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Old January 27 2010, 09:23 PM   #151
Brian
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Could be. I just assumed the Soul Hunters were always there. But if they were set to the task by someone, it could have been with the intent of


Hmm.... I never thought of it that way.
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Old January 27 2010, 10:01 PM   #152
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Did I mention B5 has many, many terrible guest stars?

Because it does. In fairness, many of them really don't have much to work with, especially bad guys.

brian wrote: View Post
JMS settled this argument back when the episode first aired. When asked, "Who's right, the Soul Hunter or the Minbari?" he replied,

Yes.
The episode comes down hard against the Soul Hunters, though. There don't seem to be any non-Soul Hunters in favour of the practice (it is commented that the alien sector is in a panic over it), and even ignoring the psychotic principal Soul Hunter, Sinclair - who in moral issues tends to be JMS's voicepiece - bans Soul Hunters from the station.

One could defend the practice, and the episode isn't as strident as some Star Trek episodes (or indeed some B5 episodes) in setting up the other side as bad guys, but it's definitely picked a side.

Reverend wrote: View Post
^ As you say it depends on how you define a "soul". The simplest definition, (to steal a line from Star Trek) is "everything that is not of the body."
Even this is a very partisan definition. We're used to the idea that the soul is something incorporeal basically because efforts to nail down a corporeal essence were all failures, I believe there was a point the soul was located somewhere in the stomach in some cultures.

The soul, for all intents and purposes, is what distinguishes the living from the dead, in Latin anima, i.e. what animates us. So it's whatever makes us alive and, the assumption goes, is us. The soul is a catch-all word for what makes me breathe and gives me the personality that assumes a Talaxian avatar is inherently funny.

You could pretty easily tell a sci-fi story about what this property is or what it's supposed to be (I'm not suggesting here there is such a thing, only god and people who did science in school knows what biology is), but the specific word 'soul' probably has too overtly religious connotations - which was doubtless intentional on JMS's part.
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Old January 27 2010, 10:28 PM   #153
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
Hear, hear!

And please understand that I'm not arguing who's right, the Soul Hunter or the Minbari. Or whether the soul exists or not, or what it is. I'm just pointing out that there are some built-in contradictions in the Soul Hunters' own claims of what they're doing.

And that makes me think they were sold a bill of goods by whoever put them on the task in the first place.
Whoever said a belief has to be logical and consistent? Soul Hunters are hardly infallible.
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Old January 28 2010, 07:19 AM   #154
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

As someone who watched B5 for the first time just a few years ago and shared the experience on these boards, I'll urge you to stick with the show. It gets very, very, very good. It also get's fairly silly, and most of the acting is pretty bad, but damn, those moments when it hits its stride are some of the most memorable, most heart-wrenching scenes I've ever seen on television.
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Old January 28 2010, 11:39 AM   #155
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
To put it another way, if it's irrevocably tied to the body, then you can't capture it and put it somewhere else. All you can do is make a copy.
Silvercrest wrote:
Do the Soul Hunters have a way to differentiate between the ephemeral soul and the brain pattern/personality matrix? Not according to what they tell us.
Franklin makes this very point in the episode. He believes all it is is a copy of a personality and not a soul.
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Old January 28 2010, 06:27 PM   #156
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
Silvercrest wrote: View Post
To put it another way, if it's irrevocably tied to the body, then you can't capture it and put it somewhere else. All you can do is make a copy.
Silvercrest wrote:
Do the Soul Hunters have a way to differentiate between the ephemeral soul and the brain pattern/personality matrix? Not according to what they tell us.
Franklin makes this very point in the episode. He believes all it is is a copy of a personality and not a soul.
I know, but the point is how the Soul Hunters perceive it, not everyone else. As I said, there seem to be some contradictions in what they say, so I'm bringing this up to analyze their perspective.
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Old January 28 2010, 08:23 PM   #157
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Yay! Another TGB thread!

No, I am NOT being sarcastic. I always enjoy TheGodBen's threads. I wish I liked B5 better, but I'll check in on this thread from time to time anyway, when I need a small dose of smartassity as a pick-me-up.

And you never know. He might convert me. It didn't work with ENT, but then again, ENT takes a lot of selling, IMO.

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Old January 28 2010, 11:12 PM   #158
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

JustKate wrote: View Post
Yay! Another TGB thread!

No, I am NOT being sarcastic. I always enjoy TheGodBen's threads. I wish I liked B5 better, but I'll check in on this thread from time to time anyway, when I need a small dose of smartassity as a pick-me-up.
A small dose? Surely my ass is smarter than that.


Born to the Purple (*½)

Another unsatisfying outing, not even Londo and G'Kar could rescue this episode for me. There story here has been done to death; woman tasked with seducing a man for fun and profit develops feelings for him and ends up betraying her employer due to her feelings for the man. I've seen this a thousand times before, I've seen it just as many times with the roles of the male and female reversed, and I think I've even seen it involving two men. (I can't say I've ever seen it with two women, but that might be because whenever lesbians are on screen I stop focusing on the plot.) Does this episode add anything new to the formula? Not really, just a bunch of aliens, the basic concepts and structure remain the same.

Londo's character in this episode gets grazed by the bullet of a senseless assassin; he doesn't take his job seriously, he focuses on sex when he should be thinking about the important issue of galactic peace, and his incompetence nearly brings down his empire. I still like Londo, buy many more episodes like this and I'll have to reconsider. As for G'Kar, I did not like the way he reacted at the end of the episode at all, he stormed off in a huff because he was tricked into not causing an empire descend into chaos.

I have to question how Sinclair is the commander of B5 yet businessmen on the station apparently don't recognise him. Some layperson who is just passing through the station might not know what he looks like, but a businessman based on the station? I don't get it.

I must have missed something major about Ivanova's backstory because I can't understand the b-story at all. She has to use back-channels in order to talk to her dying father why? I don't understand what's going on, I didn't find it particularly emotional, all it did was distract from the a-plot, not that that's such a crime in this case.

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Old January 28 2010, 11:38 PM   #159
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
I have to question how Sinclair is the commander of B5 yet businessmen on the station apparently don't recognise him. Some layperson who is just passing through the station might not know what he looks like, but a businessman based on the station? I don't get it.
Would you recognize the Mayor of your city by sight?

I must have missed something major about Ivanova's backstory because I can't understand the b-story at all. She has to use back-channels in order to talk to her dying father why? I don't understand what's going on, I didn't find it particularly emotional, all it did was distract from the a-plot, not that that's such a crime in this case.
She didn't have to do so. She simply chose to be discreet.
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Old January 28 2010, 11:40 PM   #160
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Lindley wrote: View Post
Would you recognize the Mayor of your city by sight?
I would. He's in the news a lot.
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Old January 28 2010, 11:54 PM   #161
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Most of the towns I've lived in, I woudn't. I'm ashamed to admit that, but it's true.
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Old January 29 2010, 02:25 AM   #162
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Lindley wrote: View Post
Would you recognize the Mayor of your city by sight?
Sadly, yes, he's something of an embarrassment. A national embarrassment.

I'd probably recognise Ban Ki-moon too, although I'd admit that most probably wouldn't.
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Old January 29 2010, 02:30 AM   #163
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Hell, I worked at a grocery store for several months before I ever met the general manager. I don't even know who my mayor is, let alone what he looks like.
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Old January 29 2010, 03:36 AM   #164
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Plus of course such people are somewhat harder to recognise without the uniform. If General Sir Michael Jackson or Norman Schwarzkopf happened to walk into my place of business wearing jeans, t-shirt and a funny little hooded cloak, I'm not confident I'd twig as to their identity either...mostly I'd be focused on the funny little hooded cloak
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Old January 29 2010, 04:40 AM   #165
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Londo's character in this episode gets grazed by the bullet of a senseless assassin; he doesn't take his job seriously, he focuses on sex when he should be thinking about the important issue of galactic peace, and his incompetence nearly brings down his empire. I still like Londo, buy many more episodes like this and I'll have to reconsider. As for G'Kar, I did not like the way he reacted at the end of the episode at all, he stormed off in a huff because he was tricked into not causing an empire descend into chaos.
I *do* so love comments like this from the new viewers!

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