Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What happend to the big machine?

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

  • #16
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords ...
    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


    • #17
      Forgive me if this has already been said in this thread - I haven;t read it all- but surely the great machine constitutes First Ones-esque technology and the whole idea is that the younger races have to fight their own battles. Mind you the Drakh are using First One tech so ignore that. Maybe Draal went beyond the rim too and the machine self destructed.

      Comment


      • #18
        I always hated the Great Machine

        I thought it ws one of JMSs few misteps, since i think it does constitue a Deus Ex Machina, or as we've taken to saying over the risible new Dr Who series

        a Deus Ex Magica.

        Far too muc power in one place, it unbalances the plot and i fr one wish he'd never included it.

        oh and Voice in the Wilderness is far too long and dull.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Ulkosh
          I always hated the Great Machine

          I thought it ws one of JMSs few misteps, since i think it does constitue a Deus Ex Machina, or as we've taken to saying over the risible new Dr Who series

          a Deus Ex Magica.

          Far too muc power in one place, it unbalances the plot and i fr one wish he'd never included it.
          Glad you could join us, Ulkosh. The question becomes, though, where do you think the mis-step was and how would you do it differently? He needed time travel, and if time travel were too easy it would, itself, become a deus ex machina. If you can travel through time, why not use it to solve all sorts of problems. By creating the Great Machine, he was limiting the time travel exposure. It could only be done with a vast machine. Then, of course, you have the vast and powerful machine, but it seems like that is easier to deal with than opening the time travel door wider would be. If anything, I think using the machine for intelligence gathering in VoA was the biggest mistake. If the Great Machine had existed only narrowly to control the vortex, defend itself, and monitor local space you can then explain a little easier why it wasn't useful in other situations. Even so, I still think the Great Machine was a good compromise for a necessary plot device.

          BTW, I'm not sure I get the distinction of "the god in the magic." What was the thought behind the variation? Just curious.
          "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

          Comment


          • #20
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

            The Latin phrase (deus ex māchinā, plural deī ex māchinīs) is a calque from the Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός ßpo mēchanēs the¾s, (pronounced in Ancient Greek [a po' mɛ:kʰa'nɛ:s tʰe'os]). It originated with Greek and Roman theater, when a mechane would lower actors playing a god or gods on stage to resolve a hopeless situation. The phrase is often translated as "god from the machine", where the machine referred to is the crane device employed in the task.
            Code:
            Sorry, doesn't show the greece letters right... to lazy to correct. On the Wikipedia site it looks right...
            And while I can see the point - timetravel "breaks" the plot easily - I think the "live transfer machine" did it even more so.. but that's my 2 cent.

            PeAcE
            Last edited by Harrdy; 07-06-2006, 01:36 AM.
            greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

            Comment


            • #21
              Harrdy, I'm not sure if the definition you provided was in response to my question, but if it was, I was asking about deus ex magica, not the traditional phrase. I was wondering what the nuance of the variant was.

              As for the life transfer machine, yup, that one was dangerous, too. Could certainly be overused, but then again, it only applied when someone was "mostly" dead (and, as we all know "There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.") and there was someone else around willing to sacrifice themselves. Creates it's own limits pretty well. With time travel, you can try to go back and fix anything that happened in the past.
              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                The question becomes, though, where do you think the mis-step was and how would you do it differently?
                In my opinion, JMS didnÆt need time travel to explain Valen or Jeffery Sinclair, but he did and now fans now have this dilemma. Note: Aliens did visited Earth in that past (Comes the Inquisitor) Jeffery Sinclair could have been anything JMS wanted him to be. Ex. A direct descendant of a certain Minbari? The missing link to help Minbari and Humans join forces? No time travel used.

                Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                He needed time travel, and if time travel were too easy it would, itself, become a deus ex machina.
                But it was too easy, recall previous episodes Babylon Squared: Ivanova sends Alpha VII, a Starfury, to investigate Sector 14. Starfury pilot dies of old ageà Knives: What was that entity? Kosh/Vorlon? Where in time did the entity John Sheridan carried go in sector 14? And did it freely travel back and forth between 2259 and whenever it came fromà

                If just going to Sector 14 was the ôBermuda Triangleö of space per Ivanova statement, why is it that no strange stories were told about that area? What else happened to travelers in that area of space? Or was there a past use that hasnÆt been written yetà What were the other reasons or occasions for Sector 14 to be even considered an area to avoid?

                Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                By creating the Great Machine, he was limiting the time travel exposure.
                Not to me, time travel is non-linearà meaning that traveling through time may not (from the writerÆs point of view) affect a sequence of events but can be used forward or backwardsà

                For example: John SheridanÆs jump 20 years in to the futureàto me his conscious jumped (or another way of putting it), but physically he didnÆt disappear and reappear in the futureà (except when going though the rift was there two of the same person) The sequence of events leading to LondoÆs capture of John and Delenn didnÆt have anything to do with time travel, his conscience did and John comment to Delenn in the prison cell confirmed that Londo had Sheridan for sometime and was separated from Delenn before entering the cell. Going through the rift continued as if it these events already happened and is now being done to continue the timeline.

                In my opinion a movie about the First Ones should be made sometime in the futureà With Babylon 5Æs religious overtones and the knowledge of Vorlons/Shadow physical attributesà it is safe to say that it could be a great Good vs. Bad movie for the masses and satisfy B5 fans everywhere.

                Thank you for my rant
                Last edited by rallytbk; 07-06-2006, 08:38 AM.
                "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


                • #23
                  Harrdy, I'm not sure if the definition you provided was in response to my question, but if it was, I was asking about deus ex magica, not the traditional phrase. I was wondering what the nuance of the variant was.
                  Sorry, don't know a thing about Deus ex MAGICA (overread the "magic" part, stupid brain giving me some different information from memory *g*)... well, there is a webcomic (http://magica.comicgen.com/) (well, you can't argue about art, can you?) of that name, but I think that doesn't count 8-)

                  As for the life transfer machine, yup, that one was dangerous, too.
                  Kind of takes the ultimacy of death away, if used to often. On the other hand I DID like the moral questions which came of the "Deathwalker Serum". It was the "lets give a little bit of live, everyone"-approach that made the machine dangerous (IMHO). Washes away the tragedy quick, if used in that way to often...

                  PeAcE
                  Last edited by Harrdy; 07-06-2006, 09:32 AM.
                  greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by rallytbk
                    In my opinion, JMS didnÆt need time travel to explain Valen or Jeffery Sinclair, but he did and now fans now have this dilemma. Note: Aliens did visited Earth in that past (Comes the Inquisitor) Jeffery Sinclair could have been anything JMS wanted him to be. Ex. A direct descendant of a certain Minbari? The missing link to help Minbari and Humans join forces? No time travel used.
                    But, if Jeffrey Sinclair becomes Valen, and Valen Lived 1000 years before Jeffrey SInclair, how can this be done without time travel? Sebastian was placed in suspended animation so his progression is consistent within the framework of time. Jeffrey Sinclair was what JMS wanted him to be -- the human that became Valen. His future was in every one else's past.

                    But it was too easy, recall previous episodes Babylon Squared: Ivanova sends Alpha VII, a Starfury, to investigate Sector 14. Starfury pilot dies of old ageà Knives: What was that entity? Kosh/Vorlon? Where in time did the entity John Sheridan carried go in sector 14? And did it freely travel back and forth between 2259 and whenever it came fromà

                    If just going to Sector 14 was the ôBermuda Triangleö of space per Ivanova statement, why is it that no strange stories were told about that area? What else happened to travelers in that area of space? Or was there a past use that hasnÆt been written yetà What were the other reasons or occasions for Sector 14 to be even considered an area to avoid?
                    First, the events you list all stem from the same rift which was controlled by the Great Machine. Thus, the Great Machine limits it as a plot device. The whole idea of the entity in "Knives" was that it lived in the rift and was beyond our understanding. It was a one off, and so far as we know it might have been completely unaffected by the time distortion. It might not have moved through time at all. With regard to stories from Sector 14, it was off limits during the time of B5. I don't remember ever hearing when the rift came into being. Might have been very recent. IIRC, there were odd things happening after B4 disappeared and that's why it was put off limits.

                    Not to me, time travel is non-linearà meaning that traveling through time may not (from the writerÆs point of view) affect a sequence of events but can be used forward or backwardsà
                    But that's clearly not what JMS intended for his story. B4 physically travelled back in time and certainly affected events. That's why our heroes were experiencing two versions of events -- one where B5 was attacked and one where it wasn't. Even the time flashes must have included some physical shift because Sheridan disappeared. His body didn't just go limp. Also, Garibaldi's flash didn't end up happening, so his counsciousness couldn't simply have jumped into a future self.
                    "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      OK

                      1. I'd have had less of a problem if the time travel had resulted from or been manipulated by the Vorlons
                      They were deliberately obstructive and manipulative and i would have felt it more in keeping with the established behaviour patterns.

                      The Great Machine/Draal just didnt really work for me as well as they might, as part of the story.



                      2. Deus ex Magica, is a joke we use on some of the Dr Who forums.
                      Basically many of the viewers feel that the Deus ex Machinas currently applied in the recent Dr Who are so ludicrous, that tghe Machina has been replaced by Magic as there is nothing so logical as a machine in ANYTHING.

                      For example, in a recent episode Boomtown, the Dr is confronted with an ethical dilemma, if he returns a criminal to their homeworld they will be executed, if he releases her she will continue to murder, what does he do? Does he have the right to take her to certain death?

                      Interesting? Yes.

                      Its completely botched, because instead of making a decision, a panel opens in the TARDIS, some light comes out and she turns into an egg so that she can be raised again with better values.

                      WTF?!?!
                      No explanation, not sense, nothing. Total cop out. Total Garbage. Deus ex Machina is too generous a term for such writing.



                      or if we look at the climax of Season 1 of the new Dr Who.

                      Parting of the Ways.
                      The Daleks have killed everybody except the Dr (including his companion Capt. Jacl) and his other companion Rose who has been sent back in time.
                      The Dr has to decide if he unleases his ultimate weapon which will kill all the Daleks AND humans, or let the Daleks succeed.

                      Drama, mystery. What happens?

                      Rose's bf pulls a panel off the TARDIS with a tow truck, Rose gets infused with 'the power of the universe' travels forward in time, destroys all the Daleks with her mind and ressurrects the dead.

                      Again WTF?!?

                      Its an insult to the viewer's intelligence.



                      Hence i'm not comparing The Great Machine to the recent Dr Who fiascos, JMS NEVER stepped that far out of reasonable writing.

                      Meanwhile the fact that Russell T Davies is hailed as a 'genius' and receives BAFTA awards makes me fear for the intelligence of both the British Film Academy and the viewing public.
                      Last edited by Ulkosh; 07-07-2006, 06:08 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The viewing public watch real;ity TV, don't credit them with intelligence.
                        Phaze
                        on the "hoping to make his millions so he can fund JMS TV channel" ID
                        "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ulkosh
                          1. I'd have had less of a problem if the time travel had resulted from or been manipulated by the Vorlons
                          They were deliberately obstructive and manipulative and i would have felt it more in keeping with the established behaviour patterns.

                          The Great Machine/Draal just didnt really work for me as well as they might, as part of the story.
                          I don't think the show ever actually says who built the Great Machine. It obviously wasn't Draal and/or the Minbari. It wasn't Zathras' race either. I seem to remember that Varn's people were also just caretakers. Since the primary purpose of the Great Machine was to pull Babylon 4 back in time, I certainly wouldn't rule out the Vorlons as being the ones to have built it.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The alien that Draal replaced, I can't remember if they built it or if they were just caretakers. Others from that race showed up to claim it when their guy was dying.
                            Flying around the room under my own power.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Spoo Junky
                              The alien that Draal replaced, I can't remember if they built it or if they were just caretakers. Others from that race showed up to claim it when their guy was dying.
                              I'm pretty sure they were just caretakers or possibly helped build it under the direction of others. I'm also pretty sure we were never told who built it. There was this post from JMS:

                              http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-2405
                              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                                As for the life transfer machine, yup, that one was dangerous, too.
                                Actually, I enjoyed that version of the deus ex machina, because since it is a TV show and characters do get in to troubleà (Nothing is real on these shows anyway), this device could in a way keep things interesting by having main characters come back from near death, and used to punish bad guys at the same time. Too bad it did get used to heal Dr. Franklin ôWalkaboutö or used to punish more criminals and save their victims during the series.

                                Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                                But, if Jeffrey Sinclair becomes Valen, and Valen Lived 1000 years before Jeffrey Sinclair, how can this be done without time travel? Sebastian was placed in suspended animation so his progression is consistent within the framework of time. Jeffrey Sinclair was what JMS wanted him to be -- the human that became Valen. His future was in every one else's past.
                                I was being opened minded when I stated JMS could have gone in any direction. Did Jeffery Sinclair have to be Valen? I donÆt know, but since he became Valen then that was the direction JMS went withà

                                Originally posted by SLerman
                                I don't think the show ever actually says who built the Great Machine. It obviously wasn't Draal and/or the Minbari. It wasn't Zathras' race either. I seem to remember that Varn's people were also just caretakers. Since the primary purpose of the Great Machine was to pull Babylon 4 back in time, I certainly wouldn't rule out the Vorlons as being the ones to have built it.
                                I donÆt think anybody really knew the primary purpose of the Great Machine. Was it built and used a million years in the past for the purpose of observation? Was time traveling a by-product of the machine? Did the creators go beyond the Rim, because they knew too much about themselves and the Galaxy? Only JMS can clear these questionsà So I hope he can produce something soon and give us more from the Babylon 5 Universe.

                                Originally posted by Ulkosh
                                Meanwhile the fact that Russell T Davies is hailed as a 'genius' and receives BAFTA awards makes me fear for the intelligence of both the British Film Academy and the viewing public.
                                The dumbing down of the viewing public will never stop until the viewing public rebels against it by canceling their source of revenue. (Movies Theaters, TV, Cable, Sat are those services) Vote with your money!!!
                                Last edited by rallytbk; 07-10-2006, 12:58 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

                                Working...
                                X