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    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: Last 4 - have to redo?
      To: CIS  
    Date: 6/30/1997 4:58:00 AM  

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Vadim Naroditsky <> asks:
> Will you now have to rewrite/refilm the last 4 episodes?

"Will you now have to rewrite/refilm the last 4 episodes? I assume
they were ending the arc and now you have another year."

No, there's just the replacement for 422, that's all. There's a
difference between *ending the arc* and providing a *sense of
resolution.* By the end of 421, things had been settled in a lot of
areas...but far more were made very clear as being Out There. You
could view it as an epilog, or a set-up for more down the road,
depending on whether or not there was a fifth season. Hell, there's a
great big fat setup for season 5 right smack in the middle of the
Franklin/Lyta scene on Mars in "The Face of the Enemy."

This isn't directed at you so much, Vadim, as in general...some
days I wonder what the hell I'm doing on the nets. We busted our butts
to get year 5, same as we do every year (though moreso this year),
because it would be *the most satisfactory way to end the story*. It
*could* end in year 4, I was prepared to do that if necessary, but it
wouldn't be as satisfactory to all concerned as year 5. So now we have
year five. And right out of the woodwork come people -- such as a
particularly twit-like message forwarded to me from one of the usenet
groups -- saying that the fifth season was going to be just filler now,
that the story was over, used up, it's all tied up, there's nothing but
"dumb old personal stories." No more arc.

And I would love nothing more than to just thump them.

I sometimes wonder if they think I was walking down the street
one day, and I came across this Arc laying in the road. And it's a
finite package, and once it's used up, it's used up. People, I THOUGHT
THIS STUFF UP. You watch it, but I make it...and I'm not doing this
for my health, I didn't fight this hard to do a season of filler.
Where's the common sense here? My vested interest in making this a
solid story is a hell of a lot higher than ANY viewer could POSSIBLY
bring to the table. But again and again, not to you Vadim but in
general, it's "Oh, it's all done now, it's just filler."

Yes, I fought and bled to get a season 5 so I could do filler,
instead of going back to a network show where they'll pay me double
what I get on B5. Absolutely. That makes a LOT of sense.

I dunno...maybe I'm over-reacting...hell, I probably *am*
over-reacting, but it seems like they never let you rest. The end of
the Shadow War came, and folks said, "Oh, the arc is over now, nothing
interesting can happen now," and I said there was MORE interesting
stuff even than that coming up, and sure enough that happened, and it's
"Oh...okay," and this happens time and time again, and now we have a
fifth year, and it's "Oh, the arc is over, nothing interesting can
happen now."

You'd think that by now we would've proven the point...but every
year it seems like we have to prove ourselves again and again and
again. The confetti has barely hit the ground and they move in the
funeral draping.

I just get tired of it some days.


(Not you, Vadim, a very nice man, just venting.)


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