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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATTN: JMS and Any Other Interested Parties, Season Three
    Date: 5/28/1996 3:11:00 AM  

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Okay, some responses. I trust you will allow me to be as blunt in my
replies as you were in raising the points initially.

Regarding the Warner Bros. concerns...there really isn't much I can add to
what you said, and certainly nothing there I'd choose to contradict. So
we'll take that one as read and move on.

To the creative issues:

"Did Sheridan and Ivanova really think that Vir was killing off thousands
of Narn while he was on Minbar. Hey, this is Vir, not Josef Mengele we are
talking about. Did they really think it was necessary to drag this all out
in front of Londo instead of privately."

No, they didn't think he was doing it personally, only that he was
expediting the transfer of Narns offworld for this purpose. You think
someone like Vir could not do this. But most of the Nazis who send Jews
to die weren't Josef Mengele, carving into bodies...they processed numbers
from behind wire-framed glasses, and were quiet, sometimes even cheerful
individuals with wonderful wives and children. The greatest evil can
often wear a benign, smiling, affable face. And remember, people can
change on this show. You look at Londo in season one, is this someone you
could buy taking part in the bombing of the Narn homeworld and the death
of millions of Narns? Yet that's what happened. And their belief was
that it was probably Londo who was behind it's Londo to whom
Ivanova expressed her outrage, not Vir, who she figured was probably being
pushed into it at his behest, so logically she *would* take this right to
Londo. She figured, as you did, that Vir certainly wouldn't think of this
on his own, but Londo could (and says so in the episode).

"Why didn't the Shadows get on the horn and start screaming that they just
made sushi out of Kosh. The alliance is new, shaky, unsure of Sheridan.
What a great time to screw over everyone by announcing we killed Kosh."

Because for starters, it's bad form. If you kill somebody else's
ambassador, that's not the sort of thing you proclaim proudly, it tends to
bounce badly back onto you. Also, this was primarily a personal
situation. There's more, but it's a bit further down the road story-wise
that might help clarify this further.

"Was it just me, or did anyone stop to think just how Bester got to B-5
space in a Starfury without using the local jumpgate. Who brought him and
more important, why?"

He simply tagged along with an Earthforce jump-capable ship, and asked to
be dropped off. I considered bringing this up, but it was just dead
exposition; it would be easy enough to do.

"Then out of the hundred popcycles in the Shadow transport, we just happen
to pick the one guiding light in Bester's life. God, aren't we lucky."

Yes, and how amazingly coincidental that of all the women around, Oedipus
would just happen to murder his father and marry his mother without
knowing he had done so. Okay, it was a coincidence, I'll own up to that.
We have very, very few of them on the show. And the reason the word
"coincidence" exists, and the word "synchronicity," is that sometimes
stuff like that does happen. You ever pick up the phone to call somebody
and have that person already on the line calling you? You ever think of
someone you haven't seen in a while and run into them the next day? It
happens. As long as it doesn't happen to excess, and become a venue for
sloppy storytelling every week, it doesn't bother me, it's a legitimate
plot device.

And you misspelled popcicle.

"We have a wonderful security system on B-5. Our monitors will show you
everything, except a twenty foot long fusion reactor trigger that was put
in the most sensitive part of the station by a certified nut case."

Show me where we ever said our monitors "will show you everything." They
don't, they can't, and never have. This is a city, and a quarter million
people live here. It would be impossible to monitor it all. As for the
fusion reactor...that was a ten foot object attached to a place where only
station maintenance people went, which was his job. He was cleared for
that kind of access, and until/unless the device was activated, it was
electronically dormant, you wouldn't notice anything. Nor did it attract
much attention. Even though they *knew* something was there, they STILL
had to look long and hard to find it, because it had been made to look
just like everything else in the area.

And it's not like everybody *knew* he was a "certified nutcase" at the
time. He didn't have an identicard that said CERTIFIED NUTCASE on it. He
worked in station maintenance. Nobody knew Tim McVeigh was a nut until he
blew up a building. Nobody knew that quiet little man in Boston was out
strangling women in his spare time.

You seem to operate in blacks and whites; this show is about greys. And
most of the concerns you raised are, I think, easily addressed.


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