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140 comments

It's SciFi damnit! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633677)

Why oh why is there so much "magical" non-sense in Babylon 5. I'm talking about premonitions, soul hunters, properties and visitors from the grave. Many of Babylon 5's sub stories could just as well have been placed in a fantasy setting with minor editing.

It's SciFi damnit!

Sufficiently high tech might as well be fantasy. (5, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633705)

After all, using B5 as an example the "Techno Mages" are viewed either as gods, magicians, or freaks, depending on where they are. For what we may construe as purely fantasy may simply be because we don't understand science enough to know what is and what isn't truly possible.

We are an arrogant people who for some reason think we know everything yet laugh at those who came before us for thinking the very same thing

Re:Sufficiently high tech might as well be fantasy (4, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633745)

Well put. Dune, for example, had loads of dreams, visions etc but it was science fiction, not fantasy, because it was quite obvious that the human mind had evolved (perhaps thanks to Spice) in the tens of thousands of years since present-day. And frankly, our knowledge of cosmology and what the human brain can do is pretty primitive. For example, is consciousness preserved at the quantum level, thus leading to the possibility that reincarnation is possible? I think not, but I can't prove it -- which makes it excellent 'story material'.

People who think that 21st century science is the be-all and end-all of all knowledge display staggering amounts of hubris, especially since they are familiar with overzealous predictions like "everything that can be patented has been patented" and "there's a world market for maybe 5 computers".

Whether it's overused or not is another question -- that depends on the writer, and I think the B5 seasons treated techno-mages and psychics quite well. Especially compared to a certain Betazoid on TNG, whose sole purpose seemed to be, er, wear dresses and state the obvious.

But that does not a great show make! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633831)

Out of all SciFi, baring Serenity, B5 is the best. But Technomages, prophets with flashes from the future and even time travel are used as storyline crutches. The whole mystery aspect of B5 is overblown and abused, the show would be much better if it was toned down.

If I want fantasy, I watch fantasy. Just because SciFi can masquerade as fantasy does not change that.

BTW, Dune 2 was horrible SciFi series with the ugliest actors I've ever seen. Especially that woman that was suppose to be "oh so beautiful" that people were taken aback by her beauty. I think they were all shocked by the size of her nose.

Re:But that does not a great show make! (2, Informative)

DaAdder (124139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633965)

Out of all SciFi, baring Serenity, B5 is the best. But Technomages, prophets with flashes from the future and even time travel are used as storyline crutches. The whole mystery aspect of B5 is overblown and abused, the show would be much better if it was toned down.
"The passing of the techno mages" trilogy by Jeanne Cavelos does a lot to both explain and enhance the mystery around the techno mages.

I too felt that there was a little too much magic and not enough SciFi surrounding the techno mages before I read those. Afterwards though, my feeling that most things in the b5-universe does have an explanation is stronger than ever. Within reason of course :)

Overall I'm extremely happy with the level of explanation versus mystery the show provides, but it does take quite a while before some of the layers of mystery are peeled away for the viewer. Usually though, that provides even more awe at the lack of understanding we still have for quite a lot of things in the world. Just the way I like it.

Spoiler alert! Don't mod up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634099)

You were not put off by the whole "Sheridan is a puppet" thing?

Technomages (2, Informative)

jregel (39009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634209)

Okay - here are some spoilers for those who have not read the Technomage trilogy...
.
.
.
The Technomage [book] trilogy which JMS has said is mostly canon, and an unfilmed Crusade script reveals much about the origins of the Technomages. They achieve their "magic" using organic implants provided by the Shadows. The Technomages' technology was originally used by the Shadows to create their ultimate warriors (in the same way that the Vorlons created a few "super weapons" like Lyta).

So it would look like magic to most of us since the First Ones were millions of years more advanced than humans. This is consistent with other things seen in the show - such as the Ikara warrior in the episode "Infection" which mutated a human into a machine. Look closely at the design of the armour and you'll see some Shadow-like material.

Re:Technomages (1)

Monsieur Canard (766354) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634345)

More spoilers...

B5 geek hat on:

Yeah, but the whole "Galen just happened to be in the Eye in time to disable the defenses with his zero-term equation so that the White Star could carry out Sheridan's commands" thing was just a little too con-veeeeeenient (said in my best Church Lady voice). JMS was definitely trying to spackle over a plot hole with that one.

Otherwise I loved that trilogy. And the Centauri one too. Okay, fine. I thought the Telepath trilogy pretty swell as well.

B5 geek hat off.

Wait, this won't come off!

Re:But that does not a great show make! (1)

Depili (749436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634333)

Regardin Dune, it was first and foremost a book series, with several dramatizations, each more or less horrible, as the books contents just don't work on screen. And when reading Dune, just stop after the few first books, as after children of dune even the faintest notion of quality just dissapears ;)

Re:But that does not a great show make! (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636879)

And when reading Dune, just stop after the few first books, as after children of dune even the faintest notion of quality just dissapears ;)
Fah! God Emporer of Dune was an excellent novel. It was simply different from the preceeding three. The remaining two books on the other hand, I would certainly agree with you about the quality issue. When I got to Chapterhouse Dune, the thrill was gone and I was just thinking "Blah! Blah! Look everyone, I think I'm a philosopher! Blah! Blah!"

Re:But that does not a great show make! (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19639197)

If you can grit your way to get to God, Emporer of Dune, you should. It hearkens back to the roots of the original. I still read the entire Dune series every few years and that one is quite memorable.

Chapterhouse was also interesting, except for all the loose threads that it leaves hanging all over the place.

Re:Sufficiently high tech might as well be fantasy (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635031)

People who think that 21st century science is the be-all and end-all of all knowledge display staggering amounts of hubris, especially since they are familiar with overzealous predictions like "everything that can be patented has been patented" and "there's a world market for maybe 5 computers".

True, but it's the best we have. It doesn't mean you can pass something off as "science fiction" when it has no basis in any sort of scientific knowledge or speculation. That's like saying, "Oh, in the future, we can genetically engineer orcs, and reanimate the dead with quantum mechanics, and use as-yet-unknown properties of energy as weapons, so that my mishmash of Romero zombie movies, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars is actually science fiction!"

Re:Sufficiently high tech might as well be fantasy (4, Funny)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634007)

We are an arrogant people who for some reason think we know everything yet laugh at those who came before us for thinking the very same thing

Then pat yourself on the back for being ahead of the curve: you're arrogantly scoffing at your contemporaries instead of at people in the past. Ain't progress grand?

Re:Sufficiently high tech might as well be fantasy (3, Insightful)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634107)

I think Clarke's Third Law is fairly well accepted, but you risk abusing it as a catch-all, deux ex machina, "it was just a dream" kind of argument for why fantasy elements are in fact science fiction. It's not a strong argument because what we are really talking about here is art criticism, not whether any event or object in a show is magic.

There is also arrogance where a writer says, "If they accuse me of writing about magic, I'll just point out that it is in fact just sufficiently advanced technology", and then proceeds to write something that is really fantasy in terms of genre.

While we cannot predict what will be possible in the far future, we do know a lot about the world now. The important thing here is that I'm not talking about technology, but rather the many and various forms of literature and movie genres, the history of many religions, tribes and cults, the marketing of corporations, the temptations that even the best writers can fall pray to, etc.

Taking all those factors into account, it seems fair to hold the point of view that Babylon 5 includes fantasy elements (wearing the makeup of Clarke's Third Law), that it is not really trying to be pure sci-fi or speculative fiction. I'm perfectly happy to admit it might all be possible, at the same time as saying that I don't really think that is the point the authors are making.

Yes, it is entirely possible they wanted to play around with the idea of technology-as-magic. But by the time they've thrown in all the rituals, the astral plane metaphors, etc, you have to ask:

Are they still asking, "What if this could be done?", or are they in fact asking, "Wouldn't it be cool if these guys were like wizards, yeah, we'll call them Techno-Mages, you know, play the advanced technology card, etc.. ?" It's an exaggeration, but I suspect that the GP is right, and they are in fact including fantasy in their show.

This is not a bad thing in and of itself; that's a matter of personal taste.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (4, Informative)

DaAdder (124139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633801)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

Most of what you see in B5 is explained along the way in one way or another, some isn't. The future is an interesting place don't you think?

There are many kinds of SciFi that aren't strict, *hard* SciFi. The writer has chosen his path, and it's your choice to stop watching if you find it unbearable.

If you don't find B5 unbearable, then just sit back and enjoy in the knowledge that there are things out there, bigger and more complex than our current understanding of science and the universe.

I've already seen all of B5 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633853)

It's a great show. I don't care for "hard" sci-fi like 2001 (or whatever). Silly tech like gravity, pulse weapons and such is fine by me. But there are no sci-fi show I know of that does not contain "telepathy/6-sense" stuff, which have long since become a story crutch and cliché.

Re:I've already seen all of B5 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636851)

Yeah, what you said.

And thank goodness no one believes in telepathy here in the Real World.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633927)

Maybe because it's their show to do with what they like? Duh?

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634275)

Many of Babylon 5's sub stories could just as well have been placed in a fantasy setting with minor editing.
Quick! Run! It's the SciFi Police!

Look, "SciFi" just a marketing label designed to make it easy to compartmentalize media in order to maximize synergistic sales. There aren't rules, canons and precepts governed by some international SciFi Body. And there damn well should never be rules like that either. Nothing kills creativity more.

Episodes of Star Trek, for example, could just as easily be classed as romance or murder mystery rather than SciFi. Get over it! And get it into your head that your definition of SciFi, is just that -- yours.

For me, Babylon 5 developed characters and story arcs in a credible and realistic way. People are stupid, weak, selfish and greedy. They believe in things that may not be true. Babylon 5 reflected that, whereas most TV SciFi prior to B5 did not. It asked old and new questions about the nature of belief and existence. And nota bene, that JMS did say online somewhere, that just because the Minbari believe in souls etc does not make it necessarily true.

Which does not mean it is invalid to explore those ideas around a SciFi context.

Leave the labeling and compartmentalization to the marketing drones, or to librarians -- and we all know librarians have something to hide.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (1, Flamebait)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635049)

It's curious that you should deliver such a rant against such a short and fairly light-hearted criticism. It's like a guilty conscience! You know the show has flaws, but you just don't want to admit them, do you?

"SciFi" just a marketing label

Bullshit. Authors like Harlan Ellison happily associate themselves with sci-fi (and also write outside the genre) without treating it like a cheap marketing ploy. And there are valid reasons for appreciating that there is a sci-fi genre with different implications to fantasy, the most basic being the idea of genuine speculation on what might happen in the future given current trends, another being the application of science and technology to explore moral issues.

Episodes of Star Trek, for example, could just as easily be classed as romance or murder mystery rather than SciFi. Get over it!

Yes, but in a long running episodic series about a long running voyage, it makes perfect sense that crew members of the Enterprise would find themselves in most of the basic human situations, doesn't it? That's rather fundamentally different to introducing concept and character stereotypes from a different genre as a standard part of the show. It changes things, and when done in such a blatant fashion it's not particularly good writing, because it risks breaking the willing suspension of disbelief.

Note the word here is "stereotype". I do hope you won't argue that thinking excessive use of stereotypes is bad is just yet another rule. I mean it is, but you'd have to be extremely good to break that one outside of comedy!

get it into your head that your definition of SciFi, is just that -- yours

Hang on, he didn't give a definition. Maybe I would agree with his definition, and many others besides. You're making things up! Or is that just to give an endorsement of introducing fantasy into the online debate genre?

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635641)

Authors like Harlan Ellison happily associate themselves with sci-fi (and also write outside the genre) without treating it like a cheap marketing ploy.
I believe it was in fact Harlan who once said that there is a huge difference between "science fiction" and "sci-fi" and as a writer he wanted nothing to do with the latter.

Ironically, Ellison is probably responsible for most "fantasy-ish" aspects of B5, I mean "Soul Hunters" are straight out of Ellison's writings. I don't know this for sure, but having read Ellison and seen B5, it seemed obvious, especially considering his heavy involvement with B5.

Another writer (Theodore Sturgeon I think) once said that great science fiction must first and foremost be great fiction - something most Sci-Fi misses by a mile. Personally I don't care if you want to classify B5 as "science fiction" or "fantasy", whatever it is, its great fiction and thats enough for me.

-Em

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636751)

An interesting historical point. I wasn't aware of the distinction between science fiction and sci-fi - could you provide it?

I tend not to bother with distinctions that will have no meaning to people not part of the group that have chosen to make it; it's as bad as cheap marketing ploys. Wouldn't be surprised if the original poster was happily using SciFi as an abbreviation for science fiction, good or bad, great and small. I understand the idea of specualtive fiction, because you could discuss the difference between "science" and "speculation" to your average or intelligent person and still make sense. Even so, that's just to acknowledge someone's perspective - I don't think the term adds much value except for insider discussions.

great science fiction must first and foremost be great fiction - something most Sci-Fi misses by a mile

Although I see you have no problem making such subtle distinctions .. I'm wondering whether the definition of Sci-Fi will be a tautology that excludes the possibility of it ever being great fiction. But rather than dwell on trivia about the uses and abuses of abbreviation, perhaps you would address the main part of my point:

introducing concept and character stereotypes from a different genre [..] changes things, and when done in such a blatant fashion it's not particularly good writing

I felt Babylon 5 made heavy use of stereotypes, stopping it from being great fiction, and therefore by your logic it is not great science fiction.

I don't mean to be harsh. B5 had a grand scope of vision, was well made, avoided many of the TV science fiction cliches, avoided the whole "a series of episodes, not a story" problem of the long-running series, and was great entertainment for those that liked it. I just wouldn't call it great fiction because of its scale.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (3, Insightful)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638079)

An interesting historical point. I wasn't aware of the distinction between science fiction and sci-fi - could you provide it?


I tend not to bother with distinctions that will have no meaning to people not part of the group that have chosen to make it; it's as bad as cheap marketing ploys. Wouldn't be surprised if the original poster was happily using SciFi as an abbreviation for science fiction, good or bad, great and small. I understand the idea of specualtive fiction, because you could discuss the difference between "science" and "speculation" to your average or intelligent person and still make sense. Even so, that's just to acknowledge someone's perspective - I don't think the term adds much value except for insider discussions.

I think Harlan Ellison created that "distinction in terms" when he made that statement. Not to say the distinction itself was not there, he just gave it name (however good or bad). What he was trying to point out is that what we now label as "sci-fi" got away from what "science fiction" was about. In general usage "sci-fi" came to mean stories that are about laser guns, robots, and women in bizarrely impractical tin foil outfits.Its stories that use "science" as a magical way to resolve issues without really dealing with them. It is stories that are more about the gadgets than people. It is about escaping the reality into world that has nothing to do with our own.

Science fiction on other hand is not about those things. It is about people and the world we live in. No matter how alien the setup is and what aliens, robots, etc are the subject of the story, good science fiction is always relevant to us here and now. All the standard "sci-fi" items are not the point of the story, they are just tools to set up the story in a way that may not be possible (or at least easy) with straight fiction.

There are many good examples of the distinction in recent movies - "I, Robot" the "science fiction" book was a deep examination of human behavior by extracting the idealized behavior and overlaying it on a machine and then viewing it from a human perspective (among many other things) - "I,Robot" - the "sci-fi" movie supposedly based on the book, but really about killer robots. Or "Mimsy were the Borgroves" - a brilliant short story about "nature vs nurture" and the effect of the toys on the way the mind develops - "The Last Mimzy" - a "sci-fi" movie based on the story that castrates any sort of meaning from original work and instead does a random children's adventure with even more random environmental message (where did that come from?)

B5, Firefly, etc all were good science fiction because if you take out the space ships and laser guns and aliens, you still got a strong story about something. I mean B5's big conflict of "community" vs "individual" is universal and applies just as well to "Vorlons" vs "Shadows" as it does to "USSR" vs "USA" in cold war or "socialism" vs "capitalism" in general. It is a fundamental conflict that's as old as time and instead of rehashing it again from one side or another, B5 shows what it is like to be the little guy caught in the middle.

Now, I just want to add, there is definitely a place for "sci-fi" out there and truth be told, I enjoyed both movies mentioned above - but there is no way I can call them good science fiction.

great science fiction must first and foremost be great fiction - something most Sci-Fi misses by a mile


Although I see you have no problem making such subtle distinctions .. I'm wondering whether the definition of Sci-Fi will be a tautology that excludes the possibility of it ever being great fiction.

As I tried to explain above, I don't see this distinction as all that subtle. "Sci-Fi" as we come to know it is not meant to be good fiction - instead it meant to be the opposite - escapism and distraction.

But rather than dwell on trivia about the uses and abuses of abbreviation, perhaps you would address the main part of my point:

introducing concept and character stereotypes from a different genre [..] changes things, and when done in such a blatant fashion it's not particularly good writing

I am not sure what you see as "characters of a different genre"? I think in the end the genre is fiction and the only thing that makes a character a "fiction genre" character is that they don't exist in real life.... but then there is historical fiction so not even that.

But even ignoring that, I am not sure why creating a character not usually found in a particular genre is "not particularly good writing"??? I mean its seems like it should be the opposite - bringing something new into a genre would be more interesting then rehashing same old tired characters - no?

I felt Babylon 5 made heavy use of stereotypes, stopping it from being great fiction, and therefore by your logic it is not great science fiction.

I am not sure what you meant by stereotypes? One of the things I liked about B5 was specifically that nothing was what it seemed at first glance. Initially all the races had their unified identity (aka star trek and other sci-fi) and all characters seemed a bit caricaturish but once you start looking closer a whole new level of detail emerged, characters did not act like the caricature would lead you to believe they would and races did not have a single identity nor even agreed with themselves. The Membari civil war was a prime example.

I don't mean to be harsh. B5 had a grand scope of vision, was well made, avoided many of the TV science fiction cliches, avoided the whole "a series of episodes, not a story" problem of the long-running series, and was great entertainment for those that liked it. I just wouldn't call it great fiction because of its scale.

Again I am not sure why a story scale would make it bad? There is plenty of great fiction on various scales from individual to epic.

Maybe I am not understanding your point or maybe we just have different opinions on what is good fiction vs not so good, or what is science fiction and what is not. Sure B5 is not without its flaws, I mean JMS can't write dialog to save his life, everyone speaks in either one-liners or speeches, but I do think overall it was a pretty good piece of science fiction.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635071)

Episodes of Star Trek, for example, could just as easily be classed as romance or murder mystery rather than SciFi.

Science fiction isn't mutually exclusive to these genres. It is mutually exclusive to fantasy. I guess that makes me the bad analogy police.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636567)

"For me, Babylon 5 developed characters and story arcs in a credible and realistic way. People are stupid, weak, selfish and greedy."

Exactly the thing I do not want to see in a sci-fi show. That's why I loved ST-TNG.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637237)

the Minbari believe in souls

And the Minibari believe in refreshing cocktails one small bottle at a time.

Re:It's SciFi damnit! (3, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634675)

Why oh why is there so much "magical" non-sense in Babylon 5. I'm talking about premonitions, soul hunters, properties and visitors from the grave. Many of Babylon 5's sub stories could just as well have been placed in a fantasy setting with minor editing.

It's SciFi damnit!
I can accept that sort of thing if there's a proper explanation. Telepathy is well-explained in the show so it's not just goofy paranormal stuff. Artificial gravity, reactionless propulsion drives, beam weapons, all are explained within the context of the show. This is far future science fiction so the existence of impossibly advanced technology is a given for the setting. Things that bother me more are obvious stupids like Garibaldi's steampipe gun (yes, using steam to fire bullets in sequence.) Delenn's bone becoming a barrette also struck me as very odd but that's more a matter of aesthetics. I think she looked better as a straight minbari and the whole transformation thing never really sat right with me from a storytelling perspective.

As for questions of the soul, that's an area of pure speculation, same with prophecy. So long as JMS keeps what he presents self-consistent, all is good. Personally, I hate prophecy storylines because they've been done to fucking death. I think it's poor storytelling. But I have seen good stories with precognition. For some stories the precognition goes along the lines of extremely educated guesses, like a chess master considering the state of the board eight moves ahead, only in this case there are a million more variables to consider. In that case, the turning points upon which the future rests become matters of extreme importance and there's always the danger of the Influential Man, the wildcard that can throw off all predictions. I've also seen good stories that use a more mystical means of showing the future. The worst ones have the future written in stone with fate and destiny shackling everyone to a fixed course of action. The better ones have precognition show a web of potentialities for the future, the seer catching quantum ripples chasing down from future to past. All and none of these futures exist and only the present exists to make those potentials real, cementing them into past.

Hideous Web Site (4, Informative)

Ray Radlein (711289) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633703)

Gawdalmighty is that web site awful. It looks like someone's class project in Flash programming.

Someone should send it to Z'ha'dum to die.

Re:Hideous Web Site (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633717)

I have this horrid fear. Fear that sites like that is what "Joe" prefers. Just look at MySpace! Or Facebook! *shudders*. 90% of the world is crazy I tell you, and soon all the web will be collected under an interactive flash video with background music.

The future is a dark and scare place

Re:Hideous Web Site (-1, Offtopic)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633957)

I have this horrid fear. Fear that sites like that is what "Joe" prefers. Just look at MySpace! Or Facebook! *shudders*. 90% of the world is crazy I tell you, and soon all the web will be collected under an interactive flash video with background music.

The future is a dark and scare place
If Joe has a widescreen monitor (wallpapers are 4:3) or a good broadband connection (max 300kbps flash movie), he won't love that site.

Trailer is also 4:3 which is a horrible easy way to make movies director mad, it is missing 20% or more of actual content. Some directors even spare their DVD Extras to teach viewer why 4:3 or Pan/Scan is an horrible hack. "The Interpreter" director Sydney Pollack have used his extra time on DVD showing viewer on AVID why he/she shouldn't use pan/scan instead of letterbox.

Some guy/gal will find a better formatted at least 720p trailer, post it to some tracker and these idiots will shamessly use it as example that how "horrible,evil" p2p technology is in some future court.

Note to our flash genius webmaster if he reads slashdot: Next time you create (!) a Flash portal, spare time to call studio and ask them if they have anything 16:9 to post to web. Also check top selling monitors and their aspect ratios would you?

Re:Hideous Web Site (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634305)

It's not a web site at all. My browser says "click here to download plugin", so I guess it's flash? Even if I wanted to install an untrusted binary on this workstation, Macromedia don't support the platform.

It's a stretch to call such an abject failure a web site.

Re:Hideous Web Site (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638791)

I agree with you on so many different levels ...

What is it with people ? There are very few places where using Flash is a good thing. Everyone and their cats now use javascript on their pages. People develop mathematical programs in Java.

What is the friking problem with those guys ?

Then again, maybe expecting them to use the correct tool for the correct job, or at least something other than "the hammer that is all you have" is a bit too much, hum ?

Uh, have you rewatched B5 season 1 recently? (0, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635613)

Yes, wonderful story, but in terms of casting, dialog, lighting, pacing, direction and editing - quite apart from the effects - I find that I have to agree that Babylon 5's a big pile of shit [youtube.com] .

Re:Uh, have you rewatched B5 season 1 recently? (0, Troll)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635853)

In terms of casting they had two gems Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas both played their roles over the arc nearly to perfection. Everyone else was a soap opera quality actor. Still the story was so good (if only season 5 had not been in question) it carried them.

Re:Uh, have you rewatched B5 season 1 recently? (1)

Wookietim (1092481) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638069)

Even with a preponderance of soap opera style acting, it was still better on that front than most of Star Trek or Star Wars (Or "Earth: Final Conflict" or "Stargate: Whatever derivative is playing right now")......

Re:Hideous Web Site (1)

turnitover (881504) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636267)

Yeah, I admit I cannot find a link to the trailer within the two minutes of patience I had for the site navigation and design. If this is the future, it'll be a dim one indeed. After all, imagine how difficult the light switches would be to find.

Re:Hideous Web Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637979)

From looking at the flash vids on there and reading about it on Wikipedia, I wouldn't be surprised if we find out later this was just all a dream, you know.. One he had while he was dead on Z'ha'dum.

If you go to Z'ha'dum you will die (and have horrible dreams that will eventually be turned into sucky direct to DVD movies)

Babylon 5 was great... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633719)

Quark was the best ;)

Re:Babylon 5 was great... (4, Funny)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635843)

Babylon 5 was great...

Quark was the best ;)
You idiot, Quark was on Stargate.... ;-)

Another Video Diary (4, Informative)

HistoryNerd (325402) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633723)

Along with the 5 video diaries that you can also find at the official site, an additional video diary with a behind the scenes look at the how the special effects for the production were done is also available at this link. [vmix.com]

Among other things you get a longer glimpse at the space battle scene shown in the trailer.

Link to Trailer (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633749)

Anyone have an actual link to the trailer? The official website is a downright abomination. I have no fuckign idea if the content is loading or if the thing froze or even if I've clicked on the right freaking button.

A direct link to a trailer mirror (5, Informative)

HistoryNerd (325402) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633767)

You can find a direct link to a mirror of the trailer at this link. [youtube.com]

Re:A direct link to a trailer mirror (0)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634005)

That is some transcoded file which even lost the lost content of 4:3 pan/scan hack genius webmaster did. Half of guys head gone :)

They are partnering with Apple on iTMS and they didn't spare their time to post HD Trailer to de facto place of movie trailers. The result would be viewed by VLC too.

When will they learn? You know, these kinds of stupid errors on sci-fi scene may actually lose viewers. A real good amount of them. For example, if I didn't think how horrible it looks over flash, I would pass the movie when it hits cinema.

Re:Link to Trailer (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633931)

Just watch the old TV show hold little gray goatees in front of everyone. That should give you a feel for the trailer.

Re:Link to Trailer (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634003)

I just tried it and Commander Lockley looks extra sexy with a goatee

Re:Link to Trailer (2, Funny)

Cygfrydd (957180) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634331)

Somehow, my coffee-deprived eyes read that as "Commander Lockley looks extra sexy with a goatse"... and the mental imagery was vivid and horrifying.

@yg

Re:Link to Trailer (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634895)

Well. I saw the trailer and, as much as I liked B5, I am not very optimistic.

B5 has a very rich universe and there is absolutely no need to keep rehashing those same old (some of them I really like) characters over and over again like they could create a story by themselves.

While JMS is no Tolkien (even with his own LOTR), he proved once he could write a very good story. Maybe he can do it again.

Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (2, Funny)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633765)

10 years have passed, luckily computer graphics have not advanced in that time, otherwise the movie might loose continuity with the 90's TV show.

I'm also glad I'm able to notice the cheesy CG in an artifact ridden 300 x 400 flash movie. That means it'll be extra cheesy in it's full DVD glory.

Phew.

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (4, Insightful)

DaAdder (124139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633835)

Are you sure you clicked the "Babylon 5 - The lost tales"-tab and viewed the correct trailer?
I didn't find the effects particularely cheesy there, I'm sorry if you did.

On the other hand, B5 always had to survive on a shoe string budget. One quoted number was that it at most for one episode, B5 got about 25% of what it cost to produce one Star Trek episode. With that in mind, I'm quite impressed with what they accomplished.

I always admired the designs and ideas of B5 and thought them to be inventive, ingenious and on the whole quite beautiful. Even if you're of course often more aware that you're watching CG, mostly due to the restrictive budget from what I can tell.

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634025)

The whole show was cheesy: bad acting, bad stories, bad CG. Yup, it's a classic alright.

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19635221)

The whole show was cheesy: bad acting, bad stories, bad CG. Yup, it's a classic alright.

This can be nothing but a flame. Maybe the acting wasn't the best, though I never had a problem with it. Certainly better than average for a typical network TV show, much less a non-network show

But the CG was excellent for its time, Compare it to something like the 1981 "Buck Rogers" or "Battlestar Galactica" series, with endless looping of the same big budget effect; or even its contemporary ST:TNG, its effects hold up quite well unless you are a purist who insists on models and can accept all their limitations.

Of course the clear evidence you are a foolish flame is that you want to trash the story. Sure, a few episodes were weak, but the overall story was genius, political drama / space opera / Sci-Fi of a rare caliber.

Bah! Why am I feeding trolls...

Computers can't take the place of artist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633941)

Computers can't take the place of artist and an artist costs $$$. B5 started out on cheep Amigas in 93 and have improved little FX wise since, not that it matters - it's the story that counts.

Re:Computers can't take the place of artist (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635969)

Computers can't take the place of artist and an artist costs $$$. B5 started out on cheep Amigas in 93 and have improved little FX wise since, not that it matters - it's the story that counts.
Canvas can't take a place of artist either but we still consider paintings works of art.

Who do you think is using said computers????

BTW, if I remember correctly, these B5 effects are done by same people who are doing BSG effects.

-Em

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634449)

Too bad computers haven't advanced in spell checking. Loose is the opposite of tight. It's is not a possessive, it means IT IS.

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634619)

Ironically as I understand it, the original shows were all filmed on good quality film in a widescreen aspect ratio for their eventual DVD/Laserdisc/HD/whatever release. The assumption was that by then, the special effects could be re-done at a higher quality with new technology to match the quality of the film. That of course never came to fruition, but it was a nice hope.

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634689)

10 years have passed, luckily computer graphics have not advanced in that time, otherwise the movie might loose continuity with the 90's TV show.

Unfortunately, with a very few notable exceptions I don't think they've advanced where I'd like them to - in the "old days" it was puppets and cheesy special effects. The special effects got a lot better so the puppets looked silly, but what we got for the most part is aliens which all mysteriously are about 6 feet tall bipeds with two arms. If they're not, they're the one-off monster because it's too expensive to keep a money sink like that around.

I mean, imagine characters like say Zhaan in Farscape... she's a plant for crying out loud. A plant which looks just like a human. Or the Borg in Star Trek, did you ever see a non-humanoid borg? Hundreds if not thousands of species assimilated, all humanoid. People get incredibly tired of staying in character, like Teal'c that suddenly "started" growing hair when Christopher got tired of shaving his head, not that I blame him. Being in your 40s and still walking around like a skinhead isn't quite what it used to be.

I really look forward to the day we can do Gollum-style characters in a show, without having the biggest blockbusting budgets. Or maybe it'll just make everything stranger, you saw it in LotR a bit - a man, an elf and a dwarf is running across the plains. It was ridiculous that three species have the same top speed, particularly given the dwarf. In reality, all species would not be created equal any more than lions and bears and hyenas are.

Re:Babylon 5 - The Straight to DVD Tales (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637337)

What I wish is that the computer graphics advance to a point where ST:TOS can continue with the original crew.

Welcome to 7 years ago... (1, Flamebait)

I kan Spl (614759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633769)

Hrm, for some reason, both the website and the CG in the trailer look like they belong in the late 90's...

Geez that website reminds me of myspace :(

Re:Welcome to 7 years ago... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634741)

Geez that website reminds me of myspace :(
What's scary is they have a template there that you can apparently link onto your own MySpace page! Just give it a few weeks and they'll probably drive me to hating B5 :(.

Richard Biggs a.k.a Dr. Frankelin (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633771)

Died of cancer I believe. Before he died I herd he invited all his B5 pals to a big dinner, as a final good bye. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Terrible way to go.

Re:Richard Biggs a.k.a Dr. Frankelin (5, Informative)

the_doctor_23 (945852) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633841)

Andreas Katsulas [wikipedia.org] (G'Kar) died of cancer (he was a heavy smoker).
Richard Biggs [wikipedia.org] tragically died at age 44 because of an aortic dissection.

Fortunately JMS has decided not to racast these roles.

Re:Richard Biggs a.k.a Dr. Frankelin (5, Informative)

the_doctor_23 (945852) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633877)

In the words of JMS [jmsnews.com] :

Just over a year ago, Andreas Katsulas -- who loved smoking with a
passion that cannot be described -- was diagnosed with lung cancer,
which by then had already spread to other areas. He quit smoking at
once and went on a healthy diet and vitamin program, but there was
little hope of a good resolution even though the new regimen was very
good for him. When we spoke about it, he laughed, and said, "Now that
I'm dying I've never felt better!"

His spirits were always up and positive, putting everyone at ease about
his condition, because...well, that's the kind of person he was.

A couple of months ago, he and his wife convened a dinner with me,
Doug, and Peter Jurasik, which was filled with laughter and stories and
good food. He wanted to know all the stories we never told him
because, as he said, "Who am I going to tell?" So we did. Because we
knew we were saying goodbye, and there would not be a second chance.

Last night, in the company of his wife and family, Andreas closed his
eyes and went away.

He lived an amazing life...full of travel and wonder and good
work...was part of the world renowned Peter Brook company...he saw the
planet, loved and was loved, ate at great restaurants, smoked too many
cigarettes...he lived a life some people would die for.

And, sadly, due to the last part of that equation...he did.

Memorial arrangements are still being worked out, but will doubtless be
private.

Andreas is gone...and G'Kar with him, because no one else can ever play
that role, or ever will.

I will miss him terribly.



J. Michael Straczynski

and about Richard Biggs JMS wrote [jmsnews.com]

I was awakened today with several phone calls from cast members and Doug to
pass along the terrible news that this morning, Richard Biggs passed away.

We're still gathering information, so take none of this as firm word, but what
seems to have happened, happened quickly. He woke up, got up out of bed...and
went down. The paramedics who showed up suggested it was either an aneurysm or
a massive stroke.

His family members have been informed, and all of the the cast have, as far as
we can determine, also been informed.

This is a terrible loss for all of us. Richard was a consummate professional
but more than that he was an honorable, stand-up guy. If he gave you his word
on something, you never had to wonder about it afterward. He was always
helpful and supportive of all the cast, even those who only came in for one
episode, always with a ready smile and determined to do whatever it took to
make the scene work. He was, quite simply, a terrific guy, and everyone here
is just devastated at the news.

More word as this develops. We may try to have some kind of fund raiser to
help give whatever assistance may be helpful for his kids.

We all miss him terribly.

jms

Re:"Now that I'm dying I've never felt better!" (3, Insightful)

turrican (55223) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638609)

"When we spoke about it, he laughed, and said, "Now that I'm dying I've never felt better!""

Oddly enough, that unscripted statement happens to be *quintessential* G'Kar..

Re:Richard Biggs a.k.a Dr. Frankelin (2, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#19633921)

And about the only two from the cast that's back is Bruce Boxlighter and the woman that played the station commander for a season after the show should have ended. Still, no Mira (although she is in lost unless they've killed her off and I missed it) or Jerry Doyle or most of the rest of the cast. I know Doyle does a radio show now, but sort of half expected a cameo....

No indication that it's going to be aired, from what I saw, on Sci-Fi or TNT/TBS/Whoever had the series for most of it's run. That was according to IMDB.

I enjoyed the show and it's what got me into 3D animation and video editing, etc. all those years ago when I remember looking at Lightwave going "$2500 holy shit, that's more than my computer" and Blender was at version 1.8.

If it happens to get aired, I'll probably Tivo it. If not, chances of me ever bothering to rent it or buy it is pretty slim.

Re:Richard Biggs a.k.a Dr. Frankelin (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636071)

The budget for Voices in the Dark wasn't exceptionally high, so they decided to cut the release from three stories down to two, removing the story that would have involved Jerry Doyle. If sales go well (within two days of being available for pre-order on Amazon back in April, it was up to #5 on the top sellers list), future stories will bring in more characters. Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, and Peter Jurasik would probably appear in the second or third releases, obviously depending on availability.

I have to leave work now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19633837)

..I just had an orgasm reading that..

Wait--I remember B5! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634029)

Yes, now it comes back to me. The lesser third alternative for people who found Star Trek too detached and "perfect," and Star Wars was too much of a cartoon. Trouble is linking science fiction to a backdrop of mysticism and "psi power" has never worked too well. As our society has become more technological it's become less spiritual, and we're now into the 21st century and not a peep of psychic power or spirituality is to be had. But that's all right, our primitive minds can't comprehend and it's sure to be just around the corner, it's gotta be right? They can't be wrong, can they?

B5 was a pretty boring show, running in endless loops of setup and premise about the grand story and only actually getting to the plot for a few episodes where everything would happen at once, then back to more premonition about the Shadows....frankly I find the idea of a direct to DVD movie about as appealing as stepping back in a time machine into the 1990's and watching it all over again.

Re:Wait--I remember B5! (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634705)

B5 was a pretty boring show, running in endless loops of setup and premise about the grand story and only actually getting to the plot for a few episodes where everything would happen at once, then back to more premonition about the Shadows....frankly I find the idea of a direct to DVD movie about as appealing as stepping back in a time machine into the 1990's and watching it all over again.
You know what? I never really dug Farscape. I'm always open to new scifi and gave it a chance but the show just never worked for me. It's a damn shame, I'd much rather have enjoyed it. But do you see me going into Farscape threads and bagging on their show? Nope. Why? It's called courtesy. Try it sometime.

Re:Wait--I remember B5! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634987)

and we're now into the 21st century and not a peep of psychic power or spirituality is to be had

In the Babylon 5 universe, human psi powers were born when the Vorlon's messed with the Human genome to create them. The Vorlon's created psi powers in most of the younger races to use as weapons against the Shadows.

How doesn't that work? It's part of the story. Not some "humans outgrew violence and got psi powers" nonsense.

Re:Wait--I remember B5! (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635617)

I thought B5 was okay, but not great. I think it is more non-Star Trek than anything else for some people.

I liked Farscape, Lexx, Stargate, X-files, First Wave, Earth Final Conflict, Outer Limits, etc..., but for a lot of B5 people the world seems confined to a B5 / Star Trek dichotomy.

It seems like at times B5 is "starter Sci-Fi" for people who never read much sci-fi or whose only exposure on TV was Star Trek.

B5 vs. Star Trek (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637541)

for a lot of B5 people the world seems confined to a B5 / Star Trek dichotomy.

It seems like at times B5 is "starter Sci-Fi" for people who never read much sci-fi or whose only exposure on TV was Star Trek.

Looking back at the 1990s sci-fi scene, what I remember is that people who read a lot of sci-fi tended to be the ones who jumped from Star Trek to Babylon 5. Partly because there was finally something on TV that wasn't just Trek (were there any other space-based shows in the late 80s/early 90s that lasted more than a few episodes?), and partly because B5 had more of a literary background to it than the modern Treks. There were also a lot of people who had been fans of Classic Trek (whether first-run or in reruns) who were disappointed by Next Gen, and looked at B5 and saw the kind of show they had hoped Next Gen would be..

And in my experience, while many B5 fans looked down at Trek, Trek fans were more likely to be outright hostile, as if watching this upstart show would somehow be betraying Star Trek. Maybe it was a matter of the relative sizes of the fan bases, but if you picked a random B5 fan, chances were that he had seen (and maybe even enjoyed) a significant amount of Star Trek, but if you picked a random Trek fan, chances were that he had seen one episode, or had avoided it on principle.

Re:B5 vs. Star Trek (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638945)

I think the way a lot of B5 fans compare it to Star Trek it makes it seem like they have no familiarity with sci-fi because Star Trek, particulary TNG, was the more unique perspective. I see B5 fans talk about the show's grittiness and realism as something special, but the idealized world of TNG is more unique in terms of contempory sci-fi (particulary compared to the concurrent cyper-punk movement).

In the realm of television series, B5 was kind of a change of pace, but not compared to books and movies (B5 came out at least 5 years after Aliens). I think the TV show Space: Above and Beyond's one season overlapped with B5. If I remember correctly the show had a good look, but the writing and acting sucked. If you compare the overall look and tone, Space was more realistic and gritty. One problem I had with B5 is that it always looked like a TV set; it never looked quite real to me.

My experience has been that B5 fans tend to be more vocal than Star Trek fans. Trek fans seem happy to be just fans, where B5 fans seem to always talk about how the show is better and "more literary".

Re:Wait--I remember B5! (3, Insightful)

SouthCat (1028586) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636067)

B5 was a pretty boring show

I think that you give the game away with that sentence. The fact that you describe it as boring suggests that you've not watched many episodes, after all if it is 'boring' then why would you? This is further born out by focusing on the 'psi power' element of the show, which although very much present isn't the only game in town. Even here your assertion that psi power has never worked too well too well in sf seems slightly dubious in the light of how many creators have bundled it into their work. It seems that everyone from Alfred Bester, who wrote the 'The demolished man' to George Lucas and his 'force' (ignoring midi-chlorians or what ever for the moment) have been quite happy to use it.

Also, given the number of people who bought the Babylon 5 box sets, releasing it as a direct-to-DVD movie seems to make perfect. This is a growing trend among series with a well established and perhaps older and richer fan base - see Stargate for another example. Whoever has done this is taking a risk, but not a very big one I think.

Finally what have you added to the sum of human knowledge, apart from the fact that you don't like Babylon 5 and that I disagree with you?

Re:Wait--I remember B5! (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637365)

As our society has become more technological it's become less spiritual, and we're now into the 21st century and not a peep of psychic power or spirituality is to be had.

Assuming, of course, you don't consider religion to be spiritual, given that religion actually seems to be increasing in societal importance over the last decade...

It was real drama (2, Insightful)

ciberado (619832) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634133)

Yes, B5 was my favourite series for a time, even over ST:NG. The continuity of the story made it incredible addictive and increased the deepness of every single main character. I'm not sure it's the best format for a couple of mini spinoffs. Sadly, as far as I know Richard Biggs (Dr Franklin) wasn't the only actor that died after the series: the incredible Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) passed away some time ago too.

Re:It was real drama (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634231)

Everyone always forget Zathras. That okay, Zathras used to that. In fact Zathras prefer that. Zathras get more work done that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Choate [wikipedia.org]

Re:It was real drama (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635033)

+1 funny

I want to believe he would like it

Re:It was real drama (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638819)

It oughta also be +1 insightful. What ol' Zathras said is absolutely true; it is easier to get things done when everyone else's forgotten about you.

I always like Zathras. But even more than that, I liked his younger brother Zathras, who reminded me of myself. I just wish I could get the hang of the pronounciation differences among the Zathras brothers' names.

more info, no spoilers (4, Informative)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634137)

flipping fantastic. looking forward to this.

more information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voices_in_the_Dark [wikipedia.org] for the lazy amongst us:

Voices in the Dark is the title of the first Lost Tales DVD to be published

Voices in the Dark will be set in 2272. It will feature two linked plotlines viewed separately one after the other but covering the same 72-hour timespan: the first follows ISA President John Sheridan on his way to B5 for a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the Interstellar Alliance. During the journey he unexpectedly picks up the Centauri Prince Regent Vintari (third in line to the Centauri Imperial throne) on the edge of Centauri space, and receives a warning from Galen the techno-mage about coming events. The second will feature Colonel (formerly Captain during the series' run) Lochley on B5 awaiting Sheridan's arrival, who summons a priest from Earth space to help deal with a mysterious, seemingly supernatural problem.[14]

Straczynski has stated that predicated on the success of Voices in the Dark a second installment could be released as soon as early 2008.[24] Peter Jurasik has stated that he was contacted by Straczynski to reprise his role as Londo Mollari for a set of alien centric stories after the initial batch centered around humans. He has stated that he said yes to him, "if you [Straczynski] wrote it, I'd do it".[25] The second installment is also set to include a story centered around the character Michael Garibaldi, initially planned for the first installment.[15]

In response to a question about Harlan Ellison writing for the Lost Tales, who acted as conceptual consultant and writer for the original series, Straczynski has stated that he is "sure that down the road I can get Harlan to do something for us". However, for now the studio is pushing for just himself to work on the Lost Tales according to Straczynski, stating they "want this to be you [Straczynski]" because the studio already knows him and likes him.[12]

One of the big events in the Babylon 5 universe that the Lost Tales is set to explore eventually is the Telepath War.[12] Straczynski reportedly stated at the New York Comic-Con in February 2007 that he already has a concept for a possible direct-to-dvd Telepath War story in mind.[24][26]

Straczynski has stated that David Sheridan (John Sheridan and Delenn's son) will both be mentioned in Voices in the Dark, and that he will be seen somewhere else, "in the next DVD"

Re:more info, no spoilers (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636501)

Oh please...everybody knows that in 2272 was the year that Kirk's 5-year mission ended...

Ooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634155)

Babylon 5 was for me and still is the best TV series to ever have graced the sci-fi genre! In many ways it has parallels with my favourite show today, Boston Legal. The character development for example was extraordinary!

Just hearing the B5 music again in the trailer gave me shivers, goosebumps and some perky man-nipples. No matter how "cheesy" or not it might turn out, it'll definitely be watched and most likely be logged in my memory as a great experience!!!

Also my thoughts to the deceased actors from the past, you were great!

- Norwegian hunk

Babylon 5 was a miracle (3, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634303)

And you need no more proof of it than the troubles faced by successor projects. Hell, Season 5 was a mess because of the uncertainty of cancellation. TNT fucked Crusade terribly. Of the TV movies, only In the Beginning was any good. That's what, one in four? I saw nothing of Legend of the Rangers and I hear that's probably for the best.

Between the poor quality of the successor projects and the difficulty of getting anything good on the air in today's television market, the success of the original series is all the more remarkable. If you simply look at the odds, this show never should have happened, a statistical fluke. But the impossible happened. I wonder if JMS can make the impossible happen twice.

Re:Babylon 5 was a miracle (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634375)

Yes he did.

JMS's Jeremiah series was incredible problem was the second season Showtime wanted to change the show and JMS told them to pound sand, showtime still had a contract for season two so they forced it and season two is 100% crap.

rent and watch the Season 1 of Jeremiah. It will suck you in with the same vigor that B5 did.

Re:Babylon 5 was a miracle (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634779)

Yes he did.

JMS's Jeremiah series was incredible problem was the second season Showtime wanted to change the show and JMS told them to pound sand, showtime still had a contract for season two so they forced it and season two is 100% crap.

rent and watch the Season 1 of Jeremiah. It will suck you in with the same vigor that B5 did.
Well, that gets back to my point. Shows have two big challenges: first, be good; second, survive the meddling of the networks. Jeremiah sounds like it was killed not long after the cradle, the main difference between it and Crusade is that at least Jeremiah had an intact and good first season. I never got to watch Crusade but I heard what JMS had planned was very, very good and the unmeddled episodes bear that out. Babylon 5 easily could have snuffed it at the end of any of the first four seasons. The miracle I speak of is JMS getting to get most of the story told, mostly intact, and enjoyable for the fans. Just getting one season of a good show produced happens all the time, finishing the story almost never happens. Usually it's because the writers have no idea and are spitballing, sometimes the network just chops it early. For me, the best part of the whole thing is JMS knew what he wanted to say, got to say it, and ended it on his terms. The show stands up so strongly because of that. Seems like hardly anyone plans shows out these days so you just get a bunch of random meandering and shark-jumping before the plug gets pulled.

My Sci-Fi wet dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634367)

JMS of B5 and JW of Firefly to team up to do a TV drama, with decent funding and a backed by a network that doesn't cancel on a whim based on money, or ratings, etc... (which is my second wet dream that such a network were to actually exist)

Way, way too late (4, Insightful)

Phaid (938) | more than 6 years ago | (#19634827)

The last, best hope for Babylon 5 died when Straczynski was forced to rush the ending of the original story arc after Season 3. Everything that came after that, including that godawful thing with Lumbergh, was just unwatchable.

The best thing about B5 was that, originally, it actually felt like you were in a big universe. The most brilliant scene in the entire show was when Catherine Sakai is telling G'Kar about the time her ship lost power when "something" -- an object so huge it blotted out the sun -- cruised by. Sakai describes what happened and asks G'Kar what the thing might have been. They're standing in the garden, and G'Kar sees an ant crawling up a flower stem. He puts his finger on the stem, the ant crawls onto it and onto his hand, and then after a few seconds he lets the ant crawl back onto the flower. He looks at Sakai and says, "That ant meets another ant and asks, what was that?..."

But after the third season, all that was out the window, and all that was left was a bad space combat show.

Re:Way, way too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19634939)

I can block out the sun with a quarter held at arm's length... Not exactly the yardstick of "huge" now is it?

Re:Way, way too late (1)

BathTub (75720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637811)

Season 4 would have originally have ended when Sheridan was captured. since season 5 wasn't announced in time, that was bought forward 4 episodes. You are wildly overplaying the change.

Re:Way, way too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19638975)

I think that the show was perfectly balanced. There were alot of battles in the fourth season, but I didn't think it made it cheesy, and everything before that led up to those conflicts, not having them would have been stupid.

The fifth season wasn't about those space battles, it sounds like you didn't watch that season, which is a shame, I thought it was brilliant, it presented the consequences for what happened in the previous seasons and also provided closure to the various plotlines.

It's common for people to say they don't care for a particular season, but that's just dumb, each season is part of the story. You have to take it as a whole. I can't think of any other series that revealed all of it's mysteries, that had satisfactory closure to all of it's plotlines. I have never seen a show that had such tight control over it's arc despite setbacks and cancellations. Rewatch it and see for yourself. The final two seasons are not a mess but a well planned out end to an epic.

but how can it be great (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 6 years ago | (#19635937)

without Ivanova [wikipedia.org] ? Ivanova is always right.
I will listen to Ivanova.
I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations.
Ivanova is god.

Jackets in behind the scences trailers (1)

halfdan the black (638018) | more than 6 years ago | (#19638143)

Does anyone know where you can get jackets like the ones worn by Bruce Boxleitner and Michael Straczynski in the behind the scenes trailers??? Those are freaking great and I WANT TO BUY ONE.
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