Tag Archives: Babylon5

More B5 Books: Babylon 5 Chronology

Wow.  The Babylon 5 Scripts team keeps finding more ways to get my money.  The latest: The Chronologies of Babylon 5.  And it includes every single piece of B5 canon, down to the six short stories JMS wrote after the series ended and even the unproduced Crusade scripts.

The script books have mostly been interesting for the commentary and supplemental material. Though I was disappointed that they couldn’t get Neil Gaiman to write an intro for his Day of the Dead script in the latest volume. It just reprinted the contents of the solo script book you can get from the CBLDF, which has a brief intro by JMS and a handful of footnotes by Neil Gaiman.

So, here’s what we’ve got so far (including what’s been announced):

  • 15 volumes of Babylon 5 scripts by J. Michael Straczynski.
  • 3 volumes of “Other Voices,” the B5 scripts by other writers.
  • 1 volume of the B5 TV movie scripts (announced).
  • 1 volume of chronology (with a Q&A and presumably commentary).

In theory, that covers everything except Crusade, which is what I’m really looking forward to. Probably two or three volumes, and I’d hope they’d include the unproduced scripts. IIRC there are two by JMS and one by Fiona Avery, and the Chronology list mentions one that was assigned but not written. The two JMS scripts used to be available online through some PITA Java-based reader that theoretically prevented people from copying the text (though that can’t stop screenshots or manual transcription), but also made it really difficult to do things like scroll. The site folded years ago, probably in the dot-com crunch, and they haven’t seen the light of day since. I remember one of them contained the first indication of a link between Techno-Mages and the Shadows.

Back to the chronology: on one hand, it feels like they’re starting to milk the audience for all it’s worth now that they’ve seen the success of the script book series.  On the other hand, it’s only one additional volume.  And it looks really cool…

B5 Script Series Shutting Down

I just got an email with the reminder that J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Script Book Series is going out of print at the end of the month. Monday, June 30 is the last day.

It’s hardly a surprise, since the series was always advertised as a limited edition.

The weird thing is that they’re also shutting down the related store, with all the quote merchandise, until August. Presumably that includes the Londo/G’Kar campaign signs as well.

Meanwhile, the companion series, Other Voices, with scripts and commentary by the other writers who worked on the show, just released the second book. (To give you an idea of just how much of B5 JMS wrote, his scripts take up 14 volumes. The others add up to just 3.) It’s been interesting to compare the different styles of commentary. Some wrote epics, some did Q&A or interview-style introductions, and David Gerrold simply wrote half a page about why he resisted writing “Believers,” and what he did when he realized exactly why they wanted him to write it.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve only just started reading the bonus volume of the original set last weekend (in between bouts of re-reading The Ringworld Throne and writing). After so many years wondering “what would have happened if Sinclair had stayed?” you’d think I’d be in a bigger hurry to find out. Okay, I was busy with the whole moving thing, and then unpacking, and then trying to catch up on a fan site, and then trying to launch a blog, and I keep getting sucked into comic forums…

I think I need to sleep more.

TV of the Future

TV Guide has a list of when TV shows are coming back now that the writers’ strike is over. (via ***Dave)

So, what’s happening to the shows we watch?

Battlestar Galactica

Returns April 4 with first half of 20-episode final season. Production on second half could start as early as March. Airdate for those TBD.

Seeing as how we don’t currently get the Sci-Fi Channel (we discovered BSG through DVDs), this means it’s time to figure out whether to mess with cable/satellite, watch it at someone else’s place, or hope that they’ll continue offering episodes online through iTunes or something.

Heroes

No new episodes expected until fall.

Pretty much expected that, given the way they were talking at the end of the “fall season.”

Journeyman

No new episodes expected. Ever.

And I continue my history of discovering interesting TV shows after they’ve already been canceled. (Actually, I have an even longer history of this with comic books. The first comic I ever bought, back in 1984, was issue #19 of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, which lasted 20 issues.)

Lost

Six pre-strike episodes remain. Expected to shoot five additional episodes to air in April/May.

TV Guide interviewed Carlton Cuse on this recently (via aeryncrichton). They’d already shot 8 episodes of the 16-episode season, and plan to condense the second half of the season into 5—presumably because that’s how many they can actually finish during this production season.

This could actually work out well for them. One of the reasons season 4 of Babylon 5 was so good (aside from paying off on 4 years of setup) was that JMS shifted up his timetable so that he could wrap up the foreground plotlines by the end of the season he knew he had, instead of ending with a cliffhanger and hoping he could wrap them up in the first third of a season 5 that looked increasingly unlikely. The result was an extremely intense season that is widely regarded as the best year of the show.

And let’s be honest, Lost hasn’t exactly been known for compressed storytelling.

On the other hand, there’s the last few episodes of Angel to consider as a counter-example.

Pushing Daisies

No new episodes until fall.

On the plus side, this means it’s actually been renewed! This had “Too good to last” written all over it!

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Four pre-strike episodes remain. Future beyond that TBD.

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this one. I enjoy it while I’m watching it, and it’s much, much better than Terminator 3, but I don’t find myself looking forward to it between episodes. Even if it does have Summer Glau beating people up.