Were it not for J. Michael Straczynski's working knowledge of the science behind science fiction, the birth of his sprawling space-station saga Babylon 5 might well have been the death of him.
"I was in the shower when I suddenly saw the entire five-year story in one blinding moment of clarity," he admits to TV Guide Online. "I bolted out of the shower, dripping wet, and went to write it down.
"But not at the computer," he adds with a laugh. "I'm not that stupid!"
Having been without their regular fix since the show aired its final episode in 1998, fans already are eagerly anticipating the spinoff movie, Legend of the Rangers, airing later this year on the Sci Fi Channel (which rebroadcasts the original series nightly at 7 pm/ET). "It's set in the year 2265, which is about two years after B5 ended," says the writer, who teases his legions of hopeful followers by hinting: "They asked us to create something that, if it works, can become a series."And while actor Andreas Katsulas's reptilian alien Citizen G'Kar is the only major player catching the shuttle from B5, Straczynski hopes others might make appearances should he begin spinning Legends on a weekly basis. "We know where our players are in terms of their universe, so that makes it possible for these new characters to go to those places and, whenever possible, see a few familiar faces."