Archive for the ‘Scripts’ Tag
This is the final volume to this series, though a lovely volume containing an index and featuring Stephen Furst’s Vir is also available, but that doesn’t make for very good reviewing, though the index is quite extensive, and the production timeline and set blueprints are quite cool. Except that like the other volumes it is signed and includes with it a postcard and bookmark with Vir quotes on them.
But this is volume six, and features Bill Mummy’s Lennier and includes a CD with an audio interview not transcribed in the book. It also features interviews with many of the cast and crew a year or so after Babylon 5 finished principle production. Many of the questions focus on memories from when everything started back with “The Gathering” over six years earlier. We not only get a rare interview with Michael O’Hare, but Walter Koeing, several writers and directors, and a representative from Warner Brothers is included. There are then interviews with the principle cast for Legend of the Rangers, and finally, interviews with the three principle cast members of The Lost Tales. Included are many wonderful photos, including one of Andreas Katsulas in costume but without make-up or prosthetics.
And thus ends this trip down the Babylon 5 memory lane. Or thus it almost ends. There is one final book, B5 at 20: A Visual Celebration, but while it looks amazing it doesn’t look right for me. There is also my reviews of Babylon 5 itself to finish here…someday hopefully. In the mean time, I hope you have enjoyed this look at some of my favorite parts from these books, and look forward to more on Doctor Who here in the hopefully near future.
So back in JMS Script Book #2, they included the final version of the season 2 premier, “Points of Departure”. Usually, the script team would go for an earlier version, but thanks to a hard drive crash this was not possible for this episode – or so they thought. Fast forward several years and they somehow managed to find a copy of the original script. This book comes complete with a complete discussion of differences between scripts and the script itself is annotated indicating what was different from the final version. As a bonus, they managed to capture the audio of the original version and have included a complete storybook with pictures and dialog to go along with the CD. As another bonus, we get the original notes from JMS about both the Centauri trilogy and the Technomage trilogy of books. Oh, and in addition to the CD, we get another postcard and bookmark with quotes from the original version of “Points of Departure”. All in all, very fascinating! I can’t help but wonder what they will have for us next!
This begins the five book series compiling the various posts JMS has put up over the years. He talks about everything, but mostly he talks about Babylon 5. In this first volume, he talks about networks, what it is like working for them, how they function, and what an executive producer does. He talks about all the various characters and cast members. He delves a bit into Crusade. He also shares with us some ideas on culture, government, and more that were incorporated into B5. One major point is JMS shares with us some of the beliefs and ideas that he holds. Volume 1 includes a production timeline that goes from The Gathering to The Lost Tales. Very enlightening!
This book is amazing. No, it doesn’t have any actual scripts in it. What it does have are other amazing things that were found after all the other books were done. These amazing things include interviews, primarily with JMS from before The Gathering aired to The Legend of the Rangers. It includes interviews with Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs, possibly the last ones they did relating to B5. It includes notes for episodes that were never done. We have the original story notes for several episodes, including much of season 5. There are memos and notes for promotions, some of which were never seen. There are notes on the music, again at least one which was never seen. We’ve got Larry DiTillio’s character bible. We have some early artwork, mostly symbols and military patches and such. And we have the short write-up for the B5 movie that was never produced: The Memory of Shadows. Oh, and we get all of the four days of journal JMS actually kept while making B5. If you think your life is busy . . . Once again a must-have for fans!
Yep, we’ve already seen two versions of The Gathering and In the Beginning, but in this book we have the scripts for Thirdspace, The River of Souls, Legend of the Rangers, and Lost Tales. Yep, the only thing missing here is A Call to Arms, and that is as much if not more a product of Crusade. JMS talks about the look of Thirdspace, working with Martin Sheen on A River of Souls, Andreas Katsulas’s last ride as G’Kar in Legend of the Rangers, and why Lost Tales may be the last B5 thing made unless there is proper funding. The Lost Tales script includes the Garibaldi story which was originally planned for but never done. This book also includes photos, a short story written by JMS that was the inspiration for Lockley’s part of Lost Tales, and a few notes on what would have been a B5 theatrical movie about the Telepath War!
JMS wrote most of the episodes for Babylon 5, but he didn’t write them all. Here we have six scripts and one outline. Larry DiTillio was story editor for the show. He talks about how he met JMS and about writing the scripts “Born to the Purple” and “Deathwalker”. D.C. Fontana talks about writing “The War Prayer”. David Gerrold tells about writing “Believers” and about the outline for “Laser-Mirror-Starweb”, which was never produced but was turned into a comic. Marc Scott Zicree talks abut writing “Survivors”. Christy Marx talks about writing “Grail”, and includes some photos with the cast. It is interesting – in some cases JMS hardly touched the script. In others, he revised heavily. The reactions to this are varied. Usually the earlier script is included in this volume, making for an interesting read.
First off, we have a photo of original concept art for the Babylon 5 logo on the back cover. Inside are so many amazing things. There is the series spec sheet that JMS (along with John Copeland and Doug Netter) dragged around to TV executives for five years. There is the Bablyon 5 writer’s bible which JMS made to help other writers get up to speed with the B5 universe. There is a production draft of “The Gathering”. Yeah, remember that draft back in volume one? It is an earlier version. We also have a first draft of “The Sky Full of Stars” which was used to get an idea of budget requirements, and while similar in some ways is also very different. Also included is the first draft of “Soul Hunters”, which is again very different – this is the script JMS felt was too much like Star Trek. A real treat is the additions JMS made to the script “The Exercise of Vital Powers” as payback to Andreas Katsulas and Peter Jurasik. But the two prizes of most worth are at the end. The first is a brief but complete treatment of Babylon 5 as it would have happened if Sinclair had stayed. All I can say is, wow. Finally, we have Joe cuts, which catalogs every major difference between the scripts and what was actually shown. For those who stuck it out and bought the first fourteen volumes, this volume is very much a highlight of the collection.
To begin with, once again we have lovely concept art on the back cover. This book features the scripts for “Wheel of Fire”, “Objects in Motion”, “Objects at Rest”, and probably the best Babylon 5 Movie “In the Beginning”. However, beyond this we have the producer’s notebook for “In the Beginning”, which includes information about the cast, scenes, needed CGI, what part is shot when and who is needed, scene sketches to help illustrate points, and more. From Joe’s archives we get the season openers and more photos, signed cast pages on a copy of “Sleeping in the Light” for JMS, notes from the pages of JMS’s copy of “Sleeping in the Light” – the episode he directed, and the outline JMS gave to Warner Brothers for “In the Beginning”. All this, plus we get JMS’s take on the last days of filming for Babylon 5. This is another must have for any fan.
To start off with, more gorgeous concept art on the back cover. Inside, we get everything from “A View from the Gallery” to “Phoenix Rising”, thus finishing the telepath arc. We not only get more photographs, we also get symbols, languages, badges and banners of all kinds and from all worlds. JMS goes through some notes and memos detailing how the season 5 opening was created. It is explained how Harlan Ellison inspired “A View from the Gallery”, JMS’s real life connection to “Learning Curve” – and why he feels it doesn’t work, the problem of Byran and why the telepath arc never quite worked the way JMS wanted it to, the return of Na’Toth, and much more.
First off, we have some more lovely concept art on the back cover. We have, as JMS points out, three season endings and beginnings: “Sleeping in the Light”, “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars”, and “No Compromises”, along with other wonderful episodes like “Endgame”, “Rising Star”, and “The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari”. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. JMS goes into detail on the lengths gone to in order to convince TNT to pick up Babylon 5 for a fifth season, how they got it, how they lost Claudia Christian as Ivanova, how JMS lost his writer’s bible to Bablyon 5 detailing each season out, and how he then almost lost his mind. He explains how Tracy Scoggins was chosen to play Captain Elizabeth Lockly and how due to loosing his writer’s bible he decided to start with the telepath story. JMS also tells us how it was to direct his first episode.
Yeah, it is hard to choose among so many great script books, but if you just had to choose one, this might be it.