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(Engadget)   Good: Netflix announces original sci-fi series. Bad: Produced by the people behind the Matrix sequels. Great: And also produced by the guy responsible for Babylon 5   (engadget.com) divider line 109
    More: Cool, Netflix, matrix, PR Newswire, J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon, Wachowskis, Sense8 HD, Speed Racer  
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3949 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 27 Mar 2013 at 12:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-27 02:45:52 PM

InmanRoshi: serial_crusher: All indicators are that Stracynski has trouble working with other people, so unfortunately this thing will blow up after 2 seasons and the Internet will be ablaze with JMS supporters whining about how it was Netflix's fault for actually caring what kind of sinkhole they were pouring their money into and wanting to have a little say in the final product.

The nice things about Netflix is they pretty much give their people carte blanche to do whatever they want and stay out of their way.    There's no studio and network execs constantly demanding revisions and changes.


Yet.
 
2013-03-27 02:46:12 PM

Wadded Beef: Bad: the show will contain potassium benzoate.


Sometimes you have to add it to preserve freshness.
 
2013-03-27 02:59:23 PM

Flakeloaf: InmanRoshi: serial_crusher: All indicators are that Stracynski has trouble working with other people, so unfortunately this thing will blow up after 2 seasons and the Internet will be ablaze with JMS supporters whining about how it was Netflix's fault for actually caring what kind of sinkhole they were pouring their money into and wanting to have a little say in the final product.

The nice things about Netflix is they pretty much give their people carte blanche to do whatever they want and stay out of their way.    There's no studio and network execs constantly demanding revisions and changes.

Yet.


They're in a completely different business model than television.    They're not in the ratings business.   They're in the subscription business.  Television execs need eyes on television sets, so they lean on the creators to put proven things that suck in big audiences like romances and dramatic cliff hangers.    Netflix wants subscribers, to they need marketable people with big names to attach to their brand.   They don't care what the big names do after that.   That why they go after people like David Fincher, Eli Roth and the Wachoswkis.
 
2013-03-27 03:05:13 PM
The article left out the movie "Contact"
 
2013-03-27 03:08:03 PM
y u remove babylon 5 from streaming!?
 
2013-03-27 03:15:26 PM

Blathering Idjut: Genre television can be campy or it can be well-done but what it can't be is boring.  The problem with Babylon 5 was the same problem that Smallville had- boring, poorly written television only slightly less melodramatic than Mexican soap operas.


Listen, you can call JMS to task for many things, but boring isn't on that list. Last night I (re)watched an episode of B5 where a couple of Earth Alliance cruisers squared off against a couple of others, with B5 in the middle. When the carnage began, my first thought was "Star Trek would never do this, and if they did, it would suck totally, and be resolved five minutes later."

If you think multi season arcs, well plotted stories, and characters that actually grow and change are boring, you might want to stick to shows like Glee.
 
2013-03-27 03:21:24 PM

Silverstaff: Crusade stank out loud.  JMS says to this day it was due to TNT meddling, and while I'm inclined to believe him, given how obstinate he's known to be, I wonder how much of it was an absolute refusal to negotiate or compromise at all which lead to things getting worse.  Seeing what plots apparently were in store for later in Crusade, like the unfilmed but written episode about Bester in hiding as a wanted war criminal, and finding out where the technomages got their powers from would have been cool.


According to JMS, TNT wanted Crusade to be "WWE in space" (well, he actually said "WWF," since they hadn't been forced to change their TLA by the World Wildlife Federation yet at that time).

As for Bester and where the TechnoMages got their powers, you can find all that out now. I see that ristst and ThreadSinger have already mentioned the novels. The first of the three big B5 novel trilogies, J. Gregory Keyes's "The Psi-Corps Trilogy," focuses on Bester for its second two novels (the first, "Dark Genesis," includes the discovery of telepaths on Earth and the founding of the organization that would become the Psi-Corps, and also features the first contact between Humans and Centauri, the first non-human sapients that humans officially met [Vorlons were here before that, of course, and this trilogy touches on that as well] and includes the birth of the child who would become Bester).

The last of the novel trilogies, "The Passing of the TechnoMages" by Jeanne Cavelos, focuses largely on the source of their power. Both trilogies are really quite good (as is the middle trilogy by Peter David, "The Legion of Fire," about Centauri Prime and the reign of Emperor Londo Mollari), though ThreadSinger makes some good points (it was only one TechnoMage who aided in the destruction of Z'ha'dum, but it's one that watchers of the second TV series have met).

All of those, and the previous Novels #7 ("The Shadow Within" by Jeanne Cavelos ― definitely read this one before the TechnoMages trilogy, as it's pretty much "The Hobbit" to that trilogy's The Lord of the Rings) and #9 ("To Dream in the City of Sorrows") as well as many of the DC comics (especially the first storyline and the later "The Price of Peace" storyline, which should be read before Novel #9), are considered Official Canon by JMS himself and reveal important information about the overall story and B5 universe. The other pre-trilogy novels and some of the DC comics are of varying quality, and are considered more-or-less canon, but don't really reveal anything important to the best of my recollection.

Suggested reading order (roughly chronological):

• DC comics, first three-part storyline (about Sinclair being framed shortly after arriving on Minbar to be the Earth Alliance ambassador [later referenced in Novel #9)
• Novel #7 (flight of the IMS Icarus, with Anna Sheridan and Morden aboard, showing how both became Shadow agents after awakening said Shadows)
• DC comics, "The Price of Peace" storyline (about how Sinclair and Garibaldi met, and also includes an early encounter with a Shadow cruiser unearthed on Mars [later referenced in the Psi-Corps Trilogy])
• Novel #9 (how Ambassador Sinclair became An-la-shok of the Rangers, and also the origin and training of Marcus ― JMS calls this one 100% canon in every detail, every nuance, as authoritative as any episode of the series)
• DC graphic novel "In Valen's Name" (the thousand-year-old abandoned husk of Babylon 4 is found in the "present" [which means that from its construction until being taken back in time by Sinclair/Valen and Zathras, it existed in two places simultaneously])
• Psi-Corps Trilogy. "Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi-Corps" actually takes place prior to any of these, and "Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant" takes place prior to most of B5 and ends just prior to Bester coming aboard B5 the first time). But the third novel ("Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester") takes place after most of the series (and indeed after the Telepath War), and ends shortly after the B5 series finale "Sleeping in Light."
Passing of the TechnoMages trilogy (These take place before, during, and after B5, but before Crusade.)
Legions of Fire trilogy. Between close to the end of the main B5 series (starting with Londo receiving the Drakh Keeper) and "Sleeping in Light" (and its aftermath), and includes Londo's prophetic dreams and Sheridan's flash-forward on B4 shown in real time.
 
2013-03-27 03:22:18 PM
This is the same Netflix whose CIO stated Netflix had no plans to create original programming.

I wonder how much that idiot pays to work for Netflix.
 
2013-03-27 03:22:50 PM
Had a geek out moment when I saw this. Can't wait. All three of them don't always make great stuff and they've had their share of crap, but the stuff that's good is generally really good.

/Need to get off my ass and watch House of Cards.
//Kinda dig that they used their demographic data to make HoC a better show.
 
2013-03-27 03:29:15 PM

serial_crusher: All indicators are that Stracynski has trouble working with other people


seattletimes.com

Would strenuously disagree with this assessment.
 
2013-03-27 03:37:53 PM

COMALite J: According to JMS, TNT wanted Crusade to be.....


Excellent post.  I had written a long reply about the novels and for some reason the system decided it would not be posted.  But yours is much better.

I did mention The Shadow Within and To Dream in the City of Sorrows as great backstory novels.  And the Technomage Trilogy does reveal who the mages are and where they got their "powers".

But I never did read the Centauri Novels.

/sorry Peter David....just never got around to it I guess
 
2013-03-27 03:45:07 PM
Great, I did not know about the B5 navels... now I am going to have to search them out.
 
2013-03-27 03:45:30 PM

DjangoStonereaver: serial_crusher: All indicators are that Stracynski has trouble working with other people

[seattletimes.com image 200x136]

Would strenuously disagree with this assessment.


Y'know....for some reason, I can't quite pin it down.....I would find this person's opinions on the working dynamics of personal interaction extremely dubious.

/maybe because I have his book on The City at the Edge
//and I have Bob Justman's version of the situation, Inside Star Trek (Harlan threatened to make them use the name Cordwainer Bird)
///the latter is much more believable
 
2013-03-27 03:50:20 PM
I have concerns.

Mainly because Legend of the Rangers sucked.
 
2013-03-27 03:50:23 PM

ristst: DjangoStonereaver: serial_crusher: All indicators are that Stracynski has trouble working with other people

[seattletimes.com image 200x136]

Would strenuously disagree with this assessment.

Y'know....for some reason, I can't quite pin it down.....I would find this person's opinions on the working dynamics of personal interaction extremely dubious.

/maybe because I have his book on The City at the Edge
//and I have Bob Justman's version of the situation, Inside Star Trek (Harlan threatened to make them use the name Cordwainer Bird)
///the latter is much more believable


I almost put a slashie on myself that pointed out that his ability to work with Harlan was actually corroborative of your assertion, but figured someone would pick up on it.

/Am a big fan of Uncle Harlan
//Have no illusions that while his heart is in the right place he can be quite the asshole.
 
2013-03-27 03:59:15 PM
COMALite J:
The last of the novel trilogies, "The Passing of the TechnoMages" by Jeanne Cavelos, focuses largely on the source of their power. Both trilogies are really quite good (as is the middle trilogy by Peter David, "The Legion of Fire," about Centauri Prime and the reign of Emperor Londo Mollari), though ThreadSinger makes some good points (it was only one TechnoMage who aided in the destruction of Z'ha'dum, but it's one that watchers of the second TV series have met).

I stand corrected, COMA. I don't want to evoke a 'Stop liking what I don't like' response, was just trying to voice my opinion that some expanded universe stuff detracts from the primary plot.

Thanks for the list though, I may attempt to read those in that order if I get the time.

I am excited for this new series; haven't seen good sci fi since Stargate, which even then got long in the tooth. Whomever makes a Cowboy Bebop series has my money up front. Or an 'adult' Trek, free from censors or Roddenberry/Berman/Braga. Get HBO.
 
2013-03-27 04:04:15 PM
There is a surprising lack of transgender hate in this thread.  Am I on the wrong Fark.com?
 
2013-03-27 04:06:52 PM

Myria: There is a surprising lack of transgender hate in this thread.  Am I on the wrong Fark.com?


I didn't think that was a Fark thing, unless you mean jokes about the wachowski sibling title... which they actually use now strategically killing the joke.
 
2013-03-27 04:16:18 PM
So the name of the show is going to be Sense8? When saying the title outloud, the only thing I can think of is:

farm3.static.flickr.com
Actually, a show with Monte Cook as a writer and with Tony DiTerlizzi lending a hand to set and costume design would be interesting...to me, anyway.
 
2013-03-27 04:19:47 PM

Silverstaff: xanadian: BafflerMeal: I look forward to JMS getting bored about 2/3 the way through and phoning in a contractually obligated ending.

i.e. Babylon 5, Season 5.

:/

Yup, Season 1 of B5 was slow and full of misfires.  Some really good episodes like Mind War and Midnight on the Firing Line. . .and some stinkers like TKO, and an awful lot of mediocre entries like Grail and Legacies.

Seasons 2 through 4 were incredible, some of the best TV sci-fi ever done.  However, since he'd written it to end in Season 4 because of the pending cancellation, Season 5 was pretty much filler that could be skipped (or at least could have been condensed down to a miniseries-level.  Plots that should have been 1 or 2 episodes like the telepath colony took much of the season).

Crusade stank out loud.  JMS says to this day it was due to TNT meddling, and while I'm inclined to believe him, given how obstinate he's known to be, I wonder how much of it was an absolute refusal to negotiate or compromise at all which lead to things getting worse.  Seeing what plots apparently were in store for later in Crusade, like the unfilmed but written episode about Bester in hiding as a wanted war criminal, and finding out where the technomages got their powers from would have been cool.


I don't think it's JMS's fault that he had to cram some things from Season 5 into Season 4 in case the series got cancelled (not due to ratings, but due to the shutdown of PTEN).  That made Season 4 more awesome, but sucked the life out of Season 5.  It also didn't help that both Jason Carter and Claudia Christian (particularly the latter) left at the end of Season 4.  Having Ivanova around would have made for better stories without having to waste time introducing a replacement character.
 
2013-03-27 04:31:02 PM

Donnchadha: Little known fact -- the guys behind the Matrix sequels were also the guys behind the original Matrix.

Ergo -- don't let them do any follow ups or spinoffs, and it'll be great.


Well actually the rule is don't let them do any sequels while the creative half of the team  is undergoing a gender-identity crisis before deciding that really he'd always wanted to be a girl
 
2013-03-27 04:37:37 PM

2CountyFairs: So the name of the show is going to be Sense8? When saying the title outloud, the only thing I can think of is:

[farm3.static.flickr.com image 659x735]
Actually, a show with Monte Cook as a writer and with Tony DiTerlizzi lending a hand to set and costume design would be interesting...to me, anyway.



hi
 
2013-03-27 04:38:41 PM
It amazes me how so many "sci-fi fans" don't know the basics about how the fifth season of B5 was an after-thought after PTEN folded and TNT picked up the pieces.  I thought it was something everyone knew by now, like how Bjo Trimble was instrumental in getting Star Trek a third season, or how Spielberg won a bet with George Lucas and has (had?) rights to a small percentage of Star Wars' gross revenue.
 
2013-03-27 04:41:18 PM

Saiga410: Great, I did not know about the B5 navels... now I am going to have to search them out.


Good luck, I think some them were hatched.
 
2013-03-27 04:45:46 PM
"The avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote" - Kosh
 
2013-03-27 05:02:25 PM

Wadded Beef: Bad: the show will contain potassium benzoate.


Can I go now?
 
2013-03-27 05:15:54 PM

DjangoStonereaver: I almost put a slashie on myself that pointed out that his ability to work with Harlan was actually corroborative of your assertion, but figured someone would pick up on it.

/Am a big fan of Uncle Harlan
//Have no illusions that while his heart is in the right place he can be quite the asshole.


Absolutely beautiful, bro.  I too, love his work.  And I get a big laugh at what a collosal douche he is purported to be.

/Justman-Solow-Roddenberry's rewrite of City on the Edge is better than Harlan's version
//just sayin'....
 
2013-03-27 05:19:17 PM

UNC_Samurai: It amazes me how so many "sci-fi fans" don't know the basics about how the fifth season of B5 was an after-thought after PTEN folded and TNT picked up the pieces.  I thought it was something everyone knew by now, like how Bjo Trimble was instrumental in getting Star Trek a third season, or how Spielberg won a bet with George Lucas and has (had?) rights to a small percentage of Star Wars' gross revenue.


And Mark Hamill's Star Wars contract specifies that he gets one of every piece of Star Wars merchandise produced.

/I assume he has a warehouse like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark full of action figures and crap.
 
2013-03-27 05:21:14 PM
 

Arkanaut: FuturePastNow: I liked the Matrix sequels. They should have been one movie instead of two, sure, and the ending was pretty bleh, but they were mostly entertaining and well-done.

I thought they were trying to introduce too much material and backstory in the Matrix sequels, and the result was kind of a confusing jumble.  On the other hand, having a lot of story ideas is an asset for developing a TV series, so this project might work out.  That said if it's true that the producers might not play well together, you might still end up with shiat.


IMHO, the Wachoswkis biggest problem is just taking on projects that are almost impossible to pull off.    Cloud Atlas was just impossible to adapt to a feature film, and anyone who attempted to was doomed from the start.   I have no idea what they were thinking when they thought they could turn Speed Racer into a fully formed film, although I admit .. .as far as just making a  glitzy piece of stylized film art, it's worth a watch.    Finally, Matrix sequels should have just never been made.   The original was a perfectly self contained three acts.  There just wasn't enough there there for three movies, but there was money to be made.
 
2013-03-27 05:25:37 PM
Anything J. Michael  Straczynski does I will watch or read. That's really are there is to it.

/ Netflix should do a miniseries based onRising Stars
// Also one on Midnight Nation
/// Also one on Rising Starts (repeated because slashies come in threes, and I like Rising Stars)
 
2013-03-27 05:36:17 PM

COMALite J: According to JMS, TNT wanted Crusade to be "WWE in space" (well, he actually said "WWF," since they hadn't been forced to change their TLA by the World Wildlife Federation yet at that time).


Wow, no wonder it was so bad.
 
2013-03-27 05:38:17 PM
thumbnails.hulu.com
The Netflix exec in charge?
 
2013-03-27 05:48:27 PM
I like J. Michael Straczynski  but I hate words with numbers in them.
 
2013-03-27 06:58:29 PM

MaxxLarge: Donnchadha: Little known fact -- the guys behind the Matrix sequels were also the guys behind the original Matrix.

Even more little-known fact: The guys behind The Matrix aren't even both "guys" anymore.

Gonna leave out the CSB, but sadly, Straczynski is sort of a dick.


When my university's comp-sci group had one of many 'viewing nights' of B5 in its last season (which wasn't available in Canada because it was on sucktastic TNT and we didn't get the show until much later when Space got it), there was one where JMS was there, along with most of the cast of either "Legend of the Rangers" (sucked) or "Crusade"(sorta sucked). That's actually pretty cool. He might be kind of a dick (hiring an internet groupie to a job on the show because she was giving him some hummers), but him showing up to some random fan thing in Burnaby, BC... that's pretty f'ng cool. Story bro.
 
2013-03-27 07:03:52 PM
Of the things that I have seen recently that had Straczynski attached:

Babylon 5- The Lost Tales.  Blech!
Thor- enjoyed it.
Underworld: Awakenings- ho hum. Weakest of the series.
 
2013-03-27 07:13:38 PM

ristst: DjangoStonereaver: I almost put a slashie on myself that pointed out that his ability to work with Harlan was actually corroborative of your assertion, but figured someone would pick up on it.

/Am a big fan of Uncle Harlan
//Have no illusions that while his heart is in the right place he can be quite the asshole.

Absolutely beautiful, bro.  I too, love his work.  And I get a big laugh at what a collosal douche he is purported to be.

/Justman-Solow-Roddenberry's rewrite of City on the Edge is better than Harlan's version
//just sayin'....


I have not read Harlan's version directly, but have read summaries of it, and it was a great concept, but I agree that
from what I've heard it would have been much better as a stand-alone story because of how little connection he had
with the established characters on the show.

Harlan's take, as I've pieced together, was that the pitch he got from Roddenberry was that he wanted STAR TREK to
be more akin to a TWILIGHT ZONE-style anthology, and he wrote accordingly.  I don't think that Roddenberry actively
misled Harlan, but Gene could be a borderline con man at times, and while I don't think he actively decieved Harlan,
I am sure he definitely had no idea whose script he was doctoring when he basically rewrote it from the ground up.

As to Harlan being a douche:  I have had the pleasure of hanging out with him at SF cons a couple of times because
we have a mutual friends, and the question of his douchiness is not an easy one to answer.  When you see Harlan's
stand up routine (he doesn't really give 'lectures', let's face it), you're seeing him.  That's his real personality, by turns
thoughtful, compassionate, abrasive and grating.  He does amp it up for public performance purposes, but while he is
quite a bit more gentle when you're talking one-on-one with him, he definitely does NOT suffer fools gladly, even as he
is truly appreciative of fans because he, himself, is an unabashed fanboi himself.

I vividly remember chatting with him while people would come up and get his autograph, and one guy (who was trying
to sound knowledgable) said how much he really loved CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER.

Harlan gave him a look, and was obviously about to light into him, when I cut in as I was leaving "Oh yeah, Harlan, by the way:  THE SOLDIER?" and I flashed him a thumbs up.  THAT lit his face up and he gave me a thumbs up in return
and I managed to save the guy from watching his heart get torn out of his chest and shown to him in front of a girl he
was obviously trying to impress.

About the only thing I can say against him is that, like many older SF writers, he has an absolute abhorrence and
disdain for the Internet, even as his style of abrasive honest discourse was seminal in forming Internet commentary.

And his wife truly is a beautiful angel come down from heaven (though when I met her they were not yet even engaged,
let alone married).
 
2013-03-27 07:13:39 PM

InmanRoshi: realmolo: And J. Michael Straczynski is a hack. "Babylon 5" was tedious dreck, and his other stuff is even worse.

Have you not see Walking Dead?  Tedious dreck is huge right now.


I gave up on The Walking Dead after I realised it was a soap opera with zombies and not a show about zombies.  I do not enjoy shows which don't have the budget to live up to their scale and spend their time in the same sets with intrigue and bullshiat plot points that get turned into long arcs.

That being said, I enjoyed B5. At the time, the only competition for space operas were "Space Rangers"(bahaha that was terrible) and "Deep Space Nine", both of which were pretty much shiat (Avery Brooks can't act and is a monsterous ego).

I did not enjoy the latter half of Season 4 of B5.. after the final battle of the Vorlon/Shadow war, it was like JMS ran out of juice. Boring episodes involving intrigue when I just wanted the battle for earth over (and it  mostly underwhelmed in that respect except for the part where the Agammemnon is flying at ramming speed towards a satellite bent on scorched earth - that was farking cool).

I feel like if the Vorlon/Shadow war was in line with Tolkien's storytelling (because JMS borrowed a lot from Lord of the Rings), then the latter half of S4 was the Scouring of the Shire. A small scale battle with much less impressive shiat going on.

Season 5 was a wreck except for "The Long Night of Londo Mollari". That episode where they had the point of view of those two crewmembers? I thought they were special needs people or something. It was farked up, terrible writing. Just because someone works in maintenance doesn't make them a farking retard. (and inventing a new enemy to attack the station that never gets talked about again? WTF).

That guy who was the leader of the telepaths was a shiat actor too. Combine him with Pat Tallman's shiat acting (there was a reason she was replaced in Season 1 after "The Gathering" but JMS forgot that, I guess!), and you had a whole lot of shiat acting that was only made bearable by the occasional Bester presence.

I did enjoy Garibaldi's drinking arc, and trip to the Drazi homeworld. That ep was cool. Then it puttered to the end, and had a show stopper of a final episode (from S4 no less!)
 
2013-03-27 07:25:48 PM

Lana!

Lana!

LANA!!!!


www.slate.com

 
2013-03-27 07:33:23 PM

DjangoStonereaver: Harlan's take, as I've pieced together, was that the pitch he got from Roddenberry was that he wanted STAR TREK to be more akin to a TWILIGHT ZONE-style anthology, and he wrote accordingly. I don't think that Roddenberry actively misled Harlan, but Gene could be a borderline con man at times, and while I don't think he actively decieved Harlan, I am sure he definitely had no idea whose script he was doctoring when he basically rewrote it from the ground up.


From what I've read, Gene Roddenberry did start out in original concepts wanting an anthology-type show.  Problem is, anthologies are stupidly expensive, since each episode takes lots of from-scratch costuming, makeup, sets ect.

His solution was to have a show that would present anthology-like explorations of some different world or time period, but do it through a spaceship which would fly from world to world.  Thus providing some continuing cast and standing sets.  The early versions of writers guides for Star Trek were VERY light on the history of the ship and the setting of the galaxy beyond the broadest strokes and vaguest terms (note in the first few episodes they didn't even keep it straight who the Enterprise worked for: it was the United Earth Space Probe Agency, Space Central, Space Command, and such interchangeably until about halfway into the first season and they finally settled on the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command that we now know . . .with a retcon in Enterprise of United Earth Space Probe Agency being an older separate agency that co-existed along Starfleet for a while).

That's why so many Trek episodes were set on parallel Earths or found excuses to travel into the past.
 
2013-03-27 08:20:26 PM

Silverstaff: DjangoStonereaver: Harlan's take, as I've pieced together, was that the pitch he got from Roddenberry was that he wanted STAR TREK to be more akin to a TWILIGHT ZONE-style anthology, and he wrote accordingly. I don't think that Roddenberry actively misled Harlan, but Gene could be a borderline con man at times, and while I don't think he actively decieved Harlan, I am sure he definitely had no idea whose script he was doctoring when he basically rewrote it from the ground up.

From what I've read, Gene Roddenberry did start out in original concepts wanting an anthology-type show.  Problem is, anthologies are stupidly expensive, since each episode takes lots of from-scratch costuming, makeup, sets ect.

His solution was to have a show that would present anthology-like explorations of some different world or time period, but do it through a spaceship which would fly from world to world.  Thus providing some continuing cast and standing sets.  The early versions of writers guides for Star Trek were VERY light on the history of the ship and the setting of the galaxy beyond the broadest strokes and vaguest terms (note in the first few episodes they didn't even keep it straight who the Enterprise worked for: it was the United Earth Space Probe Agency, Space Central, Space Command, and such interchangeably until about halfway into the first season and they finally settled on the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command that we now know . . .with a retcon in Enterprise of United Earth Space Probe Agency being an older separate agency that co-existed along Starfleet for a while).

That's why so many Trek episodes were set on parallel Earths or found excuses to travel into the past.


I think there was a copy of Roddenberry's original pitch that was linked on Fark a few years ago.  In it, he clearly had the idea behind Star Trek mostly nailed down (one crew traveling to multiple worlds), but the crew he described was completely different from what was ultimately filmed.

And, yes, he did flub the Drake Equation, although in reality it doesn't matter because to this day most of the values are still not known.
 
2013-03-27 08:23:08 PM

UNC_Samurai: It amazes me how so many "sci-fi fans" don't know the basics about how the fifth season of B5 was an after-thought after PTEN folded and TNT picked up the pieces.  I thought it was something everyone knew by now, like how Bjo Trimble was instrumental in getting Star Trek a third season, or how Spielberg won a bet with George Lucas and has (had?) rights to a small percentage of Star Wars' gross revenue.


Actually, the 5th season was supposed to be the back half of the 4th season, but because PTEN folded, they crammed it all into the end of the 4th. Thus when TNT picked it up for a 5th season, they didn't have anything left. They'd fired all their guns. It's a classic example of a "post-script season".
 
2013-03-27 09:50:07 PM

Myria: There is a surprising lack of transgender hate in this thread.  Am I on the wrong Fark.com?


Sorry we're too tolerant for you.  I guess you'll have to find a new cause to get butthurt about.
 
2013-03-27 09:53:26 PM

IlGreven: UNC_Samurai: It amazes me how so many "sci-fi fans" don't know the basics about how the fifth season of B5 was an after-thought after PTEN folded and TNT picked up the pieces.  I thought it was something everyone knew by now, like how Bjo Trimble was instrumental in getting Star Trek a third season, or how Spielberg won a bet with George Lucas and has (had?) rights to a small percentage of Star Wars' gross revenue.

Actually, the 5th season was supposed to be the back half of the 4th season, but because PTEN folded, they crammed it all into the end of the 4th. Thus when TNT picked it up for a 5th season, they didn't have anything left. They'd fired all their guns. It's a classic example of a "post-script season".


I know Sleeping in the Light was filed at the tail end of season 4 before Claudia departed the cast, but wasn't Long Night also written the season before, and shelved?  (Not the Long Night of Susan Ivanova; JMS has stated before that was just a stolen title).
 
2013-03-27 11:02:05 PM

jake_lex: Last Man on Earth: LucklessWonder: AnotherBluesStringer: GAT_00: AnotherBluesStringer: I'll give it a shot. The original programming on Netflix hasn't let me down yet.

It's going to have a hard time matching House of Cards.

I really can't wait for season two. I have a feeling it's going to be insane.

It's a little dated now, but the original British House of Cards had two sequel series:

To Play The King
The Final Cut.

Both are well worth seeking out.

/You may think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

That's actually quite reassuring.  I loved the hell out of House of Cards, but I was a bit worried about how a second season would be now that they're out of source material.  If there's still more for them to draw on, though, and the additional material is good too, it bodes well.

They've already diverged from the UK version, and "To Play The King" hinges around a plot element that you couldn't do on a show based on US politics (basically, F.U. finds himself coming under increasingly vocal opposition from the new King, who they might as well have gone ahead and called "King Charles".)




Thanks for the spoiler!

Can you also tell me who Racer X is?
 
2013-03-27 11:05:03 PM
Two words lest anyone get their hopes up: Ninja Assassin
 
2013-03-27 11:07:55 PM

anfrind: Silverstaff: DjangoStonereaver: Harlan's take, as I've pieced together, was that the pitch he got from Roddenberry was that he wanted STAR TREK to be more akin to a TWILIGHT ZONE-style anthology, and he wrote accordingly. I don't think that Roddenberry actively misled Harlan, but Gene could be a borderline con man at times, and while I don't think he actively decieved Harlan, I am sure he definitely had no idea whose script he was doctoring when he basically rewrote it from the ground up.

From what I've read, Gene Roddenberry did start out in original concepts wanting an anthology-type show.  Problem is, anthologies are stupidly expensive, since each episode takes lots of from-scratch costuming, makeup, sets ect.

His solution was to have a show that would present anthology-like explorations of some different world or time period, but do it through a spaceship which would fly from world to world.  Thus providing some continuing cast and standing sets.  The early versions of writers guides for Star Trek were VERY light on the history of the ship and the setting of the galaxy beyond the broadest strokes and vaguest terms (note in the first few episodes they didn't even keep it straight who the Enterprise worked for: it was the United Earth Space Probe Agency, Space Central, Space Command, and such interchangeably until about halfway into the first season and they finally settled on the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command that we now know . . .with a retcon in Enterprise of United Earth Space Probe Agency being an older separate agency that co-existed along Starfleet for a while).

That's why so many Trek episodes were set on parallel Earths or found excuses to travel into the past.

I think there was a copy of Roddenberry's original pitch that was linked on Fark a few years ago.  In it, he clearly had the idea behind Star Trek mostly nailed down (one crew traveling to multiple worlds), but the crew he described was completely different from what was ul ...


media.philly.com
 
2013-03-27 11:33:27 PM

ristst: COMALite J: According to JMS, TNT wanted Crusade to be.....

Excellent post.  I had written a long reply about the novels and for some reason the system decided it would not be posted.  But yours is much better.

I did mention The Shadow Within and To Dream in the City of Sorrows as great backstory novels.  And the Technomage Trilogy does reveal who the mages are and where they got their "powers".

But I never did read the Centauri Novels.

/sorry Peter David....just never got around to it I guess


You really should. At least one reasonably major and popular character from the series is killed outright that we did not expect to die, and it shows just how Londo got from having the Keeper forced on him to keeping his foreordained final appointment with G'Kar. Getting to see the events that led to Sheridan's B4 flash-forward, and the flash-forward itself, in "real time," is a blast. And, Peter David is a quite good writer who has a decent handle on the characters (given that he wrote two B5 episodes, including one focusing on Londo and the other heavily featuring him, this should come as no surprise).

Have you read the DC comics?


EponymousCowHerd: Silverstaff: xanadian: BafflerMeal: I look forward to JMS getting bored about 2/3 the way through and phoning in a contractually obligated ending.

i.e. Babylon 5, Season 5.

:/

Yup, Season 1 of B5 was slow and full of misfires.  Some really good episodes like Mind War and Midnight on the Firing Line. . .and some stinkers like TKO, and an awful lot of mediocre entries like Grail and Legacies.

Seasons 2 through 4 were incredible, some of the best TV sci-fi ever done.  However, since he'd written it to end in Season 4 because of the pending cancellation, Season 5 was pretty much filler that could be skipped (or at least could have been condensed down to a miniseries-level.  Plots that should have been 1 or 2 episodes like the telepath colony took much of the season).
ee;
I don't think it's JMS's fault that he had to cram some things from Season 5 into Season 4 in case the series got cancelled (not due to ratings, but due to the shutdown of PTEN). That made Season 4 more awesome, but sucked the life out of Season 5.  It also didn't help that both Jason Carter and Claudia Christian (particularly the latter) left at the end of Season 4.  Having Ivanova around would have made for better stories without having to waste time introducing a replacement character.


Agreed that the fault with Season 5 lay in the impending shutdown of PTEN and JMS thinking he'd have to cram a lot of Season 5 stuff into Season 4, and of course in the loss of Claudia. I disagee that Season 4 was better because of it. I think it was too rushed (especially towards the end), which made the first half of Season 5's pacing seem all the more sluggish by comparison. Who knows what would've been in Season 4 had this not happened?
 
2013-03-27 11:40:37 PM
Even if it's terrible, I'll watch the shiat out of it.  I'm all for companies taking risks with tens of millions of dollars making innovative sci-fi and want to reward them for it.
 
2013-03-28 12:09:53 AM

COMALite J: ristst: COMALite J: According to JMS, TNT wanted Crusade to be.....

Excellent post.  I had written a long reply about the novels and for some reason the system decided it would not be posted.  But yours is much better.

I did mention The Shadow Within and To Dream in the City of Sorrows as great backstory novels.  And the Technomage Trilogy does reveal who the mages are and where they got their "powers".

But I never did read the Centauri Novels.

/sorry Peter David....just never got around to it I guess

You really should. At least one reasonably major and popular character from the series is killed outright that we did not expect to die, and it shows just how Londo got from having the Keeper forced on him to keeping his foreordained final appointment with G'Kar. Getting to see the events that led to Sheridan's B4 flash-forward, and the flash-forward itself, in "real time," is a blast. And, Peter David is a quite good writer who has a decent handle on the characters (given that he wrote two B5 episodes, including one focusing on Londo and the other heavily featuring him, this should come as no surprise).

Have you read the DC comics?


EponymousCowHerd: Silverstaff: xanadian: BafflerMeal: I look forward to JMS getting bored about 2/3 the way through and phoning in a contractually obligated ending.

i.e. Babylon 5, Season 5.

:/

Yup, Season 1 of B5 was slow and full of misfires.  Some really good episodes like Mind War and Midnight on the Firing Line. . .and some stinkers like TKO, and an awful lot of mediocre entries like Grail and Legacies.

Seasons 2 through 4 were incredible, some of the best TV sci-fi ever done.  However, since he'd written it to end in Season 4 because of the pending cancellation, Season 5 was pretty much filler that could be skipped (or at least could have been condensed down to a miniseries-level.  Plots that should have been 1 or 2 episodes like the telepath colony took much of the season).
ee;
I don't think it's JMS's fault that he had to cram some things from Season 5 into Season 4 in case the series got cancelled (not due to ratings, but due to the shutdown of PTEN). That made Season 4 more awesome, but sucked the life out of Season 5.  It also didn't help that both Jason Carter and Claudia Christian (particularly the latter) left at the end of Season 4.  Having Ivanova around would have made for better stories without having to waste time introducing a replacement character.

Agreed that the fault with Season 5 lay in the impending shutdown of PTEN and JMS thinking he'd have to cram a lot of Season 5 stuff into Season 4, and of course in the loss of Claudia. I disagee that Season 4 was better because of it. I think it was too rushed (especially towards the end), which made the first half of Season 5's pacing seem all the more sluggish by comparison. Who knows what would've been in Season 4 had this not happened?


I think Intersections in Real Time was supposed to be the season 4 finale, which would have been awesome.
 
2013-03-28 12:10:05 AM

Hebalo: Blathering Idjut: Genre television can be campy or it can be well-done but what it can't be is boring.  The problem with Babylon 5 was the same problem that Smallville had- boring, poorly written television only slightly less melodramatic than Mexican soap operas.

Listen, you can call JMS to task for many things, but boring isn't on that list. Last night I (re)watched an episode of B5 where a couple of Earth Alliance cruisers squared off against a couple of others, with B5 in the middle. When the carnage began, my first thought was "Star Trek would never do this, and if they did, it would suck totally, and be resolved five minutes later."

If you think multi season arcs, well plotted stories, and characters that actually grow and change are boring, you might want to stick to shows like Glee.


I dunno a thing about B5, but I do know that that DS9 had plenty of carnage. The station was under enemy occupation for like half a season.
 
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