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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Oh, man...24 messages, and most...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 4/14/1992 5:59:00 PM  

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Oh, man...24 messages, and most of them questions. Okay, I'll try to
deal with this in some manageable fashion.

In no particular order: Evisc...I don't keep a mental log of who posts
what here, or when, or what the attitude is. And because of that, when time
came to make the list, I yanked out 500+ continuous messages and wrote down
every name I saw. I knew offhand there were a few names that I knew well and
weren't in that batch, and inserted them on my own. Other than that, that
was it...I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to go through all 2,000 or so
messages on this topic to find every single solitary person who's left a note
at one time or another. I *said* it was relatively random, and it was. I'm
sorry that you feel left out. I logged on today to find 40 letters in my
mailbox from lurkers who never posted, and THEY felt that it was unfair, that
it should be publicly noted so that everyone could get one.

I just don't have that kind of money. Yes, there *will* be stuff that
one can purchase down the road. And I hope this won't interfere with your
feelings about the show...there had to be some sort of cut-off method, and the
randomization seemed the best one I could think of, and the fairest.

As for the $1 checks or money orders...yes, Rattlesnake is the name to
use.

That done...onward.

Ethnic Diversity: yes, most definitely. Leaving the aliens aside for the
time being where sexuality may not necessarily be as we know it, and ethnic
background is a bit different, and since the question concerned itself with
humans...our *main characters* consist of the following: a male caucasian
commander; a female Japanese vice-commander; a male Italian security chief; a
black Xenobiologist male; a female telepath whose ethnic background we haven't
yet determined; a female caucasian trader (Sinclair's S.O.); and (for the
series, later) a female environmental specialist (probably Hispanic). My
feeling here is that we have *all* gone to the stars, and I want there to be a
good ethnic mix in both the main characters, and the guest-starring and cameo
actors. And I *especially* want to see a nearly 50/50 mix of men and women in
equally significant jobs and responsibilities.

Relationships: My sense of the story is that things are a lot more
relaxed in that respect. Some folks get married. Others don't. There are
open-ended relationships. It's not a big deal one way or another; there are
always going to be those who prefer monagomy, and those who tend to roam.

And bear in mind one *crucial* aspect to B5...there is a constant mix of
not only ethnic groups, but alien races, religions, thought, standards, mores,
and sexual practices. This will present a constant opportunity to explore
alternate ideas, and to mix-and-match. By our exposure, humans may adopt some
alien notions, and vice versa. B5 is the ultimate melting pot, just as the
early Ports of Call were a hodge-podge of dialects, backgrounds, beliefs and
other elements, whose only real commonality was that their business or
personal lives brought them to the same place at the same time. Same with B5.

Re: action...a lot of the action will take place aboard B5, just as a lot
of the action in a cop show or mainstream drama takes place in a city...and B5
is exactly that, a self-contained city or world of its own. There's *plenty*
of opportunity for drama in that, when you stop to consider the staggering
conflicts possible between people, races, and technologies.

But there will also be some action outside...there's a good amount of
that in the pilot movie, and there will be potential for more as we go along.
The one thing I want to *avoid* is the New Threat Of The Week story, in terms
of somebody attacking B5. I think that would get old REAL fast. The best
terrain for conflict is, as Fitzgerald said, the human (or alien) heart in
conflict with itself.

Will there be zealots? Oh, yes. To be sure. Keep an eye on the
Minbari....

Great song, btw. It's fun to see this sort of thing bouncing back from
the other side of the screen...though the comment about a fandom for a show
that doesn't exist yet is well taken. I don't *want* people signing on to
something they haven't seen yet, at least not to excess, because up until the
*minute* that we hit the airwaves, this is all just balloon juice. You
shouldn't give this project too much support, just as you shouldn't start
handing around blank checks that you've signed.

Let us *prove* what we can do. SF fans are *constantly* being hustled by
one person or company or another. They/you are shilled at conventions, hyped
on nonexistent projects, and get your hopes up only to have them dashed.

If what I write here is interesting, if it gives a sense of how a show
like this comes together...terrific. But the only thing that fundamentally
matters is what's on the screen. Until then, take everything here with a
pound of salt.

Force us to prove the point. If we are fortunate enough, once we hit the
air, to find fans and others who appreciate the show, we want those who will
challenge us and force us to put up or shut up. Because talk is cheap. Mine
included.

End of sermon.

Yes, the Warners Television Consortium is the correct name for the beast.


Finally, on sets and the "look" of the place...again, there will be a
mix. Some places will be beautifully finished and neat, and other areas will
be very rough and in-the-works. (Remember, B5 only recently went operational,
and thus there are still some parts being constructed.)

In talking with our production designer, John Iacovelli, the one term he
kept using, over and over, was "travelogue." We should get a real sense in
this show of a world turned inside out...with varying textures, lighting,
angles, and a mix of looks. There will *not* be a homogeneous look to this
place, if I or Iacovelli have anything to say about it. You can walk from the
carefully and neatly appointed Council Chamber room, to the high-tech control
room, to a section of the station under construction and exposing beams and
wires, to the Garden, to....

You get the idea.

I *think* that covers the majority of the questions/comments. If I've
missed anything, let me know, and if I can answer it, I will.

Onward.

jms

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