A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

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

  1. Aeon

    Aeon Commander Red Shirt

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    The episode would have worked a lot better if Clark's forces would have done the attacking and not some random, half-assed alien race.
     
  2. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Mack and Bo weren't just uninteresting to me, they were actively annoying.
     
  3. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    I love this episode. But I usually like the off-format episodes. That was one thing I disliked about last season, that the compression pushed out the experimental eps. And I liked Mac nab Bo.
     
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well not to split hairs but the "alien of the week" label don't really apply as B5 generally didn't do that. It's just a one off race, of which there have been about *thinks* umm...three? four? In five years?

    I suppose it's a bit of a catch 22 because if it had been about the aliens then it'd be just a mindless stand alone action episode with not a lot going on. If on the other hand if it had been a known enemy in the background then people would complain about being cheated of a proper confrontation with whomever they might be...which raises the question of who it could conceivably be if not some new race? There's only one known antagonist out there by this point and they've been lying very low since being kicked out of Minbari space. A direct assault on B5 wouldn't make any sense, for a number of reasons.

    I'm only mildly curious, but how so?
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    View from the Gallery was an excellent introductory episode for new viewers who'd gotten access to Babylon 5 on its new TNT channel and timeslot. The stuff about Ivanova was confusing and obnoxious until I saw fourth season.
     
  6. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I quite enjoy this ep, and agree with your reasonings above. And I LIKE Bo and Mack. Just working joes. I see guys like them on post all the time. Civilian employees of the military just doing a job.
     
  7. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Don't wory. Split as many hairs as you want, you're making good points - as you usually do. :)

    I'm afraid I'm unlikely to change my mind that this was a weak episode, though. :)
     
  8. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Simply because being tongue-in-cheek is no guarantor of quality. Sure, you can poke at the fourth wall and create a pretty good episode of something... but you can also create one which weakly tries to be funny, and this is the latter. It's not the worst episode of Babylon 5 or the fifth season by any means, but it's one of the weaker ones from this year. Bo and Mack aren't funny or endearing.

    It's a major threat that solely exists to be a major threat in the background, and that's it. Babylon 5 getting attacked by a mysterious alien force should have some more payoff, no? It appears from nowhere, attacks for no reason, and is then defeated. For a show that often prided itself on having consequences to events, this is painfully far too tidy - complete with Voyager levels of magic recovery.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I thought their acting was atrocious, their dialog was inane, the writing (both dialog and plot) was bad... every time they spoke I cringed. Moments like the afformentioned sweeper-thingie gag (totally unfunny) and "you're okay Capt Lochley!" scene (a true WTF? moment)... I know, opinions are subjective, but I just couldn't stand those two guys!
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Learning Curve (**½)

    I watched this episode two days ago and put off writing anything about it because I couldn't think of anything to say. It's not terrible, it's not great, it's an okay episode. On the plus side we get to learn more about the Rangers and their structure, and on the minus side we have one of the worst villains in the history of the show. It's okay, I can't think up much else to say about it.

    Oh, there is the stuff about Lochley, I guess I should talk about that since I've been waiting for more info about her since the start of the season. And this episode brought me... more mysteries about Lochley! :wtf: I thought this episode was finally going to give me some answers, but instead my joke about Lochley being a mystery has been taken up by the show itself and I'm left to wait to find out more about her relationship with Sheridan. Garibaldi didn't even get to look at her file, so I'm still in the dark about her beyond the fact that she was probably on the other side during the civil war, but I'm still not absolutely certain of that. Who is she anyway?

    Scott Bakula: 68
     
  11. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    In contrast to the stimulating adventures and formidable intellects of Mack and Bo, I enjoy "Learning Curve" quite a lot. :) I enjoyed the insights into Ranger philosophy and Minbari culture, the continued workings of the Alliance (Drazi, Yolu, Abbai and pak'ma'ra joining the Rangers), and the little contiuity nods to the Minbari Civil War (like when the Warrior Caste ranger calls his Religious Caste counterpart out on the "inappropriate" comment). Oh, and I think n'grath got a mention (he's the praying mantis crime lord from season one, "oooh....expensive...." ;)). I also quite like the villain because he's so bad. He's so bad he's good. :lol:
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A few bits of trivia from that episode: Durhan was previously mentioned in 'Grey 17 is Missing' as the one that taught both Marcus and Neroon the pike. Turval was played by Turhan Bey who had previously appeared back in season 2 as the Centauri Emperor Turhan (there's a pattern there with the names...if only I could put my finger on it" ;))
    Both of those characters figured quite strongly on the canon novel 'To Dream in a City of Sorrows' which was actually their first appearance in the franchise. Turhan had actually been the Anla'Shok Na (Ranger One) before Sinclair took over.
    And yes, there's also a mention of N'Grath, the giant preying mantis thing from season one. Apparently either security finally got him or a rival took him down.
     
  13. Vestboy

    Vestboy Captain Captain

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    I found the first five episodes of season five largely unsatisfying, and I think a big reason for that was, besides "Long Night of Londo Mollari", these episodes were mostly about guest characters: Byron, Bo and Mack, the two new Ranger trainees. The opening credits characters don't really do too much.
     
  14. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Agreed, but for thematic reasons rather than in-story reasons. The point of the episode was that these two maintenance guys don't know or have much control over the big picture. Like that bit in the lift when Garibaldi is freaking out, and then when he leaves they go back to their conversation like nothing's wrong.

    The threat is something we don't know much about because *they* wouldn't know much about it anyway in their position. It increases the sense of being on the sidelines.
     
  15. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that floor sweeper bit turned me off them right away. It might have been funny if someone had handed it to Sheridan or Garibaldi and they suddenly realised that they had absolutely no idea what it was for, but having the guys whose job it is to use the thing not know what it is for made them seem incompetent.

    I disagree, I think if you're going to have an experimental episode like this then it is best not to have a proper villain attacking the station because all the viewer will want is to focus on the action and not the characters. The fact that I didn't care about the aliens would have made it easier for me to connect to Bo and Mack if I hadn't found them irritating.


    Strange Relations (***)

    Bester and Byron in the same room? But having that much awesomeness come into close proximity with such a great deal of suckitude would cause a rupture in the fabric of space-time that would destroy half the galaxy. :eek: Actually... Byron's not that bad. He's full of BS, sure, but Lyta called him out on that, and he doesn't seem like that much of a crazy cult leader. I can understand why people don't like him, but I don't understand why people hate him, at least not yet. Is it really all down to the hair? As for this episode, it's okay for the most part, and it's helped by the presence of Bester. The singing at the end lasted too long for my liking, and that did feel a bit cultish.

    The biggest problem I have is that somebody blew up a transport ship right outside the station but that plot is glossed over to focus more on Byron. We don't even get a proper reaction from Londo about the fact that somebody tried to blow him up real good. Having G'Kar becoming Londo's bodyguard is probably going to be a good thing for the show in the future, but I do fear that their relationship might become uninteresting if they spend too much time together.

    The real focus of this episode is Lochley. It turns out that she's Sheridan's first wife. I'm no expert about women (shocking, I know) but I'm fairly certain that it's a good idea to tell your new wife about your previous marriages before you drag your first wife half-way across the galaxy to work with you. This move seriously damages Sheridan's reputation as a great tactician. Overall, Lochley is handled well here and I finally have answers to all the questions I had. Which would normally be a good thing, but in this case it's a bad thing as it ruins my recurring joke. Damn you JMS! :klingon:

    (Does Sheridan hiring his ex-wife and not telling his current wife about it deserve a Captain Greyshirt? Because he did needlessly put his life in danger.)
     
  16. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Delenn would agree with you.

    From a storytelling point of view I think this was just a way to establish that there's a trust between Sheridan and Lochly of a magnitude comparable to the trust he has for Ivanova, who would have been the station commander this year had Claudia chosen to return. Not letting the cat out of the bag right away serves to allow the character some time to grow without being coloured as Sheridan's ex-wife.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    It's the hair AND the singing. Separately they're bad enough, but together they can cause aneurisms.

    Now that you know Lochley's secret identity we can reveal this interesting bit of trivia: Sheridan's three wives inadvertantly follow Minbari class structure; one religious, one worker, one warrior.
     
  18. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The whole 'Lochley Backstory' mystery felt like JMS having a bit of a piss-take with his himself. For a show that prided itself on creating intriguing mysteries with interesting revelations (Sinclair's "hole in his mind", B4's disappearance, the Shadow Manifesto), to have one that builds up over a half-dozen episodes and ends with something so... ordinary ("I'm Sheridan's ex-wife.") is a bit of a shock with is unshockingness.

    And quite a let down too.
     
  19. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Does anyone know if Lochley was always going to be JMS' "trapdoor" for Ivanova? What if Claudia Christian had left earlier in the series? It would have been really soapish and awkward to have yet another ex-wife show up while Sheridan was still coming to grips with Anna, or while he was courting Delenn.
     
  20. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    ^^ Not that JMS has indicated anywhere. In fact, he's been pretty open that the combination of losing Ivanova *&* his Season 5 notes knocked him off his game pretty badly.

    Jan
     

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