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Babylon 5
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Pel
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:02 am    Post subject: Babylon 5 Reply with quote

Here's the long overdue thread for Mr. Straczynski's opus. If you're a fan of the show (unlike our Glorious Leader, but hopefully he'll come around) or just want to ask questions and are afraid to Google them, we're here for you.

To kick things off, here's my favorite character: Londo Mollari. I'm hard pressed to name an absolute favorite, but Londo edges out the competition because his is one of the most complete character transformations in the show. He gets some of the best lines ("On any other day, Mr. Morden, you would be wrong. But today...today is a very special day" and "What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?!?") and is the subject of the most poignant cinematography in television (the bombardment of Narn).

Let us make a joyful noise!
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Londo was quite fun. I always thought his best scene was the poisoning of Lord Refa.

I usually find myself thinking of B5 in terms of crossover material. The Starfury, for example, would make an excellent short-range fighter, maybe as a KDY competitor to the TIE series...
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
Here's the long overdue thread for Mr. Straczynski's opus. If you're a fan of the show (unlike our Glorious Leader, but hopefully he'll come around) or just want to ask questions and are afraid to Google them, we're here for you.

To kick things off, here's my favorite character: Londo Mollari. I'm hard pressed to name an absolute favorite, but Londo edges out the competition because his is one of the most complete character transformations in the show. He gets some of the best lines ("On any other day, Mr. Morden, you would be wrong. But today...today is a very special day" and "What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?!?") and is the subject of the most poignant cinematography in television (the bombardment of Narn).


Oh yeah, Londo's character arc is awesome. He goes from a drunken fool no one takes seriously to a Magnificent Bastard to the Emperor of the Centauri Republic...and regretted that last for the rest of his life. He really shouldn't have answered Morden when he asked him "What do you want?" (i.e. the Shadows' Question)....

Not to mention Peter Jurasik (Londo's actor) pulls off that scene of the bombardment of Narn without a single word of dialogue. Amazing.

Pel wrote:
Let us make a joyful noise!


Quote:
Reverend Will Dexter: I tell you, in 50 years of living and 40 years of serving the Lord I have never met a sorrier soul than Brother Theo here.

Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Well, I wouldn't say...

Brother Theo: Thank you. But I'd prefer to leave judgments as to the state of my soul to someone better qualified and perhaps a bit less loud.

Reverend Will Dexter: But it says in the Bible to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Brother Theo: I've heard you sing, Will - and take my word for it: that is not what the good Lord meant when he said "a joyful noise."

Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Hello?

Brother Theo: Neither is that.


Just one of many awesome scenes. My favorite scene at present has to be Vir, of all people, telling Morden off when Morden asks him what he wants. View it in all its glory here.

Remember, of all the people that Morden asked what they wanted, while several people did get what they asked for (especially to Londo's regret), only Vir was actually happy with what he got. See here. (There's a mild SPOILER in this scene if you haven't watched B5 before. Just sayin'.)
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Londo is definitely up there, but I think you can't mention him without also touching on G'Kar who goes from belligerent and full of hatred to a serene spiritual leader (but always remains a ladies man).

I did a rewatch of the show with my wife starting in...hmm...summer of 2017? Something like that. She really enjoyed it, in spite of its very "90s" vibe and how dated the f/x look. It's truly a magnificent series and is one of the best constructed stories I've seen. It's a miracle they let the whole story be told, and that JMS got to write about 80% of it himself. It's such a rare gem in the annals of TV entertainment.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a big fan of the first four seasons of the show. I also had many favorite characters, and Londo was Among them. I liked both Londo and G'kar because you could see their character growth and change over the course of the seasons - in terms of spiritual and emotional growth that is - I think more so than any other character in the show perhaps. I was also a huge fan of Ivanova because she was a very strong female character in a sci-fi that did not end up in skin-tight outfits as just Eye Candy.

Some of the episodes were a bit hard to watch, and some of the main and supporting characters had some very stiff acting at times though. Still I like the overall story and thought many of the better stories and concepts more than made up for these flaws.

I was not happy with Season 5 or the spin-offs at all. I was quite content to leave my collection ending at Season 4... that last episode was a nice place to call it wrap for me.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to add, briefly, in the mid to late 90's I was part of a fan project to produce fan webisodes expanding on the Shadow War from B5. I was their animator/VFX person and editor. The project got dumped though (well, I drifted away because it seemed I was the only one who produced material for it).

This is a throw together of the footage that survived from the old render machine (Commodore Amiga 4000 Video Toaster - Proud Owner). It's missing scenes and some of them needed reworked...and I did not make all of the models...modified several thouh, made a few.
Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORA8SyYEaqY
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Pel
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's some good work! Sorry to hear it imploded, but it looks like you did your part. The spider pistoleer on your page is also quite cool.

I wish Crusade had lasted longer. They cancelled it just when the show started to gel and get really interesting.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KageRyu wrote:
I was a big fan of the first four seasons of the show...I was not happy with Season 5 or the spin-offs at all. I was quite content to leave my collection ending at Season 4... that last episode was a nice place to call it wrap for me.


I can't fault people for thinking this. I'm not much of a fan of Season 5, but it's a testament to JMS and the Babylon 5 cast and crew that they got it done at all. Executive Meddling and/or the switch in networks between the fourth and fifth seasons resulted in the fifth season almost not happening. JMS' notes for Season 5 being stolen at a fan convention certainly didn't help. In fact, everyone was convinced that the show was going to end early with its fourth season finale. (This is also why the Shadow War and Earth Civil War storylines were combined in Season 4 when each storyline could have lasted a whole separate season.) The cast was so particularly...miffed is perhaps the most apropos description... at the executives' decision to end the show early that it resulted in this image, which was a gesture intended for the aforementioned meddling executives. [WARNING: it strikes me as hilarious but it might be mildly NSFW.] In fact, as KageRyu mentions being happy with the Season 4 finale being a nice stopping point for the show, it needs to be mentioned that particular episode was specifically designed and written to give Babylon 5 a proper ending just in case the 5th season was cancelled.

But despite these travails, Season 5, whatever its flaws compared to the other seasons, did get made. The B5 Season 5 DVD package has a note from JMS personally describing the sheer perserverence that was required not just to get the 5th season done, but also to get the entire show to exist at all.

Rather than sully JMS's words by summarizing it, I'll just quote it in its entirety here (Note that I haven't found this story anywhere on the Internet; I think only owners of the Season 5 DVD have read this speech):

Quote:
For five years, as we struggled to find a home for Babylon 5, we were told that there was no market for a science fiction show of this nature, that the audience couldn't handle a five-year arc, that you couldn't compete with the juggernaut that was Star trek.

We sold the pilot.

After we produced the pilot, everyone said that there was no way we could afford to make the show on the scale necessary for the story, that television EFX weren't up to that level yet, that the market couldn't sustain more than one show about a space station. TV Guide critic Jeff Jarvis, weighing in on the odds of us making it to series, said simply, "fat chance."

We got the series.

Every year of the series, the odds of renewal were always accompanied by predictions of doom. The market was changing, the competition was fierce, and the fledgling network that carried us was becoming increasingly fragile.

We continued to get renewed.

Finally, after the fourth season, during which the network folded its tent, we reached the point where it seemed the fifth and final season might never materialize.

We got the fifth season. We told the story we wanted to tell and we told it to completion.

On the front of my house, there is an art deco door knocker, with a small silver plaque in the center. It contains just three words: Never Surrender Dreams.

Faith manages.

Here endeth the lesson.

J. Michael Straczynski
January 2004


Considering all the hard work that went into the show, even (especially!) for the fifth season, I've decided that while I can't ignore the flaws of the fifth season as compared to the rest of Babylon 5, I think I can at least forgive them. Hell, the 5th Season Episode "Day of the Dead" is one of my favorite B5 episodes. And I think I'm not alone with that opinion, so Season 5 was not without its bright spots.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
That's some good work! Sorry to hear it imploded, but it looks like you did your part. The spider pistoleer on your page is also quite cool.

I wish Crusade had lasted longer. They cancelled it just when the show started to gel and get really interesting.


Thank you - and as is seen in that I was very inspired by a variety of things from B5. In my spare time I am slowly working on animating my own small sci-fi series. Only currently 12 years behind schedule...but it's also mainly a 1 man show too. I no longer work freelance VFX officially, I made the mistake of doing to many projects under NDAs and so didn't have a resume at one point that listed anything...makes finding work hard.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
...the executives' decision to end the show early that it resulted in this image, which was a gesture intended for the aforementioned meddling executives.


I was fortunate enough to meet Jason Carter last year. He's a truly delightful person and great fun to visit with. Out of the several photos he sold for autograph, I picked the 'Bird Shot'. Laughing

Quote:
Considering all the hard work that went into the show, even (especially!) for the fifth season, I've decided that while I can't ignore the flaws of the fifth season as compared to the rest of Babylon 5, I think I can at least forgive them. Hell, the 5th Season Episode "Day of the Dead" is one of my favorite B5 episodes. And I think I'm not alone with that opinion, so Season 5 was not without its bright spots.


Ah, Day of the Dead. Yeah, that's a favorite.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the rock cried out "No hiding place" is simply masterful. Londo, getting his revenge, and giving the Narn what they want at the same time.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one who cries watching Sleeping In Light? Can't get through it without waterworks.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cried the first time I saw it. Most recently when I did a re-watch with my wife (who had never seen the show), I didn't, but I felt the poignancy of the episode.

Also, I thought Sleeping in Light was actually shot during production of Season 4 (which is why Ivanova was there), and the actual Season 4 finale was shot as a backup in case they got renewed.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Sleeping in Light definitely tugs at the heartstrings, that's for sure. I didn't cry when I first saw it, but my eyes did tear up.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
I thought Sleeping in Light was actually shot during production of Season 4 (which is why Ivanova was there), and the actual Season 4 finale was shot as a backup in case they got renewed.


It was. The show was being cancelled and was then suddenly renewed at the last minute, so Straczynski kept the finale in his pocket for Season 5.
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