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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.

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pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


shadow puppet of a posted:

Nothing in the shadow war disturbed me more than Lennier having to listen at the door while Delen ritually explores Sinclair's pleasure centers and then a few episodes later when Garibaldi has to watch the woman he still loves play housewife-maidservant to a wizened geriatric scrotum of a man.

Bill Mumy did an amazing loving job given that he was pretty much nothing else then a known child actor and for the last 10 years prior to the role he'd only done 2-3 extremely minor roles. His charecterization, cadence, and diction was just perfect.

It apparently made his stock rise so high he kept getting offers to appear on other sci-fi shows but refused any "alien" part he was given until he finally got a "random Star Trek redshirt" role for DS9.

edit: "Passing Through Gethsemane" really is a great episode for a lot of reasons. It has so much going on for just a few minor characters yet really at it's core why B5 was so much better then ST when it came to moral lessons. Also, Brad Dourif loving knocked it out of the park.

pentyne fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2016 around 06:18

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


MrL_JaKiri posted:

I disagree that it's pro-death penalty, it's about forgiveness. Although Garibaldi is explicitly pro-death penalty, but he's a right wing loon (as Jerry Doyle was)

It's 100% about forgiveness. The "death of personality" is a really complex philosophical question but the entire end of the episode between the new monk, the head monk, and Sheridan spells it out explicitly.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


MonsieurChoc posted:

Hahaha, I never expected the Giant from Twin Peaks to show up in Babylon 5! The Episode is Soul Mates for the curious.

Sheridan feels like a natural fit very fast, and it's funny seeing the dude picked by the bad president to control Babylon 5 turning out to be as impossible to control and principled as the previous guy.

It's pretty funny when you think about it. Sheridan had this big war hero reputation for sticking it to the aliens so it's a perfect choice for a quick replacement and for Clarke to show how "Earth First" he is.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


turn left hillary!! noo posted:

Hence why I called him evil.

Sheridan's use of the telepaths is questionable at best, but it's not out of character for him. He is changed after going to Z'Ha'Dum, and not all for the better. Garibaldi, even with his own problems, is also right, to a degree.

Something you seldom see even now aside from a few prestige shows is the willingness to make the central characters and villains more complex and nuanced then good vs bad.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


gourdcaptain posted:

Yeah, if the show had treated Sheridan a bit more harshly on that I'd be fine, but Garabaldi's opposition is dismissed as mind control and Deconstruction of Falling Stars basically goes "Sheridan did nothing wrong and thinking so is wrong". It's probably my least favorite episode of B5.

Also, it's hilarious Franklin folds quickly in the telepath case despite being massively stubborn on smaller ethical problems in the past.

Franklin was arguably the best actor in the shows history. Not even taking into account his deafness he nailed emotion and passion like no other actor. When he went all in with anger or rage it almost became a physical presence in its own right. Everyone loves Londo and G'Kar but their biggest strength was the casual back and forth banter and serious talk. Franklin was the master of the angry dialogue.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Tad SG posted:

Has even a single cast member from The Next Generation or DS9 died yet? This is nuts.

Edit- just checked- 6/18 main credit cast members of B5 are dead. 0/19 of the combined main credit cast members of TNG and DS9 are dead. Sheesh.

And so many of them were rather young too. Ohare had his mental struggles but nothing medically debiltating. Doyle was an alcoholic I think. Briggs was 90% deaf and had some medical issues but a heart attack in his early 40s is still a shock. Conway obviously wrecked his body from substance abuse that led to his death. Katsulas was pretty old but not ancient.

Its shocking that so many other genre shows from that era have almost the entire casts alive today even with the storied health issues of some of B5's core cast.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Angry Lobster posted:

Good bye Abrahamo Lincolni

God that was such a solid episode. I did a pretty solid rewatch recently but having skipped probably 1/3 of S1 and a handful of weak episodes here and there but any time Furst was getting main cast screen time you knew it was going to be something good

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


ConfusedUs posted:

Yeah there are 2,500,000 creatures on that station, plus all the equipment necessary for them to live and eat. Space is at a premium.

Of by a factor of 10x. Still, there must've been 30-40k people living in extreme poverty on the station at least.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Neo Rasa posted:

Plus Marcus is pretty low key when he first gets on board and chastises Lennier/etc. for not realizing they should order a drink while in a bar to appear like they're just there to drink and stuff like that, but afterwards we only really see him when he's directly interacting with people who know what's up so it's not like he's compromising anything.

Marcus was so over the top it's hard to believe he was supposed to be a secret agent. He was always wearing the elaborate Minbari robes like a space weeaboo and waxing poetically whenever he got the chance. It would make more sense if he was so bad at spycraft they just made him the main face of the group to handling the face to face stuff with the B5 crew.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Milky Moor posted:

A few things. Off the top my head...

Bad things happening a thousand years ago.

Organic technology being a really powerful thing.

Defeating a powerful enemy by exposing the hypocrisy of their logic.



I always thought it was some sort of Nazi reference with the whole purity issue.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Milky Moor posted:

I was going to mention that. But it's also not specifically related to the Ikarrans. I'm pretty sure just about every major faction in B5 wrestles with that. Minbari and Humans, especially. But it's definitely one of the more explicit cases.

I don't think there's a single character who doesn't have to eat a big bowl of poo poo at some point because of their hypocrisy or beliefs. Even Sheridan has his "loving kill this guy" face when he sees the mind wiped killer come back as a new monk.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


turn left hillary!! noo posted:

You know, we are making our way through DS9 as well, and we'd taken a break from B5 for quite a while. And I was starting to think the former was getting pretty decent, but then tonight we watched the beginning of season 5, including The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari. This show is just on a whole different level of good. I shouldn't be surprised by it anymore after watching through it probably a half dozen times, but I still am.

Season 5 is a weird experience, because there is so much good going on but then you keep getting all the Byron stuff and it was clearly an attempt to force the desired Telepath War plot into the show but not really making it work because the figurehead character lacked any real charm or gravity to his acting.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


thexerox123 posted:

Ha! I never would have expected Majel Barrett to show up in Babylon 5.

So does Scott Adams creator of Dilbert who is shockingly further to the right then Jerry Doyle.

Brad Dourif shows up too and steals the scene in his episodes.

Bill Mumy shows up in DS9. They apparently tried to get him for years but he refused any non-human characters till he finally got cast as a human red shirt for a single episode guest role.

Of course B5 fans remember Koening as Bester a character so memorable it's overshadowed anything he ever did in Star Trek.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Narsham posted:

What was needed is someone you could believe as a cult leader, another hippie Jesus-alike, but with a sense of creepiness and underlying darkness. Basically, exactly the character Zack sees and describes to Lyta. But Downes is simply too clean-cut and good/good-looking to make that work, and as a result the telepath cult comes across as genuine as good despite the plot desperately saying otherwise again and again.

Basically James Callis as Gaius during his Messianic phase in BSG would've been a phenomenal direction to go, but B5 wasn't good about subtle or seductive evil it was all pretty 100% obvious from the get go and you'd see the characters convince themselves they were making a good choice.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Narsham posted:

Well, Morden/Kosh was subtle early on, and the Narn/Centauri conflict at least sees a shift in the good/evil dynamic across the series.

Morden oozed raw evil from every moment on the station. Behind his weirdly out of place hair and soft spoken manner it was extremely obvious he was not there to do favors for people for charity. He had that kind of creepy niceness to him that you normally didn't get on early 90s serial television that made you think he was there to ruin someone's life despite all the manners in the world.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Kosh when he stood by while the Vorlons blew up the deathwalker ship was probably the 1st season defining moment for what the Vorlons were. It kind of seems like an advanced superpower helping out the little guys then you realize they are so beyond reproach or consequence they are borderline gods to the rest.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Can we all take a minute to appreciate just how incredible it was that there were actually interesting moments in Crusade? I mean holy poo poo even by 1998/9 standards it was completely terrible. What happened to JMS after Thirdspace that he ok'd anything and everything that was a waste of the IP?

pentyne fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2017 around 08:14

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


skasion posted:

How necessary would you guys say The Gathering is if I'm trying to introduce someone to the series? I remember the first episode as doing a decent job of introducing everyone but I haven't seen The Gathering in years and years myself so can't recall if there's something big I'm forgetting.

I'd watch it after they get through 1/3 of season 1 to see if they like the show and want to see the pre-cursor. It is extremely rough and early 90s in everything they did, from the weird rear end foam padding body armor to the over-exaggerated alien make-up.

I thought In the Beginning was the pilot because that's what TNT showed when they started their B5 run and that seemed like a pretty good start for me to the show.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Pretty sure every sudden 2 digit post count this thread has seen was a result of an actor death.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


hope and vaseline posted:

Everytime I see a glut of new posts in this thread my heart skips a beat thinking another cast member died :/

And yeah the Gathering is extremely optional. If you find yourself going, jesus christ I have to sit through another hour of this, just skip ahead to the series.

Or only watch scenes with G'Kar and Londo in them.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


bartolimu posted:

Laurel Takashima's awful line delivery would have single-handedly sunk the series. That's explanation enough for me.

Of all the wooden acting and terrible lines from people in the show she was the complete worst. I wonder if she either had a connection to the production team and got an in or they literally cast the first person they found for the role because it was a time/money issue.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Clouseau posted:

I liked the original doctor though. I have no idea what was up with Laurel.

Re-watching part of it I almost wonder if casting the minor parts was an afterthought since they assumed a genre sci-fi show that wasn't Star Trek would have to be carried by the core cast and even they JMS basically lucked out and got a main cast roster of incredible talent at a discount rate given their circumstances and backgrounds at the time.

You go back to Star Trek TNG and you'd get almost laughably bad actors in many of the minor parts, the surprise exception when the person playing a role for only one episode or minor recurring roles was genuinely good and able to act alongside some of the main cast and not seem like a high school drama student.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


turn left hillary!! noo posted:

We just watched "Objects in Motion" as we've been putting off the end of this. I'll tell you this, I've been enjoying DS9, but coming back to B5 is like the first time you open the windows in springtime.

I can't think of any other show that has a whole quarter of the last season as epilogue and denouement, but it is so good to have this.

DS9 still has all the trappings and window dressings of the TNG trek so it doesn't have the same feel as B5 once it goes into the darker plot territory. Also, aside from Sisko and Dukat no one could yell and get loud and really command a screen presence and mean it. Whereas in B5 you had Londo, Garibaldi, G'Kar, Franklin, Sheridan, Delenn, Ivanova, Sinclair, etc. Even a lot of the guest actors showed up ready to act in intense scenes and brought their A game.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


I've decided to give season 1 a full rewatch and take it into context with the show, the weird rear end production cycle, JMS being JMS, and what came next. As a metric for quality/substance, are there any small/medium time sci-fi shows to compare it to besides the Treks? I remember 95/96 as the start of serial sci-fi shows on the big 4, mostly Fox, but it's not like B5 existed in a complete vacuum.

Also, watching some of the later episodes, the Ministry of Peace and Clark etc. now living in the era of Trump are no longer as fun and entertaining as they were before.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012




Remember getting this and never playing the game. Always looked amazing though. I just ended up reading the manual a few times.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


fist4jesus posted:

I'm having such a nice time doing a rewatch and then BAM King loving Arthur.

That was easily one of the high points of the season, in no small part to the guest actor nailing the personality and mannerisms of what people think King Arthur would be like (based on modern movies and cinema)

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


turn left hillary!! noo posted:

I like all of the episodes. Even the bad ones.

Remember the S1 telepath who had the super serum injected into him, ascended into a magical space god, and gifted Talia with telekinesis? Because I don't think anyone else on that show did. I guess maybe they were going for a Q like being or someone to pop in, offer mystic advice, send them in the right direction etc.

It was a real bad episode, redeemed only because it debuted Bester. Had he not been in it then we'd all regard the episode as the Threshold of the series. Easily and unambiguously the worst.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


zeal posted:

i learned about O'Hare's schizophrenia during my last rewatch of the show last year, and drat if the plots of several season 1 episodes must have been trying for someone with his condition. sinclair gets mind-whammied some way or other every other episode

Didn't the stress of playing a war veteran with mental health issues trigger his own problems in an inescapable way?

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Iymarra posted:

Is that even possible?

Burn it down and salt the earth. Then make techomages nothing more then trickster con men.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Vavrek posted:

I forget how many times I've watched it. Three, maybe? Maybe four. Possibly five, now that I actually think about it. Spread over maybe twelve years, mind.

I think it's fine, and interesting to look at and think about what the initial plans were, what they were trying to accomplish, etc. To me, it's part of the show, the beginning of a story that has a rough start. I make a habit of not skipping entries in a series, and starting at the start, so it always seems like the appropriate place to begin if I'm watching the show for myself. It's not what I'd recommend for making a first impression, introducing the show to someone.

Its a good comparison to the first season and pilot of Star Trek TNG. The show that it became was almost completely different in every aspect, from pacing, aesthetics, direction, etc.

It's like telling people to skip most of that first season of TNG. Sure there's the terrible polywater episode, the Ferengi are pretty bad, there's the borderline racist episode with the planet of Africans, but then you had some fantastic episodes that showed just how good TNG would become.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


With TNG Rodenberry was given way too much influence and power, and all the writers and staff that had regarded TOS as a masterpiece and thought he was some visionary genius quickly realized that he was actually pretty bad. Like, old school racism and misogyny bad.

B5 thankfully had JMS who even in the early 90s had some interestingly progressive ideas for the show, like strong female characters in positions of command. For all the other quirks of the 90s, even in 20-30 years looking at it you can't really say that B5 didn't age well compared to its peers because there was a lack of that one super racist episode early on.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012



One thing I'll never forgot about Star Trek TNG/DS9 was that they cast the best actors as Cardassians. Like it was on their casting sheet "Be able to go toe to toe with Patrick Stewart or similar"

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


skooma512 posted:

Season 3 Episode 8:

It starts out with Sheridan and Garbaldi astonished that Ivanova has been served bacon and scrambled eggs. A tremendous luxury, since you can't get them out to Babylon 5 due to distance.

In the exact same episode "It's two days travel time to Earth space".

Refrigeration on ships might be cost prohibitive?

That was a dumb but fun scene. Even in the 50s people for freezing eggs for later use. In all likelihood feed/farm animals would be shipped and raised to every planet capable of supporting them. If they could afford to maintain a bunch of gardens/plants in B5 then they could raise a few dozen chickens and farm them for eggs.

I don't know who much water a chicken needs, but you'd think some enterprising entrepreneur would've imported chickens into B5 and sell the eggs at a high enough price to offset the costs.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Darth Freddy posted:

drat, just watched confessions and lamentations. Wow I did not remember this one at all from when I was a kid. Kind of ballsy to wipe out an entire species and have no real redeeming ending.

Back in 1995 they wrote a show about a race of people so obsessed and concerned over morality that they would allow a medical disease to overwhelm and wipe out their entire race rather then face it head on.

I think I read that they were alluding to AIDS or something at the time, but with all the craziness going on in the world now it doesn't really seem that far fetched for an entrenched culture to just blindly reject science and medicine in favor of some social concern.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Angry Salami posted:

the Byron plot drags a bit,

It was a disaster and a limp fish of a story that JMS wanted to do about a serious no poo poo telepath war. It could've been saved by some many things but in the end it just wasn't engaging and it forced this random new character to try and go toe to toe with Walter Koenig and come off like something you'd expect in a local community theater play.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Angry Salami posted:

Yeah, but it's not as bad when you're rewatching and going through a few episodes a night than when it was literally months worth of episodes that all seemed to be set in the same brown coridor...

I will freely admit the Harlan Ellison episode is especially entertaining. Whether or not the episode really makes sense it was a great new perspective on runnings of B5.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Kingtheninja posted:

Ahhh holy poo poo you guys the centauri just beat the narn and londo is stone cold demanding g'kar go to trial. Sheridan looked like he was going to murder londo for yelling at him.

I honestly can't watch anymore tonight but God drat that ending was hard, I think I hate londo.

Edit: "the centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again."

You will look back on this experience as the time you definitely thought it couldn't get any better, and then it does.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Was anyone aware of O'Hare's schizophrenia before JMS revealed it a few years ago after O'Hare died? As frequently as it's mentioned there was never any criticism or disregard for his performance and exit and everyone I feel that everyone just assumed there was "creative differences" and things ended up working out.

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pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Vavrek posted:

This is one of my favorite episodes just for how wildly divergent the A and B plots are in tone, character significance, and how much I like them. I once had this exchange with a friend, when I was rewatching the series:

"Do you remember the episode when Ivanova's hometown rabbi shows up because he's concerned she's not grieving for her father properly?"
"Yeah, I thought it was a really well-done and touching story, and a really good depiction of Jewish culture."
"Do you remember the episode when Sugar Ray Robinson shows up, and he's Garibaldi's old friend, and the plot is about him getting to be the first human allowed into Alien Kickboxing?"
"Yeah. That was kind of dumb."
"That was the same episode."
"What."

"STROKE OFF"

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