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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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? ;)
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.
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.