I could've written B5 as a novel per se, as you say, having written
published novels before...and it would've been one more SF novel. No one
has really attempted this kind of multi-year story, on this kind of scale
before for American TV. (The closest I can come to in terms of other
shows is, interestingly enough, "Brisco County Jr." I've been very
pleased to see them developing a real story over time.) It's more of a
real challenge to try and do it for TV, for starters, and B5 has always
struck me as better *suited* for TV. Generally I can get a good sense of
what medium a story belongs in, and this one felt like TV.) I enjoy
challenges, and doing a show like B5 for TV is a *real* challenge.
As for the characters, for the largest part they were created new
when they came into replace those characters who were removed from the
story arc. There's not much carry-over.