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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 26 August 2007 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Sigh…  No, she did not say it was a rip off of DS9.  The Roddenberrys do not work that way.  (Don’t ask me how I know, I just know.)  Sorry the interview isn’t on YouTube, but you maybe able to find it on http://www.startrek.com  That’s where I think I read it, at least.  Just look up Majel Barrett.  When I get the time I’ll look for it, if you don’t find it first, and post it.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 26 August 2007 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Mriana - 26 August 2007 05:27 PM

When I get the time I’ll look for it, if you don’t find it first, and post it.

Don’t bother it’s not that important.  If I run across it fine, if not…

Thanx for the info tho.

psik

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Posted: 26 August 2007 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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psikeyhackr - 26 August 2007 05:02 PM

Did she say B5 was a rip off of DS9?  Do you know if this interview is on YouTube?

Actually, J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of B5, has said that DS9 was a ripoff of B5. Apparently he pitched B5 to Paramount, they rejected it, and later on produced DS9 ...

See, e.g., HERE, scroll down to the section marked “The Evidence”.

For direct quotes from Straczynski (otherwise known as “JMS”) from his Usenet posts, see HERE and HERE from 1994, HERE from March 1995, HERE and HERE, etc. ...

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Posted: 26 August 2007 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Thanks Doug, that’s more detail than I had.

I tell people I’m a science fiction fan not a Star Trek or B5 fan.  When I first started watching DS9 and B5 I liked them both.  I thought the opening 2-hour episode of DS9 was better than the first Babylon 5 but the similarities seemed pretty obvious after a few B5 episodes so I kind of assumed B5 was a rip of DS9.  I wasn’t using the internet much at the time and I didn’t try to research it and didn’t particularly care.  After a few months I decided I liked them both but B5 a little more and didn’t care if it was a rip. 

It wasn’t until 1999 that I started using the internet for stuff that wasn’t work related and learned about the controversy.  It had seemed kind of odd to me that B5 was so much more cohesive to be a rip of something else.  JMS seems to be a lot less pissed off than I would be under the circumstances but from my point of view it was two really good shows derived from the same source.

And I couldn’t get the Mirror, Mirror derived shows outside of the Star Trek universe.  That is one of my fave TOS episodes as my avatar implies.  LOL

I just found this Mriana:

.none other than Majel Barrett Roddenberry has gone on record at conventions, including Toronto Trek and the recent Wolf 359 convention, as saying that BABYLON 5 was “the only other intelligent science fiction series out there” besides the ST shows, and urged ST fans to support it.

http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/053.html

psik

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Posted: 26 August 2007 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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FWIW, I’m a fan of B5, TOS and TNG more than the other shows. Haven’t seen stuff in the last few years, so I’m a bit behind the times. B5 had a pretty terrible pilot episode; the writing from JMS is uneven. But at his best, he wrote some of the best SF on film. At his worst ... eeeeh, not so good. The great thing about B5 is that it was a single storyline, prepared in advance and worked out onscreen. It wasn’t just a bunch of basically independent episodes, like TOS and TNG, great though those were. Unfortunately the story lost steam after year three. This is basically because the last couple of years were near things. They almost didn’t get renewed, and so I think that JMS was trying to shoehorn in the important stuff before the third and fourth year ended. When he got picked up again for the full term, it’s as though he didn’t quite have the gas to get it properly finished.

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Posted: 26 August 2007 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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psikeyhackr - 26 August 2007 06:02 PM
Mriana - 26 August 2007 05:27 PM

When I get the time I’ll look for it, if you don’t find it first, and post it.

Don’t bother it’s not that important.  If I run across it fine, if not…

Thanx for the info tho.

psik

You’re welcome.  I’m love B5, but I’m a Trek fanatic.  So much so, that I keep up with the Roddenberrys, even on their board.  I own an autograph copy, by Majel, of Gene’s authorized biography even.  They are my heros and I love them dearly.  Sadly, I didn’t get to meet Gene though.  :(  Rod, their son, is a lovely man too.  I’ve never known kinder and gentler people.  What little contact I have had with them has been exemplary.  smile

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 27 August 2007 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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dougsmith - 26 August 2007 06:03 PM

Actually, J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of B5, has said that DS9 was a ripoff of B5. Apparently he pitched B5 to Paramount, they rejected it, and later on produced DS9 ...

As I recall from “The Making of Star Trek”, Gene Roddenberry pitched Star Trek first to CBS, and they subsequently produced “Lost in Space”.  This sort of thing happens in the television industry all the time.  I personally don’t think the similiarities between B5 and DS9 are all that compelling.  What—they are both set on a space station?  Is that it?  wink

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Posted: 27 August 2007 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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advocatus - 27 August 2007 10:20 AM

I personally don’t think the similiarities between B5 and DS9 are all that compelling.  What—they are both set on a space station?  Is that it?  wink

B5 = Jumpgate:  DS9 = Wormhole

B5 = Sinclare is Valen, Minbari religious icon:  DS9 = Cisco become Emissary Captains as religious icons

It was a significant departure for Star Trek to incorporate religious themes into basic storyline.

B5 = Changling net in pilot: DS9 = Odo shapeshifter

JMS says they originally intended to create a shape shifter character

B5 = Ivanova: DS9 = Kira Nyrese   Female second in command

B5 = Vorlons: DS9 = The Prophets (Wormhole Aliens) & The Founders (Shape shifters)  Magical god aliens

The space stations are businesses, lots of trade and aliens passing thru.  Star Trek was previously very socialistic, some say communist propagandistic.

Internal conflicts among major characters, not Star Treks traditional style. 

B5 difference:  No chief engineer and techno-babble.  ROFL

psik

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Posted: 29 August 2007 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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psikeyhackr - 27 August 2007 01:57 PM

B5 = Jumpgate:  DS9 = Wormhole

But on B5 the Jumpgate was their standard means of interstellar travel, like Warp Drive.

B5 = Sinclare is Valen, Minbari religious icon

Yes, and he disappeared after the first season.  So what?

B5 = Changling net in pilot: DS9 = Odo shapeshifter

One tiny plot point, never used again, versus a regular character.  You’ve got to be kidding!

B5 = Ivanova: DS9 = Kira Nyrese   Female second in command

And I heard a rumor that Ivanova was originally supposed to be one of the villains.

B5 = Vorlons: DS9 = The Prophets (Wormhole Aliens) & The Founders (Shape shifters)  Magical god aliens

“Magical god aliens”?

Sorry, I’m not impressed.  You could just as easily say that ANY science fiction series is similar to any other science fiction series, because they use spaceships!

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Posted: 29 August 2007 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Advocatus, if you read the posts I linked to from JMS you get a sense of what things were like in the early 90s when both these series were coming out. It’s true that DS9 and B5 don’t resemble each other very much. But DS9’s beginnings were clearly based on the B5 pilot and writeup. Then they diverged afterwards, of course.

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Posted: 29 August 2007 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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advocatus - 29 August 2007 10:01 AM

Sorry, I’m not impressed.  You could just as easily say that ANY science fiction series is similar to any other science fiction series, because they use spaceships!

Excuse me about not giving a damn about trying to impress you.

I had considered adding the business about Sheridan coming back from the dead but I thought what I put was sufficient.  If you find arguing entertaining you will have to locate another partner.

I only started reading sci-fi in 1961 so I can’t possibly have any perspective on it.

psik

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Posted: 29 August 2007 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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I don’t think this thread was meant to turn into which was better or who copied who concerning B5 and DS9 reading the original poster’s post.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 29 August 2007 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Well if we’re playing “you show me yours - I’ll show you mine”  I think I also have decent credentials because my father bought me my first Amazing S.F. and Astounding S.F. (later became Analog S.F.) in 1941 when I was ten.  I had every issue of Astounding from then until the mid-fifties, including the two where L. Ron Hubbard introduced Dianetics. 

Advocatus, the argument about all S.F. being the same because they all had space ships is not very sophisticated.  That’s almost as silly as saying all fiction in English is the same, because they all use quite a few identical words such as “the” “a”, conjugations of “to be”, etc.

I saw the differences in the plot lines.  Some were space-operas with shoot-em-up conflicts.  The TOS and TNG were my favorites because, like Gulliver’s Travels, they often presented present day social and ethical problems disguised enough to allow them to consider less common solutions. 

The problems I saw with the later Startrek series and with the B5 pilot (I think, the only one I saw, because it turned me off so much) were that they devolved into cowboy and indian stories just in a space setting.

Occam

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Posted: 30 August 2007 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Mriana - 29 August 2007 07:59 PM

I don’t think this thread was meant to turn into which was better or who copied who concerning B5 and DS9 reading the original poster’s post.

BOO HOO HOO!

I’m going to tell my mommy on you, she doesn’t let other women spank me.

ROFL

psik

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Posted: 30 August 2007 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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psikeyhackr - 30 August 2007 03:29 AM
Mriana - 29 August 2007 07:59 PM

I don’t think this thread was meant to turn into which was better or who copied who concerning B5 and DS9 reading the original poster’s post.

BOO HOO HOO!

I’m going to tell my mommy on you, she doesn’t let other women spank me.

ROFL

psik

LOL  Oh there are so many things I could say to that, but I won’t.

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