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Old 10-21-2022, 01:05 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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Default The Babylon 5 Discussion Marathon

I blame you guys for this. When I saw all of B5 on DVD at a library book sale, I had to buy them. I spent $15, and it's going to give me so many headaches. So be grateful.



I've decided that only Star Trek will use a x0th anniversary system. Everything else is fair game. When I finish the first season maybe I'll go to season 2 right away, or maybe I'll do Battlestar Galactica or Farscape for awhile instead.



Stay tuned, I probably won't get around to the first movie until Sunday. Or maybe I'll track down a series bible or something to start with.
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Old 10-21-2022, 02:01 AM
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You have made a fine investment, Nate! Just don't give up -- if you find S1 isn't doing it for you (as many people do), try skipping to late S2. That was my entry point back in the day, and I couldn't "put it down". You can always go back later for what you missed.
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Old 10-21-2022, 12:19 PM
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Ah, the great Sinclair vs Sheridan debate. I remember that one from the '90s.



I'm used to growing pains in my scifi by now. That's why I don't look down on the first two seasons of NextGen as much as some other people. As long as I can tell that the crew behind the scenes has passion for their work, I can forgive a lot. It's when a show is treated like a mere assembly line product that I get miffed. Episodes like Force of Nature spring to mind immediately.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 10-29-2022, 03:30 PM
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I do intend to start the marathon, but I just started a new job and that has to take priority. Please stand by.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 12-03-2022, 06:15 PM
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Okay, here we go. But first, a quick rundown of how this will go.


1. I watch the episode. Duh. While doing so I will take notes.
2. I start the forum entry with a "First Impressions" section derived from my notes.
3. I read the transcript and do the usual "The Episode" section.

4. I read the wiki entry for the episode for the "B5 Wiki" section.

Note: I will NOT move to any other pages on the wiki. If I have to Wiki Walk to understand something, the show is doing something wrong. As I've said before, B5 left me with the impression that I was being held responsible for every word said in every episode if I wanted any chance of understanding what's going on. This rewatch is the show's chance to convince me otherwise.



Now I'll give my memories of how I felt about the characters before I encounter them again.
* Sinclair and Sheridan-Boring. "Chosen One" stories are very easy to mess up, and I recall B5 messing this up. You can't just declare someone to be "the Greatest Captain" ever without proving it. That's why Kirk and Picard worked, the writers weren't afraid to show their faults. It backfired with Janeway and Archer of course, but that's a story for future retrospectives.

* Ivanova-Annoying. A lot like S1 Kira, come to think of it. I don't recall ever liking her.
* Garibaldi-I liked him. He was a great humanizing factor, like applying the McCoy role in a different direction.
* Franklin-Boring. I can blame some of this one on the outdated perspective that you can't portray heroic black people with the slightest fault lest you get complaining from certain very loud factions of the audience. It's sad when TOS wrote black people better than this "modern" show thirty years later. I seem to recall liking M'Benga better than Franklin!
* Delenn-Mishandled. I liked her well enough, but they did too much to humanize her later. And the idea that an alien can't be a romantic lead without human hair is ridiculous.

* Kosh-I hated him. I despise mysterious characters who only exist to be mysterious. I'm looking at you, Future Guy. Garak was written well because the writers always kept the "new mystery introduced"/"old mystery explained" ratio correct. Not Kosh. I don't recall him ever being a character in his own right, just a source of mystery and exposition.

* G'Kar-It's Andreas Katsulas (Tomalak), what's to hate?
* Londo-I recall him being one of my favorite characters. I like characters who know how to work hard or play hard as appropriate.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 12-03-2022, 11:42 PM
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February 22nd, 1993, "The Gathering"

First Impressions:
* They got too ambitious with the CG at times. I promise not to harp on this in the future, we have to remember that this is the '90s, but I had to bring it up once. The station itself looks good, they did a good job maintaining enough distance that the fakeness isn't noticable. But then they zoom in on a turret or floating drone. Ugh. Stuff that could've been skipped or done better with modelwork. There is such a thing as being TOO ambitious, and I think B5 will be guilty of this many times in the future.
* We started WAY too far in medias res. Way way WAY too far. Catchup exposition is the worst kind of exposition. You run into the problem of "if we don't know who these people are, why should we care about them?"
* Now is not the time to mention Babylon 4. Save it for the actual show. In general I don't like backstory that comes across as "stick a pin in this for later". It should be relevant NOW.
* The editing was atrocious. Events seem too disjointed and it didn't feel like there was a through line for characterization. I hope this improves in the future.
* Characters doing things in secret to protect the captain-you can't do that in the pilot. Way too soon for that nonsense.
* A shapeshifter assassin in the pilot? That's "Naked Now"-levels of a bad idea. You have to establish characters before subverting them like this. It took me awhile to realize it WAS a shapeshifter because I had no basis to say "this character would never do this."
* That being said, the performances were good, they just tried to focus on everyone at once and you can't do that at the same time that you're introducing them.

The Episode

Yeah, about that. Any "script" that I see online is just a rip of the subtitle track. I'm not going through that. A little help here?
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2022, 02:38 AM
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Before I start the B5 wiki coverage, I'd like to add something about Takashima. She never felt like a first officer. This is a criticism against the writing and directing, not her performance. She seemed to be more in the Sulu category to me.



B5 Wiki


* I don't recall a proper explanation of why the humans are running the station when they aren't really one of the four great powers. Is this supposed to be a least-bad compromise?
* Carolyn served an important role, but I can't help but feel that she stole screentime away from the other EarthCorps officers. At least in "The Cage" the confidant was a major character.
* We don't get a real explanation on how B5 is supposed to be the last, best hope for peace. For a statement that is repeated over and over, a bit more exposition would be nice. At least Deep Space Nine's importance was slowly built up over time.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2022, 12:16 AM
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No comment?
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 01-23-2023, 05:14 PM
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I've only seen bits of episodes of this show. It seems high quality, aside from the early TV CGI, but not necessarily something I'd enjoy enjoy watching, and I have so little time for TV nowadays.

It's been years since KJ watched it, I'll tell her about this thread though.
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