Session Start: Mon Jun 30 20:02:26 1997
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*** Moderator sets mode: -m
*** Moderator sets mode: +v JMS
(Moderator) Welcome to your own private Hollywood... www.RoughCut.com
(Moderator) You can start sending questions to the moderator now.
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(pato) Please address your questions to Moderator
(pato) use /msg Moderator Ask a question here?
*** pato changes topic to "#B5-/msg Moderator with questions. "
(pato) Thanks for all the great questions folks.
(pato) We are compiling them for the man.
(pato) Please don't msg us multiple times with the same question.
(pato) Please don't msg me at all :)
(JMS) On behalf of TNT, please welcome J. Michael Straczynski. We'd like to announce that TNT will host the fifth season beginning January 1998.
(Moderator) How do you like the change from Warner BRos. to TNT
(Moderator) ? (JMS) It's been a very satisfying and rewarding transition period. Forthe first time we feel we have a defint home a reguar timeslot , a concerted PR campaign and a group of execs that genuinely like the show. We think that TNT is the best possible home for TNT and everyone is veryexcited about it.
(Moderator) Exactly when wil season 5 start?
(JMS) TNT tells us that Jan 1998 would be the start date for season 5.
(Moderator) What story lines will take place in season five?
(JMS) That would be telling...
(Moderator) Starting the fifth year how similar is the story line to your original conception?
(JMS) Very similar. You must understand that all that was required was to slide 4 or 5 episoes from season 5 to season 4 as a hedge against cancellation. Season 4 would have ended on interesections in real time. Therefore you've only pulled 4 epsiodes forward. season 5 which cocerns itself with empire buiding is antural outgrowth of season 4 and thus tracks very cosely to what i always I had in mind.
(Moderator) What's the deal with the TV guide beards?
(JMS) We asked Claudia to shave her beard for the photo we knew that this would be a cotroversial move, but we felt it was good for her character. As for where these new beards came from on Sheridan and Garibaldi -- keep watching.
(Moderator) We know how you like merchandising, but would you consider letting some out?
(JMS) We have been releasing some merchandise in a slow, gradual controlled fashion. My concern is not doing too much too fast so that we lose quality control . At this point I am just releasing the stuff that I feel is cool and which wuld like to own There will be more down the road, but my emphasis for now should be telling the story, not selling the toys.
(Moderator) What was the spark that gave you the original idea for B5?
(JMS) It cam from wanting to do a saga for TV along the lines of such printed sagas as Childhood's End the fOUNDATION BOOKS, lORD OF TH rINGS and the Lensman books. It would be impossible to do ay of those ofr TV because f the scae involved s I eed ot find a way to create a home base where the stores would come to you instead of going o ut in search of the stories. This led me to a space station and the rest of thew story took off from there.
(Moderator) Why do you describe yourself as an athiest and not an agnostic?
(JMS) Because it's more accurate. Agnostic is a fence-sitter and I think if you get in your car you want to have some reasonable idea of where you;re going and not fdrive around hoping that your destination might exist. It works for me, though mileage may vary.
(Moderator) Do you ever plan to release a novelization of the series?
(JMS) One heart attack at a time please.
(Moderator) Once you have completed your five day art, are you going to take a vacation?
(JMS) You betcha.
(Moderator) Once you have completed you five year arc?
(JMS) You betcha,
(Moderator) Can we expect to see the Vorlon home world, now that it's been vacated and that we have seen the end of Z'ha'dum?
(JMS) Bear in mind, that if you realy saw the Vorlon home world it would be too much for the uman mind to comphrehend leading therefore to outbreaks of mass destruction, hysteria and group psychosis. Therefore for the good of the commonweal ww will never show the Vorlon homeworld too closely but we may show it from afar. This has been a public service announcement.
(Moderator) What do you think of the hype surrounding gays in television when B5 has a bisexual character whose rarely ever mentioned in the press?
(JMS) The difference is we don't tend to exploit these things. We feel that presenting a variety of lifestyles and philosophies and points of view reflect the common coin of our hsared humanity and none of those profit from being pointed a like animals in a zoo. They simply are.
(Moderator) What would you say is the single biggest boo-boo you've made in the series, since artist/writers are generally their own toughest critics?
(JMS) Showing up to work without my pants on. Sadly no one noticed.
(Moderator) Will there be a spin off series, B5 Crusade?
(JMS) There are currently discussions and negotiations concerning a possible spin-off but nothing has yet been formalized.
(Moderator) You seem to use what your audience expects to happen against them quite alot. Is this intentional in referring to you belief that a little knowledge is more dangerous than none?
(JMS) As a story teller I've tried to incorpoate a kind of martial arts approach to story telling where rather han using your opponent's strength against them yu use the audience's expectations against themseves. Sheridan was initially perceived as a lightweight, frivolous character. Deliberately playing int the expectations based on te actor's orevious roles and the sudiences expectations. We then dropped him and the audience on their respective heads.
(Moderator) How much does it help you as a story writer to be in such close contact with your fans?
(JMS) It is a mixed blessing. It is gratifying to have te immediate and vocal response. It is horrifying to ge the immediate and vocal response. There are times it is an angelic choir and there are other times when they are a herd of lions. Needless to say everyone who showed upt for today's chat is a cutie.
(Moderator) Why was Stewart Copland's musical score dropped from the regular series?
(JMS) Stewart wanted to tour. Ad do some albums. Which precluded a long time commitment to B5.
(Moderator) Where did your inspiration for the Minbari religious train of thought come from?
(JMS) It's a mixture of very, very old Christian practices mixed in with Zen buddhism and a healthy dollop of Greek philosophy.
(Moderator) What is your favorite episode to date?
(JMS) The Face of the Enemy
(Moderator) Are you upset about how many people have but things from B5 on the web?
(JMS) No, not really.
(Moderator) Why not let Sheridan confess via a program like the one in planted in Garibaldi?
(JMS) because confessing once is not the issue. breaking him is the issue. Any good telepath P8 or above could determine that he had been altered Thereby negating the principle the government's trying to establish that their will is stronger than the will of any one person. You coud chop off a person's arm but that desn't prove you're stronger than they are.
(Moderator) Sonic Images has been hinting at the near release of a new B5 CD, any comments?
(JMS) The composer and I are working toward releasing a series of CDs which each contain the3 coundtracks for compete episodes so there would be a severed dreams soundtrack, a shadow danicng soundtrack and so on.
(Moderator) If you could bring ANY character back from the dead, who would it be and why?
(JMS) Sherloch Holmes.
(Moderator) Will season five be as dark as season four?
(JMS) No. The darkness in season 4 is required to set up the triumphs that are yet to come. You cannot have dawn without night preceding.
(Moderator) Has any of the vision Kosh sent to Sheridan 'come to pass?' I don't think any of it has...
(JMS) Yes it has.
(Moderator) "Intersections in Real Time" is similair to that classic Twilight Zone where the Librarian is deemed redundant. Is there some little bit of that in "Intersections" where the Society is imposing its view on the individual?
(JMS) No. It stems from the current day treatment of poitcal prisoners and prisoners of conscience throughout many countries which has been going on for hudreds of years. So what you're seeng is the common voice of these real events not a reference to any one particular show.
(Moderator) Can you tell us about any of your moments of revelation?
(JMS) Not while I'm sober no, and unfortunately I don't drink.
(Moderator) Any plans to release B5 on video?
(JMS) Columbia House will be releasing tapes through mail order ater this year.
(Moderator) Will there be outside writers on season five?
(JMS) Most definitely.
(Moderator) What is "thirdspace"?
(JMS) Watch the movie and find out ths coming spring.
(Moderator) Will lightwave 3-D still be do the effects?
(JMS) For any effects yes although we are broadening out our effects pallette to include a wide range of other options including bringing in a number of Silicone Graphics arrays.
(Moderator) "Please tell me you will allow the song from Walkabout to be released sometime in the future?"
(JMS) No. Bugger off.
(Moderator) Does striking the sets for "In The Beginning" pose any problems for the regular sets in season 5? Or perhaps does it make some improvements possible when re-building the standing sets?
(JMS) No problem. No difference. We put em up we knock em down we put em up we knock em down. Consider it a metaphor for every new Italian government.
[SNIPPED - See spoiler space below]
(Moderator) Was the Agamemnon crew in on Sheridan's capture, or was it coincidence?
(JMS) They were not involved.
(Moderator) "What was the song playing in the background when Sheridan was captured. Did you write it?"
(JMS) No I didn't write it That came from our composer and I don't know the name offhand.
(Moderator) Will Sleeping in the Light be aired with Season 4 on FOX, or 5 on TNT?
(JMS) We've never been a Fox show though some fox stations have carried it. At this juncture SITL will air as 522 on TNT.
(Moderator) In the B5 universe, do porn flicks involve spoo?
(JMS) You are a thick twisted demented individual, please marry me.
(Moderator) In "Intersections in Real Time" was Sheridan hallucinating
Delenn, or just concentrating on her?
(JMS) He was hallucinating her presence which became an inspiration to him.
(Moderator) Did you enjoy working on Murder She Wrote and does Cabot Cove really exist?
(JMS) Yes Cabot Cove really exists. Unfortuantely everyone who lives there is now dead. IT'S A STUDIO LOT! My time on MSW was a great deal of fun and I loved working with Angela.
(Moderator) In today's navy the "Pollux" is a non-combatant ship operated by civilians, so why name a battle ship the Pollux?
(JMS) To annoy you.
(Moderator) I loved the hard edged feel of "The Face of the Enemy". Any plans on doing more eps like that?
(JMS) You betcha.
(Moderator) Will any changes with production take place when the move is made to TNT?
(JMS) Yes. We're planning to substitute sock puppets for all the actors. On the theory that socks have been a vastly overlooked part of our culture and are tired of being walked on.
(Moderator) Was Sheridans hallucination an accidental fulfillment of Loriens lesson - Do you have anything worth living for?
(JMS) That's one way of looking at it.
(Moderator) Will we see David (John and Delenn's Baby?)
(JMS) Good chance.
(Moderator) Do you ever forsee B5 becoming as big of a commodity as Star Trek? Would you WANT it to?Will we see David (John and Delenn's Baby?
(JMS) First question is for history to decide. The second question is beyond my power to envision right now.
(Moderator) Can JMS tell us where he got the idea for "Markab's"?
(JMS) NOT from Scientology.
(Moderator) Will there ever be a closer relation between B5 and Babylon (the original empire)??
(JMS) Given the 2000 year gulf between them I'd guess probably not.
(Moderator) Did you know what the new Gene Rodenberry final conflict series has a five year arc?
(JMS) No I didn't. But I'm more than happy tha we can be an inspiration to them as we have for many recent Star Trek episodes.
(Moderator) When you had the time to read comic books -- or graphic novels -- what were your favorites?
(JMS) Manily the DC books. Superman, Batman, Justice League and The Flash.
(Moderator) Do you still have plans for the 'sequel' to Ellison's ...w/the Glass Hand?
(JMS) It's a possibiity.
(Moderator) Will you deal with the story of how the Babylon Project was formed (and by who) during season 5... or ever?
(JMS) Eventually, but not in the near future.
(Moderator) Will Dilbert, Dogbert, Catbert, Ratbert and the dinosaurs ever appear on Babylon 5 or it's sequel?
(Moderator) Have we seen the last of Talia Winters?
(JMS) You betcha.
(Moderator) Are there stories that you find too subversive that you would have like to have told on B5?
(JMS) No, everything I've wanted to do we've done. You can't be too subversive. They told me to say that.
(Moderator) When will we find out who, "the one that is to come," is who will lead the great council?
(JMS) When he comes.
(Moderator) Could you have the Nelson's do a cameo on B5 so you could MMMMBop them out an airlock?
(JMS) That would require placing them in a vacuum which would be redundant.
(Moderator) How did you come to case Claudia Christain?
(JMS) She was the best person to walk in the door.
(Moderator) Will we ever find out what Mordens "black crystal" necklace was for, or will it just become another part of the Shadow's legacy?
(JMS) That information is contained in the B5 novel, The Shadow Within no. 7.
(Moderator) Was replacing Sinclair with Sheridan a tough call for you?
(JMS) No. It opened up many new areas for us.
(Moderator) WIll Harlan Ellison play more cameo roles?
(JMS) Not since the petition arrived.
(Moderator) What is going to happen with the Drahk?
(JMS) Wait and see.
(Moderator) What will become of the Keepers like the one on the regent to Cenauri Prime?
(JMS) Logically, like any seal of office it would devolve upon his successor.
(Moderator) Will YOU play a cameo role?
(Moderator) Will we discover more about Bureau 13 during the remaining run of the show?
(JMS) This remains to be seen.
(JMS) Bureau 13: No, B13 has been renamed and subsumed into other organizatons.
(Moderator) Will we see more alien (non human) races?
(Moderator) Will we ever see who is the real conroller of John Clark?
(JMS) At this point Clark is on his own.
(Moderator) Will a war between humans and telepaths (as predicted by Lyta Alexander) take place during season 5?
(JMS) Could be.
(Moderator) What about the remaining episodes in season 4? Will they air via TNT?
(JMS) The last 4 episodes of season 4 will air in October on your local syndicated station.
(Moderator) Will we see more of Drall in the great machine of Epsilon?
(JMS) Given that the actor is doing Hello Dolly on Broadway, Drall is temporarily held prisoner to Dolly's wishes. Zathra's very annoyed.
(Moderator) Will we see IronHeart ever again? Did he go to the same place as the First Ones and Lorien
(JMS) No and yes.
(Moderator) What are you thoughts about the Governments reason for Roswell?
(JMS) Being part of the conspiracy myself, I cannot tell you. But expect any day now, for the pentagon to rise up into space. I bet you thought the Death Star was made up.
(Moderator) Have you ever been abducted by aliens?
(JMS) Not counting some very unusual lunches with the cast behind the stage and a couple of dates I had back in college -- where I did inhale. Not that I can remember, but memort loss is proof of abduction. So basically I'm screwed.
(JMS) Thank you on behalf of J. Michael Stacryzski for your continued support of B5 and he looks forward to seeing you all on TNT next year, Good night.
(Moderator) Coming to TNT in January of 1998, Babylon 5.
(Moderator) Also, be sure to check www.RoughCut.com for the transcript tomorrow.
(Moderator) Thanks for your participation.
(Moderator) This channel will now go back to normal chat mode.
*** Moderator sets mode: -m
Session Close: Mon Jun 30 22:05:46 1997
(Moderator) what's this business in tv guide about blowing up the station and returning to earth?
(JMS) 'm appalled. Horrified. Chagrined. What was the question again.