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

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Old May 18 2014, 12:58 AM   #1
BigJake
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Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

I thought I would start one of these in order to avoid spoilers in Tribble puncher's first watch thread. I'm mainly just starting this because I find the discussion of Londo and G'Kar interesting.

RandyS wrote:
You know, I STILL don't see that. I've been hearing how "Babylon 5 is really the story of Londo Mollari" for years now, and I just can't see it. I finished a re-watch of my B5 (and Crusade) DVD sets two weeks ago, and this time, mindful of that, I was watching for it, but I didn't see it. Babylon 5 is as much about Sinclair and Sheridan (and everybody else) as it is about Londo.

JMS said that he wanted Babylon 5 to do for science fiction what Hill Street Blues did for cop shows, and as far as that goes, yes, I see that comparison, but the whole "Babylon 5 is really Londo's story" just escapes me. It seems to me to be more about the esemble as a whole than any one character in particular.
The reason JMS talks about it being Londo and G'Kar's story AFAICS is:



That's what I think, anyway.
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Old May 19 2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

One thing I think reinforces it being "Londo's story" is it's not a only story about Londo, it's a story as told by Londo.

And to understand that, you need to read The Centauri Trilogy. (You needed too already because it's great and it's practically a like half a 6th season of B5)

I don't think I need to put things in spoilers since it's in the thread title, but there is a part towards the end of the last book, Londo is dying and he dictates to Vir the opening monolouge that plays at the begining of the pilot movie, The Gathering. This is alluded to in season 3 War Without End and the movie In The Begining.

Plus remember, as per the last episode, Sleeping in Light, that the entire Babylon 5 tv show is a historical documentary created much later after the events shown, they really are going by Londo's account as a first hand and 3rd party as transcribed by Vir Cotto.

This show as so many layers of depth it's really beyond anything else.
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Old May 19 2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

Interesting, I didn't know that.
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Old May 19 2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

I don't think we know if it was something intended by JMS or just an idea by Peter David he had in the novels. They are both pretty creative fellas that could have come up with that.
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Old May 19 2014, 11:23 PM   #5
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

It's definitely not Londo's story. It should've been Sinclair's but obviously that changed.
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Old May 20 2014, 01:35 AM   #6
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

The notion of it being a dramatization of Londo's secret biography is very I Claudius and hence entirely right.
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Old May 20 2014, 06:13 AM   #7
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

Am I going to agree with diankra simply because I'm elated that a fellow-baby referenced I, Claudius, only the bestest BBC mini-series (and one of the best books) ever?

Yes. Yes, I think I am.

(Also, it helps that the point is actually relevant and defensible. So, that too.)
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Old May 20 2014, 11:26 AM   #8
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

That's even more defensible with 'In The Beginning' all harkening back to the prediction from Lady Morella's prediction that Londo's redemption will be by saving the one who is dead and surrendering himself to his greatest fear which would be his death dream of dying in hand to hand fighting with G'Kar.
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Old May 20 2014, 03:26 PM   #9
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

Looking at it from an in-universe perspective, the 5 seasons of B5 are a history as told by Londo and presented as dramatised documentary and paid for by the Anla'shok. The latter is stated flat out in the final episode and the former is inferred though opening narration to 'The Gathering' (later elaborated in the books & ItB.)

So yes, it is "Londo's story" in the sense that he's the one telling it with the benefit of hindsight. Hell I think the books even have him discussing details with Delenn when he had her locked up on Centauri Prime, thus explaining how he got certain details he otherwise shouldn't have, logically speaking.

There's probably some other sources mixed in there too. I think the Centauri novels or one of the short stories makes mention of Sheridan's memoirs and a full neural map of Ivanova's mind after she became Ranger One. The latter appears to be evidenced by Ivanova's closing narration of season 2. No doubt the Book of G'Kar would also have been cited and since Garibaldi also get's a narration in SiL presumably he also wrote something of his time there.

Still, the core of the story is Londo's account of those 5 years he was on the station.

The neat part of this is that any continuity errors can be written off as inaccurate or conflicting information in historical accounts. Indeed, real world history is riddled with such anomalies.
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Old May 21 2014, 01:11 AM   #10
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

BigJake wrote: View Post
Am I going to agree with diankra simply because I'm elated that a fellow-baby referenced I, Claudius, only the bestest BBC mini-series (and one of the best books) ever?

Yes. Yes, I think I am.

(Also, it helps that the point is actually relevant and defensible. So, that too.)
I saw, loved, I Claudius when on first tx, when I was 9. No idea how my parents let me stay up that late, except that mum was a classics graduate and teacher. Read her copy of the 12 Caesars that summer as a result, when I ran out of Doctor Who books...
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Old May 21 2014, 06:19 AM   #11
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Re: Babylon 5 SPOILER Discussion Thread

^ I discovered it a lot later in life. I was already acquainted with the awesomeness of Jacobi (and relished Patrick Stewart's awesome villainous turn), but seeing what Brian Blessed can really do with a meaty dramatic role was a revelation.
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