- When I can announce the overall year 4 title, I will.
Filming starts August 26th. The writing is coming well. Actually
walked the sets today for the first time since we wrapped in May; it's
just too depressing to walk on a dead set. Lots of work going on now,
new sets being built, noise and energy and enthusiasm...much better
- Re: vacation...I wish. We're still doing post production,
still editing, mixing, spotting for music and sound...it's a long
process that will take us right through the prep time for year four,
assuming renewal. I can grab a day here or there, that's about it. And
even while awaiting word, I still have to begin working on year four
scripts. (The tentative title for the first episode of year four is
"The Hour of the Wolf.")
- The Hour of the Wolf is that hour around 3 a.m. when you
can't sleep because you're worried about one thing or another....
- Well, just finished the first (writer's) draft of
"The Hour of the Wolf," the first episode of year 4, to be directed by
David Eagle. It was a tough one, like all first-episode scripts...but
quite interesting, in its way. Once again the show takes a somewhat
different tone, I'm using some tools I somewhat developed in the
background in year 3 and am now trying in foreground, very interesting
mood change...a good start.
- Did you know what was going to happen to Sheridan
when you wrote "Z'ha'dum?"
Well, I think you can't do something like that without knowing how
you're going to pull the character's fat out of the fire, and it has to
make sense. I think people will be satisfied with what they see.
- "In "The Hour of the Wolf" there are two scenes -- you
know which ones -- that seemed quite a departure from what one usually
sees on TV. Did you write "Wolf" before or after your revelation that
you were not bound by Standards and Practices. 'Cause if you wrote
this *before*, then we're in for quite a ride."
Aside from the desk scene, which was the other you're referring to?
Oh...and the answer is...before.
Hang on. It's going to be a bumpy night.
- "Have you ever contemplated doing an episode of B5 that
unfolds in real time (i.e. one minute of screen time is one minute
of plot time, as done in the movies "Miracle Mile" and "Nick of
Time"), or would that be counterproductive to the sorts of stories
you're trying to tell?"
Actually, yeah, I have considered doing that...it can be a very
limiting structure, and the story has to be just right for it to
work. Haven't quite worked out all the snags yet.
"Or is "Hour of the Wolf" a story of that particular variety?"
- How was the first day of filming?
It's frenetic, nuts, lots of running around and little fixes, we all
get a little crazy on first days...but it'll be okay.
- How do the actors get back into character after a
long summer break?
Usually they just pick up the script...and get right back into it.
They've got the characters down now, so there's not a lot needed to get
back into it. Some of them run lines with each other, like Stephen and
Peter, since that relationship is something very special, but mostly
they just learn the lines and come in. Some of them want to see the
final episodes, but some don't. The only one to see most of the last
two episodes thus far is Bruce, who was just totally knocked out by
Peter has said that whenever he needs to get back into character, he
just straightens and says, "MISter GARiBALdi," and he's right back into
- John Copeland and I just got finished with
the main title for year 4, which is, again, different from last year's.
This time I wanted a whole new approach, on just about every level, and
designed the thing myself, working with John and the editors to get the
best shots and pull it all together. It's *majorly* cool. We showed it
to some members of the crew, and they're all jazzed by it, they think
it's our best main title ever.
- The B5 story is told from
everyone's point of view, and they're all a part of it, so the opening
now reflects that. And it gives me the chance to do an opening that's
sort of a prose poem, which is a nice touch.
- Why the new music?
We change the theme every season to reflect the tonality and direction
of that season's story. Every season when it butts up against the
previous season's intent, a lot of folks ask why change it, it was
better before...and then, by the end of the season, when people see how
it fits in, generally they like it a lot...and then ask why it got
changed for the *next* season....
- Today John Copeland and I did our producer's cut on the
first episode of year 4, "The Hour of the Wolf." Granted my opinion is
subjective and biased...but of all the first-episodes we've had each
season, this one is the best. I was searching for the right word after
looking at the director's cut, and finally came to it...maturity. It
has a depth we've only skated through before, all meat, no filler. This
one and the next batch are also all over the map, literally...B5, Narn,
Centauri Prime, elsewhere...so it's a real challenge. But it looks
- Everybody's just cooking on this one, it has a
very filmic, grand look to it. I love it a lot.
- It's a terrific episode. The music now echoes season
one because in some thematic areas, we're starting to bend back on
ourselves, and close some circles, as you'll see soon.
That it affects the emotions is, for me, the goal. If you can
make an audience *feel* something, in a medium as cold as TV, you've
done your job right.
- Wortham [Krimmer] came in to audition, same as everybody
else...and we thought he was great.
- Wayne Alexander plays Lorien, a character you'll see
throughout the first six episodes of season 4. We wanted to give
him more to do.
- Lorien's eyes look odd.
The eyes have metallic gold contact lenses; you can't see them
as well in the red light, but later, you'll see them better.
- There's more to Lorien than meets the eye.
- I'll string out the Sheridan info for a while; as for
Morden, as he said, his associates can repair flesh, replace flesh
(though where they got replacements from is something I don't want to
It's definitely a packed episode. I still find myself realizing
that the end of act one feels like two acts. And the next three are
every bit as intense, if not moreso. I love it....
- Why bother with the Sheridan scene at all?
To not do so would've been vastly unfair. And it nicely
replaces one mystery, is or isn't he, with "who the heck is THAT?"
- Sheridan dropped his insignia during Kosh's lesson in
"There All the Honor Lies."
And he dropped his stat bar here. Was Kosh preparing him to
I think it was a more general sense than preparing him
specifically for Lorien.
- It's not a captain's bar it's a stat bar (gold for
command, gold and silver for command/administrative liaison, red for
medical, green for security), and it's Sheridan's.
- This is a pretty bleak episode.
Yeah, it's deliberate...take 'em apart, separate 'em, see how
they react, and make everything as dark as possible in anticipation of
some kind of dawn, though getting there will be a struggle.
- Season 4 definitely starts in dark mode. Bigtime.
- Did you have Londo put on his old coat so there
wouldn't be the costume mismatch there was with Delenn in "Babylon
Squared" and "War Without End?"
I never make the same mistake.
I just learn how to make new ones.
(And I'm very pleased with that scene...it's kinda goofy, with
the minister in particular...he's just nuts. Well, not as much as
- The non-moving Centauri Prime shot is an original
Foundation shot; the one where it's moving (with the cruiser fly-bys)
is the new one, and there's a lot more detail now in the surface of
the planet and other stuff.
- "The first S4 episode (Hour of the Wolf) doesn't have
nearly as many FX as the later S3 episodes, and what is there is mostly
stock shots of the station rotating, etc."
There are as many CGI shots in "Wolf" as in most of our episodes, and
more than in "Rock," a later S3 episode. There's also the new
establishers of Centauri Prime the planet, the revised Palace shots, new
establishers of the station, a big new shot of the interior of the
Garden that pans down, the beside-Z'ha'dum sequence...there's a LOT
there. So a) your latter observation is, I gently point out, factually
inaccurate, and b) most station shots have been recycled stock since
year one, adding new ones each season then dropping them into rotation
(so to speak).
We always balance big EFX shows with smaller ones, building up to some
big stuff. We're doing the same thing here this year as we've ever
- About the visual of Kosh leaving Lyta
The streams were done on a flint, and there were not two takes
edited together, there was just the one continuous take.
- The streams aren't technically considered CGI as we use
it. That's roto work.
- CGI is specifically graphics generated on a computer,
usually 2d or 3d animation. Roto work like the streams from Lyta's eyes
are done by hand, frame by frame.
- The events in 401 take place roughly 7 days after 322.
- The alien ambassadors' English has improved.
Ambassadors have been learning as they've gone along; I took the
notion that the higher ups didn't have that much contact with humans,
so their grasp of english was halting at best, but over 4 years,
they've gotten better. The grunts/lower echelons, though, are still
marginal at best.
- About Cartagia looking up women's dresses
"best I can tell from my (admittedly limited) knowledge of Centauri
physiology, he would have been looking in the wrong place - kinda like
looking down a human woman's socks, or something."
Tell that to a foot fetishist.
- It's fun and interesting to see Londo now
having to deal with being in a sense on the same side as Sheridan, but
for vastly different reasons.
- By building up Cartagia offscreen, it helped pave
the way for what we do finally see.
And the only reason to not hold back Sheridan for one more ep
was my feeling that if I held him *and* Garibaldi back, it'd be a bit
- Why did Lyta refer to the White Star as if it hadn't
The ships provided by Delenn are White Star class ships, hence the
- Why am I here?
Yes, the last piece there is kind of the key, isn't it?
I've always kept the minister just that, no name, for the
reasons you cite. This is someone who's a survivor, who bends with the
wind, and somehow keeps going by not being noticed, or taken seriously.
And yes, this season I was noticing that eyes have become a
predominant image, from Lyta to the shadows to Lorien to some stuff
coming in the next few episodes...funny, how this stuff creeps up on
- Check out "Voices of Authority." You've seen those eyes
- The eyes were a projection of a shadow face, as you can
note in the main title.
- Any connection between the Shadows speaking with a
father's voice and Kosh appearing to Sheridan as his dad?
I figured that they would both tend to use a patriarchal
influence, which would tie into so many races having that system.
- Actually, the ship was what technically saved them...
Lennier also began to fall under the influence of the shadow voice, as
we saw. There was some forethought on his part, but the ship activated
itself on timer.
- "After watching Z'ha'dum and "Wolf" (No spoilers here),
my main thought was basically, who the hell are these old races who
assume moral superiority based on technical superiority? How dare
they interfere with our development as a species just to suit their
own petty needs? I wonder if any character on the show will take that
same line of thought and expand upon it?"
Well, until now, that's been primarily unknown to the other species.
Now, thanks to Sheridan's trip to Z'ha'dum, and stuff coming up, that
information will start to get out.
So yeah, you may find someone or someones picking this thread up....