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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    I really think you should drop your obsession over the use of the terminology of "the Rim". It means whatever it means, drop it. Its Strazynski just wanting a more spesh-appropriate word than "frontier". Bringing it up every time its mentioned is getting tedious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    IS Z'ha'Dum on the Galactic Rim? I don't think the show ever says that. And the ''Galactic Rim'' is odd as the Galaxy really does not have an hard ''edge''. The Galaxy is a lot more like a ''cloud'' with like a billion ''edges''. The show makes it sound like Earth, and all the aliens are ''in the middle'' or something. But, Earth is really way, way out on an arm of the galaxy, you might even say ''on the rim''....
    Exactly. Maybe corner was the wrong word for me to use earlier, but the vast bulk of the races we see are along that same arm. Z'ha'Dum is at the edge. There's a lot of fan discussion about the issue, and it was pieced together from various maps shots throughout the show. And from JMS himself:

    Quote Originally Posted by JMS
    At the same time, JMS began stating that the "rim" is definitely the rim of the galaxy. In a message to Richard Wakefield (20 August 1996), he wrote,

    "It's the Rim of the galaxy, and once you come out of hyperspace past the galactic rim, all your points of reference are gone, and getting back is tough, if not impossible . . . and you can't just "keep going" in a straight line in hyperspace, as it's not a one-to-one corrolation to normal space."
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Bringing it up every time its mentioned is getting tedious.
    Well, it should not get brought up too many more times in the show, so I'll only mention it on the rare times it comes up...once an episode or so for the next two seasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    There's a lot of fan discussion about the issue, and it was pieced together from various maps shots throughout the show.
    Yea, I always find it odd that most shows can't take...oh ten minutes...and like create and draw an official map. And the idea that ''they don't want to make a map so writers can make up wacky stuff'' is just dumb.

    Most of the time the whole B5 show seems to take place in like a 50 light year sphere....like a tiny, tiny, tiny speck of the whole galaxy. But then sometimes it's like 1,000's of light years. But still all the major powers/races are like right next to each other.

    "At the same time, JMS began stating that the "rim" is definitely the rim of the galaxy." Yea, that is great an all. And in like an episode or two we will get the Cortez story where ''the Rim'' is most clearly ''known explored space'' and NOT the edge of the galaxy.

  4. - Top - End - #304
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    BlackDragon

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    This seems a good a place to put this as any: Stephen Furst, aka Vir Cotto, has died:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...was-81-1014483

    I don't know what it is about B5 that so many of the actors on the show should die so relatively young...
    Last edited by factotum; 2017-06-18 at 12:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    This seems a good a place to put this as any: Stephen Furst, aka Vir Cotto, has died:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...was-81-1014483

    I don't know what it is about B5 that so many of the actors on the show should die so relatively young...
    Wow, that sucks.
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    This week, we'll be discussing:
    • The Geometry of Shadows
    • A Distant Star
    • The Long Dark


    Feel free to discuss anything from the Babylon 5 series without using spoiler tags if you so choose. Please continue to use spoiler tags for things unrelated to Babylon 5 as you would in any other media thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    This seems a good a place to put this as any: Stephen Furst, aka Vir Cotto, has died:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...was-81-1014483

    I don't know what it is about B5 that so many of the actors on the show should die so relatively young...
    It's always sad to see another one go, especially relatively young like this.

    I wonder if it feels like it's so many B5 actors so young because it is, or because I wouldn't notice as much if actors in equivalent roles from other shows passed on?

    On a totally trivial note, Zima is back. I saw a big display of six packs at the grocery store today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Algeh View Post
    I wonder if it feels like it's so many B5 actors so young because it is, or because I wouldn't notice as much if actors in equivalent roles from other shows passed on?
    It does seem to feel like it is oddly Babylon 5 specific. The easiest shows to compare it to would probably be X-Files and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, since they're all popular sci-fi shows that started around 1993. And the only actor I can think of who died from either of those shows is Barry Jenner, who played Admiral Ross in the last few seasons of DS9.

    It is sad to hear about Stephen Furst. I loved Vir, he had some of my favorite scenes from the entire show.
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    The Geometry of Shadows: first appearance of the Technomages (and I think possibly the last in the mainline B5 continuity, although they did pop up in Crusade). Michael Ansara just effortlessly steals every scene he's in, and considering the quality of the regular B5 cast, that's no mean feat! Also, he and Londo have one of the most awesome exchanges ever:

    "I see a great hand reaching out of the stars, and billions of voices calling your name."
    "My followers?"
    "Your victims."

    The B plot--the green/purple Drazi thing--is fairly meh, to be honest; it feels like too much of "I HAVE A MESSAGE HERE. HAVE YOU GOT THE MESSAGE YET?" sort of thing, like the original Star Trek episode with the guys who had black and white faces, but which side was black divided them totally.

    A Distant Star: This is another of those episodes that confuses everyone as to how hyperspace actually works. We have a vessel whose entire purpose in life is exploration, yet it apparently gets lost when it's "off the beacon" just like any other ship does? How the heck does that work? Also, that Explorer class ship is absolutely massive when you compare it to the stated five mile length of the B5 station, but we know that they hadn't really locked down stuff like scale at this point (remember the first season saying B5 weighed 2.5 million tonnes? Not a lot for an object five miles long!).

    The Long Dark: Not a big fan of this episode. It seems rather heavily coincidental that the alien who killed Amis' men is the same one who ate one of the people in the cryopods on a ship a century old. Maybe that's explained somewhere in there and I missed it, please can someone let me know if that's the case?
    Last edited by factotum; 2017-06-18 at 12:01 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    This seems a good a place to put this as any: Stephen Furst, aka Vir Cotto, has died:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...was-81-1014483

    I don't know what it is about B5 that so many of the actors on the show should die so relatively young...
    Safe travels Vir. May you be forever waving at Mr. Morden. Arguably the best character moment of B5.


    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The Long Dark: Not a big fan of this episode. It seems rather heavily coincidental that the alien who killed Amis' men is the same one who ate one of the people in the cryopods on a ship a century old. Maybe that's explained somewhere in there and I missed it, please can someone let me know if that's the case?
    It's one of those little things that actually makes more sense in retrospect, and is very subtle (maybe too subtle).

    1000 years ago the Shadows lose the war. They leave, and some of their agents/allies are left behind to go into hiding.

    10 years ago: Amis and his men are stationed on the moon. While there, they wake up the creature, which slaughters almost everyone (keeps Amis as a "snack". He is eventually rescued.

    The Shadows are waking and calling their agents/allies home. Sometime between 10 years ago and now, Copernicus passed by the planet, so the being hopped on board.

    Note that the ship had been reprogrammed to head for the rim, specifically Z'ha'Dum.

    Is it a coincidence? Sure. But it's the type of coincidence you accept in a show like this.
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    I found the whole Drazi thing to be hilarious, especially how Ivanova dealt with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The B plot--the green/purple Drazi thing--is fairly meh, to be honest; it feels like too much of "I HAVE A MESSAGE HERE. HAVE YOU GOT THE MESSAGE YET?" sort of thing, like the original Star Trek episode with the guys who had black and white faces, but which side was black divided them totally.
    Well.. there is no equivalent whatsoever to the Drazi color situation with the real world. Any kind of non-sports related divides have an ideological or nationalist underlying themes that causes the rift. The Drazi's is utterly arbitrary. There lies the difference.

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    I also found the Drazi sub-plot hilarious, especially the "rules change caught up in committee" bit. I've never thought of it as being similar to a Star Trek plot, but on reflection it comes off more like a parody of that sort of plot. Instead of a message about racism where our enlightened future characters can shake their heads and cluck their tongues at the audience analogues for their outdated racism, instead it's totally random and the characters are just as gobsmacked as the audience.

    One thing from this episode that I think I remember from the DVD commentary - that scene where Garibaldi is fiddling with his gun and repeatedly loading/unloading it? That was him contemplating suicide. He was so defined by his role as a cop that his utter failure (in his mind) shattered his self-image. If he isn't good enough to be a cop, then what's left for him?

    I think this mindset also contributes to his drinking problem later in the show, but I haven't got there on my re-watch yet so I'm not certain.

    -------

    A Distant Star contains one of my favorite lines from the whole show - Ivanova's grumpy comment about becoming the expanding Russian frontier.

    I skipped The Long Dark this time through. I don't recall it being a terribly good episode and it had minimal arc significance.

    ------

    RIP Stephen Furst. Always one of my favorite characters from B5, sad to hear he's gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Well.. there is no equivalent whatsoever to the Drazi color situation with the real world. Any kind of non-sports related divides have an ideological or nationalist underlying themes that causes the rift. The Drazi's is utterly arbitrary. There lies the difference.
    It is all ways arbitrary. You can go on forever about how important something, something something is because of something....and it's still arbitrary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    It is all ways arbitrary. You can go on forever about how important something, something something is because of something....and it's still arbitrary.
    ...no.

    No it isn't. Nationality is not arbitrary. Ideology is not arbitrary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Nationality is not arbitrary.
    Nationality is a difference which is imposed on you by an accident of birth, the same way that the colour of your skin is. As far as I'm concerned, both are as arbitrary as each other as a means of dividing people into hostile groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Nationality is a difference which is imposed on you by an accident of birth, the same way that the colour of your skin is. As far as I'm concerned, both are as arbitrary as each other as a means of dividing people into hostile groups.
    But its not, and i dont care what little thing you concern yourself with. Nationality is not a random thing you pick out of a bag. Nor is your ethnic background. People imbue meaning and significance to both, a sense of self worth an identity over the course of years of development and self-discovery.

    Just because YOU disagree and did not develop a sense of self out of these characteristics, its no excuse of being dismissive of those who do and treat their core identity as "arbitrary". For example, there are homosexuals who strongly identify with the "Gay Pride" culture of flamboyant extravaganza, and there are others for whom homosexuality only define their sexual tastes, not their subculture.

    But there is no meaning whatsoever behind Green v Purple. The involved Drazis just randomly pick one color over the other every five year. Forget my sports team exception or earlier; any sports fan worth its salt* wont randomly change fandom every 5 years.

    *And when i say "worth its salt", i mean "who takes their fandom seriously". I change my Superbowl pick every year because i am frivolous about that; hence not taking my US football fandom seriously

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    People imbue meaning and significance to both, a sense of self worth an identity over the course of years of development and self-discovery.
    You said it right here: People imbue meaning and significance. It's just what people think or say. The Narn/Centari thing is a thing just as you say it is and it has been around for a long time. The Darzi thing is silly as you say it is and it's new.

    But get this: no one can say anything is anything. Everything is arbitrary and does not matter, objectively. Things only matter if a person just says or thinks they matter.

    After all, if what you say was true, then things could never ever change. The Narn and Centari will hate each other and be at war forever: because you say it's so important. But....amazingly folks that ''hate each other and can never change'' can ''make peace'', so that does mean things CAN change....and also means things are arbitrary. If things really were so ''super hard core official'', then there would be no change.

    Sci-fi has a long history of pointing out this human quirk. Think back the Original Star Trek and the people of Charon: some were black on one side and white on the other/some where white on one side and black on the other. It comes up lots of more times, like remember when Kirk tried to argue that they ''had'' to go war with the Klingons because ''they were the enemy'' and aliens on the outside saying ''no, you are both wrong, just get along.'' DS9 had seven years of Bajorin and Cardassian hatred with the Federation types on the outside saying ''no, you are both wrong, just get along.''

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    You said it right here: People imbue meaning and significance.'
    Yhea, and therelies the point of Purple/Green.

    It. Has. No. Significance.

    There is no meaning. There is no significance. Its a line drawn in the sand meant to divide two groups in the most arbitrary way.

    This does not compare in the least to any of the other examples you gave. You can understand, intellectually, the reasons behind the Centauri/Narn divide. Or the Red Socks/Yankees divide. Or the Capitalist/Communist divide.

    There is no reason to comprehend behind the Green-Purple divide, and comparing any of the above to be as arbitrary as Green-Purple is really being dismissive of other people's concerns and interests.

    Take the silliest of divide in the history of mankind: Gold/White Dress vs Blue/Black Dress. Even THAT had a kind of reasoning, and even if the argument was tongue-in-the-cheek, you could make a case on either side, and perhaps reach a compromise. Because there were reasons.

    Green-Purple is an empty conflict, and thus cannot be resolved through diplomacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    I also found the Drazi sub-plot hilarious, especially the "rules change caught up in committee" bit. I've never thought of it as being similar to a Star Trek plot, but on reflection it comes off more like a parody of that sort of plot. Instead of a message about racism where our enlightened future characters can shake their heads and cluck their tongues at the audience analogues for their outdated racism, instead it's totally random and the characters are just as gobsmacked as the audience.
    Yeah, usually you'd get a plot where everyone eventually realizes that their differences are meaningless and it would resolve things, but here it's:

    "These differences are completely meaningless!"

    "... And your point is?"

    They know that it's all meaningless and not a valid distinction, and will go from killing each other to being complete friends as soon as it all ends. It's just the way things are done. And so it's hilarious despite the serious subject matter and used as a way to build the characters of Ivanova and Garibaldi.
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    The Geometry of Shadows

    Sheridan deals with Londo and the technomages, while Ivanova tries to solve a dispute among the Drazi.

    This episode is sort of a "day in the life" episode about the station: the plots are interesting, but nothing horribly significant happens.

    *Drazi Green and Purple-This is a beautiful allegory on all violence, conflict and war. It is always arbitrary. Sure if your a green or purple, then you think ''green or purple'' is the most important thing ever....but it is not.

    *The rise of Londo- he is going places....

    *Blink and you'd Miss-Michael Ensara (who played Elric); was the Klingon, Kang, in the episode "Day of the Dove" in Star Trek: The Original Series and decides later on DS9.

    Things that don't make Sense

    *Technomage Tech: So the Technomagic use technology to make things seem like magic....but they are not doing magic tricks, they are doing real effects. And more so they are doing real effects that go far, far beyond the tech level of the whole universe. They make recordings, use holo grams and some how control everything with their minds. Oh, yea, and detect and blow up cameras with their mind too. This all seems way beyond 2259 level Earth tech....so how is that?

    *The ''Deamon'' computer virus-Oh, so sure it's a um..''spell'' or whatever..on Londo's stuff, and sure it's funny and cool....BUT is it not a criminal assault on someones private property? And did the ''Deamon'' really buy....Firefly Incorporated? Would that not be a serious financial crime? Like if a hacker did it it would be a crime, but if a technomage does it it's just funny...waka waka waka.

    *Wonder what happened to all the Centari technomages....or the mages of any other race?

    *Wimpy Ivanova- Remember when crazy violent Ivanova was scary...here she just gets..um, knocked down and hurt.

    *Illusionary Ogre- So Vir is ''so brave'' as he knows the technomages are not homicidal manics that will kill him. Well, not so brave. I guess ''normal people'' would be scared?

    *Fascist Earth-Again Earth ''wants to know'' what the technomages are up too, like the B5 universe does not have the Bill of Rights.

    *Techno Prophecy- Ok, so the technomages use technology to fake magic.....so how do they ''fake prophecy''? They have no real magic power to see the future. Are they..um...using technology to..um..see the future? Are they using something like PhysioHistory? Some advanced computer model to predict the future?

    *And the Technomages are going.....wait for it...beyond the Rim to hide. So....this means they are leaving the galaxy, right? And they will go hang out in the massive void beyond the Rim? Sounds like a great plan. Or did they just find a nice little class M world with no intelligent life somewhere out there beyond ''the rim of known human explored space'' where they can hide?

    Final-C, nothing really happens other then some character humor..and a little bit of foreshadowing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    *Drazi Green and Purple-This is a beautiful allegory on all violence, conflict and war. It is always arbitrary. Sure if your a green or purple, then you think ''green or purple'' is the most important thing ever....but it is not.
    We wont rehash the argument. I think you are plainly wrong there, but dont seem to want to argue rhe point further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    *Technomage Tech: So the Technomagic use technology to make things seem like magic....but they are not doing magic tricks, they are doing real effects. And more so they are doing real effects that go far, far beyond the tech level of the whole universe. They make recordings, use holo grams and some how control everything with their minds. Oh, yea, and detect and blow up cameras with their mind too. This all seems way beyond 2259 level Earth tech....so how is that?
    Because they are a very, very old culture. Not humans. Its pretty obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Wonder what happened to all the Centari technomages....or the mages of any other race?
    They are a single specie, they just happened to take refuge on Centauri hundreds/thousand of years ago.

    Interested in knowing their actual history?

    Spoiler: Technomages
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    They were actually one of the Shadow's pet creation, like the Drakhs. A specie enhanced to suit their purpose. But they rebelled and fled on their own. Some sought refuge on Centauri, where they stayed for a long while.

    But during that time, another Shadow client race came to retrieve them, and there was a massive war. The Centauri managed to beat them, steal their technology, and became a spacefaring race.

    The other race failed one too many time for the Shadow's taste and werw destroyed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Techno Prophecy- Ok, so the technomages use technology to fake magic.....so how do they ''fake prophecy''? They have no real magic power to see the future. Are they..um...using technology to..um..see the future? Are they using something like PhysioHistory? Some advanced computer model to predict the future?
    They do.

    They are not only students of advanced natural sciences. Elric's speech make it clear they also are deep students of psychological sciences, sociological, etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And the Technomages are going.....wait for it...beyond the Rim to hide. So....this means they are leaving the galaxy, right? And they will go hang out in the massive void beyond the Rim? Sounds like a great plan. Or did they just find a nice little class M world with no intelligent life somewhere out there beyond ''the rim of known human explored space'' where they can hide?
    They are going beyond what is known in the local Galactic community. They are going into hiding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    They are a single specie, they just happened to take refuge on Centauri hundreds/thousand of years ago.

    Interested in knowing their actual history?

    Spoiler: Technomages
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    They were actually one of the Shadow's pet creation, like the Drakhs. A specie enhanced to suit their purpose. But they rebelled and fled on their own. Some sought refuge on Centauri, where they stayed for a long while.

    But during that time, another Shadow client race came to retrieve them, and there was a massive war. The Centauri managed to beat them, steal their technology, and became a spacefaring race.

    The other race failed one too many time for the Shadow's taste and werw destroyed.


    Interesting! What's the source for this? I remember there being a Technomage in Crusade but I've never seen it apart from my initial viewing ~20 years ago (good Lord, has it been that long?).

    On prophecy, keep in mind that numerous races have been shown to be capable of prophecy via one means or another. The Vorlons appear to have pretty detailed prophecy. Sheridan has had prophetic dreams that were Vorlon assisted to some degree but how much is unsure. The Centauri are naturally prophetic, dreaming of the day they die but also being able to have prophetic visions and prophetic dreams of future events. The Minbari run off the prophecies of Valen, which we know comes from time travel shenanigans.

    The Technomages may be naturally prophetic, using their advanced technology to see it, or just know stuff via time travel.

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    I.. don't remember. Maybe one of the RPG books? Their fluff was usually very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Because they are a very, very old culture. Not humans. Its pretty obvious.

    They are a single specie, they just happened to take refuge on Centauri hundreds/thousand of years ago.

    Interested in knowing their actual history?
    This is not, to my knowledge, entirely accurate. The Technomages we meet are all human, but they are a culture that is beyond species. There are still Technomages of other species, but we never meet them. Their culture does go back further than human spaceflight capabilities, but these Technomages are all humans who sought membership and were accepted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    This is not, to my knowledge, entirely accurate. The Technomages we meet are all human, but they are a culture that is beyond species. There are still Technomages of other species, but we never meet them. Their culture does go back further than human spaceflight capabilities, but these Technomages are all humans who sought membership and were accepted.
    Nop. They were the Taramitudes originally

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Nop. They were the Taramitudes originally
    Perhaps originally, but the ones we meet ate human.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    We wont rehash the argument. I think you are plainly wrong there, but dont seem to want to argue rhe point further.
    Well, we can't say much more here. One of the Rules of Three (from Planescape) is nothing is more important then anything else. And this is a truism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Because they are a very, very old culture. Not humans. Its pretty obvious.
    Well, the Technomages in this episode are all humans. Not some weird alien race.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    They are a single specie, they just happened to take refuge on Centauri hundreds/thousand of years ago.

    Interested in knowing their actual history?
    Well, I'm only going by the episode. I guess you have some ''official'' source. So someone made all that up...and did not put it in the episode.

    Sure with a ''shared universe '' like B5 you get lots of stuff written. I just about only go by the show though. Amazingly all the other ''stuff'' is oddly not worthy of being in an episode, as all the creators would say so....so I agree with them. After all anyone can just ''officially'' write down some scribbles like ''techno mages are all the sons of Merlin and a dragon'' or something, then someone else writes down another ''official'' thing (Like they are all bee people that um, hide in plane sight on Jupiter and have rocket skates) and then a third person writes an ''offical'' thing that says....

    And that assumes the person who wrote down the scribbles did have an ''official seal'' . And that even if it got a seal it was not just an ''evil money grubbing faceless dude who gave the seal to anyone just to make money''.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post

    They are going beyond what is known in the local Galactic community. They are going into hiding.
    Yup, beyond the Rim....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    Perhaps originally, but the ones we meet ate human.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Well, the Technomages in this episode are all humans. Not some weird alien race.
    How can you guys tell if they are humans or not? Because they look like Centauri?

    Well, I'm only going by the episode. I guess you have some ''official'' source. So someone made all that up...and did not put it in the episode.
    So i suppose by the same standards, you probably hate the Shadows because not everything is revealed about them in their first episode?

    Edit: you must have hated the Hobbit, since it never explains anything about Gandalf.

    Yup, beyond the Rim....
    Beyond the "frontier". Like I said, the Rim can mean many things and you nitpicking it at every. Single. Episode looks silly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    How can you guys tell if they are humans or not? Because they look like Centauri?
    Everyone we see looks human. Londo even says ''look at that HUMAN technomage''.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    So i suppose by the same standards, you probably hate the Shadows because not everything is revealed about them in their first episode?

    Edit: you must have hated the Hobbit, since it never explains anything about Gandalf.
    Hate? No hate here. But the show does reveal the stuff about the Shadows. But they just forget the technomages.

    I loved the Hobbit...read that when I was 6! And watched that Ye Old Hobbit cartoon move many times (I had a copy on a VCR tape....a beta tape). And I did read the Simerlionigalon (er, um, sp?) and that massive box does explain things...oh, and then Lord of the Rings books.

    But your comparing apples and oranges.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post

    Beyond the "frontier". Like I said, the Rim can mean many things and you nitpicking it at every. Single. Episode looks silly
    Guess I'm beyond the Nitpicking Rim.....

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