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"Tic... Toc..." or "Why San Diego was nuked"


The Interview In the following, I'll be referring to two quotations from the CompuServe Babylon 5 Conference featuring J. Michael Straczynski from 11/2/1996 2:59 PM, hosted by SysOp Lee Whiteside.


Question by Kay Duff:

Have you ever gone walkabout yourself?


Well....yeah, kinda. Back when I was living in San Diego (before it got nuked...well, that hasn't happened yet, but soon)...I got into a kind of similar mode of thought, and would go for walks through.... downtown San Diego at 2-4 in the morning. Hours, hours, hours, just walking through parts of the area where I could've gotten killed. When folks asked me why, I couldn't answer, all I could come up with... was that I was looking for something. And I found it, kinda, and in a somewhat similar situation...but that gets into some other personal areas, and this may not be the right forum for that. Suffice to say I was.... almost killed myself, and leave it at that. GA


The interview continues. Later, jms suddenly interrupts himself:



(hang on).... Here's a funny thing. Well, funny weird. See, every so often, someone will ask, "How much of you goes into a script?" and I'll answer, "More than I know at the time," and they ask for an example. A few questions ago, someone (Kay) asked about if I'd ever gone... on walkabout and I thought of the San Diego thing...and it suddenly dawned on me that that was behind the Franklin thing. Long story short: I got attacked and mugged by a gang, and beaten nearly to death .... and survived only by a sheer act of will. And I'd honestly never, ever put that together with Walkabout, until the question, and suddenly there it was, I was working out *exactly* what I'd gone through, denying it to myself... the whole time that it was going on. Well. Anyway. That just hit me like a ton of bricks, and thought I'd pass it along. GA

SysOp Dupa:

<so that's why he nuked San Diego!>



Reading this hits you rather like a whole brick factory! This interview was in 1996. When you look at Babylon 5 now, you'll find that there are at least 4 episodes involving similar close-to-death situations:

  • First the afore mentioned Walkabout where Franklin gets stabbed by drug dealers, literally struggles with himself, and finally "survives only by a sheer act of will".
  • Then there's of course Sheridan's fall into the abyss on Z'ha'dum, where he meets the First One Lorien "between tic and toc", and clings to life instead of "surrendering to toc". (yeah, not so subtle Lord Of The Rings references there...) ;-)
  • Londo Mollari, too, is close to death after an heart attack, but he regains consciousness after facing G'Kar and what he had done to him, before it poisons his soul completely.
  • A soul that had been caught by the Soulhunter says when released, I am not dying, I am evolving.
  • Finally, Lyta telepathically watches a dying Ranger "walk into the Light".
  • (feel free to tell me if I missed something)


Conclusion? Does it mean all those genius episodes were written because some &%X*§# gang almost killed jms, and he plainly had to digest it? :-o Now draw one of the following conclusions:

  • There's much more to your favourite TV-show than meets the eye.
  • Would Star Trek plots be better if Roddenberry had been stabbed?
  • Or -- nuked?