Babylon 5 Books From Creator Straczynski > Volume 2.5
Did You Really See
Captain Sheridan's First Episode?
A completely different version of the Season 2 premiere episode, "Points
A NEW BABYLON 5 EXPERIENCE
Featuring the teleplay and an audio-photo re-creation of the "lost"
version of Sheridan's debut episode...illuminating new facts about BABYLON
5's storylines, characters and canon.
COULDN'T HAVE SEEN THIS COMING
While we were aware there were two very
different scripts of Babylon 5's Season 2 premiere, "Points of Departure,"
we never thought we'd get to publish the original. Here's why:
In the early 2000s, J. Michael Straczynski's
hard drive suffered a fatal crash and the original script was thought
lost forever. That's why, when Volume 3 of "Babylon 5: The Scripts
of J. Michael Straczynski" was released, JMS included the shooting
script for “Points of Departure” instead of an earlier draft
of the teleplay, as he'd done with most of his other scripts.
Enter Editor Jason Davis – former
feature writer for Creative Screenwriting magazine (and resident Indiana
Jones) – somehow, secured the original version of the "Points
of Departure" script.
Surprised by the differences between this
original script and the shooting script, and aware of some “classified”
reshoots early in Season 2, we realized that this original draft was actually
produced and edited before the episode was rewritten and scenes were re-shot.
Unable to reach JMS, we found proof of our theory in the Babylon 5 storage
vault: a VHS video tape — the Season 2 opener as written in the
When J. Michael Straczynski resurfaced,
he was thrilled that we now had the original teleplay and the tape and
suggested we put together a “re-creation” of the original
episode by using screenshots from the VHS tape and lining them up with
the dialogue in the original script, since we would not be able to get
permission to release the actual video. (See samples below).
For a more holistic experience, JMS had us pull
the audio track from the VHS cassette, have it professionally remixed
and included on an audio CD. This way, you
can listen to the original episode's dialogue as you read the script and
view the accompanying 300 images.
All of which makes the point: if we had
then what we have now, all of this would have been included in Volume
3, which is why we are inserting this book between volumes 2 and 3 --
a moment of transition, if you'll forgive the phrase.
INCLUDED WITH VOLUME 2.5
The complete ORIGINAL draft of the Season
2 premiere, "Points of Departure," with editor's
annotations for every page indicating the differences between this
draft, the director's cut, the producers' cut and the final version of
the episode that was aired and released on DVD.
100 pages total. (See samples below).
IMAGE RE-CREATION OF "POINTS OF DEPARTURE" AS ORIGINALLY SHOT
300 screenshots, we have re-created, scene-by-scene, the original
episode as it was originally filmed BEFORE J. Michael Straczynski
decided to extensively alter the episode. The 100 pages of this re-creation
are formatted so that each frame matches up to the dialogue being spoken
on the audio CD. (See samples below).
CD OF THE ORIGINAL CUT
This is the complete
audio portion of the original episode. This means you can pop in
the CD, open the book to page 106 and follow along with the script and
video screenshots for a retro "multimedia" experience. (Added
bonus: You and your friends can lip synch the dialogue for added fun at
your next party.)
Featuring never-before-heard quotes that didn't even make it into the
version of "Points of Departure" re-created herein. (See images
Color Shots of Deleted Scenes
The spine for Volume 2.5 lines up with previous volumes
in the series for a cohesive look.
AUDIO CD OF THE ENTIRE ORIGINAL EPISODE
(click to see bigger image)
PAGE 9 OF THE VIDEO RE-CREATION
(100 PAGES TOTAL)
PAGE 19 OF THE VIDEO RE-CREATION
PAGE 24 OF THE VIDEO RE-CREATION
PAGES 16 AND 17 OF THE
ANNOTATED ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
(click to see bigger image)
PAGES 18 AND 19 OF THE
ANNOTATED ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
to see bigger image)
Exhaustive analysis of
how the two versions of "Points of Departure" differ and the
story behind how the episode evolved from one of the few
"lost episodes of BABYLON 5."
- How "Chrysalis,
Part II" evolved into "Points of Departure."
for Delenn, Londo Mollari, G'Kar, Anna Sheridan and the Rangers that
were sidelined from the season premiere to focus on Sheridan's arrival.
- Lord Refa's
first name (both of them)...and the writer who named him.
- The original
"telling" title for an unproduced episode of season 2.
- How the
Psi Corps would have figured prominently in an earlier concept for "Points
- Why Director
Janet Greek's cut of the original episode left little wiggle room for
JMS and John Copeland to make their producers' edit.
- Why the
Agamemnon was featured in the familiar version of "Points of Departure"
-- as seen on DVD -- but not in the original version of the episode.
(Hint: The reason relates to a set used in a later episode.)
- The complete
dialogue spoken by the ambassadors and merchants in the Zocalo that
was drowned out by Ivanova's voiceover.
the Jarvis 2000 -- what is was, who it was named after and why it's
not mentioned in the episode you have on DVD.
- The Ivanova
line scripted as a "whisper" that Claudia Christian delivered with "force."
- The arcane
history of Lt. Corwin's credited name across the first three seasons
- Why a
C&C tech referenced the "station's destruct codes" in the original
version of the episode.
- Why J.
Michael Straczynski replaced President Morgan Clark with General William
Hague during the reshoots of scenes 8 and 9.
- The scene
cut from the original "Points of Departure" that continued
to appear briefly in the Season 2 title sequence.
- Who said
the line (which was eventually cut), "We never have any trouble here."
- How a
scene cut from the original "Points of Departure" reappeared
thematically in "No Compromises."
- The convoluted
history of an unnamed character: how he was nameless in the teleplay
and resulting episode (both versions), named in the credits of the episode
and eventually renamed (after a member of B5's production staff) because
footage of him was re-used in a TV Movie retroactively naming the originally
unamed (within the episode) character. (Trust us; it makes sense after
you've read the editor's note.)
- The deleted
comment from Sheridan that established an interesting aspect of Minbari
Warrior Caste culture.
- How key
introductory scenes with Captain Sheridan were rearranged and strategically
re-shot to strengthen the character's entry into the series.
amusing quip about Earthforce that was cut from every edit of the episode.
- The scenes
shot for "Points of Departure" that were reused in "In
the Beginning" and how this led to a continuity error that Editor
Jason Davis has explained away in the best tradition of fan rationalization.
- An alternate
explanation for how Sheridan knew the Minbari cruiser would be waiting
- A fact
about the Minbari that was cut from the episode, but later reappeared
as a "standard procedure" for the Psi Corps in "The Corps Is Mother,
the Corps Is Father."
- The ad
lib by Bruce Boxleitner about Sheridan's speech that was featured in
the producers' cut but deleted from the final episode.
- The dialogue
exchange that was deleted, making Sheridan's speech in the empty C&C
character from the pilot received an unexpected mention in the original
version of "Points of Departure" that was deleted in the final
- How Warren
Keffer's introduction would have changed dramatically if Director Janet
Greek's original edit of the episode had remained intact.
- How Bruce
Boxleitner's actions with the orange in the episode's final scene differed
from what was scripted, and why Director Janet Greek fought with the
studio about the scene's execution.
WAIT, THERE'S MORE
To round out
Volume 2.5, J. Michael Straczynski also gave us permission to include something
else we'd recently discovered: the complete outlines for the "Legions
of Fire" and "The Passing of the Techno-Mages" novel trilogies.
Adapted into three novels each by Peter David and Jeanne
Cavelos respectively, and published by Del Rey Books between 1999 and
2001, these outlines answer many questions including (1) "What was
from the mind of JMS, and what elements were added by the authors?"
and (2) "How might these books have differed if JMS had written them
- JMS's original name for the governess from "In the Beginning" and
why was it changed to Senna.
- Which techno-mage had a sex change from the outline
to the novel.
- Which of Londo's wives was inserted into the Centauri
books by Peter David.
- What JMS told Peter David about the then-ongoing story
- Who created the concept of techno-mages having differing
- The note at the end of the techno-mage outline that
was NOT given to writer Jeanne Cavelos. (Hint: It was headed "Future
CRUSADE Series Note.")
And much more...
OF THE VOLUME 2.5 PACKAGE
260 Page Book which includes
Annotated Original Script
Video Image Re-Creation
J. Michael Straczynski's COMPLETE Outlines for
The Legions of Fire and Technomage Novel Trilogies
CD of the Original Episode Audio
(matches dialogue word-for-word with the book's
Video Re-Creation section so you can listen along.)
Quote from the Original Episode
Quote from the Original Episode