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Old April 3 2013, 12:15 AM   #903
kirk55555's Avatar
Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Reverend wrote: View Post
^But that's part of the point no? It's a source of suspense, much like Hitchcock's "bomb under the table" scenario. Giving the audience information the characters don't have is a very old and proven way of keeping people interested.

Going back to Dune for a second, the real reason I found the newer books so tedious is because they're just a purely linear description of events. "This happened, then some thing else, and then...and then...and then....zzzzz." Unlike his son, Frank Herbert knew how to draw in readers, not with big events but with big ideas. Most of the original Dune books are really just a series of conversations and interior monologues that really brings the characters to life. Indeed, most probably don't notice it at the time, but for a series of books about the rise and fall of civilizations across thousands of years there's actually very little action. Most of the battles happen "off-screen", save for that one right near the end of Chapterhouse.

Likewise in B5, we're given a glimpse into the fates of these characters. We get to see the world through their eyes and it gives greater depth to the events of the "present" knowing how some things will go down later on. Yes, Londo will one day in the next few decades find himself joined to a keeper. At the end of 'Rising Star' we even hear from Delenn (presumably speaking from some point in the future) : "The next 20 years would see great changes, great joy and great sorrow. The Telepath War, the Drakh War. The new Alliance would waver and crack but in the end, it would hold." But none of that spoils anything really, now does it? Given what we've seen, an open conflict involving human telepaths seems to be inevitable. But that doesn't make watching the events that precipitate it any less interesting.

Or to give an example closer to reality; the other day I watched 'Lincoln' for the first time. Did it matter that before I saw a single frame of film I knew that he would successfully see slavery permanently abolished, or that he would at some point have a one way trip the the theatre? Of course not. The same is true with just about any kind of historical drama where the backdrop is well known. In a sense, that's what the likes of B5 & Dune are. They're framed as historical dramas that just so happen to take place in a fictional future.

Well, maybe its a "proven way of keeping people interested" (although in general I feel it does the opposite a lot of the time), in this case it definately didn't work. I'm interested in the current stuff I don't know, but knowing the future just makes me angry. If Londo's going to get posesses, I want to find out about it around the same time he does, or atleast sometime after. I don't want it ahead of time. Its a totally different situation then Dune, or Lincoln. Lincoln is a historical thing, its not fiction where anything could happen (unless its a historical fiction, but you know what I mean). B5 isn't a book, where I feel that kind of spoiler is more reasonable sometimes. Its a TV show, and one that benefits from you not knowing things. Some tV shows its fine (watching Smallivlle, I knew Clark was going to become Superman eventually) but B5 isn't that way. It was a brand new series, it wasn't connected to anything before it. You had no expectations of what was to come, even the so called "predictions" could have gone anyway (because most writers wouldn't actually have every single "prediction" turn out to be true ). It just doesn't feel right to me, and ticks me off. Also, I like Brian Herbert's stuff. His Dune House Trilogy was awesome. Frank did a better job in the main series (although I liked Brian's 2 books that finish it) but his son really fleshed out some of the characters like Duke Leto and the stuff that happened leading up to Dune (Although the Butlerian Jihad books weren't very good, but I didn't really like the idea of reading about that event anyway, because the event itself didn't interest me that much).
Anyway, on to the episode I just watched.

Secrets of the Soul - So we have some more telepaths, and one has telekinesis. Lyta was right when she was talking about how the B5 crew didn't help her very much after all she did, but Byron is not a good guy. I don't think he's evil, but he's definately not a good guy. He's an arrogant telepath with a superiority complex. The guy who injured the telepath was wrong, but taking vengeance on him just makes their position worse, since security now knows (although can't exactly prove) that atleast some of the telepaths are dangerous murderers. Atleast Byron wasn't encouraging it (at that point, although by the end of the episode his seemingly sincere desire to not become violent looks like it won't turn out to be as important to him as I originally thought it was watching this episode). The hyach were crazy to do what they did (not unique really, but crazy). They don't deserve to go extinct, but it is a situation they caused, its all their fault. If Byron's people are vicious killers without him, maybe they don't deserve to be free. Say what you want, but a "mundane" or group of them who murder someone for vengeance would be put in jail at the very least. The Lyta/Byron stuff was gross, although her memories were interesting. The fact that they were telepathically..."screaming" during the event was creepy. The vorlon connection to telepaths is interesting, but it looks like it may make Byron go from what he was (an ass with a superiority complex, but not an evil person really, although some of his actions and inactions have made him lean that way) to crazy violent fanatic (aka Bester with less restraint). I kind of hope it doesn't go that route, but it would be interesting. Overall, this was a good episode.
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