@attbi.com> wrote in message
Yes, I would simply ask the site's author, "What's your point?"
OF COURSE changes were made along the way! His tone seems to imply that
this is some deep dark secret to all of us. So, he went to a tremendous
amount of trouble to enlighten us, but he's preaching to the choir.
It is said that certain rare artists are able to conceive their entire work
in their heads down to the most finite detail.
Eg. allegedly Mozart could hear every single note of an entire symphony in
his head before he ever put pen to paper. Beethoven, on the other hand, had
to struggle and fight with every bar of his music before he felt he had it
just right. Yet, I don't think anyone would deny the musical genius of
either of them. And MOST composers would give their eye-teeth to compose
just 1 symphony as good as any of Mozart's 43 or Beethoven's 9.
JMS has stated MANY times for the record that ideas and plots that he
originally conceived were changed along the way - sometimes due to unseen
pressures; sometimes for really stupid reasons; sometimes just as minor
concessions to the "money-men"; but just as often changes came about because
jms himself realized he had made a mistake, and/or certain characters or
story threads just weren't going anywhere, or gelling the way they needed
But, he did something almost completely unprecedented in that he decided to
carry on a continuous dialogue with the show's fans before, during, and
after its production.
i.e. He respected his fans so much as to really listen to them and
constantly evaluate what he was doing as a result. Kind of like stand-up
comedy: YOU may think your joke is hilarious - but if the audience isn't
laughing, stop telling the joke.
Now, a caveat to that for the more reactionary types - jms works very hard
not to dumb down his writing. And I would NEVER accuse him of pandering to
the whims of the audience. On the contrary, my point is that he respects
his audience. And he understands the difference between legitimate artistic
integrity and self-righteous dogmatism. i.e. He is man enough to recognize
when something just ain't working.
And THAT'S where the power of strong creative control is great. When you
have a show written by committee or a revolving door of guest writers, it is
impossible to make hard decisions with characters and story threads. You
simply can't cut out the dead wood and make necessary changes, because no
one has the power to write a giant tachyon-axe into an episode that
permanently and fatally removes the head of a tedious, aggravating, and
thematically useless character like Wesley Crusher. (Whereas jms did away
with na'grath in VERY short order.) For a perfect case study, look at the
appalling writing decisions that accompanied Battlestar Galactica, or worse,
In addition, I distinctly recall that JMS said on MANY occasions that he had
"trap-doors" for ALL his characters in case something went awry in their
development or the story's development, or simple nonsense like contract
disputes, or...? So, why is it a surprise that he had to use some. Also,
along the way he realized that certain characters would have to be trimmed
because there just wasn't enough time to fully develop some characters in a
real 3-dimensional way. So naturally the end product is going to look
different from the initial sketches.
(All this rant by way of avoiding actual work that I have to do before some
deadlines I have next Wednesday.)
So I repeat to Mr. Piniarski, "What IS your point?"
B5 was an incredible series that nevertheless went through a lot of changes
along the way - some smooth, some awkward. So, what! Do ya' think we
didn't notice? Life is like that sometimes. Sure, sometimes we may have
been disappointed and fussed a little, but we got over it and on the whole,
still enjoyed the series.
BTW, he should be warned about living in glass houses: If his book "Saturn's
Rings" ever does get published, he'd better prepare himself for 1 of the 2
most common reactions in Sci-Fi fandom:
1. Excruciating critical scrutiny
2. Excruciating obscurity
Tough to say which is worse.