Farscape or Babylon 5?

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

  1. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I just watched The Gathering, and I'd forgotten just how masculine they tried to make her look. In case anyone didn't know, Delenn was originally going to start as a man and transform into a woman.
     
  2. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, it was definitely the best of the movies and I usually watch it first when I re-watch the show.

    Here's the promo from back in the TNT days. Ah, memories. :)

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgxcoArwXI8[/yt]
     
  3. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    I don't think I'm familiar with that one......
     
  4. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    In the TV Movie book of the "Babylon 5 Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski" there was a three-page premise for a feature film with the title "Wars of the Mind". It's incomplete but the part that JoeD80 refers to reads:

    Which of course ties in with the original draft of "The Path of Sorrows" where the captured telepath in Mattheson's flashback was supposed to be Lyta and when she escapes, she calls Lennier's name to a fighting Minbari just before the compound is blown up.

    Jan
     
  5. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Sheesh... I should have remembered that!

    (insert facepalm here)
     
  6. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Me too! Thankfully JoeD80 remembered it for both of us.

    jan
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There have been so many almost/could-have-been Babylon 5 projects over the years that I sometimes loose track. The IP is either cursed, or it expended vast amounts of karma in those first five years...
     
  8. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The big problem, other than getting funding, is that Babylon 5 was always extremely serial in nature. It was designed to be a novel for television and that shows. It doesn't do stand-along stories all that well. Killing off Lyta and Lenier wouldn't have been all that powerful if you didn't know who they were, and without five seasons of television to get attached to them.

    None of the Babylon 5 TV movies actually works as a stand-alone (except possibly River of Souls, which was pretty mediocre).

    Compare to franchies which do have long-running movie series, which tend to be highly episodic so that a new view can jump right in.
     
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    I think the bigger problem is JMS looking to keep a tight rein on the development of the stories. It keeps the B5 universe consistent and all, but it squelches out going off the beaten path from his idea of what is allowable. As a piece of fiction, I don't see why it can't as freely developed by others as any other franchise.
     
  10. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    A good point on the consequences of that control. Still, if you are an artist who invests so much of himself in the creation of a fictional universe.. I can understand why you'd be reluctant to give up that kind of control.
     
  11. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It's what makes the series so very satisfying to me. Once you have a room of writers, there will always be discordance and discrepancy in any series. JMS having written most of the show, and in strong control of the rest, gives every episode something to contribute to the entire series. Even clunker episodes have valuable insights to the warp and woof of the entirety of the show. However, repetitive and awkward material that JMS was prone to did crop up a lot.
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I get the impression that JMS's attitude towards Babylon 5 has always been along the lines of "better no product at all than a shite product." He did let others write the novels, but it quickly became apparent that without direct oversight, the quality of writing and even the faithfulness to the spirit of the source material *really* suffered. As soon as he became more directly involved with story assignments and vetting authors, the quality improved drastically.

    The only other officially licensed fiction of note since then has been the Mongoose books which--based on the odd samples I've read--were utter garbage. Not surprisingly, JMS had little to nothing to do with it and appears to have later disowned the entire body of work.

    So yeah, while having a multitude of talents free to explore and innovate has been good for some IPs, something with as singular a vision as B5 really needs it's creator to at least watch over it.

    Also, let's be honest, while there are indeed some gems in there, 90% of the Star Wars EU is disposable rubbish *at best*. Likewise, I don't think there are very many *good* licensed Star Trek novels, comics, games etc. Most are just OK and very few do anything really different with the IP.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  13. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I jad to comment on this. I LOVE the Star Wars EU. Without it, Star Wars goes from my #2 Sci Fi Franchise to a far away #5. I've read a LOT of the EU, and 90% is awesome. It also has my favorite characters (Mara Jade, the Republic Commando characters, Jaina Solo, etc). I like Han, Luke, Leia, Lando etc., but mostly from their EU adventures. Heck, it even has the best villains, like Thrawn (who beats even vader if you include the whiny Anakin from EP 1-3 as part of the character, although his depiction in 4-6 is still awesome). Without that, its just a franchise with 3 good movies, three bad ones, and a horrible CGI TV show. I just figured I'd post my thoughts, since I'm a huge EU fan. Its fine if you don't like it, but there are enough fans to keep it profitable for over 20 years, and there is definately a reason why. Its much better than anything Lucas ever did, including the three good movies.
     
  14. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Why do you say The Clone Wars is horrible? I started watching a few weeks back, and I'm in the middle of S4 and loving it. in the first couple of season, they made a mistake, IMHO, making it non-linear, so, an episode may air 2 seasons later, that is before a S1 episode, but, if you follow recommended viewing order (rather than the airing order) for the first couple seasons, it totally works, IMHO.
     
  15. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, Anakin/Obi-Wan/Anakin's apprentice (aka Short Round v2) are annoying. I haven't been able to stomach most of it, but there was a good story (I think it was two episodes) involving the clone troopers with none of the big characters where they had to stop a Jedi who was literally trying to kill a bunch of clones by tricking them into shooting each other. That was good. I'd watch a show with the clones were they pretend Anakin either doesn't exist or that he atleast isn't the biggest whiner to ever be a jedi. However, they don't do that, and so much of Lucas's stupidity just ruins the show in general.

    My favorite Star wars book series (which is probably also in my top 3 book series of all time) is the Star Wars Republic Commando books. Lucas single handedly made them pretty much outright lies by turning Mandalorains into hippes just so Boba can be a loner and the last violent Mando. That alone makes me hate Lucas more than Episodes 1-3 combined. I personally pretend he didn't do that and Mandalorians stayed a warrior culture, but the fact remains is that he screwed up my favorite books because he's a hack. The hilarious thing is they can't even really be taken out of continuity (not that I want them to be, but I'm talking from the perspective of people trying to make the show fit the EU/vice-versa), because some of the characters in Republic Commando played a small but visible role in the Legacy of the Force books, so its just a big clusterf%$k at this point. He also went against the sensible "Twilecks and Humans can't have kids" idea and created mutant abominations that really make no sense. How does a human have a kid with an alien that literally has part of its brain hanging from tendrils in its head? Thats really pushing the human/near human Star Wars stuff. I can accept a human and many different species, but the Twilek/human hybrids make about as much sense as Human/Wookie would make, just because of the Twileks most obvious biological feature being incompatabile with humans. This isn't a huge deal, just another example of idiotic writing.

    Overall, The CLone Wars is just an outlet for more horrible writing on TV to mess with the Star Wars Universe. Its something I can only stomach when it has absolutely none of the big characters in it, but since thats not generally a focus, the show just sucks.
     
  16. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I think you're confusing the Clone Wars with Episode 2and 3 Live Action Movies, that's where Anakin is whiny, he's not whiny at all in TCW? And his Padawan Asohka, I like quite a bit, not sure what you see as annoying about her.

    Yea, that was actally a 4 episode arc, I believe, and I just finished that over the weekend, yea, that was a great arc, and even though that Jedi was a such a jerk, it was a surprise what he was really up to.
     
  17. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Asohka is just annoying. she's spunky teenage sidekick #45657. Anakin is an ass, even if admittedly his whining isn't in full display. Of the clone wars, I've watched

    The movie
    The 4 episode arc with the Jedi killing clones
    the episode with the Sepritists having a ship with a giant ion cannon
    most of an episode where Obi Wan infiltrated a prision in someone else's identity
    A part of an episode where Ashoka rescues aliens like herself
    Part of an episode with young annoying bald Boba Fett
    bits and pieces of other episodes

    And the only good thing was the 4 episode arc with none of the main cast. The rest was just not great. It doesn't help that the CGI looks pretty bad (although its amazing compared to shows like Green Lantern TAS), but that wouldn't even be an issue if it was generally written well.
     
  18. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    If you're into EUs, kirk55555, you should check out the Babylon 5 books. The early ones weren't authorized by JMS, but then he started taking more notice and the last 11 (two standalones, three trilogies) were canon.

    Of the standalones, there's:
    - The Shadow Within, dealing with Anna/Morden's Z'ha'dum backstory (if I recall correctly, the non-Z'ha'dum stuff in the book isn't canon to JMS, but the backstory is)
    - To Dream in the City of Sorrows by JMS' now-ex wife, showing Sinclair's story on Minbar training the Rangers during Season 2/first half of Season 3.

    The trilogies are:
    - The Passing of the Technomages, which shows the Shadow War from the perspective of the Technomages (including a particular one who appears in the TV spin-off, Crusade).
    - The Psi-Corps, with each book covering a different time period: the creation of the Corps, the young life of Bester and Bester as an old man and war criminal.
    - Legions of Fire by Babylon 5 show writer and Trek spin-off author Peter David, which shows Centauri Prime from its last ep of S5 to Londo's death, as we see Vir's rise to freedom fighter and leader.

    I'd definitely recommend the Sinclair book. The Centauri ones are my favorite, but we all know how you feel about that plot thread. :rommie: But who knows, maybe the fact that it's an A-to-B linear account of that story that really fleshes out the details and how those years were spent and that we see Vir's journey to someone who could reasonably become Emperor could make you feel warmer about the story.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, I don't even know how to respond to this. I loved TCW. Ahsoka was one of my favorite character, I thought the show's version of Anakin was a good character, and I thought the Mandalorian storyline was really good. I know the Mandolorian storyline totally contradicts the books, but I haven't read the books, and even if I have I don't really have a problem with these kinds of situations.
     
  20. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Babylon 5 is epic... but also filled with a lot of details. It is not what I call easy viewing. Long story arcs that, if you're not really interested, seem to drag on. But the biggest disappointment for me was the primitive CGI. Star Trek got a face lift... sure wish they'd do the same for Babylon 5.

    Anyway, Farscape is much easier to digest. Very entertaining stories and superb acting. If only they got 2-3 more seasons out of it. So much potential.