I've finally gotten around to watching my DVDs of the panels from Pheonix Comicon that I missed, and one of them was Points of Departure, which I missed because I was at the Claudia Christian one instead, and boy do I wish I was there so I could yak it up disagreeing with the panelists like I did with other ones. So like I said before in my look back at the first season, a problem I have with the show is that the good guys really are just a little too good in some ways, especially the Rangers, so really, I have to say that I prefer Crusade vastly over JMS's original idea for a spin off show. JMS has talked about this before, that there would have been a show about the Rangers going around helping to keep and create peace in the galaxy, and eventually the characters would have discovered some sort of corruption within the Rangers I think. Really, the idea of seeing the Rangers still be these knights in shining armor doesn't appeal to me. Apparently Crusade's story basically came from TNT insisting on certain things, and while a lot of what they eventually wanted was totally stupid, I think the idea of Crusade is far more interesting.
And on the subject of Crusade, they mention in the panel some stuff about things that were going to be in the show that were dropped because of TNT (I can't remember if I knew this already or not). Sheridan, Delenn, Franklin, and even Marcus would have been in the show as main characters. Now, I'm one to have NEVER wanted Marcus to come back, because I've always felt that it just cheapens his sacrifice. If Marcus was brought back, it would just be like "Oh yeah, I gave my life to save the woman I love, but you know, I got better." Hell, we already had one character come back from the dead, we don't need two. Also, I think that not having Sheridan and Delenn return was a very good idea. It lets us see new characters, and gives other actors a chance to show what they can do. However, I think that it would have been great for Franklin to return, since it's very logical. He's had more experience than pretty much anyone else in the medical field in the galaxy with various alien biologies, so he would be a vital asset to the Excalibur. Zathras was also mentioned to returned, and I have to say, I think that one of the reasons everyone loves Zathras is because he was only there for a little bit. He was really funny and everything, but I think that the idea would have worn out very fast if he was a main character in something. Though I wouldn't have been opposed to a Valen story with Zathras there as a main character, since it's only logical.
Really though, for an awesome B5 spin off, I think that the fifth season episode The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father would have been an excellent idea for a show. The Psi Corps storylines is one of the absolute best in the show, even with how the telepath story turned out in the fifth season. One of the strengths of it is that this is a very hard subject to just say "Well, THIS is obviously the right solution!" and preach it. If telepaths existed, the simple fact is that they would have an unfair advantage, and people's rights would be a huge issue. They would be persecuted and hunted down, so an organization like Psi Corps would have to be made. Unfortunately it turned into a nightmare, but still, with proper oversight, a Psi Corps might be able to work.
I imagine a show starting Walter Koenig as Bester, Dana Barron as Lauren Ashley, Bester's horrible little apprentice, and Mike Genovese as Bester's superior. In the show we would see the good and the bad, the VERY bad about the Psi Corps, and we could see other young actors playing Psi Corps interns. What's great is that as it goes on, we would eventually come to the Telepath War. Characters would have to decide just what their values really are, just who and what they're actually loyal to, trapped inside an oppressive nightmare where your thoughts aren't private, where you don't know at all who you can really trust, an environment where you might not even be able to trust yourself, because you might have something hidden in your mind. Some characters would be loyal to the Psi Corps, like Laurel, others would feel caught in the middle, not knowing what to do, and others would flat out rebel and be forced to kill people they used to consider friends. I think this would have been an amazing show. I really don't know why JMS was so caught up on the Rangers.
Another thing is that they talk about Delenn and Valen's final fate, and again, I've always disagreed with the majority of fans. For some reason, everyone wants to imagine Sheridan, Delenn, and Sinclair all living happily ever after beyond the Rim, while I've always argued that it makes no sense whatsoever that Valen would be taken beyond the Rim. Who the hell would have taken him there? Lorien makes it clear that Sheridan was the first one to visit him in thousands of years. I have my own theory about what happened to Valen and Delenn, with their fates linked, and it sure doesn't involve any trip beyond the Rim. I've mentioned it before, but if any of you were interested, I could type it all up again.