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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Trek vs. B5
    Date: 11/24/1993 4:14:00 PM  

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The advance plotting on the series has made the show neither more nor
less difficult. It's mainly just...*different*. In addition to threading
the arc through many episodes (sometimes in a big way, sometimes in very
small, subtle ways), you've often got an A and a B story, plus we've got
14 regular and recurring characters (though not all 14 appear in every
episode), all of whom have their *own* individual character arcs...and
that's a LOT of balls to keep up in the air at any given moment. What it
HAS done is to enrich the texture of all of our individual episodes. You
get a) a genuine sense that there are PEOPLE in your story, each with his
or her own life, agenda, problems, and b) that these people are GOING
somewhere, that there's a submerged thread that ties them together that is
slowly, gradually coming into view.

This is a trick that I've learned to do on earlier shows, in different
ways. On Captain Power, we had an arc for that series, though less complex
than this one...and we learned how to drop in just a reference here or
there, continuing the feeling of a spider at the center of the story that,
when it moved, caused the whole web to vibrate slightly. Also, on the
animated series The Real Ghostbusters, I had to write/story edit on two
levels...making sure the show was understandable to non-adults, while
at the same time slipping things in that only adults could appreciate. The
younger audience wouldn't get the references, but they'd go by so fast
that they wouldn't notice, and that wouldn't get in the way of enjoying the
story. (And we got REAL episode story requiring the presence
of a specific small group of eskimos in order to conduct a ritual was
explained to someone as "sort of an Inuit minyan." Probably only five
people on the planet caught that one, but hey, why not?)


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