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

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Old January 30 2010, 12:18 AM   #211
Kegg
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

An interesting example to be sure, but not one that credits B5 for any influences. At least this list used an actual photo from the series; I read a similar list once that used a photo from one of the unsuccessful spinoffs.

Babylon 5 is one of them.
And the others are Firefly and Farscape.

What do they all have in common? They're space operas with people on space stations or spaceships. This is why you'll see more Babylon 5 threads than Twilight Zone threads.

I'll admit I'm beginning to talk in a circular loop at this point so I'll let it be.
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Old January 30 2010, 12:33 AM   #212
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post

[...]

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!

[...]
Actually that is not something, that never happened in human history. The Romans appearently thought of their nation to be an Republic and referred to it as such even after the Roman Republic was transformed into an dictatorship by Caesar.
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Old January 30 2010, 12:41 AM   #213
Kegg
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Sean_McCormick wrote: View Post
Actually that is not something, that never happened in human history. The Romans appearently thought of their nation to be an Republic and referred to it as such even after the Roman Republic was transformed into an dictatorship by Caesar.
And then Caesar was killed by Brutus, there were a few civil wars and this Augustus fellow is left with the keys to the house (by way of Egypt, the grain, like spice, must flow.)
Historians tend to date the Empire to this point of history.

It's true that the title Emperor, and the idea he was primus inter pares, was intentionally done to basically be a king but without having the onerous implications of being a king - making it acceptable in republican rhetoric, so to speak, but I think it'd be also fair to say that they're fairly contradictory and in the modern use of the term republics who have crowned Emperors no longer consider themselves Republics - like France, which the Centauri take a page or two from.

Hm. I really should joke less. It's not even a funny line to begin with.
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Old January 30 2010, 12:50 AM   #214
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

[QUOTE=Kegg;3796218]
stonester1 wrote: View Post

What do they all have in common? They're space operas with people on space stations or spaceships. This is why you'll see more Babylon 5 threads than Twilight Zone threads.
Or Spacehunter. Or Starcops. Or Space 1999. Or Lost In Space, even. I can go on. These don't get talked about to the level of B5, if at all.

Yes, Farscape and Firefly get mentioned a lot, too, on the level of Babylon 5. Why? Because they are also high quality shows that did something different with the genre, and people noticed them for being SHOWS, not just space shows.
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Old January 30 2010, 01:00 AM   #215
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

stonester1 wrote: View Post
Or Spacehunter. Or Starcops. Or Space 1999. Or Lost In Space, even. I can go on.
I wasn't comparing Babylon 5 to those. I was comparing it to cult series that aren't space operas. That's why I brought up The Twilight Zone, which topped the list you linked and yet doesn't really generate a lot of thread traffic. Even The Prisoner, say, really just got attention because of its remake (and woe betide the man who dares proclaim that show isn't awesome.)

It's pretty obvious the three most referenced long-ended sci-fi cult series on these forums are space operas, and it's equally obvious as to why.
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Old January 30 2010, 01:04 AM   #216
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
stonester1 wrote: View Post
Or Spacehunter. Or Starcops. Or Space 1999. Or Lost In Space, even. I can go on.
I wasn't comparing Babylon 5 to those. I was comparing it to cult series that aren't space operas. That's why I brought up The Twilight Zone, which topped the list you linked and yet doesn't really generate a lot of thread traffic. Even The Prisoner, say, really just got attention because of its remake (and woe betide the man who dares proclaim that show isn't awesome.)

It's pretty obvious the three most referenced long-ended sci-fi cult series on these forums are space operas, and it's equally obvious as to why.

Yes, because people don't talk much. or regularly share their viewings of bad space operas.
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Old January 30 2010, 04:14 AM   #217
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

stonester1 wrote: View Post
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
Entertainment Weekly, now there's an authority on timeless values...that's it?
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Old January 30 2010, 05:06 AM   #218
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Face it, Dennis, B5 is better than you make it out to be.

It's also worse than most of us make it out to be, of course....

Something about a three-edged sword comes to mind here.
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Old January 30 2010, 05:12 AM   #219
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Ok, I have a gripe and if I'm wrong about this please tell me. I don't appreciate people telling me what I can and cannot like. The attitude of "if you like this show or that show, than you're wrong for not liking what I like" or something to that effect is starting to get really grating. As for B5, it is gaining new viewers. Last year we had a few B5 review threads, such as mine, which showed the series getting new viewers. Maybe not on the same level as BSG, but then we're talking about a series that's over 10 years old. Also, let's not forget BSG wasn't a ratings darling either.

As for comparing BSG to B5, it isn't a fair comparison. TV series are getting better, technology is getting better, and it's really an apples to oranges point. Also, I disagree with darker and grittier for B5. Yeah there were dark themes, but one of the things that sold me on it was the idea of Hope and the hardships we take to get there. There was a positive underlying theme which I liked, but the original poster hasn't gotten there yet. I just wanted to say that I got into the series last year, I love the series, and don't appreciate being told I'm wrong for liking a series that others might not like. Hell, I don't go into the Enterprise forum or the lost Forum saying you guys are all a bunch of ignorant somethings, so I should hope the feeling is mutual. I know it isn't, but hey, I'm proud to be naive on such matters.
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Old January 30 2010, 06:20 AM   #220
Ryan
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
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.
Can you owe a debt to your own show?

The whole B5 vs. DS9 debate is senseless though. To me it's obvious Deep Space Nine was very influenced by Babylon 5. I just don't see any problem with that. Since when was it a bad thing to be inspired by great works? Babylon 5 itself had a whole litany of influences from Shakespeare to Blade Runner.
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Old January 30 2010, 06:46 AM   #221
Temis the Vorta
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

JMS had an annoying tendency to make his "heroes" seem bigger than they were, by creating petty and disgusting villains to contrast them with. That's just cheap. And his denoument to the Shadows vs Vorlons war was the very definition of anticlimactic.

But there was something about B5 that was uniquely compelling. I really cannot put it into words, but it has to do with the feeling that there was more to it than we saw "on camera," in a way that no other series really managed to convey. It was similar to what Farscape did, to a lesser extent, that feeling that we're seeing a self-contained universe with its own rules that exists whether we watch the show or like it or not.

Ok let me take another stab at it. I didn't care that much about the B5 characters. I thought Boxleitner was an idiot. Delenn's people lurched around in robes like cut-rate Jedi. A lot of characters seemed stilted, more like types (Ivanova = tough chick; Garabalid = tragic drunk) than characters. And the plotline? Frankly I can't even remember what it was. Regardless, the environment of B5 seemed alive to me. If someone were to do an extension - not reboot - of the series, I have no doubt I would instantly recognize whether it was authentic or not.
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Old January 30 2010, 12:40 PM   #222
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

The Significant Six of Babylon 5's first season are:

Mind War
And The Sky Full of Stars
Signs and Portents
A Voice in the Wilderness, Parts 1 & 2
Babylon Squared
Chrysalis

These are probably the best episodes of Season 1. Coincidentally, these are also the very first arc episodes. Which only proves that B5 (and J. Michael Straczynski) suck at standalone episodes. Fortunately, they started to phase them out by Season 2.

But these six/seven episodes give you a good glimpse how the rest of the show will be.
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Old January 30 2010, 12:58 PM   #223
Kegg
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

I do feel Temis makes an excellent point about villains. Having recently concluded my rewatch of the show's first season, one of the worst things about this series is all the hamfisted villains. Every other smarmy over-the-top jerk who's probably either incompetent and/or evil incarnate is tiresome to watch and even more tiresome for JMS to go around patting his heroes on the back for their good job.

(This is not a spoiler; the heroes defeat some bad guys who suck. This should be unsurprising, no?)

Ryan wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
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.
Can you owe a debt to your own show?
Not personally, but if your new show builds on a lot of material similar to your old show, then that show could be said to have a debt.

The whole B5 vs. DS9 debate is senseless though. To me it's obvious Deep Space Nine was very influenced by Babylon 5. I just don't see any problem with that. Since when was it a bad thing to be inspired by great works?
Because there's a fine line between being inspired by B5 and a shameless ripoff, which is what DS9 is frequently accused of being. Given both shows were conceived at about the same time and ran simultaneously it'd be pretty difficult for DS9 to be influenced by B5 unless, uh, they were paying close attention or JMS was right and they just took a copy of his series bible and used that as a guideline.

So, yeah, it's not like Babylon 5's debt to Lord of the Rings, which is obvious, unsubtle and clearly intentional.


stonester1 wrote: View Post
Yes, because people don't talk much. or regularly share their viewings of bad space operas.
Is there something about my posts that was incomprehensible? I spent a good half-hour trying to understand why this was considered relevant and I have no idea. When I say that B5 is more discussed than other cult sci-fi shows here because it's a space opera, of course this has something to do with bad space operas - wait, what?
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Old January 30 2010, 01:17 PM   #224
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
And his denoument to the Shadows vs Vorlons war was the very definition of anticlimactic.

Seriously, guys. The code is there for a reason.
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Old January 30 2010, 03:04 PM   #225
Jan
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5

Kegg wrote: View Post
I do feel Temis makes an excellent point about villains. Having recently concluded my rewatch of the show's first season, one of the worst things about this series is all the hamfisted villains. Every other smarmy over-the-top jerk who's probably either incompetent and/or evil incarnate is tiresome to watch and even more tiresome for JMS to go around patting his heroes on the back for their good job.
Like most sweeping statements, this is only partially true. As examples of the exceptions, I submit:


Sure, there were one-off bad guys but I think the show had some varied and effective villains.

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