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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: JMS:Writing "Voice"
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 7/29/1994 5:22:00 PM  

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It was always intended to be a two-parter, and was written that
way. Background: the B5 2-hour pilot has done VERY well overseas in
cassette form. Many of the prejudices in the american press that caused
us problems don't exist overseas (it's done *extremely* well in Japan on
laserdisk, in Germany, and England, among others). So they asked if we
could do a two-parter that could be sold as a two-hour episode overseas.
By all means, sez I. So I structured it accordingly.

Bit of B5 trivia: during the dead of winter last year, I got hit by
the flu as badly as I've ever been hit. Temperature so high that I was
near delerious at times, but refused to go to the hospital (I don't like
doctors, and I was under deadline and couldn't afford the potential time
away.) We're talking mondo sicko here. It was during this time that I
wrote "The Quality of Mercy," a script which I have *no* memory of ever
writing. I know it's here, and I know I wrote it on an intellectual
level, but the process...gone in the fever.

It was also around this time -- either at the top or bottom of the
flu, I can't remember now -- that I wrote the "Voice" two parter. And
here's the trivia part...this isn't the original two-parter that I wrote.
My brain already deteriorating, I wrote something that even I could see
wasn't up to par. Wrote the entire two-hour script. Printed it up, and
gave it to Doug and John. Before they could even respond, I looked at it
and decided it had to go. So I trashed the entire script. By now we
were getting very close to pre-production, and I was getting sicker and
sicker...but I more or less locked myself in my office, swallowed down
massive amounts of vitamins (as much as my stomach could handle), kept
forcing down coffee, and wrote 12 hours a day for about six days, after
which the original draft was finished. Turned it in; did some mild
polishes thereafter, but what was filmed was essentially what I turned
in in first-draft stage. In this case I do remember some of the process
because the only way I could focus was to keep the stereo up full blast;
in the writing of "Quality," it didn't help...I was beyond recall.

jms

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