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Babylon 5 on AOL's In2TV & BitTorrent

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  • Babylon 5 on AOL's In2TV & BitTorrent

    AOL's In2TV site has gone live and currently has a selection of Season 1 Babylon 5 episodes. In my quick glance at it from work I didn't see any obvious behind the scenes or other special video stuff that jms had indicated he was working with AOL on. That may turn up later. If anything, it's a chance for people to watch some B5 if they don't want to buy the DVDs.

    www.aol.com/in2tv

    Lee Whiteside
    SFTV.org Webmaster
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    B520 ( http://www.azsf.net/b520 )

  • #2
    I also just read over on the Moderated Newsgroup that the version of 'The Gathering' is the original, not the re-edited & re-scored edition. I haven't verified it for myself but, if so, people who've wanted to compare will be able to.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • #3
      Oooh, just what I was looking for. I've always wanted to see and hear the original version, so I guess this is my chance! (All I've ever found from the original release are a couple of realmedia G2 files from way back in the day, and the opening/closing music)
      Tyrant Administrator of FirstOnes.com

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      • #4
        Be sure to report back here to verify, please?

        It's funny...one pilot that now has *three* versions available for consumption; the original Copeland-themed one now on In2TV, the re-edited Franke-themed one on (most of) the DVDsand the original draft found in the Volume 1 Script Book. Anybody want to start a conversation about 'what was originally intended'?

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #5
          VERIFIED!!! it IS the original!!

          Watching it Right now BYE BYE!!
          "It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past." -- G'Kar in Babylon 5:"In the Beginning"

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          • #6
            You have received this page because you do not have the necessary software to watch video on In2TV -- the first broadband TV network. AOL has included rights protection on all In2TV video content and you need Windows XP and Windows Media Player 10 to experience all that this great new service has to offer.

            When (if anytime soon) the IT department at work decides to upgrade from Windows 2000 I might check it out (but by then the original cut of The Gathering might be gone! ).
            That might happen sooner that AOL providing Mac OS X support for In2TV.
            Which certainly would happen sooner that I'd go to the dark side from Mac OS X at home.
            Last edited by Capt.Montoya; 03-15-2006, 06:00 PM. Reason: added comment
            Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
            James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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            • #7
              Jan: It most certainly is the original.

              Ok, I am now at one hour and twenty two minutes into it...only eleven minutes to go. I have to say, it feels like this version flows better than the SE, but I'd have to compare them back-to-back for confirmation. It just feels more natural, for some reason.

              And I have to say, having not seen Th Gathering for a while...this is absoultely awful. It's a wonder the show was produced with this as its pilot. The potential is there, but oh man, the acting was painful, the dialogue was worse, and the lighting, weapons, etc...so tacky!

              However, I'd like to add that I don't really know which version of The Gathering I like better. I actually found the music in the original to be quite nice...that is, until it didn't change...and that same "Daduh-du-da-dah-dada-dadummm" dramatic music bit was used every couple of minutes for even the most trivial cue.

              And the effects....oh god! Well, they're not bad. It's just the little variations in the computers and on-screen visuals between this and TGSE. Little bits of dialogue here and there were subtly different, and the sans-franke-ness of it was eerie. The variation in the jump points were also interesting, though I like the ones we are accustomed to far more.

              I think the Copeland score of the original fits the visual style and pacing better, but due to the fact that there was almost NO variation in it, the presence ended up being detrimental (see above). Any time it changed, it was wonderful, but that little cue repeating over and over. It was like a wonderful "Old west" thng,

              I also think that it's a wonderful thing Takashima is gone. People complain about O'Hare's wooden acting, but I don't think they've seen (or remembered seeing) The Gathering. But that's not unique to the original or re-release.

              Overall, a perfect addition to any B5 Fan's collection. I wish I could get it on DVD just for thoroughness.

              Edit: Captain Montoya, I suspect the original cut of The Gathering will likely remain for a while. It's doubtful they'd put it up unless they could not get permission from TNT to distribute the re-release. That's my suspicion, at least.

              Edit2: I'd also like to clarify that in the end, I didn't like the Copeland score more than the Franke's. I just liked parts.
              Last edited by Sanfam; 03-15-2006, 08:46 PM.
              Tyrant Administrator of FirstOnes.com

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              • #8
                I have to say I preffer the SE over this original version.

                I will agree this version does Flow better, but it also makes the whole thing slower.

                I dont like the copeland score, I preffer Christopher's

                as for Takashima, if you watch the SE of "the gathering" the original Cuts of her scenes were put back in and she did a MUCH better job in those Takes than the ones in the original.

                it really is quite interesting to see the original once again to compare. I too would like to have a DVD of it for collecting reasons. Awesome way to spend tonight!
                "It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past." -- G'Kar in Babylon 5:"In the Beginning"

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                • #9
                  *dances* I don't have aol, but that doesn't matter. I've been waiting so long for TV to make the jump to the internet and it's slowly creeping in. It started with pirates and podcasts and it's evolving. Screw cable, I want my dsl! And the fact that I could, if I wanted to sell my soul to aohell, watch B5 on the net is fanspastic.
                  "Sector 87 by 20 by 42. At least a dozen ships have reported seeing something rather godlike in the area, and since neither you nor I were there, it must be one of the first ones." -- Marcus to Ivanova (J. Michael Straczynski)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Laiden
                    I have to say I preffer the SE over this original version.

                    I will agree this version does Flow better, but it also makes the whole thing slower.
                    Some of JMS's comments on this particular phenomenon:
                    I also got the thing back to its original format. All TV movies are 6 acts. Because PTEN wanted more commercial breaks, I had to re-jig the structure of the thing into 9 acts, which meant moving some scenes into places where they weren't as effective, and frankly after 9 acts you just get tired of watching. Here I was able to move scenes around and get back to the original 6 act structure that was intended for the thing, and that alone makes a huge difference in how the film feels.

                    Essentially, the film felt even longer -- psychologically-speaking -- in its original PTEN incarnation than in the later TNT Special Edition edit, due to the grinding, draining pace of at least three more act breaks than the standard movie-of-the-week typically receives.


                    Originally posted by Laiden
                    as for Takashima, if you watch the SE of "the gathering" the original Cuts of her scenes were put back in and she did a MUCH better job in those Takes than the ones in the original.
                    Actually, those weren't alternate takes...they were alternate dialogue loops, which were put in at the behest of the (not-there-no-more) studio execs, who were skittish over Laurel being perceived as "too strong."

                    Some more pertinent Joe Commentary:
                    One of the biggest changes is the one least immediately apparent. After we finished the original pilot, some folks at WB felt that Laurel was too...strong. They will rarely put it in terms quite as blatant as that, but that was the message...she was "unlikeable, unsympathetic, harsh." Meaning some of the guys felt she was too strong, let's cut to the chase, okay?

                    They wanted her to loop her lines, soften their (her) delivery. I fought this tooth and nail. I fought this until finally I was pulled aside and it was communicated to me that B5 was, after all, still an unknown property, could be a big failure, and if we ever wanted to see this thing on the air, we'd accommodate this note (which was, I have to admit on balance, one of the few they had). The advice was, in essence, "Pick your battles."

                    So, reluctantly, I let it get looped by Tamlyn.

                    But now, when the re-edit was commissioned, and with the person at the studio who insisted on this now no longer AT the studio, I told Suzie, "Screw it, put back her original production track and trash the loops." Instantly, Laurel's energy level comes up, the performance is better...it just *feels* more natural now.
                    "Listen up, boy, or pornography starring your mother will be the SECOND-worst thing to happen to you today."

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                    • #11
                      yes Leto, I know all about the JMS comments on the SE and what he did different . . . loops, takes . . . she did it differently and it was better.

                      If you go to the site and watch the Gathering they have ONE 13-30 second ad between the 9 breaks so it wasnt because of the comercials, it was because of how slow moving it was. Half the time you were either watching someone walking somewhere or the dialouge was slow or they were showing off the technology and/or graphics. It was a good idea back then.
                      Last edited by Laiden; 03-16-2006, 12:25 PM.
                      "It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past." -- G'Kar in Babylon 5:"In the Beginning"

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                      • #12
                        Also, if you download the "HiQ" version, you will not experience any ads. It's also quite purdy...
                        Tyrant Administrator of FirstOnes.com

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                        • #13
                          I have downloaded the Hi version but i just seem to stuck on the aquiring licence, some error about not using the aol media player but im sure im using it, as thats whats on screen. I am not regged with aol but the episode seemed to download fine and its in a folder on my harddrive, just wont play!

                          any ideas?
                          "It is good to have friends, is it not, Mr. Garibaldi? Even if maybe .. only for a little while."
                          "Even if only for a little while."

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                          • #14
                            Duno, it kicks me by saying that im not using XP.... im using XP X64, tried both firefox and IE... no go.... blah who cares, gonna stick my DVD in.
                            Sleeping in Light-----Darnit! Shut the Window.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sanfam
                              I have to say, it feels like this version flows better than the SE
                              It's the first time that I read that, and I couldn't disagree more. The Original Pilot is just SLOW - not because it would have more character scenes or anything, it's simply because many shots just are a little longer than in the SE, where they've been trimmed to make room for some other scenes, like Sinclairs heroic moment in the beginning, for example. Also, the Showdown doesn't make any sense at all in the original cut. From one take to the other, Sinclair is suddenly wet and sweaty, and you just don't know why. And probably the most important reason why I prefer the SE: Christopher Franke's wonderful score. In the original cut, the scene were Sinclair talks about the Battle of the Line was so dull and bland... but with Franke's score and the sounds of the battle, they made it an important and touching scene...

                              And I have to say, having not seen Th Gathering for a while...this is absoultely awful. It's a wonder the show was produced with this as its pilot. The potential is there, but oh man, the acting was painful, the dialogue was worse, and the lighting, weapons, etc...so tacky!
                              I actually happen to like the Special Edition of the pilot very much, and would give it 9 out of 10. The only scene I can't stand at all is the one with those weird gravity rings...

                              Originally posted by Sanfam
                              I wish I could get it on DVD just for thoroughness.
                              Originally posted by Laiden
                              I too would like to have a DVD of it for collecting reasons. Awesome way to spend tonight!
                              I said it before, but I'll gladly point it out again: If you got a region-free player (and if not, you should definitely get one ) and your TV can handle the PAL-format, you can grab the german DVD - it's the original version.
                              Here's the link:
                              http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASI...523717-5260831

                              (And yes, it's "The Gathering", even if they've used the cover from "In the beginning").

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