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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the ask-me-anything dept.

Sci-Fi 276

J. Michael Straczynski has written Thor, World War Z, and Changeling among many other films. He created Babylon 5 and has worked on numerous comic book titles including Superman and The Amazing Spider-Man. Most recently, he has teamed up with the Wachowskis for an original Netflix sci-fi series, Sense8 . He's agreed to take a break from his busy schedule in order to answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

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Pleeeeeeeease? (5, Insightful)

doas777 (1138627) | about 5 months ago | (#46535099)

Can we PLEEEEEASE have HD Bab5? if you crowd-fund it, we will pay.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 5 months ago | (#46535137)

I'd buy the crap out of this, but IIRC the CGI would have to be redone from scratch with little-to-no access to original digital assets.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#46535205)

I'd buy the crap out of this, but IIRC the CGI would have to be redone from scratch with little-to-no access to original digital assets.

And some things do not look better in HD

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

doas777 (1138627) | about 5 months ago | (#46535261)

True. I'm more concerned about the content dying forever as the formats change. All the VCRs I had stockpiled are long dead, and even the DVDs are starting to thin out. As far as I'm concerned, its worth preserving.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#46535575)

True. I'm more concerned about the content dying forever as the formats change. All the VCRs I had stockpiled are long dead

You can still buy brand new VCR players. Or get a used one on eBay. I have hundreds of VCR tapes, all recorded over twenty years ago, and not a single one of them has failed to play.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535689)

I wouldn't bother with new consumer VCRs. Cost-reduced as far as possible, probably built in fly-by-night factories, you can feel how flimsy these VCRs are. I'd troll eBay for prosumer Sony units.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

gzuckier (1155781) | about 5 months ago | (#46549111)

True. I'm more concerned about the content dying forever as the formats change. All the VCRs I had stockpiled are long dead

You can still buy brand new VCR players. Or get a used one on eBay. I have hundreds of VCR tapes, all recorded over twenty years ago, and not a single one of them has failed to play.

I have Beta...

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about 5 months ago | (#46536877)

The entire series is available on DVD - once there it is in this form it can be preserved and format shifted quite easily.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46548499)

The series has been preserved through piracy. Whether or not you agree with it in terms of paying content creators, it excels at keeping things alive.

I would not have had a chance to watch Babylon 5 in the first place if I wasn't able to download it in 2011.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46535953)

And some things do not look better in HD

And yet, people keep talking about 4K porn ... *shudder*

Some things just can't be unseen.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

CWCheese (729272) | about 5 months ago | (#46535995)

I bought the entire 5 season DVD set and find the upconverted video just fine. It's like comfort food, remembering how it looked when I watched it on analog TV.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 5 months ago | (#46535231)

I would totally buy its brains out. I'm warming up my Kickstarter account as we speak.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46535245)

CGI first introduced to TV in Babylon 5 [geek.com]

The July 1994 issue of Compute! magazine discusses the graphics used in Babylon 5. By today’s standards, it seems primitive, but it was innovative in its time. Each episode of the series used an average of 6,000 frames of computer graphic animation from Foundation Imaging. They used 24 Amiga 2000s, 16 of which were dedicated rendering engines. They had 32 megabytes of RAM, a Fusion-40 accelerator and the Toaster. The Amigas were connected via a Novell network and sent data to a 12 gigabyte 486 PC file server. They later upgraded to Pentium and Alpha-based systems.

The making of Babylon 5 [atarimagazines.com]

Source of Amiga Video Toaster Software Released [slashdot.org]

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

cmturner2 (1614831) | about 5 months ago | (#46535289)

So I don't see what the problem is :)

An opportunity to re-do all the CGI with the latest and greatest tech? Crowdfunded? Perhaps even "Director's Cut" with additional new filming to restore the creative vision as it would have been unhampered by financial or time pressures?

I'd get behind that. Look at it this way - even if crowd funded, it may/would create some jobs in the already tight U.S. FX industry.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#46535383)

with additional new filming to restore the creative vision as it would have been unhampered by financial or time pressures?

So like George Lucas did with Star Wars?

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46535487)

So like George Lucas did with Star Wars?

We might be on safer ground, I don't recall that B5 had any Ewoks or Gungans.

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 months ago | (#46535867)

Not to mention but JMS can actually write dialog and direct actors without using puppet strings.

I would ask. 20 years later can we get a remake of crusade to finish what was started?

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 5 months ago | (#46536145)

I could see that Crusade was going to suck right from the start. It had a Technomage in it.

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536807)

IMHO, the 13 episodes of Crusade were far, far better than the first 13 episodes of Babylon, which included some real clunkers. Infection, Believers, The War Prayer... and if you include the 14th, TKO. Babylon 5 is still my favorite show ever, but it did take a little while to find its voice.

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Reziac (43301) | about 5 months ago | (#46545257)

I =liked= the technomage -- in fact he was my fave character of the lot. So I want to know where the hell *his* story arc was going....??

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#46537131)

Even if you could just do what firefly did and make a movie to close the loop.

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Izkata Paklena (3585727) | about 5 months ago | (#46548527)

Cannot be done in a satisfying way. Babylon 5, after Signs and Portents, threw a curveball and the story went in a very different direction. One thing JMS has said is that Crusade was going to do the same thing - the Drakh plague was not the storyline planned for the full run.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | about 5 months ago | (#46536389)

There was, of course, a teddy bear.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

gzuckier (1155781) | about 5 months ago | (#46549119)

So like George Lucas did with Star Wars?

We might be on safer ground, I don't recall that B5 had any Ewoks or Gungans.

Oh sure, deny midgets jobs in show biz. Racist! Or something.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46536755)

Probably with the difference that this could show Lucas how it SHOULD be done if you tamper with the original.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (2)

DRMShill (1157993) | about 5 months ago | (#46537199)

Lucas has kind of given this practice an unfair reputation. For a good example of how it's done right see the Star Trek TOS blu-rays.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

JWW (79176) | about 5 months ago | (#46535467)

Hell yeah. I'd get behind that too.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46535707)

They literally mean "from scratch": none of the original computer models exist in any form, as far as I know.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

cmturner2 (1614831) | about 5 months ago | (#46535827)

There have been several fan projects, both standalone and as modifications to existing video games that far surpassed in quality and detail what was available during original filming of the show. Though part of me does appreciate the nostalgia of the original CGI.

http://www.indiedb.com/games/t... [indiedb.com]

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536863)

See me post above - there are hundreds, if not thousands, of fan-created models, many released on open-source licenses, and most in far greatest detail than those which were actually used, especially in seasons one and two.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about 5 months ago | (#46536915)

CCP - Eve Online could probably whip out some quality models quite quickly.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46535897)

I'd get behind that. Look at it this way - even if crowd funded, it may/would create some jobs in the already tight U.S. FX industry.

Bah, if there's enough interest someone will probably do the entire series as a "Lego B5", they've done it with damned near everything else. :-P

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 5 months ago | (#46535869)

I'd rather WB release standard 4:3 versions without cropping and blowing the CGI like they did. The previews on the DVD look better than the episodes.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46536293)

They could crowd source that. I'm sure people would be willing to donate time to create models and do some animation to a professional standard.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46536785)

I'm willing to bet that people who have no relevant skills would be very willing to donate computer time.

(yeah, yeah, imagine a Beowulf cluster and all that...)

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536535)

Well, if they re-did that scene where the fighters drop/deploy, that's like half way there, at least for the first few seasons.

Kidding aside, I love b5 and would totally buy this.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536759)

This is true in regards to the original digital assets, however, a ton of the models have been created in far more detail by fans. Open-source 'em or release them outright to JMS, and boom, problem solved. For example:

http://www.ultradrive.com/b5_3d_index.htm

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about 5 months ago | (#46535451)

I'd like to add to this question, since I missed my chance last time and I'm a huge B5 fan (it was on PTEN when I was a kid, and we didn't have cable so it was UHF channels for me... and then I missed season 5 entirely which led to rewatching it a couple of years ago... and hooking plenty of other people since then).

Would it be possible to have the portions that were not composited retransfered in HD, progressive scan video? And maybe the CGI portions upscaled and transferred as full frames at the original frame rate [modeemi.fi] instead of being converted to interlaced/24fps video? Running a version of the filter at the previous link does result in a noticeable quality improvement, and it would be great if officially released versions didn't have to be ripped/filtered to restore the quality.

Availibility in DRM-free formats (Bluray and GNU/Linux aren't really friends, and it sucks having to break the law to watch video you paid for) would be awesome too.

Of course, I hear that the rights situation with the whole PTEN explosion is likely what is preventing any of this from being possible...

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 5 months ago | (#46535801)

Hey Unknown Lamer any word on when we are getting the AMA answers from RMS and Theo Raadt the questions we asked back a month ago and beginning of this month respectively or so ago?

(http://bsd.slashdot.org/story/14/03/05/1525210/interview-ask-theo-de-raadt-what-you-willfrom)
(http://interviews.slashdot.org/story/14/02/26/1359258/interview-ask-richard-stallman-what-you-will)

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#46535731)

I'd pay extra if they redo season 1 with talented actors. Animation would be fine.
It's tough having to tell people that Season 1 is tough to watch, but it gets great by season 2.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about 5 months ago | (#46536933)

It was difficult to stay engaged and watch DS9's season 1. Thankfully they gave the show more time to mature.

Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46542313)

No, the acting and writing on that show always sucked. It was the example of bad sci fi, before firefly aired.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 5 months ago | (#46542325)

I started the show on season 2 and watched season 1 afterwards. It was pretty good. Sure I missed some of the foreshadowing, but season 2 was packed with it anyways.

Really, the only thing I lost by doing this was seeing the Narn as bad guys bulling the Centari.

When I watched it years later with my late wife, we never did watch season 1. I tried starting her with the important episodes on season 1, but since she wasn't yet invested in the show, it really just bored her. So we skipped to season 2 and she became a huge fan. Babylon 5, Farscape, and Firefly were her favorite TV Scifi shows and became her favorite shows in general.

S1 has plenty of talented actors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46546075)

Rewatch S1, and skip the A story in TKO (but not Ivonova's B story). You might be a little surprised.

The trick is knowing it's going somewhere, and knowing Sinclair's full storyline. At least, I assume you mean Sinclair and Talia, they were the only changed cast members.

B5 isn't the only excellent show with hit and miss first season and an excellent run afterwards. Tends to happen when you're doing something groundbreaking.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 5 months ago | (#46535879)

I'd even pay extra for a DRM-free version.

Wouldnt they have to re-shoot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535915)

IIRC... some of it was filmed in NTSC. Sometimes it changes from pillarbox & back again in the same scene.

Was the same scene really back and forth from live (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46546095)

B5 was filmed with widescreen, in mind but presented in 3x4 because widescreen wasn't broadcast yet (Toaster scenes were 3x4, though, which is why things seem cut off sometimes in the widescreen CGI...to make that widescreen, they had to clip top and bottom)

"Filmed in NTSC" has nada to do with it.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536033)

FYI, this question was answered before [slashdot.org] , but it doesn't hurt to ask again.

Babylon 5 in HD?
by Ichijo

Will we ever see Babylon 5 remastered in high definition (or even 4K) similar to Star Trek: The Next Generation? How much would you need to raise on KickStarter to make this possible?

jms: Just not a viable option. Every CGI/comp shot would have be totally redone, not just remastered but redone, and WB will never spend that kind of money on it. Nor do I have the right to do it with outside money.

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 5 months ago | (#46537117)

If JMS had control over it. Talk to Warner Bros if you don't want to see this stuff get buried.

Sign me up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537615)

As long as it's done as professionally as the Star Trek TNG Blu-Ray releases!

Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537677)

The filmed "live action" scenes actually hold up quite well, but I was told no shots with CG were done in HD (i.e. any shots with chroma key or exterior space shots). Any HD transfer would be a huge undertaking and like it or not, B5 just doesn't have the fan following of Star Trek. It would be a huge financial risk for Warner to do complete remasters and actual reconstruction of every CG shot in the series.

I would first petition them to do a 'best of B5' sampler with 5 episodes one from each season remastered based on fan votes. Then see how it sells for $20. That's the only way I can see Warner taking notice.

But realistically, it'll never happen unless an uberwealthy fan bought the IP and the original negs from them. So never.

Babylon Reboot (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535107)

Have you considered rebooting Babylon 5 with a new cast a la JJ Abrams Star Trek? If not yourself at the helm of such a project, would you ever cede control of those characters to another creative team?

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#46535213)

In the reboot - everybody dies.

In the sequel, a parallel universe device is invoked.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535217)

Please don't give the studio execs any more ideas... lensflare5 coming to a theater near you.

Re:Babylon Reboot (4, Informative)

TechnoGrl (322690) | about 5 months ago | (#46535255)

You don't have to be a Michael Straczynski to know that B5 had a "beginning of the story" and an "end of the story". One of the best decisions that Mr. Straczynski ever made was to allow the story to end (and end grandly I also have to say).

Too many cheap crap-hounds (*cough*couch*abrams*cough*) try to extend a story as long as they are able to squeeze money out of it and are eventually revealed to have no idea what they were doing or where they were going with it. Straczynski told a really great story that ended i a really great way. Live and art have to move on.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#46535349)

Really? All the "made for TV movies" that were released after the end of the final season? The entire Crusade series? The Legend of the Rangers? The Lost Tales?

It certainly seemed like there was a struggle to actually end the story...

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 5 months ago | (#46535441)

I think you're confusing "other stories set in the same universe as the show Babylon 5" with "addendums to the story of the show Babylon 5"

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#46535581)

And my answer to that is "Crusade", which is a direct carry on to the story of the original show.

Re:Babylon Reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535667)

No, it most certainly was not. Are you confusing the TV movie Babylon 5: A Call to Arms [imdb.com] with the TV series [imdb.com] ?

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#46535727)

No, not confusing at all - Crusade was indeed a direct carry on. Allies of the Shadows unleash a plague on humanity in a revenge attack, and the alliance sends a ship to find a cure. How is that not a direct carry on?

What you are talking about is something like Stargate Atlantis - definitely not a carry on from the original series, but set in the same story universe (not physical universe of course :) ). The two had essentially no story cross overs of any real mention, but Crusade was very heavily crossed with the original B5 story.

Crusade was really something like the later Stargate: SG1 seasons, with a largely new cast, new enemies to fight and a new story arc to pursue, but basically a continuation of the same old story.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 5 months ago | (#46535885)

Apart from General O'Neill, Colonel Carter, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c, Bra'tac, Colonel Maybourne and others regularly appearing in it, no. Not to mention Rodney, who came from SG-1 as the brains of the new bunch and when he couldn't hack it got Carter's help on numerous occasions. Also, the events were happening while SG-1 was still doing their stuff.

No, not a carry on series at all...

Maybe you're thinking of SG Universe.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536675)

And from what I've read from JMS, Crusade had an arc with a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Hopefully he can answer more fully, but from my understanding we never got past the prologue before the plug was pulled.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Izkata Paklena (3585727) | about 5 months ago | (#46548547)

Remember "Signs and Portents" from Babylon 5? The point when the series took a left turn and we realized it wasn't going to go as advertised?

JMS has said that Crusade was about to have one of those, except it was canceled. It was indeed going to be a rather separate story, with only a small lead-in. Just like the prior wars were lead-ins for Babylon 5's first season.

Re:Babylon Reboot (2)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 5 months ago | (#46536787)

Crusade : Babylon 5 :: Frasier : Cheers

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46536547)

I think you are forgetting Babylon 5 season 5

Re:Babylon Reboot (4, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 5 months ago | (#46536781)

Babylon 5 ended at the finale of season 4. Not sure what you're talking about :)

Re:Babylon Reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536983)

Can't really blame jms about the whole season 4 season 5 crap. The show was cancelled so JMS wrapped it up in season 4. It's not his fault they then decided to order 1 more season.

Re:Babylon Reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537193)

I think you are forgetting Babylon 5 season 5

I'll let you on a secret.
B5 Season 5 is like Space 1999 Season 2. IT NEVER HAPPENED.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 5 months ago | (#46540793)

Season 5 of B5 was not so bad that it needs to be retconned. I reserve that for the final 6 episodes of Battlestar Galactica (the syfy channel one) and other series that simply go insane after been really good. Simply move the end of season 4 to season 5 and it makes sense.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 5 months ago | (#46542429)

B5 season 5 was bad but not bad enough to retroactively ruin the entire series. In fact, once you get past the telepath stories, it gets pretty good.

Battlestar Galactica last 6 episodes were so awful, I have no desire to ever rewatch that show or introduce it to someone.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 months ago | (#46543999)

The remade Battlestar Galactica was awful from the beginning. I really wanted to like it, but barely made it throug season 1. The show was just cornball from beginning to end.

Here is a hint for any future creators of Sci-Fi. If you feel that copying characters from Voyager is a good idea, you have failed before you really even got started.

Re:Babylon Reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536541)

Really? All the "made for TV movies" that were released after the end of the final season? The entire Crusade series? The Legend of the Rangers? The Lost Tales?

It certainly seemed like there was a struggle to actually end the story...

As long as the universe doesn't implode history will move on and there will be more stories to tell. That doesn't mean the writer didn't tie up the story he intended to tell.

Re:Babylon Reboot (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#46538849)

Really? All the "made for TV movies" that were released after the end of the final season? The entire Crusade series? The Legend of the Rangers? The Lost Tales?

The climax of B5 was at Coriana VI in "Into the Fire". The rest of Season 4 was more of an epilogue. Season 5 was sort of a Similarion. Crusade was basically a new book - the Thrawn story to Return of the Jedi (it's fine, but take it or leave it without consequence).

The made-for-TV movies were mostly embarassing. In the Beginning stands on its own, though.

So, yeah, I'd say the story did end, and fairly nicely. It's just that other stories were also told. I think the narriative structure demands this approach.

I tell folks who haven't done B5 to watch Seasons 1-4, "Sleeping in Light", and In The Beginning and consider the show watched. The rest can be treated as DVD bonus material.

Re:Babylon Reboot (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46536171)

Too many cheap crap-hounds (*cough*couch*abrams*cough*) try to extend a story as long as they are able to squeeze money out of it and are eventually revealed to have no idea what they were doing or where they were going with it.

LOL ... sounds like Highlander. A script which left no real possibility of a sequel (let alone ones people had to pretend never happened in the first place).

I never quite understood how they justified the series, but it was entertaining for a while if you pretended you didn't know how the movie ended.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46536521)

I have never really been sure about the entire season of endings, plus the movie.

Season 4 ended the Babylon 5 main arc.

Then we had an entirely unneeded Season 5 that had like 5 more ending and a bunch of other self contained episodes. Season 5 was good, but it did not make sense as an overall story standpoint. I think it would of worked better as a spin-off series instead of a next season to a series that had already finished.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536561)

It was uncertain that the series would even have a fifth season, so it was wrapped up in the fourth season, and then they were told hey, here is some money, make another season.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#46539803)

You don't have to be a Michael Straczynski to know that B5 had a "beginning of the story" and an "end of the story". One of the best decisions that Mr. Straczynski ever made was to allow the story to end (and end grandly I also have to say).

Too many cheap crap-hounds (*cough*couch*abrams*cough*) try to extend a story as long as they are able to squeeze money out of it and are eventually revealed to have no idea what they were doing or where they were going with it. Straczynski told a really great story that ended i a really great way. Live and art have to move on.

I think Stargate SG1 was a far better example of a show that dragged on far too long. Seasons 1-8 were good, then 9 turned to crap and they had to kill it in 10. They'd tied up all of the story lines and loose ends by the end of season 8. I wouldn't have minded a 6th season to Atlantis but to be honest, I'm happier it ended earlier on a high note than dragging on.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 5 months ago | (#46540799)

You don't have to be a Michael Straczynski to know that B5 had a "beginning of the story" and an "end of the story". One of the best decisions that Mr. Straczynski ever made was to allow the story to end (and end grandly I also have to say).

Too many cheap crap-hounds (*cough*couch*abrams*cough*) try to extend a story as long as they are able to squeeze money out of it and are eventually revealed to have no idea what they were doing or where they were going with it. Straczynski told a really great story that ended i a really great way. Live and art have to move on.

I think Stargate SG1 was a far better example of a show that dragged on far too long. Seasons 1-8 were good, then 9 turned to crap and they had to kill it in 10. They'd tied up all of the story lines and loose ends by the end of season 8. I wouldn't have minded a 6th season to Atlantis but to be honest, I'm happier it ended earlier on a high note than dragging on.

So you hated the Ori, huh?

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#46540969)

So you hated the Ori, huh?

No, I hated how they tried to pass off an entirely new show as SG1 _After_ SG1 was finished cleanly in the previous season.

So few shows finish cleanly and far too many leave an "insert sequel here" type of ending.

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#46543349)

You don't have to be a Michael Straczynski to know that B5 had a "beginning of the story" and an "end of the story". One of the best decisions that Mr. Straczynski ever made was to allow the story to end (and end grandly I also have to say).

Too many cheap crap-hounds (*cough*couch*abrams*cough*) try to extend a story as long as they are able to squeeze money out of it and are eventually revealed to have no idea what they were doing or where they were going with it. Straczynski told a really great story that ended i a really great way. Live and art have to move on.

I was disappointed, myself. The threat of early termination brought several arcs to a close faster than they should have been, and added at least one that was a bit sloppy. Then again, I thought the whole Vorlon/Shadow conflict thing terminated a bit too abruptly whereas the Centauri thing actually got left dangling over the end.

The one series ending that really did impress me was the final season of Buffy. Mostly the presentation of the final episode, which looked more cinematic than TV-like, but the whole season did a very neat job of tying up years worth of odds and ends.

Errrr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46546151)

Abrams was hired to reboot per PARAMOUNT. The studio was doing it (to squeeze money out of it, that's what studios do with tentpole IPs), they got Abrams (Bad Robot) to produce. When he saw the script, he changed his mind about directing and wanted to do it. He never had a vision, wrote it, or did anything excent oversee production and direct at the request of the studio, just like 95% of directors and producers out there.

You're confusing a director/producer hired by the studio with a visionary showrunner with a passion for his material who nearly killed himself getting it made.

That's not apple and oranges, it's apples and an endangered species in the wilds of the Amazon.

And then there's the beginning and the ending of the story. Joe keeps trying to do more B5, it runs into problems. There was a beginning and ending of THAT story, yes...and if you notice, S5 seems off. The reason is because they thought they weren't going to get S5, so he made sure the story got told...then they got S5, and he had to come up with an extension to the story.

Re:Babylon Reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536175)

Have you considered rebooting Babylon 5 with a new cast a la JJ Abrams Star Trek? If not yourself at the helm of such a project, would you ever cede control of those characters to another creative team?

Ahhhhhhhhhhh no. No no no no 10000 times no.
No Claudia Christian no game.
No Jerry Doyle no game.
No Walter Koenig no game,
etc....

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46536825)

Name one, ONE SINGLE ONE, show that got better with a reboot.

At least one where you didn't think "It was already shit to begin with, why did they think that it could improve if they repainted the turd?"

I'd rather expect from a "reboot" that it would tarnish what memory we have of the original. Didn't Star Trek teach you anything?

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 5 months ago | (#46540805)

Name one, ONE SINGLE ONE, show that got better with a reboot.

Remove the last 6 episodes of Battlestar Galactica and you have your answer. (it still is better with them but they screw over all their development with those 6 episodes)

Re:Babylon Reboot (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 months ago | (#46544085)

Bah. Battlestar Galactice failed from beginning to end. People just got confused because it had a budget.

Babylon Reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46559209)

what insanely badly?
with no redeeming features?
pissing all over it's legacy?
by becoming a completely talentless hack of a director, that makes Michael Bay look like Ridley Scott (Before senility made him make Prometheus)?

Babylon 5 (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#46535115)

Is there any chance of a Babylon 5 movie, or even a series reboot?

Re:Babylon 5 (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46535357)

Strangely, the last movies he put out, even though he wrote them and seemed to have a lot of control over them, were just bad in every sense of the word.

They watch like they were written and directed by people who did not understand the universe and did not know how to write/direct.

They are so badly written, just a poor budget cannot take the blame. Babylon 5 was amazingly written, but that does not mean that JMS is infallible or capable of doing it again, even with full creative control and an unlimited budget.

Based on the last few movies, I do not have any huge interest in him continuing the B5 universe.

Also, none of the movies were particularly good. The series is, full stop, better than star trek; But the movies were meh at best.

Re:Babylon 5 (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 5 months ago | (#46537053)

Also, none of the movies were particularly good. The series is, full stop, better than star trek; But the movies were meh at best.

Are you kidding? B5: In the Beginning was amazing, to the point where I'm torn when introducing someone new to the series whether to show them ITB first or just start with the Season 1 pilot.

That said, Legend of the Rangers, with its Tae-Bo based human interface scheme, was horrible.

Re:Babylon 5 (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 months ago | (#46537945)

In the Beginning was troublesome because it was very good but should not be watched before season 1, gives too much away. The other movies I'll grant you were weak. Lost Tales had potential but was cramped and uneven. I never wanted to see Lochley again.

The failure of Crusade, Rangers and other revival efforts just underscore how amazing it was we had four good seasons. I'll give season 5 a pass simply because greenighting it meant the season 4 finale got bumped to season 5 and the first episode of season 5 was aired in its place. Deconstruction of Falling Stars, worth the rest of that season.

Re:Babylon 5 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535407)

While reboots in general are often terrible ideas, I've always felt B5 was a prime candidate for one. It came in that awkward stage between 80's tv and modern tv (it was certainly one of the pioneers of longer story arcs) and also pushed the boundaries of CGI (IMO awesome back then but nigh unwatchable now). I don't know if any of you have tried to go back wand watch those 80's shows you thought were so awesome back then - I have, and they're more often than not unwatchable trash compared to what we are used to now (some shows excepted, of course. I won't say which so I don't offend anyone at all). 75% of B5 was incredibly brilliant and holds up perfectly fine today. But that other 25% (much of it packed into the first season) is embarrassingly bad to watch. I've tried more than once to get friends into the show and have them tell me it's terrible (and this is despite them skipping the worst on my recommendation). B5 simply hasn't aged well; I'd love to see it get a modern reboot (no lens flare please).

Re:Babylon 5 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536299)

Most TV is trash. There are a few standout shows. But most of it is very forgettable. Also as you get older you tastes sometimes change a bit.

For example take married with children. Still *very* funny and most of the humor still holds true. However, I watched that show every week. I made sure I did not miss it. Now however I have bought the dvd collection (got it cheap for 25 bucks). The show is still funny however I notice something else. These people are horrible horrible horrible people (part of the humor). To the point where the humor is lost and I can not stand being around it. Did the show change magically? No, I did.

Lately I have been watching 70s 'detective' shows. Rockford files, columbo, etc... The writing is amazing and the stories are engaging. Fast forward a few years in the same genre and you are watching things like knight rider and magnum pi. Not as good.

As for B5 unfortunately season 5 was a bolt on. The story arcs were closed up in season 4 due to the budget thing. Season 4 was rushed. The story is still good.

I have also been enjoying Andromeda lately too. Once you get past the very undeserved 'Hercules in space' tag it is just as enjoyable. Though the last story in the series felt rushed and fell flat what they had built up for 5 years.

My question to him would not be 'are you going to rehash old material' But are you working on anything as grand of scale as B5? If so any sneak peaks?

Re:Babylon 5 (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 5 months ago | (#46542477)

Sienfield is a show that was like that for me. I never missed it and have fond and funny memories of it. Re-watching it, though, is awkward.

Fraiser still holds up well, though.

Re:Babylon 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536225)

Is there any chance of a Babylon 5 movie, or even a series reboot?

There is a film already, and in it B5 kicks Star Trek's ass.

How could you do it? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535119)

Why did you make a movie and then name it World War Z when it had nothing in common with the source material except for a title?

Re:How could you do it? (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | about 5 months ago | (#46535193)

Mod this up, because he beat me to it.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 5 months ago | (#46535221)

I'd recommend reading these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org]
http://www.amazon.com/Writing-... [amazon.com]

And understanding the Hollywood screenwriting and production process a bit better before blaming JMS for that. Plus, if you don't have a credit in the movie, you don't get residuals, and professionals get paid.

Re:How could you do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536125)

He's asking the writer to defend his crappy writing. Not you.

Re:How could you do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535337)

http://entertainment.slashdot.... [slashdot.org]

Beat me by 3 mins! Good for you man. MOD THIS UP!!!!!

Re:How could you do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535403)

There's no way he's going to talk about the Republican group that made him make the movie less scary and less paranoid, because those people are unstable. It would be dangerous.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46535519)

I have not followed it closely, but he blames the crappy movie on the edits and changes the publishers insisted upon.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#46536799)

I think it had to be the lack of people standing just off camera shining flashlights into the lens. Everyone knows that modern sci-fi movies have to have lens flare to remind everyone that there is a camera and a lens and to occasionally blind the viewers so they don't see the crappy special effects.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

mvdwege (243851) | about 5 months ago | (#46537325)

Just like he blamed 'One More Day' on Joe Quesada?

My question to JMS would be: how do you always get away when you produce crap and manage to make others take the fall?

Note to the JMS fanbois: yes, he does produce good stuff, but he slipped up plenty of times, and for some reason noone holds it against him but always blames Executive Meddling [tvtropes.org]

Re:How could you do it? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 5 months ago | (#46540813)

because it is always Executive Meddling. Thats why firefly died.

Re:How could you do it? (4, Interesting)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 months ago | (#46536039)

Why did you make a movie and then name it World War Z when it had nothing in common with the source material except for a title?

Because the movie that was released had relatively little to do with the screenplay that JMS wrote. In fact, they had to add some of JMS's writing back in when they released how terrible the later revisions were.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 5 months ago | (#46536727)

The screenplay had little to do with what Max Brooks wrote. Why take a source material and then destroyany hint of appreciation or respect for what made the original worthwhile. OK. Forget it. That book was marginal at best. But my point stands. The Stallone Judge Dredd movie was horrible because it dispensed with nearly all the source greatness. In it's place they had a roided up Stallone, with no helmet and Rob Schneider as a stapler.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 months ago | (#46536811)

Are you talking about JMS's original screenplay, or the released movie? I admit that I haven't read the original screenplay or seen the movie, but I've heard from others that the original screenplay was edited beyond all recognition after JMS sent it to the studio.

Re:How could you do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536295)

There are a lot of reasons, and they each bear the picture of a dead president.

Would've loved a World War Z tv-show (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 5 months ago | (#46536581)

Or even Netflix, Amazon, or some other form of episodic content.

The problem was that Max Brook's World War Z was a bunch of interwoven stories. Some of them didn't end so well. (eg, the story w/ fuel air explosives).

They *did* have someone trying to get to the bottom of what had happened, but in the book it seemed that it was years after the fact, as interviews, rather than as things were going south.

Re:Would've loved a World War Z tv-show (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 5 months ago | (#46537759)

I think that they could have done a series of movies. With each movie composed of 2 or 3 of the stories.
Of course taking all the money, and burning it in a big bonfire for 2 hours would have made a better movie.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

gordo_p (690988) | about 5 months ago | (#46536729)

I agree. World War Z (the book) was one of the best books I've ever read. Several dozen characters and each had their own voice. It's hard for an author to make each character an individual. For many authors, most of the characters are all the same, basically the author but each with a different name. But in World War Z, Max Brooks made each character different. Some heroic, some cowardly, some craven, and many ordinary people just trying to get along. But the movie was just another zombie flick. Why?

Re:How could you do it? (1)

JDAustin (468180) | about 5 months ago | (#46536793)

Go dig up the original scripts (version 1 and 2) that are floating around the internet. While still different from the book, the incorporate several of the stories from the book (including the family who headed for the mountains and feed their sick kid human meat). Oddly, the one basic premise from JMS's script that made it to the movie was original to JMS (an airplane being overtaken by zombies).

Re:How could you do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537169)

Why did you make a movie and then name it World War Z when it had nothing in common with the source material except for a title?

Don't exaggerate

* Lawnmower Man is an example of a book and movie that share nothing but a title. It was even originally called "Stephen King's Lawnmower Man". Zero similarity to Stephen King's book.
* The Bourne Identity shares a title, and the first scene, then nothing.

The World War Zs are both about a zombie apocalypse, with many scenes in common.

Re:How could you do it? (1)

JanMSchroeder (3585547) | about 5 months ago | (#46537573)

He didn't. At one point it was re-written to the point that he had no writing credit left at all. Two of his drafts of the script he wrote are online if you search. They do a great job of honoring the book while working with the feature format.

Who? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535121)

Never heard of him. How boring.

Re:Who? (1)

doas777 (1138627) | about 5 months ago | (#46535211)

watch or read some of his stuff. the stories are told quite compellingly.

Re:Who? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46536859)

What's life like under a rock?

B5 and season renewal (5, Interesting)

madopal (308394) | about 5 months ago | (#46535131)

What would have been different with the last two seasons of Babylon 5 had you known for sure you had a full 5 seasons?

Re:B5 and season renewal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535887)

Asked and answered. [midwinter.com]

About that set in Uganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535161)

So about that set burning down in Uganda, was it going to be featured in any good movies?

Or was it Kenya?

Re:About that set in Uganda? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#46535235)

So about that set burning down in Uganda, was it going to be featured in any good movies?

Or was it Kenya?

It will only feature in a slashdot post.

but it will be an epic post!

Comic book movie (1)

Pharoah_69 (2866937) | about 5 months ago | (#46535169)

How about making a film where the Avengers and Superman team-up in a traditional "comic book"-style movie?

Babylon 5 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535175)

I really liked the B5 universe. I know this is flogging a dead horse,and likely the answer is no, but I also loved the new Battle Galactica. Any chance at all of a B% / BG crosser or mashup? Think Predator and Aliens, but instead done right.
thanks

Babylon 5 (3, Interesting)

Patrick LaFollette (3488015) | about 5 months ago | (#46535179)

Have you ever considered revisiting the Babylon 5 universe? Perhaps in animated form?

Re:Babylon 5 (1)

JWW (79176) | about 5 months ago | (#46535543)

I would add:

Have you ever considered revisiting the Captain Power universe? Perhaps in a full live action form?

Re:Babylon 5 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535945)

Have you ever considered revisiting the Babylon 5 universe? Perhaps in animated form?

I would love to see another attempt at B5: Crusade and at Legend of the Rangers.

Jayce (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 5 months ago | (#46535189)

With all the movies based on old cartoons these days, wouldn't this be a good time for a Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors movie?

Re:Jayce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536871)

Still waiting for a live-action movie of Rocky and Bullwinkle, that highly underrated Cold War cartoon series.

Re:Jayce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537287)

Y'mean the one with Jason Alexander and Robert De Niro

Re:Jayce (1)

Apocros (6119) | about 5 months ago | (#46537903)

i'm waiting for the Silverhawks movie...

Re:Jayce (1)

gzuckier (1155781) | about 5 months ago | (#46549137)

Will we ever get to see the lost Rebo and Zooty Movie?

actors across series (5, Interesting)

doas777 (1138627) | about 5 months ago | (#46535191)

I've often noticed that if an actor played a speaking character in one scifi series, while looking mostly humanish, any other series they are in they have a pretty concealing costume. For Instance Mr Katsulas played a rather humanish Tomalok on Startrek, whereas his G'Kar had a pretty intense costume.

Is this done intentionally, or just coincidence?

Re:actors across series (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 5 months ago | (#46535495)

Except, of course...
Ben Browder (Farscape / Stargate SG-1)
Claudia Black (Farscape / Stargate SG-1)
Jewel Staite (Firefly / Stargate Atlantis )*
Morena Baccarin (Firefly / Stargate SG-1 )
Summer Glau (FireFly / Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

* okay, except for that one episode where she played a Wraith.

Probably plenty of other examples, those were the ones I knew off my head (I enjoyed all 3 of those franchises very much), and I'm sure plenty of counterexamples. Makes me think it's probably coincidence.

Re:actors across series (1)

doas777 (1138627) | about 5 months ago | (#46535797)

The farscape/SG crossovers always had the feel of "throwing a dog a bone" after the dog's show was canceled/completed, and I blame that entirely on SyFy. They were unashamedly trying to use the stars existing clout to gain mind-share.

One example I can think of in B5 is Bestor (Walter Koenig aka Chekov), but he stands on his own, as did McGuyver in SG1. Chriton and Erin did not hold up nearly so well in alternate roles. I'm primarily thinking of people who played small, one-time parts (so perhaps Katsulas was not so great an example). Patricia Tallman for instance played many background roles in Startrek, but either did not speak, or was an alien.

Re:actors across series (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 5 months ago | (#46536485)

True, though the bone-throwing applies to many actors. Heck, Nathan Fillion still gets to make Firefly jokes on practically any show/in any movie he's in. Of course that's become a bit of a running gag, but I don't think any director so far has said "no." to that.

Completely off-topic, in my mail client this read as "Reactors across series" and I for the life of me couldn't imagine what that would be a reply to, but was intrigued :)

Re:actors across series (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46540175)

One example I can think of in B5 is Bestor (Walter Koenig aka Chekov),

How so? I agree he was pretty type-cast as a star trek actor; and likely found it difficult to find good work after it. But at the same time he was never that popular or noteworthy on ToS either except he was on the bridge so he was a shoo-in for the movies, but contributed little except comic relief for pronouncing v's like w's. He was hardly "star power".

I doubt ANYBODY said, "Hey, lets check out this B5 thing... I hear its got that Chekov guy from Star Trek"...

In my case, the first time I saw him on B5 I sort of groaned, but it worked out for the best. Honestly, Alfred Bester was a larger and much more fleshed out role than Pavel Chekov ever was, and Koenig gets points from me for doing some great acting. U think he was emmy nominated for B5... and deservedly so.

Re:actors across series (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46535785)

For Instance Mr Katsulas played a rather humanish Tomalok on Startrek, whereas his G'Kar had a pretty intense costume.

I really doubt the 4 episodes he appeared in star trek in a 5 year period would dictate that he be unrecognizable in B5.

And I guess counter examples could be Bill Mumy, who showed up as a human member of starfleet and Majel Barrett made a pretty recognizable appearance on B5 as well.

Re:actors across series (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#46535927)

It's just a coincidence. Consider Walter Koenig. Essentially, the only difference in concealing between Pavel Checkov's Starfleet uniform and Alfred Bester's Psi-corps uniform were the gloves. When Ben Bowder and Claudia Black transitioned from Farscape to Stargate SG-1, their clothing/costume coverage remained unchanged. There are lots of other examples.

Crusade (1)

MrLint (519792) | about 5 months ago | (#46535253)

Will the plot summary for the end of the show be published ever again?

It was up briefly years ago but seems to have fallen into the memory hole.

PsyCore (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535257)

What were you planning on doing with the PsyCore in B5? (and their mothership hanging in hyperspace)

Re: PsyCore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535799)

Bureau 13 was kind of dropped, too.

Re:PsyCore (1)

Jethro (14165) | about 5 months ago | (#46535841)

*Psi Corps.

/nitpick.

World War Z.... WHY....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535277)

Why did you take all the wonderful content in the book World War Z and flush it down the toliet? I like to think the movie you made was another movie all together but the studio had the rights to the book so they made you use the title. Otherwise you really hacked up some of the best Zombie story lines out there.

Only posting as AC because I don't have a slashdot account, but someone HAS TO ASK THIS QUESTION!!!

Re:World War Z.... WHY....? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 5 months ago | (#46535417)

Short answer? Brad Pitt

Graphic Novels (1)

BinaryTB (1556521) | about 5 months ago | (#46535361)

You've written for both, so... DC or Marvel?

The hooks you put in place for a She-ra storyline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535433)

If there had been another season of She-Ra and you had been able to write what you wanted for it... how would things have gone?

WWZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535459)

Why was the film version of World War Z so drastically different from the book? They both shared the same title and that was about it.

Re:WWZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535475)

Oops... Sorry... Just saw someone beat me to this... My bad.

World War Z and story arc (1)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | about 5 months ago | (#46535477)

Numerous posters are decrying the lack of the original book's content in the final screenplay, so I'll ask a slightly different question.

One of the problems cited with adapting the book was the structure of the narrative, since it was essentially a series of interviews. But movies consisting of interviews and recollections, and their non-linear construction, have been done before. (The most obvious example is "Citizen Kane".) As problems go, this one didn't look insurmountable from here.

So...what am I missing? Is there something else in the book's story arc that posed a problem? Or do Hollywood studios regard the average audience member as just a whole lot dumber these days?

Re:World War Z and story arc (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 months ago | (#46535753)

movies consisting of interviews and recollections, and their non-linear construction, have been done before.

But how many have succeeded at the box office?

Are you related (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46535537)

Are you related to the unabomber?

The Real Ghostbusters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535557)

If you were given the chance to write for another Ghostbusters series, no restrictions and given the free reign to write whatever, what do you think that would look like/what would the viewers expect? I've loved the episodes you've written and it's been a fun trip watching them again now that I'm older.

Social TV (4, Interesting)

hhawk (26580) | about 5 months ago | (#46535583)

For me, you are the father or grandfather of social TV, meaning the way you promoted Bab 5 (before, during and after) the series is more or less the methodology that many TV shows and movies have adapted. You maybe have been using NNTP (Network News) instead of Facebook or Twitter, but for me you are the first.

My question: in that context: What are show producers/runners not doing today with Social Media that they could or should be doing to engage and interact with fans?

Any chance of a sequel to B5 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 months ago | (#46535591)

Showing Jason, captain of the Whitestar?

Re:Any chance of a sequel to B5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46612011)

would that be Jason of Star Command?

Reaching Fans (4, Interesting)

hhawk (26580) | about 5 months ago | (#46535601)

When you look back at how you used tools like NNTP to engage with your audience regarding Bab 5, is there anything you would have done differently today?

Re:Reaching Fans (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#46536645)

The tool was USENET. The underlying protocol for some of USENET transport was NNTP. Some was UUCP. Some was tapes.

You wouldn't ask the next generation about using GSM or CDMA as a tool when referring to use of Twitter, would you? Ok, maybe you would.

Re:Reaching Fans (1)

hhawk (26580) | about 5 months ago | (#46536713)

I'm you are right..

Fans online (3, Interesting)

hhawk (26580) | about 5 months ago | (#46535643)

I consider your use of online technology for Bab5 to have been both Evolutionary and Revolutionary.

My question: Which if any other shows, writers, producers and show runners did you emulate or follow or get inspired by when you took to the Internet to promote Bab 5.

Lensman movie (3, Interesting)

grylnsmn (460178) | about 5 months ago | (#46535647)

Years ago, you mentioned that you signed on with Ron Howard to write a screenplay for a movie based on E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series. Is that project still in the works?

Re:Lensman movie (1)

hjames (70941) | about 5 months ago | (#46621825)

Yes, please!! I would enjoy a modern remake of the lensmen series! Its just on the edge of the Comic book universe and under JMS it could be nicely done!

Rising Stars and Midnight Nation (1)

Dimwit (36756) | about 5 months ago | (#46535661)

Once upon a time there was going to be a Rising Stars miniseries/movie. Any word on that? What about more comics in that franchise?

Also, Midnight Nation...any word on a miniseries or movie of that?

(Also, for any Slashdotters who haven't read Rising Stars and Midnight Nation, both are very much worth reading.)

Forbidden Planet remake/prequel/something (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 5 months ago | (#46535673)

Here's my question - What's the deal with the Forbidden Planet prequel/sequel/remake/reimagining/whatever your name was linked with some years ago? I've heard all kinds of rumors. One was that you finished a script but it got stolen and posted on the internet and that killed the project, Other rumors have this being a prequel, a sequel, a film set in the same universe and all kinds of things. I love the original film so if there's ever a chance of you being involved in something related, I'd love to know whatever you can tell, even if it's not much.

Re:Forbidden Planet remake/prequel/something (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 5 months ago | (#46536487)

I just asked the same question. Good to know I wasn't the only one wanting to know what's going on this this.

Re:Forbidden Planet remake/prequel/something (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 5 months ago | (#46536963)

Unfortunately our question has been modded way down and he'll probably never see it because it's more important for him to have 50 questions on Bab5 trivia.

Re:Forbidden Planet remake/prequel/something (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 5 months ago | (#46536953)

Yes. Yes, this. I was going to ask the same.

Recording Bab5 Fandom (1)

hhawk (26580) | about 5 months ago | (#46535681)

A highlight of my early days online was when I asked (and your replied) to a question I had about how the Narn defeated the Shadows the previous war. I'm sure that many people had a similar reaction when you interacted with them. I was elated for days.

Has there or will there be an effort to edit/catalog and compile all of the fan interaction as part of the history of Bab 5? [This seems like a great task to hand over the your fans].

Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 5 months ago | (#46535901)

Okay ... I'll bite. How DID the Narn (an agrarian society at that time) manage to drive the Shadows from their home world?

Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 5 months ago | (#46536985)

> How DID the Narn (an agrarian society at that time) manage to drive the Shadows from their home world?

I thought it was clear that Narn telepaths "mind walkers" did this. Perhaps the Narn had especially powerful telepaths, and that was the reason it was necessary to remove the telepath gene from the Narn race.

Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (1)

Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) | about 5 months ago | (#46538175)

Mind you "drive" might be too strong a word. All G'Kwon has to accomplish is to make the Narn homeworld a not useful base of operations. Sneaking near a base and crashing a pair of Shadow vessels into each other would probably get the point across, without any real battles being necessary. The threat would be sufficient to get the Shadows to find another planet.

Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537017)

I thought it was about Narn not having any more telephats...
 

Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (1)

Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) | about 5 months ago | (#46538145)

No, a very few telepaths survived, G'Kwon being the most famous. Presumably those that survived were extremely potent. They have no remaining telepaths because many necessary genes were scrubbed from the rest of the populace, diluting the probabilities to their disfavor. One might speculate G'Kwon's valuable genetics could have been preserved with space age science, but the Narn were incapable of such one thousand years ago.

Wasn't the explanation given that... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543001)

The Narn telepaths drove them off, and as a result of said action the Shadows pretty much wiped out all of the Narn telepathic lines. Hence, Narns being one of the few races with no current telepaths.

Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (1)

hhawk (26580) | about 5 months ago | (#46536585)

JMS's reply was, "that would be telling..."

Not sure if there is such a thing as spoilers for such an old show but msg me and I'll be happy to spoil it for you... /hawk

Deja vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535735)

Didn't Slashdot just do this a few months ago?

Doctor Who (2)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 5 months ago | (#46535743)

Would you ever take on running Doctor Who if it were offered to you?

Babylon 5 Curse (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46535745)

Michael O'Hare
Jeff Conaway
Andreas Katsulas
Tim Choate
Richard Biggs
Paul Winfield
a number of secondary actors as well.

Putting questions of whether there is an actual curse aside. As the Creator of Babylon 5, how do such lossess influence your present creative works?

Re:Babylon 5 Curse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536667)

Did all of these people die? Is the curse having you mention their names? If the later, seems like a simple cure.

Re:Babylon 5 Curse (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543009)

All of those have passed away, earlier than expected, and quite a few secondary roles as well.

Re:Babylon 5 Curse (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 5 months ago | (#46539749)

"Hey, isn't it crazy that all those people you worked with for years all died? Does that profound sense of loss let you make better TV shows?"

I'm gonna hazard a guess that you're not regarded as a master of small talk.

Re:Babylon 5 Curse (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543019)

No, sadly, I'm not.

I think if I were in such positions. That I'd probably find little ways to memorialize those individuals in future stories. Little tributes. But I don't know if such is a common practice or not.

Re:Babylon 5 Curse (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 5 months ago | (#46546671)

Possibly, but my point was just the question was framed insensitively, like the important consequence of those deaths was how they inspired his art. What you could ask is how their deaths affected him, or if you were really curious if he was able to use the pain or sense of loss to inform his art.

But with this form of interview I just don't know how you really ask either. Asking how he felt about the deaths is just really personal without providing a motive for why you want to know. And asking about how it informed his art presumes that they had a profound effect (which isn't necessarily the case since we don't know if they were close). That's something you could get at in a conversation, but with a single question I just don't think it's possible.

Re:Babylon 5 Curse (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46567979)

You might be right. And it was my 3rd re-write attempt. But perhaps JMS will forgive my inability to compose the question well.

Captain Power (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 5 months ago | (#46535747)

I'm surprised no one here has yet mentioned Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future -- a spectacular kids show that had a surprisingly complex plotline considering the goal of the show was mostly to sell toys.

We had only one season, which essentially ended with a cliffhanger (although it was pretty obvious "Pilot" died), but, if there had been the funds to do a second season, any thoughts about where you would have gone with the show?

Babylon 5 Influence (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | about 5 months ago | (#46535755)

First off, I want to say thank you for your work on Babylon 5! It was one of my favorite TV programs growing up, and it definitely helped influence my getting into the sciences as a profession. I always saw that show as a good example of "hard" science fiction, versus other programs at the time. I never saw rotation-made artificial gravity on Star Trek!

Babylon 5 had some pretty intense story arcs, especially apparent in seasons 3 and 4, so it required a lot of forethought and planning prior to production. What influence has this sort of "arc planning" had on your more recent projects, and in what way do you see the influence of Babylon 5's level of writing on scfi-fi programs in the near future?

Thanks for having an interview with Slashdot!

JMS Battle Solutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535763)

Silver Surfer vs Superman, no holds barred, who wins?

Blank canvas versus authorial universe (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46535767)

Did you create the B5 universe to be a space for new stories in the future, or was it all built around the specific tale you wanted to tell? The spinoffs seemed to go off on tangents away from that show's characters, organisations, and setting.

Working with Netflix and the Wachowskis? (4, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46535769)

Sense 8 brings together one of my favorite creators of worlds, with one of my favorite authors, and one of my favorite companies....

What has it been like to work with the Wachowski siblings and Netflix? Has working with Netflix provided a freer avenue for creativity than a traditional television network experience offers?

What ever happened to Mr. Lennier? (3, Interesting)

x0 (32926) | about 5 months ago | (#46535773)

Many on here are no doubt wanting a sequel of some sort. Honestly, I'd like to know where Lennier ended up, and did he ever redeem himself?

m

Re:What ever happened to Mr. Lennier? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46536599)

I think we can assume with great confidence that the spirit Morden prophecy was referring to him trying to kill Sheridan as his betrayal. Meaning that shortly after he left to seek atonement he died.

Re:What ever happened to Mr. Lennier? (1)

TechnoGrl (322690) | about 5 months ago | (#46537541)

Lennier ended up on a small farm located on an earth-like planet way on the outskirts of Grid Epsilon and lived a happy, if uneventful, life with his trusty space-collie as his most trusted friend.

Re:What ever happened to Mr. Lennier? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537857)

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lennier

Re:What ever happened to Mr. Lennier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46538075)

This is covered in the B5 novels (Legions of Fire trilogy).

Vorlon Takeshi's Castle is a three-edged sword (3, Insightful)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 5 months ago | (#46535805)

How about doing a spin-off from Babylon 5 involving a Vorlon game-show? I'm thinking of something like Takeshi's Castle.

Zathrus and Thor (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 5 months ago | (#46535825)

What would the dialog be in a confrontation between Zathrus, Thor, and Loki? If you cannot tell us for legal reasons, what would it be in a meeting between not-Zathrus, not-Thor, and not-Loki, who happen to resemble the characters they are not?

Re:Zathrus and Thor (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535923)

What would the dialog be in a confrontation between Zathrus, Thor, and Loki? If you cannot tell us for legal reasons, what would it be in a meeting between not-Zathrus, not-Thor, and not-Loki, who happen to resemble the characters they are not?

Are you referring to Zathras, Zathras, Zathras, or Zathras? (Not even Zathras listens to Zathras.)

Re:Zathrus and Thor (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 5 months ago | (#46536337)

You're mixing them up! You should have written "Zathras, Zathras, Zathras or Zathras?".

Re:Zathrus and Thor (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46536385)

Cannot say. Saying, would know. Do not know. Cannot say. ;-)

Babylon 5 Behind the Scenes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535829)

Why do you have such seething hatred for fans of your work, as displayed in your petulant screed(s) on this widely-respected B5 fanpage and others of its ilk?

Respectfully,
-Still waiting to hear from your "six-figure lawyers"

Re:Babylon 5 Behind the Scenes (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46536665)

I am not aware of any of these instances. But I have had a discussion with him about fan works. Basically, he seemed to be confused about a legal issue that some famous author had (too close to the source, rumours abound). basically, he thinks that if he ever even has a chance to see a fan work he will be sued, and his life probably ruined, for a bunch of confused legal reasons.

It is not that he has absolutely no point at all, but he definitely seems confused with the legal precedent and what actually happened.

Sci Fi as Sci Inspiration? (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 5 months ago | (#46535847)

Do you make an active effort to craft something that will inspire future science and exploration with your storytelling? Or do you approach it as just something implicit in having spaceships and aliens and futurey type things?

No Space on TV currently? (4, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46535919)

At the moment there is not a single TV show in space? Since the ending of the BSG reboot and Stargate: Universe cancellation, TV has been essentially "spaceless".

Why do you feel that is?

And what do you feel it would take to bring "space" back to television?

Re:No Space on TV currently? (1)

CWCheese (729272) | about 5 months ago | (#46537421)

That's what happens when Sci-Fi become SyFy... so very sad...

Re:No Space on TV currently? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46544309)

I'll take a stab at it. There's no space shows because most Americans don't really feel there is a future to look forward to. This is also why post-apocalyptic/zombie shows have suddenly become so popular. The end of America is near, and deep down inside people know it, and are preparing for the hell to come. (World War 3.)

Dang it... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46567993)

You're probably right...

Maybe that's why we're so into Superheroes right now too. We want something that can save us.

Re:Dang it... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 5 months ago | (#46605957)

Super heroes to save us from the zombies?

If you haven't read 'Ex-Heroes', I highly recommend it. (Ex-Patriots was good, but not great ... I haven't read the other two)

How to share ideas? (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46535929)

"Is there a way fans can submit ideas, in this intellectual property right sue happy system we have?"

Even when a fan is willing to give up all rights to the idea, just for the chance of seeing it maybe happen. It seems that such is prevented by all the legal suits.

How can one go about submitting an idea? When one does quite have the developed skills to write out a script and pitch it to studios.

Re:How to share ideas? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#46536769)

Even when a fan is willing to give up all rights to the idea, just for the chance of seeing it maybe happen. It seems that such is prevented by all the legal suits.

Also prevented by any sane producer. Just what does "all rights" mean? Can you give up rights to things you don't know about or that didn't exist? It wouldn't be the "legal suits" driving the issue when the fan sues for a cut of a new form of distribution. "Your Honor, how could the plaintiff have intended to give up his rights to interstellar distribution when at the time of the contract there was no interstellar distribution?" Or even "the defendant clearly used my character as a basis for this spin-off character and I didn't sign away my rights to that." Even a losing plaintiff costs money.

Look at all the 80's actors who have no cut of DVD sales because nobody thought that those shows would ever be released to a home market. What's the next new use of today's media that we've yet to think up?

Re:How to share ideas? (1)

Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) | about 5 months ago | (#46539571)

The answer is probably "no". The problem is that unless you are a professional, you are an easy target for some other fan to claim you stole their idea, thus muddling up the rights. Someone in the business can be trusted to not cross the lines, because real professionals have more good ideas of their own than they could finish in ten lifetimes. Professionals actually read very little fanfic. Many (most?) fans who write fanfic read a lot of fanfic, or, at least, that is what a jury will be easily convinced of. So the possibility of honest errors skirting too close to the legal line is vastly greater with fanfic authors. Fanfic is a headache best avoided.

Would you do me a favor? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535947)

& kick JJ Abrams in the balls next time you see him?

See how many lens flares you get.

Re:Would you do me a favor? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 5 months ago | (#46536591)

I think the goal should be to kick JJ Abrams hard enough in the nuts so he stops seeing lens flares.

Re:Would you do me a favor? (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 5 months ago | (#46537851)

Star Wars VII plot twist: The Force is powered, not by midiclorians as previously suggested, but by Lens Flares!!! [cue dramatic reveal music]

Re:Would you do me a favor? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543071)

Oh, sheesh that was such a juvenile blunder. It would have worked if he merely said that mitochlorian levels corresponded to the level of Force, so that it was merely a means to measure strength. Not the actual cause of the strength. I think that can be retconned easily enough.

Hour 25 memories? (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 5 months ago | (#46535981)

I first remember hearing you as a recurring guest during the Mike Hodel era of Hour 25 on KPFK in LA.

Any great memories of those days that you'd care to share?

G.

Babylon 5, or something else? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 5 months ago | (#46536019)

Do you ever feel that you'd like people to remember you for something else besides just Babylon 5 and if so, what do you yourself feel you'd wish people to remember you for?

Jeremiah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536041)

Any chance of Jeremiah being released on Blu-Ray? Both seasons in widescreen...?

The Questions (5, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | about 5 months ago | (#46536077)

Who are you?
What do you want?

Re:The Questions (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46536255)

And what are you doing in my house?

Re:The Questions (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 5 months ago | (#46536351)

And, who's eating this chicken?

Re:The Questions (1)

GlennC (96879) | about 5 months ago | (#46536583)

And who's been sleeping in my bed?

Re:The Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536367)

Who are you?
What do you want?

Yes

Already been asked. (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 5 months ago | (#46536639)

He also did a slashdot interview last year [slashdot.org] :

What do you want?
by frakfrakfrak

Hey, someone else was going to do it if I didn't!

jms: Your head on a pike. Or a pickerel. Or the freshwater fish of your choice.

Re:Already been asked. (1)

RDW (41497) | about 5 months ago | (#46537687)

Now even the interviews are dupes?

Well, my Associates will be pleased that they have their answer, but we still need a reply to the Vorlon question!

Re:The Questions (1)

soccerisgod (585710) | about 5 months ago | (#46541365)

Superb. Makes me ashamed I didn't think of that :)

Technomage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536091)

Is there any chance to have a series about the Technomages?

Revisiting Babylon5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536107)

Is there a chance to revisit the Babylon5 universe?

Do you have another story to tell in that universe?

Fan way before I knew who you were.... (1)

tloh (451585) | about 5 months ago | (#46536213)

After I was turned onto Babylon 5, I looked you up and found out you were involved in TV shows I enjoyed as a kid. For example, "The Real Ghostbusters" often had compelling plots and dialogue that were noticeably different from your average cartoon. But my curiosity was really piqued when I read you played a large part in creating the short-lived live-action "Captain Powers" series. Assuming the rights could be secured, is there any interest on your part in either continuing/rebooting the story in some form or wrapping things up for those of us who are still dying to find out what happened after the good guys' home base was destroyed?

Re:Fan way before I knew who you were.... (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 5 months ago | (#46537273)

Goddamn right.

There's an outline out there for a proposed second season, and it's awfully dark.

Jeremiah (3, Interesting)

beukerc (551572) | about 5 months ago | (#46536215)

So, what is the story with Jeremiah? I only saw the first season and haven't been able to track down the 2nd, but I rather enjoyed what I saw of the show.

I read an interview you did http://www.republibot.com/cont... [republibot.com] where you mention that you finished the 2nd season and wrapped up what you could as best as you could and then ran like hell. What happened?

Re:Jeremiah (1)

lcam (848192) | about 5 months ago | (#46536625)

Could part of the problem be rooted in the nature of how the protagonists were fighting for basic principles challenged or perhaps infringed on by circumstances with real parallels in our society and/or that the fight could be viewed as motive or encouragement to fight these same parallels in our reality?

Re:Jeremiah (1)

JanMSchroeder (3585547) | about 5 months ago | (#46541899)

The second season is one of the best things ever done for television. As far as I know it's only available via Amazon DVD-R or their streaming service. http://www.amazon.com/Jeremiah... [amazon.com] Highly recommended.

Philosophy in B5 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536237)

First I wanted to thank you for B5, It's views in offering a society and philosophy that was NOT Star Trek but more real, which really spoke to me and influenced me in several ways through my life (I think for the better).

My question is about the philosophy from B5, the underlying belief that "We are all 'star stuff''" became more of a guiding virtue. I found this most appealing, can you share what your source was for this universal belief system and if it is one that you subscribe to?

Why do the studios (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 5 months ago | (#46536303)

hate our chilrdren so much and wont give them good sci fi? Why did the studios hate us so much when they started to kill all the sci-fi shows in the late 90's. Wont someone think about the children?

As much as people would love the see updated or redone Babylon 5 for nostalgia reasons, please don't, that's a show that needs to be matched like it was created.

why were you such a prick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536361)

over completing rising stars - all you did was hurt the readers

Vision vs. Reality (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#46536395)

In every show there are cases where something external to the show necessarily ends up forcing changes to the plot of the show (an actor leave unexpectedly, network demands some change, etc.). We know there's a number of cases where something like that ended up impacting Babylon 5. In your opinion, what forced change had the biggest impact on how the show came out, and what would have happened differently if things had worked out the way you had intended them to?

Our souls as part of everything out there. (1)

lcam (848192) | about 5 months ago | (#46536429)

JMS:

I'm going out on a limb here. :) I hope only for the comments and particular view you hold in relation or thereabouts.

So if accept that the soul is a measurable discrete entity, and we accept that in lower energy forms it is to be placed in a vessel or body that then becomes it's "home" for the duration of time the vessel can contain it, until death, then clearly the soul is somewhat a localized entity. As a body dies and decomposes, returning its material to the land from which it came, we can easily assimilate an idea that a soul would also return to its source.

On earth, its arguable that the source of almost all life/energy is the sun; it illuminates and heats our world, it is the power behind photosynthesis from which emerges the basic essential and energy of all foods through the food chains. We can call the sun a sort of energy portal where energy and life passes into this realm. Presumably we can even extend this analogy to suppose that souls, as higher level energy patterns, also transit this portal when incarnating a body and possibly would transit back to source when the body/vessel containment aspects collapse at or about the moment of death.

A great deal has been claimed about sacred geometries present in some form in all things, especially living things, on earth. A few artificial things, artifacts, The pyramids of Gaza and the Aztecs have sacred geometries built in them. Personally, I find a sacred geometry of striking coincidence in the sky observing the moon. It has the exact same aspect size and shape as the sun, it only shows one face to earth, a result of another coincidence of having the same rotational period as orbital period, and recently speculation that it may be an artificial satellite of sorts that was put in place sometime between 20K BC and 15K BC raises further speculation about what it really is. One could put forth a claim that there are too many coincidences about its existence for it to be purely natural, and yet, if one where to look into the sky and gaze across the moon, most wouldn't notice it to be out of place.

But the coincidence of being of the same aspect size as the sun is the basis of my question to you being that its aspect size may be related to "antenna" type characteristics of another kind. Can you imagine, if energy could channeled in a similar way to energy that is channelled from the sun, operating with a function similar to a portal, such that this energy would attract a disoriented soul recently liberated from its body that has just died. Perhaps attract such a soul much like a candle attracts a moth. A trap of sorts, that prevents the soul from rejoining with its source on the other side of the natural portal, the sun? As a part of an intergalactic struggle? Have you heard of such a thing elsewhere?

Forbidden Planet (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 5 months ago | (#46536475)

I remember hearing your name being attached to a Forbidden Planet remake.

If this is true, can you talk about the project at all?

Forbidden Planet is my all-time favorite movie, and I would love to see someone (more specifically you) make a modern version that's true to the original. It was cerebral Sci-Fi at a time when Sci-Fi was mostly for kids. Given how Sci-Fi is enjoying a resurgence in the main-stream, now seems like the perfect time to bring this classic about the dangers of the human subconscious mind back into the public eye.

A Man of Many Mediums (1)

ThomasBHardy (827616) | about 5 months ago | (#46536499)

It's probably safe to say that you have a broader range of mediums (comics, network TV, movies, and now non-network TV) than most if not all modern content creators. What would you say the best (and worst) parts of each medium are for you as a creator?

Can you have someone write for you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536631)

Please

Old question re: Babylon 5 (1)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 5 months ago | (#46536649)

In the series you made allusion to the poor down in "brown sector" being cut off from the economic flow of the station. In a way, this is related to my objection to the "Dune" ecology postulated by Frank Hebert, that is, where are the plants that support the infrastructure. In terms of story, how do you resolve these "blanks" providing no service or product to the economic ecology of the station, yet somehow staying alive in the complete absence of any socialist activity by the management? I guess the question is, what to do with 'dangling characters' in stories (or in reality I suppose)?

Nightwatch and the NSA (3, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46536775)

In Babylon 5 you took on the concept of the Nightwatch. What are your thoughts regarding the current global monitoring by the NSA? What actions do you feel Americans could be taking to voice their opposition and stand against our present "Nightwatch"?

GR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536885)

Galaxy Rangers sequel?

How did you get acceptance for telling an epic? (2)

borgar (31365) | about 5 months ago | (#46536901)

How hard was it to get acceptance for telling a long epic story instead of the usual "single story, push reset" that was the basic fare in the 80's?

Before B5 what we had was a bunch of loose episodes in a season. The only "story arc" was an occasional two-parter, usually the end-of-season cliffhanger episode resolved in next seasons first episode. We would probably not have had series like Battlestar Galactica or Game of Thrones today without B5 showing the way (to be fair there is a slight possibility that someone else could have done something similar later).

It must have been hard to convince the network to go for this?

I'd like to add a thank you for B5 (and Spider-man, Supreme Power, The Twelve etc.). It's without doubt the best tv experience I've had so far. I saw most of the series on NTSC tapes that I manged to borrow through a friend (who somehow managed to get this recorded and sent from US). This was before the it was possible to buy DVD's of series immediately after they where showed and it took years before anything reached norwegian tv (if they came at all). Actually it's one of the best DVD experiences I've had as well now that I think about it. All the little hints and portents I'd missed the first time made re-watching the series a great joy.

Re:How did you get acceptance for telling an epic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537415)

Before B5 what we had was a bunch of loose episodes in a season. The only "story arc" was an occasional two-parter, usually the end-of-season cliffhanger episode resolved in next seasons first episode. We would probably not have had series like Battlestar Galactica or Game of Thrones today without B5 showing the way (to be fair there is a slight possibility that someone else could have done something similar later).

Although if you listen to the commentaries on B5, you can clearly see that JMS had a plan for what was going on. If you listen to the commentaries on BSG (or Lost), you can just as easily see that Moore and Abrams were just making it up as he went along.

As much as B5's season 5 suffered due to the issue of having to cram the fifth season into the time constraint of the fourth season, I'd much rather watch 4/5 seasons of B5 than the meandering soap-operaish stuff. Story arcs are great, but series arcs are awesome. (I still wonder if the Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles and the "V" reboot had a series arc or if, had they not been cancelled, would have meandered around for a few years before coming to a weird resolution.)

I suppose I already know the answer - funding - but the question I'd ask JMS would be "If series arcs are what made B5 so special, why do we rarely, if ever, see series arcs, even today?"

Any "loose B5 ends" that bug you? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46536909)

I know that there are a few things in B5 that were mentioned, maybe touched briefly, that were hinted at and that did eventually not get the attention that I felt they were supposed to get, either because of time constraints, because actors decided to jump ship or because of reasons that I (or even we, as a whole) don't know about.

Are there any plot ideas that you were quite fond of that you could not flesh out the way you wanted them to? Any "loose ends" that you really wanted to tie up and give closure but couldn't during the series run? And, of course, why couldn't you?

B5 Non-Union (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536913)

What effect did Babylon 5's non-union and later forced unionization have upon the process of making the show and getting (or not getting) renewed?

Farscape (1)

DaAdder (124139) | about 5 months ago | (#46537077)

Any chance of you being involved in some form of spaced based show in the near, not-so-near, or entirely not near future at all?
I would probably kickstart the hell out of some more Farscape being brought back to life with you as a writer. How about some of that?

the only question. (1)

Holi (250190) | about 5 months ago | (#46537119)

Why of why did you have a hand in that insult called World War Z.
What possessed you to have a hand completely ignoring the book while creating what arguably could be called the worst movie of all time?

Don't get me wrong. I was a huge fan of Babylon 5 (well seasons 1-4), but the treatment done to WWZ was utterly ridiculous and wrong. How did you feel it was appropriate to buy the rights to a story and then dispose of every last bit leaving only the title?

What do you think about the state of scifi on TV? (2)

mrxak (727974) | about 5 months ago | (#46537223)

When I look back at the 90s, there was so much good science fiction on TV, Babylon 5 included. The writing was good, the stories were human and often inspirational, and above all they required a thinking audience. Nowadays, science fiction on television has become mainly action fantasy more than anything. Most of it takes place in the present day rather than the future. The shows that do start get quickly canceled off, and it seems like they're mostly pessimistic and dumbed-down. I seriously doubt a show like Babylon 5 could ever get made today, much less last more than a single season.

How do you view the current state of science fiction on television, and why has it become this way?

Re:What do you think about the state of scifi on T (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 5 months ago | (#46538725)

Idiocracy.

Terrible oversight (1)

mike260 (224212) | about 5 months ago | (#46537297)

I always felt that B5's s4e06 needed to end with Sheridan leading the allied forces in a chorus of 'Yub Nub'.

No question here, I just thought you needed to know that.

You ideas for Star Trek? (1)

slapout (93640) | about 5 months ago | (#46537323)

I heard at one time you proposed to do a Star Trek movie (before the current reboot). What direction did you want to take the franchise?

I heard... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543187)

That he essentially pitched a reboot of the series, featuring the same characters but different actors. Arguing that the story was bigger than the actors.

Apparently, they agreed, because that's exactly what they did, except as movie instead of TV series.

SciFi vs SyFy (1)

slapout (93640) | about 5 months ago | (#46537331)

What are your thoughts on the "SciFi" channel becoming the "SyFy" channel?

Re:SciFi vs SyFy (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543201)

FSyFy

forbidden planet remake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537433)

Are you still attached to the remake of forbidden planet and where is the project?

Crusade, what the hell happened? (1)

skullboy0 (3027597) | about 5 months ago | (#46537639)

What the hell happened to the series of Crusade, what the hell happened? books?

Influence from 2001 (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | about 5 months ago | (#46537709)

Having been inspired up by some of the hard science in Babylon 5, I can't help but think back now and wonder about the similarities to the movie and book 2001: A Space Odyssey. Examples I've noticed include rotation-based artificial gravity, inertia-realistic spaceflight, and the design of Earth spaceships. Did 2001 (book and/or movie) have a significant inspiration on you during the creation and production of Babylon 5?

Thanks for B5, and all your other works!

Change for Babylon 5 Pilot (1)

Kalendraf (830012) | about 5 months ago | (#46537727)

IIRC, JMS once mentioned that there was something in the Babylon 5 Pilot, possibly related to the graphics, a scene or the imagery, that he would have changed if he could do it over. From the quote, it seem like it may have been one of those "once you see it, you can't unsee it" kinds of things. I've watched the pilot many times, but I've never spotted it. What was it?

Re:Change for Babylon 5 Pilot (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543243)

I remember him being rather critical of the whole Praying Mantis scene. Not sure that is the one he was referencing or not.

Babylon 4 (1)

gunnarstahl (95240) | about 5 months ago | (#46537793)

I deeply admired Babylon 5. What do you think of starting a spin of like Babylon 4? You already introduced it and created a story around it. From my point of view it would be a perfect successor to B5.

Re:Babylon 4 (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46543211)

I think this would be a great movie concept. Or even better a 5 episode mini-series of B4's appearance at the last war with the Shadows.

Jeremiah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537953)

I very much enjoyed the series, particularly season 2. From what I understand, MGM's administration interfered greatly, injecting staff that you didn't want. I have heard you were disappointed with the ultimate creation and I would like to hear an expansion on that.

How would you have liked it to have come out? Would the general plot and content have been different or just the internals of particular episodes?

Furthermore, how do you now protect yourself from that sort of interference? In fact, can you prevent that sort of interference?

Patricia Tallman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46538015)

Have you got her phone number and can I get an introduction please ?

Sense8 (1)

Etriaph (16235) | about 5 months ago | (#46538483)

In concert with the Wachowski siblings, has a plan been formed for Sense8 as a series, or are we in for more run-of-the-mill monster of the week with no goal in sight? Long time Babylon 5 fan wants to know.

Between the candle and the stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46539089)

At one point in Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors Gillian reads a marker:

        Between the candle and the stars, between the storm cloud and the sun, we ride the thunder, light against night, from now until forever, we are the Lightning League!

Satai Delenn in Babylon 5 chants the following incantation when she joined the Grey Council:

        Summoned, I come. In Valen’s name, I take the place that has been prepared for me. I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light.

What is the meaning of the candle and the star? What is the connection between these characters?

Midnight Nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46539351)

Will we ever see a Midnight Nation film or TV series? It's my favorite graphic novel.

Christine Collins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46539523)

Joe, If you could ask Christine Collins any question while she was still alive, what would you ask her? Dan_DD

What did the name prefixes/suffixes mean? (1)

Izkata Paklena (3585727) | about 5 months ago | (#46539595)

On the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5, on the episode page for "A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I [midwinter.com] ", there is a quote of something you said:

> I tried to develop a basic language structure for each of the races on B5. There are certain commonalities to the structure of names. I came up with some prefixes and suffixes, and assigned meanings to them, the same as real names. For instance, Rathenn (referred to by Delenn in "Voices") and Delenn have the same suffix, which has a specific meaning. You can break it down; Ner-oon (Legacies), Del-enn, Rath-enn, Der-onn, and so forth. The various parts do have specific meanings, but I generally keep that to myself, just for amusement.

Please, what meaning have you given to those name prefixes and suffixes?

(Additionally, I have previously asked this on SciFi.stackexchange.com [stackexchange.com] , and it would be amazing if you could also enlighten us there!)

cooperation with Wachowskis bros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46540183)

During this cooperation do you communicate in Polish and eat dumplings? ;-)

Why why why (1)

soccerisgod (585710) | about 5 months ago | (#46541361)

J. Michael, why are you so awesome?

Babylon 4 (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about 5 months ago | (#46545105)

JMS,

If you had the chance, would you go back and do stories about the last great war, Valen, and the role that B4 actually played in the series history?

B4. I think i get it now. :)

Also, the future that was touched on in the last episodes, would you ever want to flesh that out?

And what DID happen to JS when he died and went beyond The Rim?

PS: Thank you for the finest show in Sci Fi history.

Babylon 5 / Babylon Prime (1)

Norman Ray (3587961) | about 5 months ago | (#46549731)

Hi M. Straczynski, I'd like to know at which point in the B5 series did you decide to have the Babylon 5 show self-contained, instead of keeping you original ending (B5 destroyed by the Shadows, and Sinclair and Delenn having B4 move forward in time) that could have lead to the Babylon Prime spinoff?

B5 vs. Twilight Zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46561145)

At some point during the run of Babylon 5 you were said to have passed a record for number of episodes written by one person for a series that had stood since Rod Serling was writing for the Twilight Zone. I've always wondered: who do you think had the harder task? You, with the concerns of story arcs and continuity, or Serling, who had to create new characters and a new schtick for each episode?

Re:B5 vs. Twilight Zone (1)

MonkeyPhil (1219886) | about 5 months ago | (#46607523)

Is that record the most authored in a season, or over the run of the show?

TRON (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46569061)

Kind of funny that you cast two "programs" (TRON - & CROM, Bruce Boxleitner & Peter Jurasik) in Babylon 5.

The first 1986 TRON was one the biggest imaginative influences for me as a child. I'd love to know your thoughts regarding both the original TRON, and the more recent sequel.

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