Alas, Babylon

J. Michael Straczynski just sent out the following rather disappointing email. (Well, I guess I can’t strictly say I’m disappointed, since I hadn’t known there was anything to get appointed about.)

Babylon 5 explodes a little

Last year, the studio offered a full season of a new and rebooted B5 as part of a new distribution venue they were creating (us and several other shows from the same studio were part of the same deal). We’d have a full season, a big budget, and total creative control. The negotiations (not between us but between the participants of the venue) dragged on for over a year, we were told repeatedly this is going to happen, but finally, the participants couldn’t make the math work. So we and the other three shows that they were hoping to put out there got set aside.

At this point, I’ve told the studio that if this isn’t going to move ahead, there’s something else they need to consider and there’s a very informal negotiation going on now in that regard. We’ll see where it goes from there.

But again, B5 was never created to be a Deep Space Franchise, we wanted to do our 5 years and get out clean. That was my intent going into this, and if that’s where this ends up, I’m happy to stick with that.

Any guesses what he means in paragraph 2?

4 Responses to Alas, Babylon

  1. Anon73 July 29, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    No idea, but I’m not surprised he tried to get some sort of thing going where the “math didn’t add up”. Practically every B5-related thing he’s tried post-series has never really gotten off the ground or been green-lighted by the studios. Granted, part of this is not his fault (2 of the series regulars died). But I wonder if it’s so hopeless to bother and he’s satisfied with his work why he keeps haphazardly bringing ideas like this up.

    Also, I’m afraid if he does get to do the series again he’ll go into full George Lucas mode and ruin the previously built-up story.

    • Roderick July 31, 2011 at 12:46 am #

      I’m afraid if he does get to do the series again he’ll go into full George Lucas mode and ruin the previously built-up story.

      That doesn’t seem likely to me.

      • Anon73 July 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

        Granted nobody can match George Lucas in the “ruining childhood memories” department, but the lackluster quality of the 5th season and that Rangers spinoff don’t make me optimistic. Even the rumors about “Memory of Shadows” confirmed he’s still obsessed with the “smaller countries using sold off WMD from the collapsed soviet union” type of storyline that dominated the 5th season as well as every spinoff series and movie.

        • Roderick August 1, 2011 at 2:22 am #

          I didn’t say that JMS couldn’t falter. (Though to be fair, part of the problem of B5‘s 5th season was that he had had to cram the first part of it into the end of the 4th season when he’d thought the show wouldn’t be renewed, so when he was suddenly given a 5th season at the last minute he had to stretch out the remaining storyline.) But have you ever read the scripts for the unfilmed episodes of Crusade? They were pretty good, I thought: a) To the Ends of the Earth; b) Value Judgments; c) End of the Line. (Those links will download the pirated scripts from a Russian website so click at your own risk.)

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