Babylon Podcast #162: Interview with J. Michael Straczynski, Part 2

Welcome to Show #162!

J. Michael Straczynski

Never Surrender Dreams.

And now, we bring you Part 2 of The JMS Interview!

In this hour, JMS talks more with Tim and Summer about the development of Babylon 5 and the pros and cons of continuing or expanding the series, the real reason for putting his foot down on “big budget or nothing”, the broader realities of the hammer lock of Warner Bros has on any future “expanded universe” properties, the personal influences on his writing, and related reflections on family, both born and made, and last but not least, the ever-changing relationships with the fans, both in cyberspace and on the convention circuits.

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Promo: Slice of SciFi


  1. Warlord2k says

    Mighty JMS:)

  2. And he has more hair than me.

  3. That was a great interview. Thanks a lot, guys!

  4. Neil Ottenstein says

    A great part two of the interview. Passing Through Gethsemane is the story that he refers to that he had to delay due to a fan written plot idea.

    I’m still holding out hope for a B5 movie.

  5. Aweseome! Thanks for doing this. I didn’t know you existed until yesterday. Great interview. Wow!

  6. KoDTJohn says

    Thank you Joe!!!!
    Make the B5 movie, please. Why? For me.

  7. Golly, Summer, Tim gets to plug JMS working on “Lensmen” twice, but no mention of “World War Z” from you? I can only assume you did ask, learned something totally awesome, but had to edit it out of the podcast, for there are some secrets that man should not know.

    I say we start a rumor that one of the projects he couldn’t talk about is the script for the new “Ghostbusters” movie. Perhaps if that rumor spreads far enough, it’ll become true 😉

    • Surely you jest! Nothing was edited out of that mondo interview, trust me. Tim and I could have asked at least another hour’s worth of questions, easy, and mine could have been on Jeremiah, Rising Stars and zombies alone.

      We didn’t set a time limit on our virtual fireside chat, but I don’t think we fully anticipated how enthralled we’d be just continuing to talk and talk and talk. And wanting to continue to talk and talk and talk 🙂

  8. Oooh, a JMS written Ghostbusters would be BEYOND awesome!

  9. Frank, zombies = meh. Lensman = the most incredible mind-bending coruscating light display of rods and planes and knives of energies warping the very fabric of space itself. That’s why.

    …Also, script duties for WWZ have been handed over to other writers. JMS has mentioned elsewhere that this is typical on a movie production.

  10. Thank you for this interview. Having only discovered the show for the first time last year, I have stayed away from behind the scenes types things such as interviews. I did not want real life impressions or talk about the show to color my view of what I was seeing. I also didn’t want to be spoiled!

    Now that I am in my second watch of the series (to go along with your podcast!) I am slowly seeking out that kind of stuff. So this was really my first time “meeting” JMS. I came away very impressed with him as a person, very appreciative of the way he approaches his work, and very surprised at the respect he seems to have for his fans – even if that means not always giving them what they ask for. He honors his vision and will not sell himself or his fans short by producing a sub-par product. Again, even if that’s what fans think they want. I can only respect that.

    I also had no idea of his personal background. I know it sounds hokey, but it really is deeply inspiring to hear of someone having a difficult background, working hard to overcome it and becoming so successful. Hearing his story was very moving. The fact that he was able to create on set that sense of family that he never had growing up was more amazing to me than the show itself. He affected so many lives for the better! That is no small thing.

    Once again, I regret that I came to Babylon 5 so very, very late. I especially regret not being able to participate in the real-time interaction that JMS had with his fans. That’s amazing! On the other hand, better late than never. Thank God for the internet!

    Thank you for this podcast as well. It’s great to be among other people who love this show as much as (and even more than) I have come to love it in my short time. That love shines through in everything you guys do.

  11. Neil Ottenstein says

    I just received the B5 scriptbooks note about having the interview available through the scriptbook site:

    There are two versions available for download:

    1) The official podcast as broadcast in two installments across two weeks after the interview;

    2) The unedited, live feed of the interview as it was being conducted.

    For the official download page, click here

    So, the question is how much different is the live feed? Or how much stuff is in those extra 30 minutes

    • The actual content of the interview itself, from the time Mike started playing the opening music, until the time JMS said his farewell, not one second of that content was edited out. Mike told me that was the plan from the get-go.

      I’m not exactly sure how much of the beforehand was Babylon Podholes, but I’m guessing that was at least 10 minutes (I recall Mike grumbling about Tim’s microphone), and I’m pretty sure that Tim and I continued geeking about the interview afterwards for quite a while.

      I’m also pretty sure that the live feed sound quality pales in comparison to the podcast version… the podcast version would have been recorded at either 128kbps or 256kbps, while the live feed was only being sent out somewhere around 64kbps, I believe. I can get confirmation on that from Mike, though I do know it’s nowhere near the quality you get from the podcast version.

  12. I think when and if a new B5 product comes from JMS it will be f***in awesome!

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