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Babylon 5 scripts being published - including the alternate B5 outline with Sinclair


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#1 of 187 DaveGTP

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Posted September 12 2005 - 09:57 PM

FROM JMS on the moderated newsgroup. DISCUSS. Posted Image Posted Image



For years, I've been at conventions and had fans come up with
photocopied scripts they'd purchased from script stores or dealers for
$20 a pop, many times in poor condition...with loose or missing pages,
hard to read, and thought, there has to be a better way for fans to get
these scripts without paying that much for copies that are often
inferior.

So now, at some point in October, we're going to fix this.

All 91 Babylon 5 scripts that I wrote are going to be made available
through an independent publishing firm in trade paperback form. We're
still working out the final details in terms of how to put the scripts
together, but right now the plan is to do 7 scripts per book, each
volume released every two weeks or so, at a cost of about $29 per
volume if ordered in the first week or so it comes online) or $39 per
for those who buy later. That's four bucks per script if purchased
early, about five per script if published later...which saves fans a
HUGE amount of money.

There will be 14 volumes in all, each again containing 7 scripts AND
newly written introductions and commentaries about each episode that
are thus far averaging about 30 pages per book, telling some of the
behind-the-scenes stories that have never been told before (and some
that have), talking about the writing process, how the arc was created
and maintained, anectodes about cast and crew, what went into the
stories...enough so that at the end, at 30 pages over 14 volumes you
get about 420 pages of new material on the making of B5...a book unto
itself.

On top of THAT...some of the books will contain rare b&w photos from my
own personal archives, taken by me on set, which have never before been
seen by anyone else.

The very first book will have the Gathering script, plus 5 additional
scripts (to make up the 7 hours of material) BUT...and this is the cool
part...the script of the Gathering included in this volume will be one
that has NEVER BEEN OFFICIALLY RELEASED BEFORE.

See, when we went to sell Babylon 5, I wrote a pilot screenplay to take
around. When we made the deal, the notes process began...and the
script went through considerable changes. But this is the ORIGINAL
draft, the one only seen by the studio and the other producers on the
show.

What's different? How about Garibaldi trying to get hold of his dying
father back on Mars...how about a shape-shifter instead of a Minbari
assassin with a changeling net...Londo as a part-time pick-pocket...Dr.
Chakri Mendak instead of Dr. Kyle...new scenes between Lyta and Laurel,
Delenn and others that were later cut...a LOT more character scenes
with Sinclair and Garibaldi...a discovery about Delenn's lifestone and
what that means to the Minbari...where Sinclair is NOT put on trial,
but finds a whole different and more interesting way to solve the
mystery of Kosh's assailant...and the introduction of Kosh's life-mate,
Velana, who plays a very important role in the script. (Didn't know
Vorlons had life-mates, did you?)

This script is HUGELY different from the one we filmed -- funnier in
places, with more character moments -- and it has been kept under lock
and key all this time. Now, for the first time, it will be officially
released in the first volume of this set.

And here's the coolest part...as a gift for the fans...a FIFTEENTH
volume will be given FREE to those who pick up the other 14. And what
is IN this 15th volume, you ask?

Remember the lost script for "Soul Hunter," of which only 5 copies
existed before I pulled them back, destroyed all but one copy for my
files, and wrote a brand new script to replace it...all because it felt
too much like a Star Trek script? Well, THAT one is in the free
fifteenth volume. It also features a comic sub-plot concerning B5
being audited.

As if THAT wasn't cool enough...nearly a YEAR before we began writing
episode scripts, before we HAD the series commitment, WB wanted to see
what a typical episode might look like. So I wrote a draft of "And the
Sky, Full of Stars," one of our most important episodes, that is
massively different from what we would later produce...including
fantasy sequences with Knight Two as the proprieter of a dark carnival
of sorts.

It will also contain the Babylon 5 writers bible...the production draft
of "The Gathering" as a companion to the original draft offered in
volume one...and something very special.

For over ten years, fans have asked "What would Babylon 5 have been
like had Sinclair stayed?" Well, that question will be answered in
this volume.

After we finished the movie, but before we got the series going, WB
asked to see a breakdown on this five-year arc thingie. So I wrote a
six or seven page, single spaced outline of the ENTIRE FIVE YEARS with
Sinclair still in place. The document makes for fascinating reading
when compared with the series as it developed. NOT ONLY THAT, but the
same document has a brief outline for A POTENTIAL BABYLON 5 SEQUEL
SERIES, which would have been entitled BABYLON PRIME.

Again, that's what will go out FREE OF CHARGE to those who pick up the
full set. While obviously all these volumes can be purchased a la
carte for those who don't want all the script, this fifteenth volume
will ONLY be sent out free, it cannot be purchased directly.

So for roughly a quarter of what fans would spend to buy the scripts
individually from dealers, which are often poorly photocopied or
otherwise in bad shape, you get uniform trade (large-ish) very handsome
paperback editions, WITH the introductions, photos, and the bonus book.

(Doing the math more specifically...to purchase all the scripts one at
a time would cost nearly $2,000. Here, if copies are purchased as the
script books first come online, the full set would cost around $420; if
purchased after the discount period, we're talking about $560...which
is, again, for 15 volumes counting the free one, amounting to nearly
FIVE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED PAGES OF MATERIAL.)

I'll post another message when they officially go online at
babylon5scripts.com but in the interim...know that they are coming.

jms
Matheson- "There are probably some who'll say that by doing this, we are interfering with their culture."

Gideon - "Probably. Screw them."
-Crusade, Visitors from Down the Street

#2 of 187 Nigel McN

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Posted September 13 2005 - 03:01 AM

OMG thats nuts. I wonder if I can afford it.

#3 of 187 Tony J Case

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Posted September 13 2005 - 04:58 AM

Quote:
For over ten years, fans have asked "What would Babylon 5 have been like had Sinclair stayed?" Well, that question will be answered in this volume.


Well, shit - consider it SOLD! I'm in, baby.

(Although what this has to do with DVD's tho. . . .)

#4 of 187 MarkHarrison

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Posted September 13 2005 - 05:38 AM

That's very cool. But I'll pass. Reading scripts just isn't my thing. I'd end up thumbing through them and little more. I'm sure anything juicy will end up being talked about online at some point.

#5 of 187 GarySchrock

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Posted September 13 2005 - 06:33 AM

Hmm, I have to admit, I'm less interested in the scripts themselves as opposed to the extra commentary stuff that's supposed to be included. The question for me becomes whether it'll be worth picking these up for that.

#6 of 187 Mark Talmadge

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Posted September 13 2005 - 06:51 AM

Um, this has nothing to do with TV Shows on DVD, now does it? Could the Moderator move this to the appropriate forum?

#7 of 187 ravma

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Posted September 13 2005 - 07:38 AM

And any chance of removing the last two words of that title? Kinda seems spoiler-ish.

Other than that, WOW. This is EXCITING. I'm gonna have to save up to get these.

#8 of 187 Rick P

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Posted September 13 2005 - 07:43 AM

I hate you Joe....

Smuck...

I'm sold Posted Image

#9 of 187 Holadem

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Posted September 13 2005 - 08:30 AM

Quote:
That's very cool. But I'll pass. Reading scripts just isn't my thing.
Big fan here, but I've got little use for that sorta stuff as well.

--
H

#10 of 187 nolesrule

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Posted September 13 2005 - 09:55 AM

I'm not usually much for scripts, but in this case count me in.

#11 of 187 DaveGTP

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Posted September 13 2005 - 02:58 PM

I don't have any use for scripts either. But the commentaries, outlines, etc will make it worth it to me.

PS I think the proper place is indeed HT Software - TV Shows. It's the scripts and commentaries for the TV show (available on DVD). Where else would it go? Posted Image
Matheson- "There are probably some who'll say that by doing this, we are interfering with their culture."

Gideon - "Probably. Screw them."
-Crusade, Visitors from Down the Street

#12 of 187 Craig S

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Posted September 13 2005 - 06:15 PM

Quote:
I think the proper place is indeed HT Software - TV Shows. It's the scripts and commentaries for the TV show (available on DVD). Where else would it go?
In the "TV and HDTV Programming" section, of course. This section is specifically for discussing DVDs of TV shows. Any general discussion of the shows goes in the other section. (Same thing goes with movies as regards the "HT Software - Films & Documentaries" vs the "Movies" section.) Read the descriptions on the main forum page. It's pretty clear.

As to the scripts - this is pretty cool. $400 may sound expensive, but it really depends on the release schedule. $30 every month or so is really not bad. If they pop them out quicker than that it could get hairy. For me, the big issue would be storage space. Posted Image

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#13 of 187 DaveGTP

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Posted September 13 2005 - 07:32 PM

Quote:
In the "TV and HDTV Programming" section, of course. This section is specifically for discussing DVDs of TV shows. Any general discussion of the shows goes in the other section. (Same thing goes with movies as regards the "HT Software - Films & Documentaries" vs the "Movies" section.) Read the descriptions on the main forum page. It's pretty clear.

I guess maybe. But realistically that forum is almost 100% about TV shows and programming being currently broadcast.
Matheson- "There are probably some who'll say that by doing this, we are interfering with their culture."

Gideon - "Probably. Screw them."
-Crusade, Visitors from Down the Street

#14 of 187 Paul McElligott

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Posted September 14 2005 - 04:53 AM

Quote:
And any chance of removing the last two words of that title? Kinda seems spoiler-ish.
I don't see how. If you just pick up the DVD boxes, you'll see that Michael O'Hare disappears after season 1 and Bruce Boxleitner takes his place thereafter. There... we're talking about the DVDs now.
R.I.P. DVDSpot

#15 of 187 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted September 14 2005 - 05:36 AM

Yeah, that's one of those "hardly a spoiler" things at this point. The show's been out of production for over six years and off the air entirely for about two after rerunning constantly for four. Hardly anyone is coming to the DVDs with absolutely no prior exposure to the show, which is why some things that would have been considered major spoilers during the original series run really aren't these days. (And one reason that JMS recommends In the Beginning as a better intro to the series than The Gathering.)

As for the location of the thread - it is clearly related to the B5 series, but relates to supplemental material rather than the series as such. So I'd say it is a coin-toss whether it fits best here or in TV Shows - and that means it should be left here because there is no point in moving it if no other forum is clearly more appropriate than this one. And more people are connecting with the show now on DVD than anywhere else, since it is no longer carried in syndication or on cable in the U.S.

I'm definitely in for this subscription. Compared to what I've spent on books in general, cable and satellite over the years - not to mention DVDs and especially TV-on-DVD - this is an entertainment bargain. And I find the transition from script to screen fascinating. What actions/props/bits of set design were there on the page, which developed later. Do the words give me a very different mental picture than what is in the finished film? I'm a sucker for that stuff, not to mention all the background.

Regards,

Joe

#16 of 187 Phil L

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Posted September 14 2005 - 12:14 PM

Quote:
Again, that's what will go out FREE OF CHARGE to those who pick up the
full set. While obviously all these volumes can be purchased a la
carte for those who don't want all the script, this fifteenth volume
will ONLY be sent out free, it cannot be purchased directly.


So you'd have to spend $420 to get that one (to me, the really interesting one)?

That sucks.

#17 of 187 TheLongshot

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Posted September 15 2005 - 06:16 AM

Quote:
So you'd have to spend $420 to get that one (to me, the really interesting one)?

That sucks.


I tend to agree. I was talking to a friend of mine about it, and she could care less for the scripts. Give her the writer's bible of the show.

Jason

#18 of 187 Ric Easton

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Posted September 15 2005 - 06:54 AM

All I wanna know is what was the original plan for Sinclair and the original arcs? Maybe someone can fill me in. I'd say its worth about 20 bucks to me.

Ric

#19 of 187 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted September 15 2005 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
I'd say its worth about 20 bucks to me.


Send me a PM a couple of weeks after the 15th volume ships. We'll talk. Posted Image

Joe

#20 of 187 Ric Easton

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Posted September 15 2005 - 12:24 PM

LOL, Thanks Joe! If I was ever able to sit down with JMS over a few beers, that's what I would have asked him about. You're almost as good. I'll buy the beer!


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