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Old March 1 2010, 05:25 PM   #751
Lindley
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

^Beware, spoilers behind the link.
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Old March 1 2010, 06:19 PM   #752
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Jan wrote: View Post
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.

Jan
Nope, I was thinking about the Season 2 premiere.

A captured Marcus was commenting on the Valhalla Sector's methods and plans by referencing Orwell.
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Old March 1 2010, 08:31 PM   #753
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Kegg wrote: View Post
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.
Joe actually described this somewhere in one of the script books. I can't remember the quote off hand, but he was talking about how he wanted to use a particular scene from a movie in one of his projects but hadn't found a place to put it yet. Tarantino writes in a similar way, adapting scenes from movies here and there to make a new whole, and the end result is quite good IMO. But it's not about taking a story one-for-one; it's a multiplexing of stories and life experiences into a new creature. If a certain story speaks to you, you can write it in a new way that isn't "borrowing" but it still cuts in to the very same themes. There is an explicit list of literary/television/movie influences that Joe wanted to use for B5 in one of his earliest Babylon 5 documents that is pretty interesting to think about, but a couple of them are definite spoilers for some later plots:


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Old March 4 2010, 04:25 PM   #754
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Have you gotten ahold of season 2 yet, TGB?
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Old March 4 2010, 08:33 PM   #755
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

I've actually had it for over a week, I just took some time off to get some college work out of the way. Luckily things are dying down a small bit now so I should be starting season 2 tonight.
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Old March 6 2010, 12:14 AM   #756
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Points of Departure (***)

Hmm, not the grandiose start I was hoping for after Chrysalis, but what could JMS do? His lead actor left at a pivotal moment in the series and he had to introduce a new station commander and try to get us all to accept him in 42 minutes, all this after hinting in Babylon Squared that Sinclair was going to be a big deal in the future of this show. So while this episode didn't explain what is going on with Delenn, and we still don't know where G'Kar went, and we don't know the political ramifications of the Earth President being assassinated, and nothing new happened with Garibaldi... I can't blame this episode for dropping all that stuff to introduce Sheridan.

As for Sheridan, I like him, he has let me with a much more positive impression that Sinclair did after his first episode. I guess part of the problem with Sinclair is that I knew he would be leaving, and the episodes that focused on him tended to deal with the mystery of the Battle of the Line rather than exploring him as a person, so I never clicked with him. Sheridan on the other hand doesn't feel like a mystery, he feels like a character front and centre, and while he discusses his actions during the war, and this episode's plot focuses on that era of his life, it doesn't feel like this is all there is to him. And I like that he's more... bitter than Sinclair when it comes to the Minbari. Sinclair seemed to get along with everyone, it seems like Sheridan is going to bring a bit more conflict to the show.

However, I could be very wrong about this, I've only known the guy for a few minutes.

The one piece of the overall plot that did move along was the revelation of what "really" happened at the Battle of the Line, and boy was I underwhelmed by that. I was expecting something Earth-shattering, the revelation that humans have in them something I don't believe in wasn't what I was hoping for. Anything that validates Soul Hunter as an episode in a bad thing in my book. I just don't buy that the Minbari insisted on making Sinclair the commander of Babylon 5 because he was the first human the Grey Council encountered, I have to believe that there is something more to it than that.

I'm a bit rusty, I nearly forgot the Scott Bakula counter!

Scott Bakula: 17
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Old March 6 2010, 01:06 AM   #757
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Suffice it to say that Lennier's account is a simplification. That explanation was enough for the Religious Caste, but as you've seen, the Warrior Caste wasn't much more keen on it than you were. There are secrets even among the Minbari.
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Old March 6 2010, 01:48 AM   #758
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

What was the Minbari Mantra throughout the series? No Minbari ever tells the whole truth?
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Old March 6 2010, 02:37 AM   #759
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Lindley wrote: View Post
Suffice it to say that Lennier's account is a simplification.
And more to the point, there is a much more scientific explanation to be deduced later on. I don't believe in souls either, but once you get the whole story, it'll make sense.
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Old March 6 2010, 04:28 AM   #760
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

At this stage, the point is that this is what the Grey Council believed. To the Minbari, souls are very real and absolutely CENTRAL to their beliefs that informs their view of the entire universe (you'll hear about that later) so it's something they take VERY seriously, even if most humans think it's utterly ludicrous.

None of the other castes were told what Lennier revealed precisely because none of the castes were liable to accept or even believe it and doing so would cause immense turmoil.
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Old March 6 2010, 01:41 PM   #761
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
At this stage, the point is that this is what the Grey Council believed. To the Minbari, souls are very real and absolutely CENTRAL to their beliefs that informs their view of the entire universe (you'll hear about that later) so it's something they take VERY seriously, even if most humans think it's utterly ludicrous.
In the comic that shows what Sinclair was up to concurrently with this episode, he's informed of what happened, as well. Later, talking with President Clark privately, Clark pretty much says, "Yeah, we thought it was a bunch of bullshit, but it got them to stop killing us, so we weren't exactly going to argue."
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Old March 6 2010, 03:31 PM   #762
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

One thing I didn't like about "Points of Departure" is to the extent John Sheridan was a very unsubtly reworked version of Jeffrey Sinclair. Granted, it wasn't the first time JMS had to scramble to replace an actor with a very similar character - there were no less than four instances of that in the first season alone; and suspiciously both first officers had a thing for bending the rules to plant fresh coffee. But Sinclair wasn't a guy who appeared in the pilot or an episode or two, he was the lead character of the show for a whole year.

And what do we get? Well, Jeffrey Sinclair, the lead character in a show by Joe Straczynski, is replaced by John Sheridan. Sinclair has a history with Garibaldi, Sheridan has a history with Ivanova. Sinclair was a hero of the last stand of the Minbari War, Sheridan won the only successful battle of that war. And so on - he even looks like a younger, fresher-faced Sinclair.

A minority opinion perhaps, but there wasn't really a point in the series where I ever came around to accepting Sheridan as a replacement for Sinclair, and I wasn't even a big fan of Sinclair to begin with.

The other thing was something JMS of course could not avoid; Lennier dropping the Battle of the Line plot abruptly, ignominiously and with reams of dialogue. With Sinclair exiting stage left it no longer really has the significance it once did.
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Old March 6 2010, 04:49 PM   #763
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Revelations (***½)

After watching this episode it really reinforces how Points of Departure put everything on hold in order to introduce Sheridan because all four plots from Chrysalis (G'Kar searching for something, Delenn in her cocoon, Garibaldi in a coma and the assassination of the Earth President) come into play here. All these plots are interesting on some level but none of them are all that shocking, at least not for me. G'Kar coming to the realisation that there's another race, an evil one that threatens them all, is important but it's not a huge revelation for me because I've known about the Shadows for years. I don't know what they are or why they're returning, but this episode didn't delve into any of that.

Then there's the revelation that President Clark may have been complicit in the death of President Santiago as some sort of power grab by the Psi Corps, but even that wasn't a surprise. They made a point in Chrysalis to mention that VP Clark left the Presidential tour for health reasons, so that raised a red flag right there, and we were warned back in season 1 that the Psi Corps want political control. The final revelation, that Delenn has become half-human, or something, also wasn't shocking because I've seen pictures of her looking like that for a long time. I was hoping for a bit more than her changing appearance, although there will probably be more to it than that in the future.

One thing I really enjoyed about this episode was the Sheridan plot about mourning his wife two years after her death, it was one of those moments where I clicked with the character and, godsdamnit, I felt a little emotional. I really enjoyed this plot... right up until the point where his sister gives him a recording of his wife that says everything he has wanted to hear for two years. It was a complete Get Out of Jail Free card and it nearly ruined all the good stuff that came before. Life doesn't let us off the hook like that two years after losing someone we care about, no, life prefers to rip our heads off and defecate down our throats.

By the way, I received an email from my ex of two years yesterday. She wants to know if we can be friends again. Isn't that nice?

Gods, I hate my life sometimes.

Scott Bakula: 19
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Old March 6 2010, 08:35 PM   #764
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
Suffice it to say that Lennier's account is a simplification.
And more to the point, there is a much more scientific explanation to be deduced later on. I don't believe in souls either, but once you get the whole story, it'll make sense.

I do, on the other hand. And one thing I enjoyed about Babylon 5 is that not only did it take faith and it being an important, powerful force seriously, but the idea that we are more than bodies seriously as well.

And that it didn't feel the need to come up with some technobabble "explanation" for everything. There are mysteries.

That's it.

Reverend wrote: View Post
At this stage, the point is that this is what the Grey Council believed. To the Minbari, souls are very real and absolutely CENTRAL to their beliefs that informs their view of the entire universe (you'll hear about that later) so it's something they take VERY seriously, even if most humans think it's utterly ludicrous.
I wouldn't say "most". I'd say the view on the matter of souls among humans varied greatly, depending on who you talk to. Kinda like how it is, here and now in our present times.

Kegg wrote: View Post

A minority opinion perhaps, but there wasn't really a point in the series where I ever came around to accepting Sheridan as a replacement for Sinclair, and I wasn't even a big fan of Sinclair to begin with.
I did, because all those things you mention are surface things. When it came down to the meat of the characters, especially as we got to know Sheridan and the details of both his background and who he was, he was quite different from Sinclair.

The only real similarities, besides their "hero" statuses from the war was that they both had no problem bucking the authorities if they thought it was the right thing and/or suited the mission.

Other than that, their personalities and interpersonal styles, totally different. Further, how the Minbari and Earth regarded them, polar opposites.

BTW, the idea of both of them having a friend in the staff of B5 is a little much to pick on. The military is a small world and you WILL run into people you know, again and again. Further, you will run into people who know well the people you know.

Happens to me all the time.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Revelations (***½)

After watching this episode it really reinforces how Points of Departure put everything on hold in order to introduce Sheridan because all four plots from Chrysalis (G'Kar searching for something, Delenn in her cocoon, Garibaldi in a coma and the assassination of the Earth President) come into play here. All these plots are interesting on some level but none of them are all that shocking, at least not for me. G'Kar coming to the realisation that there's another race, an evil one that threatens them all, is important but it's not a huge revelation for me because I've known about the Shadows for years. I don't know what they are or why they're returning, but this episode didn't delve into any of that.

Then there's the revelation that President Clark may have been complicit in the death of President Santiago as some sort of power grab by the Psi Corps, but even that wasn't a surprise. They made a point in Chrysalis to mention that VP Clark left the Presidential tour for health reasons, so that raised a red flag right there, and we were warned back in season 1 that the Psi Corps want political control. The final revelation, that Delenn has become half-human, or something, also wasn't shocking because I've seen pictures of her looking like that for a long time. I was hoping for a bit more than her changing appearance, although there will probably be more to it than that in the future.

One thing I really enjoyed about this episode was the Sheridan plot about mourning his wife two years after her death, it was one of those moments where I clicked with the character and, godsdamnit, I felt a little emotional. I really enjoyed this plot... right up until the point where his sister gives him a recording of his wife that says everything he has wanted to hear for two years. It was a complete Get Out of Jail Free card and it nearly ruined all the good stuff that came before. Life doesn't let us off the hook like that two years after losing someone we care about, no, life prefers to rip our heads off and defecate down our throats.

By the way, I received an email from my ex of two years yesterday. She wants to know if we can be friends again. Isn't that nice?

Gods, I hate my life sometimes.

Scott Bakula: 19

I'd say, based on my own life, life does a little of both. But you need both to grow. As for Sheridan...keep watching.
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Last edited by Neroon; March 6 2010 at 08:55 PM.
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Old March 6 2010, 08:57 PM   #765
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

stonester1 wrote: View Post
I did, because all those things you mention are surface things.
Basically because first I didn't want to venture into spoiler territory,
And secondly it was an impression of "Points of Departure", and from that all I've got are surface things, and those surface things point to Sinclair with a new coat of paint. Substantively speaking I never got over that impression...



Other than that, their personalities and interpersonal styles, totally different. Further, how the Minbari and Earth regarded them, polar opposites.
Which as inversions go isn't much of one, because given Sinclair's close relationship with Delenn there will still walls between them as the Battle of the Line plot made clear,


BTW, the idea of both of them having a friend in the staff of B5 is a little much to pick on.
By itself, of course not. But when it's a piece of a larger puzzle? Then yeah, it's a fair target. JMS was losing this long history relationship Sinclair and Garibaldi had, and giving Sheridan the same relationship with the same character was just gosh darn it too obvious, which left Franklin and Ivanova.
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