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(io9)   Today marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the greatest science fiction program ever to grace the American airwaves   ( io9.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, J. Michael Straczynski, police drama, Bruce Boxleitner, Melissa Gilbert, story lines, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, sci-fi  
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12553 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 22 Feb 2013 at 9:28 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-22 02:50:48 PM  

UberDave: Mugato: Computer graphic FX courtesy of Commodore Vic 20.

They used Lightwave for everything.  I remember hearing that the render time for a single episode was something like a month which they reduced by using several DEC Alphas.

Incidentally, ST Voyager also used Lightwave (not exclusively) but by that time particle and lighting and shading effects has improved quite a bit.  Babylon 5 did quite a good job with what they had.


Wow, they didn't even have Maya? Kudos for them.
 
2013-02-22 02:51:10 PM  

Saiga410: KingKauff: "You are The One that was. You are The One that is. You are The One that will be"

Zathras was the only character that I dispised.  I dont know what it was about him.


Could it be because Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other people's needs. Very sad life. Probably have... very sad death. But... at least there is Symmetry.
 
2013-02-22 02:51:21 PM  

Snapper Carr: // Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God

"Trust Ivanova. Trust yourself. Anyone else? Shoot 'em."

Though G'Kar usually had the best lines. Apart from the "satisfying thump" one...
G'Kar: "I'll try and stop by for the closing ceremonies."
Lennier: "What matters is everything leading up to that point. Leaving behind the old, preparing to be reborn."
G'Kar: "I have already been born once, and quite sufficiently, I think."
 
2013-02-22 02:55:23 PM  

KatjaMouse: radinator: KatjaMouse: I honestly hated Babylon 5. I watched the entire first season last year and could not bring myself to watch the rest. I kept hoping "Maybe it'll get better with the next episode..." and it never did. So I didn't get the appeal for the show, unfortunately.

Really, the first season sets up the characters and their back-stories, and established the way the universe was (assassination of the president and the like).  This is merely set-up for the main story.  Consider it the intro and opening chapters.  Season 2 is where it starts to get interesting, when things start to happen.

That is perhaps one of the worst defenses I've ever heard. I can nod along and agree with people saying that it got better in the second season but that is no excuse for just how boring, cliche and stupid the first season was. Basically the over arching role of a complete season is to compel me not only to tune in but to like the characters enough to tune in week after week. I didn't like anyone at all and the story was doing nothing to compel me to invest any more time.

I think I even pulled an ocular muscle rolling my eyes during one of the "message" episodes.


Cynicism pervades our society now more then ever. Patience is a victim of this trend: This is why many people cannot sit through a symphony or opera anymore, read through a epic novel, or work on long term projects or goals that may or may not pay off in the end.

Not to say that you are any of this, but I would urge you to approach the show (and the first season) with more innocence and patience. Instead of rolling your eyes, take it as it is and see how these messages are learned or forgotten as the series goes forward. And for that matter, approach things with less cynicism, you might find you enjoy things more overall.
 
2013-02-22 02:55:31 PM  

Publikwerks: Snapper Carr: Two more reasons why B5 > DS9: click - click

/Delenn and Ivanova over Kira and Dax any day
// Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God

Side note - I would pay to see Delenn and Ivanova over Kira and Dax. Or vica versa, I'm not picky Throw Ezri in too...


ALL I am going to say on this subject, now or forever, is that once, around 2000, at a DragonCon, at one of the wilder late-night parties, I saw something involving one of the above-named actresses that comes very close to what you would have paid to see.
 
2013-02-22 02:57:37 PM  

Magorn: Publikwerks: Snapper Carr: Two more reasons why B5 > DS9: click - click

/Delenn and Ivanova over Kira and Dax any day
// Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God

Side note - I would pay to see Delenn and Ivanova over Kira and Dax. Or vica versa, I'm not picky Throw Ezri in too...

ALL I am going to say on this subject, now or forever, is that once, around 2000, at a DragonCon, at one of the wilder late-night parties, I saw something involving one of the above-named actresses that comes very close to what you would have paid to see.


Okay, who was Claudia molesting this time?
 
2013-02-22 03:00:33 PM  

clkeagle: Snapper Carr: // Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God
"Trust Ivanova. Trust yourself. Anyone else? Shoot 'em."

Though G'Kar usually had the best lines. Apart from the "satisfying thump" one...
G'Kar: "I'll try and stop by for the closing ceremonies."
Lennier: "What matters is everything leading up to that point. Leaving behind the old, preparing to be reborn."
G'Kar: "I have already been born once, and quite sufficiently, I think."


The episode where G'Kar and Londo are trapped in the elevator was great. Especially, while laughing, G'Kar tells Londo that he is getting great joy watching him die (or something like that). I also liked how they always bickered like an old married couple
 
2013-02-22 03:01:55 PM  

madgonad: B5 killed Keffer, Kosh, Talia, and Marcus. Plus Morden, Brother Edward, Emperor Cartagia, Sheridan's first wife, Byron, General Hague, Lord Refa, and others - and that is just counting characters that appeared in multiple episodes. They killed tons of single episode characters.,


General Hague doesn't exactly count here.  JMS - in another of his vindictive tirades - got mad at Robert Foxworth for taking a guest role on DS9, and he "killed the character".  And if you check his IMDB credit, you'll see RF was averaging about 3 guest spots a year during that time....so it's fair to say he wasn't working on a mass quantity of shows.  Actors need to work.  It may have made a little more sense if RF was a regular on the series, but he was only in couple episodes.  But I loved Bruce McGill as his replacement.  D-Day *rules*....

I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

And now, I'm gonna troll...but I'm gonna be honest.

I do not care for Sleeping in Light at all, I thought it was overly melodramatic, over-hyped, and nothing epic really happened.  I was expecting Sheridan to morph into a Vorlon or something.  And my wife *hated* it.  She claimed "they're trying to make everyone cry".

I know a lotta people love it as the greatest thing since toilet paper.  I don't.  Sue me.
 
2013-02-22 03:04:09 PM  

KingKauff: clkeagle: Snapper Carr: // Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God
"Trust Ivanova. Trust yourself. Anyone else? Shoot 'em."

Though G'Kar usually had the best lines. Apart from the "satisfying thump" one...
G'Kar: "I'll try and stop by for the closing ceremonies."
Lennier: "What matters is everything leading up to that point. Leaving behind the old, preparing to be reborn."
G'Kar: "I have already been born once, and quite sufficiently, I think."

The episode where G'Kar and Londo are trapped in the elevator was great. Especially, while laughing, G'Kar tells Londo that he is getting great joy watching him die (or something like that). I also liked how they always bickered like an old married couple


I'd say that comparison about nails it, and gets increasingly fitting the further into the series they go.  By midway through season 4, they've fully gone from genuinely hating each other to being very much an old married couple.  Though the behavior itself doesn't change, the underlying feeling to it really does shift, a change that's apparent to the viewer.  Great character development.
 
2013-02-22 03:09:33 PM  

KatjaMouse: That is perhaps one of the worst defenses I've ever heard. I can nod along and agree with people saying that it got better in the second season but that is no excuse for just how boring, cliche and stupid the first season was. Basically the over arching role of a complete season is to compel me not only to tune in but to like the characters enough to tune in week after week. I didn't like anyone at all and the story was doing nothing to compel me to invest any more time.

I think I even pulled an ocular muscle rolling my eyes during one of the "message" episodes.


I remember JMS even stating on usenet sometime during season 3 he wasn't happy about the first season for the 5 minute ending treatment many of the scripts got.  He made some sort of comment about having to train his writers to stop it.
 
2013-02-22 03:11:31 PM  

ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.


Refresh my memory, please. What happened?
 
2013-02-22 03:13:20 PM  

Stile4aly: jonathan_L: OtherLittleGuy: Recommended for Season 1

- "The War Prayer", Danica McKellar and Londo's best quote about dancing
- "Believers", only shows like "Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad" would 'go there'
- "Chrysalis", the season finale,

Can't miss 'Signs and Portents', our first indication that some serious shiat is up.

You've got to throw in Soul Hunter, Parliament of Dreams, Mind War, By Any Means Necessary, Babylon Squared, and The Quality of Mercy.  There are probably 5 or 6 others, but these are the cream of the crop.


It's a given that it's an effort to get through the first season the first time, but half the episodes that season are considered "must watch TV". So maybe 1st season isn't THAT bad, or those are the ones to rewatch later?
 
2013-02-22 03:16:38 PM  

Magorn: Was hoping this would be B% when I saw the link, leaving satisfied, except tp amplify this line from TFA:
"and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski also changed the rules for TV creators by actively engaging his fanbase online during the show's production. "

CSB:
I was On a FIDONET B-5 discussion forum (wasn't even linked to the USenet at the time IIRC) and bunch of us DC area fans decided to do an episode watching party at this one guy's houe who had a 100in projection screen and surround sound in his basement (remember the Dot-Com era was just dawning and geeks were suddenly finding themselves RICH)  al totalled there ware about 50 or so attendees.  Somehow JMS got wind of the gathering and offered to call us after the show to discuss it with us (IIRC it was the episode where the white star fought the shadow ship in earth's solar system).  I think we were all expecting a five min call where he said a few words and got back to his busy life.  what we got was more than an hour of in-depth Q&A where he engaged us in serious philosphical discussion about the nature of good and evil , told anecdotes about the day's filming (which had just wrapped) and funny stories about the cast.

As a geek I was blown away (it was just below the time I ended up chatting with Issac Asimov at a con for 20 minutes) and I think it was that direct fan engagement by JMS that helped make B5 some of the most fanatically loyal in all of SF-we really felt the show was an ongoing dialogue with us and for the first time it was a two-way conversation


Interesting.. I was on FidoNet back then as well.. some fun discussions.
 
2013-02-22 03:17:07 PM  

Bloody William: It won't happen (and Caprica utterly sucked balls in every way), but I'd love to see a Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood treatment of BSG. Take the great ideas from the first half of the show, run with them, then run in a different direction with a completely different climax and ending to make the entire thing more coherent.


It would not work because of why that happened with FMA. The point you are taling about is where they ran out of manga chapters when making the original series, and had to start making their own story line. Brotherhood simply had more manga chapters to work with an as such is allot closer to the origional story line.
 
2013-02-22 03:18:27 PM  

Last Man on Earth: KingKauff: Last Man on Earth: Bloody William: Fun activity: take any quote from Babylon 5 that would sound badass and cut off the last sentence. That quote is now super-badass.

/Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari Fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me.

Overall true, but I maintain the faint menace and teeth to "Can your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?" really provides a capstone to the monologue.  It's badass anyway, but that last sentence really knocks it over the wall.

Badass? This is badass:
"Who am I? I am Susan Ivanova, Commander. Daughter of Andre and Sophie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you will ever see. God sent me"

Hell yeah, that's badass.  Quite possibly the biggest badass line in the entire series.  Doesn't make it the only badass line in the series, though.


I'm Still fond of this one, though partly because of Andreas Kastulas' stellar delivery

"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand.  The Centuari learned this lesson once, we will teach it to them again.  Though it take a thousand years, we  will be free."

and even that is a pale shadow compared to :
"There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain. "
 
2013-02-22 03:21:09 PM  

tillerman35: Giving Flounder a major role and the involvement of Bruce Boxleightner pretty much killed it for me.  Also the weird transylvanian accents that those space-vampire looking dudes had were pretty annoying.  Cool graphics for its time, though.

My vote goes to Space: 1999, with a nod to the Original Battlestar Gallactica (or more correctly stated, the ONLY Battlestar Gallactica).

/Off my lawn, you blasted kids!


Nice.  Concur.  Although Buck Rodgers in the 25th century was delightfully campy, and more importantly to 10 year old me, had Erin Gray's boobs.
 
2013-02-22 03:21:49 PM  

GungFu: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 704x576]

Beedeebeedee!


Yup, there they are.
 
2013-02-22 03:24:39 PM  
big13.netView Full Size
 
2013-02-22 03:25:40 PM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: Bloody William: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I know BSG did a really good job of that several times, including in the bombing of Caprica, the takeover of New Caprica, and Zarek's execution of the Quorum.  At each of those points, I was definitely caught up in the moment.

\that level of emotion happened only in one other show, Breaking Bad

BSG had some truly amazing episodes, but halfway through the show it just seemed to utterly fizzle. They clearly had no idea where to take it and Sci-fi's insistence that the Cylons "had a plan" and the popularity of the show eventually made them go all-out Lost with it.

I don't quite get the BSG hate.  I thought it was far, far stronger than the "best" sci-fi shows (where we acknowledge entire seasons suck or that they have only two or three good episodes each).  Yes, they lost control with the "final five" thing, but even so, BSG at its worst often outstripped pretty much any other show, especially SF, at its best.

Can only really think of one "boring" or "bad" episode of BSG: the one with Starbuck playing the piano.

\also don't understand the hatred of the ending ... it is as if they didn't watch the original series


They weren't exactly following the series so there was no real reason to expect the same result. They were reforming the series and making it much better. The problem is they really didn't have any idea where they were going. The ending was all bland Deus ex machina stuff. From the very beginning they said "God has a plan to get man to earth." They repeated it so much and made it so important that I was expecting some kind of reveal. There wasn't one. They looked for earth and found it. And everything strange that happened along the way was hand waved away as angels did it.

I agree that a lot of the writing and acting is phenomenal. Leagues beyond B5 or DS9 or really any other sci fi show out there. The first half is definitely, to me, the best TV sci fi ever. But they really did fall apart at the end.
 
2013-02-22 03:26:23 PM  

Mugato: UberDave: Mugato: Computer graphic FX courtesy of Commodore Vic 20.

They used Lightwave for everything.  I remember hearing that the render time for a single episode was something like a month which they reduced by using several DEC Alphas.

Incidentally, ST Voyager also used Lightwave (not exclusively) but by that time particle and lighting and shading effects has improved quite a bit.  Babylon 5 did quite a good job with what they had.

Wow, they didn't even have Maya? Kudos for them.



Yeah, Maya came out right around the time the show ended.  I had a sub to 3D Design magazine that year and the issue that introduced Maya had a picture of clown's face on the cover rendered in Maya.  You could see the pores in the skin.  It was incredible at the time.

In any case, sometime during the series, someone got hold of the wireframes for the Star Furies and the Station and a few others and put them online.  I had them and they were pretty awesome.  But what always impressed me were how well they did their animation - the blur effects were awesome and the movements of spacecraft were almost always done very well...especially since they pretty much did the physics by hand.  There were only a couple of instances where you could see a spline (pathing...whatever) that a monkey could have done and even then it worked (the episode where they "skimmed" the larger spacecraft for instance).
 
2013-02-22 03:29:41 PM  

ristst: madgonad: B5 killed Keffer, Kosh, Talia, and Marcus. Plus Morden, Brother Edward, Emperor Cartagia, Sheridan's first wife, Byron, General Hague, Lord Refa, and others - and that is just counting characters that appeared in multiple episodes. They killed tons of single episode characters.,

General Hague doesn't exactly count here.  JMS - in another of his vindictive tirades - got mad at Robert Foxworth for taking a guest role on DS9, and he "killed the character".  And if you check his IMDB credit, you'll see RF was averaging about 3 guest spots a year during that time....so it's fair to say he wasn't working on a mass quantity of shows.  Actors need to work.  It may have made a little more sense if RF was a regular on the series, but he was only in couple episodes.  But I loved Bruce McGill as his replacement.  D-Day *rules*....

I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

And now, I'm gonna troll...but I'm gonna be honest.

I do not care for Sleeping in Light at all, I thought it was overly melodramatic, over-hyped, and nothing epic really happened.  I was expecting Sheridan to morph into a Vorlon or something.  And my wife *hated* it.  She claimed "they're trying to make everyone cry".

I know a lotta people love it as the greatest thing since toilet paper.  I don't.  Sue me.


Hague was killed because he had a conflict with DS9 and JMS wouldn't rearrange the scheduling to fit him in, so off with his head.

I was annoyed about Claudia too. She had the long term contract from the very beginning, so she was way underpaid for seasons 3&4 when the other actors got paid pretty well. She thought that she needed a big bump for the last season and JMS called her on it. I like what Joe does, but he is still part of Hollywood and wants to get paid. I believe he is only writing now, and taping Pat Tallman too, so I think he turned out okay. He did kind of screw with Claudia's career though.

Sleeping in Light did exactly what it needed to do. King Arthur was sailed back to Avalon. Scuttling the station was stupid. Hazard to navigation my ass. A field of debris is a hell of a lot more of a nuisance than a derelict space station. Besides - anything that big should be able to find a use. Just because it wasn't the seat of interstellar government anymore doesn't mean it can't serve a purpose. Someone just wanted to show the animation again.
 
2013-02-22 03:34:07 PM  

Alphax: Interesting.. I was on FidoNet back then as well.. some fun discussions.


I still have mental scars from Fight-o-Net.
 
2013-02-22 03:34:16 PM  

Bloody William: though JMS really, really shouldn't be allowed near comic books.


I thought Superman Earth One was pretty good.
 
2013-02-22 03:35:58 PM  

odinsposse: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Bloody William: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I know BSG did a really good job of that several times, including in the bombing of Caprica, the takeover of New Caprica, and Zarek's execution of the Quorum.  At each of those points, I was definitely caught up in the moment.

\that level of emotion happened only in one other show, Breaking Bad

BSG had some truly amazing episodes, but halfway through the show it just seemed to utterly fizzle. They clearly had no idea where to take it and Sci-fi's insistence that the Cylons "had a plan" and the popularity of the show eventually made them go all-out Lost with it.

I don't quite get the BSG hate.  I thought it was far, far stronger than the "best" sci-fi shows (where we acknowledge entire seasons suck or that they have only two or three good episodes each).  Yes, they lost control with the "final five" thing, but even so, BSG at its worst often outstripped pretty much any other show, especially SF, at its best.

Can only really think of one "boring" or "bad" episode of BSG: the one with Starbuck playing the piano.

\also don't understand the hatred of the ending ... it is as if they didn't watch the original series

They weren't exactly following the series so there was no real reason to expect the same result. They were reforming the series and making it much better. The problem is they really didn't have any idea where they were going. The ending was all bland Deus ex machina stuff. From the very beginning they said "God has a plan to get man to earth." They repeated it so much and made it so important that I was expecting some kind of reveal. There wasn't one. They looked for earth and found it. And everything strange that happened along the way was hand waved away as angels did it.

I agree that a lot of the writing and acting is phenomenal. Leagues beyond B5 or DS9 or really any other sci fi show out there. The first half is definitely, to me, the best TV sci fi ever. But they really did fall apart at ...


I had this discussion with friends when it was on. For me, I can tell the episode where the quality dropped: the episode after Starbuck shoots Lee. Lee wakes up in Dee's quarters and 4-6 months have passed since the previous ep. Before that, it seemed like the show was almost in real-time with the amount of shiat they had to put up with. Heck, the first episode took place a few hours after the pilot and the amount of tension building from that point on was amazing.
Then Lee is shot and 6 months pass without anything of note happening. It was all down-hill from there.

I own the DVDs and have re-watched it a couple times. I shut it off after the last jump in the last episode.

/the Adama maneuver on New Caprica had me literally yelling "Oh shiat" at the TV
//B5>DS9, but not by much.
 
2013-02-22 03:40:36 PM  

Witty_Retort: I had this discussion with friends when it was on. For me, I can tell the episode where the quality dropped: the episode after Starbuck shoots Lee. Lee wakes up in Dee's quarters and 4-6 months have passed since the previous ep. Before that, it seemed like the show was almost in real-time with the amount of shiat they had to put up with. Heck, the first episode took place a few hours after the pilot and the amount of tension building from that point on was amazing.
Then Lee is shot and 6 months pass without anything of note happening. It was all down-hill from there.


The jarring timeskip threw me off as well. It completely shook up the show's rhythm and destroyed any sense of tension for the pacing, which is what made the early seasons great and made "33" utterly brilliant.
 
2013-02-22 03:44:46 PM  

madgonad: Scuttling the station was stupid. Hazard to navigation my ass. A field of debris is a hell of a lot more of a nuisance than a derelict space station. Besides - anything that big should be able to find a use. Just because it wasn't the seat of interstellar government anymore doesn't mean it can't serve a purpose. Someone just wanted to show the animation again.


I thought the whole reason they built the station out there was that it was far away from any regular trade-lines. For some reason, I have that stuck in my head.

Well, I will just have to research it this weekend.
 
2013-02-22 03:45:24 PM  
at the age of 12, I was admonished for heckling the Babylon 5 auctioneer at a Star Trek convention I attended. I still stand by my actions.
 
2013-02-22 03:52:47 PM  

Witty_Retort: madgonad: Scuttling the station was stupid. Hazard to navigation my ass. A field of debris is a hell of a lot more of a nuisance than a derelict space station. Besides - anything that big should be able to find a use. Just because it wasn't the seat of interstellar government anymore doesn't mean it can't serve a purpose. Someone just wanted to show the animation again.

I thought the whole reason they built the station out there was that it was far away from any regular trade-lines. For some reason, I have that stuck in my head.

Well, I will just have to research it this weekend.


It was there because it was centrally located. That wouldn't change for trade. It just wouldn't be the 'UN Building' anymore once the seat of government moves to Minbar. Also, it is located above The Great Machine. Maybe turn it into a research institution or a military command post? Hell, sell it as a colony. Let the telepaths have it. It already has a jumpgate. Heck, it had a service life of 25 years - about the same as the ISS.
 
2013-02-22 04:04:35 PM  

KingKauff: ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

Refresh my memory, please. What happened?



It was during the time when the series was not guaranteed to return for the 5th season.  Contracts were late, and she lined up other gigs (as actors are wont to do).  I'm sure both sides were involved, but if you look at how many episodes Tracey Scoggins was in it sure seems like more of JMS' "my way or the highway" attitude.  And if you read CC's account of JMS trying to put the moves on her, well that sure could've had something to do with the situation.

From an interview with CC, http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28651.asp

Christian left her regular role on "B5" just before the fifth and final season, after a contract dispute with the show's creator, J. Michael Stracynski. The actress says she wanted less of a presence in the final season so she could work on other projects, but Stracynski insisted she appear in all 22 episodes. At the time, she didn't have a contract and was let go. However, since the series finale was filmed at the end of the fourth season (producers thought the show would be canceled), Christian's character does make a return at the end. Ironically, Christian noted, her replacement (actress Tracy Scoggins) appeared on only eight episodes that season.
 
2013-02-22 04:05:10 PM  

KingKauff: ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

Refresh my memory, please. What happened?


At the end of season 4 it looked like the show was over but just in case they got everyone to sign extensions to their contracts so that they could be retained if the show got picked up for a fifth season.  This took some hounding but ultimately they got everyone to sign, or so they thought.  Lo and behold, a miracle occurred and TNT picked up B5 for the fifth season.  When the production team went to call in all the contracts, they discovered that Claudia had not signed on despite being one of the principal voices for getting others to sign on.  At a convention just before the deadline for Season 5 to begin JMS tried to convince her to join on.  He claims that she wanted a per episode bump (technically, her S4 salary but fewer episodes) which he couldn't accomodate because it would have resulted in corresponding bumps for the entire cast (favored nations) which would have scuttled the deal.  She claims that she was dissatisfied with the character in S4 where she was stuck with technobabble and reading stuff off a teleprompter.

Foxworthy had a scheduling conflict between DS9 and B5 and chose to film DS9 so JMS killed his character, though arguably this made for more interesting drama.
 
2013-02-22 04:09:02 PM  
Babylon 5 was good.

Farscape was better.
 
2013-02-22 04:10:11 PM  
Oh, and don't forget what happened with Crusade as well.  JMS took his ball and went home, and we never saw what would've most likely been an epic series.
 
2013-02-22 04:14:34 PM  

ristst: Oh, and don't forget what happened with Crusade as well.  JMS took his ball and went home, and we never saw what would've most likely been an epic series.


His explanation is that TNT screwed with him to no end because they realized that the B5 audience didn't stick around for TNTs other programming, and TNTs regular audience didn't watch B5.  The result would have been a product he couldn't stand behind.  He tried selling to Sci Fi afterwards, but they didn't have the mid season budget.  I too regret that Crusade never got its due.
 
2013-02-22 04:16:51 PM  

Wellon Dowd: Quark debuted over 35 years ago.

[i.imgur.com image 720x544]


I used to have such a case of the hots for Betty.  But not so much for Betty.
 
2013-02-22 04:23:52 PM  

ristst: KingKauff: ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

Refresh my memory, please. What happened?


It was during the time when the series was not guaranteed to return for the 5th season.  Contracts were late, and she lined up other gigs (as actors are wont to do).  I'm sure both sides were involved, but if you look at how many episodes Tracey Scoggins was in it sure seems like more of JMS' "my way or the highway" attitude.  And if you read CC's account of JMS trying to put the moves on her, well that sure could've had something to do with the situation.

From an interview with CC, http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28651.asp

Christian left her regular role on "B5" just before the fifth and final season, after a contract dispute with the show's creator, J. Michael Stracynski. The actress says she wanted less of a presence in the final season so she could work on other projects, but Stracynski insisted she appear in all 22 episodes. At the time, she didn't have a contract and was let go. However, since the series finale was filmed at the end of the fourth season (producers thought the show would be canceled), Christian's character does make a return at the end. Ironically, Christian noted, her replacement (actress Tracy Scoggins) appeared on only eight episodes that season.


Had Ivanova stayed there would have been a LOT more plotline involving her, much of which had to be scrapped. Scorggins replaced her as station commander, but the rest of Ivanova's backstory was just too intrinsic to her character and ended up having to be thrown away, par for the course for the great mess that was Season 5 .  IIRC both JMS and Christian later made up somewhat, and blamed Christian's agent for making unreasonable demands on her behalf without her knowledge, knowing she was central to the remaining plot and figuring he had JMS over a barrell
 
2013-02-22 04:24:55 PM  

You Are All Sheep: You know as good as  BSG was for the most part, why can't they reboot Star Blazers?  That'd be a fun series.


They're actually remaking Space Battleship Yamato right now and English-subtitled Blu Rays are being released in Japan at a steady clip.  It's pretty good.
 
2013-02-22 04:25:48 PM  

ristst: KingKauff: ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

Refresh my memory, please. What happened?


It was during the time when the series was not guaranteed to return for the 5th season.  Contracts were late, and she lined up other gigs (as actors are wont to do).  I'm sure both sides were involved, but if you look at how many episodes Tracey Scoggins was in it sure seems like more of JMS' "my way or the highway" attitude.  And if you read CC's account of JMS trying to put the moves on her, well that sure could've had something to do with the situation.

From an interview with CC, http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28651.asp

Christian left her regular role on "B5" just before the fifth and final season, after a contract dispute with the show's creator, J. Michael Stracynski. The actress says she wanted less of a presence in the final season so she could work on other projects, but Stracynski insisted she appear in all 22 episodes. At the time, she didn't have a contract and was let go. However, since the series finale was filmed at the end of the fourth season (producers thought the show would be canceled), Christian's character does make a return at the end. Ironically, Christian noted, her replacement (actress Tracy Scoggins) appeared on only eight episodes that season.


I wikied it right after I posted and saw that. I also saw this: She posed nude for Playboy magazine in October 1999. I just gave myself a homework assignment for the weekend.
 
2013-02-22 04:27:16 PM  

Stile4aly: KingKauff: ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

Refresh my memory, please. What happened?

At the end of season 4 it looked like the show was over but just in case they got everyone to sign extensions to their contracts so that they could be retained if the show got picked up for a fifth season.  This took some hounding but ultimately they got everyone to sign, or so they thought.  Lo and behold, a miracle occurred and TNT picked up B5 for the fifth season.  When the production team went to call in all the contracts, they discovered that Claudia had not signed on despite being one of the principal voices for getting others to sign on.  At a convention just before the deadline for Season 5 to begin JMS tried to convince her to join on.  He claims that she wanted a per episode bump (technically, her S4 salary but fewer episodes) which he couldn't accomodate because it would have resulted in corresponding bumps for the entire cast (favored nations) which would have scuttled the deal.  She claims that she was dissatisfied with the character in S4 where she was stuck with technobabble and reading stuff off a teleprompter.



It was just kinda weird....hell, even in the 60s Gene Roddenberry had to deal with Leonard Nimoy's demands after the first season of TOS.  At one point they had a list of potential actors to replace LM....and on that list were a couple of familiar names:  Lloyd Bochner and DAVID CARRADINE!  But they eventually came to an agreement.  A lot of fans (myself included) were perplexed as to the reasons more wasn't done to keep such a critical character on board.

Stile4aly: Foxworthy had a scheduling conflict between DS9 and B5 and chose to film DS9 so JMS killed his character, though arguably this made for more interesting drama.

Still kinda douche-baggy on this one.  Wonder how RF's DS9 pay compared to his B5 salary?  My guess is it was probably better on DS9.  Plus DS9 was on a major network, which would potentially lead to him getting more work.
 
2013-02-22 04:28:10 PM  

ristst: Oh, and don't forget what happened with Crusade as well.  JMS took his ball and went home, and we never saw what would've most likely been an epic series.


The only good thing about Crusade was the drinking game.

/Any time someone says "We live for the One, we die for the One", say "We drink for the One" and take a drink.
//Guaranteed to get wasted.
 
2013-02-22 04:34:00 PM  

Der Poopflinger: SWEET  one of those threads were we post obscure shiatty shows and claim they were the best!



Phoenix FTW!

1.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size


/amidoinitright?
 
2013-02-22 04:34:18 PM  

ristst: Wonder how RF's DS9 pay compared to his B5 salary?  My guess is it was probably better on DS9.  Plus DS9 was on a major network, which would potentially lead to him getting more work.


Uh... DS9 was on the same "major network" as Babylon 5... meaning it was a syndicated show.

Hell, B5 was actually on a network when it went to TNT. DS9 was a syndicated show until the end.

/Voyager and Enterprise were the shows on UPN... but you can't really call that a major network.
 
2013-02-22 04:35:38 PM  

idsfa: ristst: Oh, and don't forget what happened with Crusade as well.  JMS took his ball and went home, and we never saw what would've most likely been an epic series.

The only good thing about Crusade was the drinking game.


Did you ever get the chance to read the next three scripts that were scheduled to shoot?  One of them kicked off the major arc for the series.  Supposedly the Drakh plague would've been cured (probably during the second season or so) and the series would've shifted focus from the plague to rogue Shadow tech.

Plus, we'd have gotten a lot more Galen.....which would've been truly epic.  One of the better characters to come out of the B5 universe.
 
2013-02-22 04:42:03 PM  

ristst: Plus, we'd have gotten a lot more Galen.....which would've been truly epic.  One of the better characters to come out of the B5 universe.


QFT, QFFarkingT
 
2013-02-22 04:42:30 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: ristst: Wonder how RF's DS9 pay compared to his B5 salary?  My guess is it was probably better on DS9.  Plus DS9 was on a major network, which would potentially lead to him getting more work.

Uh... DS9 was on the same "major network" as Babylon 5... meaning it was a syndicated show.

Hell, B5 was actually on a network when it went to TNT. DS9 was a syndicated show until the end.

/Voyager and Enterprise were the shows on UPN... but you can't really call that a major network.


I stand corrected.  But I'd still wager that DS9's production had somewhat deeper pockets that B5's, and most likely a broader fan base.  But a lot of that was due to B5's schedule bouncing around so much during the PTEN days.  Geez, at one point it aired at 1:00AM on Sunday nite!  Got good use of the ol' VCR back then....
 
2013-02-22 04:50:19 PM  

ristst: FirstNationalBastard: ristst: Wonder how RF's DS9 pay compared to his B5 salary?  My guess is it was probably better on DS9.  Plus DS9 was on a major network, which would potentially lead to him getting more work.

Uh... DS9 was on the same "major network" as Babylon 5... meaning it was a syndicated show.

Hell, B5 was actually on a network when it went to TNT. DS9 was a syndicated show until the end.

/Voyager and Enterprise were the shows on UPN... but you can't really call that a major network.

I stand corrected.  But I'd still wager that DS9's production had somewhat deeper pockets that B5's, and most likely a broader fan base.  But a lot of that was due to B5's schedule bouncing around so much during the PTEN days.  Geez, at one point it aired at 1:00AM on Sunday nite!  Got good use of the ol' VCR back then....


I'm not going to disagree with you on that one. DS9 was bankrolled by one of the big five studios, and part of a huge franchise.

B5 was funded by a couple of small outfits and only distributed by a major studio?
 
2013-02-22 04:52:59 PM  

ristst: FirstNationalBastard: ristst: Wonder how RF's DS9 pay compared to his B5 salary?  My guess is it was probably better on DS9.  Plus DS9 was on a major network, which would potentially lead to him getting more work.

Uh... DS9 was on the same "major network" as Babylon 5... meaning it was a syndicated show.

Hell, B5 was actually on a network when it went to TNT. DS9 was a syndicated show until the end.



I went to a ST convention in '86, and Majel Barret spoke in a small lecture hall in front of about 50 people.  She discussed TNG which had not yet begun production, had head shots of the actors chosen for the series (I only recognized Lavar Burton and Wil Wheaton), among other things.  She spoke a good deal on how Gene always wanted to do more ST, but he refused to work for a network after all the problems he had with them.  She said syndication was what got him back into the ST game.  He could make what he wanted, and if a network didn't want to buy it...well, so be it then.  Oh, and as we all know...they bought it allright.
 
2013-02-22 04:56:34 PM  

ristst: Stile4aly: KingKauff: ristst: I'm a big fan of B5...not so much in terms of JMS.  He's shown himself to be somewhat the douche on occasion...his handling of the Claudia Christian affair is another example besides the one mentioned above.

Refresh my memory, please. What happened?

At the end of season 4 it looked like the show was over but just in case they got everyone to sign extensions to their contracts so that they could be retained if the show got picked up for a fifth season.  This took some hounding but ultimately they got everyone to sign, or so they thought.  Lo and behold, a miracle occurred and TNT picked up B5 for the fifth season.  When the production team went to call in all the contracts, they discovered that Claudia had not signed on despite being one of the principal voices for getting others to sign on.  At a convention just before the deadline for Season 5 to begin JMS tried to convince her to join on.  He claims that she wanted a per episode bump (technically, her S4 salary but fewer episodes) which he couldn't accomodate because it would have resulted in corresponding bumps for the entire cast (favored nations) which would have scuttled the deal.  She claims that she was dissatisfied with the character in S4 where she was stuck with technobabble and reading stuff off a teleprompter.

It was just kinda weird....hell, even in the 60s Gene Roddenberry had to deal with Leonard Nimoy's demands after the first season of TOS.  At one point they had a list of potential actors to replace LM....and on that list were a couple of familiar names:  Lloyd Bochner and DAVID CARRADINE!  But they eventually came to an agreement.  A lot of fans (myself included) were perplexed as to the reasons more wasn't done to keep such a critical character on board.


I don't disagree.  If they'd had a full offseason between the end of S4 filming and the start of S5 then they might have been able to work it out, but because they were in limbo for a while before finally getting picked up it left them without enough time to solve the problem.  JMS did a book series of B5 scripts where he talks about the behind the scenes events and he makes it clear they were trying to negotiate things up to the very last minute in a bar at the hotel where this convention was being held, but couldn't come together.

Still kinda douche-baggy on this one.  Wonder how RF's DS9 pay compared to his B5 salary?  My guess is it was probably better on DS9.  Plus DS9 was on a major network, which would potentially lead to him getting more work.

True, but the point is that they had a shooting schedule which Foxworthy couldn't meet despite being contracted to do so.  They couldn't just have General Hague in the bathroom for the whole episode and the sets were going to have to be torn down at some point, so what other choice would there be except to kill him off.  The fact that it was a bit of a "fark you" was a side benefit.
 
2013-02-22 05:16:14 PM  

ristst: Ironically, Christian noted, her replacement (actress Tracy Scoggins) appeared on only eight episodes that season.


Uhm, that is totally wrong.

Scoggins was in every single episode in season 5. I think you are confusing her with Conaway - he was only in a fraction of the fifth season.
 
2013-02-22 05:16:31 PM  
Let's not forget Walter White's finest moment, sacrificing himself to distract the Shadows.
 
2013-02-22 05:19:21 PM  
Dangit dangit dangit.  I know I am going to break out the DVDs this weekend.... well there goes all my plans.
 
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