interstellar empires" and the "smaller series based on a space station that was a commercial port of call" were the same story. What he did in that column was sort of recreate the inner dialogue that happened while he was *in* the shower.

    He mused that all sorts of corporations would be coming through the space station including trading companies, shipments from colonies, etc. He figured that there would be transit papers and fees and that some corporations would be wanting to find and exploit lost alien technology. What if they found something belonging to a long-lost alien race? What if that race wasn't really gone but were sleeping and, when revived, caused a threat to worlds and colonies and space stations...

    It's very similar to the story he's told before in a stream-of-consciousness style rather than the usual narrative but there's not really any new information there.

    Jan
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Well, let's keep in mind that JMS himself is fond of the saying "No plan ever survives an encounter with the enemy." A plan developed for a series before it goes on the air shouldn't be taken as a definitive model for how the creator expects it to go from beginning to end, but as one or both of two things: 1) a starting point to build on, with the understanding that it will be adjusted as new contingencies and innovations arise, and 2) a sales document intended to convince a network or syndicator that your show is worth investing in. Since this was apparently a private document, I guess 2) doesn't apply so much in this case. But I'm sure JMS was aware that his outline for the series would evolve, that this was just a first approximation.

    Besides, since it was a private set of notes, some of it may have been just wishful thinking -- more an indicator of what he hoped for in an ideal world. That is, if the show were a big enough hit to warrant a spinoff/sequel, he knew what it would be about. Failing that, he probably intended to rework things to resolve within one series.


    I'm sure it occurred to him. He'd certainly been in the TV business long enough to know that any number of factors can require a drastic revision of one's plans at any time. Any long-term document outlining a TV series represents a hope rather than a promise. Heck, even the stories for individual episodes or movies often get radically transformed between the initial proposal and the final script. So there's no question he knew that he might have to radically rework his plan at any time for any number of reasons. Indeed, the fact that he was able to rework his plans so smoothly so many times, in response to cast changes, cancellation threats, and the like, is evidence of that awareness.

    Actually I suspect WB or any studio would've been more comfortable without a fixed 5-year plan. Executives like to meddle. They like to be able to tell their producers, "We want you to do it this way instead of that." Heck, many executives don't even like shows to have inter-episode continuity, because they want to be able to show the episodes in arbitrary order in response to production logistics, advertising factors, etc. I don't think they would've liked a producer telling them "This show can only work if it unfolds exactly the way I have plotted out." What they like is a producer who says "Yes, boss, I'm happy to take your advice and make whatever changes in direction you ask for." They want concepts that have enough depth and potential to last for five years or more, but they also want them to be malleable, adaptable. A loose plan is more appealing than a "solidly mapped" one.
     
  5. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    You mean this?:

    http://forums.firstones.com/showthread.php?t=7897
     
  6. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    That's from Volume 2, Issue 9, March 1999. Can't say I approve of them posting copyrighted work like that but at least they posted the copyright notice. I wish the B5 Magazine had begun earlier. I liked the way it spotlighted the crew and what they contributed.

    Jan
     
  7. V

    V Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    every TV show's plot changes over time

    nonetheless I really respect that he DID have a rough outline for the 5 year storyarc even before season 1 began, and that the series generally conformed to this beyond a few major changes

    ***like, Battlestar Galactica, meanwhile, had me hyped up for 2 seasons, i mean really hyped up, that "there is one giant, big, secret, over-arcing storyarc that we're not revealing, but its THERE, and if you look at the clues you can figure out what's going on"......then it was such a blow when season 3 came and they revealed "we actually don't have an over-arcing story idea in terms of plot for the "Middle" of the series (they directly said this), but more importantly.....we NEVER picked who the Cylons were, all of you guessing was in vain, because we ourselves only picked the last 5 Cylons DURING THE THIRD SEASON, and when we did, we decided to ignore all previously established rules about Cylons and just do what would have been more dramatic....not unlike a soap opera's logic"

    sorry, it was just a real disillusionment when they revealed "we only picked the last group of Cylons in the third season and we in no way were leading up to it"
     
  8. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Thanks! That's the one I was looking for.
     
  9. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Something that should be branded into the brains of any fan that whines about a franchise creator changing he announced plans.
     
  10. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Interesting.

    Babylon Squarred though, still carries in the last scene Sinclair talking with a woman of which we don't see the face, but sounds like a made-human Delenn. So the whole thing about Sinclair and Delenn taking B4 to the future is still in Babylon Squarred.

    Interestingly Sinclair says that he tried to warn them, and change it, but failed, having seen no change. (Which actually begs the question, why Zathras couldn't tell young Sinclair. It would have been easy I think, to just let Zathras spill his guts and watch the change.)

    However, in the episode of S3 where we see B4 getting stolen, Sinclair goes back into the past alone. Delenn stays in the "present" with Sheriden.

    So things did change.

    Which indeed, might indicate that Sinclair is not going simply back into the past, but he's constantly shifting a timeline onward, every jump back, splitting off a new very similar time line.

    Interestingly, maybe, it is said that Valen had children that were shunned, which seems to come from Delenn going back with him, which of course could very well mean, that Sinclair/Valen in the next time line, does not have children.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  11. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    There's some canon established in the B5 novels and comics that explains the shunning of Sinclair's children better.

    In "To Dream in the City of Sorrows" Catherine Sakai gets caught in the time rift in Sector 14 and is sent into the past. In one of the comics, Sinclair gets a message to the present day saying "I found her." Half-human children would definitely be cause for their children to be shunned by the Minbari who value their 'purity'.

    Jan
     
  12. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    ^Somewhat related to this, but Jan do you recall a post by JMS where he stated that Delenn, in her later years, goes in search of Valen who is rumored to have been kept by the Vorlons on one of their worlds?

    Or this might just be something speculation that I read online somewhere... who knows? The memory at 32 is a precarious thing.
     
  13. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    I'm not sure about the kept by Vorlons part but he did say:
    And in his commentary for SiL he mentions that Valen's body, like Sheridan's, was never found.

    Jan
     
  14. Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    that's a great article/reproduction. That actually matches the broad strokes fairly well, more than the synopsis in the original post. I wonder why the discrepency.
     
  15. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Thanks... I must've just inserted the Vorlon part in my mind or my own wondering thought's lead me to think, "what if it were the Vorlons?"
     
  16. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    I guess I wasn't as bothered about the reproducing, because it was made clear precisely that JMS wrote those columns. Nobody was making any money off of them, either. And ... others who have not been able to find the B5 magazine now get to enjoy the columns.
     
  17. Goldenfoxx

    Goldenfoxx Cadet Newbie

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Ok, I know this thread is a few months old now, but I just felt compelled to say something. Was just re-watching B5 with a friend who has never sat through the series before (we're up to S3 right now), and that got me wondering again about JMS's original vision for the show, and a search for that led me here. And since I couldn't sleep, I just sat through more pages of this than any human being should ever be required to. Just a couple of points from my own perspective:

    To those of you who keep debating the logic of going through 5 seasons of a show and then ending on a cliffhanger, then continuing on a new show. You guys... aren't... writers... are you? Or just artists in general? As a musician who knows other musicians and a bunch of people in art schools, the one thing (at least in my own experience) that writers (creators in general) tend to want to create is something that no one has seen or done before. I think this sort of thinking is highly evident in JMS's thought patterns if he was really contemplating creating a television show about a space station where nothing ever actually happens, but people are affected by events elsewhere. That alone should tell you he was thinking in terms of pure artistic ideas and not within the realm of what actually works on television. In fact, everything I've ever read about the man's experience working on the show was a continuing learning process.

    Personally, I'd like to have seen what we got, just with more of the original ideas in place. I really do just hate that feeling that they're having to revise things in order to meet a cast change, even if it's not entirely accurate - especially when it happens multiple times over the course of a show (see Smallville). And I mean this as no disrespect to Boxleitner or his character, but Sinclair was my favorite character on the show (I do realize I'm in the VAST minority on that) and would like to have seen more of the original vision in place. Always kind of felt like someone thought O'Hare just wasn't bringing in ratings, and so they brought in the bigger name star to take his place (whether there's any reality to it or not, that's how it felt). e.g. What would the show have been like if they just revised ideas instead of entire roles?

    Alright, this is already longer than intended. Just my thoughts.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    ^^JMS's explanation is that O'Hare's departure was his own preference, and that it solved a problem for JMS because he'd realized that Sinclair was too peripheral to the key story threads and replacing him with a different lead would let him improve the storytelling. So it was a mutual decision that had nothing to do with the actor's ability or popularity. Of course, JMS has engaged in a degree of revisionist history from time to time when talking about B5, but this is what he's been saying from the start, and there's no evidence that it isn't true. And he's right -- Sheridan does have a more direct link to the Shadow arc because of his wife.
     
  19. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    But the same happened / happens / would have happened to Sinclair's wife, so the same direct link applies.
     
  20. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Synopsis of JMS's synopsis of the "original arc for B5" **SPOILERS

    Can you clarify that?

    Sinclair didn't have a wife. Catherine Sakai was thrown into the past not captured. And she wasn't part of Sinclair's life when the Shadows were awakened on Z'ha'dum (I think it was) three years before Sheridan took command of B5.

    Jan