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Old July 29 2010, 04:34 AM   #2251
David cgc
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Vestboy wrote: View Post
Wait, which uniforms are the "good" ones, and which the "bad"?
The grey uniforms were used first. The black ones were more expensive, and were used after the show had a small budget boost halfway through. TNT had a stronger hand in the second half, though, so the more expensive black uniforms ended up being switched away from to the cheaper grey uniforms (in the earlier-produced episodes). So they'd need to make a second uniform switch to get back to the high-budget stuff. If they had done things more sensibly, the grey-uniform episodes would've come first, and they would've switched once, to the black uniforms.
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Old July 29 2010, 08:47 AM   #2252
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

David cgc wrote: View Post
If they had done things more sensibly, the grey-uniform episodes would've come first, and they would've switched once, to the black uniforms.
It was TNT's mandate that black uniform episodes air first.
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Old July 29 2010, 07:56 PM   #2253
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

^That's what I said; If they did things sensibly.
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Old July 29 2010, 08:06 PM   #2254
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Racing the Night (***½)

This is a much more entertaining pilot... sorry, first episode () than War Zone, I can make sense of the story for one thing. In fact, it's a better story all around and it uses the Drakh plague as an element in the plot rather than scenery as it was in the last episode. Seeing the Captain on a flying motorcycle while wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses is quite cheesy, but it has successfully dislodged the image of Bob Russell whenever I see Gary Cole, so I can finally start calling him Captain Gideon.

The story is simple enough; there's a deserted planet, there's some alien spaceships, Admiral Ackbar gives his warning, Excalibur manages to defeat the evil aliens by firing their superweapon, the battle ends. We learn that the evil aliens aren't evil at all, they've been afflicted by the same plague as that on Earth and they're looking for a cure by slaughtering all those that visit their world. This is the moral dilemma that Gideon must face this week; allow the aliens to kill all newcomers or blow up their spaceships real good. Gideon enters Picard mode, refuses to let them get away with murdering innocents and lectures them. Then he flies off into the sunset and asks for advice from a talking breadbox.

Wait a minute, what the hell was that thing?!

The story is fairly contrived, these aliens didn't have the technology to travel through space, but somehow they have the energy capabilities to keep their entire race in suspended animation for a thousand years, and they can control unmanned spaceships and a very powerful tractor beam. They also have equations that allow for faster ships than Earth is capable of, and equations to create light-weight alloys. But they can't build a spaceship capable of hyperspace? It's possible, but questionable.

Galen returned for this episode and... I kind of liked him. I don't like admitting it, but his annoying tendencies worked in this episode, and he didn't use any "magic", so I can't complain about that. Seeing a video game avatar of Galen having his organs sucked out and his head lopped off was one of the most bizarre things I've seen on TV, which means that I liked it. I surprised people by not hating Byron, perhaps I wont hate Galen too.

Captain Greyshirt: 20
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Old July 29 2010, 08:39 PM   #2255
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
They also have equations that allow for faster ships than Earth is capable of, and equations to create light-weight alloys.
No, they don't. They only put part of the equations up, remember. I'm sure our scientists could put up partial equations describing all sorts of things but without the entire thing, it's pretty useless and may not prove out at all.

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Old July 29 2010, 09:52 PM   #2256
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

^ Plus of course NONE of the younger races developed Hyperspace on their own. They all either found derelict jumpgates in their star systems and back-engineered the tech or (like Earth) bough it from at race that did and happened to stumble into their system. If this race's system didn't have a jumpgate and nobody found them (aside from the Shadows, obviously) then they could conceivably have gone on for millennia as an island race, never developing jump drives.

Wait a minute, what the hell was that thing?!
Did someone say that wanted toast? Don't worry, light shall be cast on this little element...not much mind you, but rest assured it is significant. I'll give you a little hint though; go back and listen to the voice, it may sound familiar...

Last edited by Reverend; July 30 2010 at 05:53 AM.
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Old August 1 2010, 03:57 PM   #2257
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

They could have put people in suspended animation and sent spaceships out with conventional engines in order to make contact with other races.


The Memory of War (*½)

Thank the gods, just as I feared that I was mellowing out and might actually like Galen, along comes this episode to save me from that horror. Here, Galen is back to his annoying magical ways, although he's not quite as annoying as he was in A Call to Arms. Still, this episode gives me hope that my softness for Byron was just an aberration and not a sign of me becoming a nice person.

Captain Gideon finds a planet where the entire population seems to have been killed off by a plague, so he personally leads a team down there for some reason. Dureena finds a magic light walkway and steals a crystal in one of the show's green-screeniest scenes, then people start to kill one another. Or something. To be honest, I'm not really sure what was going on, but it had something to do with an evil technomage that created an artificial virus that leads to madness.

Why? I can't remember, all I remember is Galen getting pissed and magically opening a cave. He goes down there and finds an android for some reason, I think the android explained the evil plan (but I can't remember what that was) then something happens, Galen throws his staff into a giant machine, everyone runs away from the explosion, and that apparently stops the synthetic virus. I'm not really sure what this episode was, but it had technomages acting in that annoying way that technomages do, so it lost my interest for a lot of the episode.

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Old August 1 2010, 05:26 PM   #2258
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
They could have put people in suspended animation and sent spaceships out with conventional engines in order to make contact with other races.
I see three major problems with that; first off without any idea where to start looking they'd be travelling blind and have no idea how long any search might take, which leads to problem two: time and people.

They only have two years per person awake at any given time. As it stood they "only" lost 500 people out of the several billion still alive. If they send out a ship or several ships with 500, or 1000 for 5000 crew a piece and even taking into account the decades or centuries in cryo between stars, that's still a finite amount of time they can spend out there searching with no guarantee they'll ever stumble across the answer (or even an inhabited system for that matter) or even make it back. It's a dangerous galaxy out there. Of course it's a finite amount of time either way but with 5 billion people in a deeply entrenched, well protected and well hidden position they'd be able to hold out for a MUCH longer stretch of time.

Let's assume for a second the population is around the 5 billion mark, that means at a rate of one person every two years they could conceivable (assuming they went all the way to the pointless, bitter end) hold out for a good 10 billion years. Even half that amount of time should be more than sufficient for their tests to produce the answers they need. Even taking into account the relativistic effects of travelling at near light speed for extended periods, I'd be surprised if (given a best case scenario) any ships they might send would last even 4,000 years subjective, perhaps 10,000 - 100,000 objective time.

Then there's the third problem, which is as soon as other races find out there's a plague race wandering around infecting everyone, it's only a matter of time before one of them takes it into their head to track their homeworld and wipe them all out to eliminate even the potential threat. As it stood their greatest advantage was that nobody knew they were there. Given that, while they certainly didn't have hyperspace to begin with, that collection of derelicts they've accumulated effectively means they do now; I think the third reason is the main one as to why they've stayed at home.

The Memory of War (*½)

Thank the gods, just as I feared that I was mellowing out and might actually like Galen, along comes this episode to save me from that horror. Here, Galen is back to his annoying magical ways, although he's not quite as annoying as he was in A Call to Arms. Still, this episode gives me hope that my softness for Byron was just an aberration and not a sign of me becoming a nice person.

Captain Gideon finds a planet where the entire population seems to have been killed off by a plague, so he personally leads a team down there for some reason. Dureena finds a magic light walkway and steals a crystal in one of the show's green-screeniest scenes, then people start to kill one another. Or something. To be honest, I'm not really sure what was going on, but it had something to do with an evil technomage that created an artificial virus that leads to madness.

Why? I can't remember, all I remember is Galen getting pissed and magically opening a cave. He goes down there and finds an android for some reason, I think the android explained the evil plan (but I can't remember what that was) then something happens, Galen throws his staff into a giant machine, everyone runs away from the explosion, and that apparently stops the synthetic virus. I'm not really sure what this episode was, but it had technomages acting in that annoying way that technomages do, so it lost my interest for a lot of the episode.
On the plus side, I think Max and Dureena continue to be enjoyable. I would point out that other mage was a hologram not an android, but it doubt it'd make much difference. I remember the last time I watched it, one of the odd things that bothered me was that all of a sudden, Earthforce Marines had started carting around 20th century shotguns.

Last edited by Reverend; August 1 2010 at 05:54 PM.
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Old August 2 2010, 01:01 AM   #2259
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
On the plus side, I think Max and Dureena continue to be enjoyable.
I agree. Both those characters really work for me. In fact, I quite like all the characters (including His Magical Baldness). I just wish the show had continued to the point where they could actually do something with these characters, give them arcs, etc.

I suppose we are seeing hints of arcs- like Dureena trying to earn Galen's respect. I love the scene where Dureena returns Galen's staff. That was quite moving.
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Old August 2 2010, 01:03 PM   #2260
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
this episode gives me hope that my softness for Byron was just an aberration and not a sign of me becoming a nice person.
Good, I thought you might be mellowing in your old age or something.
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Old August 2 2010, 10:53 PM   #2261
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

The Needs of Earth (****)

This episode starts out with pak'ma'ra porn and somehow manages to improve on that! Unthinkable, I know, but there are things in this world better than pak'ma'ra porn. Max has odd tastes and I'm a little disturbed by him, but I'm interested in finding out what else is on that data crystal. Anything involving the Centauri, such as a six human gang-bang on a Centauri woman? If we see the Vorlons as perfect beings of light, how long would their todgers appear? So many questions, so little time to explore them.

Here's the obligatory "the captain must turn bad to save Earth" episode, which isn't a bad thing at all. In the Pale Moonlight and Damage were my favourite episodes of DS9 and Enterprise, so I'm game. In a way it's a pity that the episode undercuts this by making the criminal they were rescuing a really nice guy and the government he was running from are assholes, it makes it much easier to justify Gideon's actions. Speaking of which:

GIDEON: Tell the minister he's an ass.
Oh dear, it's a precursor Captain Archer. The bad Archer from seasons 1 and 2, the one that screwed up a lot and had to learn not to insult aliens that outnumber and outgun him.

Anyway, at the heart of this episode is a story about some nice aliens that elected in a group that want to destroy all forms of art because it's immoral and distracts people from religious pursuits and economic productivity: The Tea Party. Natchok is a really nice guy that wants to save his people's culture from being destroyed for all eternity, so he makes one copy of it and waits until he finds the right people to give it to. Not the best plan, but there you go. He decides to give the recordings to humanity because he hears a recording of Mozart and really likes it. Imagine what would have happened if he instead stumbled across a recording of Nickelback; all that culture lost forever.

The ending is a little clunky, especially the scene of Matheson talking to himself, this is the most character development he has received so far and it feels out of place in this episode.

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Old August 2 2010, 11:20 PM   #2262
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
The Needs of Earth (****)

This episode starts out with pak'ma'ra porn and somehow manages to improve on that! Unthinkable, I know, but there are things in this world better than pak'ma'ra porn.
I love that little scene. It's quite possibly my favourite moment in "Crusade", actually. I thought it was a great piece of genuine humour. I don't know what that says about me, though...

Thinking about it, it's probably that I'm fond of these little touches that make the Humans seem real. Of course there's pak'ma'ra porn- that's just inevitable. I wouldn't believe for a moment there isn't. And I love the idea that there's a market for this stuff; that xenophobia may well be strong on Earth, but apparently not even that gets in the way of smut. There's something to be said for that, I suppose.... Overall, it's just a nice little piece of humour, and it also works quite well in regards to the characters of Max and Gideon.

And I agree this was a good episode.
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Old August 3 2010, 12:22 AM   #2263
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Anything involving the Centauri, such as a six human gang-bang on a Centauri woman?
Probably. But given the way Centauri females are built, I imagine some "technological assistance" would be needed there.
On a purely intellectual level, I have to wonder how they convinced that pak'ma'ra to become involved. I mean aside from being stubborn, obnoxious and lazy, pak'ma'ra are asexual. Perhaps they bribed it with an entire dead, mutilated cow a Vree had left lying around...

If we see the Vorlons as perfect beings of light, how long would their todgers appear?
I realise that was rhetorical and not at all serious, but you need to learn to be careful what you ask from when I'm around: Observe!

Natchok is a really nice guy that wants to save his people's culture from being destroyed for all eternity, so he makes one copy of it and waits until he finds the right people to give it to. Not the best plan, but there you go.
I imagine that was his Plan-B. I imagine Plan-A was to flee to a neutral, non-extradition type world or the Alliance itself where he could claim asylum and ensure the safekeeping of his people's cultural heritage. Unfortunately he government got the word out fast enough that he got caught on some corrupt backwater colony before he could get any further.

Minor trivia: just in case anyone didn't recognise him under all that make-up (I certainly didn't until recently) but Natchok Var was played by Tony Amendola, better know to Stargate fans as Bra'tac.

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Old August 3 2010, 12:23 AM   #2264
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
The ending is a little clunky, especially the scene of Matheson talking to himself, this is the most character development he has received so far and it feels out of place in this episode
I'm pretty sure he was recording a personal journal entry as opposed to talking to himself.
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Old August 3 2010, 07:17 PM   #2265
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

I know, but the intent was a kind of soliloquy, and it's still awkward having a guy with almost no development pouring his emotions out to the audience like that.


Visitors from Down the Street (***½)

A man and a woman trying to uncover a conspiracy about aliens. A smoking special agent sent to stop them. A flying saucer. Spooky music. This episode is an obvious parody of that 90s sci-fi classic, Quantum Leap. But this time it's in reverse: Gideon isn't travelling through time, everything else is travelling through time around Gideon, and Gideon isn't trying to set right what once went wrong, instead everyone else is trying to stop Gideon from being such a Captain Archer. (Speaking of which, the more I see of Gideon the more like Archer he appears: He wastes his XO's time by bringing him on a search for a bad smell; he pauses in the middle of a manhunt because he finds the source of the bad smell; he is willing to alter the culture of an entire planet and fly away without thinking about the consequences. Brannon Braga must have been a huge Crusade fan. )

This episode is fun in a reverse X-files kind of way, where humans are supposed to be the sinister aliens that are conspiring with an alien government to some nefarious end. It's cute, I guess, but it also had a genuine mystery I was interested in. The reveal about what it really going on was a bit of a let down, but that's often the case. Plus, the special agent guy sounds sort of evil compared to the other two, it was a bit grating.

Thinking about it, this is an odd episode considered there's only two main characters in it. And did Matheson say that the Psi Corps are gone? Is that addressed in the novels?



I don't like having to do this, but I think I'm going to take a break from this for a while. I have a lot of work to finish over the next few weeks and I can't justify the time I spend on this right now. I might just be a few days, I might be a week, I might not return to it until September, I really can't say. I'll still be posting on the board, but I wont be watching any new episodes.
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