First, you have to understand that there is no requirement that I release
*everything* that has ever been done for the show, and that I do have some
rights to privacy, and to keep some things for myself.
Second, the original document was such that is was random notes bunched
together by time and character, sometimes cross-referenced, sometimes not.
It's like an outline to oneself that is never supposed to make sense to someone
else because it was never *written* for someone else. They are my private
notes, to myself.
Where does anyone here have a problem with the concept of private notes?
Further still...the material contains bunches of quick premises for possible
stories or episodes, some used, some not, and if I let them out then those
not-used stories can never be used, and may end up elsewhere.
Lots of people seem to have this idea that the final result was widely
divergent from the original arc, hence this interest, and that proceeds from a
false premise. It really didn't change that much. Anyone looking at the S1
bible right now sees stuff that was laid out for the later seasons, and it was
pretty much all done...right down to telling writers not to get Lyta into a
relationship because she would eventually become starstruck by Byron, and I
didn't want anything else to get in the way of that.
So it really *isn't* that different. What the original material *is* is
scattergun, written in quick fragments or sudden thoughts dashed down in the
middle of the night or while working on something...it's in no condition to
release to anyone. I'd have to go through the material, reorganize it in a way
that would be all-chronological or all character, take out the stuff that I
would want to hold onto for future use...and then it wouldn't *be* the original
Whereas the overall approach was there from the git-go, the details were always
a work in progress, refining the ideas further and further during the five
years it took to sell the darned thing. Imagine five years of random notes as
the story coalesced, and you've got a pretty solid idea of the mess it looks
>JMS how often would you refer to this 200 page document yourself? Did you
>refer to it as much through out season 5 as you did the first season?
Yeah, I referred to it constantly. Early on, to expedite things, since it is
such a clutter, I broke out each season at the very start of S1, putting each
episode on a card in a black binder, which had two-sided sheets that held 10
cards per side.
I did this for all five seasons before we ever shot a frame of film on S1.
That binder sat on the first shelf on the left in my office for five years.
People would come in and ask where the material was, and I'd explain that the
original material was in the triple-encrypted file...and they never knew that
the distillation of that material was sitting right behind them, close enough
to reach over and pull down off the shelf.
>have a similar document for Crusades or was Crusades included in the
>original document in some form
Not as lengthy, no.
>Several weeks ago I remember you saying
>something about the final fate of a few of the major characters. Does this
>document contain this sort of information? If so then I do understand the
>desire to not release it
There's a lot of that in it as well, on the theory that even if I never used
it, *I* would have to know what it was, in terms of the history of the B5
universe and where it and the characters were all going.
B5 Official Fan Club at:
>But, Joe, I would ask this of you. Keep the thing around, and let it be
>released someday -- 50 years after your death, if you like.
You must understand: if you go through all of my files, for all the scripts and
stories I have written, you will find ONLY final drafts. I routinely destroy
ALL of my annotated drafts, rough drafts, preliminary drafts and most notes. I
think that, in the end, what has to stand or fall is the work, and one doesn't
let out one's rough drafts or unfinished work.
A while back, there was a long and heated debate between me and some other
online folks on the issue of unfinished work and annotated drafts; I'm
foursquare against them being released posthumously. This, to me, falls under
the same heading.
All the rough-draft stories, all the MSW scripts, and all my B5 scripts with my
handwritten edits, changes, annotations, deletions, and revisions...are mulch.
As they should be.
One does not go out in public only partially dressed.
B5 Official Fan Club at:
>> Anyone looking at the S1 bible
>> right now sees stuff that was laid out for the later seasons,
>> and it was pretty much all done...
>> right down to telling writers
>> not to get Lyta into a relationship
>> because she would eventually become starstruck by Byron,
>> and I didn't want anything else to get in the way of that.
>I thought Byron was originally intended for Ivanova, up until Claudia
>decided to leave the show...???
Correct. Note the use of the word *starstruck*, not *involved with*. The
theory was that Byron would have gotten involved with Ivanova, who -- feeling
she'd messed up by being too closed off to a somewhat similar person decides to
take a chance with someone, only to have it blow up in her face -- while Lyta
suffered from unrequited love (a constant B5 theme), which would no less fuel
her desire to avenge him.
B5 Official Fan Club at: