Babylon 5: The Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski, Volume 15
Publication Date: April 22, 2008
Retire Date: June 30, 2008
Retail Price: Free gift from JMS with purchase of all 14 volumes.
From J. Michael Straczynski:
"Here's the coolest part...as a gift for the fans...a FIFTEENTH volume will be given FREE to those who pick up the other 14. And what is IN this 15th volume, you ask?"
"Remember the lost script for "Soul Hunter," of which only 5 copies existed before I pulled them back, destroyed all but one copy for my files, and wrote a brand new script to replace it...all because it felt too much like a Star Trek script? Well, THAT one is in the free fifteenth volume. It also features a comic sub-plot concerning B5 being audited."
"As if THAT wasn't cool enough...nearly a YEAR before we began writing episode scripts, before we HAD the series commitment, WB wanted to see what a typical episode might look like. So I wrote a draft of "And the Sky, Full of Stars," one of our most important episodes, that is massively different from what we would later produce...including fantasy sequences with Knight Two as the proprieter of a dark carnival of sorts."
"It will also contain the Babylon 5 writers bible...the production draft of "The Gathering" as a companion to the original draft offered in volume one...and something very special."
"For over ten years, fans have asked "What would Babylon 5 have been like had Sinclair stayed?" Well, that question will be answered in this volume."
"After we finished the movie, but before we got the series going, WB asked to see a breakdown on this five-year arc thingie. So I wrote a six or seven page, single spaced outline of the ENTIRE FIVE YEARS with Sinclair still in place. The document makes for fascinating reading when compared with the series as it developed. NOT ONLY THAT, but the same document has a brief outline for A POTENTIAL BABYLON 5 SEQUEL SERIES, which would have been entitled BABYLON PRIME."
"Finally, by popular request, the nearly-legendary alternate version of the script for "The Exercise of Vital Powers" containing the Londo/G'Kar seduction scene, written in as an elaborate practical joke on the actors, will also be included."
"Again, that's what will go out FREE OF CHARGE to those who pick up the full set. And when I say free, I mean free. Even postage and handling will be covered (including international fans). All you have to do is mail in your proof of purchase."
"While obviously all these volumes can be purchased a la carte for those who don't want all the scripts, this fifteenth volume will ONLY be sent out free, it cannot be purchased directly."
— J. Michael Straczynski
FREE VOLUME 15 GOOD NEWS #1
Are you sitting down?
Last week, we were having our regular pow-wow with J. Michael Straczynski, detailing the production status of Volume 15. This is when JMS told us that while he was adding one big, bonus piece of content (which you'll read about in Good News #2), he also wanted to do something extra special for the fans as a thank you for their patience and loyalty to the script books.
"You could sign them," we replied in unison, half-chuckling, as if JMS would lock himself up for weeks to sign every Volume 15.
"That's what I was thinking," he replied.
Stunned silence. We knew he wasn't kidding.
So that's what he's doing. Right now. As you read this. Signing.
Actually, to be more specific, he's signing the title page of each book, and the signed title page will be bound with the rest of the pages for Volume 15.
To do this, we paused production on Volume 15, dispatched a FedEx convoy that arrived at an undisclosed location -- fondly referred to by the team as the "Signing Bunker" -- and off-loaded box after box after box after box of these title pages.
Signing stations were set-up throughout the Signing Bunker. Each station has a table with a stack of title pages and a fresh-out-of- the-box pile of red Sharpie pens. If you were to climb up on a ladder all you'd see is row after row of these signing stations and, a speck at one of them, hunched over.
(Important note: J. Michael Straczynski is signing his name only. In other words, these aren't personally inscribed, meaning that they don't include a inscription such as "To John." If you would like JMS to inscribe your book, he's happy to do that during signings at his personal appearances.)
Once JMS is done signing all the title pages, the FedEx convoy will return to haul the pages back across country to Cafepress, who will reunite the signed title pages with the rest of Volume 15's contents, and then bind them.
We expect the whole process to take about 21 days -- give or take a little.
Because Volume 15 is being shipped with Volume 14, we are holding the shipping of all Volume 14s until we have the signed Volume 15s bound and ready. Despite the slight shipping delay, you can still order Volume 14 today, and as soon as Volume 15 is done, both will be shipped together to those folks who have completed and submitted their proof of purchase form.
So that's the first big piece of good news. Your Volume 15 will arrived SIGNED.
FREE VOLUME 15 GOOD NEWS #2
The second good news item is that JMS has added a new goodie to Volume 15 that he describes as "the most staggering document to appear in any of these volumes. A Rosetta Stone, if you will, to the whole series of script books."
This Rosetta Stone is called "Joe Cuts."
Joe Cuts is an inventory of every variation between all 92 scripts in the 14-volume series and what you've seen on the DVDs. In other words, a script archivist compared every single line of every single script to what is in the episode on DVD, and itemized those differences, line by line, shot by shot, scene by scene.
Here's an example of one entry:
EPISODE: Infection -- Deleted Scene -- Ivanova has taken Mary Ann on a tour of the Station and they end in C&C. Mary Ann asks a few questions about Ivanova's family then thanks her and then asks if there's anything Ivanova would like to say to the audience. Ivanova gives some sound advice.
This is just one of 526 entries in the inventory. 526. This is why it took 160 hours to compile and why it runs 70 pages.
So if your "things to do before I die" list includes watching every episode on the DVDs along with the scripts from this 14- volume series to spot the differences, you've just been given a chunk of your life back.
8615 Tamarack Avenue (Babylonian Productions) – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Aling, Ann Bruice – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
"And the Sky, Full of Stars" – "And the Sky..." Intro
Babylon 5 Fan Club – Original Treatment Intro
Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series) – "Soul Hunter" Lost Draft Intro
Bester, Alfred (Babylon 5 character) – "And the Sky..." Intro
Beverly Garland Hotel – Original Five-Year Arc
Boxleitner, Bruce – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Boys in Autumn, The – "And the Sky..." Intro
Chris-Craft-owned television stations – Original Treatment Intro
Christian, Claudia – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Copeland, John – Original Treatment Intro
Doyle, Jerry – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
"Exercise of Vital Powers, The" – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Finn, Huckleberry – "And the Sky..." Intro
Furlan, Mira – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
G'Kar – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro, Gathering Intro
Jackarr – Gathering Intro
Jurasik, Peter – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Katsulas, Andreas – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Kennedy, John F. – Gathering Intro
Knight Two – "And the Sky..." Intro
Koenig, Walter – "And the Sky..." Intro
Ledger, Peter – Original Treatment Intro
Mumy, Bill – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Netter, Douglas – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro, Original Treatment Intro
North Hollywood – Original Five-Year Arc
O'Hare, Michael – Original Five-Year Arc
Optic Nerve – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Prisoner, The (TV series) – "And the Sky..." Intro
Robertson, Dick – Original Treatment Intro
Sawyer, Tom – "And the Sky..." Intro
seaQuest DSV (TV series) – Gathering Intro
"Soul Hunter" – "Soul Hunter" Lost Draft Intro
Star Trek (franchise) – "Soul Hunter" Lost Draft Intro
Sun Valley, CA – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Thompson, Evan – Original Treatment Intro
Vulich, John – "Exercise of Vital Powers" Intro
Warner Bros. – Original Five-Year Arc, Original Treatment Intro, Gathering Intro