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

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Old February 8 2013, 08:25 PM   #631
Angel4576
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

It's hard to discuss the machinations within EarthGov without going into spoilers, but it's safe to say that you may have missed an obvious question coming out of season 1's Signs & Portents......

It'll get interesting, don't worry about that.
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Old February 9 2013, 02:41 AM   #632
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I get the historical parallels, I just don't get how the people in the show don't. Its a few hundred years in the future, but you'd still think that people would notice whats going on and protest. There seem to be absolutely no checks and balances to the power of the corrupt in EarthGov. At this point, if it goes any farther, EarthGov will start making the Alliance from Firefly or the Empire from Star Wars look like superior governments.

To be clear, my annoyance with EarthGov isn't effecting my enjoyment of the show. Its just a bit annoying to learn that, in B5, humans are actually worst in general then they are nowadays. I hope the EarthGov stuff doesn't become too muddled in reliving the past. I get it, JMS read a history textbook once. Either tone it down, or go full facist/dictatorship (which would atleast be something different). Still, the mediocre EarthGov stuff in no way messes with the rest of the show, which more than compensates for having to deal with an annoying EarthGov related character or plotline every so often. Also, I can see the earthGov stuff eventually going somewhere interesting, its just not there yet.
Yeah I can't answer much of this without getting into spoilers, so I'll try to keep to generalities.

First off the idea that a society shouldn't or couldn't repeat the mistakes of the past rather flies in the face of the evidence. The examples I cited are just *some* of the most notable examples of the last century. We've been repeating the same stupid patterns for all of recorded history...and probably a while before that too. In short, it's not that humanity is "worse" than it is today, it's that it's just the same as it's been since we climbed down out of the trees and invented boredom.

As for the inner workings of EarthGov, it's probably worth keeping in mind that most of what Clark is doing is actually quite popular back on Earth. Even now, most of the human race still lives on Earth and most of them (around 10 billion) have never been into space, or seen an alien outside of the vids. Most people's opinions are going to be coloured by past experience. For example: First Contact was with the Centauri who swaggered into Earth orbit making themselves out the be the grand high overlords of the universe...an image that was quickly dispelled as soon as the Narns were encountered. The only other race to have significant interactions with Earth was the Minbari...who tried to kill everyone...and were very good at it. Needless to say neither races exactly engendered much in the way of trust and good will. Something a character says later on in the show sums up the attitude of most humans fairly succinctly: "Aliens fighting aliens? Doesn't really concern us now does it...?"

Human colonists are rather looked down on by the general Earth populous; Mars born in particular are considered ungrateful upstarts. Even more so recently since the colony declared neutrality during the Minbari War. The result was an EA military governorship, trade sanctions, food riots (which Sheridan helped put down) and of course the open rebellion at the end of season 1. With all that it shouldn't be at all surprising that most humans are more concerned with domestic issues than foreign policy.
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Old February 9 2013, 07:56 AM   #633
Snatcher42
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Kirk, when you start watching season 3, take note of the first shot of the new opening credits. That's all I can say for now! The season gets off to a bit of a slow start, but quickly picks up and is one hell of a ride. Most fans agree, the next two seasons are B5's zenith.
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Old February 10 2013, 04:47 AM   #634
chrisspringob
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Forbin wrote: View Post
I remember Area's brief tenure on CNN when she decided to become a news anchor instead of an actress.
In case you want to relive those days:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR6HsYZ3uxk
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Old February 12 2013, 08:00 PM   #635
kirk55555
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Matters of Honor - The new opening was interesting, with Ivanova's narration instead of Sheridan's. I'm guessing that they changed the MedLab set, based off the dialog. Also, Garibaldi has a new haircut, which actually took me a few scenes to notice. Londo breaking ties with Morden was interesting, although it seems like he's just moved on and started working with another centauri (unless I misinterpreted what was said). The first thing I thought when the intelligence agent was there and they gave talked about giving him a room, was wether EarthGov made agents pay rent. Delenn not identifying the ship without lying was a pretty simple dodge, good thing the agent didn't ask and harder questions to her. Londo's dream was interesting. The fight with Marcus, Delenn and Lennier was done well, although thye extendable pole looked goofy when it first appeared. The Rangers are less of a secret, atleast to non hyuman governments, then I thought. The White Star looks cool. This episode made me wonder something. Does B5 have translation devices? I don't see every human and alien who comes into contact with each other to have to learn the languages of every alien, in fact that actually makes no sense. On B5, there has never been a point where they don't understand each other. Sheridan can talk to any alien, and any alien, even the ones who aren't ambassadors or super important, can talk to everyone else. I doubt every alien on the station not only learned english, but also the language of every other alien species. Now, there may be just one language used by everyone (either English or something else) but that still requires everyone to learn a language, and I just don't see it happening. G'Kar's story about the Shadows was interesting. The fight with the Ehite star and the shadows was cool, especially the end. I didn't know big ships couldn't make jump points (the narn cruisers from a few episodes ago looked pretty big, and they could make jump points, but I guess they weren't as big as I thought). Seeing earthGov and PsiCorps working with Morden was interesting, but I kind of expected it at this point. Overall, I liked this episode. It was a good beginning to the season.

Convictions - The beginning was kind of weird, atleast when it comes to Lennier's behavior. Lennier was annoyed by a guy, so he lied to him. Then, Lennier was caught in an explosion, so I guess I know now why Minbari don't lie What was the justification for the lie? He obviously didn't have anything that was "transferable by physical contact", but I'm assuming that he worded the lie in some way I missed so that it wasn't a lie. I like how Londo can be an ass, but he's still not a bad guy. His scenes with Lennier in MedLab were very good. G'Kar and Londo trapped in the elevator were great scenes, although it makes me wonder, again, why there is no personnel communication devices for people besides station personnel. You'd thing atleast ambassadors would be able to get soimething lkike the link the B5 staff has, in case of emergencies. And its not like stuff like this hasn't come up before. G'Kar's reaction to the situation was really entertaining. The bomber was played a bit too cartoony (I don't know if it was the actor's fault or the writing) but it didn't ruin the story, I just wish he'd seemed a bit more like a person that would actually exist. The end scene in the elevator was good. Overall, I enjoyed this episode.
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Old February 12 2013, 08:09 PM   #636
hyzmarca
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I didn't know big ships couldn't make jump points (the narn cruisers from a few episodes ago looked pretty big, and they could make jump points, but I guess they weren't as big as I thought).
You've got that backwards. Small ships usually can't make jump points. Opening a jump point requires a lot of power, which generally requires a huge reactor. The Vorlons have compact power sources that let small ships open jump points, but none of the young races do, at least until now.

Convictions - G'Kar and Londo trapped in the elevator were great scenes, although it makes me wonder, again, why there is no personnel communication devices for people besides station personnel.
The show was written before cell phones became ubiquitous. Earthforce communicators are fancy walkies talkies and serve the same purpose. It's one of those things that seems dated because it is.
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Old February 12 2013, 09:40 PM   #637
JoeD80
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
ondo breaking ties with Morden was interesting, although it seems like he's just moved on and started working with another centauri
Yep, Morden mentioned Refa, who was seen a few times last season. He was the other guy when the Emperor died who said being damned was a small price to pay for immortality.
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I doubt every alien on the station not only learned english, but also the language of every other alien species.
There are three main languages: English, Centauri, and Interlac. The aliens that have to use translation devices are shown using them - like the pak'ma'ra.
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Old February 13 2013, 12:39 AM   #638
Reverend
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I doubt every alien on the station not only learned english, but also the language of every other alien species.
There are three main languages: English, Centauri, and Interlac. The aliens that have to use translation devices are shown using them - like the pak'ma'ra.
Additionally, it's worth bearing in mind that B5 is a trading hub in neutral territory, so the majority of visitors are going to be merchants and the like. As such it stands to reason that it'd be good business to be at least passably fluent in the major trading languages.

It should also be noted that while their are translators--as seen being used by the pak'ma'ra, Gaim, Vorlons, whatever race N'grath was and I think the Llort too--they're not *universal* translators like in Trek. They need to be pre-programmed for specific language translations. This actually becomes a recurring plot point of Crusade, the short lived sequel series as they have to have a xeno-linguistic specialist aboard to figure out every new alien-of-the-week language they come across.

As for Interlac while it's never spoken by any character on screen, if you listen carefully you can actually hear it over the PA announcements in the customs area. As the name implies, Interlac is an artificial language devised specifically for inter-species communication and as such is meant to be fairly simple to translate. I'm not sure if JMS ever said who came up with it, but the Centauri are the most likely candidates. They're one of the older of the younger races and have a long history of trade...usually as a means of imperialist expansion...so pretty much how English became so wide spread on Earth.
hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Convictions - G'Kar and Londo trapped in the elevator were great scenes, although it makes me wonder, again, why there is no personnel communication devices for people besides station personnel.
The show was written before cell phones became ubiquitous. Earthforce communicators are fancy walkies talkies and serve the same purpose. It's one of those things that seems dated because it is.
I've always assumed that it was simply because all the heavy metal bulkheads make long-range radio communication impractical. I mean every compartment would essentially be a Faraday cage, no? One assumes that the personal links work off a network of internal communications nodes so anyone with a link is always within range. There may also be some security reason (like bandwidth crowding?) for forcing non-station personnel to rely on fixed terminals. It may also be partly economic as people placing a call need to use their credit chit to pay for it.

Later on in the show we do actually see non-EF personnel using wireless communicators on the station (called "hand-mikes" I think) but IIRC they're all downbelow criminal types so maybe it uses a pirate channel of some kind?

Last edited by Reverend; February 13 2013 at 12:50 AM.
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Old February 13 2013, 08:05 PM   #639
kirk55555
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

A Day in the Strife - The Narn rep is annoying. That said, Londo's talk with him was pretty dark for Londo. It sucks that Vir left. He's one of the few centauri on the show who is actually a nice, decent guy. Londo is awesome (he's probably my favorite character on B5), and I think he's a good guy when you get right down to it, but he can be an ass, and super arrogant. Vir was a good match for Londo, kind of reminding Londo of his conscience sometimes (wether Londo wanted to be reminded or not). The doctor and his stim problem isn't surprising (although I'm not sure if it will become a big think, its not even brought up in the next episode). Although, his big burst of anger (supposedly from the stims) seemed pretty justified, with the earth doctors not wanting to get vital information from a guy because he was on vacation, risking 250,000 lives so that the guy can relax uninterrupted . From what I saw, I'm assuming that the Narn guard Ta'Lon is the guy Sheridan met when he was captured. It was iinteresting that he showed up again. The Narn rep is obviously a puppet for the centauri, trying to get G'Kar to return with threats. I like how the Narn got G'Kar to stay. The probe was interesting. I wonder if the race that made it will ever be revealed. Overall, this was a good episode.

Passing Through Gethseman - Coming into this episode, the summary made me think that it would just be ok. It turned out to be a great episode. Lyta's obsession with the vorlons is making her sound like a stalker The monks are interesting. I'm glad that they've more appearances than just the episode where they were introduced. I liked Garibaldi's response to Delenn over the whole eye for an eye thing.

Garibaldi: I'm an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth kind of guy.

Delenn: So, you want everyone to be eyeless and toothless?

Garibaldi: Not everyone, only the bad guys.

Its probably the best response to the anti-eye for an eye argument that I've heard. The whole story of the monk who had previously been a killer was great. The death of personality thing has been brought up before, and this was an interesting look into it. His flashbacks were done well, and the actor did a great job in the role. I liked that some of the thingshe was seeing weren't actually delusions, people were actually writing stuff on the walls and playing sounds to mess with him. That was an interesting twist on how stuff like this is usually done. The ending was really good (although having Edward's murderer join the monks is a bit much). I really enjoyed this episode. It may not have had too much to do with the overall plot, but it was very good.
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Old February 14 2013, 12:35 AM   #640
Reverend
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

I don't think it'd be much of a spoiler to let you know Vir will be back. IIRC Stephen Furst had some other regular gig at the time so couldn't appear in as many episodes, so his character was "put on a bus."

Franklin's outburst was exceptional since, while yes, he was under extraordinary pressure, he's also a trained surgeon. Much like pilots, people in that profession aren't normally prone to being easily rattled, *especially* not in high stress situations. So it was indeed the stims and the exhaustion that pushed him over the edge.

What I liked about how the Narn rep was portrayed, is that he wasn't just some two faced snake out to protect himself by collaborating with the Centauri. He genuinely thought that what he was doing was for the benefit of his people (at least in the short term) and he was clearly having to swallow his pride just being in the same room as Londo.

I liked Garibaldi's response to Delenn over the whole eye for an eye thing.

Garibaldi: I'm an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth kind of guy.

Delenn: So, you want everyone to be eyeless and toothless?

Garibaldi: Not everyone, only the bad guys.

Its probably the best response to the anti-eye for an eye argument that I've heard.
Really? I rather thought Delenn's expression at that said very loudly "and I suppose you get to point out who the bad guys are?" She was just too polite to say it.
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Old February 14 2013, 02:47 AM   #641
hyzmarca
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

If Delen were less polite, she would have pointed out that the Minbari had that exact same attitude during the war, at least at the beginning, when they decided to exterminate humanity in revenge for the death of Dukat.

She has very compelling personal reasons to oppose revenge and retributive justice.
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Old February 14 2013, 03:31 AM   #642
JoeD80
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
The doctor and his stim problem isn't surprising (although I'm not sure if it will become a big think, its not even brought up in the next episode).
As in real life, addicts can hide side effects sometimes.
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
From what I saw, I'm assuming that the Narn guard Ta'Lon is the guy Sheridan met when he was captured. It was iinteresting that he showed up again.
Yep that's the same character.
Reverend wrote: View Post
IIRC Stephen Furst had some other regular gig at the time so couldn't appear in as many episodes
It was a Fox sitcom called Misery Loves Company. It didn't last all that long though.
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Old February 14 2013, 03:07 PM   #643
Rowan Sjet
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

hyzmarca wrote: View Post
If Delen were less polite, she would have pointed out that the Minbari had that exact same attitude during the war, at least at the beginning, when they decided to exterminate humanity in revenge for the death of Dukat.

She has very compelling personal reasons to oppose revenge and retributive justice.
And I'm sure Garibaldi would point out that the Minbari didn't have the exact same attitude, since they wanted 10 billion eyes for an eye.
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Old February 14 2013, 08:23 PM   #644
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Voices of Authority - This was a decent episode, with a few annoyances. The overly dramatic Draal is back. He's not a bad character, he can just be a bit annoying sometimes. The earthGov stuff is getting closer and closer to jumping the shark. A political officer? Like the USSR had? Who is EarthGov going to copy next, Caligula? Are the people of earth such sheap that they literally take this without any comment? Are Sheridan, Ivanova, Franklin and Garibaldi the only humans who aren't morons? Also, Zach Allen becoming a regular isn't really something I care about. I kind of like that he's a human thats not in the secret group who atleast has second thoughts, but in the end he always does the obviously evil stuff anyway. Like every other B5 officer not in the group, he's not loyal to sheridan at all and he barely thinks about the fact that the government has to be breaking a lot of laws at this point (but, since he actually does think, he's still better than 95% of humans in the B5 universe). If they would just say a line of dialog like "A protest happened in the earth capital today, arguing against the president's new anti-sedition acts", I could atleast accept that this isn't a fairly unbelievable power grab. I don't care about historical parallels or humans always remaking mistakes, anyone with half a brain knows this is isn't right. There is no way people would stand for it. Yes, humans remake mistakes, even big ones, sometimes. But, we do grow a bit. You don't see countries relegalising slavery. EarthGov hasn't quite crossed the line from believeable to totally stupid, but its getting really close. The political officer herself is like if political BS became sentient and took human form.

It was interesting to see Ivanova using the machine. The fact that the shadows could see her was a bit weird. The evidence that the former VP knew about the assasination of the last president was expected, but I'm glad it was finally confirmed. I liked the scene where Ivanova appeared in Sheridan's room as the walking pile of BS was trying to seduce him

Ivanova: It looks like you're about to go where everyone has gone before


I see they added a seat to the bridge of the White Star. It was weird to see Ivanova vs. the disco ships, piloted by big floating heads. The big heads were pretty easily manipulated, which was funny. I guess they now have a powerful ally. The shadows are no match for the power of disco Overall, this was a decent episode with some good moments, and some political stuff that didn't ruin the episode but was annoying. I'm still really liking B5, but the political stuff is starting to drag it down because its reaching levels of unbelievability. Its not even so much what they're doing, its the fact that it keeps going and going. I'm getting tired of seeing a few more blantantly evil policies added per episode. I hope that the political plot starts paying off in more interesting ways soon.
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Old February 14 2013, 08:58 PM   #645
JoeD80
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Yep even the ancient powerful races have egos!! As for the Ministry of Peace that the officer came from it was introduced last season. That's not a new element; it was already there. The Nightwatch has anti-sedition laws - a protest would be seen as sedition right? So perhaps there are those that do it, but others wouldn't want to risk it, and in fact you'll hear about some other locations outside of Babylon 5 that don't agree with the president's policies. Also history has proven many times over that no way people would stand for it is actually not true - there are always collaborators and sympathizers and people who just don't want to get involved. There's more to the Zack arc coming..
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