Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Milky Moor posted:

I adore the show because the reusable sets, melodramatic acting and rotating cast of guest stars who you begin to recognize by voice because they're always in alien masks gives it this wonderful stage production feel, as others have pointed out.

Yes, the theatrical ACK-ting! is something you kind of have to learn to love about Babylon 5. Everything about the show is inherently stagey, but having grown up on British sci-fi and children's dramas that doesn't bother me at all.

Seems obvious to say it, but if B5 were to ever get rebooted it would have to be a very, very different show, as there's no way you could make it in that "people having arguments in very similar-looking sets" style now.

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

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

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Timby posted:

Lochley.

Duh, of course.

Shbobdb posted:

Also, did they ever fix the CGI on the releases we can watch now? If not are there :files: of the non broken stuff like with Bevis and Butthead or are we all just stuck?

Short answer: Nope. The best source I've been able to find, short of hunting down all the VHS releases, is buying episodes through the VUDU streaming service, which has them in the 4:3 original broadcast versions. I experimented using a capture card to try recording some of them via my Xbox(their PC streaming app is dogshit and seemingly designed to make screen capture impossible) and the results were pretty good, but the thought of actually sitting down and recording the entire lot is a bit of a daunting prospect.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

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.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

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.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

MrL_JaKiri posted:

Well, 5 years earlier but who's counting!

Oh man, what a goof. In my defence, the huge time delay in TNG being run on British TV meant we were still getting "new" episodes several years after the show went off the air.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Milky Moor posted:

It's a quirky classic sci-fi thing, really, but also lays seeds for the fact that the Vorlons aren't on the level. Deathwalker illustrates their approach towards politics (gently caress you, that's why) but Inquisitor illustrates that they care more about the end result than petty things like morals or justice.

Also, keep an eye out for that actor - Wayne Alexander - he shows up a lot.

I've just watched this episode again and is it me or is Alexander totally channelling Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes? Maybe it's just the eyebrows.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

drat, this is too intriguing to let slip by. PM me up, someone?

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

King Doom posted:

poo poo, I remember the first time that episode premiered in the UK, it was on at something ridiculous like two AM, and I had the first of my GCSE exams the next morning. Still watched it, and I still get misty eyed thinking back.

In fact, Channel 4 decided it would be a great idea if the final five episodes were shown on weekday mornings in the middle of The Big Breakfast. Because what everyone wanted to hear was Johnny Vaughan and a house full of people talking very loudly over the end credits.

After many complaints they ran them again...in the 1pm graveyard slot.

Season 5 really did kicked around the schedules as I remember. They didn't know what to with it. At one point it was on at lunchtime on a Sunday.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Zaroff posted:

While they did gently caress up with the final 5 episodes of Season 5, they did make up for it by starting a repeat run of the entire series late night on Sundays!

Except for the fact that they didn't want to cough up for the repeat rights for Season 4 & 5, so the repeat run stopped dead after the cliffhanger ending of Za'ha'Dum

Still, at least we got to see Crusade!

Maelstache fucked around with this message at Nov 11, 2016 around 19:59

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Payndz posted:

Crusade was badly hosed over by the network (I can't recall the details, but wasn't the whole thing with the change in uniforms to do with forced reshoots?), and the music was indeed poo poo, but JMS has to shoulder some of the blame himself. It's years since I saw it, but the main thing I remember is thinking that he'd burned through all his best ideas on B5 and was now trying to make a meal with leftover scraps.

They had to reshoot the whole first episode, didn't they? I think it might've been shown out of order as well but I can't recall the details.

I just remember how cheap and badly made it looked. Even without the interference from TNT it would've still been a disappointment. Going straight into the continuation of B5 directly after B5 ended was clearly a massive mistake on JMS's part.

Some episodes further in the run weren't too bad, the problem was the show had such an awful start I don't think it ever really recovered. I remember the very last episode had some promise (and Dr Franklin), but it was too little too late.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Dirty posted:

Gideon's hover-bike chase and the Homunculous were particular low points, but I think they'd have looked bad in any series around that time period - they were both overambitious. I get that the homunculous wasn't supposed to be photoreal, but I assume was also supposed to not look laughable.

This was from the Firefly film, though, 6 years later. But yeah, Firefly CG was mostly much better than B5s. I partly place the blame more on budget and time, (and the mid-B5change in FX houses) though. Some early B5 space battles look much better than the later stuff.

There was still a sizeable gap between Crusade and Firefly going to air. I think a better comparison might be Farscape, which actually debuted the same year as Crusade and pretty much outstripped it on every level, especially visual effects.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Neddy Seagoon posted:

It still casts a shadow over the entire first half of the season as the primary story arc. Once it gets put to bed the season makes a massive jump in quality.

It kind of sticks in the craw that so much more time was spent on that storyline than, say, whatever was originally planned for Lennier's arc.

But you know what the worst part about it was? That loving song.

Someone on the comments for that clip has it right, Byron was essentially a Jim Jones figure but this doesn't come across at all in the direction of the show. Especially when they're putting him in what looks like a soft focus new age music video(see clip above).

pentyne posted:

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.

It's a classic Mephistophilean bargain; a mysterious and powerful stranger shows up and offers you the thing you want most in the universe, in exchange for a terrible price. The twist that JMS put on the idea was essentially making him a sales rep for the forces of evil.

I wonder if that character archetype existed before Faust or if it's even older than that? Pretty drat old in any case.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Dirty posted:

Yeah, I remember at the time the networks, from Season 2 onward, decided to keep the last 4-5 episodes of the season, and run them as a lead-in into the new season. Apparently it was to give them a "head start" over other networks, I guess with airing new episodes before everyone else starts. I don't really get American TV, but that's how I understood it at the time.

Which meant the final 4 episodes of Season 2 actually got their world premier in the UK. I think the same was true of Seasons 3 and 4, but I'm not 100% sure I remember right. With Season 5, what with it being the ending, I suppose, they weren't allowed to do that. So in the UK season 5 ended with "Movements of Fire and Shadow" I think, and then after a long break the final 5 were aired on Sunday morning as part of some kids morning show that was on at the time. I remember the mildly bewildered looks of the presenters as each episode ended (presumably having seen the final minute or two), and them giving an generic "wow, how exciting, more from Babylon 5 next week" comment.

Since season 5 had finally started to ramp up, it kind of killed it a bit for me having that long break and then randomly emerging in the middle of some other show like that. "Sleeping in Light" was still amazing, though.

I just looked up the UK airdates, and there was a four month gap between "Movements" and those last five episodes, which aired the week after Christmas 1998. Sleeping In Light went out on New Years Day(that ties in with my memory of being at my grandparents for the holidays when it was on). This was apparently due to TNT being dicks about the distribution rights, which meant Channel 4 was not allowed to run the episodes before their US broadcast as they had done previously.

They did show the final five again in a late night slot, which was supposed to lead into a complete rerun of the whole series. The problem was they'd burned through their repeat rights for Season 4 and didn't want to pay for it again, so it ended abruptly at Za'ha'dum. I remember anxiously checking the TV schedules every week to see when it was coming back, but it never did

Of course, if we'd had the Sci-Fi Channel we could've seen it twice a week forever, but we...didn't.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

B5's back on in the UK from next Monday, the Freeview channel Pick TV is starting a complete run every weekday evening.

Mildly curious as to which version of The Gathering they're going with, or whether it's going to be 4:3 or 16:9.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Marmaduke! posted:

I noticed watching Despicable Me yesterday that Gru has the same voice as Londo. Which is neat.

I always thought Tom Hardy's Bane voice sounded like he was doing an impression of Andreas Katsulas.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Jedit posted:

Some of those threads shifted even before S1. The Psi-Corps sleeper agent was originally going to be Laurel Takashima, so Andrea Thompson wanting to leave turned into a happy coincidence.

Eh, weren't those storylines pretty much separate? Takashima was supposed to be the traitor that shot Garibaldi in the back, the role that got shifted to a random dude who was in the background of a couple of episodes. There was nothing in the script to say Jack was mind-controlled, he was just a true believer Psi-Corp scumbag. Presumably Takashima would've been the same.

The worst part about the Ironheart episode is that he basically turns into loving God, and everyone just kinds of shrugs and goes "Eh, weird day, huh." and just carry on like nothing happened. It's the kind of thing that would fly in Trek where they meet magical omnipotent beings every other week, but in B5 it felt like a weird tonal misstep.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

JMS really, really wants to do the Lord Of The Rings TV show.

https://twitter.com/straczynski/sta...770201136541696

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Tsaedje posted:

UK had it all on Amazon last year, then it was being shown on a freeview channel from beginning to end until a couple of months ago. Now they've shown it all Amazon might get it back.

Eh, it was never taken off Prime in the UK as far as I can see? Annoyingly it's not in the subscription package though, you still have to pay for individual seasons/episodes.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

The curse strikes again, Harlan Ellison now.

https://deadline.com/2018/06/harlan...-84-1202419133/

Well, maybe not. Unlike some of the others he lived to a good age and had a long career outside the show. One of the last from that golden era of sci-fi writers, I guess.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

LongDarkNight posted:

With LeGuin dead who else is left?

Michael Moorcock, Robert Silverberg, Gene Wolfe are Samuel R Delany are still kicking around.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

turn left hillary!! noo posted:

That's why the sfx on the DVDs already look like crap - for all the effects shots they had to use the NTSC broadcast masters, which were 4:3 on video, and upscale/crop them to 16:9. The actual filmed portions are fine, but every single shot with any kind of effect would need the effect recreated from scratch and recomposited. And it probably has way more effects than TNG, which, as a more popular show already proved... unfulfilling from a monetary investment standpoint.

JMS has claimed recently(in relation to Amazon Prime getting the US streaming rights) that 35mm prints of all the episodes exist in the Warner archives, implying it would be possible to put out a near-HD quality 4:3 release of the entire series. The hard part would be convincing WB to give a poo poo about putting out a better quality release than the one that's already available.

I'm pretty sure he said some of the CG sequences used on the DVDs had actually been sourced from the laserdisc versions, which would explain an awful lot.

http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/201...e-possible.html

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Timby posted:

The news reports at the time suggested that PTEN told Straczynski to change the lead actor or else the show would be canceled. At the time, he obfuscated, saying that it was always part of the plan to move Sinclair to a background role and introduce a new "soldier" commander of the station (which everyone with half a brain could see was PR spin).

I don't know when he told the cast, though; in Jerry Doyle's extensive interview with Kenneth Plume (which was around ... 2002-ish, I think), Doyle simply said that O'Hare was a very intense guy and not always the easiest to work with, and insisted that O'Hare had been fired. Granted, Doyle and reality weren't always exactly on the same page.

He basically completely poo poo-talked O'Hare on his radio show, calling him crazy and impossible to work with. And this was while he was still around, and when everyone else who knew the truth about his leaving was still keeping a lid on it. RIP Jerry, you loving piece of poo poo.

Here we are, actual quote:

https://www.sffchronicles.com/threads/39270/

"My first season of Babylon 5 working with Michael O'Hare, he's a whack-job a complete lunatic. He flies out from New York, he gets the gig, we're doing our rehearsels he says to me one day "Uh can you give me a ride out the the set?" yeah sure! "Wanna stop and have breakfeast?" yeah good! He gets in the car and he's playing with the buttons in my car trying to turn the radio off and I'm like what are you doing? And he goes "I don't want any sound" and I go well why dont you just ask me to turn it off? And he goes "I dont want to talk today!" And I say well why do you want to go to breakfeast and he goes "you talk, I'll listen!" so obviously we hurry through breakfeast, we go out to the set and I realise I'm dealing with a complete nut-job here."

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Jedit posted:

Timov does return in the Fall of Centauri Prime novels. Unfortunately you're unlikely ever to read them, because they're long out of print and hard to find.


I won't post a link because but I would suggest googling "hungry-ewok babylon 5" might produce startling results.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Vavrek posted:

That new fighter pilot guy was a "suggestion" from higher-up that JMS was given.

What happens to him is one my favorite little details, knowing that the character was forced on the writer.

They never gave him another such suggestion.

That also reminds me of weird situation with Mary Kay Adams replacing Caitlin Brown in as Na'toth, JMS apparently hated her performance so much she was given the push after filming two episodes.

For contractual reasons, they couldn't drop her name from the credits, so she had to be credited as a recurring guest star on every episode for the rest of the season despite never appearing. Crazy.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Doctor Zero posted:

Oh god I always wanted to find that and then the internet came around and I found it and then really wish I hadnít. Itís awful.

The script I'd want to see adapted is the Vincent Ward space monks version, it was basically The Name Of The Rose with xenomorphs.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Payndz posted:

Wouldn't be surprised if someone from Foundation Imaging has the entire library of ship models on a Zip disk in their attic.

Ron Thornton confirmed as much in an interview years back. The problem isn't sourcing the models necessarily, it's that the technology and software involved is so archaic(we're talking Lightwave and Video Toaster here) that even if all the model data survives I doubt it would be of much use.

Short of re-creating all the CG from scratch, the only real option for an HD upgrade is the archival film copies held by Warners.

hope and vaseline posted:

Definitely this. At some point it was even streaming on some service at 4:3 SD quality without the jarring transitions and cropping.

It is (or was) on VUDU in 4:3. I figured out a way to capture from there using an Xbox Gold Account and a VPN and then feeding out to an Elgato to record to my PC, but it was pretty tedious and I didn't get very far. And I think they've blocked VPNs now.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

I decided to start reading the original novels based on the series, just out of curiosity as it was a part of the franchise I hadn't previously engaged with. For better or worse I started with the first one, "Voices" by John Vornholdt, and, well...huh.

For the most part it feels "off" in a way that a lot of tie-in novels based on shows are when the person writing it doesn't really know a lot about the show or characters. B5 as a setting is hardly used, which is a bit odd considering this is the first book in a series based on a series set on a goddamn space station, in space. instead, the story largely concerns Talia Winters being framed as a terrorist(!) and having to go on the run from Psi-Corp on Earth, so most of the story takes place there and on Mars.

We find out Talia has an Uncle on Mars called Ted who's some sort of revolutionary-dissident. The story is full of elements like this that feels thrown in but don't really connect to anything else or have a payoff. There's also a long drawn out diversion in the middle where Talia escapes captivity with this guy and hangs out at a hippy commune in the desert for a while, before both of these story points are dropped and never referred to again.

I did think it was funny that Bester uses a lot of British idioms, e.g. "Not bloody likely!" as if the writer wasn't sure where he was supposed to be from and just assumed evil dude = English.

There was one amazing part which made me stop reading out of sheer disbelief. It's when Talia is on a shuttle in disguise on Mars. Garibaldi is there as well looking for her and he is able to identify who she is...by checking out her rear end. Not making this up, this is the actual text from the book:

quote:

You pig, quit staring at her, he told himself. But the woman had almost struggled to the end of her row and was about to hit the aisle, so he thought he would hold on to catch her rear action. Garibaldi wasn't disappointed - it was the finest can he had seen in a long time. In fact, it was reminiscent. He sat up in his seat and stared at the woman's buttocks as she sauntered away from him. Then he gripped Gray's arm.
"Wake up!" he whispered. "Wake up!"
"What is it? What is it?" mumbled Gray.
He bent so close to Gray that it probably looked as if he was kissing him. "She's here on this transport with us," he whispered, "Talia."
"You saw her? You made positive identification?"
"Well," admitted Garibaldi, "all I saw was her rear end, but that's enough."
Gray wrinkled his nose. "Really, Garibaldi, that is disgusting! You see a woman's rear end, and you fantasize that you can identify Ms. Winters from her rear end? I hadn't realized you were such close associates."
"Trust me," claimed Garibaldi, "I have been watching that can very closely for the past year, and I know it by heart. But I want you to verify the ID - we'll be able to see her face when she comes back."

Almost tempted to tweet JMS to ask if Garibaldi's rear end-recognition powers are canon.

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Old Boot posted:

In contrast to good art (I rather like the designs, though I had a moment of looking at Londo and thinking 'oh god it's ultra-weird pony fanart isn't it' before my brain snapped back into gear), let's have some bad official art

I've been reading through the old 1995 comics, and while they're interesting in places, they're like the films in that they're rather substantive moments in the canon that never get mentioned again, which-- has some notable problems with continuity. The Garibaldi-centric one is especially egregious-- and not just because of this ~amazing art~ (with bonus bad!Londo).



Aside from aforementioned bonus, those are all supposed to be Garibaldi. And the dude he's wrasslin with is supposedly Sinclair. I personally am quite fond of 'squishy babyman' in the upper left.

Only upshot is that the comics detail a) Sinclair's reassignment to Minbar (and the inevitable shitfit the Warrior Caste has-- this is less good and more 'oh this again'), b) how Sinclair and Garibaldi met. Hence Shaggybaldi.

The art really is precious.

EDIT: Oh god, I posted too soon and missed the missed the weird, gnarly cat men.

Oh wow, is that Ridgway art? Dude was so good on Hellblazer and the old Dr Who comics.

Uh, must've had some trouble drawing B5 likenesses I guess?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Gnome de plume posted:

He even does the "my love for her is pure and different, you wouldn't understand" speech at one point.

Bill Mumy does a pretty good job with him though. Hey, did you know he was the Lost In Space kid? I always thought that was funny.


I guess the question is did JMS write Lennier like that intentionally or did those characteristics come about about as a consequence of his own goonish tendencies (thinking of that time he tried to hit on Claudia Christian and got firmly shut down)?

Does he actually think Lennier is a good guy and not a hapless jerk?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply