The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5
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<title>Lurker's Guide Help and FAQs</title>
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<h1 align=center><a name="TOP">Lurker's Guide Help and FAQs</a></h1>
<b>See Also:</b>
<a href="/lurk/ftp/babylon-5-faq">[Babylon 5 FAQ]</a> -
<a href="/lurk/toc.html">[Table of Contents]</a>
This document answers the most common questions I see in my capacity as
maintainer of the Lurker's Guide. Before you send me mail, have a look
at this list and see if your question is answered -- it'll save you the
delay of waiting for my response (and if I'm busy, I might not reply to
questions that're answered here.)
<li> <a href="#fanclubsite">I can't get to the fan club site. Help!</a>
<li> About the Guide
<li> <a href="#general">General information</a>
<li> <a href="#authors">About the authors</a>
<li> <a href="#about-jms">Who's JMS talking to?</a>
<li> <a href="#notyet">Why isn't the guide page/synopsis/credits page
filled in for episode X yet?</a>
<li> <a href="#awards">Awards and accolades</a>
<li> <a href="#link">Linking to the Guide</a>
<li> <a href="#forward">Why aren't there links to the episodes that
answer the unanswered questions on the guide pages?</a>
<li> <a href="#dates">Why are there dates next to some of the
entries on the guide pages?</a>
<li> <a href="#nodates">Why aren't there any recent dates on a guide
page that was recently changed?</a>
<li> <a href="#mirror">I want to mirror the Guide. How do I
do it?</a>
<li> <a href="#crusade">Will the Lurker's Guide cover</a>
<a href="/lurk/guide/113.html">"Crusade?"</a>
<li> <a href="#amazon">Why are there links to all
<li> Can you tell me...
<li> <a href="#video">where to find episodes on video?</a>
<li> <a href="#rerun">when older episodes will be rerun?</a>
<li> <a href="#restart">when B5 will start (or resume) in my
<li> <a href="#items">when the next episode/novel/comic/toy/etc.
will be out?</a>
<li> <a href="#stations">where and when B5 is on in my area?</a>
<li> <a href="#future">what will happen to the show after the
five-year storyline is finished?</a>
<li> <a href="#font">where to get the font Babylon 5 uses?</a>
<li> Why don't you have...
<li> <a href="#pics">more pictures?</a>
<li> <a href="#sounds">sound clips?</a>
<li> <a href="#videoclips">video clips?</a>
<li> <a href="#bios">bios on characters, more background, etc.?</a>
<li> <a href="#old">complete guide pages for older episodes?</a>
<li> <a href="#download">a downloadable copy of the whole Guide?</a>
<li> <a href="#modified">a page that lists the modification times
of all the guide pages?</a>
<li> How do I...
<li> <a href="#HT-current">add "This Week's Episode" to my hotlist?</a>
<li> <a href="#HT-jms">send mail to JMS?</a>
<hr size=6>
<h2><a name="about">About the Guide</a></h2>
<h3><a name="general">General information</a></h3>
The Lurker's Guide is a volunteer effort encompassing documents maintained
by many <cite>Babylon 5</cite> fans, as well as a lot of original material
not found elsewhere. It's not associated in any kind of official way with
the show (but thanks for thinking so!)
It started off before the airing of the
<a href="guide/000.html">pilot movie</a>
as a simple HTMLized version of the
<a href="/lurk/ftp/babylon-5-faq">Babylon 5 Frequently
Asked Questions List,</a>
and in fact a lot of the FAQ List's text can still be found here.
Once the series began airing, maintaining a huge monolithic document became
impractical, and the Lurker's Guide was born.
The main thing you'll find in the Guide that didn't originate elsewhere
is the extensive
<a href="episodes.php">episode list</a>
with several pages for each episode. Each episode has a "guide page,"
with some generic, non-spoiler information (guest stars, airdate, brief
description) at the top and spoilers below a dividing line. From the
guide page you can jump to a synopsis, the credits, and so forth.
<h3><a name="authors">About the authors</a></h3>
<a href="">Steven Grimm</a>
is more or less the editor-in-chief of the Guide, pulling together all the
pieces and doing some of the writing himself. But most of the credit goes
to the Guide's many contributors, who include: (<em>not</em> a complete list)
<li> <a href="">Shawn Bayern</a> - first-season
<li> <a href="">Katrina Glerum</a> - background
<li> <a href="">David Henderson</a>
- onscreen-credits transcriptions
<li> <a href="">Jack Holt</a>
- onscreen-credits transcriptions, seasons 1 and 2
<li> <a href="">Arturo Magidin</a>
- onscreen-credits transcriptions, seasons 4 and 5
<li> <a href="">Christian Mogensen</a>
- the Find function
<li> <a href="">Matthew Murray</a>
- second- and third-season synopses
<li> <a href="">E. L. Oliver</a>
- novel synopses and guide pages
<li> Steven Orso - JMS Speaks entries
<li> <a href="">Matt Ryan</a>
- first-season guide pages
<li> Jason Snell - late second-season guide pages
<li> Dirk Steines - onscreen-credits transcriptions
<li> <a href="">Dan Wood</a> - Graphic design and layout; illustrations; the FAQ List,
from which information is regularly culled; and general helpfulness
and assistance.
<li> Dave Zimmerman - second-season guide pages
On the episode guide pages, the guest stars' names are generally linked
to their entries in the
<a href="">Internet Movie Database</a>.
Thanks to the IMDb for providing such a useful service.
Of course, the biggest credit of all goes to J. Michael Straczynski,
without whom we'd all have a <strong>lot</strong> more free time! :)
<h3><a name="about-jms">Who's JMS talking to?</a></h3>
The "JMS Speaks" sections of the episode guide pages are culled from
executive producer J. Michael Straczynski's messages on various online
services and the newsgroup. When he writes
about an episode, he's often replying to a question from another user.
This is frequently reflected in the wording of his replies, which can
be a little disconcerting if you're not expecting it.
Where required, I've tried to include some context to clarify what JMS
is talking about. I don't, and don't plan to, include the original
messages verbatim, both for space reasons (questions are frequently
longer than JMS' responses) and because while JMS has given permission
for his messages to be archived, not everyone else has.
When I judge that one of JMS' remarks can stand on its own, I generally
include it in its entirety, even if it begins with text like, "You're
right, Mary." If you feel one of his comments is incomprehensible
because of lack of context, feel free to point it out to me.
<h3><a name="notyet">Why isn't the guide page/synopsis/credits page filled
in yet?</a></h3>
First see the answer to the previous question.
All the information in the Guide, aside from the JMS quotes, is written or
assembled by fans on a volunteer basis. Warner Bros. doesn't run this site,
and we don't get official episode descriptions or press releases except
indirectly via the net. So the simple answer is, if the episode hasn't aired
yet, the page isn't filled in because we haven't seen the show.
Some of the volunteers see the episodes from the satellite uplink.
Some see them the following weekend and don't have time to write their pages
until the subsequent week. In general, all the pages tend to be filled in
by two weeks after the initial satellite uplink to the US market.
<h3><a name="awards">Awards and accolades</a></h3>
(This section is mostly to satisfy my voracious ego. You should probably
skip it.)
The Lurker's Guide, like the show, has attracted some positive attention from
the world at large.
<li> July 1998:
<a href="">Eye On the Web</a>
selected site.
<li> June 1998:
<a href="">GnuHoo</a>
cool site.
<li> October 1997:
<a href="">Best of Babylonia</a>
selected site.
<li> August 1997:
<a href="">TV
Site of the Week</a>
<li> July 1997:
<a href="">Pacific Paratemporal
cool site.
<li> April 1997:
<a href="">OMNI Cool Science</a>
<li> January 1997: One of
<a href="">Lycos</a>'
top 10 science-fiction sites.
<li> January 1997:
<a href="">LookSmart's</a>
Editor's Choice Award.
<li> January 1997:
<a href="">NetGuide</a>
Gold Award.
<li> November 1996: SFX magazine (UK) site of the month.
<li> August 1996:
<a href="">Top Rock</a>
<li> July 1996:
<a href="">Athena Site
of the Month.</a>
<li> June 1996:
<a href="">The Weekly Internet Guide</a>
five-star site.
<li> June 1996:
<a href="">Tasmall</a>
cool site of the week.
<li> June 1996:
<a href="">The Journal of Onestar</a>
Site of the Week.
<li> May 1996:
<a href="">Shakaar Society</a>
Top 5 Site for the month of May.
<li> April 1996:
<a href="">Science Fiction Weekly's</a>
Site of the Week for April 8.
<li> March 1996: Rated #10 out of the top 101 sites on the Web by
MacUser magazine.
<li> January 1996: 3-star rating in the
<a href="">Magellan Internet Directory.</a>
<li> December 1995: 5-star rating in the
<a href="">Internet Underground</a>
Web Guide.
<li> October 1995: Rated among the Top 5% of the Web in the
<a href="">Point Survey.</a>
<li> August 1995: Most-nominated site in the
<a href="">DreamWatch</a>
sci-fi resources database.
<li> August 1995: Graded "A" by
<a href="">the net</a>
<li> June 1995:
<a href="">Nuke</a>'s
Hot Site (TV section.)
<li> November 13, 1994:
<a href="">Cool Site of the Day.</a>
<h3><a name="link">Linking to the Guide</a></h3>
You're welcome to put links to the Guide in your Web pages if you like; no
need to ask permission. In fact, you can even use the
<a href="/lurk/nav/title/icon.gif">Lurker's Guide icon</a>
from the
<a href="/">Midwinter home page</a>
as your hotlink (remember the ALT text!)
<h3><a name="forward">Why aren't there links to the episodes that
answer the unanswered questions on the guide pages?</a></h3>
That's a task I've set aside for myself for after the series is over. Until
then it's simply too much work to have to go through all the old pages when
a new episode shows up -- and I can never be entirely sure that the question
has actually been answered as fully as it will be, since there are often
nuances that don't emerge until further down the line.
Please don't take that to mean that I want people to tell me where to put the
forward references -- this is really something I'd rather not undertake at all
until the show is finished, at which point it'll be possible to do a much nicer
job of it.
<h3><a name="dates">Why are there dates next to some of the
entries on the guide pages?</a></h3>
The dates appear next to entries that have been added in the last two weeks.
They disappear automatically when an entry gets more than two weeks old. You
can use the dates, in conjunction with the
<a href="lastmod.html">Modification Times page,</a>
to quickly see what's changed on a particular guide page. The dates are
emphasized and enclosed in double brackets, so should stand out on any kind
of browser.
I only mark an item as changed if there's been some change to the substance
of the comment; spelling corrections and the like don't get datestamped.
(But they'll still cause the page's modification time to be updated.)
<h3><a name="nodates">Why aren't there recent dates next to entries on a guide
page that changed recently?</a></h3>
See the previous question.
<h3><a name="mirror">I want to mirror the Guide. How do I do it?</a></h3>
I appreciate your interest. At this point I have all the mirrors I want.
Each additional mirror is a little extra work for me, and I'd rather spend my
Guide time on the Guide itself.
If you want to make a local copy for your personal use, I don't have a problem
with that -- and in fact, it effectively happens all the time, since you're
making a local copy when you use a caching proxy HTTP server. That's probably
the easiest way to go about it. (No, I can't help you set one up; ask your
local webmaster or get one of the many books on Web site administration.)
<h3><a name="crusade">Will the Lurker's Guide cover "Crusade?"</a></h3>
<a href="misc/whatnext.html">Read all about it.</a>
<h3><a name="amazon">Why are there links to all over?</a></h3>
Linking to from the novel pages and elsewhere in the Guide
serves a few purposes. First, it provides people with an easy way to
get the books. Not everyone is in an area with bookstores that carry
Babylon 5 novels and behind-the-scenes books. I've been ordering books
from for some time now and have found them to be responsible
and prompt.
Second, it gives readers a place to post comments about the books, and to
read others' comments. Maintaining that sort of forum isn't something I
have time to do within the Guide itself.
And third, yes, it puts a little money in my pocket. Once I decided it'd
serve the Guide's readers to link to (and that consideration did
come first) it seemed reasonable to join their associates program and link
to them that way; it doesn't hurt the user experience at all, the writers
and Warner Bros. are paid the same amount in royalties -- everyone wins.
I'm not in this for the money: I've turned down more offers from
Web ad sales people than I can count, mostly because I think ad banners
splattered all over the place would worsen the Guide (and, to a lesser
extent, because it would present copyright and licensing issues I'm not
interested in dealing with.) The links to,
on the other hand, add something of value that wasn't here before, and can
be justified purely as a benefit to the readers.
<hr size=4>
<h2>Can you tell me...</h2>
<h3><a name="video">Where to find episodes on video</a></h3>
Babylon 5 is available on videotape in Europe and the US. See the Guide's
<a href="resources/products.html#video">Products</a>
page for a complete rundown.
I can't direct you to someone who'll copy the episodes for you.
For one thing, it's illegal, and for another, I simply don't have lists of
people who want to copy videotapes. If you must, ask for help in this
regard on the newsgroup. Requests of this nature will be
silently deleted if you mail them to me.
<h3><a name="rerun">When old episodes will be rerun</a></h3>
Naturally, this varies by country. In the US, rerun rights to Babylon 5
have been bought by the
<a href="">TNT</a>
cable network. They'll begin airing season 1 reruns in January 1998,
concurrent with season 5. See the
<a href="/lurk/countries/us/episodes.php">US/Canada episode list</a>
page for the latest information.
For information about other countries, check the schedule page for the
country in question. All the information I have about reruns is on the
schedule pages; if you don't see it there, I don't know about it.
<h3><a name="restart">When new episodes will be shown in my country</a></h3>
All the information I have about upcoming schedules appears on the various
<a href="/lurk/countries/">country-specific schedule pages.</a>
As soon as I have additional information about broadcasts in a particular
country, I update the page in question. If you don't see anything about new
episodes on your country's page, it means I haven't been told about future
broadcast plans.
If you're desperate for information, call the TV station
or network that was showing the most recent batch of episodes and ask them
if there's any news. (If there is, tell me so I can update the Guide!)
<h3><a name="items">When the next episode / novel / comic / toy / etc. will be
All the information I have about release dates is in the appropriate
places in the Guide; I don't know anything about release dates that's not
listed here. Check the
<a href="episodes.php">episode list</a>
(or, if you're outside the US and Canada, the list for your
<a href="countries/">country</a>)
for episode schedules, the
<a href="novels/index.html">novel index</a>
for information about the novels, the
<a href="comic/index.html">comic index</a>
for information about the comics... you get the idea. The
<a href="toc.html">table of contents</a>
is a useful page to know about.
<h3><a name="future">What will happen to B5 after the story is done</a></h3>
There is a followup series,
<a href="/lurk/guide/113.html">"Crusade."</a>
It takes place after the events of the original series (not counting
<a href="/lurk/guide/088.html">"The Deconstruction of Falling Stars"</a>
<a href="/lurk/guide/110.html">"Sleeping in Light,"</a>
which are both set long after the rest of the story).
<h3><a name="font">Where to get the font B5 uses</a></h3>
Babylon 5 uses the "Serpentine Medium" font for its onscreen credits and
titles. The Lurker's Guide uses this font for many of its labels as well.
Serpentine Medium is available from
<a href="">Adobe Systems.</a>
It is on their Type On Call CD-ROM and their Font Folio CD set, possibly
I cannot give you a copy of the font -- you have to buy it from Adobe if
you want it.
<h3><a name="stations">Where and when B5 is on in my area</a></h3>
The most current information I have is on your country's
<a href="countries/">schedule page.</a>
Check there first. If the information there is wrong for your area, your best
bet is to check your local TV listings or, if B5 was previously on a particular
station, to call that station and ask where it was moved. Then let me know
what you find out so I can update the list.
TV stations don't
notify me when they make schedule changes, so it'll do you no good to ask me
about your local station's air time. As soon as I'm told about a schedule
change, I change the station list to reflect it.
<hr size=4>
<h2>Why don't you have...</h2>
<h3><a name="pics">More Pictures</a></h3>
Understand that
I'm in no way associated with the B5 production team. I don't have any
access to production materials that the general public doesn't. In other
words, you can get new high-quality pictures as easily as I can. If you
do manage to scare up some official ones ("official" means anything released
by Warner Bros.' publicity department, which generally includes anything
in magazines) I'll happily accept them.
I do occasionally digitize some small stills from episodes to put in the
guide pages and synopses. My rule of thumb there is that those pictures
should be small enough that someone who wanted to get an official license
to make a CD-ROM full of B5 images wouldn't lose business due to what
I've done. I do <em>not</em> take requests -- getting set up to do the
digitizing is something of a hassle, I only do it once every couple
months, and I'd spend a solid week on my pause button if I grabbed all
the frames people have requested.
Note that the people who write the synopses for the episodes are <em>not</em>
the ones who grab the pictures -- the pictures are added after the fact as
I find time to do it.
<h3><a name="sounds">More Sounds</a></h3>
Early on, when
I decided to keep my synopsis and guide page images small, I also decided
I wasn't going to have any sounds here. The primary concern is the same
as the pictures: I don't want to reduce anyone's ability to sell a disk
of licensed B5 sound clips, either before or after the fact. Unfortunately,
there's not really an equivalent middle ground along the lines of keeping
pictures small; you can't have a clip of just half a funny line, for
instance, without it being useless.
However, I have no qualms about listing other people's B5 pages in the
guide, and if they happen to contain sounds, there's nothing I can (or
should) do about it. You'll therefore find links to a couple sites with
B5 sounds in the
<a href="/lurk/resources/online.html">Other Resources</a>
There are some audio and video clips in the
<a href="/lurk/ftp/Clips/index.html">/pub/Babylon-5/Clips</a>
on the FTP server; these were provided as promotional items by Warner Bros.,
and thus the above doesn't apply to them.
<h3><a name="videoclips">Video clips</a></h3>
See the "sounds" explanation.
<h3><a name="bios">Bios on the characters, more background info, etc.</a></h3>
These are a matter of time. It takes time and effort to write them up,
and when I do have time to work on things for the guide, I generally have
other items higher on my list. I'll happily accept donations, of course,
if you have free time and can write well.
<h3><a name="old">Complete guide pages for some older episodes</a></h3>
Some first-season episodes have pretty skimpy guide pages. Another matter
of time. If you'd like to offer some contents for the pages, please do;
otherwise they'll get filled in eventually.
<h3><a name="modified">A page that lists the modification times of all the
guide pages</a></h3>
Actually, I do. Follow the "Modification Times" link at the top of the
What's New page or the US episode list page and you'll see it.
<hr size=4>
<h2>How do I...</h2>
<h3><a name="HT-current">Add "This Week's Episode" to my hotlist?</a></h3>
When you select the "This Week's Episode" link from the home page, you're
automatically sent to the guide page for the episode currently airing in
the US and Canada. (For other countries, see the
<a href="countries/">country list.</a>)
Unfortunately, if you select your browser's "Add to Hotlist" function, you'll
add that particular episode's page.
If your browser allows you to edit your hotlist (most do), you can fix that
very easily. Add any episode's guide page to your hotlist, then edit the
page's URL. Replace everything after the last slash (a number followed by
".html", e.g. "<code>038.html</code>") with "current.html" (no quotes.)
Then save your changes if your browser requires it.
<h3><a name="HT-jms">Send mail to JMS?</a></h3>
Before you send him mail, make sure you check the archives of his messages
(you can search them using the Lurker's Guide's
<a href="/lurk/search.html">Find</a>
page.) Your question may have already been answered.
JMS can be reached at <tt></tt>. Note that he
gets a <em>lot</em> of mail, so don't take it personally if you don't get
a reply -- there simply aren't enough hours in the day to answer all the
questions people ask. Here's his request regarding private E-mail:
Every so often I have to go out with a policy note, so this is it. If you've
seen this before, ignore it. If not....
Understand that my private email is reserved for matters that cannot be
discussed pubicly, and extremely personal matters. It is not to be used for
questions about plot, or character, or theme. Otherwise I end up answering the
same question individually 50 times instead of answering it once publicly so 50
people can get the same information.
Do NOT send me jokes, humorous forwarded notes, chain letters, spam or other
stuff. You may think, "Well, it's just me sending along one little joke," but
bear in mind there are roughly 10.5 million "just me's" out there. My email is
getting to be impossible to deal with. Unless there is an overwhelmingly good
reason why a note should be sent via email instead of in a public forum...keep
it public.
Particularly difficult is if someone sends me multiple notes after I reply once
or twice, and if I don't respond to subsequent notes, gets annoyed at me. I
reply if there is a reason to reply; if not, not.
Please understand that my private email is a privilege, and not to be flooded
with casual story requests or jokes.
JMS reads the
<a href=""></a>
newsgroup (try
<a href="">DejaNews</a>
if that link doesn't work.) Your questions are more likely to be answered
if you ask there than if you try sending him mail directly; he prefers to answer
questions in public so everyone can benefit, and so he doesn't get the same
question over and over again.
He also frequents the B5 discussion areas on GEnie, CompuServe, and America
Online; if you don't have Usenet access, you can try one of those places.
<hr size=4>
<h3><a name="fanclubsite">I can't get to the fan club site. Help!</a></h3>
I don't run the fan club or its Web site; I just link to them as a service
to the fans. If you're having trouble with the fan club site, send mail to
<a href=""></a>
for assistance.
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Last update:
August 9, 1998