A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by TheGodBen, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I couldn't get D&D type fantasy out of my head with Call to Arms. With Galen as the Game Master and Dureena as the thief and Tony Todd as the paladin and so on. Anyway I found it, well. There are worse Bab 5 movies and I guess Crusade could have had a worse prologue then that.

    The thing is, Minbar played a larger role in the war. I think that would have made more sense then Earth. The obvious motive is the same reason that Earth always seems to be threatened by villains on Star Trek also - the only planet we really care about is the one planet we actually live on.
     
  2. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nah, Galen is the mage, not the GM. JMS is the GM.
     
  3. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    The Drahk plague was optimized for Minbari. The Drahk actually made a pretty big mistake in panicing and using it on Earth---the effect would have been much more immediate if they had waited and deployed it on Minbar as planned.
     
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^If that was the case (and I'm not saying it wasn't) then you'd think there'd be some mention of all the Minbari that happened to be on Earth succumbing very quickly. From what I recall, the implication has always been that the Drakh either didn't know how to specifically adapt it or it simply can't be done.

    There was that one world that the Shadows themselves used the plague on during the last year. They had a good 5 years too so either indeed it can't be specifically adapted or they intentionally left it switched to "default" to make sure their slow death served as an example. Either is possible.

    The presence of a thief, a wizard etc. was quite deliberately meant to evoke an association, but with Arthurian mythology and symbolism, not D&D. The name of the ship is a dead give-away, yes?
     
  5. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't remember a prominent thief is Arthurian mythology, but every D&D party needs one to help deal with traps. And really, Crusade is a show about a ship that travels from dungeon-planet to dungeon-planet killing people and stealing stuff.

    It's basically Spelljammer with less antiquated pseudoscience. .
     
  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are definite similarities to B5 in there, but also to Star Trek, Star Wars, BSG... every major space opera has elements in the ME universe, which is one of the reasons why that universe is so delicious. Overall, I'd say that Star Wars is the main influence followed by B5.

    I've noticed in A Call to Arms and War Zone that during some action scenes the sound effects are silent and you're only left with the music. Personally, I don't feel that works, the music just isn't big enough to carry those scenes on its own.

    No hair, it seems. I'm having an opposite of the Byron-effect; with Byron I hated the hair but came to terms with the character, but with Galen I like the shaved head but I'm having a negative reaction to the character. I'll have to wait and see how it works out, I did hate Vir during the first couple of seasons after all.


    War Zone (*)

    Depending on how you choose to view this episode it is either episode 1, 8 or 12, and I'm guessing this is the reason why the episode feels so awkward. It appears to be a pilot produced mid-way through the season to follow on from a movie that did a poor job at being a pilot. Everything is rushed, all the characters are introduced with little attempt made at explaining who these characters are. Who is this captain guy? Who is the first officer guy? Where is Lochley? I have no idea.

    The episode starts out with a young Daniel Dae Bakula trying to point out to some stupid mutineers that they're stupid, which appears to be symbolic of JMS struggling against TNT. Then Captain Bingo Bob shows and beats some guy up, and for some reason this stops the mutiny. Then there's some exposition for about 15 minutes (including some laughably out-of-place footage of real-world riots) then that thief I don't remember from A Call to Arms shows up, then they go to the ship, then some stuff happens with the Drakh, they kind of won, that guy Galen shows up to annoy me... I don't really care. To be honest, if I had chosen to check this show out without having seen B5 I would have just abandoned it after this episode.

    I've done some reading at the lurkers guide and it seems that a lot of what was wrong here was TNT's fault and that JMS had greater control over the rest of the series, so there's still a chance I'll like the show. Hopefully this episode isn't the shape of things to come.

    Captain Greyshirt: 18
    Scott Bakula: 84
     
  7. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "War Zone" is dire and nobody including JMS is in a habit of defending it. He hated the idea of using stock footage to show the riots, but he was told he had to show them, and with the budget Crusade had, what do you expect?

    Oh I hate Galen and I don't think he gets better... granted, he's not given a lot of time.

    The writing style is far more reminsicient of a D&D campaign then Morte D'Arthur, though. And I must have missed the generic fantasy thief stuff in Arthurian myth.
     
  8. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Robin Hood was in Once and Future King.
     
  9. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Galen will really grow on you in the second season.

    Except for the fact that there isn't one.
     
  10. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Does anybody know where I can get a copy of Crusade?
     
  11. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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  12. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I told you. Didn't I tell you?
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh absolutely though somehow it manages to weave the derivative stuff with plenty of it's own ideas to create something unique in it's own way. Just like Star Wars drew from western hero mythology and Japanese cinema and B5 drew from sci-fi and fantasy literature (Lensman, Foundation, Lovecraft, Tolkien etc.)

    Exactly, a soundtrack is supposed to seamlessly support and compliment the visuals. Even noticing the music is usually a bad sign.

    Though I do like the show, it's very uneven - no matter which order you view it in - and there are some moments I find genuinely cringe worthy. It has all of the problems most shows have in their first season without the subsequent four seasons to counterbalance them. Still there are some legitimate high points and the cast is, I think, very strong. Dureena, Max, Gideon and yes, Galen, are all very well acted and (for the most part) well written. Max is a personal favourite of mine in a Kerr Avon meets Rodney McKay kind of way.

    Trivia time: Carrie Dobro (Dureena) did make two small appearances on B5 prior to Crusade. Once as of of Franklin's staff in 'Exogenesis' and again as that crazy Brakiri woman in 'Racing Mars'. Oh and be forewarned, a part of the behind the scenes back and forth meant that Dureena's hair make-up design alters quite a bit from one episode to the next. The forehead piece changes at least twice and they kept having to fiddle with her contact lenses. Nothing as drastic as Delenn's or even G'Kar's change from 'The Gathering' onwards, but it is noticeable. Personally I think her look in 'A Call to Arms' was the best.

    Your clairvoyance is astounding. ;) I shall be reporting you to Psi Corps very soon.
     
  14. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    I don't think I've aired my pet peeve for a little while: There was no Pilot for Crusade. Pilots are used to *sell* a series, it's not another term for 'first episode' although a pilot often does become that. "A Call to Arms" wasn't a Pilot, either. Crusade was commissioned without there ever being a pilot episode made.

    Jan
     
  15. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I can't believe you guys don't like Galen. He's awesome.
     
  16. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    He's completely insufferable and self-righteous and smarmy. He's got some of the traits that I dislike in JMS's writing (which is sometimes more then a little smug), bottled up as his essential character thing.

    That said, yeah, I rather liked Max Eilerson. He's the Londo Mollari of Crusade, to give him high praise that also illuminates exactly why he works. JMS is always better with his rakes then his heroes... but I disgress.
     
  17. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    Crusade is not something I would recommend to anyone. There's only 2 episodes out of 13 that I would call good.

    Could it have gotten good? Possibly, but it was a really weak start. Inexcusably weak, for a production team that just came off the experience of a 5 yr show. Part of the blame surely belongs to TNT, but I think the majority of the problem was with JMS & co.

    Even without TNT interference, it would have been a very weak start. And shows cannot afford to start that weakly.
     
  18. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    I'm not sure anybody really understands the level of TNT interference. It should become more clear when the upcoming Crusade script books come out.

    But then, I disagree that it was as weak as Hyperspace05 does. 'Course, I've got all of the drafts of the scripts to compare...

    Jan
     
  19. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Crusade's first season was better than Babylon 5's (which is not saying much) and it had a better sense of the environment it's set in than Legend of the Rangers (which is saying even less).

    Mostly I found it passable space opera; with a couple of bad episodes, some mediocre, one or two good. Ignoring the behind-the-scenes reasons for the show's failures; an over-reliance on cliched writing or occasionally dodgy efforts at humour were in my opinion two of its main failings; and I don't think any of its attempted arcs were cohering well at all (the entirely jumbled order of the series is probably the fault here.)
     
  20. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    True, pilot generally refers to the episode that sells the series, but people still use the term for a first episode and Joe himself used the term "pilot" when referring to "Racing the Night". However, he said that A Call to Arms was a Babylon 5 story that set up Crusade, not a Crusade story.

    Joe went from *ZERO* interference on B5 to TNT sending pages and pages of notes for Crusade. They shut the show down between episodes 105 and 106 and wouldn't let the production go on until Joe gave in to their notes. Any of the black uniform episodes in Joe's words "have TNT's fingerprints all over them."