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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Bible/Treatment!
      To: CIS  
    Date: 11/9/1999 1:18:00 PM  

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Also posted to the net:

For the last six years, I've been asked repeatedly -- in email and at
conventions -- "Are you ever going to make the original B5 series
writers' bible available?" My general reaction was to simply
say...maybe someday.

After considerable reflection, and as a Solstice present to B5
viewers... we're finally going to make it available.

TWO such *its*, to be precise.

First: The original Babylon 5 Series Treatment

This is the 23 page document, written in September 1988, that was used
to sell the series for the five years it took to find a buyer. It has
different characters than were ever seen in the show, such as Dr.
Chakri Mendak (a role that later became Dr. Stephen Franklin) and more
background on Vice-Commander Laurel Chang... Sinclair's background is
also quite different from what we eventually ended up with... Delenn
was a male...the Vorlons were warlike, squabbling aliens....

This was the first attempt to put B5 down on paper, in a process that
would change and evolve over the next 5 years. Ideas that were never
used, characters who would never be seen again, the first stirrings of
the Minbari War story (including a never used alternate explanation for
why they surrendered), Delenn was a male character... Kosh had a mate
who came with him to B5...on and on and on.

Second: The original Season One Babylon 5 Writer's Bible

This massive tome weighs in at over 60 pages, with comprehensive
backgrounds on all the characters as well as guidelines for writing SF
for TV in ways that would be different than all of our predecessors. It
lays out the first year of the arc and warns potential writers away
from areas we plan to explore in later years, has additional
backgrounds on regular characters never actually used in the series
(such as a strange fellow named Mr. Jones who would have been
alternately a bane and ally to Garibaldi), stories that would
eventually be filmed, other stories that would never be used,
information on the the history and technology of the B5 universe, Psi
Corps, Earthforce, the various governments, and other areas...this is
the Big One, the Grail of the B5 fictional world. The table of
contents alone covers 2 pages.

This bible was ONLY given to prospective writers, who were in turn
asked to keep the material totally confidential. The treatment was ONLY
given to network/studio. heads and others in a position to buy the
series.

In addition, BOTH of these documents will be peppered with the
original illustrations by Peter Ledger used to sell and visualize the
series in its earliest stage, including the original keyhole logo, many
of them reproduced in full color, others b&w. Some of these images
have shown up in various places, but others will be seen here by the
world at large for the first time.

I debated long and hard about whether or not I would ever make these
available, but finally decided to give in to the many requests for the
release of this material.

This material will shortly be made available at www.thestation.com and
via phone orders. I don't know how long we'll make them available, but
I suspect it may not be very long.

In reading through the documents, it's like taking a trip back through
time to what was, to the very beginnings of the series, what would be,
what might've been, what never was...what got abandoned on the side of
the road, what was kept. At times the material is coy, informative,
deliberately misleading in a couple of places where I wanted to avoid
leaks, rude and sometimes it actually makes a rough kind of sense.

They're going to cost a bit more than the scripts, because at 60+
pages in the case of the bible, and with the color illustrations,
they're more expensive to produce, and we're only doing a limited
number of these.

Expect the full info to go up on thestation.com in a few days.

jms

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