The old "DS9 stole from B5" thing

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Forbin, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only if you're willing to twist evidence to support an agenda.

    Jump gates were B5's version of warp drive, they were present in every major system and allowed ships from anywhere in the B5 galaxy to visit the station. It's an interstellar onramp.

    The Bajoran wormhole was a unique astronomical feature that only provided access to a distant and unexplored region of the galaxy. The purpose of its existence was to provide a stationary show with a legitimate method of accessing unexplored space to satisfy the exploration aspect of Star Trek.

    The only similarity is that they're blue swirly things in space, and I'm pretty sure that the inspiration for that aspect of the wormhole in DS9 was TNG's Barzan wormhole, which was a blue swirly thing in space.

    Maybe (probably) your evidence is circumstantial at best, and you chose to stir up crap here because of an anonymous, factually dubious comment left on a Gawker media blog.
     
  2. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    a) You get way too far into pointless minutia and specifics with the wormhole/jumpgate thing. You're also twisting the evidence to support your own beliefs. Functionally, in terms of story, they're the same thing - a portal that transports our characters around and brings in guest stars. Big picture. Each show took the setup, the story device of a portal, and developed it in a different, unique way.

    b) Maybe you need to drink decaf, lighten up, join in a fun conversation, stop being nasty, and not accuse people of things.
     
  3. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    I'd agree with GodBen, but I'm simply not willing to twist evidence to support an agenda.

    Zooty Zoot Zoot
     
  4. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "C'mon guys stop challenging my accusing people of things - why do you have to be so accusatory?! Golly, this is all just fun!"
     
  5. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd say DS9 was definitely influenced a lot by B5. But B5 was influenced a lot in its presentation by Star Trek so it's really only fair.

    I wish DS9 stole B5's attitude towards mythology. The conflict between the Shadows and the Vorlons had a LOT more to it than the Prophets vs Pah-wraiths, which was ridiculously cookie cutter in comparison.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I think the estates of Einstein and Rosen should sue them both.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, I just watched the shows and paid attention to what was going on. I didn't just glance at the screen with the corner of my eye, see two blue swirly things and assume that they were functionally identical.

    Hyperspace vortexes fulfil a similar story role in B5 to warp drive in Star Trek in that both are a means of travelling long distances really fast, allowing us to meet new aliens and characters. So why don't you go ahead and accuse B5 of stealing that from Star Trek instead of focusing on the superficial similarities?

    EDIT: To clarify my point, DS9 didn't need to come up with a new method to bring ships and characters to the station, they already had warp drive to do exactly that. The wormhole served a different purpose, it allayed the fears of fans who felt that a stationary show would be boring by promising adventures in an exotic new area of space.

    I didn't accuse you of anything, I said "maybe(probably)". How could I be more impartial than that?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  8. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah. My opinion on this old debate is and always shall be that DS9's writers clearly borrowed ideas from B5, but in the end both shows were good in their own right. B5 was influenced by Star Trek, as well as by Lord of the Rings.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    'Cause suggesting a big corporation may have borrowed ideas from someone 20 years ago is the same as calling someone a troll to their figurative face?
     
  10. Matchstick

    Matchstick Cadet Newbie

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    Well, just to jump in here to this spirited (yeah, let's go with that) conversation...

    I would say the only person who can really answer this question is Michael Piller, since he wrote the pilot script, and that unfortunately cannot happen now.

    I understand JMS' frustration, though, even 20 years later. He made a series that a lot of people love, but it wasn't the revolutionary, game-changing show that he wanted it to be. ("Lost" was that show -- just look at all the imitators.) And it does look dated now (not helped by a horrible DVD transfer).

    Meanwhile, here's DS9, a show with a similar premise that I genuinely believe JMS thinks was ripped off from him, and 20 years later, it's one of the more well-regarded sci-fi shows in history, Trek or not. I would argue that it does not look dated (it helps that it had twice the budget of B5), and if they can manage to somehow transfer the entire thing, even the CGI-intensive later seasons, to HD, DS9 is going to be around and well-thought-of long past the time JMS is gone.

    That has to be annoying.

    Did anybody else think, though, that JMS decided he would crib some things from DS9 (I guess what's good for the goose and all)? Remember, DS9's first season aired a year before B5's first season.

    And what changes did we see JMS make from pilot to series? Calm, serene first officer changed to fiery female officer with a chip on her shoulder. Older, seasoned medical officer changed to young, brash, arrogant doctor full of confidence. No similarities to any characters on DS9 there...

    I think the first episode of the third season is definitely the one where he was trying to tweak DS9 the hardest, though. DS9, first episode of the third season, they get a significant new set, conference room. They also feature a major change to the show, a new warship attached to the station (combining technologies of multiple races).

    B5, first episode of the third season (airing one year after DS9), they get a significant new set, conference room. They also feature a major change to the show, a new warship attached to the station (combining technologies of multiple races).

    I would argue that those two things are way too specific, occurring in the *exact* same episodes of both series, to be a coincidence.

    Episode title? "Matters of Honor."
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So Paramount handed over the B5 synopsis to Berman and Co, telling them to make it into a Star Trek show?
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ While giggling.
     
  13. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    DS9 will live on, but so will B5. Being born in 1990, I didn't watch the show until 2010 and fell head over heels in love with it. I didn't give a fuck that it looks "dated" (wow, a 90s show looked like it was made in the 90s! what a shocker). It's one of the absolute best shows in terms of making good on its promises and rewarding the audience for sticking with it, and that's always gonna have an appeal. It's unique, imaginative and creative enough that there will always be a new group of people, although it won't be large, who will continue to discover the show and fall in love with it (although getting past S1 is always gonna be an issue).

    And I would argue it would be a coincidence, just as I would argue Piller and Berman didn't rip off DS9. When having a stationary, fixed-location show, Season 3 is the perfect place to mix it up a little bit by adding in a shiny new ship they can use all over the promotions, to have the main characters break out a little bit more without Runabouts/Starfuries.

    And? :confused:
     
  14. Matchstick

    Matchstick Cadet Newbie

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    I agree. B5 is a great show for a lot of its run. But it has more challenges in terms of getting into it (that first season especially -- although DS9's first season does not exactly draw people in either), and a lot of those challenges are ones that DS9 does not pose. DS9 looks better and it has generally better acting (not across the board, but its average, including guest stars, is a lot higher, IMO).

    And that dated look is a drawback because it turns people off from watching it, people who would otherwise enjoy it. I hope CGI gets to the point sometime in the future where all the effects can be redone and the widescreen aspect of the show does not serve as such a hindrance. (If you've ever seen the effects work done in their original aspect vs. what they look like on the DVD, you know what a crime was committed releasing the show like that. A lot of the aesthetic beauty of the work is destroyed.)


    Just that I've read more than once JMS talk about how the names of first episodes of seasons are trying to say something about the show as a whole ("Midnight on the Firing Line" and "No Compromises" in particular.) I am stretching here, but JMS' assertion that DS9 took its premise from B5 is, you know, something of a matter of honor. :)
     
  15. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    Indeed I have. In 2010, Babylon 5 was available on Netflix (sadly, it isn't anymore) and it was in full screen. The widescreen effect looks terrible in tons of scenes, especially And Now for a Word.

    Ah, gotcha. Well, it's possible. But then again, I don't think a title like The Hour of the Wolf has any larger significance so I'm not sure.
     
  16. DeepSpaceWine

    DeepSpaceWine Commander Red Shirt

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    Sometimes a title is just a title or else we get some funny scenarios:
    - Looks out window, says "Aha!"... "And the Sky Full of Stars"
    - Polishing off the Season 4 premiere script late at night, looks at the clock, says "The Hour of the Wolf".
    - Looks out window, sees a "Spider in the Web"
    - Old math book? "The Geometry of Shadows"
    - I don't want to know where "Infection" or "Gropos" came from.
    - UPS or Fed Ex shows up late in the day with a parcel from Avalon on Catalina Island? "A Late Delivery from Avalon"
    - Listening to Andy Gibb "Shadow Dancing"? You guessed it- "Shadow Dancing"
     
  17. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, now waitaminute...Hour of the Wolf...

    Ya know, Sisko does have a chip on his shoulder because of Wolf 359 ;)
     
  18. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    Are you talking about the War Room? That wasn't added until "Ship of Tears."
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, what was Brother Benny ripped off from?
     
  20. Snatcher42

    Snatcher42 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Seasons 2, 3, and 4 are available streaming in full screen on Vudu.com. A couple episodes in Seasons 2 and 3 are a little too dark, and strangely Severed Dreams is letterboxed, but for the most part they look pretty good. I wish WB would release a limited DVD set of the show in it's original aspect ratio for collectors. I find the inconstant picture quality of the current discs maddening. B5 doesn't need to be re-made in HD... just released in the best possible quality that already exists!
     

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