"Uncommonly, show creator and producer creator J. Michael Straczynski wrote 92 of the 110 teleplays for Babylon 5’s five year-run. To put this in perspective: Joss Whedon wrote 23 teleplays of 144 episodes of Buffy. Showrunner of Battlestar Galatica Ron Moore is only credited with 13 teleplays of 73 episodes. Now, this isn’t to say B5 is better than Buffy or BSG or that JMS inherently works harder than Whedon or Moore or anything like that. Obviously, Whedon and Moore were heavily involved in all aspects of their respective shows, just as JMS was with B5. The relevant thing here is that there was no “writer’s room” on B5, which we can’t imagine when we think of TV now. I mean, what if Steven Moffat wrote all 13 episodes of every season of Doctor Who? The chances of plot arcs making more sense and being more consistent would probably be much higher, right?
Babylon 5 was conceived as a “novel for television,” meaning the basic outline of the story—its beginning, middle, and end—were generally already figured out when the show began. Famously, JMS created “trapdoors” for all characters should the studio demand changes, or an actor was no longer available. And considering how many times this did happen to B5, the integrity of the overall larger story remains pretty impressive. You can sense there’s an importance to Londo’s omniscient dreams in the 1st season, and when it actually happens in the 3rd season, the pay-off is awesome. And these weren’t short 13-episode Doctor Who seasons! These suckers were 22 episodes long, each year. In terms of long-game plots and big changes for the characters and the universe, Babylon 5 wasn’t fucking around. Though this assertion is probably a little anecdotal and biased, but the promise of tantalizing story detail being actually resolved in a satisfying way during the course of B5 is higher than on a lot of contemporary shows in the same genre with a similar structure.
Beyond the internet medium being new, JMS had an advantage over the showrunners of today because he was totally confident in where his story was going. Babylon 5 didn’t have Doctor Who style-problems of making up stuff about River Song as they went along or Battlestar Galactica’s stumbles about “explaining” Starbuck’s death. By and large, the B5 stories were already written. When things don’t make sense on TV shows today, fans and critics get upset with the showrunner, even though on most of these shows there are several cooks in the kitchen. For better or worse, B5 didn’t have this problem with inconsistency since there was basically one cook and he was online talking directly to the fans."