One of the things I plan to do here is to spotlight posts by jms as the show filmed and got ready to debut. He primarily posted on the GEnie online service (and occasionally on Compuserve) back then and the majority of those posts have been archived at JMSnews.com. Today’s post is a few days before the start of filming:
It has been a long, and very astonishing day, first with meetings, than at the soundstage all day for makeup and wardrobe and camera tests. First,just to let y’all know, the E! channel will be doing a half-hour “Making of Babylon 5″ documentary (which will also air on the commercial stations
carrying B5 prior to broadcast). We went over the territory today, decided which days they’d be on-set to cover, and showed them some of the new EFX (and they were amazed…commenting that it looks like a high-budget feature film).
Went to the stage after that. Oh, man…the place is really buzzing now, this close to filming. Carpenters and painters finishing up their work, costume and makeup people running around, and for the first time that I’ve seen it there (though it was there yesterday when I was busy at MURDER)…a *camera*. The green screen is up, the massive main corridor is almost finished (and I do mean *massive*, almost 120 feet long), the council chambers are virtually finished…and to try variations with the look of the lighting, they pumped in a little haze to see what happened. (Looks cool.)
And today…I saw aliens. An actor in full Narn wardrobe AND
prosthetics…the first time I’d seen it. The narn is absolutely dynamite. Major prosthetics work. And the costume is *gorgeous*, rich and textured.
Also saw Delenn today, and at first, it wasn’t quite right, and we had to try some variations in coloration and texture before finally deciding on a look. Now I think we’re all happy with it.
Kosh also came in today. Peered out at us through his iris. We liked it. He left. Kosh doesn’t say much. Kosh doesn’t have to.
Also saw the wardrobe and make up test on Lyta Alexander, and she looks terrific. Ditto for the tests (which were on dailies…our first dailies!) on Garibaldi, Sinclair and Carolyn Sykes. Looks great.
One other casting piece now to announce…the role of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair. The actor cast in that role is Michael O’Hare, who we discovered while casting out of New York, and who we have flown out to L.A. for this role. He’s a classically trained actor, a graduate of Juliard, who just
knocked us out when he came in to audition. He has a tremendous presence, and a voice vaguely reminiscent of Clint Eastwood at times. His face has a curiously haunted look, but at the same time is (I’m told by the women who go “yum” whenever he enters the room) quite appealing.
Michael has appeared in such films as “By a Thread,” “Short Term Bonds,” “Into Thin Air,” “Pursuit,” “The Promise,” and others, as well as on television in “Blue Revolution,” “Case of Deadly Force,” “Rage of Angels,” “The Adams Chronicles,” and in such episodic television shows as “The Equalizer,” “L.A. Law,” “Kate and Allie” and others.
He is also a VERY accomplished stage actor, having appeared on Broadway to tremendous reviews in “A Few Good Men,” “Players,” “Man and Superman” and “Galileo,” among many, many others.
The one thing we did NOT want, which we knew from the start, was one more pretty-boy TV actor…we wanted someone with character in his face, with a broad dramatic range. And we got all of it in Michael O’Hare.
Only one more piece of casting to announce _ Ambassador Delenn _ and when that happens in a few days, I think you’ll be most…intrigued.
Message content copyright by Synthetic Worlds/J. Michael Straczynski.