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Old January 29 2010, 04:55 AM   #166
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Jan wrote: View Post
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!

Jan
This does get trotted about regularly when people are slogging through early season 1, but it is undeniable that it's important to get to know the characters now. Because later events have that much more of an impact...
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Old January 29 2010, 04:59 AM   #167
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

I think you'll find that Londo and G'Kar have some of the most exciting arcs of any characters you've ever seen.
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Old January 29 2010, 05:02 AM   #168
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Canadave wrote: View Post
Jan wrote: View Post
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!

Jan
This does get trotted about regularly when people are slogging through early season 1, but it is undeniable that it's important to get to know the characters now. Because later events have that much more of an impact...
Exactly. This stuff is one of the sheer delights of this show.
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Old January 29 2010, 06:41 AM   #169
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Quit hinting at Londo and G'kar's forbidden hanky panky Guys! BE COOL!

This thread makes me want to watch B5 all over again, but sadly I have no way to get the DVD's, and t'aint on TV here.
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Old January 29 2010, 06:43 AM   #170
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

dragunzng wrote: View Post
Quit hinting at Londo and G'kar's forbidden hanky panky Guys! BE COOL!
Come on! Their big, gay, alien romance is one of the best relationships ever!
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Old January 29 2010, 08:03 AM   #171
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
dragunzng wrote: View Post
Quit hinting at Londo and G'kar's forbidden hanky panky Guys! BE COOL!
Come on! Their big, gay, alien romance is one of the best relationships ever!
I dunno. The introduction of ka'rag, the pak'ma'ra spy, was an unnecessary attempt to create conflict in that bromance. Totally ruined it for me.

I do agree with Jan, however.
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Old January 29 2010, 09:02 AM   #172
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
Babylon 5 often only seems daring when contrasted to Star Trek's more conservative, status quo attitude - it's not exactly the nuBSG of edgy sci-fi.
What was, though? It's miraculous a darker (in respect to what was on at the time), heavily serialized sci-fi series like Babylon 5 made it into 90s syndication in the first place. It really paved the way for shows like Battlestar Galactica to go to the hilt with it a decade late.
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Old January 29 2010, 09:51 AM   #173
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Ryan wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
Babylon 5 often only seems daring when contrasted to Star Trek's more conservative, status quo attitude - it's not exactly the nuBSG of edgy sci-fi.
What was, though?
RDM's BSG. I named it and everything.

But you're right, Babylon 5 did come first and is a product of its time and so forth... but that it's comparatively tame was my point. Whether Battlestar Galactica was influenced by it at all is another question; that show owes an obvious debt to Deep Space Nine so I guess that'd be a thorny issue anyway.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:26 AM   #174
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Midnight on the Firing Line (***)

This is the first real episode of the show so I shouldn't expect Earth-shattering revelations or the universe being turned upside down, but for a show famous for having lasting consequences this episode sure does wrap up neatly. There's an a-plot about the Narn attacking the Centauri and there's a b-plot about some raiders attacking ships (for some reason), and the barely-existent conclusion to the barely-existent b-plot provided an easy out for the a-plot. When does this show stop being like Star Trek?

The Narn/Centauri plot is much better than the story from The Gathering because it's not based around the fate of some puppet I don't know, and it could have long-standing consequences for the whole galaxy. It also features plenty of G'Kar and Londo, and they're easily the most interesting characters so far. That being said, there is a scene where Londo gets a gun and plans to kill G'Kar (reminiscent of the time the Russian ambassador to the UN tried to kill the German ambassador) which manages to be tacky when the new telepath lady sees it in her mind, and trite when Garibaldi talks him down from committing the crime. Combine this with the ending to the episode and this story suffers a quite a bit.
The 'real' pilot, for me. It's fascinating to look back on too! I agree that the plot with the raiders seemed tacked on, and doesn't help the episode's pace.

Londo and G'Kar are brilliant to watch, but my one of my other favourites, Ivanova, gets off to a rough start. I enjoyed the bit at the end where she confides to Talia about her mother's problems with being a telepath and how she can't stand psi-corps. Aside from that, though, she comes off as very stiff.

The part where Londo has his gun and is off to kill G'Kar is very enjoyable for me though. Garabaldi doesn't want to kill him since they're friends, but he will do if he doesn't stand down. It seems like a shoddy attempt to diffuse the situation, but I liked at this early stage how different the temperaments of the main cast were compared to TNG, for example.

There's one scene which has stuck in my mind since I watched this episode two years ago, the bit where Ivanova explains to Sinclair why why she wont vote for President Santiago because of his lack of chin, along with his VP's double chin. I've finally figured out why I hate that line so much; Sinclair doesn't react to it, he doesn't laugh to it and he doesn't even give that pity laugh that I'm abundantly familiar with. It seems to be an attempt at a clever comment which wasn't all that clever, so instead it feels awkward. Once again, something I'm very familiar with. (See, it just happened again!)
Yeah, very odd scene.

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Soul Hunter (½)

I didn't see any more of the episode from this point on because a shoe somehow shot across the room and broke my TV.


I understand where you're coming from. I enjoyed the episode more, perhaps somewhere in the 2/2.5 star range, but I think that the story is lost in the middle of the show somewhere. I think the episode has a fantastic start and end, the slog inbetween is a bit of a slog.

I don't believe in souls, but there are many things in science fiction which I'm willing to accept if the characters are interesting enough, that's why I'm willing to forgive the finale of BSG. But I find the Soul Hunter in this episode to be so irritating that I can't buy into the concept, he talks so slowly about such boring things that every minute he's on screen feels like an irritating eternity. He's like a lonely old man telling stories that nobody is interested in.
Hee! But it's frickin' W. Morgan Sheppard! That's worth the admission alone! Well, sort of... I do love the guy though, and he helps to pick up the episode somewhat.

As for souls, I'm firmly in the Dr. Franklin camp - I don't believe in them. Well, in real life, anyway. I've sat through enough episode of Buffy and Angel exploring the rigours of vampires with souls, so I can believe in them here. The scene at the end where Delenn is freeing the trapped souls particularly resonates for me, especially on rewatch.

And the worst thing of all about this episode is that there was no Londo or G'Kar, that's like watching an episode of Frasier where Niles doesn't turn up.
Well I'm glad that never happened!

The episode tells us that Delenn is a member of the Grey Council, which I would be far more intrigued by if I knew what the hell that was. When Sinclair discovers this fact he seems mildly shocked, but instead of trying to figure out this mystery he says something like "I have plenty of time to figure that out later" which reeks of the character knowing that he shouldn't investigate further because he knows it will come up again in some episode down the line.
Yeah, that's a problem from time to time. We're being hit with the exposition stick in a not-so-subtle way, and it could have been done better, perhaps by furthering the mystery on Sinclair's part a bit. It's something that gets better with time, but the dialogue can be a bit funky.

I've been told that Martin Sheen shows up as a Soul Hunter at some point, is that true? Because that was one of the ways my brother tried to sell me on the show since he knew I was a big West Wing fan, but the idea of him as a Soul Hunter makes me worry.
Argh, Soul Hunters! That would be the third TNT telemovie from a lot further down the line. Now that is a story I didn't like, even with Martin Sheen!

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
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.
Again, I liked this one! Another average one, perhaps, but better than some other episodes that pop up.

The story is definately the average part here, whereas the character stuff is getting the better stuff. Londo is being taken for a fool, yes, but seeing him head over heels is heartwarming and funny. Adira is also struggling to betray this man that she's managed to fall for herself, so a nice, cozy, happy ending is a good thing.

One of my favourite bits of the episode was Londo taking the piss with the negotiations with the Narn. He is too busy trying to help Adira, and puts Vir in charge. G'Kar is outraged, so himself leaves Na'Toth in charge on his behalf!

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.
No, it's the first time it's mentioned. They are laying it on a bit thick with her character at the moment, but I thought it was a poignant end to her part of the episode. I liked Garabaldi trying to track down the Gold Channel thief, finally finding it to be Ivanova and then deciding to let the matter lie.
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Old January 29 2010, 03:21 PM   #175
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

"Born to the Purple" has a special place in B5 history for me, if only for "What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?!"

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Old January 29 2010, 04:06 PM   #176
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

brian wrote: View Post
"Born to the Purple" has a special place in B5 history for me, if only for "What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?!"

I laughed a lung up the first time I heard that.
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Old January 29 2010, 04:14 PM   #177
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Seven Of Five wrote: View Post
G'Kar is outraged, so himself leaves Na'Toth in charge on his behalf!\
Ko'Dath, at that point.
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Old January 29 2010, 05:38 PM   #178
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
Babylon 5 often only seems daring when contrasted to Star Trek's more conservative, status quo attitude - it's not exactly the nuBSG of edgy sci-fi.
Absolutely Right(TM).

It goes without saying that the same is true for DS9's "darker, grittier" Trek.
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Old January 29 2010, 05:55 PM   #179
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

^

I thought you were leaving the thread never to return?
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Old January 29 2010, 05:55 PM   #180
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

But the context of the times has to be taken into consideration. B5 was an is dark, gritty and daring. IMO, it doesn't lose that.

Sure, BSG is darkER, grittiER, but that doesn't take anything away from B5.

Or Trek and what it does well.
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