The influence of actors on their characters is *vastly* over-rated
and exaggerated by the media, and by viewers. One of the real problems
of television the last 20 years or so is that actors are sometimes weilding
too much clout, and playing it safe with their characters. Which is why
so much TV is pablum that doesn't push the envelope. Sometimes our
characters *fail* at what they do. In 90% of all TV series, it would be
unheard of for an actor to allow his or her character to fail at something
major, particularly if it's the lead. This isn't good for TV, or for the
viewers. It reduces storytelling to the same-old same-old.
Nor, I believe, is the job of making a show to create characters that
the actors are "comfortable with." The idea should be to push and
challenge your actors to go beyond where they've gone before. This is why
so many good actors who do TV take breaks to do stage plays, where they
have the opportunity to push their skills to the limit...an opportunity
all too often denied in TeeVee.
Very often, the actor moves into a vacuum where nothing has really
been set up for the character. That applies to the case you cite. The
character hadn't really been fleshed out, so the actor began adding to the
role to make up the difference.
The difficulty I have is when the story-arc is described as a problem
because it isn't haphazard or totally episodic as is every other TV series.
This isn't saying, "This is better." What this is, is an experiment. No
one has ever really tried something on this scale for american TV before.
I wouldn't do every series like this. This is a *separate creature* from
standard TV, as will continue to become more apparent the deeper you get
into the show. It is, for lack of a better term, a loosely connected 5
Point being, no one has ever done something like this before for
american TV. And maybe no one ever will again, depending on how all this
works out. I think that it's worth the trip.
Finally, re: characters not mentioning the "inner turmoil" they had
in episode 3 again in episode 4...for one thing, you can't string it all
too tightly, because in syndication, broadcast order gets shunted around.
The episodes are designed to be viewed all, or in part, in order or out of
order, and still work. Additionally, in TV you only have X-number of
minutes to tell your story; unless element X has some *direct bearing* on
what's happening this episode, you can't just sandwich it in. This applies
to EVERY TV series, not just B5. There has to be a current reason for it,
you can't just drop it in for the hell of it. You're asking for something
that doesn't work dramatically.