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The Babylon 5 revival -- Jerry Doyle vs. JMS

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The Babylon 5 revival -- Jerry Doyle vs. JMS

Old 09-10-03, 11:36 PM
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The Babylon 5 revival -- Jerry Doyle vs. JMS

This whole affair is really kind of sad.

For quite some time, Jerry Doyle, who played Garibaldi on Babylon 5 has been trying to bring the series back.

The most recent interview is here: http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/43...html?fromint=1

Be aware that there are potential SPOILERS for Seasons 4 and 5 in this article, especially in the last question of the third page which begins "So you've been living on the opposite coast for a while..." and the spoilers continue for the first half of the fourth and final page. The spoilers on page four end with the question "Have your political aspirations been shelved?"

JMS responds: http://www.jmsnews.com/scripts/MsgSt...s=24&qs=0&qt=0

Doyle responds to JMS' response: http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/436/436980p1.html

And JMS' rebuttal: http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/436/436980p2.html

__________

As I said, this is really rather sad.

"Babylon 5" was designed as a series with a beginning, middle, and end. Its story is over. That's what made the series so special in the first place, that it was one complete story, as opposed to the way television usually works. Which is, once a series becomes successful, it's then renewed and tinkered with until its run into the ground and outstays its welcome. *cough*X-Files*cough*

To anyone who has seen the final episodes of the fifth season, IT'S OVER. That's it. Done. The final chapters of the book were written and "The End" was typed. Yes, not every single dangling plot thread was tied up, but once I saw that shot between a Whitestar and the station, I got it. THAT is what the series was about the whole time.

Yes, one could theoritically pick up the pieces and whip up something new, but it's not necessary. It's like someone deciding to write a second "Lord of the Rings" trilogy once all of the surviving characters have gone their seperate ways. Sure, some people would buy it -- hell, "Lord of the Rings, The Next Adventure" might be hit, but in the end, it's unnecessary and just serves to cheapen the original.
Old 09-11-03, 12:09 AM
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I was following this on the newsgroup the last week and just didn't have the heart to discuss it.

I think the key to this affair is one of the final statements from Joe:

I'm glad that Jerry has taken this opportunity to vent. Clearly, he misses the show and wants it to come back. We all miss the show..
That statement leads me to believe that the animosity will pass. Venting can be good ... it means he cares ... and it appears from the tone of his response that jms understands that. Jerry doesn't need this series for financial stability or glory or anything else, so his perserverance comes from a love of the story. While the comments are harsh, I think that's a positive thing. Passion (even misdirected) is better than apathy.

I don't agree, however, that the story has to be over. I am perfectly content with the series as it is, and it still stands as one of the most impressive things American television has ever done, but there are many stories left to be told with these characters between 'Objects at Rest' and 'Sleeping in Light'. I don't want some crappy resurrection, but I'm not blanketly opposed to telling other stories within this Universe.

"You are the beginning of the story, and the middle of the story, and the end of the story ... that creates the next great story." - Zathras

There can be a next great story. It won't be a cast reunion, but there's no need to close the door on the Universe. Crusade showed in its short life that the idea factory in jms' mind is not dead. Unfortunately, the only way it could work is if jms were in complete control like he was for seasons 2-4 -- no network notes, no ******** -- and that's probably never going to happen. I'm not begging for another series, as what we were lucky to get was more beautiful than some people will ever know, but I don't fear it either.

das

P.S. "In your heart, you know what Zathras says is true."

Last edited by das Monkey; 09-11-03 at 12:13 AM.
Old 09-11-03, 01:23 AM
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Reminds me so much of Richard Hatch vs
Glen Larson from Battlestar Galactica these
last few years.

I have no problem with a B5 Universe Resurrection.
Just PLEASE not like what has become
of the Star Trek universe.
Old 09-11-03, 07:49 AM
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Well, I certainly hope the passion everyone is showing toward bringing the series back pays off.

But, if JMS isn't heavily involved, I don't think it stands much chance of recapturing the glory.
Old 09-11-03, 08:51 AM
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To anyone who has seen the final episodes of the fifth season, IT'S OVER. That's it. Done. The final chapters of the book were written and "The End" was typed. Yes, not every single dangling plot thread was tied up, but once I saw that shot between a Whitestar and the station, I got it. THAT is what the series was about the whole time.
Exactly. After one reads the books, there's really only about two or three dangling plot threads left, and they're minor ones, at that. Personally, I think adding anything more to the series would just cheapen it. B5's five seasons work just fine as is, and there's really no need to tack more stuff on just because it can be done.
Old 09-11-03, 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by Chew
But, if JMS isn't heavily involved, I don't think it stands much chance of recapturing the glory.
Have we so soon forgotten Rangers?

I agree there may be stories to be told. But the passion behind the creation is gone. Let it RIP and not become another Enterprise.
Old 09-12-03, 06:08 AM
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Have we so soon forgotten The Gathering?

I have no idea if Legend of the Rangers would have been any good, but I do know that jms is a slow starter and his introductory telefilms don't necessarily indicate what level of quality the rest of the series will have. It's been that way with Jeremiah as well.

das
Old 09-12-03, 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
Have we so soon forgotten The Gathering?
Good point.
Old 09-12-03, 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
but I do know that jms is a slow starter and his introductory telefilms don't necessarily indicate what level of quality the rest of the series will have.
das, I gotta disagree. Strongly.

There is nothing wrong with The Gathering. About the only difference between it and the series is a coupla character changes and the softening of Delenn’s and G’Kar’s makeup. Hell, the “coffee speech” is later reprised by Ivanova almost word for word.

Maybe it’s been a while since you watched it?

Rangers, on the other hand just wasn’t up to the standards set by B5 by a long shot. I’ll hazard getting Monkey poo thrown at me by stating the same thing for River of Souls, suggesting that the well is running dry.

There’s a big difference between a completely new idea (Jeremiah*) and a revamp of an established concept (Rangers/Crusade/Season 5). JMS had an established concept to work with in the latter.




*I hope that statement is correct, since I’ve never seen it.
Old 09-12-03, 09:14 AM
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If by "a while" you mean "last weekend." Having just watched it, along with seasons 1-3 in the span of less than a week, it's all pretty fresh in my mind. From my perspective, it has a lot of problems, and that's the fixed version. For accurate comparison, you must compare the original airing against To Live and Die in Starlight, and as much as I love this series, it's kind of a mess. I hate to speak ill of anything B5, but it's more than just make-up changes. Need we discuss Takashima's character? It's easy to go back and look at the telefilm knowing what we now know about the series' greatness, but when it first aired, it wasn't that special, and I don't think it was much different from To Live and Die. While working with an established concept, jms was very clear on the newsgroups that he was going to throw a lot at the wall with that telefilm and see what stuck. He was looking at it as a new beginning in a lot of ways.

I was surprised how much I liked River of Souls when it first aired (in part because I never really liked 'Soul Hunter' that much). I haven't seen it in a while though, so perhaps I need to break it out and view it again.

In any case, I'm not begging for a revival or even hoping for one, but I don't really fear it either. jms seems incredibly content with the 5 seasons he put together and at peace with the thought of no more B5 and is experiencing tremendous success with his print writing. I cannot imagine he'd reinvolve himself with the show at this point without any good ideas, and as such, I'm not opposed to any revival with him at the helm.

das

P.S. Jeremiah is a lot like B5 in terms of character development, but different in terms of setting. B5 fans will recognize a lot, but there are plenty of new ideas as well.

Last edited by das Monkey; 09-12-03 at 09:20 AM.
Old 09-12-03, 12:48 PM
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This is somewhat similar to Richard Hatch VS Glen Larson. I really wish that Hatch had won that one, because what's coming as "Battlestar Galactica" is a horrible slap in the face to the fans of the original series.

With Babylon 5 I don't think we've got a difference in concept as much as a difference in enthusiasm.

Jerry Doyle is actively working to make a return of B5 happen, whereas JMS is content to let it stand as is. JMS seems willing to listen if Copeland, Netter, and Doyle can get a deal worked out, but he doesn't seem willing to do the work to make it happen. I think that's what pisses Doyle off. He wants it to happen and is willing to work very hard to make it a reality, and JMS is almost and obstacle in making it happen. Doyle is using public forums to get people excited (probably hoping to get them to contact Warner Brothers requesting a full blown B5 revival), JMS on the other hand would rather keep any discussions and negotiations quiet and behind the scenes.

Their differences are philosophical and Jerry has let his emotions carry him away and has said some things about Joe that probably shouldn't have been said - but that's what happens when people get frustrated. I think Joe understands that, and he may actually appreciate Jerry's love of B5 and his enthusiasm for a potential revival - he just doesn't seem to share that enthusiasm.

-I'm with das on this. If it happens, I'll be excited. If not - hey, we got FIVE years just as advertised up front. Warner Brothers tried to kill the thing three times, and it STILL made it the full five seasons. That's something to be VERY happy about. If B5 never comes back, I'll still be satisfied. If it does come back, I'll be excited at the prospect of more great stories in a great universe created by JMS.

If it does come back I'll find myself feeling VERY jealous, though, of those people lucky enough to work on the show. I would have killed to work on Babylon 5 during that great run (in front of or behind the camera - it wouldn't matter, just to be a part of it).

I'd just like to see Jerry cool down a bit and work out his differences with Joe. It's counterproductive to have them butting heads at this point. Joe needs to understand how much Jerry and others want to bring B5 back, and Jerry needs to understand that B5 IS Joe's baby, and he does have a certain amount of control because of that.

Honestly, I don't expect a B5 revival, but who knows? MUCH stranger things have happened.
Old 09-13-03, 06:30 AM
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I think the problem lies with what Jerry Doyle wants, and the reason JMS doesn't.

The Babylon 5 series was about
Spoiler:
a group of people whose lives intersected for five years and changed history. Even the title of the pilot, "The Gathering" alludes to this. All of the players who passed through the station -- Sinclair, Ivanova, Garibaldi, Londo, G'Kar, Delenn, Franklin, Sheridan -- were where they needed to be when history needed them.

The series ended with Sheridan looking back at the station and the new crew there. It was over then. And now all of them are scattered to the four winds, and are establishing new lives for themselves. It doesn't mean that they won't occasionally meet again, and that their paths won't cross, but they can't go "home" again.

It sounds to me like Jerry Doyle just wants to get the whole gang back together again on the station and just keep making "Babylon 5." I'm sorry, but that just won't work. That story has passed. Anything similar to that would just be a big, cheap sequel.

Sheridan and Delenn are on Mibar running the New Alliance. Londo is sitting on the throne on Centauri Prime. G'Kar is out walking the Galaxy. Garibaldi is running a big company. We need to let these characters get on with their lives.

And besides, re-grouping the old gang again would just take away from the weight "Sleeping in Light" had. That episode was about the old gang regrouping one final time and looking back at all the accomplished in those five years on the station.

I think, after the failure of "Crusade" and "Legend of the Rangers" that JMS is gunshy about returning to the Babylon 5 universe. I have a feeling that if someone came to the table with the adequate funding and a guarantee of creative freedom, that he might be interested. But I don't think he has any interest in resurrecting the original series.

Last edited by Josh-da-man; 09-13-03 at 06:33 AM.
Old 09-13-03, 03:15 PM
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I say bring back Crusade. I caught an episode after not seeing it for a while and it was pretty good.

Besides the Excalibur is a cool ship.
Old 02-01-04, 07:55 AM
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I was finally able to read this thread now that all spoilers are out of the way. I would have to agree that the Gathering is definitely not on the level up there with the rest of B5. I find myself zoning out a lot of it.

I understand Doyle wanting to get back together with his buddies from B5, but just have a yearly picnic or something. I can't imagine watching a reunion of the people from this show. Even watching season 5 I couldn't imagine watching another season. It just felt like a completely different show. I was almost depressed with the thought that this was it. Knowing what I know in the finale, I can't imagine being able to simply watch the show with that all in the back of my mind. I think this show COULD have gone on for ten years (I would have loved to see the shadow war) but the way JMS wrote it, it just wouldn't feel right.
Old 02-01-04, 10:22 PM
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Originally posted by spainlinx0
I can't imagine watching a reunion of the people from this show.
You don't have to imagine too much -- just listen to the group commentaries.
Old 02-01-04, 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by Wizdar
You don't have to imagine too much -- just listen to the group commentaries.
Well I meant more along the lines of an actual new series. I have listened to the commentaries from season 1 and 2, and they do sound like they really enjoy each other's company.
Old 02-02-04, 12:48 AM
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I don't want to watch a B5 sequel without JMS at the helm.

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