I guess what amazed me most was either Berman or Pillar coming right out
and saying ST "is a formula." Just that simple. I about fell off my chair.
BTW, on the question of effects...here's one that's kinda interesting, in
that I've seen a few comments here and there about how we must've mapped the
CGI fireball into the hallway in "Convictions" where Londo jumps into the
transport tube. Some even offered you could tell the fire was CGI.
Here's how that shot was done: we built a miniature hallway (actually,
"miniature" ain't the right word; it was something like 30 feet long or more).
Painted it so that it looked exactly like the regular B5 hallways. On film
you absolutely can't tell the difference. Then we mounted the hallway
*vertically* alongside the outside of the main building here. Set the camer
at the top, pointing down into the hall. We built a firebomb and set it at
the far end of the hall (on the bottom, in other words). We then set off the
firebomb (with all the proper authorities present), so that it shot up the
length of the vertical hall. We overcranked the camera so it'd start in slow-
motion, then pulled the plug so that the camera slowed down to normal
speed...giving the sense of the fire swelling, then suddenly rushing forward
with a huge fireball. So when it looks like the "hallway" is on fire...it
is. Real fire.
Next we shot Londo (Peter) against a bluescreen, reacting to this, then
diving to his left. We then comp'd the bluescreen into the hallway, and used
CGI to build a transport tube door to Londo's left, which then closed just as
the fire reached it.
It was an utterly immense amount of work for, basically, a five second
shot...but it looks 'way cool.