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Richard L




I just felt like adding my pennyworth into this conversation. The truth is that when Babylon 5 first came out I felt like it was an underdone show, poor sets and panto acting but I came to the show in Season 4 and quicky rewatched all the show from Season 4 on. Once you get to love Londo and G'Kar as well as get to enjoy Garibaldi falling out with Sheridan, well you are taken with it.

Shame the final season was so hit and miss.

I always found the 'war room' with its cardboard map pretending to be screens and the sense the walls could fall down at any moment annoying, but take a look at the interrogation episodes with Sheridan and Garibaldi realising he has betrayed his friend and can't kill Bester no much how he wants to... Or at Londo giving in and being fitted with his 'keeper'. How could anyone doubt the quality of some of the ingredients even if the whole was sometimes pompous and cheap.


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America's Captain 

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    Quote:
    I just felt like adding my pennyworth into this conversation. The truth is that when Babylon 5 first came out I felt like it was an underdone show, poor sets and panto acting but I came to the show in Season 4 and quicky rewatched all the show from Season 4 on. Once you get to love Londo and G'Kar as well as get to enjoy Garibaldi falling out with Sheridan, well you are taken with it.


I think it may be time for me to get this show on DVDs and watch it again. I actually had to google Garibaldi. But Londo and G'Kar are vivid memories for me, as are Sheridan, Delenn, and Lennier.

What made this show for me was the inter-species politics, all the intrigue and espionage and threats of war. I enjoyed the fact that each character could be hero or villain depending on the perspective of the observer.

Also important was the war between order and chaos, as represented by the Vorlons and Shadows, neither of whom were benign from a human perspective - an idea explored previously by Michael Moorcock in such story cycles as that of Elric of Melnibone. Here's an insightful passage from Wikipdeia:

---------------
Order vs. chaos; authoritarianism vs. free will

"Neither the Vorlons nor the Shadows saw themselves as conquerors or adversaries. Both believed they were doing what was right for us. And like any possessive parent, they'll keep on believing that until the kid is strong enough to stand up and say, 'No, this is what I want.'"

—J. Michael Straczynski, 1997

The clash between order and chaos, and the people caught in between, plays an important role in Babylon 5. The conflict between two unimaginably powerful older races, the Vorlons and the Shadows, is represented as a battle between two competing ideologies, each seeking to turn the humans and the other younger races to their beliefs. The Vorlons represent an authoritarian philosophy: you will do what we tell you to, because we tell you to do it. The Vorlon question, "Who are you?" focuses on identity as a catalyst for shaping personal goals; the intention is not to solicit a "correct" answer, but to "tear down the artifices we construct around ourselves until we're left facing ourselves, not our roles." The Shadows represent a philosophy of evolution through fire, of sowing the seeds of conflict in order to engender progress. The question the Shadows ask is "What do you want?" In contrast to the Vorlons, they place personal desire and ambition first, using it to shape identity, encouraging conflict between groups who choose to serve their own glory or profit. The representation of order and chaos was informed by the Babylonian myth that the universe was born in the conflict between both. The climax of this conflict comes with the younger races' exposing of the Vorlons' and the Shadows' "true faces" and the rejection of both philosophies, heralding the dawn of a new age without their interference.

The notion that the war was about "killing your parents" is echoed in the portrayal of the civil war between the human colonies and Earth. Deliberately dealing in historical and political metaphor, with particular emphasis upon McCarthyism and HUAC, the Earth Alliance becomes increasingly authoritarian, eventually sliding into a dictatorship. The show examines the impositions on civil liberties under the pretext of greater defense against outside threats which aid its rise, and the self-delusion of a populace which believes its moral superiority will never allow a dictatorship to come to power, until it is too late. The successful rebellion led by the Babylon 5 station results in the restoration of a democratic government, and true autonomy for Mars and the colonies.
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Richard L




I remember there was a distant relative who died leaving a crap load of vhs recored Babylon 5. I watched season 2 in a day. A whole season in a day. It was epic. I had a headache and the themetune stuck in my head for days.


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katefan




I don't think anyone can deny that the show's production values could not stand up to Paramount and DS9, but I think the show was superior in that they gave us a different universe and I found the characters to be more interesting. And they took chances. Doctor Franklin suffered from a drug addiction and had to suffer the consequences, unlike a certain female Vulcan on a show that aired post 90s.

One of the things I loved about the show was in regards to religion. Roddenberry unrealistically believed everyone in the future would be atheists, that Mankind would toss out thousands of years of belief. JMS himself is an atheist and yet he recognized that people take comfort in their beliefs and institutions that have been around so long would not just go away. So it was nice to see a Baptist minister and Catholic monks, and there was this awesome scene in season one where Command Sinclair lined up what looked like a hundred men and women who represented religions and beliefs from all over Earth, among them an Atheist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvmtHGwRSuQ

To Berman and Braga, it was okay to have Chakotay, generic Native American with his incomprehensible belief system, or the Bajorans with their fully fleshed out religion, but we can't have a Muslim with a prayer rug or a Lutheran wearing a cross. :/


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    I just felt like adding my pennyworth into this conversation. The truth is that when Babylon 5 first came out I felt like it was an underdone show, poor sets and panto acting but I came to the show in Season 4 and quicky rewatched all the show from Season 4 on. Once you get to love Londo and G'Kar as well as get to enjoy Garibaldi falling out with Sheridan, well you are taken with it.



    Quote:
    Shame the final season was so hit and miss.



    Quote:
    I always found the 'war room' with its cardboard map pretending to be screens and the sense the walls could fall down at any moment annoying, but take a look at the interrogation episodes with Sheridan and Garibaldi realising he has betrayed his friend and can't kill Bester no much how he wants to... Or at Londo giving in and being fitted with his 'keeper'. How could anyone doubt the quality of some of the ingredients even if the whole was sometimes pompous and cheap.


It wasn't that I didn't respect what the show was trying to do. If the show had better actors and special effects I might not be so annoyed with the show.


I liked G'Kar and Londo. But a lot of the other actors were just...awful. Does anyone remember the guy who played Emperor Cartagia...omigod that was some of the worst acting I've ever seen and I've seen almost every Star Trek episode ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkAds9IJLWg


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    I don't think anyone can deny that the show's production values could not stand up to Paramount and DS9, but I think the show was superior in that they gave us a different universe and I found the characters to be more interesting. And they took chances. Doctor Franklin suffered from a drug addiction and had to suffer the consequences, unlike a certain female Vulcan on a show that aired post 90s.



    Quote:
    One of the things I loved about the show was in regards to religion. Roddenberry unrealistically believed everyone in the future would be atheists, that Mankind would toss out thousands of years of belief. JMS himself is an atheist and yet he recognized that people take comfort in their beliefs and institutions that have been around so long would not just go away. So it was nice to see a Baptist minister and Catholic monks, and there was this awesome scene in season one where Command Sinclair lined up what looked like a hundred men and women who represented religions and beliefs from all over Earth, among them an Atheist.


I will say I agree with that. As an atheist it still bothered me that most of the humans in Star Trek were atheist. Part of my disgust was that the humans had become so enamored with their technology you had Barclay living out his life in holodecks and Riker and Harry Kim falling in love with holograms and another hologram giving himself the delusion of family. Humanity in Star Trek is well...wretched. Preachy, non-religious, overly optimistic, they for the most part abstain from real alcohol (fools!), they're utterly dependent on their technology, and they're just so utterly devoid of any real passion. Their utopia is built on blandness and they've evolved past real interpersonal conflict. You can't relate to them.

That's why I liked Sisko...he didn't seem like one of the other Federation drones lacking flaws. He was obnoxious, demanding, manipulative and abrasive at times. He's the one person in Star Fleet I could relate to.



    Quote:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvmtHGwRSuQ



    Quote:
    To Berman and Braga, it was okay to have Chakotay, generic Native American with his incomprehensible belief system, or the Bajorans with their fully fleshed out religion, but we can't have a Muslim with a prayer rug or a Lutheran wearing a cross. :/





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katefan





    Quote:
    I will say I agree with that. As an atheist it still bothered me that most of the humans in Star Trek were atheist. Part of my disgust was that the humans had become so enamored with their technology you had Barclay living out his life in holodecks and Riker and Harry Kim falling in love with holograms and another hologram giving himself the delusion of family. Humanity in Star Trek is well...wretched. Preachy, non-religious, overly optimistic, they for the most part abstain from real alcohol (fools!), they're utterly dependent on their technology, and they're just so utterly devoid of any real passion. Their utopia is built on blandness and they've evolved past real interpersonal conflict. You can't relate to them.


Well said. But I will say that Barclay's holo-addiction to me was one of the most realistic takes on humanity 'Trek ever did. How many people today retreat to their virtual worlds rather than interact with people face-to-face?


    Quote:
    That's why I liked Sisko...he didn't seem like one of the other Federation drones lacking flaws. He was obnoxious, demanding, manipulative and abrasive at times. He's the one person in Star Fleet I could relate to.


And I did not like Sisko because he was too perfect, as I pointed out in another post. The guy could do Everything.

Give me Dwight Schultz's Barclay every day, a guy full or neuroses and flaws, Barclay was the most three dimensional character in 'Trek.


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Iron Man Unit 007





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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139



    Quote:
    ...and there was this awesome scene in season one where Command Sinclair lined up what looked like a hundred men and women who represented religions and beliefs from all over Earth, among them an Atheist.



    Quote:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvmtHGwRSuQ


That was especially thought-provoking in light of the show's dominant story line, which could be summarized as a religious war between the Vorlons and the Shadows, one worshipping order, the other chaos. JMS depicted an optimistic view of our human future. The many religions had learned to get along with one another. Yet the same could not be said for the greater cosmos.









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America's Captain 

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Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139



    Quote:

    I liked G'Kar and Londo. But a lot of the other actors were just...awful. Does anyone remember the guy who played Emperor Cartagia...omigod that was some of the worst acting I've ever seen and I've seen almost every Star Trek episode ever.



    Quote:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkAds9IJLWg


Different strokes, I guess. I found every second of that video utterly riveting, partly because my admittedly poor memory nevertheless filled in some of the background that gave the scenes their emotional power. Cartagia came across as Cartagia... I think sometimes I don't know what people mean by bad acting. Cartagia had a personality that fit his role in the show.






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Mikel Midnight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,557



    Quote:
    I will say I agree with that. As an atheist it still bothered me that most of the humans in Star Trek were atheist. Part of my disgust was that the humans had become so enamored with their technology you had Barclay living out his life in holodecks and Riker and Harry Kim falling in love with holograms and another hologram giving himself the delusion of family. Humanity in Star Trek is well...wretched. Preachy, non-religious, overly optimistic, they for the most part abstain from real alcohol (fools!), they're utterly dependent on their technology, and they're just so utterly devoid of any real passion. Their utopia is built on blandness and they've evolved past real interpersonal conflict. You can't relate to them.


I agree. And not just about the humans .... given their immense budget, the later ST producers were incredibly lazy about presenting alien cultures as well. Typically they might have one defining characteristic, but the same bland characterless architecture and other artifacts.


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Mikel Midnight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,557



    Quote:
    Different strokes, I guess. I found every second of that video utterly riveting, partly because my admittedly poor memory nevertheless filled in some of the background that gave the scenes their emotional power. Cartagia came across as Cartagia... I think sometimes I don't know what people mean by bad acting. Cartagia had a personality that fit his role in the show.


I thought Cartagia acted the way he was supposed to act. That said, there was sometimes oddly stilted acting in the show, curiously seen on the female actors more often than not.


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Richard L




But I have to say I found Mira Furlann's acting very poor.

The regent was the most chilling when he put the keeper on Londo.

*shudders*

Brrrrrrrrrrrr.


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swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,180


My favorite sci-fi series of all time. The pilot movie almost scared me off and the first season was rough in spots but it just kept getting better. For myself it was worth every minute.


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Iron Man Unit 007




I liked the season 1 ep where each planet was demonstrating their dominant religion. Sinclair's plan at the end was brilliant.

As to Season 1 and the pilot movie, yeah they were a bit rough but you can't skip them and start with Season 2 as too many events happen in the pilot and Season 1 that affect the whole series.

Lita scanning the Vorlon
Babylon 4

Just two examples...


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    But I have to say I found Mira Furlann's acting very poor.



    Quote:
    The regent was the most chilling when he put the keeper on Londo.



    Quote:
    *shudders*



    Quote:
    Brrrrrrrrrrrr.


I loved her on Lost...I watched B5 after that...bad idea.


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:

      Quote:
      I will say I agree with that. As an atheist it still bothered me that most of the humans in Star Trek were atheist. Part of my disgust was that the humans had become so enamored with their technology you had Barclay living out his life in holodecks and Riker and Harry Kim falling in love with holograms and another hologram giving himself the delusion of family. Humanity in Star Trek is well...wretched. Preachy, non-religious, overly optimistic, they for the most part abstain from real alcohol (fools!), they're utterly dependent on their technology, and they're just so utterly devoid of any real passion. Their utopia is built on blandness and they've evolved past real interpersonal conflict. You can't relate to them.



    Quote:
    I agree. And not just about the humans .... given their immense budget, the later ST producers were incredibly lazy about presenting alien cultures as well. Typically they might have one defining characteristic, but the same bland characterless architecture and other artifacts.


Voyager was particularly bland when it came to creating new aliens I thought. Enterprise could at times be more awful than Voyager but Voyager could always out bland everyone else.




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swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,180


I enjoyed the first season. It really was the set-up for everything. It is better once you see the whole series and can appreciate it as part of the entire run. It seemed a little slow at the time but was worth it and even with the change in season two allowed the second year to really open up and draw me into that world.


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Iron Man Unit 007






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