Farscape or Babylon 5?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by kirk55555, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    I happen to have a somewhat similar opinion to kirk55555's, since I vastly prefer Babylon 5 over Farscape, and never really connected with the latter.

    I thought Farscape was a show with great potential, that was somehow wasted on over the top stories. Many times the show was just too wierd and/or crazy for my tastes.

    Unlike kirk, I actually enjoyed Chiana and really liked Scorpion. I also didn't skip the Princess Trilogy nor Won't Get Fooled Again. I though the former was an interesting adventure (though it could have been condensed into two episodes, which I think was the initial plan) and the latter one of Season 2's best episodes. The revelations, the way the episode conveys John's brutal mental breakdown and how it shatter's our expectations of "another damned fake Earth episode", are things that cannot be dennied.

    However, loads of uninteresting episodes, focused on the before mentioned craziness, leaving less episodes to deal with the fascinanting wormwhole storyline, an awfull "will they or won't they" romance (something which I absolutely detest) full of melodramatic scenes, lack of direction (are they going home or what? they just wander around for the most part) and storyline choices such as disregarding Tallyn and Crais for pratically the entirety of Season 2, simply made me appreciate the show less less.

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess.


    Oh, and kirk? Please don't spoil the amazing ride that Babylon 5 is by reading the damned summaries!
     
  2. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Not really---the Scarrans and the chip were major plot points in both episodes. What was not a major plot point in WGFA was the "fake earth" thing; that was just a setting, it really had nothing at all to do with the story. Likewise, the wedding in the Princess trilogy was just a plot device to pull in the real story, which is about Scarran and Peacekeeper politics.

    I don't particularly care at this point whether you ever watch those, but please stop pretending you know what the episodes are like when your descriptions clearly indicate that you don't.

    Please keep in mind that summaries don't tell the whole story, and will usually tell you just enough to ruin the surprises but not enough to give you everything you need to know to evaluate an episode.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just to be clear, most of the summaries I read are the ones in the Episode guide that comes with the DVD, and I really haven't been spoilered yet, it just gives the basic summary of the episode.

    There All the Honor Lies - I liked this episode. The frame up was done well and wasn't annoying like I thought it would be. I will say that, for a race that started the war with earth, the Minbari have an annoying tendency to act like they're always the victims and humans are scum. I kind of get why the Minbari hate Sheridan, but it doesn't make that much sense. He killed Minbari in wartime, using a tactic they didn't like. He did what any soldier trying to defeat the enemy would do. I bet Sinclair would have used mines like that if he had the chance. But, because he killed Minbari in a way they didn't like, he's a killer :vulcan: He used the tools at his disposal to defeat a military target. Honestly, I think the fact that he scored one of the only big vistories is the reason they hate him, not because of his tactics (which weren't unusual military tactics to begin with, mines have been used for a long time, and space mines make sense). Maybe I misunderstand what happened, but I don't think I do.

    I thought that the whole "Minbari do not lie" thing being a lie itself was funny. As soon as they said that, I thought of Vulcans not lying (which means mostly white lies, they obviously lie when they think its logical to) and Spock making a comment about when he lies by calling it an error/omission/etc. Never lying ever about anything doesn't really make sense, and of course its not true that Minbari don't lie, even if its apparently a death sentence for someone who accuses a Minbari of lying :rolleyes: Earth siding against Sheridan is just another example of why I want some alien to blow up the Government. They basically treat Sheridan and other military people like dirt, turning on them/messing with them for stupid reasons with no hesitation. Kosh bringing Sheridan to a bunch of mysterious chanting people didn't surprise me at this point. More mytery from the mysterious alien. The gift shop stuff was funny. I especially liked Londo, and his complaints about his action figure. I did wonder if some of those toys were actualy B5 products. The bear at the end was awesome. The moments with Londo and his aide were also done very well. The ending was decent, with a compromise that worked for everyone (although I do wish the lying Minbari had sufferted some punishment besides having to leave B5). Overall, a very good episode.
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I happen to have that Londo 9" Figure, so, yes, that's a real figure

    Glad you enjoyed There All The Honor Lies, more than you thought you would. I'll hope, you'll find the same thing with the next two, especially ItSoZ (continues sharpening knife waiting for that review ;) )
     
  5. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just have to say, though I tend to really dislike "will they or won't they" myself, the "will they/won't they" never seemed forced and Farscape's main romance is probably my favorite in all of sci-fi. Or, really, one of my favorite romances in general; for me, it was pretty much the beating heart of the series no matter how goofy or zany or (usually awesomely) ridiculous it got.
     
  6. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Stop doing that, maybe you haven't been spoiled yet, but believe me, in the future there will be episodes where even the basic two line summaries will be big spoilers.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The key word there is "yet". You keep it up and you *will* be spoiled. Late in season two the arc episodes kick into gear in a big way and hardly lets up until the end of season 4. By now you should be able to just trust the show. I'm sure there will be episodes you won't enjoy--I could probably even name them--but it's best you just take the show as it comes.

    Honestly, I think you spoilt Farscape for yourself by doing this and I'd hate to see you do it again with B5.

    Remember that from the perspective of the average Minbari, the war started because their leader (who was *very* highly regarded) was killed when a human ship attacked without provocation.

    Also, remember that the Grey Council didn't tell their own people their reason for surrendering. That coupled with the fact that they were a few hours from making humans an endangered species is bound to lead to a lot of deep resentment.

    It makes sense to the Minbari, which is all the really matters. Really it's more of a warrior caste thing, but basically the way they see it, their very best was taken out by a crippled primitive using dishonourable tactics.

    Basically it boils down to him offending their warrior pride and making them look bad. It's messed up, but it's totally plausible from a cultural perspective.

    Minbari honour again. It's not that they're incapable of lying (clearly they are) it's that outright deceit is very much taboo. Lennier's get out clause comes from the idea in Minbari culture that there's nothing greater or more noble than to serve others, or to sacrifice oneself for another. By lying to Sinclair, Lennier saved Londo from embarrassment and save face. To a Minbari, social embarrassment and public shame is about the worse thing that can happen to a person. So by sacrificing his own honour by lying and saving Londo from humiliation, Lennier was able to retain honour.

    If you think that's stupid, then go ask a sociologist and I'm sure they'd be able to cite *thousands* of comparable examples in human cultures the world over, past and present.

    They're politicians. It's what they do. Besides, I think avoiding another war with the Minbari is far from a stupid reason for throwing Sheridan to the wolves. The Minbari already proved that if they had a mind to, they could wipe out the Earth Alliance without hardly breaking a sweat.

    ...Yes...

    Back when the show was on, there was surprisingly little B5 merchandise. I think JMS just didn't like the idea of it and his views were essentially expressed by Ivanova in this episode.
    Personally I thought the "Deep Space Francise" shot at Trek was pretty funny, if a little cheep. ;)
     
  8. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Minbari haven't fought a real war in over a thousand years. The Warrior Caste training and procedures are thus more concerned with discipline and stability than combat effectiveness. They stress honor and tradition and their methods of combat are highly ritualized. This is a disadvantage, but it really doesn't matter. They still have the tech advantage to curbstomp anyone short of the Vorlons even with predictable ritualized tactics and strategies.

    They're also highly isolationist, prone to rash, emotional decisions, and tend to assume that everyone thinks the same way that they do. Thus they have a tendency to treat violations of Minbari etiquette by outsiders just as they would treat the same violations by other Minbari.

    Sheridan's actions grossly violated the Minbari rules of war. The fact that Earth didn't agree to those rules really doesn't matter to most of the Warrior Caste. If he hadn't used a fake distress signal, maybe they wouldn't be so sore about it.

    Of course, it's mostly because he blew up their best and biggest ship, yeah. They're mostly sore because he best them, and is the only human ever to do so.

    But he's really just a visible symbol. They're also sore because the Grey Council decided to surrender on the eve of victory for no apparent reason, which is a giant WTF to most of the Minbari, too. The while Minbari souls reincarnating as humans thing is a closely guarded secret. But thye can't take it out on the Grey Council, so the Starkiller is a more obvious target.
    JMS had really horrible experiences working on highly merchandise driven kids shows, especially Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (which was a fairly awesome and mature series at the time, but got canceled because the line wasn't selling wall, and they had to write around a gimmicky toy interactivity requirement.)

    As a result, he really wanted to avoid relying on merchandise for funding.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  9. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure (though I don't have the scriptbook at hand to verify, since I think it's discussed in the notes) that the line in question was actually Peter David's, not JMS's. ;)
     
  10. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    Yep, that was a Peter David line. He said he came up with it while watching a documentary that was saying the purpose of Deep Space Nine was a way to "continue the franchise." He thought Joe would cut the line, but instead Joe loved it.
     
  11. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I would like to comment that I used to read episode summaries before watching, back in the days of Columbia House VHS tapes. It makes a certain amount of sense for an episodic show like TNG.

    Babylon 5 and Farscape don't work that way. They both have some episodic shows early on while the world is established, but both, especially B5, move away from that as the show continues. Each episode does not necessarily leave the playing board the same way it was found. Things change, sometimes drastically, in the course of a single episode. If you read spoilers for such an episode, you will esssentially be ruining the surprises not only for that episode but for the episodes to come as well.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I read episode descriptions when I watched the show, and I had no problem with it. But I also stayed away from the more spoilery stuff, so that probably helped. I think as long as you stick to one or two sentence summaries of off the DVDs or sites like wikipedia it'll be fine. But I would stay away from to many spoilers though, B5 is a show best gone into spoiler-free.
     
  13. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And Now for a Word - I liked this episode, although it had some flaws. The reporter was really annoying. I think I know what they were going for with her, and I think they succeeded. She seemed like the kind of annoying, jerk reporter you might see today. I still wanted to see her get punched in the face, like what you could do to the reporter in the Mass effect Games :rommie: The Doctor's story was depressing. You'd think airlocks wouldn't be so easy to open. Its like if someone could just open an airplane door while in the air. The Narn attack on the minbari ship was interesting. The reporter acting like paparazzi with Kosh was goofy, but fit her character. It was really interesting to learn more about the Minbari and their homeworld. Then, the reporter acting like an ass to Delenn, which cemented my opinion that the reporter needed to be thrown out the nearest airlock as soon as possible. Learning more about G'Kar, and his history with the Centauri, was also very interesting. It definately helps understand him better. Londo was cool, but completely full of it. The Psi corps commerical was creepily real, exactly what I'd expect for a real commercial from them. The cruiser fight, and then the full on fight, was entertaining and done well. I liked Delenn's comments about B5 at the end. Overall, I liked this episode. The reporter was annoying and the news style really didn't need to be done, but the stuff actually happening around the news report was very good, and made up for the fact that I wished it wasn't in a news report format.

    In the Shadow of Za'Ha'Dum - This episode...was ok, but not great. The Morden/Sheridan confrontations annoyed me. Garibaldi "resigning" was predictable and obviously not permenant. Winters was an ass (she senses stuff about the guy, but then slaps Sheridan? I mena, it was a jerk move, but he proved that something is obviosuly up with the guy). The reveals by Kosh and Delenn were very interesting, and save this episode from being mediocre. It was nice to have atleast a few questions answered, even if it just raises more (Why would the bad guys recongnise Kosh without his suit, but apparently don't know the secret of Vorlons in general? Who was the ancient race that fought the enemy? Why did they die/leave, if they hadn't destroyed the enemy?). Overall, this was an ok episode, saved from just being average by finally giving some answers. Of the three episodes I wasn't sure about (There all the Honor Lies, And Now for a Word, and this one) it was the weakest, but its not bad.
     
  14. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    None of this being spoilers, but the actual explanations in the episode answer some of your questions:

    Not just the bad guys; "everyone" would recognize Kosh.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. What the scene establishes is that the Shadows don't know much the Vorlons know; they know there's a Vorlon on Babylon 5, they know it's encountering the younger races, they've met Kosh (remember in Season 1, Kosh confronted Morden and if "Morden is never alone!" as Delenn said, who was he really confronting...?), but they don't know that the Vorlon is actually conspiring with the other races against the Shadows.

    Not one race, many. Many different civilizations and cultures and beings left the galaxy after the Shadow War a thousand years ago. Of the First Ones, only the Vorlons and Shadows remain in our galaxy. As to who these other races? That is a good question...

    They thought the Shadows were defeated for good. It was only recently that it turns out they weren't. After all, Delenn's question was "Have the Shadows returned to Z'ha'dum?" But they'd actually been on Z'ha'dum quite a long time; they were only woken once Anna Sheridan/Morden's team appeared.
     
  15. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm surprise that you haven't mentioned Vir's request to Morden. It is, I believe, one of the best parts of the episode and quite an important moment of character development for someone who has been nothing more than Londo's bumbling sidekick.


    To answer your questions, as has been stated, Kosh said that everyone will recognize him. He meant that exactly. He isn't hiding from the Shadows. The Shadows already know what he is and who he is. They know better than anyone else, in fact.

    As for the First Ones who left, it's important to remember that the First Ones are just dudes. They're dudes with godlike power, but they're dudes nonetheless. Maybe they had better things to do. Maybe they thought that hanging around to fight the Shadows was a waste of their time. Maybe they just brushed it off as the Vorlons's problem.

    Another thing to remember, Kosh let Delen speak for the most part and everything that she knew, everything, came from incomplete thousand-year-old written records kept the the Minbari Rangers and Religious Caste. You should probably ask yourself why Kosh let Delen handle most of the explanations when he is one of the First Ones that she's talking about, and thus could have provided much more detail.
     
  16. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't know Kosh was one of the first ones. It was hinted at, but I thought Delenn said that Kosh wasn't at one point, because she said all of the ancient guys were gone, and I don't think Kosh is the only Vorlon. Vir and Morden was good, although I thought Londo/Vir in a previous episode (where Londo makes sure Vir stays as his assistant) was a more important thing for him then telling Morden he'd like to see him headless.
     
  17. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The term "First Ones" generally referes to an entire race, usually one that has reached a certain level of technological development or age. The Vorlons were one, but there with others. When Delen says that only one of the First Ones remains, she means only one race, the Vorlons. Technically, the Shadows also qualify as first ones, making it two who stayed behind, but Delen considers them to be a different class of beings because they're the ancient enemy.

    This is the part of the series where Vir starts growing a spine and becomes a great character in his on right.
     
  18. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    Yeah Garibaldi obviously was trying to just make a point to Sheridan, but keep this one in mind for later in the series.
     
  19. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    The sad thing is, she's a reasonable reporter compared to a certain other reporter who shows up later. But that would be telling...
     
  20. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Be seeing you...