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On 2/7/2019 at 3:45 AM, John Potts said:

One of the funniest scenes (IMO) was Marcus & Stephen bickering about their wedding ("And that, your Honour, is when I killed him")!

"He's going to spend the night locking himself in the bathroom."

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On 1/28/2019 at 3:06 AM, starri said:

I have to wonder if it's better or worse than Vir's "We have six" scene.

I have many thoughts about the way B5 didn't deal with gender issues.  I honestly can't think of a single scene that's just between two women from any point after Talia left.  I can't remember a single female Minbari other than Delenn.  Zero female Rangers.  One female Psi Cop.  Maybe two female EarthForce members that weren't Ivanova or Lochley.  And Na'Toth was only recast in S2 because they needed G'Kar to have someone to talk to in a few episodes.

In fairness, I did like Number One and really loved the ISN anchorwoman who needed a minute to compose herself when she was able to go back on the air once Clarke was overthrown.

That isn't gender issues, that is straight up sexism. 

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who hated Byron. The character and the way the actor played him was just insufferable. Worst of all because th idea of a telepath war had a lot of potential. Think of Bester using and manipulating Garibaldi and the fallout. Think of Bester training his young interns. How imagine a war for power and planets with an enemy that knew everything you were thinking. Could other races with telepaths help you develop defenses? How does espionage and intelligence work for both sides? Could a mundane hold a false thought and fool a telepath? That story would have been amazing. 

I loved Day of the Dead and I liked The Deconstruction of Falling Stars. I appreciated the homage to Canticle. 

Of course Londo and G'Kar were wonderful as we're their story arcs. I had a little trouble with Sheridan, not because I mind a hero, but because he never struggled with anything. He might as well have been named Dudley Do Right. Heroes overcome, but not without internal struggle as well as external. 

All that said, B5 remains a favorite. 

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1 hour ago, AuntieMame said:

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who hated Byron.

You say that as if there are people who liked him. 

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11 hours ago, ganesh said:

You say that as if there are people who liked him. 

I’ve never gotten to chat with other B5 fans until now, so I thought it was just me hating his every moment on screen. Which was a bummer because Lita’s part of the story had potential. The others really did use her when they needed her. If Byron has been less annoying that could have been an interesting story line. Even if the Byron character was black and white on the pacifism and/or the absolute demand for a telepath planet, this could have been written and acted in a way that was good storytelling. 

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17 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

I’ve never gotten to chat with other B5 fans until now, so I thought it was just me hating his every moment on screen. Which was a bummer because Lita’s part of the story had potential. The others really did use her when they needed her. If Byron has been less annoying that could have been an interesting story line. Even if the Byron character was black and white on the pacifism and/or the absolute demand for a telepath planet, this could have been written and acted in a way that was good storytelling. 

It was pretty much everyone. I ran a bulletin board during that period of time and no one liked Byron. There was a lot about season 5 that sat wrong with people but Byron was by far the one thing everyone agreed on. He was awful and we were hoping that the willow tree was cut down far sooner then it was. And then there was the singing. Your telepaths, send your song telepathically and don't make me listen to it.

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On 12/11/2018 at 3:12 AM, Joe Hellandback said:

Interesting, is that official or just your own interpretation? I never thought of it that way but you are right, we naturally tend to side with the Centuri as they are so human. Plus of course they are the post colonial power whilst the Narn are the post colonised people, as westerners we see their viewpoint more. The scene where Morden goes around asking all the races what the want is pivotal, Earth isn't really fussed, the Minbari recognise him for what he is, the Narn want revenge on the Centuri but beyond that have no real ambitions. It's Londo despite possibly being the most peaceful of all the races who tells them what they want to hear, to restore the Centuri empire? 

Wow. I sympathized with the Narn, especially once we learned the types of manipulation the Centauri were using to make the attacks. I tended to equate the Narn with the indigenous peoples of the Americas, genocided for money and conquest by a race with superior war technology. 

don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Londo and enjoyed his storylines, but I never felt his treatment of the Narn was sympathetic even though it was easier to initially identify with the Centauri because of their human appearance. 

Edited by AuntieMame

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1 hour ago, ganesh said:

To be fair to Londo, he objected to the use of mass drivers. 

That’s a pretty low bar though.  Let’s be thankful the Centauri didn’t have planet-killers.

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The Narn were set up as the aggressors in the first 2 seasons. They beat back the Centauri, adapted their technology and built up a force to rival the Centauri. The Centauri were afraid of engagements they might not win, their empire was contracting and they were trying to guide Earth and reflect themselves in that glory. When Morden showed up, Londo felt like his empire was fading away, just like himself.

I would almost equate the Narn to the Americans, rather than the native people of America. Americans broke free of British rule and became an even bigger power. The British Empire then shrunk to a shadow of its former self. That's what probably would have happened to Centauri had Londo not met the Shadows. JMS tried to keep Londo on the knife's edge, showing how he could be taken in early on and how the Republic made the deadliest deals with the Shadows. Still, Londo was forced to rule over a destroyed plant by the Drakh, cruel but fitting punishment.

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Marcus was mentioned in conjunction with Byron as an annoying character. For me as a viewer, Marcus was disconcerting because he seemed like he was a refugee from a pulp fantasy show or book rather than the sci fi world JMS created. Rather as if a paladin rode a horse onto the bridge of the Enterprise. I know writers sometimes mix the fantasy and science fiction genres, but this really didn’t work for me. 

As for Londo, his tragic arc was heartbreaking and satisfying emotionally. We watched the corruption of a person who in other circumstances or even with one or two different choices could have been a decent person. The fate of Londo and Centauri Prime was one of the best storylines in the show. 

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10 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

Marcus was mentioned in conjunction with Byron as an annoying character. For me as a viewer, Marcus was disconcerting because he seemed like he was a refugee from a pulp fantasy show or book rather than the sci fi world JMS created. Rather as if a paladin rode a horse onto the bridge of the Enterprise. I know writers sometimes mix the fantasy and science fiction genres, but this really didn’t work for me. 

Yeah, that's kind of what annoyed me about the Rangers (and the Technomages) is that they seemed like a bad photocopy of a photocopy of Lord of the Rings.

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On 2/11/2019 at 7:57 PM, ketose said:

I would almost equate the Narn to the Americans, rather than the native people of America. Americans broke free of British rule and became an even bigger power. The British Empire then shrunk to a shadow of its former self. That's what probably would have happened to Centauri had Londo not met the Shadows. JMS tried to keep Londo on the knife's edge, showing how he could be taken in early on and how the Republic made the deadliest deals with the Shadows. Still, Londo was forced to rule over a destroyed plant by the Drakh, cruel but fitting punishment.

I'm not sure that this analogy really works.  The British Empire if anything grew across the 19c--the loss of the north American colonies were an emotional blow but did little if anything to stop Britain from being the most powerful nation in the world.  I think we need to fine a truly post-imperial analogy with a nation that still thinks it is the center of culture.  Perhaps contemporary France?

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1 hour ago, AuntieMame said:

The fate of Londo and Centauri Prime was one of the best storylines in the show. 

Londo's story was the story of Babylon 5 as far as I've seen. 

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I found this as a suggested video on my YouTube homepage.  Interesting, but that woman has never seen an episode of B5.

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On 2/21/2019 at 9:38 PM, starri said:

Yeah, that's kind of what annoyed me about the Rangers (and the Technomages) is that they seemed like a bad photocopy of a photocopy of Lord of the Rings.

Remember the Vorlon set themselves up as religious figures to help/i doctrinate the races in order and light. I’m sure the rangers were established in this model to be the rescuers and defenders—you see this in the medieval segment, that is how they are remembered. Kosh has a part in setting them up along with valen and Vorlon i fluenced Minbari. Makes sense. 

I’ve met technomages. You know, sort of. The impulse is there. 

Science masquerading as magic also makes sense when some races will be less advanced than others and the Vorlon are in front of everyone, presenting as magical beings. 

Anyway, I wasn’t bothered by their inclusion.

Edited by Affogato · Reason: Vorlon not Vorlin

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The technomage books really fleshes out the technology. Crusade was supposed to get into them more with Galen. 

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Man, Galen was a character I found only slightly less annoying than Byron.

The Clarke's Third Law stuff isn't the part that I have difficulty swallowing.  There's something about them strutting around the galaxy cosplaying as Benedictine monks that I find harder to take.  To my mind, that doesn't really fit with the rest of the B5 universe.  It's rather like picturing Captain Picard coming to the bridge of the Enterprise to find that his new first office is a wizard.  Jedi and Sith fit Star Wars.  I just don't think their equivalents fit into B5.

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2 hours ago, starri said:

Man, Galen was a character I found only slightly less annoying than Byron.

The Clarke's Third Law stuff isn't the part that I have difficulty swallowing.  There's something about them strutting around the galaxy cosplaying as Benedictine monks that I find harder to take.  To my mind, that doesn't really fit with the rest of the B5 universe.  It's rather like picturing Captain Picard coming to the bridge of the Enterprise to find that his new first office is a wizard.  Jedi and Sith fit Star Wars.  I just don't think their equivalents fit into B5.

While I see what you mean, what did you think of Farscape?

Also, I'm picturing Riker dressed like Gandalf. It doesn't quite work.

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2 hours ago, starri said:

Man, Galen was a character I found only slightly less annoying than Byron.

The books help. If you don't want to know don't look.

Spoiler

They've been basically implanted with Shadow technology, so there's a parallel to the Vorlon creating telepaths. 

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"Matters of Honor."

Spotted a giant, gaping plot hole. Marcus come to the station because he needs help to get the other Rangers off the planet.  Fine, but then he turns around and says that they specifically need Sheridan.  But, why?  I mean, I understand from a storytelling perspective, they need to bring the Rangers into the story and to introduce the White Star, but in-universe, there's no reason that I can think of that the other Rangers couldn't have done it themselves.  I don't think they even attempted to handwave it in the dialog.

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I always assumed Sinclair told Marcus why Sheridan was important. 

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On 3/31/2019 at 7:14 PM, ganesh said:

I always assumed Sinclair told Marcus why Sheridan was important. 

I can believe that, and they could have covered it quickly, but it doesn't really explain why there weren't any Rangers ready to go when they had to begin to move more openly.

OTOH, "Passing Through Gethsemane" is easily the show's best one-off episodes, and probably one of the best period.

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5 minutes ago, starri said:

"Passing Through Gethsemane" is easily the show's best one-off episodes, and probably one of the best period.

This is a really good episode. According to The Babylon File by Andy Lane, Straczynski heard about a convent of nuns who were fans of the show and he sent them this episode

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I think what makes it work so well is just how good the performances from Brad Dourif and Louis Turenne are.  While I think a lot of B5 was overwritten, a lot of it wasn't, and I do often think a lot of the guest cast doesn't quite rise to it.  But there are marvelous exceptions, and this was certainly one of them.

For all their religious beliefs being so central to their cultural identity, Minbari beliefs don't make a whole lot of sense, at least to me.  The way that Lennier describes it to Brother Edward just doesn't quite jibe with some of the other things that they set up about it over the years.

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Okay, Sky One has started showing the series again from the beginning so I'm going to start rewatching from the beginning (tragically they never showed The Gathering so it won't be from the very beginning).

Midnight on the Firing Line

Very much an ep where we see the fading glory on the Centuri. Very low key entry for Ivanova, she just walks into shot without fanfare. The early titles are very basic compared to the sophisticated ones we get later, just the actors names on a starfield. The Narn fighters seem a very different design to what we see later.

 The early G'Kar is a nasty piece of work and no mistake. I never realised that Londo's dream of him and G'Kar killing one another was there from the very beginning. Santiago is opposed to alien influence but ironically he comes under it from the Shadows (of course arguably he's right, our 'heroes' are also under alien influence from the Vorlorns?)

5/10

Soul Hunter

Really weak ep, I remember watching this at Uni and everyone laughed at the villain with the walnut in his forehead (Martin Sheen's makeup will be thankfully much better). Odd to see Delenn so emotive and violent. Quite shocking to see the cheating gambler stabbed, Sky was showing this at 0900, I wonder if they realised? But here we have Steven for the first time so memorable for that.

3/10

Born to the purple

 We seems to have very tame strippers in the future but we do have slavery. We have our first signs of the great affection that exists between Londo and Vir, calling him a 'moon faced assassin of joy' on the one hand but happily accepting his cup of 'hot Jala' from him and offering him his first real taste of power by negotiating with the Narns.

 How stupid is it that the station commander can go undercover? Surely everyone knows him? Reminds me of The Six Million Dollar Man where Steve Austin could regularly go undercover despite being an astronaut who'd walked on the moon?  Our first hints of Ivanova's humanity and the first time Londo and G'Kar co-operate together.  Not fond of Ko'Dath, glad we don't see her again.

5/10 

Infection

Well, glad to see that even in the future Lloyds of London is still going, some things are eternal. David McCallum, yay! It was nice that 40 years after The Man from Uncle both he and Robert Vaughn were still starring on prime time TV with NCIS and Hustle. We have mention of the pro-Earth movement and a genuinely neutral journalist. Interesting that the Akrabbs were trying to fight off invaders 1000 years ago (the last Shadow war?) and used organic technology like the Shadows/Vorlorns do, whose side were they on? Little disappointing McCallum's character turns out to be a villain although it's hard to see how he would be convicted, the only evidence against him is the testimony of his murderous confederate and his only crime is skipping customs regs. Sinclair's speech to him is a little OTT, wouldn't it have made more sense to just put on a spacesuit and lure him to the airlock?

4/10

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On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 12:16 PM, ProfCrash said:

Yes. Sinclair was always the lead and was suppose to be the lead for 3 seasons. Sinclair left earlier only because of Michael O'Hare's illness.

I wonder if they were tempted to just recast the role? It would have been easy to just have him injured and given plastic surgery, soap opera style.  

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On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 1:51 PM, starri said:

If I remember the original plan, Sheridan was going to be the captain of a ship that was attached to B5, and would slowly step into the XO role when Takishema was revealed as Control. Sheridan was the one who was supposed to draw Sinclair into General Hague’s group. I assume had O’Hare not been forced to leave, Ivanova would have filled that role. 

No, far better this way, Ivanova was great because she had time to grow on us and develop as a character, her relationships with the rest of the crew were what made her special. 

On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 2:16 PM, ganesh said:

Sheridan would have been captain of the flagship. He wasn't ever meant to be stationed at B5. 

So he'd have taken the General Haig role?

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On 1/24/2019 at 8:51 AM, starri said:

If I remember the original plan, Sheridan was going to be the captain of a ship that was attached to B5, and would slowly step into the XO role when Takishema was revealed as Control. Sheridan was the one who was supposed to draw Sinclair into General Hague’s group. I assume had O’Hare not been forced to leave, Ivanova would have filled that role. 

Sinclair was always meant to be Valen so there would not have been a reason to draw Sinclair into any group. There was no way Sinclair would have fallen in step with Clark, that was clear from how Sinclair challenged authority at every opportunity. Sinclair found many a way to do what he wanted, all within the rules of course, and worked around what ever problems his methods caused. One way or the other, Sinclair was leaving in War Without End in season 3. He would have been there when the Civil War started and then departed to take on the role of Valen. I am sure that at that time Ivanova or Sheridan would have taken over B5.

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