Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What happend to the big machine?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What happend to the big machine?

    Any of you ever wondered why no one at B5 come up with the idea to ask Draal whats going on in Centauri space and on Centauri Prime in Season 5? This way they would have encountered the Drakh and maybe even prevented them from starting the war against the ISA. At least Londo could have been saved from his fate.

    I could even ask this the other way around..why didnt Draal call up the station to tell them what was going on? He must have seen where the Drakh went after they left Z'ha'dum.

    The only possible answer is that this way we wouldnt have a story to tell in Season 5.

    Maybe someone has a more compromising thought about this?! Id be glad to hear them.
    "It is our last best hope for peace, for victory, for freedom, it is Babylon 5"

  • #2
    From http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-1531

    Koslosky <[email protected]> asks:
    > The Lurker's Guide asked the same question that was in my mind
    > after viewing this Ep - where was the Great Machine in all of the
    > desperate fighting? Twice now B5 has been in danger of destruction
    > (Zha-ha-dum was the first) and yet where was Draal?

    I don't think Draal wants to be bothered each and every time B5
    is in a hassle. He specifically said he wanted to be left alone.
    Otherwise you also get into a "god in the box" deus ex machina
    situation where, "Oh, we're in trouble, quick, get Draal." Truth is,
    if they called him every time they got in trouble, he'd never get ANY
    sleep.

    Now, if B5 had failed in stopping this advance force, and the
    main fleet came in, then yeah, they might very well call him. But this
    was just an advance force, and she knew they could take it, and she was
    right...so where's the need for Draal? He should be a last resort
    ONLY.

    jms
    Babylon 5 Animations

    Comment


    • #3
      It's the old problem with the Great Machine. They could have used it and Draals help several times, but after the WWE-two-parter, we do not hear/see much of it, and we never meet Draal again after "Voices of Authority", I think. JMS obviously divercovered some time during season 3 that it is (as mentioned in the already quoted post) not too good for the suspence in the show to have this deus-ex-machina-thing around too much. Maybe it would have been better to let Draal vanish alongside the First Ones, with the Great Machine disabled, but the power source still intact (so that our heroes could still pull that "Voice of the Resistance"-Thing).

      Comment


      • #4
        Of course, Draal was supposed to appear in War Without End, but John Schuck was unavailable due to being committed to a stage show on Broadway at the time. Having already re-cast the part once, following Louis Turenne's stroke, JMS didn't want to go down that road again, so his exposition was passed to Delenn to dish out in the White Star instead.

        The disappearance of the Great Machine is a a typical JMSism too, since he hates having characters with too much power wandering around in the story. That's why Jason Ironheart just went off into the darkness, and why the Excalibur was disabled for a minute after firing its main guns.

        And as far as season 5 goes, whilst Lochley would certainly have known about Draal from the station records, she did not know him and certainly had no relationship or alliance with him - that was between Draal and Sheridan/Delenn. Given that Lochley was clear from day one that she expected Sheridan to butt out and leave the running of B5 to her, I don't see why she would request the aid of some enormous power that she didn't understand and couldn't control.

        Look where that particular decision landed Londo!
        The Optimist: The glass is half full
        The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
        The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

        Comment


        • #5
          Granted, but come on, with Sheridan's and Delenn's lives at stake, that would be a nice time to call in Draal. The fact that no character even mentioned Draal during "View from the Gallery" (like "We can't get through!" in "Z'ha'Dum") just proves that JMS wanted to get rid of this plot element in Season 5. Of course, Season 5 was meant to have a different feeling, "emprire building", the story of the younger races; the Great-Machine-Concept didn't fit too much in this concept, as all remaining legacies of the First Ones are shown as "bad" (the telepath, the Drakh, leftover Shadow tech, ...). Maybe, as I already said above, it would have been better to have left Draal somewhere alongside the First Ones during season 4.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RaySeventy8
            Any of you ever wondered why no one at B5 come up with the idea to ask Draal whats going on in Centauri space and on Centauri Prime in Season 5? This way they would have encountered the Drakh and maybe even prevented them from starting the war against the ISA. At least Londo could have been saved from his fate.

            I could even ask this the other way around..why didnt Draal call up the station to tell them what was going on? He must have seen where the Drakh went after they left Z'ha'dum.

            The only possible answer is that this way we wouldnt have a story to tell in Season 5.

            Maybe someone has a more compromising thought about this?! Id be glad to hear them.
            The only rationale I can come up with comes down to focus. Bear with me on this, because I haven't really considered it before and this is mostly off the cuff.

            The Great Machine had a primary purpose in its construction: maintain and stabalize the time vortex so it could be used for B4. Everything pertaining to that was available to the caretaker. Thus, Draal had the records of the attempt to destroy B4, the arrival of the Whitestar, etc. Once that was complete, that particular focus was no longer relevant. In addition, since the machine is physically located at that point in space, everything in near space is relevant, so Draal would have a pretty good idea of what was going on there.

            Beyond that, I would theorize that the Great Machine takes its focus from the person in the heart. Since it is a direct connection, it would have to be a true interest. Perhaps this is why Draal puts Ivanova into the machine rather than just ferreting out the information himself. That could explain why the Machine showed Ivanova the destruction of EF-1 and related information. She had previously stated how much that affected her. It was close to her heart.

            From there you jump to, why would Draal be watching Centauri Prime? The primary purpose of the machine was satisfied. The Shadow War was over. Draal was now directing the machine to his heart's desire. A finite being was accessing infinite information with the filter being how keen the interest was. Perhaps if someone had thought to ask him, he might have helped or might have again let someone enter the Great Machine. If not, he was probably wandering distant paths exploring the wonders of the universe.

            Why no one asked him is, indeed, a different question. Maybe human nature? No one was used to going to him for information, so perhaps no one thought of it. At first, they weren't even considering Centauri Prime at all. Even if they had thought of asking, the Great Machine might have been blocked with leftover Shadow tech -- the Shadows wouldn't have wanted their minions monitored, after all. Who knows, maybe they tried and it didn't work.

            At any rate, just some geeky rationalizations!

            Edit: Just an additional thought -- maybe in serving it's primary purpose various components were "blown out" and it had more limited function at that.
            Last edited by WorkerCaste; 06-13-2006, 10:33 AM.
            "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WorkerCaste
              The Great Machine had a primary purpose in its construction: maintain and stabilize the time vortex so it could be used for B4. Everything pertaining to that was available to the caretaker. Thus, Draal had the records of the attempt to destroy B4, the arrival of the Whitestar, etc. Once that was complete, that particular focus was no longer relevant.
              First off, great responseà My thoughts on the great machine led me to a similar path and the question now is ôWhy didnÆt Draal use the great machine to help (fill in blank) when there was trouble?ö In simple terms I always thought that Draal had to stay behind the scenes kind of like a father figure letting nature take its course, because since he knew so much of what happened, will happen and what is going on. DonÆt you think it was wise of him NOT to tell them or give any one an advantage?

              "I am sending this message to all three parties involved in the struggle for the control of this planet. It belongs to none of you. It belongs only to itself à and to the future. Commander Sinclair, the secrets buried here must remain secrets. They would give any race an advantage over all others, thus it is in the interest of all races that none should gain exclusive control of it. We entrust the safekeeping of this place to the Babylon 5 Advisory Council. We will rely upon your guidance, Commander, and the enlightened self-interest of the Council to make sure that this world is left alone until the time is right."
              -- Draal in Babylon 5:"A Voice in the Wilderness #2"


              Note: Babylon 5 could have used the resources of the great machine at any time, but as in this quote:

              "Should we ask Draal to help with the defense?"
              "No. He's our ace in the hole. I want to keep him a secret as long as we can. This is our fight, not his."
              -- Ivanova and Sheridan in Babylon 5:"Severed Dreams"

              Here are some of my responses to the Epsilon 3/Great Machine question previously posted before, enjoy:

              http://jmsnews.com/forums/showthread...8911#post18911

              http://jmsnews.com/forums/showthread...0090#post20090

              http://jmsnews.com/forums/showthread...0133#post20133

              http://jmsnews.com/forums/showthread...0142#post20142

              .
              Last edited by rallytbk; 06-13-2006, 12:13 PM.
              "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Draal was well aware that Sheridan had a destiny and that he had a hand to play with it. With the First OneÆs gone, and the formation of the ISA and the future of the Rangers secured, i.e the end of season 4 and after "thirdspace", SheridanÆs role in history was essentially complete. Any further help from Draal would no longer be justified in the context of SheridanÆs destiny.

                Draal also said the machine, a bit like the Vorlon home world, was not for any of the younger races. So helping out B5 when X happened would go against that a bit.

                One of the major sub themes of the entire show is, you have to do things for yourself, otherwise someone else will do it for you, as well as thereÆs no growth without pain. Both these ideas would be severely compromised if Draal popped up whenever there was a hard decision to be made or a battle to be fought.

                Anybody got change of five cents.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, The Great Machine always left me feel kinda cheated.... they made such a big deal about it before the Shadow war, hell.... Zathras gave much more help than Draal himself.

                  I would change its name to: "The Warning Machine", because beside keeping the rift open for B4 it didn't do SH**!
                  Sleeping in Light-----Darnit! Shut the Window.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, considering all said above... I guess in general, its correct to believe that Draal was a "last resort" for help and assistance of any kind. This is supported by many dialoques in the show. I furthermore agree to the point that this powerful device is (was) dangerous for the B5-storytelling.

                    BUT

                    We know, the Great Machine was mainly made to make it possible for the Whitestar to reach B4 the day it was attacked by the Shadows. Keepin this in mind...we can agree to the point, that the machine is a weapon to be used by Sheridan and Sinclair against the Shadows. If this is so, then why would Draal ignore the moves of the Drakh?!? They prove to be just very little less dangerous then their masters. Their doing on Centauri Prime is as potentially concerning as the doing of the Shadows & Morden at B5, or the shadows doing on earth...or elsewhere.
                    In my opinion this constitutes a serious situation that Draal could never ignore.

                    If asked, he would have been able what was going on in Season 5. So why wasnt he asked? Because Lochley was not "in business" with him? She could have asked Sheridan because its not a B5-Matter, its a ISA-Matter. I believe in the end, he wasnt asked because the story would be over and solved. So I wish for a hint that states, what was said above...that the machine was disabled or something. Then I could accept that no one at the Station gave it a thought to ask Draal.
                    "It is our last best hope for peace, for victory, for freedom, it is Babylon 5"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I seem to remember that JMS said somewhere why he didn't use the great machine any more. IIRC it was something to do with the actor playing Draal. One got ill and the other one went off to play in a musical so he would have had to change the actor playing Draal a third time and that was too much to ask.
                      Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
                      John Sheridan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I for one, am glad that they stopped using the Great Machine. It was a cool concept but could have just as easily been overused as it was underused.

                        The point about the finite being makes sense. Yes, you can reach farther with your mind and see distant worlds and hear distant voices, etc. etc. etc. But how distracted would you become if you could put your mind ANYWHERE. Chances were, Draal didn't see the Drakh because he was marvelling at life evolving in some far-off galaxy or listening to Pak'Marah sing or trying to understand one of the great mysteries of the Universe ... hell, he may have been catching up on old earth television series. Just because he's in the machine, it doesn't necessitate omnipotence ... unless he had been alerted to it ... he wouldn't necessarily look for it, would he? The Shadow war was oevr for all he knew ... Sinclair fulfilled prophecy and Sheridan and Delenn had inherited the galaxy for the younger races. There was symmetry.

                        As a weapon, the Great Machine really only works when something is 'in range'. Otherwise it's just a great spying device.

                        My only disturbing thought was that once they destroyed the station ... Draal would have a harder time getting someone to come and take his place when he was ready to go ... or perhaps once the station was gone and he was ready to die, he simply let the Great machine tear Epsilon apart ...

                        Yet again ... after the Great Burn ... the Great Machine, if accessible by the Rangers would probably be a great tool in helping to restore knowledge to the galaxy. So many open ended possibilties. Just the way I like it.
                        "If I could be a bird, I'd be a Flying Purple People Eater because then people would sing about me and I could fly down and eat them because I hate that song. " - Jack Handey

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "The Great Burn" only affected Earth, as far as we know or at least may assume, not the rest of the colonies, the Alliance or the Galaxy. The Rangers begin to restore Earth, which fell back into some kind of medieval age.

                          As for the Great Machine, and interesting question has been asked above: Does it really have any purpose after the fullfillment of Valen's prophecy, the end of the Shadow War and the establishment of the Interstellar Alliance, and is anyone supposed to follow Draal? What a pity that JMS didn't adress these issues just one more time, e.g. in one of the books or at least in a short story, so that we would have some satifying answers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't think it is within the scope of the B5 story to address whether anyone will follow Draal.

                            IIRC didn't the machine grant Varn extended life, to the extent that he kept watch over the machine for 500 years? If the same happens with Draal (and it had already returned to him his appearance of 30 years ago ), then his replacement is still 480 in the future at the time the station is destroyed.
                            The Optimist: The glass is half full
                            The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                            The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair
                              I don't think it is within the scope of the B5 story to address whether anyone will follow Draal.

                              IIRC didn't the machine grant Varn extended life, to the extent that he kept watch over the machine for 500 years? If the same happens with Draal (and it had already returned to him his appearance of 30 years ago ), then his replacement is still 480 in the future at the time the station is destroyed.
                              Exactly. The other thought is ... who would want to take over that old piece of junk that many centuries later. I mean ... look how impressive and Apple II is these days. Chances are they'd have greater machines and they'd be the size of a watch battery. You'd only need and ant to power it and the ant would be wondering "What was that? and what is this? and why the hell am I in a battery? What's a battery? Holy crap I can talk!!! Holy crap, I'm thinking and it's in English!! This must be the GREATER MACHINE!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA I SHALL START A COLONY OF SUPER SPACE-ANTS AND TAKE OVER THE GALAXY!!!!"
                              "If I could be a bird, I'd be a Flying Purple People Eater because then people would sing about me and I could fly down and eat them because I hate that song. " - Jack Handey

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X