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The Zocalo Newsletter!

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NEWS ARCHIVE: (28/09/99) -> (27/01/2000)
Maintained by David Boyd
Last Update on February 2000
 Sunday, 27th January, 2000


We apologise for the lack of updates lately, but we are now slowly returning. The future of Crusade is almost sealed. It seems that it will not be brought back. We are therefore going to concentrate on everything Babylon 5.

We remind again that Peter David's (Babylon 5/Crusade writer, various Trek books), first novel from the Centauri Trilogy has been published. You can get it here.

On the lighter side, there is a new Sevylon 5 comic strip, were you can suggest punchlines.

 Sunday, 05th December, 1999


The JMS/Chris Carter Project was aborted by CBS as Carter's Harsh Realms was cancelled and they wanted a Carter-only series. jms will be trying to sell it to another studio.


Peter David's, Babylon 5/Crusade writer (as well as Star Trek), first novel from the Centauri Trilogy has been published. You can get it here.
 Friday, 19th November, 1999


The Zocalo reports that the Cleveland Live reports that the X-Files creator Chris Carter and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5 Crusade creator) are teaming up for a CBS drama. When asked about this, JMS chose not to comment at this time.

The truth is out there, but what do you really want?

 Thursday, 18th November, 1999


The guys from Sevylon 5 have a new comic up. Its up to you to suggest a punchline. Click here for it. May the best win!

 Wednesday, 10th November, 1999


Here is what jms said on usenet:


For the last six years, I've been asked repeatedly -- in email and at conventions -- "Are you ever going to make the original B5 series writers' bible available?" My general reaction was to simply say...maybe someday.

After considerable reflection, and as a Solstice present to B5 viewers...we're finally going to make it available.

TWO such *its*, to be precise.

First: The original Babylon 5 Series Treatment

This is the 23 page document, written in September 1988, that was used to sell the series for the five years it took to find a buyer. It has different characters than were ever seen in the show, such as Dr. Chakri Mendak (a role that later became Dr. Stephen Franklin) and more background on Vice-Commander Laurel Chang... Sinclair's background is also quite different from what we eventually ended up with (including the fact that he was widowed, a piece I pulled away from his character for the series and held for someone like Sheridan)....the Vorlons were warlike, squabbling aliens....

This was the first attempt to put B5 down on paper, in a process that would change and evolve over the next 5 years. Ideas that were never used, characters who would never be seen again, the first stirrings of the Minbari War story (including a never used alternate explanation for why they surrendered), Delenn was a male character... Kosh had a mate who came with him to B5...on and on and on.

Second: The original Season One Babylon 5 Writer's Bible

This massive tome weighs in at over 60 pages, with comprehensive backgrounds on all the characters as well as guidelines for writing SF for TV in ways that would be different than all of our predecessors. It lays out the first year of the arc and warns potential writers away from areas we plan to explore in later years, has additional backgrounds on regular characters never actually used in the series (such as a strange fellow named Mr. Jones who would have been alternately a bane and ally to Garibaldi), stories that would eventually be filmed, other stories that would never be used, information on the the history and technology of the B5 universe, Psi Corps, Earthforce, the various governments, and other areas...this is the Big One, the Grail of the B5 fictional world. The table of contents alone covers 2 pages.

This bible was ONLY given to prospective writers, who were in turn asked to keep the material totally confidential. The treatment was ONLY given to network/studio. heads and others in a position to buy the series.

In addition, BOTH of these documents will be peppered with the original illustrations by Peter Ledger used to sell and visualize the series in its earliest stage, including the original keyhole logo, many of them reproduced in full color, others b&w. Some of these images have shown up in various places, but others will be seen here by the world at large for the first time.

(Note: the page counts given do NOT include the pages of artwork, which expand the length further.)

I debated long and hard about whether or not I would ever make these available, but finally decided to give in to the many requests for the release of this material.

This material will shortly be made available at and via phone orders. I don't know how long we'll make them available, but I suspect it may not be very long.

In reading through the documents, it's like taking a trip back through time to what was, to the very beginnings of the series, what would be, what might've been, what never was...what got abandoned on the side of the road, what was kept. At times the material is coy, informative, deliberately misleading in a couple of places where I wanted to avoid leaks, rude and sometimes it actually makes a rough kind of sense.

They're going to cost a bit more than the scripts, because at 60+ pages in the case of the bible, and with the color illustrations, they're more expensive to produce, and we're only doing a limited number of these.

Expect the full info to go up on in a few days.


 Sunday, 07th November, 1999


Here is some info regarding air dates in some countries:

  • For you Australians - Channel Nine has a tendancy to alter the showing time of Crusade weekly. Last week, it was on at 11pm. It doesn't start normally before 11pm and no later than midnight. I hope that helps the rest of the OZ Crusade fans. (sent by Stuart)
  • We were told that Crusade will premiere in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and all countries that have the Warner Channel in South America. More info as to when they will air will come soon.
     Sunday, 24th October, 1999


    'B5': Back B4 U Know It?
    By Andy Patrizio

    The dedicated fans of a game based on the Babylon 5 television series are doing their level best to find a new home -- and life -- for their favorite pastime.

    When Sierra announced in September that it was killing off three games -- including "Babylon 5: Into the Fire" -- as part of a massive reorganization that included 105 layoffs, angered fans went bonkers.

    "A lot of people wanted to take out the Sierra servers and do other things to try and take Sierra out of the business," said Kevin MacNeil, aka Drazi Guy, one of the three coordinators of the FirstOnes.Com, a fan site that had been following development of the game.

    "It took about a week to get everyone under control and to get ourselves coordinated and decide what direction we were going to head," he said.

    The plan was to spread the news of the game's demise to every gaming site and Babylon 5 fan out there. It proved to be an effective tactic.

    One editor for a gaming publication said he'd received more than 2,000 emails on the issue. Wired News has also been flooded with feedback from upset B5 fans. Another target was game developers, and that campaign has also paid off.

    "There are four companies who have shown interest in purchasing B5. We are now in discussions with all of them," said Dave Williamson, Sierra's senior vice president of business development. "Some have reviewed what we've got and some are in the process of scheduling meetings with us. So, we are actively pursuing the opportunities."

    The B5 team members, who were all laid off together, bonded quickly with the FirstOnes crew. "They have been a great help for the team as far as morale, when it all first happened," lead programmer Dan Foy said.

    Foy has been in the games industry for 10 years and has never seen anything like the FirstOnes' effort. "The show's popularity is certainly a part of it," he said.

    Another reason for the loyalty is that the developers took an active role in the FirstOnes forums to discuss nuances of the game. "People really enjoyed participating with us and took it more personally when the project was cancelled," said Foy.

    Even though the B5 team has a good severance package from Sierra, the crew is eager to renew work on the project. Foy said they need a pretty clear picture on a possible buyer within a month or they'll start losing members to other jobs. At that point, a new team will have to be rebuilt, which would delay the game even further.

    He described the game as 65 percent complete. The engine is pretty much done, but artificial intelligence and some missions still needed work.

    The FirstOnes faithful continue their work as well. A Web ring dedicated to spreading word of the game and trying to find a new publisher has sprung up. So far it has 16 member sites. Petitions to find a new publisher have almost 600 signatures, and the message board on has 700 users posting to it.

    How long will they carry the torch? "We're going to hold out until the development team has moved on to other projects and there's no hope left," said MacNeil.



    Crusade will premiere in Brazil on November 7th on the Warner Channel.

     Wednesday, 20th October, 1999


    SonicImages is selling the Crusade CD online for $13.99 - it will come out to stores this November.
     Tuesday, 12th October, 1999


    Crusade is airing in South Africa on E-TV at 8:30 pm on Wednesdays.

    The series started on the 6th of October.



    Here is a report on the interview with jms in the latest Dreamwatch magazine (#62):

      There is some detail he hasn't revealed before on the subject of his mysterious TV movie for CBS. It's a "Murder She Wrote" TV-movie. He says they were having a hard time getting it off the ground and thought of turning to him(he used to work on that show). Since he was available, it worked out. He says that he's a "pain in the ass", but he gets the job done. He had a great time working on it.

      The comic book "Rising Stars" is doing well. The first issue sold 130,000 and they added 25-30,000 to the press run.

      From the interview, it appears that he has two series ideas in development. Both series are 98% mainstream.

      He's done an adaptation of "The Marching Morons" for National Public Radio. The series it will be on is called "Beyond 2000" and is hosted by Harlan Ellison. There are no details of airing dates. I'm not an NPR listener. Hopefully, someone will alert us about this series. It sounds interesting.

      He says some people at Paramount were interested in him taking over Star Trek. He turned it down because (1) he doesn't want to do someone else's show, (2) the "shit fight over Claudia" and the Trek fans to whom he is an "anathema." He didn't want to deal with it.

      Finally, he once again expresses his desire not to be tagged a "one-trick pony" and doesn't intend to do B5 the rest of his life. "I'm done for the time being with the B5 universe."

    Thanks to DD for sending me the report.

    EPISODE 12 & 13 REVIEWS:

    The reviews for the last two episodes have been added to the site:

    "Visitors From Down the Street"
    Overall this is episode had some good moments and an intriguing concept, but the excessive amount of "X-Files" references is disappointing.

    Rating: 7.5/10

    Click here to read the full review

    "Each Night I Dream of Home"
    Overall this is truly an excellent episode. A great story, excellent character interaction, and impressive effects all come together making this one of Crusades best episodes. All the reasons why Crusade deserves to survive were clearly on display here. How could a show as good as this be cancelled after only 13 episodes? It boggles the mind. But somehow the Crusade will go on, the Excalibur will return, and a cure will be found.

    Rating: 9/10

    Click here to read the full review

    Many thanks to Lars Joreteg for his work on all of the reviews!

     Wednesday, 06th October, 1999


    Sonic Images reports on its site that the Crusade Soundtrack will come out on the 2 November 1999. This is the USA release date, but I assume that internation release will be around the same.

     Sunday, 02th October, 1999


    CFPL (London, ON), CHRO (Ottawa, ON), CHWI (Windsor, ON), CKNX (Owen Sound, ON). These stations are all a part of the CHUM family of stations. They all show Crusade Saturdays @ 7pm ET.

    Source: Canada's B5 Information Page.

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