Babylon 5

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kail, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Home alone
    Bester is a hero in his own eyes as he believes he's selflessly working to advance the cause of his people. He's a villain only to those who stand in his way. Walter Koenig's depiction of him is very good but it would be even better if he were more charming in his ruthlessness. Such villains are much more interesting than the thuggish, sadistic sort.
     
  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    That's what I did like about Byron. The arc set him up as an obvious cult leader and martyr but he could have easily been written as more broadly sympathetic. I would rather he'd been an anti-hero telepath. He could have been a great ally against Bester and his vision of Psi Corp but ultimately just as destructive in his goals as Bester was in being just as committed to genocidal eugenic ends as Bester.
     
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Home alone
    Perhaps the newly rebooted Bester could morph into a Byron-like figure as he turns against Clark because of his betrayal of Teeps to the Shadows. But please, no more singing...

    ...also please no music and dancing spectaculars or crossovers with other CW shows. I'm on the fence about John Barrowman having a recurring role.
     
    Gov Kodos likes this.
  4. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    It would help if the Psi Cops didn't run around in uniforms reminiscent of the SS. There wasn't much nuance in JMS's writing the telepath situation. Lockley tried to stand up for Bester who from her experience had been a positive experience. Have the Psi Cops stopping some criminal telepaths. The prejudices of the normals didn't get enough basis in seeing the bad ones on screen. One can intellectually understand how humanity could put the telepths in a ghetto existence because of their power but the audience didn't get to see enough of it to buy that the Psi Cops were anything but thugs.

    A rebooted Bester would be more interesting with an arc like G'Kar's with Teeps more important than anything until faced with where it could head under Clark and the Shadows. That's where folks like Ivanova, a latent Telepath, could have a more meaningful interactions than just Psi-Cops- kill, destroy. Or an arc like Londo's where his commitment to telepaths leads him down a destructive road fooled by Clark until he discovers the Shadow involvement and where things are headed with Clark's regime. Either way, make Bester less of an obvious arsehole.

    Koenig made a great villain but a redundant one since the main themes of the series showed his cause to be a failure of selfish goals that were just as destructive, prejudicial, and genocidal as the Shadows. Strength and power should overcome the weak and justifies all ends to achieve supremacy. By the time S5 came around Bester and the telepath war a replay of what we'd already seen thematically.
     
  5. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    ...is insane. --JMS
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Moncton, NB
    Admittedly, there wasn't a lot of nuance in ANY of B5's big plots...unless you were G'Kar or Londo.
     
  7. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Oddly enough, the lack of nuance is part of B5's charm. To me, anyway.

    Though Londo and G'Kar are among the greatest characters in all of scifi. You can't talk about one without the other.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2001
    Location:
    Burlington, VT, USA
    I found Byron sympathetic up until the point where he was willing to blackmail the ambassadors (possibly earlier?), which just seemed really shortsighted on his part.

    As for his followers, and Lyta in particular? A good chunk of them proved willing to betray his ideals the minute things got tough, and Lyta making him a martyr in particular is something I don't think he ever would have wanted.

    So perhaps Byron's greatest failure was his inability to recognize that his 'followers' didn't truly share his ideals.
     
  9. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Interesting that you should raise that point.

    We know more about the real local galactic neighbourhood than we did when B5-TOS was made...and Gaia, JWST, and other missions are going to keep redrawing that map as the series progresses.
     
    Commander Troi likes this.
  10. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    ...is insane. --JMS
    When he went off the rails was when he had all his brainwashing about the evolutionary superiority of telepaths ripped from him. Given time, he probably would have gone back to his ideals.
     
  11. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Given that he learned every telepath was, in essence, artificially created to be weapons for the Vorlons and cheated out of just being a normal person, I can see why he reacted like he did.

    The blackmailing was the one thing he never should have done.
     
    DonIago likes this.
  12. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Home alone
    We knew a lot more in 1993-4 about the solar neighbourhood and its relationship to the rest of the Galaxy than JMS used as the basis for the series. However, for the purposes of drama it's ok to assume a large proportion of the audience don't have that knowledge. Most SF TV series are like that. Too much concentration on technical accuracy and the entire premise of your show can start to look very shaky. People who've studied physics and astronomy to degree level just have to ignore the random mangled factoids that are thrown in to make things sound authentic.

    There are too many stars to name them all using the Bayer designation of Greek letters and constellation names (mostly losing relevance beyond a few tens of light years from the Sun). The 336 IAU-approved star names (many Arabic-based) are better for a TV show's purposes but those are usually relatively close stars. IIRC Deneb (α Cygni) is the farthest at about 2,600 light years distant. Catalogue numbers are too unwieldy and unmemorable for a TV show. Who can remember the star system designations used in Stargate SG-1? Well, Samantha Carter for one apparently, but most of us in the audience have to be reminded of the context by the dialogue.

    Perhaps one solution is to use procedurally generated names as invented by the game Elite in the 80s.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
    Commander Troi likes this.
  13. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Elite Dangerous is still a going concern for millions across the planet, apparently...
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Home alone
    Gets a lot of flack, apparently, but I haven't played any iteration of Elite for 30 years.
     
  15. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've been considering signing up, finances permitting, but I digress...
     
  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Home alone
    Might be worth looking at Star Citizen and No Man's Sky as well on YouTube first but I haven't played any of them. Nearest I get is using Space Engine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
  17. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    A bit late to the party I know; but I'm just now getting caught up on this.
    General thoughts: Even though this is by far the most concrete movement we've seen in the franchise in forever, I've been the Charlie Brown to this Lucy assisted kick enough times that I'm not about to get excited until I at least see a trailer. I mean it early days, and there's still a chance that the network might not choose to pick it up after the pilot is made.

    As for bringing the surviving cast (I hate how accurate that term is) back for the new show; I'm pretty sure JMS already said as much years ago when he was talking about the possibility of a reboot. IIRC the example he made at the time (presumably hypothetical) would be that Bruce Boxleitner could play the reboot's version of Santiago (or Clark!) And that the rest of the cast would be given similar guest and/or supporting roles.

    Following that pattern there's all kinds of fun possibilities to speculated over: they could bring Peter Jurasik back to just straight up play Londo again, only in this version Londo isn't the Ambassador, but the Emperor, filling some similar plot function as Turhan's role. Pat Tallman could be this show's Bester. Claudia Christian could be as version of Dukhat, with Jason Carter as a her Anla'Shok Na in whatever version of events transpires (because why wouldn't you partner those two up again?) One fun and very ironic possibility that comes to mind is having Andrea Thompson back as the show's ever present ISN reporter. Whatever they find for Bill Mumy, let's hope for his sake it's a human, since he was never a fan of the prosthetics...though there's a certain trichological irony to having him be the new Vir. Tracy Scoggins could either fill something like the General Hague role later on down the line, or some weird alien character as I get the feeling she'd be into it.


    A bit of an aside, but one thing that is playing at the back of my mind though is the timing of this next to the whole Dr Who thing. I'm not reading anything into it, but I can't help but wonder what JMS's plan would have been had the Beeb gone for it. I mean there's been rumblings about something B5 in the works for a while now (in hindsight the remastering of the show on digital may have been to test the waters in terms of interest) so presumably talks have also been ongoing for a while.
    Even JMS isn't crazy enough to run two shows at once, so I have to wonder which one he would have dropped, or if that whole move was some sort of negotiating tactic...though damned if I know how that would work since they said no.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
    Commander Troi likes this.
  18. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    JirinPanthosa
    For Bester to be the slightest bit sympathetic they’d have to ditch the telepath supremacy at the very core of his character. He has such contempt for non telepaths he spaced a defenseless prisoner for no reason.

    If they rewrote his motives as a strong belief in strict order needed to protect telepaths and non telepaths alike from each other it’d be easier to see him as the hero of his own story.

    But you wonder why rogue telepaths couldn’t have gotten the same Minbar asylum as that girl from earlier.
     
  19. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    ...is insane. --JMS
    He can't just sit around waiting for BBC or WB or anybody. He's got to keep pursuing paying jobs until one actually happens. I would imagine that his agent could write the contracts defining what had what priority.
     
    Commander Troi likes this.
  20. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Yeah, after reading his autobiography, I definitely came away with the sense that he's one of those people who had a life that taught them "If I ever stop hustling for work I will die." Reminds me a bit of Shatner, in that respect.
     
    Commander Troi likes this.