art. He will sit in a bookstore window and write a short story. As each page is finished, it's taped to the window for people to read. He can't backtrack, can't change it; it is what it is.
That trick is probably the closest available comparison to what has been done with BABYLON 5 over the last four years.
BABYLON 5 is a novel for television, with a definite beginning, middle, and end. It is also a work in progress, with its fair share of sudden turns caused when the real world impinges upon the writing process, or when better ideas are stumbled upon. Yes, one may plan to have Ivanova kick several Drazi senseless and escape from the trap they've set for her... but if Claudia Christian breaks her foot the day before you're to shoot that sequence, you adjust.
You keep going, and you never look back. Because unlike a print novel, where after the first draft is finished you can go back and smooth out the bumps in the road, you can't change what went before. It's out there, transmitted into the ether at approximately the speed of light. You cannot go back, you can only go forward, broadcasting episodes as they are finished like pages taped sequentially to a window, for all the world to see. For the most part, this particular example of performance art-telling the BABYLON 5 story in front of fifteen million viewers in the United States and countless millions more in scores of other countries around the planet-has been very successful. Most of the bumps and subtle adjustments are barely noticeable.
But they're there. And over four years, with the real world a constant random factor in the making of BABYLON 5, there are a lot of them. Small, annoying, but there. They lurk in threads that fall by the wayside, or are mentioned but not explained in as much detail as they