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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Well, as far as season 1 goes, we have our first point where the plot has to change to suit Michael O'Hare's departure. I was never really too sure why he had to go--I don't think he turned in *that* bad a performance, but the studio suits apparently disagreed? It's pretty clear that Catherine Sakai was being set up as the wife who would go to Z'Ha'Dum, so the actress playing her got short shrift as well.
    My understanding was that O'Hare needed treatment for a mental condition, and he struggled with it through the first season but really needed it after that. I think JMS offered at one point to delay things until he got the treatment, but O'Hare didn't want them to lose momentum. So my understanding is that O'Hare left the show to get that treatment.

    As for the episodes, we see the alien healing machine that will be so important near the end of Season 4 making its appearance. B5 did that better than any other series, IMHO--in Star Trek a device like that would be introduced for one episode and then promptly forgotten about forever, whereas in B5 it turns up again, and in such a heart-breaking way!
    It was introduced earlier in the season as a minor plot point, used to save Garibaldi, and then as you say would have been forgotten on most shows but was brought back for that plot point in Season 4. JMS tended to remember what he had done before and so was able to use that when he needed to.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Well, as far as season 1 goes, we have our first point where the plot has to change to suit Michael O'Hare's departure. I was never really too sure why he had to go--I don't think he turned in *that* bad a performance, but the studio suits apparently disagreed? It's pretty clear that Catherine Sakai was being set up as the wife who would go to Z'Ha'Dum, so the actress playing her got short shrift as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    My understanding was that O'Hare needed treatment for a mental condition, and he struggled with it through the first season but really needed it after that. I think JMS offered at one point to delay things until he got the treatment, but O'Hare didn't want them to lose momentum. So my understanding is that O'Hare left the show to get that treatment.
    What wasn't really well known until after his death was that O'Hare suffered from paranoia and delusions. He declined a great deal during season one, and realized himself that he wouldn't be able to go on for season 2.

    While he didn't want it known while he was alive, he did ask JMS to tell people the truth after he passed (which he did in 2012 from unrelated causes). You can see a clip of JMS talking about it here. Again, note that this is something he specifically asked JMS to do after he died.
    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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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    What wasn't really well known until after his death was that O'Hare suffered from paranoia and delusions. He declined a great deal during season one, and realized himself that he wouldn't be able to go on for season 2.
    That explains why O'Hare didn't appear in *anything* (apart from a couple of spots in Law and Order) after his Babylon 5 stint, then...I never actually spotted that detail of his career before.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    The Quality of Mercy

    A psychopathic murderer is sentenced to "death" on B5 and escapes.

    *The Death of Personality-This is the first time we see it. I wonder if it's ''ok'' to kill a personality and leave the person ''alive'', but not ''them'' anymore. It almost sounds like a fate worse then death. And it sure would be hard on the families: There loved one ''body'' would be alive but their ''family member'' would be dead and gone.

    *The Forgotten Characters-This episode suddenly brings back Talia and Dr. Franklin, who have been missing for lots and lots of time.

    *Londo's Tentacles- I think this is the only time in the whole show we see the Centari tentacles, even the times when we see Londo in bed with a woman.

    *Weird Technology-The Healing Machine (well, the punishment machine). B5 generally likes to stick to ''all most 20th century'' type tech. We only rarely see ''advanced'' human technology, or alien tech. Things like the healing machine ''break'' the drama of the show. With a push of a button they can heal anything. So of course they decide to ''um, not use it for no reason''...well, except when they ''need'' to use it.


    Things that don't make Sense

    *Mind wipes are us-So can ''any'' telepath do a mindwipe? Talia is a low level commercial telepath and everyone is like ''mindwipe away''. You'd think a mindwhipe would need a special, trained telepath.

    *Evil Boss-Janice says she must meet a quota or her boss will dock her pay....that sounds very harsh. Future Earth does not sound so nice. How can this sort of thing be legal?

    *Londo's Tentacles, part 2- So how does Londo direct his tentacles around? It can't be just by sight, as he can't see under the table. And it can't be by touch as others would feel that. And they seem to be a ''big secret'', but how could they be? It's not like every Centari in the galaxy can keep their clothing on all the time. And, obviously, any Centari ''mattress dancing'' would reveal them.

    Final--B, The Mueller plot was done very nicely, and he sure is creepy. The plot involving Laura Rosen was more so-so. The story of Laura Rosen's stim addiction nicely set the stage for Franklin's own problems later in the series - too bad he didn't take that story more to heart. The third plot involving Londo and Lennier was pretty funny, since the two characters really couldn't be more opposite. They both get some excellent lines while playing things completely straight. We also get a softer look at Londo, who just wants to drink and gamble on someone else's dime - too bad for him that he's on a path for much more serious issues. The only real detraction to this plot is that it seemed too much the humor relief for the seriousness of the other plotlines, which was sometimes jarring.

  5. - Top - End - #245
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    The Quality of Mercy

    *The Death of Personality-This is the first time we see it. I wonder if it's ''ok'' to kill a personality and leave the person ''alive'', but not ''them'' anymore. It almost sounds like a fate worse then death. And it sure would be hard on the families: There loved one ''body'' would be alive but their ''family member'' would be dead and gone.
    "The Death of Personality" isn't a mandatory sentence, but is one of the options they can use. It's made clear in the episode that they don't have any other option: Earth won't take him back to incarcerate him there, B5 can't incarcerate him for life, and the actual death penalty is illegal. I presume that in cases where there would be significant harm to the family just from this approach that they'd choose some other punishment.

    *Weird Technology-The Healing Machine (well, the punishment machine). B5 generally likes to stick to ''all most 20th century'' type tech. We only rarely see ''advanced'' human technology, or alien tech. Things like the healing machine ''break'' the drama of the show. With a push of a button they can heal anything. So of course they decide to ''um, not use it for no reason''...well, except when they ''need'' to use it.
    Um, they're quite clear on why they don't use it: in order to heal, it has to take the life energy from someone else, and the original intent was that it kept doing that until the person was dead (it was a form of capital punishment, after all). No one knows what the long-term effects of that are on a person using it. Given what happened to Sheridan at the end of the series, at least a reduced lifespan is probably reasonable. Thus, it only gets used in the future in desperate circumstances by people fully willing to take the risk. And I think Franklin talks about studying it to see what those impacts might be before using it more regularly.

    *Mind wipes are us-So can ''any'' telepath do a mindwipe? Talia is a low level commercial telepath and everyone is like ''mindwipe away''. You'd think a mindwhipe would need a special, trained telepath.
    I actually believe they use a machine for that. It is explicitly stated in the episode that they need her to verify that the mind wipe took, not to actually perform the wipe.

    *Evil Boss-Janice says she must meet a quota or her boss will dock her pay....that sounds very harsh. Future Earth does not sound so nice. How can this sort of thing be legal?
    It's potentially harsh, but it's not even illegal today, so why would it be illegal in the future? She might get a bonus if she exceeds her quota, too. And B5 is not Star Trek; Future Earth is not, in fact, supposed to be nice.
    Last edited by Daimbert; 2017-06-05 at 05:57 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Um, they're quite clear on why they don't use it: in order to heal, it has to take the life energy from someone else, and the original intent was that it kept doing that until the person was dead (it was a form of capital punishment, after all). No one knows what the long-term effects of that are on a person using it. Given what happened to Sheridan at the end of the series, at least a reduced lifespan is probably reasonable. Thus, it only gets used in the future in desperate circumstances by people fully willing to take the risk. And I think Franklin talks about studying it to see what those impacts might be before using it more regularly.
    Actually, what happened to Sheridan is a result

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    of his death at Zha'hadum. Lorien even says that what he did to Sheridan then and again in Falling To Apotheosis will only last 20 years.


    Not saying that there aren't negative side effects, but Sheridan isn't a good case study.
    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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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    BlackDragon

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    In The Quality of Mercy, comes up probably the most hilarious of accidental theme pairing of Babylon 5:

    Please note that Min'bari's reputed honesty is only relevant on episode where Londo's Penis-tentacles are a plot point.

    This episode is obvious, but next season's There All the Honor Lies, Londo storming on Sheridan to complain about a doll made in his image lacking his sexual attributes lead to his revealing a key plot point about Minbari's honesty that leads to the episode's resolution.

    So yes. Minbari Honesty is intrinsicly linked to Londo's penises.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Jallorn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    In The Quality of Mercy, comes up probably the most hilarious of accidental theme pairing of Babylon 5:

    Please note that Min'bari's reputed honesty is only relevant on episode where Londo's Penis-tentacles are a plot point.

    This episode is obvious, but next season's There All the Honor Lies, Londo storming on Sheridan to complain about a doll made in his image lacking his sexual attributes lead to his revealing a key plot point about Minbari's honesty that leads to the episode's resolution.

    So yes. Minbari Honesty is intrinsicly linked to Londo's penises.
    It also comes up in the episode where Dellen is going to meet with Neroon.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    It also comes up in the episode where Dellen is going to meet with Neroon.
    .... You do realize that Londo's penises are also referenced in that episode?

    Or you were talking about those already, and Minbari Honesty doesnt come up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    .... You do realize that Londo's penises are also referenced in that episode?

    Or you were talking about those already, and Minbari Honesty doesnt come up?
    I don't remember what else is in that episode off the top of my head other than the plot on the Minbari ship. I was just tossing out that that's an episode where Minbari honesty comes up when Lennier lies to Dellen.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    I don't remember what else is in that episode off the top of my head other than the plot on the Minbari ship. I was just tossing out that that's an episode where Minbari honesty comes up when Lennier lies to Dellen.
    The episode was "Rumors, Bargains and Lies"

    Two plots. One was with the Minbari, yhea. But the other was with Sheridan trying to convince the league of Nonaligned Worlds to sign up to White Star patrols.

    He asked Londo to say there was "nothing" in sector XYZ. That nothing happened. And when the LNA representative challeged him, he says "Because the Makers gave us Great Big Eyes, and Great Big Sensors, and Great Big..." (He then grabs his sides, which is where his penises are)

    I am telling you. Its one of JMS's greatest literacy trope: combining Minbari Honesty with Londo's penises

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Chrysalis

    The Earth Alliance president is killed, while conflict erupts between the Centauri and the Narn and Delenn makes a major decision. The episode's title underlines that change is coming up for the series. Obviously, Delenn is in a "chrysalis". However, we can see the seeds of change (if I mix my metaphors) within almost all of the events in the episode.

    G'kar's girls-Well we get see G'kar still likes human women.


    Things that don't make Sense

    *Galaxy Standard Time-So sure on Earth uses the old calendar with holidays and dates and all. But the rest of the human galaxy also uses Earth standard time? So is like B5's day and night in sync with Earth and all other human places? And sure B5 is all artificial, but what about planets? If your on a planet with say a 200 day long year, do you keep track of the planet year and the Earth year?

    *Where is Garibaldi-So he says ''ultra'' and then is gone. And one one can find him. Well, can't they trace his last transmission spot?

    *So why does ''the conspiracy'' come through B5 anyway?

    Final-B, it's a good episode, and a nice wham episode and does tie together lots of he first season threads...but if feels a bit rushed. It would have been nice to have a couple more episodes of set up. Like we see 2nd in command Jack a time or two, but only as a character that says a word or two. It would of been nice for him to be featured a bit more in one of the Garibaldi episodes. The same way G'kar comes back from nowhere after not being around. And it would have been nice to see more of Morden.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    *Galaxy Standard Time-So sure on Earth uses the old calendar with holidays and dates and all. But the rest of the human galaxy also uses Earth standard time? So is like B5's day and night in sync with Earth and all other human places? And sure B5 is all artificial, but what about planets? If your on a planet with say a 200 day long year, do you keep track of the planet year and the Earth year?
    Well.. yhea. I mean, day/night cycle might vary from one planet to the next. But what is the point of having an independent "year"? The only use those would have would be about coordinating the planting and harvesting of crops. Beside that, keeping the "T-year" (as named in Honorverse) is a good way to keep a relatively universal way of measuring long time periods. A majority is still gained after 18 T-year

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    *So why does ''the conspiracy'' come through B5 anyway?
    Untraceability? Its like moving a cargo from the UK to France via America.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    Actually, what happened to Sheridan is a result

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    of his death at Zha'hadum. Lorien even says that what he did to Sheridan then and again in Falling To Apotheosis will only last 20 years.


    Not saying that there aren't negative side effects, but Sheridan isn't a good case study.
    What I meant was:

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    Lorien saves Sheridan by essentially restoring some of his lost life force, which he says might last him 20 years, depending on what he does. The machine looks an awful lot like it takes the life force from one person and gives it to another to heal them. Given the idea that we have a finite amount of life force and that losing it can shorten our life span -- because we die when we run out -- it's reasonable to think that using the machine to transfer your life force to another person will shorten your natural life span.
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    BlackDragon

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    I kind of agree. Otherwise, we could use the machine as much as we want, and we could have people volunteering to donate small (resplenishable) portions of their life force, just like one would donate a small (replenishable) amount of blood today.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I kind of agree. Otherwise, we could use the machine as much as we want, and we could have people volunteering to donate small (resplenishable) portions of their life force, just like one would donate a small (replenishable) amount of blood today.
    It's possible the machine could be used that way, but they don't know how it works and its original design was for capital punishment, so long term effects like a shortened life span weren't a consideration.
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    What I meant was:

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    Lorien saves Sheridan by essentially restoring some of his lost life force, which he says might last him 20 years, depending on what he does. The machine looks an awful lot like it takes the life force from one person and gives it to another to heal them. Given the idea that we have a finite amount of life force and that losing it can shorten our life span -- because we die when we run out -- it's reasonable to think that using the machine to transfer your life force to another person will shorten your natural life span.
    Ahh, OK, I see where you are going. Good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I kind of agree. Otherwise, we could use the machine as much as we want, and we could have people volunteering to donate small (resplenishable) portions of their life force, just like one would donate a small (replenishable) amount of blood today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    It's possible the machine could be used that way, but they don't know how it works and its original design was for capital punishment, so long term effects like a shortened life span weren't a consideration.
    Yeah, the truth is that we don't know enough about the species that developed it. Apparently for them it was all or nothing, so it's one of those questions that has to remain unanswered. Franklin did live longer than Sheridan based on a post JMS made.

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    {original post had no questions}

    "By the way, I note that SiL clearly does refer to 'events that had
    not yet happened when SiL was filmed '. For example, there's Lennier's
    death. (Remember that Lennier is toasted as one of the 'absent friends,
    in memory still bright'.) Franklin being the head of Xenobiology back
    on earth. Garibaldi being head of Edgar's Industries (although this is
    implicit in 'Rising Stars')."

    Exactly so. Franklin's situation even predates any thought at
    all about Crusade as a series.

    Garibaldi's death (a much quieter passing than he would have
    imagined waiting for him), Franklin's final fate on a distant,
    unexplored planet, Delenn's final journey (a quest involving Valen,
    though no one else around her believes it), Lennier's sacrifice...it's
    all mapped out, on the theory that whether or not it ever gets used,
    *I* had to know it.

    All except Lennier take place after 2281 (Sheridan's death).
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    So over all, Season 1 is bad. I've re-watched B5 a couple of times, and all ways skip season 1.

    The show has a great premise of a ''novel'' and space politics and a much closer to 20th century feel, but then they take all that and toss it out the window. So we get a very standard sci-fi show. And this was even more high lighted as B5 was compared to Star Trek, and even more Star Trek Deep Space Nine was literally on back to back with the show.

    We get like three arc episodes, three set up episodes, and a ton of fluff.

    And it's weird as everyone with the show, including JMS, have said endless times that B5 is not a normal show. Yet, the first season is all most all just a normal show. It's just so odd, like they did not watch the show.

    I guess it's all JMS's fault, after all he was in charge and working like 20 hours a day on the show. I've listened to a couple of his commentaries and know he was obsessed with keeping secrets from everyone. So, I guess when you keep secrets and all the show and arc information to yourself, hire random writers and tell them it's a show about a space station in space, let them write a random episode and unbelievably don't so much as glance at the episode you get season 1 of B5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    So over all, Season 1 is bad. I've re-watched B5 a couple of times, and all ways skip season 1.

    The show has a great premise of a ''novel'' and space politics and a much closer to 20th century feel, but then they take all that and toss it out the window. So we get a very standard sci-fi show. And this was even more high lighted as B5 was compared to Star Trek, and even more Star Trek Deep Space Nine was literally on back to back with the show.

    We get like three arc episodes, three set up episodes, and a ton of fluff.

    And it's weird as everyone with the show, including JMS, have said endless times that B5 is not a normal show. Yet, the first season is all most all just a normal show. It's just so odd, like they did not watch the show.

    I guess it's all JMS's fault, after all he was in charge and working like 20 hours a day on the show. I've listened to a couple of his commentaries and know he was obsessed with keeping secrets from everyone. So, I guess when you keep secrets and all the show and arc information to yourself, hire random writers and tell them it's a show about a space station in space, let them write a random episode and unbelievably don't so much as glance at the episode you get season 1 of B5.
    I strongly disagree.

    Season 1 is worldbuilding and setup. Londo's upcoming downfall would have no real bite if we hadnt had a season of his happy/sad impotence. G'Kar's transformation from a villain to a hero would also havent had the same impact without Season 1 of his schemings.

    Season 1 sets the world the real story will exist in. Too often in TV shows, the catalyst for the entire story happens during the first episode; so we hardly get a chance to experience the world before it was thrown into chaos.

    Well, JMS was courageous enough to have a full season of it first. And then we start playing the real game.

    What has been set up, beside the Shadows?

    - Psi Corps
    - the Great Machine
    - Babylon 4
    - Warrior Caste/Religious Caste emnity
    - Human politics/ambition

    Theres probably more, but I think i made my point.

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I strongly disagree.

    Season 1 is worldbuilding and setup..
    I see season 1 as a bad example of world building.

    I'm sure JMS had the not so great idea to make a boring first season to ''set up'' everything by Not setting up everything. And that bad idea works as badly as one might think it would.

    Like JMS told the others ''Garibaldi is a space cop'' and ''Londo is a goofy Republican '' and then keeps all the real details secret(he even brags about this in the commentaries: That he wrote down all the secrets and arc stuff and kept it in a binder in his office and on one knew about it...muhhahahah).

    And it makes no sense. JMS had the idea of ''I want to kill a fictional president and make it way cool just like the whole JFK thing''. So...he does this by mentioning the president exists, has him come to the station but we never see him and then has the wham episode where the president dies. And sure, JMS was on the floor crying ''just like when JFK''...but most normal watchers are just like...um, ok so this fictional character we did not know at all died?

    Like if he could have taken a couple minutes to show the president and all, instead of the dumb ''aliens want to kill their kid'', ''alien armor attacks station'' or ''alien boxing'', it would of had a much more impact for the viewers.

    Even better like when the president did visit the station, not only could he have show the fictional popularity of the guy, had him make a JFK speech(''we must live in peace with all our alien friends, not because it is easy, but because it is hard") and had him interact with the main characters. AND on top of that have Morden there too.

    It's really bad as B5 has all this foreshadowing that could have been done....but they don't do it. Unlike most shows, B5, or at least JMS keeping his secrets, knew the details. And could have sprinkled them in. Like sure there is a psi corps episode but it is all ''look at the psi lord pew pew'' and not ''Oh look at the quasi evil, quasi fascist though police group''.

    They could have done all the ''normal year of normal boring life on the station'' AND done the arc stuff in the back ground: where the Main Characters are involved with the Arc every episode...but they don't know it(and neither would the viewers). Like Garibaldi could have learned of the conspiracy like half way through the season and been working on uncovering it, and not doing the ''woops, I tripped and fell into the conspiracy in the last episode''. But not like the Sinclar ''hole in the mind'' where it gets mentioned like twice then utterly forgotten about for the whole season, until the last episode.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    I think you're being a little unfair to JMS here. Don't forget, having an over-arching arc plot in a series simply did not happen in 1994 US TV, and if he'd gone straight in to arc-heavy episodes he would probably have had his series dropped halfway through season 1 and we'd never have seen the rest of it. What he needed to do was produce something similar enough to the other boys in town (Star Trek etc) that he could get over the hump of producing the first series and proving it was popular, *then* start introducing the heavy arc plot in season 2.

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    I didn't see any particular need for more characterization of the president than we got. Simply "he's the president" and "he was suddenly assassinated" were enough to get across the point that something Important had happened that was not just local to the station, with the implication that the main plot would soon start expanding to a broader scale and deal with the consequences and related details of such an event - that the series would no longer be about just one space station, however big a multi-species hub it might be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    So over all, Season 1 is bad. I've re-watched B5 a couple of times, and all ways skip season 1.
    I strongly disagree. I always watch Season 1 when I watch the series -- usually once a year -- and always skip Season 5. Season 1 is my favourite season. Admittedly, a big part of this is that I like Sinclair and can't stand Sheridan. but even though Season 1 has some clunky episodes the characterization is generally done well and it sets up a lot that pays off in the later seasons.

    But not like the Sinclar ''hole in the mind'' where it gets mentioned like twice then utterly forgotten about for the whole season, until the last episode.
    One big issue that I've had with all of your commentary here is that it often seems like you didn't really WATCH the episodes, as, for example, when you talk about things not making sense that the episode ITSELF explains. This is another example:

    Sinclair having a hole in his mind is mentioned in the pilot. Later, Sinclair tells Garibaldi that it's true, and that he doesn't remember a long period during the Battle of the Line, which is where the Minbari suddenly and inexplicably surrendered. Garibaldi says that he'll look into it. Later, Sinclair's missing memory is what drives the episode with the interrogation, and he ends up remembering what happened at the end of it (and denies it when Delenn asks him if he DOES remember anything). Also, at some point Garibaldi reveals that Sinclair wasn't the first choice for Commander of the station, and was pretty far down the list, but the Minbari vetoed every candidate until they got to him, which plays into that distrust and suspicion and mystery around what the Minbari are up to. It's also the driving force behind Ben-Zahn's interrogation, as he was passed over for command and wanted revenge. This also leads to Sinclair being sent to Minbar as an ambassador -- at their request -- which lets him take over the Rangers.

    For a plot point that REALLY pays off later -- when Sinclair goes back to become Valen -- that's MORE than enough importance, wouldn't you say [grin]?

    And most of it plays out that way, with episodes that seem like "fluff" but set up the characterization and plot points to come. The Narn attack from the early episodes sets Londo on his course to ally with the Shadows to take revenge on the Narn and rebuild the power of the Centauri Republic. Adira is used later to stop Londo from redeeming himself. Bringing up that Minbari can lie is important later. Even with the President the attempt to bomb the Cobra bays and the issues with that Earth-First group hint at deeper conspiracies going on. As for Psi-Corps, Talia is the face of the Corps for us -- and is generally a good person -- so you don't need a deep examination of it; hints that there are things more shadowy and less clean about it are all we need at the moment. Season 1 does what it needs to do, and most of what it does pays off later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    I see season 1 as a bad example of world building.

    I'm sure JMS had the not so great idea to make a boring first season to ''set up'' everything by Not setting up everything. And that bad idea works as badly as one might think it would.
    Again. No offense, but you are a self-admitted serial nitpicker. You have a very narrow definition of quality, and you seem to want to criticize works more than enjoy them as is.

    Is Season 1 one of the weakest? Yhea. But Season 1 of good shows often are weak compared to the rest of the series. Actors are still trying to find their footings. The writers themselves still havent succeeded in nailing down what works and what doesnt.

    This was JMS's first effort as Main Writer/Director/Executive Producer. The man did not enjoyed full confidence of the network yet, and it explains why he had to rely on secondary writers + directors that did not necessarily fit Strazynski's style. You can see as the show developped just how much creative control he was left with once he proved his chops. Just compare the original version of "The Gathering" (not directed by JMS) and his re-edit, you can see the impact of a director who gets his style.

    I think the real question you have to ask yourself is: did it added to Babylon 5's quality, or did it subtracted from it? You can make a case that shows like Rangers or Crusade were a net negative contributor to B5 legacy. But Season 1? Season 1 is the bedrock upon which everything sprang forward. I think the latter half of the season experiences a jump in quality that shows exactly what happens when you have a producing team who finally got their footing.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Sinclair having a hole in his mind is mentioned in the pilot. Later, Sinclair tells Garibaldi that it's true, and that he doesn't remember a long period during the Battle of the Line, which is where the Minbari suddenly and inexplicably surrendered. Garibaldi says that he'll look into it. Later, Sinclair's missing memory is what drives the episode with the interrogation, and he ends up remembering what happened at the end of it (and denies it when Delenn asks him if he DOES remember anything). Also, at some point Garibaldi reveals that Sinclair wasn't the first choice for Commander of the station, and was pretty far down the list, but the Minbari vetoed every candidate until they got to him, which plays into that distrust and suspicion and mystery around what the Minbari are up to. It's also the driving force behind Ben-Zahn's interrogation, as he was passed over for command and wanted revenge. This also leads to Sinclair being sent to Minbar as an ambassador -- at their request -- which lets him take over the Rangers.

    For a plot point that REALLY pays off later -- when Sinclair goes back to become Valen -- that's MORE than enough importance, wouldn't you say [grin]?
    Another important thing to point out with the "hole in your mind" plot is that it doesn't get a chance to play out fully, due to O'Hare leaving the show at the end of the season. Delenn making the decision to tell Sinclair is obviously teased and likely wouldn't have happened when she came out, allowing for some additional drama as Sinclair discovered it going through season 2 (and possibly delaying some of the reveals all the way until we revisit events on Babylon 4).

    Instead they have all this foreshadowing that needs to be dealt with, and Sheridan has no reason to learn it. So Lennier info-dumps an entire season's worth of conspiracy in the opening episode of season 2. It's something I didn't really notice previously, but in retrospect it's more obvious - they need to clear the deck of Sinclair's story so they can give Sheridan room to come into his own as a character. It makes little sense for Lennier to reveal the deepest, darkest secret of the Grey Council to this new captain they know nothing about and who is generally hated by the Minbari anyway.

    On a completely different note, one thing I caught about Santiago this time through that I didn't catch previously - Sinclair and Ivanova don't like him. They voted for the other guy. It rather takes away from the JFK comparisons - Santiago wasn't some beloved president for the purpose of making him into a martyr. He was a typical politician that many people didn't like, but he just wasn't stinking evil like his VP was.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I think this episode is the Swan Song of one of Babylon 5's greatest tragedy. Yes, beyond the loss of Sinclair and Talia Winter's actors.

    Its the last episodes of Na'Toth original actress. She refused to come back because of the overly demanding makeup (I think it was affecting her health), and her replacement just wasnt up to the original.

    Thus, we lost Na'Toth after a handful of appearances in Season 2. I think JMS would have kept her around, and it would have been fantastic to see Na'Toth following with G'Kar evolution.

    Edit: just to be certain I am clear. I think the tragedy comes mostly by the fact thst Na'Toth wasnt replaced the same way Sinclair or Talia was.
    Not quite - she comes back for one episode in season 5. I agree though, it is a shame, albeit I really like Ta'Lon as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    On a completely different note, one thing I caught about Santiago this time through that I didn't catch previously - Sinclair and Ivanova don't like him. They voted for the other guy. It rather takes away from the JFK comparisons - Santiago wasn't some beloved president for the purpose of making him into a martyr. He was a typical politician that many people didn't like, but he just wasn't stinking evil like his VP was.
    Actually, I might be misremembering, but I don't think Sinclair says who he's voting for, it's just Ivanova who says she's voting for Marie Crane, saying "I believe a leader should have a strong chin. Santiago has no chin, and his vice president has several. This to me is not a good combination."
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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I think you're being a little unfair to JMS here.
    This is true, as we don't really know what ''the network'' said about things. And I know it was ''hard'' to get the show made as everyone said ''No, sci fi is dumb and just for little kids'' (like ''they'' still do today).

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    I didn't see any particular need for more characterization of the president than we got. Simply "he's the president" and "he was suddenly assassinated" .
    Now if you go by JMS, he wanted the death of the president to be a JFK moment....like a big deal. So...you have to make the president a ''big deal'' for it to be a ''big deal'' when they die....that is just how it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    One big issue that I've had with all of your commentary here is that it often seems like you didn't really WATCH the episodes, as, for example, when you talk about things not making sense that the episode ITSELF explains. This is another example:
    Anytime you somehow see something in an episode that I did not see, feel free to point it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Sinclair having a hole in his mind is mentioned in the pilot.
    Well, the problem is this is a typical TV thing. Start with a mystery and/or something exciting and interesting.....but then have to fill a season worth of episodes. And most writers/creators can't keep the ''something'' going that long...so they take the easy way out: the show forgets about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post

    I think the real question you have to ask yourself is: did it added to Babylon 5's quality, or did it subtracted from it? You can make a case that shows like Rangers or Crusade were a net negative contributor to B5 legacy. But Season 1? Season 1 is the bedrock upon which everything sprang forward. I think the latter half of the season experiences a jump in quality that shows exactly what happens when you have a producing team who finally got their footing.
    Nothing could be as bad as them two shows. Though I guess a lot of it is that seasons 2-4 of B5 are great, some of the best TV ever. So when you see another ''B5 like'' show, you want it to be at least ''half'' that great. But what we got was wacky, pointless generic sci fi with a ''B5'' label on it...ugh.

    Season one of most shows is pretty bad, it's a bit of truth in television.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thufir View Post

    Actually, I might be misremembering, but I don't think Sinclair says who he's voting for, it's just Ivanova who says she's voting for Marie Crane, saying "I believe a leader should have a strong chin. Santiago has no chin, and his vice president has several. This to me is not a good combination."
    Though, sadly, it does make her a woman that ''votes for people she thinks are attractive and does not care about issues''.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Although I am now thinking of other shows who started very strong, but then petered out by not knowing how to evolve from their slow start. The showmakers think they can keep going the same way as they always did, and it turns the show into a petetitive slog.

    Maybe they get to reinvent themselves eventually and find their "long term footing". Like the Walking Dead I suppose. Season 2 was a bit wasted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Although I am now thinking of other shows who started very strong, but then petered out by not knowing how to evolve from their slow start. The showmakers think they can keep going the same way as they always did, and it turns the show into a petetitive slog.
    See: Heroes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Now if you go by JMS, he wanted the death of the president to be a JFK moment....like a big deal. So...you have to make the president a ''big deal'' for it to be a ''big deal'' when they die....that is just how it works.
    I'm not sure he wanted it to be a moment as "Death of a very popular moment" but instead as a moment of "Everyone remembers where they were when they heard." If it was being made today, I'd expect him to use 9/11 as his example, especially since it actually shares far more with that than JFK's assassination in a lot of ways.

    Anytime you somehow see something in an episode that I did not see, feel free to point it out.
    I have. You tend to ignore it, Just like ...

    Well, the problem is this is a typical TV thing. Start with a mystery and/or something exciting and interesting.....but then have to fill a season worth of episodes. And most writers/creators can't keep the ''something'' going that long...so they take the easy way out: the show forgets about it.
    ... you ignored here my long comment on how it ISN'T just forgotten, and drives a lot of the events in Season 1 DESPITE being something that was set up to pay off later rather than in Season 1.

    EDIT: Let me summarize some of them:

    Why is Sinclair commanding the station? Because of the incident on the Line, the Minbari vetoed everyone except him. We find this out because Garibaldi gets asked by Sinclair to help him investigate that lost time at the Battle of the Line.
    Why is Delenn on the station, even though she's a member of the Grey Council? To watch Sinclair, because of what happened on the Line.
    Why do those people kidnap Sinclair? To try to find out what happened to him at the Line that caused the Minbari to suddenly surrender.
    Why does Zayn come to Babylon 5 and investigate them? Jealousy over being passed over for command, which was because the Minbari wanted Sinclair there because of what happened on the Line.
    Why does Sinclair get sent to the Minbari Homeworld as ambassador at the request of the Minbari? Because of what happened on the Line.

    And finding out all of these things and the hints that are dropped in various places colours our view of the Minbari in general and Delenn in particular, given how she seemed from the start to be someone on Sinclair's side and yet it is discovered that she is explicitly working to keep him in the dark about this. Her comment in the pilot of "I would never tell you anything that was not in your interest" takes on a far more sinister tone when you know that she IS keeping something from him ... with hints that if he does find out, things will go badly for him ... at the hands of the Minbari.
    Last edited by Daimbert; 2017-06-08 at 11:55 AM.
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