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TraderStav
May 19, 2006

It feels like I was standing my entire life and I just sat down


Folks are getting spread out on their watching schedules, please make sure you’re tagging your spoilers, the one a couple posts back is a couple episodes into season 2 and a larger spoiler for those still on season 1.


Thanks and namaste

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The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


I’ll get through at least 2, probably 3 eps today.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993




all right, I'm going to give Stargate a whirl to keep myself from blowing money on more B5 before it goes to Prime. I'll pick up B5 again at a slower pace once The_Doctor catches up.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




Keep in mind Stargate is a fun show more than it's a serious show. It's good, but it never takes itself as seriously as B5.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


S1Ep19 - A Voice in the Wilderness (part 2)

“If I were landing thrusters, where would I be?”

The Hyperion is a really ugly ship. And the captain is pretty much a huge rear end in a top hat, endangering quarter of a million people because ??? smol pp? At least he begrudgingly semi-apologises at the end.

Draal’s installation in the machine is telegraphed fairly early on, so it’s mildly annoying waiting for everyone else to catch up to the plot. In fact, there feels like a hell of a lot more plot in part 1 than part 2. This episode has some to-ing and fro-ing in the first half with the Hyperion captain, the aliens show up, Delenn, Londo, and Draal decide to go down there, and then do so.

And there’s Garibaldi’s pointless Mars sideplot. Spends 2 episodes trying to get through, and then oh no she’s married, guess I’m gonna die alone. I appreciate that it got across information about what’s happening there but eh.

I realised in this ep they’re subtly doing the TNG 3D heads when someone comes on the Babcom. ie, on the vidscreen the person’s head is turned toward the person they’re talking to, rather than just flatly facing a camera.

I just realised this was the first B5 two parter, and honestly it could have been a single episode. This felt like one of those mid-season Game of Thrones episodes where nothing truly mind blowing happens, but there’s some really significant moves being played on the board that will absolutely become relevant at some point.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


S1Ep20 - Babylon Squared

“You take, Zathras die. You leave, Zathras die. Either way, it is bad for Zathras.”

This is really good, and bombs along at a proper clip! I love a good time travel plot, and with a Flying Dutchman-esque mystery thrown in. I figured we’d get to the mystery of Babylon 4 at some point, but not so soon. I really like its design, much more than B5 if I’m honest. It’s all very Philadelphia Experiment and I love it. Temporally displaced crew experiencing psychosis? But also WHAAAT?! Future Sinclair and Delenn? And where does Zathras tie into all this?!

Delenn’s journey to the Grey Council is so-so, and the Humans are Super Special thing is dull, quite frankly. But hey, she picked up a Plot Device!

2001 spacesuit ahoy! Doctor Who lore told me who was in there when Sinclair reached out to touch it. The accursed Blinovitch Limitation Effect!

Did they set up the boring Lisa subplot in the two parter just so you’d know who she was when Garibaldi went back in time? :psyduck:

Engaging throughout, this episode was right up my alley. Answers some questions, sets up a whole bunch more, and a big ol’ mystery at the heart of it. Might be my favourite episode so far.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







It's an absolute cracker :) I also liked the b4 design better.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


No one listens to Zathras. :smith:

Finger Prince
Jan 5, 2007

"I think he's watching us..."

"No, it's just the Mountain Peeks."
(Source)



I love Zathras. This thread is so good, I've only watched B5 once since it originally aired (got a DVD set from Columbia House eons ago, it's long lost to the sands of time now). I still half remember the episodes you guys are watching based on your takes. I'll have to watch it again some time. It's easily in my top tier of best shows ever, sci fi or not. I'd put it on a par with the expanse, easily. The thing is, back in the day, I never even noticed the cheap sets or props, I was so engrossed in the characters and stories that it didn't matter.

TraderStav
May 19, 2006

It feels like I was standing my entire life and I just sat down


You’ve properly made it through the Sargasso Sea and onto B5 proper after B**2. Welcome to the party, buckle up. It’s nothing but awesomeness for the entire duration, with one small brief unfortunate detour in Season 5 that we all wish was on the cutting room floor, but has its charm in its own way.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.

:dukedog:

Zathras :perfect:

It's been so awesome seeing folks' reactions to this wonderful show. It's been really hard to talk about because I don't want to inadvertently effect anyone's expectations.

OtherworldlyInvader
Feb 10, 2005

The X-COM project did not deliver the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. You have failed to save the Earth.





It's a blind watch thread, let them experience it fresh without expectations built up by other people :)

Winifred Madgers
Feb 12, 2002



TheAardvark posted:

all right, I'm going to give Stargate a whirl to keep myself from blowing money on more B5 before it goes to Prime. I'll pick up B5 again at a slower pace once The_Doctor catches up.

Gonna start a thread for that one too?

OtherworldlyInvader posted:

It's a blind watch thread, let them experience it fresh without expectations built up by other people :)

On the one hand, yeah, but on the other hand, a little bit of inoculation doesn't hurt. I'd heard a lot about Stargate Universe having a different tone from SG-1 and Atlantis before I watched any of the Stargate shows, and that it was offputting to many fans of the former, which to me helped set the expectation so it wasn't so jarring of a transition. And although I myself was still on the fence for a while despite that, about halfway through the first season it really caught my interest and then kept getting better from there. I'm not completely sure I would've made it that far without knowing, to some degree, what to expect.

But, on the gripping hand, less is more.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


The_Doctor posted:

S1Ep19 - A Voice in the Wilderness (part 2)


The Hyperion is a really ugly ship.



I love how ugly Earth ships are in the show; there's a real brutal functionality to them and the starfuries compared to the elegant lines of the Minbari cruisers and fighters, or the organic shapes of the Vorlon ships; it really emphasizes just how far behind the older races humans are.

Hodgepodge
Jan 29, 2006




Angry Salami posted:

I love how ugly Earth ships are in the show; there's a real brutal functionality to them and the starfuries compared to the elegant lines of the Minbari cruisers and fighters, or the organic shapes of the Vorlon ships; it really emphasizes just how far behind the older races humans are.

It's excellent at conveying that Earth is behind in tech compared to the other races, but still able to project meaningful force. The O'Neill cylinders are great for this, because they dominate the design with a known practical solution to a problem that is usually handwaved in scifi, but all the aliens get to use a handwave.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


So on the Hyperion are the crew just floating around?

Anonymouse Mook
Jul 12, 2006

Showing Vettel the way since 1979



The_Doctor posted:

So on the Hyperion are the crew just floating around?

Yup, they are strapped into their seats. You can also see this with some of the other less advanced races.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

The_Doctor posted:

S1Ep20 - Babylon Squared


This is really good, and bombs along at a proper clip! I love a good time travel plot,


I'm shocked, shocked I say.

Erulisse
Feb 12, 2019

A bad poster trying to get better.


The Hyperion is a really ugly ship.

I feel personally attacked!


Blocky design for 'inferior human tech' is an old thing in science fiction. I can't seem to find where it originated but there are a lot of such designs everywhere. Many games and other sci-fi works utilize robust, bulky and blocky 'function over form' for depicting earth starship designs and I honestly sort of like them. Any help with finding origins of robust construction design in sci-fi works would be greatly appreciated.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

sebmojo posted:

It's an absolute cracker :) I also liked the b4 design better.

B5 was the lower-budget last-ditch effort thrown together in a hurry after B1 - B4 burned down, fell over, and/or sank into the swamp, after all.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


S1ep20
I can see them be not willing to spend as much on construction this time through an abundance of caution.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Groke posted:

B5 was the lower-budget last-ditch effort thrown together in a hurry after B1 - B4 burned down, fell over, and/or sank into the swamp, after all.

Out there, there's an engineer really mad that the only Babylon station to survive was the one where they had to compromise their designs.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993




The_Doctor posted:

S1ep20
I can see them be not willing to spend as much on construction this time through an abundance of caution.

I wondered about this, because I think S1E20 refers to Babylon 4 as the largest of the human stations(?). Have we gotten a rough population count for B5 so far, by the way? I may have missed it.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


TheAardvark posted:

I wondered about this, because I think S1E20 refers to Babylon 4 as the largest of the human stations(?). Have we gotten a rough population count for B5 so far, by the way? I may have missed it.


Rewatch the intro for season 2 for an answer to your question :)

Torrannor fucked around with this message at 16:40 on Jun 10, 2020

Winifred Madgers
Feb 12, 2002



TheAardvark posted:

I wondered about this, because I think S1E20 refers to Babylon 4 as the largest of the human stations(?). Have we gotten a rough population count for B5 so far, by the way? I may have missed it.


Not really a spoiler to answer at least the one question, B5's population is around a quarter million. One of the season opening credits says it I think.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





AntherUslessPoster posted:

The Hyperion is a really ugly ship.

I love that design specifically for its funkyness. It's the visual equivalent of cooking with fish sauce.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.

:dukedog:

Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Not really a spoiler to answer at least the one question, B5's population is around a quarter million. One of the season opening credits says it I think.

This is correct. Not really a spoiler just general observation, I always liked that it was a relatively small number compared to lot of large cities irl because the amount of people actually for real living on the station or assigned to it for a length of time is pretty small compared to how much of it is the infrastructure that keeps it going and communal spaces/food production/etc. type of stuff. There's a few amusingly dated calls about how certain stuff things work in the future but at the same time it's very real in a lot of ways a lot of the other 90s sci-fi shows never really went for.


DS9 was similar, it has a capacity 7,000 people but the actual for real there full time population is something crazy small for the size of the station like < 1000 people because its original purpose was that of an ore processing plant and most of the station is just storage space. I think the actual complement was only 300.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Neo Rasa posted:

This is correct. Not really a spoiler just general observation, I always liked that it was a relatively small number compared to lot of large cities irl because the amount of people actually for real living on the station or assigned to it for a length of time is pretty small compared to how much of it is the infrastructure that keeps it going and communal spaces/food production/etc. type of stuff. There's a few amusingly dated calls about how certain stuff things work in the future but at the same time it's very real in a lot of ways a lot of the other 90s sci-fi shows never really went for.


DS9 was similar, it has a capacity 7,000 people but the actual for real there full time population is something crazy small for the size of the station like < 1000 people because its original purpose was that of an ore processing plant and most of the station is just storage space. I think the actual complement was only 300.

Small population also helps explain why the same 30 people keep showing up at everything important in your TV show. :v:

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


Only one episode today, it’s not been a good day.

S1Ep21 - The Quality of Mercy

“After my eleventy-seventh year...”
“This station creates gravity by rotation. The room never stops spinning.”

Chief ACAB chasing his ‘throw them out the airlock’ policy again. This time he’s pretending to care about people in Down Below (he certainly didn’t before) when clearly it’s retaliation for killing a security officer. Christ, he’s bloodthirsty.

One of the interesting lines that kind of got swept aside in the flashback last episode was Lisa saying to him “You’ve only met this Sinclair a couple of times, and now you’re off to Babylon 5” Is that true? Is their friendship not actually as deep as the show likes to make out? Does Sinclair really know all that much about Garibaldi and he’s just doing a favour to someone he’s merely friendly with? Would he have hired him if he knew he was this brutal and right wing? It’s Franklin’s turn this week to balk at his fascist suggestions.

Conversely, Londo’s corruption of Lennier is all kinds of fun, especially the poker game. The reveal of the :zoid: also gives a lot more context to the gesture Londo makes at the start of the episode when his video call ends. The ending of that plot line is remarkably sweet. Mollari’s an alright guy.

Talia putting the black ribbon across her Psi-corps badge is a nice little touch. Shame the rest of the hackneyed killer bit is fairly dull.

Sinclair seemed fairly absent this episode, but I only really noticed when he turned up at the end.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

Neo Rasa posted:

This is correct. Not really a spoiler just general observation, I always liked that it was a relatively small number compared to lot of large cities irl because the amount of people actually for real living on the station or assigned to it for a length of time is pretty small compared to how much of it is the infrastructure that keeps it going and communal spaces/food production/etc. type of stuff. There's a few amusingly dated calls about how certain stuff things work in the future but at the same time it's very real in a lot of ways a lot of the other 90s sci-fi shows never really went for.


DS9 was similar, it has a capacity 7,000 people but the actual for real there full time population is something crazy small for the size of the station like < 1000 people because its original purpose was that of an ore processing plant and most of the station is just storage space. I think the actual complement was only 300.

I worked out the numbers once and found that Babylon 5 has about the same population density as Hong Kong.

5 mile long centrifuge, 1 mile diameter, gives a 5 * π square miles interior: about 15.7 sq mi. A quarter million divided by 15.7 gives about 16k/sq mi. Hong Kong's population density is about 17.5k/sq mi.

When you factor in that B5 has something like 50 decks, it's like you've taken a very long, broad skyscraper with an elaborate rooftop garden, and rolled it into a tube.


†They always say the station is five miles long, but a production designer explained in an interview that it's the living section that's five miles, while the whole station was about eight miles long, according to how they'd designed and built the 3d model.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.

:dukedog:

Vavrek posted:

†They always say the station is five miles long, but a production designer explained in an interview that it's the living section that's five miles, while the whole station was about eight miles long, according to how they'd designed and built the 3d model.

I never knew this, I too thought the entire station was five miles.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


S1Ep22 - Chrysalis

“You have forgotten something.”

G’kar’s back! And that’s a lot of makeup for Katsulas. Full body is hours in the chair.

I’ve heard worse proposals. :allears:

Chief ACAB swans into Down Below with all the tact of a bull elephant on PCP. His plotline is all very Jack Ryan thriller. But they shot him and then just left him there in the corridor? Why not hide him away, tie him up somewhere in the seemingly endless number of industrial nooks and spaces on the station?

I figured they’d save the president, but huh. Coup! And it seems everyone’s on it? Are these all the Homeguard racists? The shot of Clark being sworn in is a very obvious reference:

(Johnson getting sworn in after JFK’s assassination)

Oh no, Morden has come calling. :ohdear: That ticking sound throughout the scene made the whole thing incredibly tense. Mollari, even you must see that price is going to be too high. Morden in his room conversing with the shadowy nightmare shapes felt like a lot of setup for S2.

Delenn’s scene with Kosh, WHATTTT?! All so deliberately obfuscating, but I don’t feel angry about it? Her vagueness continues throughout, even as she slowly does her Lego set of Mystery (aka Elsa’s Ice Castle). Oh, it makes silly string! And now she’s going to be a butterfly.

A lot happens here, and a lot more is set up for next season, but this didn’t feel like a season finale so much? But also it did? As I say, a lot happened, and there’s so many plot threads to keep track of. I’m really curious now about where all this is headed, and excited to find out!

“And so, it begins.”


And that’s a wrap on season 1! I’m going to give it a few days before I start season 2, clear my head, catch up on a few other shows (What We Do in the Shadows, for example), and then S2 viewing will probably start Sunday!

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993




I love how close your very first thought about this episode was to mine was.

TheAardvark posted:

S1E22 - "Chrysalis"
G'Kar still exists!

Gnome de plume
Sep 5, 2006

Hell.
Fucking.
Yes.


Really enjoying seeing first impressions of the series.

You see, I was there at the dawn of the second season of Babylon 5.

Ok it was more like the end of season 1 and whichever one had a motorcycle. Missed a fair bit of season 2 as it came out but by the time Season 3 started I was hooked, baby!

And although I got the whole season on dvd by the time I got round to watching them a few discs were missing or partially corrupted so there's still some gaps in my viewing experience.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993




The_Doctor, I posted my tier list of characters either last page or the one before. I basically numbered them 1-10, of the characters with main billing, with a lot of ties. And brief justifications, up to you.

You should do it too before you read mine if you haven't yet!

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


Top 10 characters? Hmm...

- Londo
- G’kar (2nd position for missing out a lot of the back half of the season)
- Kosh
- Delenn
- Na’Toth
- Ivanova
- Vir
- Sinclair (for a lead, he’s quite the blank sheet)
- Talia Winters
- Dr Franklin

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993




The_Doctor posted:

Top 10 characters? Hmm...

- Londo
- G’kar (2nd position for missing out a lot of the back half of the season)
- Kosh
- Delenn
- Na’Toth
- Ivanova
- Vir
- Sinclair (for a lead, he’s quite the blank sheet)
- Talia Winters
- Dr Franklin

We are pretty damned close, but what about Lennier and Garibaldi?

I forgot Talia myself, and Kosh I think doesn't have main billing. He is both #1 and doesn't count

E: and my Talia rating is right there with Franklin and Garibaldi

E2: my rankings

1. Londo --------
1. G'Kar --------
1. Lennier -------
1.5 Delenn -----
1.5 Na'Toth ---
2. Cotto ---------
3. Ivanova ------
3. Sinclair ------
3.5 Garibaldi --
3.5 Talia ---------
3.5 Dr. Franklin

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 01:45 on Jun 12, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993




my list is every alien in the show followed by every human in the show

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


TheAardvark posted:

We are pretty damned close, but what about Lennier and Garibaldi?

I forgot Talia myself, and Kosh I think doesn't have main billing. He is both #1 and doesn't count

E: and my Talia rating is right there with Franklin and Garibaldi

Kosh doesn’t have main billing, but I don’t think that’s hugely necessary, he’s a recurring character, and he’s great. I love the notion he’s playing a much larger game than anyone else.

Lennier is fun but I want to see more of him. His innocent abroad warrior monk thing reminds me a lot of Elnor from ST: Picard, although clearly the provenance is the other way around.

And Garibaldi can go die in a fire, honestly.

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The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


TheAardvark posted:

my list is every alien in the show followed by every human in the show

:hmmyes:

The humans are way less interesting than the aliens.

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