I'm finally getting around to doing something I intended to do years ago, watching the first season again with the original version of the story arc in mind. The original story arc was finally revealed in the 15th script book back in 2008, and while I did watch a few first season episodes, I never did get around to actually seeing it all, and what I saw in those episodes was very surprising in this new context.
I just got done watching The Gathering again, and there are a few interesting things to mention. I really wonder why Londo is narrating at the beginning. Is he supposed to be looking back at things, maybe telling someone the story of Babylon 5 and Babylon Prime? But he ends up sacrificing himself to let Sinclair and the rest save his world and atone for his many terrible decisions. Maybe we're not supposed to think about that too much.
As I'm sure everyone here already knows, Laurel Takashima was originally going to be the one with the Psi Corps sleeper persona hidden inside, and this other personality was the one that allowed the Minbari assassin to get on to the station without being noticed, as well as interfering with Sinclair's transport tube, making sure he wouldn't be able to meet Kosh, and that instead the assassin would poison Kosh. It would seem that the changeling net was to make sure that he would be able to approach Kosh and get close enough to poison him. Something strange about Takashima though is the fact that she's the one to call attention to the changeling net in the first place, telling Sinclair and Garibaldi to meet her in Varner's room and showing them the information. Wouldn't it have made more sense to destroy the evidence? I'm guessing that too many station personnel were involved, and someone else probably found the information in the first place, so she couldn't just destroy it.
The goal of the Narns and G'kar in this point of the show is stated in the original plan is to make sure everyone is at each other's throats, so that there could never be an alliance that can threaten the Narns again, and their other main goal is to eventually get revenge on the Centauri. We clearly see this in G'kar's attempt to make an alliance with the Minbari when he talks to Delenn, and his part in the assassination would be to make sure the Babylon Project failed, so that none of those potential threatening alliances could occur.
I really wonder just what would have come about with Dr. Kyle, since he was the one who saw Kosh. I especially am curious what might have been said at the end of the second season when Kosh shows himself to everyone, to save Sinclair who is falling from the core shuttle after being thrown out.
Something very interesting I noticed has to do with the Minbari assassin's behavior. In early notes and memos JMS wrote about the show, he makes it very clear that to the Minbari, integrity is paramount, and within the show we see the characters mention this as well, like that time in the second season when that those Minbari try to set up Sheridan, and one of them actually lies to ensure that he's framed for murdering an unarmed Minbari. JMS says that integrity is so important to a Minbari, that if someone were to say that they lied, the Minbari would actually try to kill the accuser. Of course, the Minbari are totally fine with half truths obviously. The thing is, the assassin flat out lies at certain points in The Gathering, claiming to be other people. He comes from a group of Minbari that left after they were ordered by the Grey Council to surrender, so maybe he just doesn't care, and thinks that the ends justify the means. Of course, even Delenn doesn't tell the whole truth, saying that "There is a hole in your mind" is a Minbari insult. Was she lying, or is it a half truth?
Of course, Takashima, Kyle and Lyta all went away after this, and only Lyta eventually reappeared, so quite a bit changed. Instead of Takashima shooting Garibaldi in the back at the end of the first season, it's Garibaldi's second in command. The truth about Takashima likely would have been uncovered either right after that, or possibly there would have been a build up in the second season, and halfway through we would have gotten something similar to what happened with Talia Winters. JMS stated in one of the books that he always intended Takashima to only be there for the first season, and so he kept that in mind with casting, and I have a feeling that this isn't an example of him exaggerating things like he has a tendency to.
Also, this might not be a very popular opinion amongst fans, but as I've gotten older, I've found myself more interested in Sinclair, and actually prefer him over Sheridan. A problem with Sheridan that I've seen pointed out, and that I've come to really agree with, is that he just doesn't seem to have enough flaws. He's just too good really. Sinclair seems more flawed, suffering through night terrors and feeling massive guilt for surviving the Battle of the Line, which leads him to charge in to dangerous situations constantly. I also quite like the spiritual side he shows.
I'm planning on watching more, but right now I'm wondering if I should rewatch the whole first season, or just the JMS episodes, since I'm looking for all the foreshadowing for what would have been instead.