Babylon 5


Television

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Sovereign Court

MMCJawa wrote:

Right now I am "watching" Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time (i.e. it is playing on netflix while I do research-related work at home).

I was pretty happy to hear a familiar voice last night and releasing that the actor who played G'kar also had a reoccurring role as a Romulan commander.

Ahhhh yes. I knew I knew him from somewhere.

Also. Don't "wathc" TNG. It deserves your undivided attention.


Hama wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Right now I am "watching" Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time (i.e. it is playing on netflix while I do research-related work at home).

I was pretty happy to hear a familiar voice last night and releasing that the actor who played G'kar also had a reoccurring role as a Romulan commander.

Ahhhh yes. I knew I knew him from somewhere.

Also. Don't "wathc" TNG. It deserves your undivided attention.

We know that no matter what, G'Kar or whoever he was playing did it. He was, after all, the one armed man. :P


Hama wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Right now I am "watching" Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time (i.e. it is playing on netflix while I do research-related work at home).

I was pretty happy to hear a familiar voice last night and releasing that the actor who played G'kar also had a reoccurring role as a Romulan commander.

Ahhhh yes. I knew I knew him from somewhere.

Also. Don't "wathc" TNG. It deserves your undivided attention.

Most of the first two seasons certainly didn't :)


MMCJawa wrote:
Hama wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Right now I am "watching" Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time (i.e. it is playing on netflix while I do research-related work at home).

I was pretty happy to hear a familiar voice last night and releasing that the actor who played G'kar also had a reoccurring role as a Romulan commander.

Ahhhh yes. I knew I knew him from somewhere.

Also. Don't "wathc" TNG. It deserves your undivided attention.

Most of the first two seasons certainly didn't :)

come on, Tasha Yar killed by a black sludge monster..It was riveting stuff..

Actually, no. I think there was a positive correlation between the quality of the episode and Rikers beard..i.e. when he grew a beard, the episodes got better.


Black Dougal wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Hama wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Right now I am "watching" Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time (i.e. it is playing on netflix while I do research-related work at home).

I was pretty happy to hear a familiar voice last night and releasing that the actor who played G'kar also had a reoccurring role as a Romulan commander.

Ahhhh yes. I knew I knew him from somewhere.

Also. Don't "wathc" TNG. It deserves your undivided attention.

Most of the first two seasons certainly didn't :)

come on, Tasha Yar killed by a black sludge monster..It was riveting stuff..

Actually, no. I think there was a positive correlation between the quality of the episode and Rikers beard..i.e. when he grew a beard, the episodes got better.

Indeed.


Set wrote:

I liked the variability of the races and technology on the show.

On Star Trek (which I also love and am not dissing at all), it seems like just about anyone the Federation runs into (Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Cardassians, Breen, Jem Hadar, etc.) has the same sort of shields, warp drive, transporters, tractor beams, etc. as the Federation. On Babylon 5, the Humans and Narn ships we see don't even have artificial gravity (the Human ships rotate, and the one Narn ship I remember, everyone was strapped in). The Centauri and Minbari (and presumably Vorlons) do have artificial gravity technology, in one instance to the degree of having a hand held gravity manipulating device!

And yet, as to the 'hard' science, I'm not sure any sci-fi show really fits the harsher definitions. Most of them have aliens, or genetically enhanced people, or faster than light travel, or telepathy, or hand held directed energy weapons, or 'sensors' that can read 'life signs' from space (*my* body doesn't emit anything detectable through the vacuum of space, not even when I've eaten chili!), or lightsabers, or whatever, and I tend not to worry about that sort of thing.

As sci-fi goes, it's maybe a bit 'harder' than one that includes a 'Q Continuum' (and about the same as the one based around 'The Force'), but hardly reality-based.

Upside, it's got characters like Bester. Oh, he's fun.

I believe Star Trek has some reasonable explanations of Tech, such as with Warp Drive, you aren't necessarily going faster than the speed of light, you are warping the universe to give that impression. The ship is staying still, and warping the space around it (or bending your way through the outside of space from point to point...hence why you need a warp field or you fall out of that warping OR you fall into the chaos outside our universe and the laws of physics fall apart...whichever you choose...but star trek normally just has them fall into normal space).

Also, in Star Trek, the races have espionage, infiltration, and other methods where they continually either outright steal, or at time trade (Klingons and Romulans early on) technologies with each other. In some ways the arms race makes it so everyone eventually gets similar technologies. Occasionally when they are not around the usual races they find those who have different technologies that work differently.

However, they also have a standard evolution type idea in most of Star Trek where most races follow the same evolutionary task, both biologically and technologically apparently (hence why warp drive is a signifier of someone being ready to join the federation).

It's a different take on the future than Babylon 5.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:


However, they also have a standard evolution type idea in most of Star Trek where most races follow the same evolutionary task, both biologically and technologically apparently (hence why warp drive is a signifier of someone being ready to join the federation).

Even with a warp drive signature, civilizations were supposed to be monitored for stability and cohesion under ideal circumstances. Humanity, well, they kind of threw that book into the dumpster because hey, 'SPACE is KEWL'.

So much so that generations later they're STILL dealing with the ramifications of their over-eager exploratory gusto.

Babylon 5 Take:
Space is a big, dangerous, scary place. Aside from dying from disease, mass drivers, alien nano-gunk, or a bajillion other things, the general gist was 'You got into space? Okay, good on you. Now don't piss or crap in my Wheaties, and you can pretend to play with the cool kids.' And then we see REPEATEDLY why being less discreet can really cause problems, not just for EarthForce, but the Minbari, the Centauri, the Narn, etc.


^On the other hand,

Babylon 5 Take:
Space isnt so full of anomalies that the anomalies have to be considered the true normal . . . .

Scarab Sages

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Of course, in Star Trek every humanoid sentient species in the galaxy is a descendant of the precursors, who seeded their DNA into the genes of several species throughout the galaxy in order to try to give life to thing long after they were gone.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Added some spoiler tags.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
Of course, in Star Trek every humanoid sentient species in the galaxy is a descendant of the precursors, who seeded their DNA into the genes of several species throughout the galaxy in order to try to give life to thing long after they were gone.

Which was terrible writing, and never mentioned outside of that one episode...

Sovereign Court

Haladir wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Of course, in Star Trek every humanoid sentient species in the galaxy is a descendant of the precursors, who seeded their DNA into the genes of several species throughout the galaxy in order to try to give life to thing long after they were gone.
Which was terrible writing, and never mentioned outside of that one episode...

It does make sense, however.


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On the First Ones:

Spoiler:
Pay careful attention to what Lorien asks Sheridan during his Long Fall. Kosh: Jump! JUMP NOW!

Every question Lorien asks Sheridan is a question asked by the First Ones.

Who are you?

What do you want?

Why are you here?

Do you have anything worth living for?

Do you have anything worth dying for?

Where are you going?

What will you do... when you get there?

Lorien's sad, weary reactions to the Vorlon and Shadow war speak of a parent who has grown long tired of his children's perpetual bickering about who is right regarding the things he's tried to teach them. Each of the First Ones, the Vorlon and Shadows especially, seem to cling to one of Lorien's questions - questions he must have surely asked them when they sprang into being and awareness so long ago.

Think about it. Lorien tells us (and he has no reason to lie, really) that he is the First One. Everything that came after him was smaller, lesser, but still just as important. So the First Ones came to him, and sought him out, and he asked them those questions - but they couldn't see the whole. They took up one question - for the Vorlons, "Who are you?" For the Shadows, "What do you want?" Who knows what the Zogs would ask. Or the Glowing Bells. Or the rest.

Really, though, it took the smaller, younger races to figure out that asking and seeking the answer to only one question is not the way to do it. Delenn says it: "We are the universe, trying to understand itself."

There's no way the First Ones could have ever understood the universe, because they each had only one question. They sought only one answer. When Lorien tells them it's time to go, so they can go explore the universe beyond the Galactic Rim, he needs them all to go together - so that the life forms that get it, who understand that there's more than one question to ask and answer, can do their thing. If even one First Race was left behind, they'd be so focused on answering their question, everything else would suffer in their quest.

As the Universe grew and aged, it broke itself down into smaller and smaller lives, because the questions were so many, and needed so many answers, it couldn't just keep asking the same ones. That's where the First Ones, for all their magical technology and their limitless lives and their planet crackers fell down - they couldn't adapt.

Kosh says he's too old, too set in his ways, but that's only part of it. The Vorlon obsession with the question of identity is just as urgent and driving as the Shadow focus on the question of desire. Listen to the Shadow who asks Lorien "Will you come with us?"

It's scared. Terrified. If they leave, what will the question mean? It's all they know, it's all they are. What will happen if they no longer have it?

That's great sub-plotting, and I wish we had more of it on television today.

Scarab Sages

Hama wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Of course, in Star Trek every humanoid sentient species in the galaxy is a descendant of the precursors, who seeded their DNA into the genes of several species throughout the galaxy in order to try to give life to thing long after they were gone.
Which was terrible writing, and never mentioned outside of that one episode...
It does make sense, however.

It also explains how things like human/vulcan, human/klingon, and bajor/cardassian offspring can happen when they evolved on completly separate planets.


jemstone wrote:

On the First Ones:

** spoiler omitted **...

Spoiler:
That's not clear to me.

Is that a flaw with all the First Ones? I'd gotten the impression that the Vorlons and the Shadows had become so focused while they'd been left behind to mentor the younger races. That they'd lost their way, rather than none of the First Ones ever knowing it.
Do we know that any of them other than the Vorlons & the Shadows were focused on a single question?


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LazarX wrote:
Krensky wrote:

I could have sworn Centauri fighters ignored momentum like that too.

* Shrug

Regardless, the Thunderbolt is a better ride than the Star Fury. And... the things... are better than the Mimbari fighters. Presumably Vorlons had better too, but I don't think they show off anything that small.

The idea of space combat for a Vorlon.

"Rocks Fall, Planet Dies"

See also: "No."


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thejeff wrote:
jemstone wrote:

On the First Ones:

** spoiler omitted **...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:

Lorien says as much. I don't have the precise language on me, but he tells Sheridan that they (the First Ones) came to listen to him, and they went away having missed his point, focused on their questions and searching for their answers.

Basically I took Lorien's turn as Basil Exposition to indicate that the First Ones were like Fairies in Peter Pan - capable of only one question at a time, and terminally focused on it. It was their search for those answers that continually led to their conflicts, especially now that it was just the Vorlons and the Shadows (and a few stragglers "staying out of it").

I mean, I could be wrong, but I'm not the only person I've known to have held this understanding... I could be wrong, absolutely, but I don't think I am.


I would have to say I loved the Vorlons, Kosh especially.

Spoiler:
The scene where Sheridan actually makes him mad. He had NO IDEA. Priceless.


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Until we got our first real look at the Vorlons, the running gag was that...

Spoiler:
Ambassador Kosh is a chicken, I tell you! A GIANT CHICKEN!

You wear a disguise to look like Vorlon guys...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On Kosh:

WE ARE ALL KOSH.


Misroi wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

That doesn't negate my previous spoiler. ;)


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Great. Now i have to get this series on disc.

I just finished Space: Above and Beyond.


jemstone wrote:
thejeff wrote:
jemstone wrote:

On the First Ones:

** spoiler omitted **...

** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

spoiler:

I never got that impression at all. I think the thing with both the Shadows and Vorlons is that they originally were interested in helping the younger races, but disagreed on the methods. At first this was almost certainly took the form of mild disagreement, but as time went on and the first one's hubris increased, the debate over methodology became more important than the races they were actually trying to help

Dark Archive

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"What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?"


MMCJawa wrote:
jemstone wrote:
thejeff wrote:
jemstone wrote:

On the First Ones:

** spoiler omitted **...

** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

That's pretty much what I thought and mostly what I've seen in commentary elsewhere.


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thejeff wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
jemstone wrote:
thejeff wrote:
jemstone wrote:

On the First Ones:

** spoiler omitted **...

** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
That's pretty much what I thought and mostly what I've seen in commentary elsewhere.

Well, like I said, I could be wrong. I'm willing to go with it! But I know what Lorien tells Sheridan - and none of it is in necessary conflict with anything you or MMCJawa have said, thejeff. Just a matter of "what they end up doing as a result of their motivations."

Either way though, it's still damn fine story telling.

This thread inspired me to tell someone at work about "And The Rock Cried Out No Hiding Place," which I really feel is one of the best episodes of TV, hands down. Science fiction or not.

Silver Crusade

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jemstone wrote:

Until we got our first real look at the Vorlons, the running gag was that...

** spoiler omitted **

As always, jemstone, you're both brilliant and truly outrageous!

Sorry... it's a running gag we have.


"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Kosh."
"Kosh who?"
"Kosh Hundheit"

* * * * * * * *

And then of course, Ivanova's rap performance for one of the new alien ambadassors(*) who got TOO FORWARD . . . .

(*)Who was totally clueless, but his assistant WASN'T . . . .

Scarab Sages

"Now, I go to spread happiness to the rest of the station. It is a terrible responsibility but I have learned to live with it."

Liberty's Edge

"Ah, it's good to be the Captain."


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"They would fight for me. They would die for you."


My only complaint about the show was that they weren't willing to pay their actresses the same as the male cast. I would love to see how it would have been different if Talia and Ivanova hadn't been written off because of salary disputes.

Liberty's Edge

That wasn't what happened with either. It's never been disclosed or even discussed why Andrea Thompson left as far as I'm aware.

As for Claudia Christiansen there's disagreement between her and JMS why she left, but salary dispute isn't one of the reasons either list.


As I understood it, Claudia Christian was slated for season 5, which is clear from the Marcus subplot. I thought she had an offer of a part in something else?

Liberty's Edge

Distilling both their stories down it was a contract (not salary) dispute with her wanting four episodes off for some movies in writing and WB not wanting to do that.

Andrea Thompson's departure might be related to her marrying Jerry Doyle, that Patricia Tallman wanted to return to Lyta Alexander, both, or neither. All that's out there are unsubstantiated rumors.


Regarding Talia:
To be perfectly honest, Talia Winters' disappearance was a stroke of genius. She was built up during the entire second season as a great hope, only to be destroyed and removed from the board with no warning. Back during the Lurker's Guide days, JMS described that he loved the sudden departure of the hero in The Shining. It would not surprise me if it was completely intentional.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
Hama wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Of course, in Star Trek every humanoid sentient species in the galaxy is a descendant of the precursors, who seeded their DNA into the genes of several species throughout the galaxy in order to try to give life to thing long after they were gone.
Which was terrible writing, and never mentioned outside of that one episode...
It does make sense, however.
It also explains how things like human/vulcan, human/klingon, and bajor/cardassian offspring can happen when they evolved on completly separate planets.

Yes so DNA was rewritten for the sole purpose to send a holographic message to the future. That episode ranks with the worst of TOS Season 3.

Scarab Sages

I had always wished they would have revisited Talia...

Spoiler:
After her departure from the show, all they ever really did was a hint from Bester that she had been dissected for study, if I recall correctly. And who knows whether that was truth, or an attempt to get under the B5'ers skins.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:
You forgot the Machine. Plus, technomages.
I did forget the Machine. Thought of technomages, but they really only showed up once in the main series, right?

right... no conjuring Earl Grey Tea at the lowliest ensign's merest whim.

No conjuring copies of women in the holodeck for..... well we'll let Riker, Barclay, and LeForge explain the rest.

I have four words for you. Day of the Dead.

Grand Lodge

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Christopher Dudley wrote:
LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:
You forgot the Machine. Plus, technomages.
I did forget the Machine. Thought of technomages, but they really only showed up once in the main series, right?

right... no conjuring Earl Grey Tea at the lowliest ensign's merest whim.

No conjuring copies of women in the holodeck for..... well we'll let Riker, Barclay, and LeForge explain the rest.

I have four words for you. Day of the Dead.

Your point? I'd take Day of the Dead (which they did ONCE) over any of Star Treks' all too abundant holodeck based episodes.

Dark Archive

Aberzombie wrote:
"Now, I go to spread happiness to the rest of the station. It is a terrible responsibility but I have learned to live with it."

"I'm going to beat you like a piñata!"

"Is that how you think of me? A colorful festive figure filled with treats for children? Interesting."

(probably terribly misquoted, but it made me laugh at the time)

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I love the series, and still consider it the best TV SF I've seen. I think it's worth viewing to see how to construct an epic storyline that spans years with the goal visible from day 1. However, there are enough failings about the show that I have decided that it is much better to have watched Babylon 5 than to watch Babylon 5.

Because of the budgetary constraints they constantly ran into, it was the show that made me realize that when an actor appearing on screen has a line, you have to pay them more. I didn't realize it until it became a recurring clunkiness that there were so many awkwardly silent bit parts on the show. I think they could have done better on that.

Also,

Spoiler:
If you were Valen and you arrived at that point in time, when the Minbari accepted you as their prophet, wouldn't you say "Oh, hey, you know that tradition you have of opening your gun ports to show mercy? STOP THAT! That's a STUPID tradition! You're going to hurt somebody that way!"

Maybe that's just me.

Liberty's Edge

Its a great series. I'm re-watching it with my friend who's never seen it.

"Vir can be emperor. If Vir can be emperor - a small earth cat can be emperor!" - Londo

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Christopher Dudley wrote:


Also,
** spoiler omitted **

Maybe that's just me.

Spoiler:

No, because Valen is smart enough that you don't create paradoxes like that. If the Earth-Minbari war had never happened, Valen himself would not have existed, and the Shadows would have won the war a thousand years earlier. For all we know, he actually may have started the custom to endure things would work out the way they did.

In fact, Valen spent the subjective time that Babylon 4 took to reach the past, removing all references to future data, including the origin of the station itself.

For much the same reasons, in the comic book when the ruin of Babylon 4 is rediscovered in the future, the heroes destroy it to keep sensitive secrets buried.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Qstor wrote:

Its a great series. I'm re-watching it with my friend who's never seen it.

"Vir can be emperor. If Vir can be emperor - a small earth cat can be emperor!" - Londo

You know... those things that go quack!.


Tim: Derek? Babylon 5's a big pile of s++$.

Derek: Get out!!

Bilbo and Tim: [Joyfully] Hooray!...

I liked it but its kind of lost its appeal over the years BSG reboot is my favorite SCI FI TV series, acting and storyline is really good


I have to say I love Garibaldi's household god of frustration.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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One of my favorite G'Kar moments:

Spoiler:

“No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by the force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments, and tyrants, and armies can not stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free.”

Liberty's Edge

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"Holograms can't lie, Danny boy."

Silver Crusade

So how far has Hama gotten into the series? Last I saw anything, he was close to hitting season 2. No... wait, he referenced Elric, so he's in Season 2 now.

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