Contents: Overview - Backplot - Questions - Analysis - Notes - JMS
An accident in the docking area kills a worker, threatening to spark an illegal strike. Londo interferes in an important Narn religious observation which leads to a confrontation between him and G'Kar. John Snyder as Orin Zento. Katy Boyer as Neeoma Connoly. Aki Aleong as Senator Hidoshi.Originally titled "Backlash"
Sub-genre: Drama P5 rating: 7.84 Production number: 114 Original air date: May 11, 1994 Written by Kathryn Drennan Directed by Jim Johnston
Leading American proctologist.
Still dancing as fast as I can....
Absent a collaboration on a series of articles for TZ Magazine a few years ago (a guide to the Night Gallery series), we don't collaborate. Ever. I also don't collaborate with Larry D., or any other of my writer friends. As I learned before, particularly on the one occasion when Larry and I tried it -- we co-wrote a pilot and bible for CBS based on the "Elfquest" books -- all parties concerned will live a LOT longer by keeping a respectable distance.
Kathryn Drennan, my Spousal Overunit, is also a writer, and has written for many other shows, primarily in animation, but with some forays into other areas. (She was co-author on the Night Gallery series of articles I wrote for Twilight Zone Magazine, as one fr'instance, and was a producer with public televison for some time.)
Anyway, she desperately wanted to write a B5 script. But because of my feelings about nepotism, I refused to give her an assignment. (I can be a REAL pain in the ass.) Something similar happened when I was working on The Real Ghostbusters; she loved the show, and wanted to write for it. I put her through the wringer: she had to submit written premises, just like any other freelance writer, which were then sent on to the producers for final approval. They did not know of any relation between her and me; they based their approval only on the merits of the story. Period. And she ended up writing two episodes: "Egon's Dragon" and "The Man Who Never Reached Home." (The former is considered a favorite by many viewers of the show.) Only long after we finished production did the exec producers on TRGBs learn that there was a relationship there; it was all based on the quality of the work.
But in the case of B5, I *am* the exec producer, so it became more difficult. At first I said simply no. Finally, I set into place a number of conditions/provisions. NOT because she wouldn't do a great script, but only because I don't like the look of nepotism; I hate it, and I hate the way this town operates on the principles of nepotism. The conditions were that she had to write the script completely on spec, no assignment; not a spec outline, which is shorter, but a spec *script*. It would then have to pass muster in-house; if even one person thought it wasn't up to snuff, it got deep sixed. And revisions would not be handled by me, for the most part; she would have to work with Larry, who has a reputation (as Katherine Lawrence can attest) to not pulling his punches. No favoritism. Then the script would have to pass muster with Warners. IF, after all that, the script was approved, then it would be bought, and not a moment before. If anywhere along the line it didn't meet one of those criteria...then it would be a 50 page learning experience and nothing more.
Well, I'm pleased to say that it *did* pass muster with everyone, and "By Any Means Necessary" is now over halfway through production, with a number of people -- including Michael O'Hare -- saying it's their favorite so far, mainly for very odd reasons. The premise is one that ST would never, EVER do, which is one thing I like about it; it also shows us more on the inner workings of B5, the blue-collar types who keep the whole place operational...and what happens when that falls apart. The B story gets into a confrontation between G'Kar and Londo when Londo interferes in an important Narn religious observation.
We brought back John Snyder (Soul Hunter #2) minus prosthetics for one guest role, and Katy Boyer as our other guest star. They're both doing terrific jobs, and it's a very intense script in which we basically put Sinclair through the wringer for 48 hours and try and make him absolutely nuts. And succeed, for the most part.
Anyway...there you have it.