To the two questions raised

 Posted on 5/22/1992 by STRACZYNSKI [Joe] to GENIE

To the two questions raised indicated before, B5 will use a
mix of storytelling elements. I'm a strong believer in the notion that each
episode of a series MUST be able to stand on its own. Although I loved it
dearly, that was the problem with TWIN PEAKS. If you missed even one episode,
you didn't know WHAT the heck was going on. And, further, that show asked
questions that it never seemed willing to answer.

I've constructed the B5 writing scenario more or less as follows:

1) Each episode will be able to stand alone. If you come in on season
two, without having seen anything else, you'll be able to get into it.

2) Questions asked in the course of an episode or a season will be
answered in that episode or season.

3) BUT...if you continue to watch the show, then over time a story writ
on a much larger scale will begin to emerge. Consider it like a triptych,
something out of Hieronymous Bosch...each individual panel is sufficient unto
itself, but put them all together, and suddenly you see connections and a
whole picture that wasn't there a moment earlier.

Relationships will change. People will live, and die. Alliances wll
shift. And at one point or another, everything you THINK you know about these
characters will be turned upside down. But there won't be cliffhangers or
that sort of thing between episodes. There may be such between seasons, but
not in the course of a season.

Funny thing...there are two characters in the show whose roles are going
to be COMPLETELY reversed by the middle of the run. But I wasn't absolutely
clear on how to do that, I had only a general notion in my head. Then, in
Ireland, while standing on the hill of Tara, in the seat of the old High hit me. And the last bit of information I needed came through.

There will be continuity. I've mapped out what will happen, in general,
in about half the episodes in any given season...incidents that will
eventually form the tapestry of the larger story. But the other half of any
given season are left completely open to what our writers might come up with.
I like being surprised, and want the show to remain open to changes in tide
and wind.

As for the Toaster stuff...Ron would know more about that than I would.
All I know is what I saw when I visited his digs the other day: he's got --
let's see -- six? seven? computers, all with 3 accellerators each, hooked up.
There's new cards and devices and programs that very literally didn't exist
two weeks ago; he's having them designed to his specs. Speed-wise, in terms
of rendering, it now functions as fast as a Cray computer. Walking into that
place was like walking into Frankenstein's lab...amazing stuff.