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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject:  An aside, hopefully the last...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 9/27/1992 6:26:00 PM  

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An aside, hopefully the last one for a while on the Other Show, only
because I know it's being discussed elsewhere, along with the question of why
it SHOULD be discussed...so I thought I'd take a moment to deal with it here.
Some of it appeared in the now-deleted message, but presented here in calmer
terms.

There's always disagreement between genre fans regarding shows; some like
TNG over TOS, some vice-versa, some like STAR WARS but not TREK...and there
will doubtless be that same discussion between B5 and DS9. Which is all fine
and good, and had nothing much to do with the topic at hand.

What it comes down to, really, is history and context.

BABYLON 5 is the culmination of five years of work, five years of my
life, and that of many others. Five years of meetings, of pitches, of return
meetings, of second pitches, of raised hopes and bitter disappointments. It
would have been very easy, at any point, to just pack it in. I cannot even
begin to convey to you the grief and hte heartbreak when the deal seemed
absolutely solid...only to fall apart at the very last second. The long
nights of frustration, of people (wiser than I) saying, "Look, let it go, it's
not going to happen, it's consumed four years of your life, you could probably
sell another show a lot easier...give it up."

But we refused. I refused. And in between pitches and meetings and
deals in the offing, I stole hours from other work, from desperately needed
sleep, to write out character descriptions, to write down the five year story
arc, the history of the BABYLON 5 universe, two hundred single spaced pages
and more, because I *believed* in this project, because I had a story to tell.

To see that five years of work jeapordized or threatened....

Let me put it in terms that might clarify the situation.

Let's say that, the same month that the original STAR TREK went on the
air, some other network debuted SPACE TREK, about a starship on a five year
mission...a starship with a tubular hull connected to a saucer section at one
end, and two nacelles at the other...commanded by a Captain Clerque, and his
alien first officer Smock....

How would you have felt? Perhaps more to the point, how would
Roddenberry have felt?

And that, really, is the context in which this discussion has to be
framed. It's not competition, it's not sniping, it's a serious issue that has
to be confronted. With one last aspect to be considered:

One of the reasons that this show was so hard to get going was that it
was so unique, so challenging to television, so different in many ways, some
of which you will only begin to see in the series. And I know full well that
even if the Warners PR machine got working 24 hours a day on this, half of all
viewers will see this show, coming out after DS9, and think it's just a last-
minute knockoff or ripoff of DS9.

And for a *writer*, any writer, especially if you take any degree of
pride in the originality of your work, that appearance is hurtful in the
extreme.

Anyway, that's really all I have to say about this whole issue at this
time. There's much going on (the hints to which the previously referenced
sysopatrix alluded to), and there's all kinds of news coming down the pike.
All of it good.

As stated before, the post-production lull is just about over....

jms

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