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

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Old January 29 2010, 09:36 PM   #196
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Honestly, it's astounding B5 managed to keep an audience with some of the early episodes. It'd be like if DS9 had followed up "Emissary" with "If Wishes Were Horses" and "Move Along Home."

All I can say is that you need to repeat the B5 season 1 mantra: "Stick with it, it gets a hell of a lot better"
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Old January 29 2010, 09:43 PM   #197
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

I remember liking the alien makeup on "Infection" when I first saw it. In retrospect, this is probably because Babylon 5 had left me with a pretty low standard for alien makeup so it was nice to see a fully-done body.

The episode, though, is just godawful.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Aha! Kegg is one of my duals (or I'm one of his duals, I can't remember the exact accusation)
The latter.

stonester1 wrote: View Post
As in tone, not look,
I probably should have elaborated. It's stagey and theatrical not just in look, but also tone: The mannerisms, inflections, acting styles, it's a very artificial seeming show at all times. Hence stagey and theatrical and so on. There's no grit to it at all.

Dealing with morality, grey areas, consequence, especially long term.
That's the dark part. Grit is not a synonym for dark, even if it's used often in conjunction with it.

stonester1 wrote: View Post
There is serious attempts to make the aliens ALIEN.
Yes, like the decadent old world European French/Italian empire. The alien bit is that they call it a Republic but they're ruled by an Emperor. Kooky!

Or how about the post-colonial nation with a strongly religious population and a seething hatred for its former oppressor? I've certainly never heard of that before.

Which leaves the space elves;


You can make an argument for the alienness of any of these, but compared to the logical race of stoics who have sex every seven years, the financially profligrant race, the honour-bound warrior race, the totalitarian statist race (or races) on Star Trek - not to mention the hive-mind identity bent on collective perfection - I fail to see how this is a marked improvement.
Yes, there are shows that have done since B5, but B5 was a groundbreaker, which is why it had such an impact.
I do wonder if that's true. I mean, it may be (I have no idea) but what impact did it have on, say, Farscape, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, if any?
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Old January 29 2010, 09:55 PM   #198
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Aside from the CGI work B5 pioneered (for instance, the lens flare effect was added to Lightwave specifically for the B5 title sequence), they also were one of the earliest American SF shows to have a substantial meta-arc. At the time, TNG-style standalone episodes were the norm.

Might television storytelling have moved to the more serialized format anyway? Perhaps. But it's something you can point to.
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Old January 29 2010, 10:28 PM   #199
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
I probably should have elaborated. It's stagey and theatrical not just in look, but also tone: The mannerisms, inflections, acting styles, it's a very artificial seeming show at all times. Hence stagey and theatrical and so on. There's no grit to it at all.
Yes, it is stagey and theatrical, at times, quite purposefully so. And it works for it.

But at the same time, there IS grit, lots of it.

"gritty-uncompromising, tough, true to life, unidealized, graphic, sordid."

At times, Babylon 5 was VERY much this. Not continuously, like BSG, or even as much as Farscape, but it absolutely had this at times, when it was appropriate for what mood it was trying to establish.


Yes, like the decadent old world European French/Italian empire. The alien bit is that they call it a Republic but they're ruled by an Emperor. Kooky!
Yes, and their native language was "English", so obviously that was REALLY what they called their top guy.



Or how about the post-colonial nation with a strongly religious population and a seething hatred for its former oppressor? I've certainly never heard of that before.
Not in the exact same way it was used, no.

Which leaves the space elves;


You can make an argument for the alienness of any of these, but compared to the logical race of stoics who have sex every seven years, the financially profligrant race, the honour-bound warrior race, the totalitarian statist race (or races) on Star Trek - not to mention the hive-mind identity bent on collective perfection - I fail to see how this is a marked improvement.
I didn't say it was "better" than Star Trek, although in some ways it was, as, like most elements, there was no reset switch, and everyone came out on the other side fundamentally changed somehow.

Unlike all those guys you mention above, who, as much as I love them (and I'm the biggest Trek fan you'll find), they were all but frozen in amber.

It's main advantage, B5's aliens, were that they COULD change, could be altered, and they did attempt to deeply explore these people.


Yes, there are shows that have done since B5, but B5 was a groundbreaker, which is why it had such an impact.
I do wonder if that's true. I mean, it may be (I have no idea) but what impact did it have on, say, Farscape, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, if any?[/QUOTE]


There was an article recently which dealt with the most influential TV shows in recent history. Buffy was the top pick for being widely influential, as in it's influence seen on other shows.

Babylon 5 was listed, mainly because it WAS such an innovative show, AND YET it's innovations weren't reflected that much in the surrounding TV culture (it was called a wonderful "dead end" in that respect). Babylon 5's main thing was that showing that TV science fiction fantasy COULD be something other than Star Trek.

For that, the BSGs, the Farscapes, the Fireflys, they have Babylon 5, at least in part, to thank.
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Old January 29 2010, 10:52 PM   #200
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

stonester1 wrote: View Post

"gritty-uncompromising, tough, true to life, unidealized, graphic, sordid."


At times, Babylon 5 was VERY much this.
That's really pushing it. The show is never graphic, and the staginess (and often hamfisted approach to many moral dilemmas and politics) aren't quite true to life either. Idealization is far more common than the alternative and whatever sordidness there is is fairly tame.

Yes, and their native language was "English", so obviously that was REALLY what they called their top guy.
Nonsense, their native language is Italian.

But it's not a word joke: Republics tend not to have emperors. We can call them Res Publica and Imperator but the general meaning is the same. So, yes, that's an 'alien' aspect of Centauri culture.

I didn't say it was "better" than Star Trek, although in some ways it was, as, like most elements, there was no reset switch, and everyone came out on the other side fundamentally changed somehow.
What does that have to do with them being alien? You claimed Babylon 5 made aliens more ALIEN (or tried to). As I've rather pointedly elaborated it didn't, fundamentally speaking, do this any more than Star Trek had already done by that point.

There was an article recently which dealt with the most influential TV shows in recent history.
I'd like to read that, actually. Sounds interesting.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:00 PM   #201
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

I don't suppose we could get back to focusing on TGB's reviews, could we? The sidebars are understandable and interesting, but we're veering away from the focus of TGB's topic.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:01 PM   #202
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
stonester1 wrote: View Post

"gritty-uncompromising, tough, true to life, unidealized, graphic, sordid."


At times, Babylon 5 was VERY much this.
That's really pushing it. The show is never graphic, and the staginess (and often hamfisted approach to many moral dilemmas and politics) aren't quite true to life either. Idealization is far more common than the alternative and whatever sordidness there is is fairly tame.

Yes, and their native language was "English", so obviously that was REALLY what they called their top guy.
Nonsense, their native language is Italian.

But it's not a word joke: Republics tend not to have emperors. We can call them Res Publica and Imperator but the general meaning is the same. So, yes, that's an 'alien' aspect of Centauri culture.

I didn't say it was "better" than Star Trek, although in some ways it was, as, like most elements, there was no reset switch, and everyone came out on the other side fundamentally changed somehow.
What does that have to do with them being alien? You claimed Babylon 5 made aliens more ALIEN (or tried to). As I've rather pointedly elaborated it didn't, fundamentally speaking, do this any more than Star Trek had already done by that point.

There was an article recently which dealt with the most influential TV shows in recent history.
I'd like to read that, actually. Sounds interesting.
I'll find it for you, if I can. The link was over at www.whedonesque.com. If I find it, I'll post it here.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:04 PM   #203
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

stonester1 wrote: View Post
I'll find it for you, if I can. The link was over at www.whedonesque.com. If I find it, I'll post it here.
Is that a Joss Whedon fansite? From the way you described it I assumed it was in a TV magazine or something, my bad.

Of course B5 is attributed as influential in geek circles, I was just interested to know what is thought of outside as the show's influence (and/or specifically by the creators of the three shows I mentioned). I mean, Ron D. Moore is very candid about the Blade Runner influence on Battlestar Galactica, he appeared in the Blade Runner extras of the Final Cut DVD yakking about that. I believe cable dramas also played a significant role there.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:10 PM   #204
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

No, wasn't talking about fan circles.

This is one of the articles I was thinking of, but not THE one...but it has some similar interesting things to say...I'll keep looking for the other...

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art30354.asp


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Old January 29 2010, 11:16 PM   #205
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Neroon wrote: View Post
I don't suppose we could get back to focusing on TGB's reviews, could we? The sidebars are understandable and interesting, but we're veering away from the focus of TGB's topic.
Now you can be sure of seeing this.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:39 PM   #206
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

^
Aw. I mean, "Infection" sucks. It'd be more fun to discuss it if someone was defending it.

DS9's debt to B5 with the Cardassian-Bajoran arc is contestable, given they both aired simultaneously and the DS9 crew were fairly adamant they didn't watch the show on the most part. Also, being one of five most influential sci-fi/fantasy programs of the 1990s is a sort of limited field.

The other article you linked me to was a far more interesting read, I see you've removed it, presumably because while its analysis of TV in the 2000s is fascinating and it does mention some important 1990s precursors (like, indeed, Buffy) Babylon 5 isn't mentioned once.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:49 PM   #207
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
^
Aw. I mean, "Infection" sucks. It'd be more fun to discuss it if someone was defending it.

DS9's debt to B5 with the Cardassian-Bajoran arc is contestable, given they both aired simultaneously and the DS9 crew were fairly adamant they didn't watch the show on the most part. Also, being one of five most influential sci-fi/fantasy programs of the 1990s is a sort of limited field.

The other article you linked me to was a far more interesting read, I see you've removed it, presumably because while its analysis of TV in the 2000s is fascinating and it does mention some important 1990s precursors (like, indeed, Buffy) Babylon 5 isn't mentioned once.
Yeah, it's a great article, but Babylon 5 was mentioned in the comments, not the main article. So it wasn't what I was looking for. Still looking around for that other one.

Bottom line, though, there are folks out there giving cred to B5 for all kinds of reasons.

There was a reason it reached out and got attention, and inspires threads like these on a regular basis.
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Old January 29 2010, 11:56 PM   #208
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Canadave wrote: View Post
Honestly, it's astounding B5 managed to keep an audience with some of the early episodes. It'd be like if DS9 had followed up "Emissary" with "If Wishes Were Horses" and "Move Along Home."

All I can say is that you need to repeat the B5 season 1 mantra: "Stick with it, it gets a hell of a lot better"
Yes it does. I was wondering why I was sticking with this show through several of the early episodes.

I think when something really switched in me and I realized that this was a show to follow was when Jha'dur spoke to Sinclair about her work toward the end of "Deathwalker".
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Old January 29 2010, 11:58 PM   #209
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

stonester1 wrote: View Post
Bottom line, though, there are folks out there giving cred to B5 for all kinds of reasons.
Probably. I've never read anything of the kind outside of geek circles, but then, I'll admit I've never looked for it.

There was a reason it reached out and got attention, and inspires threads like these on a regular basis.
It's a Star Trek forum. I think it's not unreasonable to say there's always been an overlap where these geek interests are concerned. The people posting here are also all people who remember Deep Space Nine, for example.
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Old January 30 2010, 12:01 AM   #210
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Here's another, in EW's top twenty of all time, science fiction shows...

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20224286_8,00.html

And on that happening because this is a Trek forum...there are MANY science fiction shows out there. But only a select few generate continuous commentary and threads with people going through the show for the first time and wishing to share the experience with all and sundry.

Babylon 5 is one of them.
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