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MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Angry Lobster posted:

Honestly, the only thing I remember about the first half of season 5 is Tracy Scoggins and how hot she was before abusing botox.

If that's what you're here for just watch River of Souls

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shadow puppet of a
Jan 10, 2007

NO TENGO SCORPIO



Is this the accepted B5 watch order?

quote:

Watch the pilot film "The Gathering"
Watch the whole of seasons 1, 2 and 3
Watch season 4 episodes 1-8
Watch the film "Thirdspace"
Watch season 4 episodes 9-22
Watch the film "In The Beginning"
Watch season 5 episodes 1-21
Watch the film "River Of Souls"
Watch the film "A Call To Arms"
Watch the episodes of "Crusade" in this order:

1x01 - War Zone
1x02 - The Long Road
1x06 - Ruling from the Tomb
1x08 - Appearances and Other Deceits
1x10 - The Memory of War
1x11 - The Needs of Earth
1x09 - Racing the Night
1x12 - Visitors from Down the Street
1x13 - Each Night I Dream of Home
1x04 - The Path of Sorrows
1x05 - Patterns of the Soul
1x03 - The Well of Forever
1x07 - The Rules of the Game

Watch the film "The Legend Of The Rangers: To Live And Die In Starlight"
Watch the film "The Lost Tales: Voices In The Dark"
Watch season 5 episode 22 ("Sleeping In Light")

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



My accepted B5 watch order is:

Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
Series 5

Maybe then In The Beginning

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002



MrL_JaKiri posted:

The first half isn't actually so bad if you can get over Byron being too good at being the annoying cult leader

I was surprised on my most recent watchthrough - it'd been several years since the previous time, and details get fuzzy. All the internet bitching about Byron is really overblown; whether you like him or not is up to you, I guess, but he's really not even in it all that much. There are several episodes he doesn't even appear in, IIRC, and he's only featured heavily toward the middle of the season.

You won't get anything like S5 in any other show. If B5 had ended after the climax of S4 (like any other show would), it would've still been a great show, don't get me wrong, but S5 adds a rich texture to it that enhances the rest of the show, and gives a lot of closure to the characters. It doesn't just go "happily ever after." It gives you the sense that what they did had meaning, even though no victories are final, and there are more stories that go on afterward. So, Payndz, if you don't consider that "essential" then I don't know what to tell you.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

You won't get anything like S5 in any other show. If B5 had ended after the climax of S4 (like any other show would), it would've still been a great show, don't get me wrong, but S5 adds a rich texture to it that enhances the rest of the show, and gives a lot of closure to the characters. It doesn't just go "happily ever after." It gives you the sense that what they did had meaning, even though no victories are final, and there are more stories that go on afterward. So, Payndz, if you don't consider that "essential" then I don't know what to tell you.

That's an aspect that makes B5 so good - episodes like Believers work because they go past the standard ending and show that the aftermath isn't all that.

I personally find S5 less good largely because I don't like the new theme music but there we are

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Although I disagree to some extent, The Wire has a lot of that.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



I've only picked up some of the meta-drama via innuendo over the years. Do I have it right: they thought they were getting cancelled after S4, so they rushed to wrap up what would have been two more seasons in a single season, and then at the last minute it got renewed for an S5 after all, so S5 is mostly filler?

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Data Graham posted:

I've only picked up some of the meta-drama via innuendo over the years. Do I have it right: they thought they were getting cancelled after S4, so they rushed to wrap up what would have been two more seasons in a single season, and then at the last minute it got renewed for an S5 after all, so S5 is mostly filler?

Sort of. Originally, according to JMS on usenet at the time, the plan was to finish with what became episode 18, Intersections in Real Time - 3 to go, not including Sleeping in Light (shot with S4, with Deconstruction shot with S5 which is why it doesn't have Claudia Christian but SiL does). Now quite a lot happens in those three episodes, but if anyone thinks that the content in those episodes was sufficient to stretch out into the plot of an entire (or half a season)... man, they don't know what filler means.

Looking at S5 now, rather than watching it at the time, the main change is that of focus - it goes from an obvious Good vs Evil story with Lots of Spaceships to a story that's a lot more difficult, a lot more human. When I was looking at a list of episodes earlier (with regard to "cutting the chaff") I just looked through and thought "yeah this is important, yeah so's this, can't cut this..." to essentially all of them.

Angry Lobster
May 16, 2011

Served with honor
and some clarified butter.


MrL_JaKiri posted:

If that's what you're here for just watch River of Souls

What I should do is rewatch season 5 again, I've skipped it in my last couple rewatches and it's probably better than what I give it credit for.

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your Mother!


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Sort of. Originally, according to JMS on usenet at the time, the plan was to finish with what became episode 18, Intersections in Real Time - 3 to go, not including Sleeping in Light (shot with S4, with Deconstruction shot with S5 which is why it doesn't have Claudia Christian but SiL does). Now quite a lot happens in those three episodes, but if anyone thinks that the content in those episodes was sufficient to stretch out into the plot of an entire (or half a season)... man, they don't know what filler means.

This is what I mean when I say that a lot of Straczynski's Usenet postings, especially from when the show was in active production, need to be taken with a grain of salt, because the guy was certainly not above drinking his own Kool-Aid from time to time (off the top of my head, claiming the similarities to Lord of the Rings were entirely coincidental, or that there was no way they drew inspiration from The Prisoner or Homicide: Life on the Street when doing Intersections in Real Time). But, in fairness, what creator doesn't stretch the truth from time to time?

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006


I think it's obvious that S4's arc would have been lengthened out as would the Earth stuff to do more than 3 episodes with. So much stuff was crammed into S4.

shadow puppet of a
Jan 10, 2007

NO TENGO SCORPIO



They wasted so much time on stupid Marcus...

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Timby posted:

This is what I mean when I say that a lot of Straczynski's Usenet postings, especially from when the show was in active production, need to be taken with a grain of salt, because the guy was certainly not above drinking his own Kool-Aid from time to time (off the top of my head, claiming the similarities to Lord of the Rings were entirely coincidental, or that there was no way they drew inspiration from The Prisoner or Homicide: Life on the Street when doing Intersections in Real Time). But, in fairness, what creator doesn't stretch the truth from time to time?

He's right that if you're aiming to write a "realistic" interrogation there's only so many ways you can go.

The contemporary comparison was with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closet_Land , largely, for what it's worth.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



So does someone wanna explain how the gently caress Delenn's hair works now?




Also, lol Carl Sagan references. The geekiness level remains high.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002



MrL_JaKiri posted:

Although I disagree to some extent, The Wire has a lot of that.

Well I was being hyperbolic, although I haven't seen that. But that's considered among the cream of the crop for TV, so really it adds to my point.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Data Graham posted:

So does someone wanna explain how the gently caress Delenn's hair works now?

Okay so kudos to them for lampshading this, I guess:



I mean, well, kinda. Funny that they're doing a whole "what's it like to be a human woman" subplot. But what I was getting at was, how does her hair work with her headpiece/skull thing? Does the hair go under it? Isn't that thing supposed to be a part of her head? Or is it something she puts on over the top of the hair, like a headband or a helmet? I mean obviously that's what it is in terms of costume/makeup, but in-universe it's really taking me out of the moment by making me ask whether that ridge thing is a part of her head or what.

Oh, and here's me during the last few moments of this episode:

quote:

Commander.
Susan.

Heh

quote:

(looking like she has a followup question) I wish to thank you again for your patience and understanding.
Oh, not a problem.

Uh

quote:

Taking on human characteristics has been something of an education for both of us.
Well, if you have any other problems, any other questions at all, just ask.

Oh god no

quote:

Well, now that you mention it do you have any idea why I suddenly started getting these odd cramps?

shadow puppet of a
Jan 10, 2007

NO TENGO SCORPIO



More uncomfortable than that time the doctor invited himself to partake in the bagna cauda.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



God, the doctor. I started out thinking he was pretty cool, but with every scene he's been in he's edged a little closer to super creepytown.

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006


Ah, yes, Delenn's hair. It bothered for a while, too, because that crest is basically an extension of a Minbari's skull and there'd be no way for her hair to do what it does.

However, I think it was the coffee table book that pointed out that it was supposed to separate from the back of her skull during her time in the chrysalis, basically, so there'd be a gap there.

I think for a lot of Season 2, though, she wears her hair over one side of her head.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Boomerang Arrow. It comes back to you in the end. Boomerang respect it.


Data Graham posted:

Okay so kudos to them for lampshading this, I guess:



I mean, well, kinda. Funny that they're doing a whole "what's it like to be a human woman" subplot. But what I was getting at was, how does her hair work with her headpiece/skull thing? Does the hair go under it? Isn't that thing supposed to be a part of her head? Or is it something she puts on over the top of the hair, like a headband or a helmet? I mean obviously that's what it is in terms of costume/makeup, but in-universe it's really taking me out of the moment by making me ask whether that ridge thing is a part of her head or what.

Oh, and here's me during the last few moments of this episode:


Heh


Uh


Oh god no




Yep that conversation ends up being a hint at something that happens later on.

Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


Well I'm somewhere in the early Season 2 at this point (episode 4 or 5 I think?). I'm kind of taking time to get used to Sheridan, as I really liked Sinclair. What was the off-set reason for switching? I was all ready and excited to see Delenn's transformation and exit from the cocoon, only to have it immediately ruined by the opening credits of Season 2. Overall though, I like the start they've gotten off to. These shadow folk people are pretty scary, but they seem to be a good enemy to build up to. I love the way they just plow through other ships in a few seconds.

Angry Lobster
May 16, 2011

Served with honor
and some clarified butter.


Kingtheninja posted:

Well I'm somewhere in the early Season 2 at this point (episode 4 or 5 I think?). I'm kind of taking time to get used to Sheridan, as I really liked Sinclair. What was the off-set reason for switching?

The real reason was unknown until Michael O'Hare died in 2012. You see, many B5 actors have explained for years how difficult it was working with him on set, especially Jerry Doyle, who said O'Hare was quite an rear end in a top hat. The truth is O'Hare was diagnosed with a mental illnes that made him suffer from delusions and paranoia, so he struggled a lot to do his job. He started treatment but it would take time. He only confided in JMS, and was willing to stop filming until O'Hare recovered but eventually they decided it would be best if he left at the end of season 1 and O'Hare made JMS swear to keep this secret until he passed away.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Did the other guys all pretend he was an rear end in a top hat as a cover story, or were they all as shocked as everyone else when they found out the real reason?

As for Sheridan, I'm having a hell of a time warming up to him too. It's weird, casting-wise you'd think he'd be a much more likable guy; he's got this aw-shucks smile and folksy manner about him, and lots of ways in which he's meant to come off as disarmingly confused and out of his depth. But he undermines it at every step by blustering and stomping around and yelling at people for stupid reasons. Whereas Sinclair was definitely a block of wood (as was said earlier), but everyone was written to find him personable and he made that stick really well.

This whole business about not wanting to pay rent for his cabins and bullying Ivanova into holding a sleep-in in his office was like,

Data Graham fucked around with this message at Sep 21, 2016 around 10:56

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Sheridan is supposed to come across as a brash All American type as far as I'm aware

Angry Lobster posted:

The real reason was unknown until Michael O'Hare died in 2012. You see, many B5 actors have explained for years how difficult it was working with him on set, especially Jerry Doyle, who said O'Hare was quite an rear end in a top hat. The truth is O'Hare was diagnosed with a mental illnes that made him suffer from delusions and paranoia, so he struggled a lot to do his job. He started treatment but it would take time. He only confided in JMS, and was willing to stop filming until O'Hare recovered but eventually they decided it would be best if he left at the end of season 1 and O'Hare made JMS swear to keep this secret until he passed away.

You can understand why he got a bit bad given Sinclair's plot in S1

MrL_JaKiri fucked around with this message at Sep 21, 2016 around 11:09

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006


Sheridan's supposed to be a jingoistic All-American military person, yeah.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



So "The Coming of Shadows", hell drat that's some kinda episode, huh.

Really impressive to see how so many of the slowly-building character subplots of Londo and G'Kar and their various confederates all suddenly come crashing together, and especially impressive in how inevitable it all feels, especially in retrospect. I doubt that the show is really trying to Say Something, but it's painting a really vivid picture of how diplomacy and negotiations are sometimes just completely futile, and the Star Trek view of things where any amount of centuries-old racial hatred can be assuaged with a few patriarchal platitudes is just criminally naive.

I never expected my opinion of a character to take such a huge leap through something as simple as sitting motionless, but Vir declining to take that drink at the end, daaamn I like him all of a sudden.

One thing I'm missing, though. I skimmed through that massive compilation of JMS' Usenet posts on this episode and didn't see anything addressing it, but: what's the deal with Garibaldi telling the Ranger guy that he may have saved the lives of a quarter million Narns? I don't know what he could have been referring to. All he did was show the tape of Sinclair telling us about the Rangers, and that there's a mysterious race out there to watch out for. How does that save anybody? That "quarter million" is really confusing. That's the same number of Narns that were on the colony that was attacked, and they were most certainly not saved, and everybody in the conversation knows it at the time. What's going on there?



E: Oh, okay, I see (I think): the 250K Narns are the civilian survivors that Sheridan was able to get Londo to release by threatening to have Earth observers come. But that was a bluff, which Sheridan was able to do based on what he learned from the Sinclair recording... which was what? What did Sinclair's advice of "watch out for the shadows, I can't tell you more" gave Sheridan the ability to threaten to send observers? Why couldn't he have sent observers anyway? Why am I missing this, I feel like I'm too dumb to watch this show in real time or something.

Data Graham fucked around with this message at Sep 21, 2016 around 14:12

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



The scene 33 minutes or so in. Garibaldi takes information from the Rangers to Sheridan and Ivanova, which lets them put pressure on the Centauri to release the civilians.

[edit in response to your edit]

There was further information exchanged offscreen

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



There was? The dialogue is split up between intercuts, but it goes:

quote:

Their job for now is to patrol the frontier. To listen. To watch. And return with reports too sensitive to entrust to regular channels. They are my eyes and ears. Where you see them, you see me.

- cut -

In the name of our friendship, I ask that you give them every courtesy and cooperation. I wish I could tell you more, wish I could warn you but the others don 't think it's time yet. Stay close to the Vorlon. And watch out for shadows. They move when you're not looking at them.

And that's it. I don't see where else in that recording there could have been such an important thing glossed over.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



There's more dialogue, and the ranger is still there at the end of the scene. The next scene with Garibaldi is him telling Sheridan and Ivanova things. The implication is that he was told this information off screen, which is a sensible decision production wise because we don't need expository dialogue for stuff we actually watched happen

Seemlar
Jun 17, 2002


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Sort of. Originally, according to JMS on usenet at the time, the plan was to finish with what became episode 18, Intersections in Real Time - 3 to go, not including Sleeping in Light (shot with S4, with Deconstruction shot with S5 which is why it doesn't have Claudia Christian but SiL does). Now quite a lot happens in those three episodes, but if anyone thinks that the content in those episodes was sufficient to stretch out into the plot of an entire (or half a season)... man, they don't know what filler means.

In another one of those long after the fact things, in the script book series JMS put out he basically chalked up the season 5 problems to him being overloaded and burned out, and some of the things contributing was having to fight behind the scenes battles over things like budget cuts to even get the season go-ahead despite it already being as minimalist as possible (iirc he said episode budgets were 900k per episode, versus Deep Space Nine at the time being about 2mil), Claudia Christian pulling the rug out at the last moment by walking with almost no warning after saying she was staying, and through a mishap of his own losing almost all of his season 5 episode outlines and planning notes. So he had to hammer out a lot of scripts in a much shorter time than usual, with less planning and direction than any previous season had, improvising around Ivanova being gone, and having to start writing the Lochley character before having any idea what kind of actress they could get for her just a few weeks out from filming beginning.

It was probably dramatized a bit for story telling purposes but it really did sound like what lead into that final season was a world of poo poo and the season 4 acceleration didn't really plan that large a factor in comparison.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Well that's what I'm wondering, maybe I do

I still don't see what Garibaldi could have told Sheridan that gave him the ability to bluff the threat of sending observers. Why couldn't he make that threat regardless of having heard anything from or about the Rangers? What exactly are we supposed to infer that he's basing the bluff on?

I don't mind only hearing something once, or even having to fill it in in retrospect; but hearing an important detail zero times is a bit of a stretch I think

quote:

Since New Year's, we've been hearing about another major race on the prowl. My source tells me the rumors are true. There may be some link to the Centauri government. Who or what that link is I don't know. But they're definitely getting support.

And you think this other race was behind the assault on Quadrant 14?

It's possible.

If it's true they won't want that information to get out.

Information? All we have is supposition.

Sheridan's rule number 29: Always make your opponent think you know more than you do. Now, if your source is right, we may be able to play a bluff.

Was the bluff based on Londo thinking Sheridan knows about the Shadows, and that ... means he can send observers? Is "observers" supposed to be read as "We are in league with the Shadows too, and they're the observers"?

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Data Graham posted:

Was the bluff based on Londo thinking Sheridan knows about the Shadows, and that ... means he can send observers? Is "observers" supposed to be read as "We are in league with the Shadows too, and they're the observers"?

I don't think it's supposed to be read as anything other than "We know that you had outside help and will send people in to find proof"

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

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

The point was Londo didn't want any Earth observers because they would see Londo's new friends, and Londo doesn't want anyone knowing about his new friends. So in order to keep the secret Londo backs down and lets the Narns leave.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Hm, okay.

I guess I assumed the new friends were already gone and wouldn't be seen one way or the other.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Forensics, I think the idea is.

Party Plane Jones
Jul 1, 2007

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


The biggest obstacle to me rewatching Babylon 5 is finding my DVDs in storage because apparently the streaming rights lapsed from Netflix 4 or 5 years ago and the show has never returned since to any service.

Eyud
Aug 5, 2006



It's on iTunes if you don't mind buying it again ($20/season or $70 for all five).

Baka-nin
Jan 25, 2015



Party Plane Jones posted:

The biggest obstacle to me rewatching Babylon 5 is finding my DVDs in storage because apparently the streaming rights lapsed from Netflix 4 or 5 years ago and the show has never returned since to any service.

Same, I have the complete Boxset but in the past few months I've become streaming spoiled and lazy. Though this thread is getting me more and more curious to dive in again, and I have a four day weekend coming up.

Party Plane Jones
Jul 1, 2007

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


Eyud posted:

It's on iTunes if you don't mind buying it again ($20/season or $70 for all five).

I'm not that lazy.

I am however watching the Gathering and my mind blanked out so, so many things. The biggest being Delenn's horrendous makeup job and ending with whatever the hell this is supposed to be:



You can tell the Babylon 5 prop department was truly a fly by night operation what with the repurposed roller coaster seats.

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MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

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



Delenn was supposed to be androgynous originally

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