From: email@example.com (Jms at B5)
Subject: Re: Wanted: less cheese, more
Date: 8/10/1993 2:03:00 PM
: List :
I wasn't gonna jump in here, but I have to at least answer your
question: "Where's the rest?" The rest is in the series. You haven't
seen the series yet. You're comparing it against 7 years of TNG; rather
consider if the ONLY thing you had EVER seen was "Farpoint." We had a
massive burden: to build an entire universe, based around a political
drama, in basically 90+ minutes not counting commercials. That meant that
more time went into exposition and backstory than I'd like.
In my view, we've now done that, we've laid the foundation, and now
we can sit back and tell stories...*character* based stories. That's what
I'm best at, and that's what the writers I've chosen to use on the series
are best at.
The "rest" you ask for is there..in the series. But I'm not asking
you to take my word for it. Check out the show. Maybe you'll like it.
And maybe you won't. That's showbiz. You don' like it, you don' gotta
watch. But I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The miracle of the B5 pilot is that it got done at *all*, given the
odds against us, given a team working together for the first time, without
the benefit of an established universe, and actors who had never worked
together before who had zero chance for rehearsal. I'm not apologizing
for the pilot; it had flaws, but I'm very proud of a lot that's in there.
Do the math. You have a little over 90 minutes. You have to
introduce 9 major characters in the course of that story. That gives you
ten minutes of attention for any one character. Now you've also got to
tell the backstory. You've got to establish who the various players are.
You've got to put the present-tense story into motion, with beginning,
middle and end. And now you're left with maybe 3-4 minutes of "quality
time" with any one character. If we only had 2 or 3 characters, then
it's a very different story...but that isn't the universe we have to work
Now that the series is going ahead, we can spend an entire *episode*
dealing primarily with one character. And do the same for others. We
have the time. And that's what's important.
One last observation: you repeat the notion that it's all a "reaction"
to TNG. The treatment and screenply were complete and making the rounds
in Hollywood in Spring 1987. The basic material was written in 1986, at
a point in some cases when TNG hadn't even *aired* yet. So it could
hardly have been written as a reaction to something that hadn't been seen
yet, could it?