The Untold Truth About Michael O'Hare

Roxy

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O’Hare wasn’t fired by Straczynski, he was fired by Warner Bros. A little known fact is that Babylon 5 had a GUARANTEED 22 episode run for the first season – meaning it couldn’t be cancelled. It was part of the deal set up between Warner and the stations that signed up to PTEN.

At the end of season 1 the show was generally being panned by TV critics as being to slow and talky – with O’Hare being singled out as a wooden actor. So what happens – season two is much more action orientated and O’Hare is replaced by a known name to act as the new commander. All the other writers involved with the previous story arc that was building up during season are gone, the story takes a major right turn and Straczynski starts writing all the episodes.

It was for the better, the show improved immensely, but from season 2 onwards, it was not the show which Straczynski had originally planed out – as can be read in one of his memo’s to Warner - during season 1 - who wanted to know where the thing was going.

 

Interference

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So, as suspected, some massive re-writing had to be done once O'Hare's character had to be removed. I still think his actual presence was missed, woodenness notwithstanding.
 

Roxy

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Yeah pretty much so. I’d throw in some links to show I ain’t just making it up, but as a new forum member I can’t just yet.

Both actors brought something to the part that was written for them, so it’s difficult to tell how O’Hare as Sinclair would have developed. Personally I thought he did an OK job, and the character had potential.
 

Interference

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Yeah, ok, but in my view he had a certain charm about him and, with practice and experience, might either have become a better actor or we'd've just got used to him, like Matt Whatsisface in Friends (Joey).

Not that Boxleitner was much of an improvement. His acting style is just as wooden, in many ways, if a little more - er - varnished :D

But I have to say that, even after watching the DVDs over a shortish period, the character of Sinclair made considerably more impact, even in the first, arguably slow, season.
 

Roxy

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No argument here. ; ) I don't think the change in actor was needed. Just look at the first season of ST:TNG for wodden acting. Actors and the rest of the team, if given the chance, will often grow into the role and as you say, the audience get used to them over time as well.
 

C Of K

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Sinclair was a great character. He's my brother's favorite. He was sad, introspective. People he didn't know had put him in an important position he was hardly qualified for, and he didn't know why.

Sheridan was altogether different, but great in his own way. Hated and reviled by the people who chose Sinclair, Sheridan went about the first season shirking off a good portion of his duties onto Ivanova in very comedic style.
 
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I think this explains pretty succinctly what was originally at the very start intended:
http://entil2001.com/blog15/2008/06/22/babylon-5-the-scripts-of-jms-volume-15/
It is pretty dramatic:
The various wars would be played out but not be brought to an end, they would be left unfinished at the shows five-year conclusion
Which would end with the station being attacked and destroyed
It was this that Sinclair saw when he had the flash forward in Babylon Squared
A NEW second five-year series would then begin, Babylon Prime, set on Babylon 4 which would have been transported to 2263 not into the past
With this new mobile base - remember the emphasis on B4 having engines - our rebels would have everyone after them it seems
Shades of the intentions for Crusade there

And I thought everything done in the latter half of season 4 to wrap up the civil war when they thought the series would go down with PTEN was dramatic.

Also I hate to dredge up the past or delve in potential personal problems that aren't anyone elses business, but JMS putting out public requests asking if anyone knows the whereabouts or status of O'Hare seems like an extreme measure to take, and, well, the sort you might make for someone that has had that sort of rumoured trouble.
And have a read of Netter Digital Entertainments public listing on the stock market, specifically legal proceedings:
http://google.brand.edgar-online.com/EFX_dll/EDGARpro.dll?FetchFilingHtmlSection1?SectionID=982709-4908-20222&SessionID=Xig5FC9Jmym34l7
 
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Yamato

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I actually like the character of Sinclair and the performance by O'Hare.
I certainly feel he was a much better actor than Doyle.

As for Doyle, I listened to him on the actors commentary on the B5 disks, and the man comes across as a jerk who gets off on belittling the series and the other actors. There is a huge difference listening to the actors commentary when Doyle is and isn't there. It is so much more professional, civil and pro-Babylon 5 without him. He just ridicules the show, and treats it like a joke. He also says some very mean things about cast members during the commentary. So I can understand O'Hare not liking the guy, I've only had to listen to him talk during the commentary for season 2 and 3 episodes and I got to dislike him just from that. (I can't remember names, but the S2 episode had to do with the Drazi fighting over the purple and green, and the S3 episode was the one where Kosh is murdered by the Shadows). Both commentaries are not nice to listen to. The ones with out him are just far more positive about the show and just more friendly.

I would love to hear JMS describe the original plan for B5, with Sinclair there for the whole run. The whole episode Babylon Squared certainly fits with Sinclair going back in time to be Valen as done in War Without End. Also considering the whole triluminary thing with Sinclair at the battle of the line. So, just what would have happened had the character of Sinclair stayed. (Throw the whole O'Hare issue aside, pretend some other actor whole loved the role, did a great job and got along with the rest of the cast was cast in the first place)
 

ZombieWife

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Yeah, I was there. Very moving. I felt like I was a part of something important. It saddens me greatly that Michael had to live with this affliction. In the same breath, it brings me joy to know what JMS tried to do for him and that he kept a secret and a promise. My opinion of JMS just reached great heights (I already thought highly of him, but now? Wow!).

During the B5 20th anniversary/reunion panel, some actors said some truly remarkable things about Michael.

Another blog on it.

http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2013/05/j-michael-straczynski-reveals-why.html?showComment=1369573830963
 

Brian G Turner

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Cheers for the link, ZombieWife - and, wow, never knew that about Richard Biggs. Cheers for posting it, and glad you got a lot from being there. Am slightly envious. :)
 

Fueggo

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Re-watching the old Sinclair episodes I want to say his affect was blunted. Perhaps by the schizophrenia or by poor acting but I always noticed he had a very rigid way of moving, perhaps that's wooden or ill.

I did enjoy his performance. I did feel he captured the personality of a military officer quite well. As if he were in total control of his person.

Now, reading Doyle's comments (I will be posting the results of what I have asked him on his facebook), and listening to JMS' description of O'Hare and supposed drug use and I wonder. Would it have been better if he were arrested? Since he held back on getting help, that may have shaved years off his life.

I personally believe Doyle to not be a bad person, just a tad bit too vitriolic at times. That comes with his personality, I believe. I mean, he is a Libertarian.
 

ZombieWife

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I've heard some of the starts speak about Michael and from what I've heard, I'm more aligned with folks like Mira Furlan who genuinely thinks there was a mental health problem and was also very kind about it. Claudia C. takes a more terse approach (at least in her autobiography) that lays her experience out--briefly--in pretty detached terms. As in, "This happened to me. He did this. Maybe there was an issue there. I believe it."

I find Doyle's whole approach to B5 to be a bit abrasive at times. I don't think he has a lot of compassion or sympathy, so I can only imagine that his comments are more bro-like in nature, "Dude was messed UP, YO!" (type stuff) I would be sad if he got off on making fun. I've come to like Doyle less and less as I see him at conventions.
 

Fueggo

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@ZombieWife I definitely agree with the attitudes taken on mental health there. I do understand Christian's aloofness concerning mental health, considering her own issues with addiction and mental health she would probably want to keep it at arm's distance.

I find Doyle is what he is, reminds me heavily of Adam Baldwin. I respect and admire them, but I strongly disagree with their political stances and social etiquette.
 

ZombieWife

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@ZombieWife I definitely agree with the attitudes taken on mental health there. I do understand Christian's aloofness concerning mental health, considering her own issues with addiction and mental health she would probably want to keep it at arm's distance.

I find Doyle is what he is, reminds me heavily of Adam Baldwin. I respect and admire them, but I strongly disagree with their political stances and social etiquette.
Oh yeah, I didn't mind Christian's aloofness. At least I felt she was objective about it, whereas Doyle seemed like a high school jock making fun of the challenged kids. I don't know--just how he came across at the 20th reunion in Phoenix. I think it's just who he is, or who he's used to being now--a controversial guy on conservative/libertarian radio. Probably has appearances to keep up. I wonder if he was this way working on the show.
 

Fueggo

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I do think Doyle is one of those guys who might be exaggerating his opinion and beliefs in order to be more popular. But he still is better than a lot of pundits, I'd prefer to be in a room with him than Katie Hopkins.

But if O'Hare was taking cocaine and attacking people, I do think it would have been better if he were arrested and got the help he needed much sooner than he did.

Certain medications can cause you to gain/loose weight which may be why he got fat, I mean, I gained some weight when I was on omeprazole and citalopram which I used for a few months.
 

ZombieWife

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I didn't know who Katie Hopkins was, so I looked her up and hmmm. I found a few scary pics. Haha.

I think O'Hare could have been volatile, sure. And many with mental illnesses choose to self-medicate. But not sure I agree that jail would have helped. It can often make things worse for folks like this. It might have been a thing where he refused help because he didn't want to take meds, or felt he didn't need to. Probably pretty common with some.

I do think it says a lot about JMS that he gave the guy a genuine chance and that the character was allowed to go out in a stunning way.
 

Fueggo

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Jail wouldn't have helped but perhaps hospitalization could have helped him...

The self-medicating was a terrible idea on his part. Mental illness + street drugs = Worse mental illness. But I do feel sorry for the people he was aggressive towards. If people were aware of his illness, and he was being medicated and having regular check-ups, perhaps he could alive today.
 

ZombieWife

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Jail wouldn't have helped but perhaps hospitalization could have helped him...

The self-medicating was a terrible idea on his part. Mental illness + street drugs = Worse mental illness. But I do feel sorry for the people he was aggressive towards. If people were aware of his illness, and he was being medicated and having regular check-ups, perhaps he could alive today.
Oh yeah, I definitely feel bad for the people he victimized. It's not a good thing all around.
 
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