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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old February 27 2010, 11:58 PM   #736
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

stonester1 wrote: View Post

For the record, though, I've never gotten the Niner/Fiver friction. Same with Star Wars/Star Trek rivalry. I'm a fan of them all and see that stuff as tribal nonsense.

But that's me.
Me too. I admit, the first time I saw Babylon 5 I thought it had COMPLETELY ripped off DS9, but it wasn't long before I came to love it for what it is: good sci-fi television.

Except for that damn Byron, of course.
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Old February 28 2010, 01:13 AM   #737
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

RandyS wrote: View Post
stonester1 wrote: View Post

For the record, though, I've never gotten the Niner/Fiver friction. Same with Star Wars/Star Trek rivalry. I'm a fan of them all and see that stuff as tribal nonsense.

But that's me.
Me too. I admit, the first time I saw Babylon 5 I thought it had COMPLETELY ripped off DS9, but it wasn't long before I came to love it for what it is: good sci-fi television.

Except for that damn Byron, of course.
Were DS9 and B5 competing with one another? I just noticed there original runs begun one and a half month apart from each other.
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Old February 28 2010, 01:20 AM   #738
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

I never noticed. I loved both shows, loved them both from the beginning.

I heard some allegations of ripoffs, but I never gave a damn.

I think both shows stand as some of the very finest of science fiction storytelling.
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Old February 28 2010, 01:55 AM   #739
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
As for the DS9/B5 rivalry, I'm not sure what's worse; Trekkies who insist on comparing every episode of B5 to something they've seen in the 100's of hour of Star Trek, or the B5 fans who insist their favourite show is superior in all conceivable ways. Neither group does either show, or indeed themselves any favours by thinking that way.
I'm of the same mind. However, to be fair there a few legions of Trek fans who feel that their particular favorite Trek show (or the entire franchise for that matter) is be all to end all of science fiction entertainment, over all others, not just B5. I can understand why each side may feel one "ripped off" (gah! how I hate that overused term! ), based on what is known. But what does it profit anyone to persist in such childish behavior? If you're predisposed one way or the other, you will find plenty of "evidence". Like that matters anymore.

Fortunately, most people on this board have a reasonable perspective in that regard.
AMEN for that!!!
Even the most "evangelistic" of each here takes that reasonable approach.


Starbrow wrote: View Post
Were DS9 and B5 competing with one another? I just noticed there original runs begun one and a half month apart from each other.
The shows ran concurrently, more or less, so it stands to reason there'd be some naturally occurring competition. Even so, this is part of why I like seeing reviews such as TGB's - to see the thought processes which come out in the course of the reviews of either show.
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Old February 28 2010, 06:13 PM   #740
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Starbrow wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
stonester1 wrote: View Post

For the record, though, I've never gotten the Niner/Fiver friction. Same with Star Wars/Star Trek rivalry. I'm a fan of them all and see that stuff as tribal nonsense.

But that's me.
Me too. I admit, the first time I saw Babylon 5 I thought it had COMPLETELY ripped off DS9, but it wasn't long before I came to love it for what it is: good sci-fi television.

Except for that damn Byron, of course.
Were DS9 and B5 competing with one another? I just noticed there original runs begun one and a half month apart from each other.
Well, like I said, I thought B5 ripped off DS9 so except for The Gathering I didn't watch it during it's first run. I didn't catch up with the series until 1999. I don't know if there was any direct competition between them, but I heard that the argument between fans got to the point that Majel Barret's apperance was a direct result of it. Of course, JMS was my source for this, so, like much of what Roddenberry claimed about Star Trek, it could have just been hyperbole.
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Old February 28 2010, 06:18 PM   #741
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

RandyS wrote: View Post
Well, like I said, I thought B5 ripped off DS9
If there was any influence, it probably went the other way since B5 was in development a lot longer than DS9. I suspect any such influence was minimal and only affected things in broad strokes, though, which seems to be the rational viewpoint with the advantage of hindsight.

I can understand how such theories arose at the time, though. If nothing else, the visual of a space station sitting next to a big blue swirly thing is pretty striking.
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Old February 28 2010, 11:08 PM   #742
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Lindley wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
Well, like I said, I thought B5 ripped off DS9
If there was any influence, it probably went the other way since B5 was in development a lot longer than DS9.
Quite. The only viable 'B5 ripped off Star Trek' vibe would actually come from TNG and TOS (and this was a fairly frequent accusation if the old JMS posts arguing against this or that influence are any point to the matter.)

But then, no matter. JMS shamelessly and extremely obviously 'borrows' from 1984 and Lord of the Rings, and it's not something he ever considered noteworthy.
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Old February 28 2010, 11:49 PM   #743
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Kegg wrote: View Post
But then, no matter. JMS shamelessly and extremely obviously 'borrows' from 1984 and Lord of the Rings, and it's not something he ever considered noteworthy.
A character on "Jeremiah" even quoted a passage from "1984" in one episode. Orwell surely had a profound impact on JMS... just like Tolkien.
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Old March 1 2010, 12:11 AM   #744
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
A character on "Jeremiah" even quoted a passage from "1984" in one episode. Orwell surely had a profound impact on JMS... just like Tolkien.
Wasn't that in the episode about the librarian who couldn't read? That wasn't a JMS episode; it was the one Sam Egan episode I actually liked.

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Old March 1 2010, 03:17 AM   #745
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
But then, no matter. JMS shamelessly and extremely obviously 'borrows' from 1984 and Lord of the Rings, and it's not something he ever considered noteworthy.
A character on "Jeremiah" even quoted a passage from "1984" in one episode. Orwell surely had a profound impact on JMS... just like Tolkien.
One or two direct quotes notwithstanding, the Tolkien influence is I think, very much overstated. From what I gather, H.P. Lovecraft, Rod Sterling, Norman Corwin, Alfred Bester (duh) and Ray Bradbury have been much more significant influences.
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Old March 1 2010, 11:23 AM   #746
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
One or two direct quotes notwithstanding, the Tolkien influence is I think, very much overstated.
Merely non-spoilerly off the top of my head, the Minbari are very strongly and very obviously influenced by Tolkein's elves, with the idea that Draal presents of them setting out onto the sea of stars having rather unsubtle echoes of the Grey Havens, and I think JMS himself said that a new character arriving in season two bore a very strong resemblance to Aragorn (that character's placeholder name was actually Strider.)

There's nothing overstated about it; Babylon 5 is Lord of the Rings In Space.
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Old March 1 2010, 12:54 PM   #747
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Kegg wrote: View Post
There's nothing overstated about it; Babylon 5 is Lord of the Rings In Space.
To be fair, LotR is Greek Mythology In Medieval Briton. JMS often says that was his source more so than Tolkien (such as in a long rant he did here following a S4 episode).
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Old March 1 2010, 12:54 PM   #748
Jan
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Kegg wrote: View Post
There's nothing overstated about it; Babylon 5 is Lord of the Rings In Space.
I think JMS said it best:
{comparing various B5 characters to Lord of the Rings characters}

The characters and comparisons you made are basic archetypal characters
that have long been used in all kinds of sagas...the voice of the wise
master, the characters of action, the hero on a journey, the smaller wiser
folk...they extend far beyond Tolkein. We draw on the same archetypal pool,
but there's no intended parallel between them. What invariably gets lost in
this is that the LoTR saga was a *quest* story, that is the heart of
it...ain't no quest here. The characters are part of the saga-structure that
goes straight back to the Illiad and the Odyssey, Gawain and the Green
Knight, Jason and the Argonauts and elsewhere. The only common elements come
from the fact that we have our roots in the same literary garden of
archetypes and literary symbology.

I didn't fight for five years to get this show off the ground just to do
LoTR with the serial numbers filed off.
or this one:
What I find fascinating in this whole discussion is that, whenever a
novel comes out, people don't generally go through page by page and say,
s"Oh, I think Niven was ripping off/drawing from "Lensman" when he did this
part." They generally only do this to TV people...because it's assumed
that TV people don't have an original idea in their head, and can ony
(only) borrow from other people.

Though I may sometimes nod to one or another landmark of SF, I'm not
doing the Prisoner, Lord of the Rings, Childhood's End, MacBeth, the
Illiad, The Mountains of Madness, or any of the thirty other works that
I'm supposed to be doing, all mutually contradictory. I'm telling this
story, my story, and though it's nice to be compared to such other works,
it does become bothersome after a while when everybody tries to pin down
which work I'm supposed to be "doing" when they NEVER do this to novelists,
because this is TV. C'mon, people, I've written published novels, and
short stories, and plays, and radio dramas, and I *do* have a brain in my
head to maybe make up something on my own, y'know.
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Old March 1 2010, 01:25 PM   #749
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Sykonee wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
There's nothing overstated about it; Babylon 5 is Lord of the Rings In Space.
To be fair, LotR is Greek Mythology In Medieval Briton. JMS often says that was his source more so than Tolkien (such as in a long rant he did here following a S4 episode).
His characters have very little in common with Greek myth (in either case); and in JMS's case far more informed by Tolkein (Tolkein himself owes a little more to the Kalevala, Beowulf, Arthur and the like.) The closest to Greek mythology JMS has is of course Londo,




Jan wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
There's nothing overstated about it; Babylon 5 is Lord of the Rings In Space.
I think JMS said it best:
There's a fine line between having archetypal similarities and just plain direct similarities. The Hero With a Thousand Faces need not always be Luke Skywalker, as it were. JMS has basically the latter -
Basically, his other given examples may be archetypal - proper literary fare like Greek myth and Biblical gospels - but his Tolkein influence is more direct.

Other observations:
And so on and so on. JMS does not reference or homage, he 'borrows'. One's either fine with that or one's defensive about it, it makes no difference. I'm fine with it honestly; in concoting a potpurri of various geek literature interests with the odd traditional allusion JMS created a much better TV series then he likely would have if he struck out at tried to be completely original, or at least completely archetypal - quality is something that matters more to me than such frames of reference.

What I find fascinating in this whole discussion is that, whenever a
novel comes out, people don't generally go through page by page and say,
"Oh, I think Niven was ripping off/drawing from "Lensman" when he did this
part."
That happens far more often than he seems to believe. There's a little bit of Lensman in Babylon 5 as well, of course.
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Old March 1 2010, 05:07 PM   #750
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)


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