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Viivac
Jan 5, 2005

I need a cheaper hobby

Data Graham posted:

"Born to the Purple"ónice, feels like a Trek TOS story. I'm a little confused, though: I'd gotten the impression that B5 was a highly serialized show, with a long-running story divided into little chunks in the vein of latter DS9. But it feels a lot more episodic here, I guess more like, well, early DS9. Is that an emergent thing that comes about later?
You'll find "stand alone" episodes all through the first 3 seasons, however as the seasons go along they get fewer and fewer. In season 1 there's about 15 or so more or less self contained episodes but with a lot of stuff that will be referenced later scattered in all plot lines, and for all characters. In season 2, the stand alones fall to something like 8-10, while still containing many smaller things either tying into the plot or character exposition and character development.

In season 3 this number falls to something like 3-5 episodes, where you can count them as "stand alone", while still useful to watch for small things and references. In season 4 there's not a single stand alone episode, perhaps with the exception of the very last, but not in a way you would think. Season 5 also contains a very miniscule number of stand alone episodes, 1 or 2 I think.

It's a very slow build up and it would never ever have been possible to make today. Season 1's name is Signs And Portens, which will tell you quite a bit as the season moves along.

Yes there's bad acting, yes there's very rough CGI and rough sets in season 1. There are some bad episodes overall, but oh boy does it improve.

Babylon 5 is my favourite TV series of all time. Just stick with it.

Viivac fucked around with this message at Sep 7, 2016 around 21:06

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Baka-nin
Jan 25, 2015



adhuin posted:

Or characters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9WkQTzAcYk

An actor for a Rebel general couldn't make it to a pivotal episode, because he had been booked as a Rebel Admiral in a DS9 episode.

JMS was so pissed about this that he had the character killed off entirely after quite a bit of build up. Ended up making the threat posed by President Klark a lot more effective when the guy building the resistance gets murdered before we even see him.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Hey, guy(s) watching the show for the first time: Don't count out Vir. He gets one of the most excellent scenes in the show later on.

(Specifically, his answer when Morden asks him The Question, and the fallow-up later on)

Also the show gets about 200% better when Sheridan shows up. I always felt that Sinclair was a block of wood.

... drat, now I want to watch this show again.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



WarLocke posted:

Hey, guy(s) watching the show for the first time: Don't count out Vir. He gets one of the most excellent scenes in the show later on.

(Specifically, his answer when Morden asks him The Question, and the fallow-up later on)

Also the show gets about 200% better when Sheridan shows up. I always felt that Sinclair was a block of wood.

... drat, now I want to watch this show again.

Haha wow, I completely spaced on Sheridan and Sinclair being different names.

I had all but convinced myself that I was misremembering anything about Bruce Boxleitner being on the show, or what I thought he looked like. Then when I realized I wasn't seeing his name in the credits I looked up Michael O'Hare and saw that they wrote him out after Season 1, and I assumed that that meant they just recast the main character of the show and nobody ever made a big enough deal about it for me to hear about it

Anyway, "Infection": hahaha oh my god this is some ridiculous poo poo. Sinclair talks down an organic Terminator robot by explaining the evils of Naziism in the middle of a firefight, and then the bad guy sees the light and drops to his knees and gives us fuckin' one of these

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWaLxFIVX1s

I mean god drat that's some tasty cheese

DangerousDan
Sep 17, 2011



I remember being a young lad and seeing white stars fighting shadow vessels on channel 4 (UK). I was massively into star trek at the time and my dad told me B5 was way better. What a wise man he proved himself to be (that time and many times after).

ended up getting the whole series on VHS from a magazine or something. Faked being sick from school to watch it all. fantastic.

thats my story.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002



WarLocke posted:

Hey, guy(s) watching the show for the first time: Don't count out Vir. He gets one of the most excellent scenes in the show later on.

(Specifically, his answer when Morden asks him The Question, and the fallow-up later on)

Also the show gets about 200% better when Sheridan shows up. I always felt that Sinclair was a block of wood.

... drat, now I want to watch this show again.

Haven't you ever watched something at the behest of another who's so enthusiastic about it they're like, "oh, this is a good part, just wait till you see what happens." I get that you're a fan and want to share it, and that is fine, but in my opinion it's better to let people take it in organically rather than drawing attention to things they "should" be paying attention to. The show is well enough made that they won't miss the important ones, and a lot of the subtle ones are what makes rewatching such a rewarding experience. Let's not rob people of that.

I'm not saying don't talk about it or even that this should necessarily be a spoiler-free zone. Just try to talk more about what they've seen than what they're going to see.

turn left hillary!! noo fucked around with this message at Sep 8, 2016 around 02:44

Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


I noticed what people kept saying about "little hints" in every episode. At the end of the soul hunter one, Sinclair is Journaling and wonders why someone with delenn's status is on the Babylon. I think I'm 3 or 4 episodes in, getting more done today. It can be a little rough but it's still fun, definitely like ds9 season 1.

Party Plane Jones
Jul 1, 2007

Flying the friendly skies in relative safet-oh god the engine fell off


Milky Moor posted:

Or you think about Richard Biggs, who had some pretty severe hearing difficulties and yet gave fantastic performances time after time. For all the talk of a Babylon curse affecting the fictional station, it certain seems that there wasone hanging around the cast and production, too.


Biggs was almost entirely deaf during filming for the show if I remember right. You can see him watching people's lips to see when he needs to do his line throughout the first season (after which point they figure out blocking and closeups better; everybody has more closeups from that point on)

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME HAVE FUN!"


Party Plane Jones posted:

Biggs was almost entirely deaf during filming for the show if I remember right. You can see him watching people's lips to see when he needs to do his line throughout the first season (after which point they figure out blocking and closeups better; everybody has more closeups from that point on)

Yeah. The lip reading and stuff is absolutely true. Biggs did fantastic work in every scene he's in.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

On Londo's accent, the best part is they specifically told him not to do that and he'd say okay, then when the cameras rolled Jurasik went with that crazy rear end vampire accent thing and they couldn't make him stop it so they just went with it. Then you see a few of the other old family types have a similar one. I liked that the Centauri had a range of accents, the Minbari did sort of too.

kant
May 12, 2003


Kingtheninja posted:

I noticed what people kept saying about "little hints" in every episode. At the end of the soul hunter one, Sinclair is Journaling and wonders why someone with delenn's status is on the Babylon. I think I'm 3 or 4 episodes in, getting more done today. It can be a little rough but it's still fun, definitely like ds9 season 1.

You really have to assume everything is important. Plus Star Trek fans are in for a treat if they make it to episode 6!

Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


What kind of space customs has one guy and no security?! Of course this guy is going to get killed by smugglers.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Maelstache posted:

Wait, Jerry Doyle died? poo poo, I had genuinely no idea. The B5 Reaper claims another one.
Yeah, last month I think.

Whether you like the guy's politics or not it's kind of funny that in real life he was very much like the later seasons Garabaldi.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

I don't have the time to fill out questionnaires


Grand Fromage posted:

On Londo's accent, the best part is they specifically told him not to do that and he'd say okay, then when the cameras rolled Jurasik went with that crazy rear end vampire accent thing and they couldn't make him stop it so they just went with it. Then you see a few of the other old family types have a similar one. I liked that the Centauri had a range of accents, the Minbari did sort of too.

I think I also read that Jurasik did Londo's hair the way it was as a joke, but then everyone just went along with it because they thought it was what he really wanted.

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME HAVE FUN!"


Maelstache posted:

I think I also read that Jurasik did Londo's hair the way it was as a joke, but then everyone just went along with it because they thought it was what he really wanted.

I remember something like this, too. I want to say that his hair was supposed to be short because only Centauri of status were supposed to have such outrageous hair (and Londo didn't have that status) or it was inverted.

Either way, Londo ended up with maybe the biggest hair of all the Centauri. No other Centauri - not Lord Refa, not any of the Emperors - come close.

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME HAVE FUN!"


Found some comments around the web. Yes, Jurasik did the hair that way as a joke and people just went with it. So, the whole Centaur hair = status thing apparently resulted from that. (minor spoilers, not plot or story related) It is also why one Emperor is bald and the other has short hair as a fashion statement, because JMS apparently got tired of it and/or their hair would have to be like a peacock given Londo's style

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



Maelstache posted:

Just Ivanova and Sheridan left of the B5 command staff, then? Oh, and Corwin. And those others that never spoke.

And LAUREL TAKASHIMA

And Morden

adhuin posted:

Or characters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9WkQTzAcYk

An actor for a Rebel general couldn't make it to a pivotal episode, because he had been booked as a Rebel Admiral in a DS9 episode.

Another side point, the actor here (Bruce McGill) wasn't supposed to be cast - JMS wanted Everett McGill but could only remember the McGill part, and they booked the wrong one.

It works out well, though.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



I've been working through B5 with an ex (although it's currently referred to as "Space James" because Sinclair looks like a mutual friend) and we're almost up to Intersections in Real Time. There's one I'm always interested in getting peoples opinions of

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your Mother!


Milky Moor posted:

Biggs did fantastic work in every scene he's in.

Let's not get carried away. Biggs did relatively well with his louder moments when he needed to be passionate and shouty and whatnot, but otherwise, he had all the subtlety of a brick to the head.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



Timby posted:

Let's not get carried away. Biggs did relatively well with his louder moments when he needed to be passionate and shouty and whatnot, but otherwise, he had all the subtlety of a brick to the head.

I think the comment was in the context of his disability

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

"You can't do that, Space."

"I can do anything I want! I AM THE MASTER OF TIME!!!"

Kingtheninja posted:

What kind of space customs has one guy and no security?! Of course this guy is going to get killed by smugglers.

Babylon 5, like the production crew tasked with producing it, was pretty consistently shown to be severely underfunded.


I know it's ultra-corny as gently caress, but I love that moment in By Any Means Necessary where Sinclair tells the Earthgov stooge "you should never hand someone a weapon without knowing where they're going to point it. "

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Timby posted:

Let's not get carried away. Biggs did relatively well with his louder moments when he needed to be passionate and shouty and whatnot, but otherwise, he had all the subtlety of a brick to the head.

It's more to the point where he'd have those high speed rapid dialogues with people and he's keeping the pace exactly but its because he read the script beforehand and is reading their lips to know when to jump in. Of all the people I'd expect to have dialogue/speaking issues they worked through it wasn't the guy who generally spoke in a much faster cadence then the rest of the cast.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



The "colorful language" sure could stand to be a little more saturated.

"I feel like I've had my tonsils taken out through my ears"

"As bad ideas go it's up there with having my gums extracted"

These are some of the most lines ever.



E: that said, the "all of Earth's religions all lined up for your perusal" at the end of The Parliament of Dreams was unexpectedly moving.

Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


I think I got as far as the mind war episode with chekov. Which was an awesome surprise, BTW. I'm really enjoying this so far. It is corny but I like that every episode just feels like "what's going on today?" with the station. And I love Sinclair's relationship with Sakai.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



The first series is very much "Star Trek, but not every ending is so neat"

DrBouvenstein
Feb 28, 2007

I think I'm a doctor, but that doesn't make me a doctor. This fancy avatar does.


Data Graham posted:


E: that said, the "all of Earth's religions all lined up for your perusal" at the end of The Parliament of Dreams was unexpectedly moving.

Eh, I'm a little indifferent to that. It pulls out the ol' Star Trek cliche of "One Planet = One Culture...except humans 'cause we're super special" thing.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



It lampshaded it at least, by kind of pointing out that it's silly to design alien cultures that way. Of course, it might not have been too late for themselves at that point to redesign some of the alien worlds to be heterogeneous...

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

The Minbari are the only major race with a single religion though. The Narn have multiple and the Centauri have a complicated pantheon that has a big range of interpretations.

ozmunkeh
Feb 28, 2008

hey guys what is happening in this thread


MrL_JaKiri posted:

I've been working through B5 with an ex (although it's currently referred to as "Space James" because Sinclair looks like a mutual friend) and we're almost up to Intersections in Real Time. There's one I'm always interested in getting peoples opinions of

This is one of my favorites. I love that despite being placed in the middle of a long narrative arc of episodes it manages to function as a completely standalone story and requires no specific knowledge of any of the characters aside from The Prisoner and The Interrogator. Also bonus Sky Marshal Dienes appearance.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



Originally planned to be the finale, wasn't it?

coyo7e
Aug 23, 2007


I didn't ask for this Coyote myth.

EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

We just watched The Gathering the other night. Aside from Takashima's unfortunate acting and Dr. Kyle's propensity for the thousand-yard stare (granted, he saw a Vorlon), it's fine.

Every time I watch B5 I like it more. Even the so-called bad parts. Once you cross the threshold and can see its flawed earnestness as a feature rather than a bug; as part of its charm, as the scrappy underdog much like many of the cast members - which was semi-purposeful as to the feel they were going for - it becomes amazing.

I'm not saying the bad parts are bad intentionally, but the struggle was real.
Are there any documentary movies or books on the show's production and all the poo poo that went crazy? I have heard a lot in snippets here and there but it seems like something that'd be a really interesting thing to sit down and watch or read.

Milky Moor posted:

I remember something like this, too. I want to say that his hair was supposed to be short because only Centauri of status were supposed to have such outrageous hair (and Londo didn't have that status) or it was inverted.

Either way, Londo ended up with maybe the biggest hair of all the Centauri. No other Centauri - not Lord Refa, not any of the Emperors - come close.
One of the things I love about Peter Jurasik is how happy he is to entirely own something as ridiculous as that hair and then make it work.

coyo7e fucked around with this message at Sep 9, 2016 around 17:58

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your Mother!


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Originally planned to be the finale, wasn't it?

That's what Straczynski claims but I'm not entirely sure that tracks. In any event, much of what he says needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME HAVE FUN!"


Timby posted:

That's what Straczynski claims but I'm not entirely sure that tracks. In any event, much of what he says needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

I don't know, I can buy it. Imagine ending S4 with that, then beginning S5 with the Sheridan hallucinating talking to Franklin who turns out to be the interrogator. That would have been a pretty cool season opener.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Heh, so in the cold open of "The War Prayer", are Delenn and the poet lady hitting on each other? "Can I walk you to your quarters?" "Nah, I think we both have to be up early tomorrow"

coyo7e
Aug 23, 2007


I didn't ask for this Coyote myth.

http://b5books.com/2016/06/28/hbos-...lon-5-costumes/

as an aside: anybody ever get one of those coffee table books that're sold out?

coyo7e fucked around with this message at Sep 10, 2016 around 11:31

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002



Data Graham posted:

Heh, so in the cold open of "The War Prayer", are Delenn and the poet lady hitting on each other? "Can I walk you to your quarters?" "Nah, I think we both have to be up early tomorrow"

It's possible given the intent for another pair of characters later, but I doubt it in Delenn's case. Not everything is sexual.

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME HAVE FUN!"


coyo7e posted:

http://b5books.com/2016/06/28/hbos-...lon-5-costumes/

as an aside: anybody ever get one of those coffee table books that're sold out?

I've got one. It's really cool. Great photos, great info about the props and sets.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

I don't have the time to fill out questionnaires


Kingtheninja posted:

I think I got as far as the mind war episode with chekov. Which was an awesome surprise, BTW.

It's kind of funny how they have to just sort of brush aside the implications of what happens to Ironheart. I mean, he effectively transforms into some kind of God-like being, and everyone just kind of shrugs and goes, "Huh, that happened." In a way that ending feels much more Trek-like than any other B5 episode, in the sense that the Enterprise crew have mysterious God-like beings dropping by every other week, whereas on B5 it's a little bit rarer(well, early on at least).

MrL_JaKiri posted:

I've been working through B5 with an ex (although it's currently referred to as "Space James" because Sinclair looks like a mutual friend) and we're almost up to Intersections in Real Time. There's one I'm always interested in getting peoples opinions of

First episode I saw all the way through. I'd had the show on in the background before without really paying attention to what was going on, but I think this one grabbed me as I'd recently read Nineteen Eighty-Four for the first time and something in the dialogue between Sheridan and the Interrogator brought up echoes of Smith and O'Brien. It does work really well as an introductory episode, as you don't need to know anything about the characters or their history. All the pertinent information about how the main guy got into this scrape emerge during the interrogation, and it leaves you intrigued to find out how he got to this point.

Of course, TNG later did their own even more blatant Orwell homage, with Picard and the David Warner Cardassian. Which is also a great episode.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Maelstache posted:

It's kind of funny how they have to just sort of brush aside the implications of what happens to Ironheart. I mean, he effectively transforms into some kind of God-like being, and everyone just kind of shrugs and goes, "Huh, that happened." In a way that ending feels much more Trek-like than any other B5 episode, in the sense that the Enterprise crew have mysterious God-like beings dropping by every other week, whereas on B5 it's a little bit rarer(well, early on at least).

Knowing the history between B5 and DS9, this always made me wonder about Kes evolving into a star-being in Voyager. It always seemed like another case of 'let's use that guy's ideas' to me.

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MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



Maelstache posted:

Of course, TNG later did their own even more blatant Orwell homage, with Picard and the David Warner Cardassian. Which is also a great episode.



Well, 5 years earlier but who's counting!

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