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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:37 am 
I meant the Season 5 telepath arc. I liked it. Ah well...

"The stories we tell - that's us explaining how we think the world works. Once we speak it, once we say it aloud, that makes it real for us - and real for everyone else who hears it too. When we tell a story, we invite people to visit our reality. We invite them to move in. Our stories are the reality we live in." - David Gerrold, The Martian Child



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:48 pm 
Maybe this is just endemic to the whole concept of the human(oid) telepath, but there always seems to be a problematic contradiction of whether to portray them as victims or oppressors. In its best moments, B5 was able to balance the two (w/ the Psi Cops as the fulcrum), but in S5 IMO they went too far over into "victim" territory. :hmm



GG Talia Winters, in her person, seemed to embody the contradiction: love/hate w/ the Psi Cops, veering over into hate once she became involved w/ Ivanova (Yes, yes!), she was victim . . . but then, w/ the emergence of the "sleeper personality" (Boo!) reverting fully to oppressor. Out



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:18 pm 
I liked the arc where Talia Winters, the loyal psi corps member, learned about the dark side of Psi Corp. And it would have been cool to ley Winters hook up with Ivanova and play that out. And the way they wrote Winters out just sucked IMHO (evil/crazy cliche). Lyta already being a psi corp rebel didn't have the same impact for me and even less when they "forced" her back in to play out the arc in 5th season.

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Edited by: sam7777  at: 4/22/04 2:19 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:42 pm 
At the time I recall thinking it cheesy that they introduced the Ivanova/Winters thing in the last episode that Talia was around, and that it wasn't something that was really hinted at in Ivanova's character previously. Again, at the time I thought it was just sort of silly and pointless. And I liked both characters. I prefered Lyta to Talia though, I thought she had a better edge. Byron and his commune of telepaths made me want to throw stuff at the TV. Uggh! Sorry, but I hated them, not as much as Season sux or severed or BSK, but still. But then I disliked the new female on Beauty and the Beast in season 3 too.



I thought they did a pretty good job with the telepaths pre season 5. That last season just seemed to have some ideas, but nothing that connected it together and the Drak needed to be more organized and do something. I wanted to see a bit more space action or infiltration of B5 in order to get revenge on Sheridan and the new presidency thing. The whole thing was just rushed.



I did like Crusade by and large. The captain was very cool, the techno-mage was awesome, and the corporate guy and the thief were well played. It never got a good chance unfortunately. Too bad.



Garner





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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:38 pm 
Quote:
I recall thinking it cheesy that they introduced the Ivanova/Winters thing in the last episode that Talia was around, and that it wasn't something that was really hinted at in Ivanova's character previously.




I saw it earlier than that. In the episode where Talia stumbles into the telepath "underground railroad," she goes to Ivanova's quarters at the end, and as she's standing there talking she starts taking off her gloves - a very significant and intimate act for a telepath to do - and I remember thinking, "What, are they going to start making out?" And that was long before I'd heard of subtext or Willow & Tara or any of that.



The thing about the telepaths is that JMS created a human culture where discriminating against them was socially acceptable, and I thought that was a very daring thing of him to do. You'd never see anything like it in Gene Roddenberry's future. The Psi Corps badges always reminded me of the Stars of David that Jews had to wear in Nazi Germany. And this was never really addressed - it was just there. B5 had the now-traditional diverse cast, depicting a society where, for example, a black man and a white man could go undercover as a newlywed couple and no one would bat an eye - but just when you thought this was Trek-style non-judgmental utopia, there were the telepaths. It was a burr under the saddle that fascinated me.



And Season 5 brought that aspect of the telepath story to the front. There was an entire episode told from Bester's point of view. Sure, he's an evil guy - but why is he that way? What made him that way? And wasn't it interesting when Captain Lockley called him to the station in what was essentially a "good guy" role of helping to deal with Byron's uprising?



And as for Byron, yeah he was kind of a flake, but if there'd been no Byron we wouldn't have gotten the kick-butt Lyta we got at the end of the season, so as far as I'm concerned the flakiness was worth it. :)

"The stories we tell - that's us explaining how we think the world works. Once we speak it, once we say it aloud, that makes it real for us - and real for everyone else who hears it too. When we tell a story, we invite people to visit our reality. We invite them to move in. Our stories are the reality we live in." - David Gerrold, The Martian Child



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:23 pm 
But then again, what is the correct posture to have towards a discernable group w/ an innate superior power? Discrimination? Extermination? Worship?



There's no definitive correct answer, which is why science fiction returns to the concept again and again. (In Roddenberry's Utopia, telepathic humanoids are just to be trusted: which, in the case of a race like the Vulcans, was shown to be essentially deserved. By locating the telepathic group w/ Homo sapiens themselves---and we all know how rotten they are!---B5 took away any possible "just trust 'em" mythos.)



GG Suddenly having the urge to watch B5 again: what time is it on SciFi? :grin Out



This might be somewhat heretical, but while I usually liked the concept of the character of Lyta (especially in the pilot, and when she initially returned as Kosh's aide), I never thought Patricia Tallman was very much of an actor (but I liked her better w/ Jeff Conaway's nice guy "Zack Allen," than that awful drip Byron. Wasn't one long-haired Brit, Jason Carter's "Marcus", enough?)



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:53 pm 
Patricia Tallman is a stuntwoman primarily. I don't know how JMS picked her to play Lyta - not that I minded.



One more thing about telepaths - note that that Centauri and the Minbari had telepaths, too, and it wasn't a problem for either of them. Minbari culture is so centered around the notions of honesty and service that to think a Minbari telepath couldn't be trusted simply didn't happen. And I got the feeling that the Centauri mistrusted everybody, so telepaths didn't really get singled out.



Oh, and one more thing about the Byron storyline - I remember reading somewhere that Byron was originally supposed to be Ivanova's love-interest, in an arc that would finally get into the issue of Ivanova's telepathic abilities, small though they may be. But then there was the whole fiasco with Claudia Christian not signing for S5, and so the story was rewritten for Lyta.

"The stories we tell - that's us explaining how we think the world works. Once we speak it, once we say it aloud, that makes it real for us - and real for everyone else who hears it too. When we tell a story, we invite people to visit our reality. We invite them to move in. Our stories are the reality we live in." - David Gerrold, The Martian Child

Edited by: BBOvenGuy  at: 4/22/04 9:57 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:50 am 
Apparently JMS wrote the part of Lyta for Patricia Tallman after seeing her in the remake of Night Of The Living Dead.



There's more than one way to do it. - The Perl mantra



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:29 am 
Count me in as one of those that did care "why" JMS signed Patricia Tallman on but was glad he did.



To be honest it was one of the reasons why I even bothered to keep up with the show. I have allways thought she was great and any show that had her on it couldn't be all that bad.



Of course JMS had the sense to do one other bit of casting correct, that they got Jeffery Combs to play anything. I think he is great and was happy to see him as many characters on Trek and then again as a telepath on B5 (one of the few episodes I watched). A snarky aside about that episode, the captain (Sheridan?) went into the room where Combs character was getting ready and he talked about how their telepath, Talia, would do the same thing. I thought that was neat that a character not on the show was actually remembered to have been on it. Unlike some shows I could think of. But then again /that/ show never had Jeffery Combs as a guest star either (nor Bruce Campbell for that matter).



Warlock

-----

Web Warlock

Coming Soon to The Other Side, The Netbook of Shadows: A Book of Spells for d20 Witches


"Fool! Ninjas don't wear assless chaps." - Wobert, "In the Pit"



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:51 am 
It also never had Scott Adams guest starring.



Though Jeffrey Combs was in the episode Eyes, which was from the first series, before Talia left, and when Commander Sinclair was in command.



There's more than one way to do it. - The Perl mantra



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:13 pm 
Bob raises some interesting points on the telepaths, but I thought those questions were more effectively raised in season one with the transcendent telepath, whose gift did seem to be forgotten, with Ivanova, with Bester, and that by season 5 while it could have gone somewhere, the Byron group seemed like just an underground railroad for left over 60s hippies. I absolutely detested it and for me it puts B5 close to season sux in disappointments. Now the episode with Bester coming back as a near good guy was neat. Season 5 B5 had some good eps and as I said the whole G'Kar as a holy many was fascinating and so well done it saved the end for me. I just wanted to see something a bit more definitive to the questions Bob raises, but which wasn't really there. I always got the sense that their badge was more a symbol of their unity and family, of something to be sacred of and a force that was outside the societal norm. I don't know if I buy the Star of David comparison. They were feared, but not really persecuted and used in business transactions too much. And they didn't seem like second class citizens at all. PsiCorps almost reminds me of the conspiracists in X-Files: Are they really in charge? What are they up to? A lot of their persecution as we saw from that season 1 episode was internal from themselves! Now I know there are always collaborators, but it didn't feel like that, it felt like those some telepaths didn't like the darkness, conditioning or near brainwashing in the corps itself.



As for the Talia scene, either I missed that, or thought she was just going helping Ivanova deal with her latent telepathy. I never saw the signs from Ivanova's character. And thank god we never had a love story between Byron and Ivanova. Ugh, I am almost sick sinking about that now.



Yeah a lot of this is making me want to go back and watch B5 again, it has been a long while! That's probably not a bad thing.



Garner





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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:25 pm 
I have to say I'm with Bob on liking the S5 telepath story.



While S5 as a whole was the weakest season it was nowhere near Season Sux on the disapointment scale. I mean had B5 continued then S5 wouldn't have stopped me from watching and I've never tried to convince myself that S5 never happened.



About the telepaths I think there was two sides to the psycorp. There was the people in charge who used the psycorp to keep themselves in a position of authority and to keep control of other telepaths. There was also the general telepaths who were pressed into joining the psycorp rather than taking a drug that would slowly drive them insane. These are the people who are being persecuted, though that persecution is mainly from other telepaths.





There's more than one way to do it. - The Perl mantra



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:58 pm 
As so very often here the Kittens have opened my eyes. I am going to add B5 to my next round of Netflix rentals.



Course I am planning on re-watching all of Farscape and Dark Shadows first.



Warlock

-----

Web Warlock

Coming Soon to The Other Side, The Netbook of Shadows: A Book of Spells for d20 Witches


"Fool! Ninjas don't wear assless chaps." - Wobert, "In the Pit"



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:19 am 
WW, I've been trying to do that for the last year or so! At least after watching B5 you won't come out of it with a deep and abiding hatred of JMS, the characters, or the show. And yeah, B5 season 5 was no season sux, or severed for that matter. It was disappointing, but not to the bitterness creating, irrational eye twitch enducing, wanting to kick certain -wads in the jimmies sort of thing. Only one had that power.



Garner





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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:08 pm 
Fair enough.



Garner has been trying to get me to watch for over a year now. At this rate it will take another 2 before I sit down to watch Stargate huh Garner?



Warlock

-----

Web Warlock

Coming Soon to The Other Side, The Netbook of Shadows: A Book of Spells for d20 Witches


"Fool! Ninjas don't wear assless chaps." - Wobert, "In the Pit"



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 9:56 pm 
Garner: Too true There is only one that induces that kind of rage for cliche, misogyny and just plain bad writing. I was dissappointed with season 5 of Babylon 5 but could watch it. And I still want to see JMS's next project unlike others. Genre TV needs a real boost in imagination and vision and JMS has those in spades.



ETA: J. Michael Straczynski is working on comics. His latest is an issues of Spiderman:

Amazing Spider-Man #506



Personally as a comics fan, I'm not big on people outside of cimics doing comics. I think there is sufficient difference between a comic script and screenplay to make a comic written by a screenwiter more like a filmed play than a something that takes full advantage of the comics medium. That said, JMS has written some of the better comics that I have read from an outsode to comics and has created some cool characters like "Rising Stars". I don't fell that JMS is lumming in comics as a second resort like others I could name. Here's a list of his other comics stuff:

JMS Comics

Edited by: sam7777  at: 5/19/04 12:00 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 11:40 am 
I have found JMS' Amazing Spiderman pretty cool. Yeah, he has hit the mystical areas pretty hard, but I love Dr. Strange so that is no big deal to me, I like seeing that added in. I've also enjoyed Supreme Power as well as Rising Stars. Marvel at least has taken the chance to bring in someone different and this has paid off in this case. It will be interesting to see how Josswad's is thought of after the first 6 issues or so.



I just hope that the rumors and talk about a new B5 series is realized. It does seem like we are in a bit of a lull or low point for SF and Fantasy style shows.



Garner





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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 12:28 pm 
JMS' Spiderman and Rising Stars are both quite good, which is quite a compliment coming from someone whose idea of comics is Sandman, Maus, and SiP.

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit." -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 11:29 am 
Some sad news--actor Richard Biggs, who played Dr. Franklin on B5, has reportedly passed away from what may have been "either an aneurysm or a massive stroke."



This comes from a post JMS made to the moderated B5 newsgroup:



groups.google.com/groups?....com#link1



Ben



"Never be discouraged from being an activist because people tell you that you'll not succeed. You have already succeeded if you're out there representing truth or justice or compassion or fairness or love."

-- Doris 'Granny D' Haddock



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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 1:57 pm 
Very sad news indeed. I had the privilege of meeting him twice. Very nice guy, always smiling, with a lot of energy. He will be missed. :(



In other news, Claudia Christian just moved to England to work on a new sci-fi show that will start production next month. She will be a starship captain, the leading character. More info here:



Star Hyke





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"She had tasted Willow on her tongue, and she had worn Willow on her skin. There wasn't a shower in the world that could have washed that away." (Terra Firma, by Tulipp)



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 Post subject: I loved B5, but...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:13 am 
OK, as the subject thread indicates, I loved Babylon 5, Seasons One through Four. Yes, the story arc got rushed but after four years I was ready



to have the Shadow War end and Earth liberated from the evil President Clark. I actually prefer the last episode of S4 "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" (yes, I know it was filmed as part of S5 but shown earlier) to "Sleeping In Light" I like how it shows the future history of humanity/the Alliance...not perfect by any means, but at least we know that Sheridan, et.al. made a difference.



Now, to brass tacks. JMS pulled off an amazing feat in creating and producing (and scripting, the bulk of) a TV series that was essentially a novel, beginning-middle-end. Unfortunately, he fell into a subtle but nigh-inescapable trap: once you set the boundaries of your universe, you can't go beyond them, at least not without diluting your original milieu.



Case in point: Crusade and the TV-movie Legend of the Rangers. The first was a series about a plague released onto Earth by the Shadows' minions and the five years that humanity has to stop it. Well, we already know that (for a fact) that humanity exists, on Earth, well after this time (ref. "Sleeping in Light" "DoFS";) so we know they succeed, ergo no suspence. That's not to say that there are no stories to tell but your main arc is somewhat useless.



This is especially true of Legend of the Rangers. Here the Big Bad is revealed as...an ancient race. Wait a minute. I thought we got rid of all the ancient races ("The First Ones";) at the end of the Shadow War! Where did these guys slip in?




Again, not to say B5 was not good. It was terrific. My favorite moment is the "one moment of perfect beauty." That still brings chills to my spine. I miss Kosh.



Also, RIP Richard Biggs. I had the privilege of meeting him at the seventh Gallifrey One convention. A very nice man.

_________________



"Many such journeys are possible. Let me be your gateway."

Edited by: Warduke at: 6/2/04 8:51 am


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 Post subject: Another one we're going to miss...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:00 pm 
This has been a very sad year for B5 fans...



Tim Choate (aka Zathras) has died in a tragic motorcycle accident.



There will be a trust fund set up for his young son. I'll post more information as it becomes available.





--------------------------
"She had tasted Willow on her tongue, and she had worn Willow on her skin. There wasn't a shower in the world that could have washed that away." (Terra Firma, by Tulipp)



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 Post subject: Talia shows up on NBC
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:39 pm 
For all of y'all B5 fans, Andrea Thompson (Talia Winters) showed up as an In Vitro Fertilization doc on this week's ep of "Medical Investigation" looking a tad bit worse for wear :(


Time flies by when the Devil drives.
It's not the pace of life that concerns me, it's the sudden stop at the end.



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 Post subject: Re: Talia shows up on NBC
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:53 pm 
Crusade: The Complete Series



It only has a half season but I liked it especially the episodes done by JMS (grey outfits) before TNT interfered with it (blue outfits). While I wish it could have stayed on the air, I do not consider it's cancellation to be a loss to western civilization as all too many folks these days seem to think about genre show. It was yet another starship show and that's hardly an original concept but I thought B5 universe was worth more of a look.



It's worth a rental and a look if you like B5. I can't say that I'd buy it but then I don't own any TV series on DVD with the sole exception of the Dune mini-series. There really just isn't any TV show that I want to keep a copy of it. Usually I tape the shows I like and watch the tapes until I get tired and bored and get the next thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 1:25 pm 
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I've just read an interesting review of some of the unfilmed episodes of Babylon Project Crusade. http://worldsofjms.com/crusade/reviews/index.htm

In particular the episode "End of the line"

The biggest critiscism that I saw of BPC was that since we knew that they'd find a cure to the plague there wasn't any tension to the show. However it seems that finding a cure was only going to be a small part of the storyline.

The story which JMS described in an interview seems very interesting and it's a shame he didn't get a chance to tell that story.

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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 10:24 am 
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Thanks for that link Justin.

It really is a shame Crusade was canceled before it had a chance to hit its stride. Given the way JMS writes, the execs should have never started this project if they weren't willing to commit to a full first season.

Those reviews were really interesting. I'm sorry we never got to see those episodes. Especially the one with Bester, who was one of the best bad guys on TV.


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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:09 pm 
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He will be sorely missed... :sob

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=1&id=34628

Quote:
Babylon 5's Katsulas Dies

Andreas Katsulas, the character actor known to SF fans as G'Kar on Babylon 5 and a familiar face from Star Trek and other SF&F TV shows, died Feb. 13 of lung cancer in Los Angeles, his agent, Donna Massetti, confirmed to SCI FI Wire. He was 59.

Katsulas, a longtime resident of Los Angeles, played the Narn ambassador G'Kar for five years in the syndicated cult TV series Babylon 5, starting in 1993. He reprised the role in subsequent Babylon 5 telefilms.

Katsulas was also no stranger to Trek fans, playing Romulan Cmdr. Tomalak in Star Trek: The Next Generation. His last appearance in a Trek series was as a Vissian captain on an episode of Enterprise.

Born in St. Louis, Katsulas held a master's degree in theater from Indiana University, his official Web site said. After performing in plays in St. Louis, New York and Boston, he went on to film roles in such movies as Michael Cimino's The Sicilian, which brought him to Los Angeles, then in Ridley Scott's Someone to Watch Over Me and Blake Edward's Sunset.

Katsulas moved to Los Angeles permanently in 1986 and found scores of television and film parts in everything from TV's Alien Nation and Max Headroom to the big screen's The Fugitive, in which he played the infamous one-armed man, and Executive Decision opposite Kurt Russell and Steven Seagal.

Information on memorial services was pending at press time.

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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:49 pm 
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that's very sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Is there still anyone around that watches? I'm newly addicted!

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