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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 8/29/2003 4:44:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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A couple of points on this.

There have been no discussions concerning a return of the Babylon 5 series
between myself and WB or any other studio or network. Nor do I think anything
is likely in that area.

Jerry took umbrage when, a few years ago, I commented on his statements that he
would be able to put togeether a new B5 series deal. From the interview, he
still seems to be in high dudgeon over this. But the fact remains: I was
correct in my statement, he didn't have the pieces in place to make it happen.
If he'd had the wherewithal to make it happen, it would've; it didn't, so he
didn't. My statement was correct.

Once again, the pieces simply aren't there. He has lined up a radio guy who
feels the show should return. Which is great, it's a terrific compliment. But
that is not in any way, manner, shape or form anywhere near anything of a
serious nature in terms of getting a show on the air.

I've always been happy to listen to anyone -- Jerry, his pals, anybody -- who
would come to me with a serious proposal and have the moxie, the money, and the
resources to make it happen. It hasn't. That's the simple fact of it.

Jerry's a terrific operator, he always has an angle going, he's always working
it...but that ain't the same thing as always having the real deal in hand. If
WB were involved in this -- and they'd have to be -- both Doug and I would be
in the loop by contract. But that is not the case. I spoke with Doug five
minutes ago as I type this, and he confirmed: there is nothing happening on
this front other than Jerry talkling with the radio guy.

As for his notion that the characters in Crusade were just B5 characters with
the names changed...as the person who created those characters, nothing could
be further from the truth. Nor was Bruce ever set to be the star of Crusade.

There's a natural tendency for people to hear or think what they expect, what
they want to hear. I told all the B5 cast members as a group that there would
certainly be opportunities for guest appearances throughout Crusade, but at no
point did I promise Bruce that he would be the lead of the series, or that we'd
simply transplant the characters. It wouldn't be a new series if we did that.

Finally, in his interview, both Jerry and Bruce seem to blame me for B5 not
being in its 10th year right now. Which is true and not true. B5 was always
meant to be a 5 year story; every actor knew that going in. It wasn't like
this was a surprise at the last minute. We all knew the deal.

WB had told us to shut down after year 4 because even though the show was doing
well, our network, PTEN, was going out of business. At the last minute, TNT
took on the task of financing a fifth year *in order to get the end of the
five-year story*. They never talked about anything beyond that, nor did anyone
else. So anything else is a moot point. I don't think that TNT would ever
have committed to anything more than one season in any event. They wanted the
end of the story to make the package complete. If that had been a six-year
arc, they would not have picked it up because two years would've been too
costly.

So them's is the facts.

Yes, there's one or two things percolating n the B5 universe that may be of
interest, but neither of them are series deals.

I hate to throw water on this, but I don't want fans to get all excited about
something that's simply not happening anywhere except in Jerry's interview.

He probably won't like that I said this any more than he did the last time, but
then as now, I have to put out the facts and let the passage of time validate
them.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 8/30/2003 5:19:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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>But then there is the notion (maybe not the fact) that your word at an
>early stage can make the investors go away: "Joe stated publicly that
>you don't have all the pieces, so why should I fund it?" Or, worse
>(and not true based on what you wrote here), "Joe said you didn't have
>all the pieces, so why would Warner Brothers authorize it?"

One, you make the assumption that WB or anyone else would care what's written
in a newsgroup or in an interview. They don't. And wouldn't. WB is also in
the money making business. If someone comes to them with the money, wouldn't
matter what I said except that I'd look foolish (which I'm okay with, it's
happened before). If the money's there, the deal is there; if not, not. The
rest is utterly irrelevant.

There are two kinds of people, those who go public about things long before
they are even close to reality in order to try and get something going (which
almost never works), which gets all the fans heated up about something that's
as substantive as gossamer...and those who hold off saying anything until the
deal is set and signed, out of respect, conservativism, experience and a desire
not to get folks wound up about vague possibilities. I subscribe to the
latter. I've very rarely commented on *anything* until I knew it was a
reality, or even some time thereafter. The few times I *have* said anything
before all the pieces were in place, it almost never came to pass...hence
reinforcing lesson #1 above.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 8/31/2003 12:21:00 PM  

Message 3 in thread 

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>So Joe, on the million-to-one shot that JD does have something going with a
>new Babylon 5 show which would star the original cast members, would you
>support such a thing? Would you become involved as a producer and/or
>writer?

I don't tend to engage in speculation.

>OK, so now if your answer was "yes" to any of the above questions, then why
>don't you join forces with JD and try to get another B5 story arc going?

What forces would those be?

If WB were to decide to do more B5, they would do so, they wouldn't need
someone from the outside to come in. TV just doesn't work that way.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 8/31/2003 3:31:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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>For it is the well from whence thou springeth,

Actually, from and whence mean pretty much the same thing, so that's a
redundency. It should be either "from which" or just "whence" It's a common
misuse of the vernacular.

Yrs, on behalf of the grammar police,

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/1/2003 3:28:00 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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>Oh dear. I'm afraid you've been misled by the "grammarians" who insist
>that English should be more like some other, more "respectable" language
>(usually like Latin or French). "From whence" is used by Shakespeare,

Citation, please?

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/2/2003 4:07:00 PM  

Message 6 in thread 

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>Do you have any idea where anyone would have gotten the idea that
>Crusade was supposedly going to be merely a continuation of the stories
>of the B5 characters? Or is this something that's "just growed," like
>Topsy, from the irresponsible dropping of vague and unfounded comments
>by certain actors in interviews?

It's unfathomable to me. I think people just had a tendency to assume this
would be the case. Or they saw a certain character and resented it, wondering
"why can't that be me?" to the point where it becomes "that was SUPPOSED to be
me."

> He was convinced that Bruce was
>supposed to captain the Excalibur (never mind that Sheridan was no
>longer an Earthforce captain by this point, but president of the
>Interstellar Alliance), but that you and he had had a "falling out" over
>his "being fired suddenly after five years," and so you quickly rewrote
>the role as Gideon instead. I tried to point out to him that no one was
>fired -- the show _ended_ -- and that the show was only ever _supposed_
>to run for five years, and that all of the actors knew that going in.
>He was sure he had the scoop on some conspiracy that I was just too much
>of a slavishly devoted fangirl to see. :-p

Okay, let me put the absolute and total lie to this right now.

I've just gone back into my files and dragged out the ORIGINAL TREATMENT for
Crusade, the one written while B5 was still in production, BEFORE "A Call to
Arms" was ever filmed. The treatment, which was available to WB, Doug, John,
and department keys and I know some cast members got their hands on it, was
dated 6/16/98 (that date is still on the file datestamp).

I quote from a latter part of the treatment, where the characters are
introduced. There are some little variances here and there -- one in
particular that I think will surprise some people -- but this was what was
written at that time...the very first time I put ANYthing down on paper about
Cruade for WB.

One small caveat: I used the terms "infrequently or not at all" primarily
because WB was desperate to make sure that this show was different from B5, so
the "not at all" part was a nod to that, but the "infrequently" was my planned
opening to use the characters from time to time, which was already in the works
when the show was pulled.

Quote follows:

--------------------------------------------------

Whether it begins within BABYLON 5 or outside, the CRUSADE pilot movie will
start with the Drakh attack, and end with the revelation about the plague.
It's important to see this happen in current time, rather than hear about it
after the fact. We need to see first-hand what's at stake, and how we got
here.

As a result, the pilot will introduce not only our characters, but the full
situation and setup for the series to come. Because of the attack and
counter-attacks, it will be primarily action-oriented. The focus is not on
diplomacy, or negotiations...the focus is nothing less than the very survival
of our species, and the acts of heroism that result when our characters stand
against terrible and overwhelming odds.

As head of the Rangers, Delenn and Captain John Sheridan give the fleet its
mission, and take part in the pilot movie.

After that, once the battle is over and the fleet is on its way, they will
appear either infrequently or not at all. CRUSADE will stand on its own,
except for possible TNT movie cross-overs.

Let's meet our characters.

CAPTAIN MATTHEW DRAKE, Captain of the Excalibur, the high-tech flagship of the
White Star fleet of ships. (The fleet divides into teams to help increase the
odds of finding a cure; when they find a possible lead, they call in the
Excalibur, wait until it arrives, then they move on to the next destination
while the Excalibur does its work.) In his 30s, dark, brooding, attractive,
he's a fighter whose own Earthforce ship was destroyed during the initial war
with the Drakh. (It wasn't his fault, as we will learn; he was up against
impossible odds and barely managed to save his crew at great risk to himself.)


Personally assigned to the Excalibur by Sheridan, this mission represents his
chance to redeem himself. Hard-headed and practical, a man of action who
doesn't believe in the mysticism practiced by the Minbari and the Rangers; if
he can't feel it or taste it, it doesn't exist. A loner whose harsh exterior
covers a heart that has been wounded too many times, and now refuses to let
anyone near him.

MARCUS COLE, a Ranger established on Babylon 5 during its third and fourth
seasons. Energetic, bright, literary, with a poetic quote always at hand when
it's needed, and a pike or a PPG rifle when force is needed. Trained equally
in martial arts and philosophy. A dashing, romantic figure noted for a
cheerfulness
that belies something much deeper beneath.

-------------------------------------------------

We had to change Drake to Gideon because of a clearance problem, and obviously
the Claudia situation threw a monkey wrench into using the character of Markus,
as originally planned.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/2/2003 11:16:00 PM  

Message 7 in thread 

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>Joe, may I quote from the quote you append in the Babylon 5 FAQ I
>maintain for the Fidonet Babylon 5 echo,

Sure.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/2/2003 11:17:00 PM  

Message 8 in thread 

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>And presumably Marcus would take the spot that Galen eventually had?
>Interesting.

No, Galen was in there as well.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Jerry Doyle hopeful of B5 revival
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/4/2003 12:40:00 AM  

Message 9 in thread 

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>>> I know what "the Claudia" situation was: she wanted a full season's
>>> pay for a partial season's work and walked when you and/or WB
>>> rightfully refused.

>Word was she and/or her agent
>wanted 4 paid but unworked episodes (~30k).

Just to recap: Claudia, after promising to sign the contract extension, and
helping get all the other cast members to do so, chose not to sign after all.
Her people (and she) wanted time off to do other projects, a movie in
particular. She might need 3-4 eps off.

Fine, said we, so we'll pay her for all the eps in which she appears, and not
for the ones in which she doesn't appear. That seemed fair. But they wanted
us to commit, in writing, to paying her the full 22 salary for the reduced
number of episodes, which would constitute a per-episode increase in salary
when all of the other actors, many of whom had favored nations agreements,
could not negotiate any such increase. It would, in essence, screw all the
other cast members.

We refused. She walked.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)

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