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Old April 16 2010, 11:27 AM   #1441
Can
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

chrisspringob wrote: View Post
TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Recently, something has been bugging me about the show and I think that this episode is a good point to voice my concerns. I've seen a few people saying that one of the great things about this show is how subtle it is, and that's true in some cases, especially when it comes to Londo and G'Kar, but when it comes to President Clark and the Psi Corps I'm just not seeing it, at least not yet. For example, in this episode Bester seems to be mostly on the level and he's genuinely trying to sort out the dust smuggling operation on the station, but at the end we learn that they actually created dust in the first place in order to create more telepaths, here they're just covering their asses.

What have the Psi Corps ever done that was good? Why are they always scheming and sinister? Almost everything I have seen them do so far appears to be self-serving, where's the subtlety?
Here's the thing. One thing you've probably picked up on by now is that one of the main themes of the show is nationalism = bad. Most of the main bad guys on the show do bad things either because of nationalism or because of some misguided ideological reason.

(I'm defining nationalism rather broadly here.....basically I'm defining it to mean elevating the status of your own group over "the other".)

There are very few bad guys on the show (at least, bad guys who last more than one episode) who are doing bad things just for purely selfish reasons. Lord Refa may be one of the exceptions....he seems to care more about his own position than the good of the Centauri.

The message "nationalism=bad" is played in a very unsubtle way. The show makes it pretty clear that people who take actions purely for the benefit of their own group are in the wrong. It's pretty obvious that JMS considers Londo's actions against the Narns to be unquestionably wrong. However, Londo is still a really interesting character because of how the show plays the torment in his soul over what he's doing.

This is the sort of thing you get sometimes, but not always. Most members of the upper echelons of Psi Corps (including Bester, I'd say) for example, do what they do because they think they're acting in the best interests of telepaths. For many of them, normals are the "other", and the lives of normals aren't worth much relative to the lives of telepaths. The show sometimes delves into the inner conflict in people who think this way, but not always. Certainly, there are no other characters who are forced to confront the tragic consequences of their nationalism to the extent that Londo and G'Kar are.

Bester is a fascinating character in fact. You just see and understand his point of view as series progress
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Old April 16 2010, 03:31 PM   #1442
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Neroon wrote: View Post
Side note: In G'Kar's vision we see him speaking with another Narn, presumably his father. This Narn is played by actor Jim Norton who appeared in S1 as one of the ombuds. The speech he gives G'Kar is one of my favorites in the series. Aportion of it:
Because you have let them distract you. Blind you with hate. You cannot see the battle for what it is. We are fighting to save one another, we must realize we are not alone. We rise and fall together. And some of us must be sacrificed if all are to be saved. Because, if we fail in this, then none of us will be saved. And the Narn will be only a memory."
I like that one too as in hindsight, it reveals a lot about Kosh.


Additional trivia: Jim Norton also played Dr. Lazarenn the Markab doctor from 'Confessions and Lamentation'
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Old April 16 2010, 04:12 PM   #1443
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Some of the tentacle things on it looked familiar to the ship Sinclair's girlfriend saw in that episode way back when, but I don't have the season 1 DVDs anymore to check.
Exactly.

Catherine Sakai had an encounter with The Walkers Of Sigma 957 back in the good old "Mind War", which proves that this show's continuity is just awesome.

As for "Dust To Dust", it's one of my favourite episodes of the entire series.
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Old April 16 2010, 04:15 PM   #1444
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Well, to be fair, Ivanova's "I know this place! ....I've seen it on star charts..." line always struck me as somewhat lame. I suspect that at some point it was meant to be Sakai who went down to the planet there.
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Old April 16 2010, 04:37 PM   #1445
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Lindley wrote: View Post
Well, to be fair, Ivanova's "I know this place! ....I've seen it on star charts..." line always struck me as somewhat lame. I suspect that at some point it was meant to be Sakai who went down to the planet there.
It could have been worse. She could have used the biggest cliche line that every writer uses to explain how a character knows something he/she is not supposed to know:

"I know. I've read the reports."
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Old April 16 2010, 08:28 PM   #1446
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

^ Yeah because characters standing around telling each other things the audience already knows is much better!
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Old April 16 2010, 08:34 PM   #1447
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Lindley wrote: View Post
Well, to be fair, Ivanova's "I know this place! ....I've seen it on star charts..." line always struck me as somewhat lame. I suspect that at some point it was meant to be Sakai who went down to the planet there.
I doubt that, as Sakai was originally supposed to be:

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Old April 16 2010, 08:55 PM   #1448
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
Well, to be fair, Ivanova's "I know this place! ....I've seen it on star charts..." line always struck me as somewhat lame. I suspect that at some point it was meant to be Sakai who went down to the planet there.
I doubt that, as Sakai was originally supposed to be:

No she wasn't, though that's a common error. As JMS has pointe out,


As for the theory that Sakai was supposed to have gone down to Epsilon 3...what for? She was a surveyor and E3 was already off limits.

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Old April 16 2010, 09:40 PM   #1449
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Jan wrote: View Post
OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
I doubt that, as Sakai was originally supposed to be:
No she wasn't, though that's a common error. As JMS has pointe out,
The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.



Also, minor quibble, but Sinclair and Sakai were "involved" on and off all the way back to the Academy (or whatever B5's equivalent is).
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Old April 16 2010, 11:10 PM   #1450
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Total aside, but this seems like a good thread for it:
I friended Pat Tallman on Facebook. Today, she's dreading driving six teens to an event (just like a real person!). One of the reply posts was from Bill Mumy, saying "Remember, 'understanding is not required, Just obedience.'"

It's so cool when an actor is also a fan who can quote his own lines 10 years later!
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Old April 16 2010, 11:23 PM   #1451
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.


Except that:


TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Maybe the Psi Corps will gain extra depth in time, along with President Clark. It could be argued that the Psi Corps allied themselves with the Shadows because they feel they could not win a conflict against them, so by aligning Earth with the Shadows the Psi Corps are protecting Earth. Bester even seemed to be alluding to that at one point in this episode, but at the end there's yet another cheap shot at the Psi Corps that just makes them seem sinister. I guess I'll just have to see how it all turns out.
Yep, you'll get a full picture of exactly what's behind this alliance soon enough.
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Old April 17 2010, 12:27 AM   #1452
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

All right, enough with the spoiler tags for now.

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Old April 17 2010, 12:42 AM   #1453
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Sucks that the alternate B5 thread I made didn't last.
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Old April 17 2010, 03:50 PM   #1454
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Exogenesis (***½)

I have to admit that the name of this episode scared me, I feared I was going to have to sit through another episode like Infection, and as soon as I saw the insect creature things I thought to myself "We seek peaceful coexistence", "BANG!" Luckily the episode didn't go that route, the aliens weren't interested in infiltrating the station, they just wanted to remember stuff as part of the latest version update for Wikipedia. And they weren't capturing innocent people either, the people joined with the aliens willingly so that their lives could have meaning. Say, where can I get one of these things for myself?

Ron Moore is an odd character. He's a badass with a stick to beat people with, and he's preparing for a major war against darkness, but he's cheerful and has a friendly English accent. He's weird, but I'm sort of starting to like him. I'll have to see more of him before coming to a conclusion, and once I get to know him maybe I'll stop calling him Ron Moore, because all the real Ron Moore does is sit around all day drinking scotch and pleasuring himself.

I'm assuming that whatever package it is which is being sent to Ron Moorcas from Earth will be important in the next episode (I've heard that Messages From Earth is a major event episode).

Anyway, the end of the episode has an important message from Duncan who tells us that we all should stop wasting our time in the bath drinking jynnan tonnyx and should experience the world to its fullest. Not the smartest message to give to an audience of science fiction nerds, if they take it to heart they'll stop wasting their time on this fantastical nonsense and go outside. Weeeeeell, it is sunny out there today... maybe I should try it?

No no, it's too scary, there's people out there.

I don't know that this episode actually merits a 7/10, but I was sick of awarding 6/10s, so I went the generous route.
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Old April 17 2010, 04:29 PM   #1455
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Re: A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Ron Moore is an odd character. He's a badass with a stick to beat people with, and he's preparing for a major war against darkness, but he's cheerful and has a friendly English accent. He's weird, but I'm sort of starting to like him. I'll have to see more of him before coming to a conclusion, and once I get to know him maybe I'll stop calling him Ron Moore, because all the real Ron Moore does is sit around all day drinking scotch and pleasuring himself.
He's always looked more like d'Artagnan to me.

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