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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    B5 didn't have the budget of Star Trek of any era. That was part of the reason they were using the Newtek Video Toaster, it was a darned sight cheaper than any alternative. I still think the effects are really not so bad--go and have a look at the massive space battle in "Severed Dreams" (OK, we're getting ahead of ourselves a bit there, since that's a season 3 episode) and tell me it doesn't still look pretty darned good.
    I agree that its serviceable, its just noticeably dated. I do rather like the space battles i've seen. The No Clip style movements actually look like reasonable approximations of actual space flight, its just the explosions that look really bad.
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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    As I said earlier, the explosions improved massively in the third season--they started using actual filmed fire effects rather than the simple particle effects of earlier seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    On the poisoning a Vorlon thing, the weirdness behind that does get brought up again later. I can't remember how in-depth it gets discussed, but it's mentioned as being very strange.
    It was mentioned by Sinclair in episode 7 - The War Prayer. Somebody else said it was weird that poison would work on somebody in a full body suit, and Sinclair basically said they nobody had actual evidence it was poison other than the 'official story', and the only 2 people that worked on Kosh got transferred less than a week later.

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    Default Born to the Purple, Infection, The Parliament of Dreams

    This week, we'll be discussing:
    • Born to the Purple
    • Infection
    • The Parliament of Dreams

    As per the thread guidelines, no spoiler tags needed for things from these episodes, but please use spoiler tags for anything related to later episodes. (We may drop this rule in a few weeks if it becomes clear that no one following the thread is new to the series, but I'd like to keep it newbie-friendly for now.)

    Is anyone watching this for the first time and appreciating the spoiler guidelines? If not, I may drop the spoiler guidelines in a few more weeks, so please speak up if there are people who are new to the series following this or you otherwise have an opinion on spoilers.

    My thoughts:

    Infection is one of those terrible episodes with a few worthwhile minutes in it. I'm not sure if it's one of the best or worst things about this series that even the really terrible episodes generally have something worth thinking about in them or some bit or other that talks me into showing them to people when I'm introducing someone to the series. (Back in the late 90s/early 2000s, one of my roles in my extended group of friends was "person who had all of Babylon 5 on tape and is willing to watch it with interested newbies", so I sat through a lot of partial watches with new folks and a few who persisted through all 5 seasons and the movies. I didn't let them skip episodes if they said they wanted a full re-watch, but I did reassure them that the show improved after some of these early episodes. I was also the one with all of Kindred: The Embraced on tape who would sit and watch that with people who missed it when it originally aired, but that's a different thread...)

    The Parliament of Dreams is the episode I used to use when a friend wanted to watch just one episode of Babylon 5 to get some idea what it's about, but wasn't willing to commit to multiple episodes before seeing one. It's early enough that I don't care about the spoilers, but does a reasonably good job of showing the kind of show B5 turns out to be compared to the other similarly-early episodes. (If I knew they'd only be willing to see one episode ever, I might choose a later one to give them a better idea of what the show tended to be about later in its run instead.)

    Also, "but in purple, I'm stunning!" continues to be funny to me no matter how many times I've seen it. There's probably something wrong with me.

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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    I didn't think Infection was all that bad. Rather predictable and the fact that the infected dude wasn't dead at the end was a bit weird, but other than that it was ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    I didn't think Infection was all that bad. Rather predictable and the fact that the infected dude wasn't dead at the end was a bit weird, but other than that it was ok.
    There are a couple hilarious and memorable lines (What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy!?!?) and the girl is super important to the plot down the line, but it's a really bad episode for a couple MAJOR plot holes and inconsistencies.

    1) The entire idea of the soldiers requires a civilization to build autonomous apocalyptic combat soldiers with no control, no other way to fight them, and no way to turn them off.

    2) The docking bay for one of the biggest space stations in the galaxies that sees a large number of ships come and go every single day has one single guy checking customs and the dude just walks out after killing him. Seriously, that's just ludicrous.

    3) The doctor simply accepts a very poorly delivered lie about the organic material being quarantined on the other end without even a cursory verification.

    4) The guy that dug them up KNOWS they are weapons that attach themselves to people and control them, so wtf did he need the doctor for in the first place? That's more than enough to ensure a massive payday from the corporation he was working for, there is nothing logical he could hope to gain by bringing the doctor in and a massive amount of risk. He doesn't need to replicate them himself he just needs to sell them to the corporation for more money then he could hope to spend.

    5) Their examination of the artifacts is utterly ridiculous. They are examining ORGANIC artefacts. They have no quarantine procedure in place, they handle them with their bare hands, and they lay them haphazardly around the lab allowing them to contact any number of different substances and surfaces. Then they just leave them lying out in the open on the table when they leave - despite knowing that this kind of tech is utterly unprecedented and extraordinarily valuable.

    6) The weapon fired by the soldier is explicitly said to go up in power 20% every shot, one of his first shots has enough power to totally disintegrate people, a later shot has the power to burn through hardened doors and bulkhead, and yet after that Sinclair gets hit directly by the same weapon and is not only NOT vaporized, he only suffers a minor wound.

    7) Wtf was Sinclair doing there in the first place. Him taking a fighter out I could understand as he's a pilot and he was explicitly looking for an excuse to get off the station, but him being with a security team confronting a humanoid combat threat on the station is utterly ridiculous. That's what he has a security chief and personnel for.

    The final kill-it-by-talking-logic is stupid but its a trope that appeared quite often in many shows (several times on Star Trek), so I can't really call that a plot hole.
    Last edited by Olinser; 2017-04-23 at 03:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    There are a couple hilarious and memorable lines (What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy!?!?) and the girl is super important to the plot down the line, but it's a really bad episode for a couple MAJOR plot holes and inconsistencies.

    1) The entire idea of the soldiers requires a civilization to build autonomous apocalyptic combat soldiers with no control, no other way to fight them, and no way to turn them off.
    It's not that ridiculous. They were using the ideological programming as their control, if they could take them out then so could their enemies, and if there was a way to turn them off then the enemy might figure that out and use that against them. Remember, this was a civilization that had been constantly LOSING those wars, so they needed something that could turn the tide and thus couldn't be defeated or subverted.

    2) The docking bay for one of the biggest space stations in the galaxies that sees a large number of ships come and go every single day has one single guy checking customs and the dude just walks out after killing him. Seriously, that's just ludicrous.
    Aren't they explicit that that time period is actually the off-peak hours for the docking bay? And they'd certainly try to time it to take advantage of that.

    3) The doctor simply accepts a very poorly delivered lie about the organic material being quarantined on the other end without even a cursory verification.
    Told to him by a friend and mentor that he greatly respected. It's made clear that Franklin couldn't conceive of his friend lying to him about it until he has proof that he did.

    4) The guy that dug them up KNOWS they are weapons that attach themselves to people and control them, so wtf did he need the doctor for in the first place? That's more than enough to ensure a massive payday from the corporation he was working for, there is nothing logical he could hope to gain by bringing the doctor in and a massive amount of risk. He doesn't need to replicate them himself he just needs to sell them to the corporation for more money then he could hope to spend.
    Selling them as artifacts would bring in quite a bit of money, but being able to show how they would could set him up for life with a job maintaining that. It was probably worth the risk for that. Plus, he was probably curious himself, and knows that if he sold them off he wouldn't get to work on them. Franklin's image of him as someone who was intellectually curious and fostered that in Franklin works to establish the dual motives.

    5) Their examination of the artifacts is utterly ridiculous. They are examining ORGANIC artefacts. They have no quarantine procedure in place, they handle them with their bare hands, and they lay them haphazardly around the lab allowing them to contact any number of different substances and surfaces. Then they just leave them lying out in the open on the table when they leave - despite knowing that this kind of tech is utterly unprecedented and extraordinarily valuable.
    My understanding is that that is a secure lab, which means that it can and probably is sealed off from the rest of station. Besides, they already passed quarantine on the other end, remember? And if I recall correctly the helper was in fact packing them away for the night when he gets infected.

    6) The weapon fired by the soldier is explicitly said to go up in power 20% every shot, one of his first shots has enough power to totally disintegrate people, a later shot has the power to burn through hardened doors and bulkhead, and yet after that Sinclair gets hit directly by the same weapon and is not only NOT vaporized, he only suffers a minor wound.
    Didn't they establish that that was because the shot happened before it could fully recharge?

    7) Wtf was Sinclair doing there in the first place. Him taking a fighter out I could understand as he's a pilot and he was explicitly looking for an excuse to get off the station, but him being with a security team confronting a humanoid combat threat on the station is utterly ridiculous. That's what he has a security chief and personnel for.
    Garibaldi calls him out explicitly on this at the end of the episode, positing that Sinclair keeps taking all of these chances because finding something worth living for after the war is harder than finding something worth dying for. Sinclair admits that he doesn't have a good answer for Garibaldi.

    The final kill-it-by-talking-logic is stupid but its a trope that appeared quite often in many shows (several times on Star Trek), so I can't really call that a plot hole.
    It's also done reasonably well, as it appeals to the underlying logic that it destroyed its own planet, the one thing that it was ideologically bound to care about. My only quibble is that the machine would have been more likely to self-destruct than separate.
    Last edited by Daimbert; 2017-04-23 at 06:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Aren't they explicit that that time period is actually the off-peak hours for the docking bay? And they'd certainly try to time it to take advantage of that.
    It's still patently ridiculous to have one singular customs officer with no further security or other checks. The idea that the customs guy could get killed and not be immediately missed is also bizarre. Not only that, but IIRC they don't even know what ship was the most recent to come in when the guy snuffed it, because that too should have been an instant giveaway that had Garibaldi sniffing around before idiot dude got assimilated.

    Infection is one of a handful of episodes that feel like they weren't originally Babylon 5 episodes. Running failed scripts from other shows has certainly happened before (that weird early episode of Stargate with the misogynist barbarians springs to mind), and this one really felt like it was a Star Trek script that had character names whited out and written over. Heck, it even has them talking the monster to death.

    Parliment of Dreams has always been a favorite of mine. It's the best early G'kar episode by some margin and does a really great job of introducing Lennier and Na'toth.

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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    Of course, it also introduces Catherine Sakai, who's one of those characters that fell by the wayside--I don't think she appears outside the first season? Anyway, these early episodes are all before we even knew there was going to be an over-arching plot in the show, it's rather lucky that people kept watching long enough for the really interesting stuff to start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Of course, it also introduces Catherine Sakai, who's one of those characters that fell by the wayside--I don't think she appears outside the first season? Anyway, these early episodes are all before we even knew there was going to be an over-arching plot in the show, it's rather lucky that people kept watching long enough for the really interesting stuff to start.
    Spoiler: Catherine Sakai
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    Catherine fell by the wayside after Sheridan replaced Sinclair. Based on the things it looked like they were setting up in episodes like Mind War, it's likely that she would have had a similar role to Anna had Sinclair been the one in charge for that plotline.

    I think her story gets picked up in one of the later single (rather than trilogy) novels, but I haven't re-read those in a long time.

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    Born to the Purple

    This is a fun epsiode, focused on Londo. And Londo is a great character. And it's a good episode highlight the ''action diplomacy'' that makes space politics fun.

    *Male Gaze- Londo, G'Khar and Sinclar do this in the teaser.

    *Anachronisms- Everyone at the discussion table plays one of them really old hand held electronic games.

    *Centari Slaves- So the Centari still use slavery?

    *Things that Don't Make Sense-

    -The C Plot-Ok, so Ivovanva's dad is dying and she wants to call him...several times...right before he dies. So, instead of taking some leave or just ASKING Sinclar to use the Gold Channel, she sneaks around to do it. Garibaldi finds out about ''someone'' using Gold Channel and investigates. And we get a couple of scenes where the two of them spar about it. Eventually Garibaldi creepy listens in and discovers Ivovana is making the calls. Then, he plays the whole dumb game of telling her it was ''a glitch'' and he (wink, wink) ''knows the glitch won't happen again''. So it shows Garibaldi to be ''tough on the outside, but with a soft heart of gold'' and ''Ivovanva breaks the rules''. And ok, they are still strangers at this point....but it still feels forced.

    And really, if Susan had said to Sinclar ''my dad is dying can I phone home'', would he have really said ''no, get back to work!" I kinda think he would have said ''yes'', and we could have dumped the whole C-plot.

    -Ivovanva says Russian pilots had ''gremlins''. The Russians? Do Russian's even use the word ''gremlins''? Was that not British pilots? Or is Ivionva doing the doing the Checkov thing where the Russian's ''iwented everything''?

    -Londo keeps his secret Purple Files on the Bablyon 5 computer? Odd, you'd think he would jeep them ''off the grid''.

    -And the security program needs Londo's password and voice to open the Purple Files....but then any voice can say ''download them to this crystal''. You'd think it would say ''voice not recognized'' and ''calling security''.

    -You notice the Purple Files are in Centari Script....wonder why the pass code is not also in Centari? Why is it ''English''? Sure it's an Earth computer, but what no....Bablyon translation software?

    -Sinclar and Londo put on street clothing and go to a club....and are not recognized? People, even more so the nightclub owner does not recognize the commander of the station and the Ambassador of the Centiri republic?

    -So there is heavy weapons fire in brown 7, and Galibardi the chief of security is ordered to investigate....and disobeys the order and does not do it? And that is ok?

    -So they break the rules and laws and have Talia do the mind scan trick? But it's ok because ''this time'' they say it's ok? Tons of crime and death, but only this is important?

    *Technology Weirdness-

    -Trakis has an evil Nintendo power glove that you'd think would count as a weapon...guess he smuggled it in?

    -Trakis also has a drone bug that can turn invisible. Wonder if that is ''outlawed everywhere'' and hurts the user like the Chamelion Net?

    -Adera uses a Mind Probe....wonder if we will see this tech again...or is it ''outlawed everywhere'' and hurts the user like the Chamelion Net?

    *Telepathic Troubles-Only on Episode three and we see that Telepaths are way too god-like powerful. And they have no balance. A telepath can scan you, play around in your mind, and do anything and your helpless. It makes them way too powerful. And sure telepaths are ''rare''(somewhat) and Earth has lots of anti-telepath laws....but what about every other alien race except the Narn?

    Arc-almost none, except it does set up a thing or two for later.

    Final Score-B, can't go too wrong with a Londo episode . It's mostly a fun, not too serious episode, but it works for me..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post

    *Centari Slaves- So the Centari still use slavery?
    Given that the owner is a non-Centauri, I'd say it's more that legal slavery is a thing in the galaxy. Humans and Minbari pretty clearly don't, and the Narns probably don't based on their history (although I'm sure they'd gladly enslave any Centauri they get their hands on). I can certainly see it being common in the less prosperous worlds in the League, and the heavily caste-based Centauri also makes sense to have it.

    *Things that Don't Make Sense-

    -The C Plot-Ok, so Ivovanva's dad is dying and she wants to call him...several times...right before he dies. So, instead of taking some leave or just ASKING Sinclar to use the Gold Channel, she sneaks around to do it. Garibaldi finds out about ''someone'' using Gold Channel and investigates. And we get a couple of scenes where the two of them spar about it. Eventually Garibaldi creepy listens in and discovers Ivovana is making the calls. Then, he plays the whole dumb game of telling her it was ''a glitch'' and he (wink, wink) ''knows the glitch won't happen again''. So it shows Garibaldi to be ''tough on the outside, but with a soft heart of gold'' and ''Ivovanva breaks the rules''. And ok, they are still strangers at this point....but it still feels forced.

    And really, if Susan had said to Sinclar ''my dad is dying can I phone home'', would he have really said ''no, get back to work!" I kinda think he would have said ''yes'', and we could have dumped the whole C-plot.
    Sinclair would probably have said okay, but Ivanova is an incredibly private person. She doesn't like discussing her personal life at all and her father is an extremely sensitive subject for her. Ivanova is also pretty regs-abiding and may not have wanted to ask her commanding officer to break the regs for a personal request.

    Garibaldi didn't like Ivanova sneaking around behind his back, but understood the reasoning for it. The warning was to make clear they both knew where they stood. I do agree that he should have turned it off once he realized what he was listening to.


    -Londo keeps his secret Purple Files on the Bablyon 5 computer? Odd, you'd think he would jeep them ''off the grid''.

    -And the security program needs Londo's password and voice to open the Purple Files....but then any voice can say ''download them to this crystal''. You'd think it would say ''voice not recognized'' and ''calling security''.
    I suppose they could have had the secret files on a data crystal, but that would kinda mess up the flow of the scene for her to go dig that crystal out as well. It's reasonable enough that he'd keep the files on his secure ambassadorial terminal.

    I see nothing unusual about the system allowing general access once the initial password + voice print are accepted - it would be a pain if Londo were working alongside someone else who he wanted to see the files to have the computer only respond to the one person.


    -You notice the Purple Files are in Centari Script....wonder why the pass code is not also in Centari? Why is it ''English''? Sure it's an Earth computer, but what no....Bablyon translation software?
    Translation convention, the password WAS in Centauri, as was that entire conversation. What, you think Londo and Adira are speaking English when they're talking to each other in private?


    -Sinclar and Londo put on street clothing and go to a club....and are not recognized? People, even more so the nightclub owner does not recognize the commander of the station and the Ambassador of the Centiri republic?
    This was just plain silly, I admit.


    -So there is heavy weapons fire in brown 7, and Galibardi the chief of security is ordered to investigate....and disobeys the order and does not do it? And that is ok?
    He does investigate, he dispatches a team of security guards. The order is investigate, and as head of his department it's at his discretion how he goes about it.

    I also get the impression from my re-watch that Security is much more of a civilian organization than the rest of the officers - Garibaldi is often treated like a cop who is nominally under Sinclair's command for ease of the command structure, rather than as a proper soldier.


    -So they break the rules and laws and have Talia do the mind scan trick? But it's ok because ''this time'' they say it's ok? Tons of crime and death, but only this is important?
    Ostensibly, it's because the release of those files could provoke a war. Particularly since they were getting sold to the Narn, who would have loved to use them to blackmail the Centauri or just use them to destabilize the Centauri government.

    I don't think it was very well done though. Talia especially breaks the Psi Corps regs a bit too easily here given how loyal she is, and it's fairly out of character. I wish they'd done it differently, like having a Psi Corps obligation to report criminal surface thoughts and then arranging Sinclair to just "wander" by and ask G'Kar about a missing Centauri woman, which would allow Talia to pick up on the thought.



    *Telepathic Troubles-Only on Episode three and we see that Telepaths are way too god-like powerful. And they have no balance. A telepath can scan you, play around in your mind, and do anything and your helpless. It makes them way too powerful. And sure telepaths are ''rare''(somewhat) and Earth has lots of anti-telepath laws....but what about every other alien race except the Narn?
    Much of the point of why telepaths are so feared. Talia says at one point they're 1 in 1000 of humans, but that's always seemed high to me since that's still millions of telepaths. If they're all in Psi Corps, that would basically mean Psi Corps having entire cities of just telepaths, and we never get an indication that they're of that size.

    The other alien races can be assumed to have their own laws, and Babylon 5 despite it's multi-cultural nature is still run by Earth law. I don't think the telepaths from other races really gets discussed within the show - Conservation of Detail, perhaps.


    Edit:

    On the various weapons and devices, given that the customs check is one schmuck I'm surprised that everybody isn't packing portable rocket launchers.
    Last edited by Rodin; 2017-04-24 at 05:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Much of the point of why telepaths are so feared. Talia says at one point they're 1 in 1000 of humans, but that's always seemed high to me since that's still millions of telepaths. If they're all in Psi Corps, that would basically mean Psi Corps having entire cities of just telepaths, and we never get an indication that they're of that size.
    They aren't though. Not all Teeps join the Corps. Some choose (or are given) medication and suppression. It's also unknown what the distribution is. It's possible the majority are only P1s or 2s and almost indistinguishable from mundanes practically. Then there's the fact we know a lot of Teeps slip through the cracks and remain undetected despite even rising to a high social profile. Combined with the fact that the Corps basically acts as a sovereign nation anyway I don't think the number is necessarily completely outrageous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legato Endless View Post
    They aren't though. Not all Teeps join the Corps. Some choose (or are given) medication and suppression. It's also unknown what the distribution is. It's possible the majority are only P1s or 2s and almost indistinguishable from mundanes practically. Then there's the fact we know a lot of Teeps slip through the cracks and remain undetected despite even rising to a high social profile. Combined with the fact that the Corps basically acts as a sovereign nation anyway I don't think the number is necessarily completely outrageous.
    It was explicitly said in Mind War that one in 10,000 telepaths is telekinetic. In addition the Psi Corps is, while a powerful organization, not very large, they send only a couple operatives for any particular mission rather than a full squad or more. From that we can posit that stronger abilities are significantly rarer and that the amount of P12s is relatively small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Much of the point of why telepaths are so feared. Talia says at one point they're 1 in 1000 of humans, but that's always seemed high to me since that's still millions of telepaths. If they're all in Psi Corps, that would basically mean Psi Corps having entire cities of just telepaths, and we never get an indication that they're of that size.
    Quote Originally Posted by Legato Endless View Post
    They aren't though. Not all Teeps join the Corps. Some choose (or are given) medication and suppression. It's also unknown what the distribution is. It's possible the majority are only P1s or 2s and almost indistinguishable from mundanes practically. Then there's the fact we know a lot of Teeps slip through the cracks and remain undetected despite even rising to a high social profile. Combined with the fact that the Corps basically acts as a sovereign nation anyway I don't think the number is necessarily completely outrageous.
    In "The Nautilus Coil", which was a short story in The Official Babylon 5 Magazine (and which which JMS said all stories were canon):

    Spoiler: Spoiler for Nautilus Coil
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    The 1 in 1000 number is confirmed there. So there are actually a LOT of human telepaths. But the vast majority are P1s and P2s. People who can detect a scan and block a casual scan, and that's about it.

    After all,

    Spoiler: Spoiler for later in series
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    Even Ivanova is a baseline P1, although she thinks she doesn;t rank even that high.



    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    It was explicitly said in Mind War that one in 10,000 telepaths is telekinetic. In addition the Psi Corps is, while a powerful organization, not very large, they send only a couple operatives for any particular mission rather than a full squad or more. From that we can posit that stronger abilities are significantly rarer and that the amount of P12s is relatively small.


    Yes and no. The Corp itself is very large, since technically every registered telepath is a member (Talia herself is a member). However, PsyCops (the enforcers) are relatively small, since you have to be P11-P12 to be a PsyCop.
    My current “Fantasy Fantasy” team (5 members allowed, only 1 from a world, series must be active): Jon Snow, Percy Jackson, Harry Dresden, Minmax, Belkar Bitterleaf. Back to 1/5ths Dinosaur mounted , dang it!

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    (And yes, I know I'm playing the long odds on some of these!)

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post



    I also get the impression from my re-watch that Security is much more of a civilian organization than the rest of the officers - Garibaldi is often treated like a cop who is nominally under Sinclair's command for ease of the command structure, rather than as a proper soldier.
    I'd say Garbaldi is a military cop, not a civilian one. He is a member of Earthforce, also doubles as doing the job of a military troop commaner for example when the station is attacked (way outside the job of a cop) and can fly a Starfury as part of his duties (like saying a cop would fly a F-22 in combat every other week).

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    I know this is ahead of schedule, but im on Se 2 Ep 16, and i think Vir is my new favorite character.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
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    Vir is about the only voice of sanity in the otherwise insane Centauri republic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    I know this is ahead of schedule, but im on Se 2 Ep 16, and i think Vir is my new favorite character.
    I immediately think I know which moment inspired this.

    *checks episode*

    Yes. Yes indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    I immediately think I know which moment inspired this.

    *checks episode*

    Yes. Yes indeed.
    *Vir waves* Love this guy
    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    *checks episode*

    Yes. Yes indeed.
    Let me guess:

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    "I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this. Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?"

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    One of the great scenes in this show!
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I don't think so? The Gathering was released in 1993 while the series proper started in 1994, so unless they filmed the pilot and then sat on it for years without releasing it, that doesn't work.
    Huh. Unless they used the movie as an industry pilot (ie to show the execs what this new series is going to be) and only aired it once they were ready to launch the series proper. Or maybe I'm just misremembering and rationalizing. Ah well, maybe I'll have some time this weekend to look into it further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    It is true that all plots are a bit different then the actual show, but still things that don't make sense, don't make sense just stand alone. It's also interesting to note JMS ( J. Michael Straczynski) created/wrote much of it. So you'd think he would have known ''what is what'', but them maybe he just changed his mind...after all it will only happen like 100 more times during the show...
    Thing is, when he changes his mind, he often goes for something that's the opposite of what he had before:
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    I'll have to dig later for a citation, but I believe he's stated that, had she been on the series proper, Takashima would have been in on the whole conspiracy within EarthGov. Instead, we get Ivanova, who is staunchly opposed. When Lyta is replaced by Talia, we go from a ordinary True Believer that the Vorlons make into a super-weapon to an unwilling and distrustful super-weapon that the Vorlons find and intend to bend to their will using reflection, surprise, and terror. When Ivanova turns down running B5 in favor of a shakedown assignment, her replacement, Lochley, was a Clarke loyalist in the war.

    So I figure retconning the Vorlons to be non-corporeal might have been something that got changed; then again, even in the Gathering Kosh literally radiates light from inside his suit so who knows?
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    Infection

    This episode is not so bad, at least not as much as everyone says. It does feel like a rushed filler episode and worse a Star Trek plot, but it contains a ton of foreshadowing.

    Foreshadowing:

    *The first mention of ''growing pro-Earth anti-alien'' thinking on Earth....

    *The Minbari and Vorlons have organic technology and ''other older races''

    *Earth, is very interested in getting organic technology.

    *Companies like ''Interplanetary Expeditions'' fund folks to go explore other worlds looking for things of interest and value.

    *Dr. Franklin has a bit of an obsessive compulsive bug: one look at the organic tech and he studies it for like a day without a break as he is so fascinated by it.

    *And the big one....the organic tech comes from a race that invaded by others and wiped out ''1,000 years ago''. A thousand years, hummm...you don't say....

    Things that don't make Sense

    *So, er, did Drake really think he could just kill custom guy and no one would notice? First it would just be unbelievable that the customs area did not have a couple cameras. Really, wonder where the hovering drone cameras went?

    *The investigation into custom guys death is lazy. Like would they not notice the ''time of death'' and the ''at this time he was checking ship # 3454554''.

    *In unbelievable classic TV fashion Drake notices ''something is effecting him'' and he just..um...hides it?

    Poor Dr. Franklin Out of all the main characters he gets shortchanged. As Babylon 5 is a political action drama on a cosmic scale, a simple doctor really does get left behind. When anything of important happens, even more so something in the arc, no one says ''what's up doc?'' Sure you need a doc when occasionally someone is hurt or there is an alien virus or something, but the rest of the time they are just in the way. Just notice how many times they ''forget'' to put him in each show. And a lot of the time when you see Dr. Franklin he just does something like ''hey guys I heard a new joke'' for like a minute.

    The Nice Touch 1 We get the great bit about ''Minbari war syndrome '' and the ''death wish'', as Garibaldi notes that Sinclar is ''throwing himself into danger a lot''.

    The Nice Touch 2 We get Sinclar's ISN interview where he talks about humans need to explore space. It is, of course the writer JMS, saying this to the audience...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    *So, er, did Drake really think he could just kill custom guy and no one would notice? First it would just be unbelievable that the customs area did not have a couple cameras. Really, wonder where the hovering drone cameras went?
    I choose to believe that Babylon 5 upgraded their logistics between season 1 and 2. Which is why these stupid monster of the week episodes eventually stop happening. Mostly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legato Endless View Post
    I choose to believe that Babylon 5 upgraded their logistics between season 1 and 2. Which is why these stupid monster of the week episodes eventually stop happening. Mostly.
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    There was that episode with Marcus and Dr. Franklin investigating a set of parasitic aliens. That one was actually fantastic and is one of my favorite filler episodes of the entire show.


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    The Parliament of Dreams

    Babylon 5 hosts a festival demonstrating the dominant religious beliefs of each culture. This episode has lots of interesting bits in it, but doesn't really end up going anywhere. It is almost a G'kar episode, but his story is not the focus of the show. The Centauri religion consists of a raucous, drunken feast and the Minbari religious demonstration is extremely ritualized and based on a story from their history. It's a little strange that we didn't see a Narn ceremony. Was it held off-camera, or did the Narn's not present one? We could have gotten a lot of ''G'Quan foreshadowing''....and Great Maker, do I mean foreshadowing literary.

    Enter Linear After being in the credits for the whole show so far, he finally makes it on to the station. He confirms that Delenn is a member of the Grey Council. Delenn orders him not to mention it to anyone on the station.

    The G'kar Assassination Plot is really mostly played for laughs. However, we do learn some tidbits about G'Kar: he has a "taste" for Earth women; he will not give his enemy the satisfaction of crying out with pain. G'Kar was once on the ruling council of the Narn. Is he still?

    Blink and you miss it During the rebirth ceremony you can see G'kar swapping his red fruit for Ivanova's in the top corner of the screen.....you know in case the assassin poisoned it :)

    Catherine Sakai well she is very much Sinclair's ''Anna'', and the character is ok. It's nice to have Sinclair to have a normal life.

    Things that don't make Sense:

    The dead guy in G'Kar's room sure just gets over looked.

    G'Kar in this one episode is all goofy and funny, oddly not like the Proud Warrior G'Kar in just about every other episode. Though, you could say he is still ''half old goofy guy'' and not quite a ''warrior '' yet....but it sort of does not fit.

    Wonder why G'Kar never asks for help from Station Security? It is what a ''goofy ambassador'' would do. And really any public official will all ways have a couple of ''crazy'' people try something, so him saying to Security ''oh a guy might be up to something'' would be sort of normal.

    How does Tu'Pari get all of his stuff onto the station? Smuggling?

    Why do G'Kar and Na'Toth both speak of "Earth hours"? They are speaking ''Narn'' to each other, right? So in Narn they would say ''77 hours'', in Narn (so like q'op wrutyp ze'frop). Yet when the magic fairies broadcast the show, they translate all the Narn into English and they translate q'op wrutyp ze'frop, that is 77 hours time, into 77 Earth Hours? Sure is very odd....

    N'Grath is still running the underworld of B5...and everything is still ''so hard'' and ''so expensive''.

    Bit odd the alien races all have just one easy to show world/galaxy wide religion, eh?

    The Capstone of the ''dominant religion'' of Earth is so Hollywood politically correct. You can just ''feel'' every viewer on the edge of their seat waiting for this so they can rant off a letter to the ''network'' if their religion was not the one picked. So, JMS takes the way safe route and features ''all of them''. Starting with his own: atheist. And as the show fades out, there has to be another...oh...30 or more people in the line. Makes one wonder if after #10 or so, are they really ''dominant religions''? Wonder if Scientology was in the line? Or The Force?

    And..really...does B5 just happen to have at least one human of each religion on the station at all times? Or did Sinclar send a shuttle to Earth to find them all and pick them up? Either way sure sounds improbable or even impossible....

    Final Score Eh, C, nothing really happens....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post

    Why do G'Kar and Na'Toth both speak of "Earth hours"? They are speaking ''Narn'' to each other, right? So in Narn they would say ''77 hours'', in Narn (so like q'op wrutyp ze'frop). Yet when the magic fairies broadcast the show, they translate all the Narn into English and they translate q'op wrutyp ze'frop, that is 77 hours time, into 77 Earth Hours? Sure is very odd....
    A possible answer - they discuss in Earth hours because Babylon 5 runs on Earth hours, being a human station crewed by humans. As a space station they get to set their own clock, and would naturally then set it according to what the crew are used to. It doesn't even have to be tied to where they are in relation to the sun of the planet they're orbiting since most of the station doesn't have windows anyway.

    So when G'Kar and Na'Toth talk Earth hours, they're specifically disambiguating from Narn Hours to avoid confusion in the conversation. Since all the local clocks will run on Earth hours, it'd be easier to track rather than be constantly converting to a time system that isn't relevant to your current location.

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    Or, the translation says "77 hours" because "27.3 greedleflops" would mean precisely nothing to the viewer.

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    Default Mind War, The War Prayer, And The Sky Full Of Stars

    This week, we'll be discussing:
    • Mind War
    • The War Prayer
    • And The Sky Full Of Stars


    As per the thread guidelines, no spoiler tags needed for things from these episodes, but please use spoiler tags for anything related to later episodes. (We may drop this rule next week if it becomes clear that no one following the thread is new to the series, but I'd like to keep it newbie-friendly for now.)

    Is anyone watching this for the first time and appreciating the spoiler guidelines? If not, I may drop the spoiler guidelines next week, so please speak up if there are people who are new to the series following this or you otherwise have an opinion on spoilers.

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