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Archive for April 17th, 2018

by Adam Ferenz

I am going to try my hardest not to spoil this series but it is nearly impossible to talk in depth about this series without some spoilers, so be warned.

Until Babylon 5 came around, Science Fiction Television in the United States was usually one of two things-at least when it was good-and that is either Star Trek or Twilight Zone. Otherwise, you had Captain Video, Battlestar Galactica or dozens of other cheap, forgettable and uninspired series. In 1993, Joseph Michael Strackzynski, a writer and editor with extensive background in both children’s programming, such as Ghostbusters (based on the film) and adult hits like Murder, She Wrote, launched a series that would change everything about the television science fiction landscape.

For one  thing, this series would be plotted out in full before the first episodes was shot, though the vagaries of television production necessitated the adjusting of portions of that plot-what JMS, the acronym the fans used for him-had created, called trapdoors. These allowed, say, Kodath to vanish after a single episode and be replaced by Na’Toth, who in turn was able to exit and be assumed dead for much of the series. Or, in the series most memorable examples, to have Commander Sinclair replaced after the first season, to have Ivanova replaced after the fourth season and indeed, for Ivanova to become 1st officer in the first place, replacing the original character of Laurel Takashima, after the troubled pilot film, The Gathering. (more…)

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