RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 135,699
Posts: 5,213,715
Members: 24,208
Currently online: 760
Newest member: meshman63


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 9 2011, 05:42 PM   #2326
TheGodBen
Rear Admiral
 
TheGodBen's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

The Well of Forever (*½)

Galen (It's never a good sign when a review starts with his name) wants to go visit some sort of magical well in hyperspace, and even though Captain Gideon is only given the vaguest possible description of what it is, he decides to go because Galen seems like a nice guy and doesn't seem come across as creepy or anything. Galen has been on thin ice for me from the beginning just by being a technomage. Technomages take things that are wondrous and exciting, science and technology, and they try to reduce it to something magical. They're the Apple of the 23rd century. More than any other character, Galen's personality needs to present itself in a likeable way if I am to forgive him for the horrible crime of being a space-magician. Lying to the captain and hijacking the ship are counter-productive to this cause. I know that Galen thinks he's doing the right thing by keeping his promise, but if his plan involves lying to his friend and putting the lives of the crew in danger then he finds to come up with a better plan.

But there is a bigger sin that Galen commits here, one that is unforgivable. He deletes Max's scans of the Well of McGuffin in order to mess with him. What an asshole. I actually like Max, you're not going to win me over by being mean to the people I like, Galen. Why don't you just fly away and never come back, because nobody likes you.

Also in this episode, some creepy bearded guy mind-rapes Matheson. It's a sign of how much I dislike Galen that I only consider this the third worst thing to happen in the episode. Anyway, bearded man find out some secret that Matheson has been keeping and threatens to have him fired. I don't know what this secret is, but I'm guessing that Matheson has a crush on Gideon. Sure, there's no evidence for this but I'm sure I could whip up a 'shipper video using Sara Bareilles's song "Gravity" and it would work. Anyway, bearded man is tricked into doing something illegal so Matheson gets to stay, then he goes floating out in hyperspace for the lulz.

Also in this episode were giant, horny hyperspace jellyfish. You know, as Excalibur flew past them I couldn't help but think of Tuvok's infamous line from Elogium "It appears we have lost our sex appeal." Little did I know that 15 second later one of those jellyfish would start humping the ship. This episode gets extra points for reading my disturbing mind.
__________________
...so many different suns...

Last edited by TheGodBen; October 9 2011 at 07:04 PM. Reason: I got the title wrong somehow
TheGodBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2011, 06:15 PM   #2327
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: Within my own Magic Murder Bag
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Also in this episode, some creepy bearded guy mind-rapes Matheson. It's a sign of how much I dislike Galen that I only consider this the third worst thing to happen in the episode. Anyway, bearded man find out some secret that Matheson has been keeping and threatens to have him fired. I don't know what this secret is, but I'm guessing that Matheson has a crush on Gideon. Sure, there's no evidence for this but I'm sure I could whip up a 'shipper video using Sara Bareilles's song "Gravity" and it would work. Anyway, bearded man is tricked into doing something illegal so Matheson gets to stay, then he goes floating out in hyperspace for the lulz.
I must say, it's both disturbing and gratifyingly realistic to see that disbanding the Psi Corps and reintegrating the telepaths hasn't magically reversed decades of questionable ethics or the mindset of control. After all, given that "bearded man" ("Mr. Jones") is probably P-12, he's also probably a former Psi Cop. For all we know, five years ago he was hunting down blips and handing them over to be reprogrammed.

I guess all the Earth Alliance could really hope for is "okay, we'll be a bit less obviously facist and won't try to take over the world anymore. In exchange we get to join the military and the boy scouts. Deal?"

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Also in this episode were giant, horny hyperspace jellyfish. You know, as Excalibur flew past them I couldn't help but think of Tuvok's infamous line from Elogium "It appears we have lost our sex appeal." Little did I know that 15 second later one of those jellyfish would start humping the ship. This episode gets extra points for reading my disturbing mind.
Between this and Who's My Little pak'ma'ra, Crusade was well on its way to becoming one of the all-time greats in the category of wacky extraterrestrial sex scenes.
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2011, 06:53 PM   #2328
Kegg
Rear Admiral
 
Kegg's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland.
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Galen has been on thin ice for me from the beginning just by being a technomage. Technomages take things that are wondrous and exciting, science and technology, and they try to reduce it to something magical. They're the Apple of the 23rd century.
Quite. More than that, they're clearly yet another way for JMS to play with fantasy cliches in a space opera setting. This goes back to "Geometry of Shadows", where they're essentially just wizards, with a bit of Tolkein-esque travelling away from the known world. By the time of Call to Arms, they're wizards who bring in the warrior Sheridan, the paladin Tony Todd and the rogue Dureena on a magical LARPing adventure.

I did actually like "Geometry of Shadows", but that's because Michael Ansara really gives a gravitas to Elric, while Galen just always comes off like a smug prick to me.

I actually like Max,
Likewise. I'd say Max Eilerson is the most interesting character on Crusade.
__________________
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick
Kegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2011, 09:17 PM   #2329
Reverend
Rear Admiral
 
Reverend's Avatar
 
Location: UK
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

In their defence, had the show continued the whole techno-mage thing would defiantly have gone somewhere and there was a *big* reveal written into the unfilmed season finale (which I shall not spoil here.) As is B5 tradition there are some out of context hints at this in the existing episodes, but you have to know where to look.

As for Galen himself, there is a reason why he's the way he is and like all the characters, there would have been a back story (hinted at here and elsewhere) and of course a definite character arc. Put it this way, just think what if B5 had stopped mid way into season one, how different and incomplete would your opinion of the main characters (G'Kar & Londo especially) have been at that point.

Oh, and I like Max too. He's very much the Kerr Avon of the group and easily my favourite character after Dureena and Galen.
Reverend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2011, 09:20 PM   #2330
sidious618
Admiral
 
sidious618's Avatar
 
Location: New York, US
Send a message via AIM to sidious618
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Galen was my favorite Crusade character. Peter Woodward can do no wrong in my book.
__________________
We've met before, haven't we?
sidious618 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2011, 10:44 PM   #2331
Kegg
Rear Admiral
 
Kegg's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland.
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
Put it this way, just think what if B5 had stopped mid way into season one, how different and incomplete would your opinion of the main characters (G'Kar & Londo especially) have been at that point.
Londo and G'Kar basically drive all the good stuff in "Midnight on the Firing Line", and are fairly interesting at that early stage in a way Galen never is. Part of it, of course, is that even at this juncture they're presented as dramatic figures who deal in murky political fortunes. I don't know how much to blame Woodward and how much to blame JMS, in fairness, but Galen is Byronically insufferable. JMS can write characters in a certain smug way, and while sometimes a performer can elevate the role (G'Kar in season five could have been much smarmier), some of them ham that element up.

Not spoiling the finale reveal either, but there's nothing in it that salvages the Technomages or Galen for me.

Part of the reason Londo and G'Kar work early on is that even that that juncture they're morally ambiguous and dealing in a messy political situation. Some of JMS's strongest character writing is for characters like that and while Max is no Londo, he's the best shot Crusade has on this front.
__________________
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick
Kegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2011, 11:42 PM   #2332
Seven of Five
Commodore
 
Seven of Five's Avatar
 
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)



Bakula, you came back! Where have you been all my life?

I've only seen Crusade once, and I'm not sure I need to see it again. It was very hit and miss, but, to be fair, B5's first season was too. I suppose there was a glimmer of potential, but since it was shot down after 13 episodes, it's hard to see the show as anything more than merely decent. It's a shame - enormous missed opportunity.

More importantly though, I thought Avatar ruled.
__________________
Other prisons do Shakespeare and shit. I want to play a role, like Desdemona or Ophelia or Clair Huxtable.
Seven of Five is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 03:23 AM   #2333
TheGodBen
Rear Admiral
 
TheGodBen's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Reverend wrote: View Post
In their defence, had the show continued the whole techno-mage thing would defiantly have gone somewhere and there was a *big* reveal written into the unfilmed season finale (which I shall not spoil here.)
I don't think that it would address my problem with them which is that they're presented in a way that I find completely insufferable. They're like those magicians that go on stage wearing capes and pretend that they're really doing magic and talk about the spirits of our ancestors. I am far more receptive to magicians that wear normal clothes and reveal that it's all just elaborate trickery and expect applause for their skill in pulling it off, not for supernatural powers they don't have. To my eye, they're children that never grew up because they were so saddened by the lack of actual magic in the universe that they decided to create it. I am not impressed by them, I pity them more than anything else.

Also, while Max's interest in the Well of Forever may not have been entirely altruistic, what's wrong with him wanting to understand it on a scientific basis? We have enough people in this world that want to impede the advancement of knowledge to protect their superstitions and I strongly advocate hitting those people quite forcefully with lead pipes.


The Path of Sorrows (**½)

Galen () begins this episode by making a woman cry and ends it by trying to murder an alien that makes people feel better about their lives. Good going Galen, you've gone from spying on a starship captain and hijacking a ship in the last episode to attempted murder in this episode. Why doesn't anybody try to lock this guy up? Come on, he's a criminal. The least he deserves is a good hard kick in that area men don't like being kicked in.

This episode is pretty much an excuse to show events from some of the main character's lives, which means it doesn't really work as a self-contained story, it must be judged as a collection of flashbacks. First up is Gideon, who apparently saw his former ship being blowed up real good by a Shadow vessel. Adrift in space, running low on oxygen, and even bigger catastrophe happened to him; he was rescued by Galen. Now Galen gets to treat him like his bitch for all eternity. So that's why Galen hasn't been arrested. Later we see Gideon playing poker when a crazy man decides to gamble away an extremely valuable breadbox on a two pair. Soon after, he realises just how stupid it was to gamble away everything on such a comparatively weak hand and he commits suicide. At least, that was my read on things. So the alien in the bubble forgives Gideon for winning a game of poker (eh? ) and Gideon goes to get a good night's sleep.

Next up is Matheson, who visits the bubble alien in the night because he's desperate for more character development. We learn that he was in the Psi Corps and used to inject rebels with bad things. But after talking to one of the nice rebels he comes to realise that he's working for the bad guys and he switches sides. Telepaths are extremely subtle and love to use psychological warfare, which is why they destroy the Psi Corps base with a nuke. The bubble alien forgives Matheson for siding with the good guys (eh? ) and Matheson goes to get a good night's sleep.

Finally, Galen pays a visit to the alien. The flashback reveals that Galen comes from a world originally settled by English thespians and that his not-quite-wife dies for some reason, but not before they get a final scene together where she gets to relay a message to him that will be have relevance in the future. Galen refuses to forgive God for this act and decides to take out his anger on the bubble alien by throwing a fireball at it. But Gideon and Matheson show up just in time and save the alien. The next day they return the alien to the planet, but not before Gideon and Matheson have a tender moment together that I'm choosing to imagine has romantic undertones.

I found the first two flashbacks interesting enough as I learned something about those characters. Galen's flashback was as insufferable as the man himself and the story connecting all this together was pretty meh.

Scott Bakula: 91
__________________
...so many different suns...
TheGodBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 03:59 AM   #2334
Admiral Shran
Admiral
 
Location: In the Before Time - the Long, Long Ago
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Severed Fingers wrote: View Post
More importantly though, I thought Avatar ruled.
Blasphemy!!


And as for Galen - Jesus-tap-dancing-Christ, just stop. I thought Byron was was bad! I'm beginning to think I'll take him over Galen any day.
__________________
Vote Obomney 2012!
"All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities. It's not that power corrupts but that it's magnetic to the corruptible." - Frank Herbert, Dune
Admiral Shran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 08:45 AM   #2335
Kegg
Rear Admiral
 
Kegg's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland.
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Well Matheson's thing would be a case of wanting a chipper, heroic character to feel guilty about something without making the audience feel repelled at him. If Matheson had a more unpleasant demon in his closet he'd be in severe danger of becoming interesting.

Severed Fingers wrote: View Post
More importantly though, I thought Avatar ruled.
Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
And as for Galen - Jesus-tap-dancing-Christ, just stop. I thought Byron was was bad! I'm beginning to think I'll take him over Galen any day.
You sirs are both correct.
__________________
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick
Kegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 01:56 PM   #2336
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: Within my own Magic Murder Bag
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
To my eye, they're children that never grew up because they were so saddened by the lack of actual magic in the universe that they decided to create it. I am not impressed by them, I pity them more than anything else.
I like this. Well said. And it reminds me now of Alwyn's dragon; it was more pathetic than whimsical, really, wasn't it?
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 03:14 PM   #2337
Reverend
Rear Admiral
 
Reverend's Avatar
 
Location: UK
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

^It's a matter of perspective. The admittedly whimsical style of the techno-mages is somewhat tempered by the fact that these guys really can throw fireballs and not just play with illusion. Allot of what they do belies just how powerful and truly dangerous they can be and I think that's half the point.

Personally when they first showed up on B5 I just thought it was an interesting idea to take Clarke's famous quote to it's logical extreme.

Kegg wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Put it this way, just think what if B5 had stopped mid way into season one, how different and incomplete would your opinion of the main characters (G'Kar & Londo especially) have been at that point.
Londo and G'Kar basically drive all the good stuff in "Midnight on the Firing Line", and are fairly interesting at that early stage in a way Galen never is. Part of it, of course, is that even at this juncture they're presented as dramatic figures who deal in murky political fortunes. I don't know how much to blame Woodward and how much to blame JMS, in fairness, but Galen is Byronically insufferable. JMS can write characters in a certain smug way, and while sometimes a performer can elevate the role (G'Kar in season five could have been much smarmier), some of them ham that element up.

Not spoiling the finale reveal either, but there's nothing in it that salvages the Technomages or Galen for me.

Part of the reason Londo and G'Kar work early on is that even that that juncture they're morally ambiguous and dealing in a messy political situation. Some of JMS's strongest character writing is for characters like that and while Max is no Londo, he's the best shot Crusade has on this front.
The point I was trying to make was that all the main B5 characters had definite arcs and were very different people in season five from who they were at the beginning of season one. I think it's a given that similar arcs were planned for the crew of the Excalibur. Remember, no one here is exactly what they appear.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
This episode is pretty much an excuse to show events from some of the main character's lives, which means it doesn't really work as a self-contained story, it must be judged as a collection of flashbacks. First up is Gideon, who apparently saw his former ship being blowed up real good by a Shadow vessel. Adrift in space, running low on oxygen, and even bigger catastrophe happened to him; he was rescued by Galen.
Hmm...what an amazing coincidence.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Later we see Gideon playing poker when a crazy man decides to gamble away an extremely valuable breadbox on a two pair. Soon after, he realises just how stupid it was to gamble away everything on such a comparatively weak hand and he commits suicide. At least, that was my read on things. So the alien in the bubble forgives Gideon for winning a game of poker (eh? ) and Gideon goes to get a good night's sleep.
^Did anyone else get a major Rod Sterling vibe from this segment? Hell, the whole concept of the Apocalypse Box feels like it jumped straight out of the Twilight Zone. Also, (random trivia time) I think that was our first ever glimpse of a car in the B5 universe.
Reverend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 04:16 PM   #2338
David cgc
Vice Admiral
 
David cgc's Avatar
 
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

This take on the technomages is especially interesting knowing the backstory. Long story short:
__________________
“I come here to have fun and fuck around merrily. I expect to showered by all kind of random crap.”
iguana_tonante
David cgc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 04:46 PM   #2339
Lindley
Moderator with a Soul
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Technomages take things that are wondrous and exciting, science and technology, and they try to reduce it to something magical.
I don't think that it would address my problem with them which is that they're presented in a way that I find completely insufferable. They're like those magicians that go on stage wearing capes and pretend that they're really doing magic and talk about the spirits of our ancestors. I am far more receptive to magicians that wear normal clothes and reveal that it's all just elaborate trickery and expect applause for their skill in pulling it off, not for supernatural powers they don't have. To my eye, they're children that never grew up because they were so saddened by the lack of actual magic in the universe that they decided to create it. I am not impressed by them, I pity them more than anything else.
What you may not realize about Technomages is that they don't really understand the technology either. They know how to use it, but they did not create it and they have little understanding of its workings. In fact they occasionally find new capabilities they didn't know that it had.

This is elaborated in detail in The Passing of the Technomages book trilogy. Basically, they're the Jedi of Babylon 5.
__________________
Lead Organizer for EVN: Firefly.
"So apparently the really smart zombies have automatic weapons!"
-Torg, Sluggy Freelance
Lindley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2011, 05:14 PM   #2340
Kegg
Rear Admiral
 
Kegg's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland.
Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Lindley wrote: View Post
What you may not realize about Technomages is that they don't really understand the technology either.
In other words, the Technomages aren't really smart people with a deep understanding of technology who use that knowledge to create an aura of magic... by countering their own ignorance with superstituous self-assurance they manage to be more obnoxious than they initially appeared.

Ah, Technomages. They worked better than say, Soul Hunters in a single episode, but I don't think it was a concept that bears much revisiting.

Reverend wrote: View Post
The point I was trying to make was that all the main B5 characters had definite arcs and were very different people in season five from who they were at the beginning of season one.
I'm aware of that. But I was counter-observing that isn't a defence for how terrible a character Galen is in season one, since Babylon 5 was able to do that without ever having Londo or G'Kar stoop to his level.

The man was in a telefilm, approximately a dozen episodes of TV, and a DVD release. He's consistently terrible, and even if he was salvageable, it doesn't excuse how bad he is (just as the stuff that's flat out terrible in Babylon 5's first season isn't mitigated by how good the show gets later).
__________________
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick

Last edited by Kegg; October 10 2011 at 10:06 PM.
Kegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
babylon 5, episode discussion

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.