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Why does Babylon 5 go offline?

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  • #16
    Jan, I can accept your explanation gleaned from JMS post. I was in the Air Force and while some posts *ARE* manned 24/7, many areas weren't always fully manned, but someone had to be ready to step up at a moment's notice.

    We refueled aircraft, and while the majority of traffic was during the daytime, you never knew when a stray aircraft would show up out of nowhere... weather delays, changes, covert missions, who knows...
    You can't win if you don't play!!

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    • #17
      Jan, I was referring to Grumbler and others who suggested that B5 would go offline for up to 1/3 of the time. I could see why it would want to, but I do not see how it could.

      As to JMS' comments that the C&C is only offline 2 to 3% of the time, that is logical, but the show itself, I believe does not bear out this assertion. There are lot's of references to it and lot's of scenes with C&C empty, a pretty high coincidence level.

      I think ultimately it came down to the practicality of the filming. It would be nice to use the observation area seen in some episodes - Midnight on the Firing Line, where Sinclair turns off his link, The Coming of Shadows, the Alliance Delaration of Principles signing/assissnation attempt - or the Zen garden also seen in lot's of episodes, but these sets are probably not readily at hand for a scene that is usually a couple of talking heads.

      This actually makes the problem I have go away - it is now in the realm of exposition to characters who should know a technical concept etc. or the now almost 10 year old effects. The requirements and practicalities of the show. Cool.

      This still does not help me with the Rangers not being able to find Zack in Sleeping In Light. Even if he was out of the military, he would have an identicard (shown as requirement to get onto or off of B5 so presumably in wide use), a military pension, a bank/credit account, a place to live, a cell phone number, a Blockbuster Card...It is hard to disappear today, probably even harder in the 2280's and presumably the intelligence gathering abilities of the Rangers should not be stumped by that. I also believe that the directives of the Prsident and former leader of the Rangers would get a high priority.

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      • #18
        MacBeth, I sorta have a problem with that too...but the easiest answer for that is the eternal paperwork bogdown. The universe revolves around paperwork, especially the government and therefore the military. If Zach had suddenly changed his mind about going back to B5 (I can imagine it wouldn't have been a very popular military posting as soon as it was slated for destruction) the powers that be probably would have been happy to ship him there...

        Part of the service thought he was at post A, when actually he was on his was to post B. Ask a few military members, especially lifers, stuff like that happens alot. And if the Rangers hadn't had a reason to be keeping tabs on him, they would take a while to find him too, even with their resources.

        Just my two cents....
        Last edited by B5sweepsfan; 07-07-2006, 12:13 PM.
        You can't win if you don't play!!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Macbeth
          This still does not help me with the Rangers not being able to find Zack in Sleeping In Light. Even if he was out of the military, he would have an identicard (shown as requirement to get onto or off of B5 so presumably in wide use), a military pension, a bank/credit account, a place to live, a cell phone number, a Blockbuster Card...It is hard to disappear today, probably even harder in the 2280's and presumably the intelligence gathering abilities of the Rangers should not be stumped by that. I also believe that the directives of the Prsident and former leader of the Rangers would get a high priority.
          I think that the timing was very tight although no specific time frame was mentioned onscreen. Remember that Ivanova, Garibaldi and Franklin droped everything and left *immediately* for Minbar. I don't remember, did Zack say how long before Sheridan saw him it had been since he'd re-upped? I just assumed that the Ranger had gone to the last known address that the Alliance has. You know how slow communication can be between Earthforce and the IA! So I don't think that they wouldn't have found him with even a small effort, I think there just wasn't time.

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

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Jan
            I don't remember, did Zack say how long before Sheridan saw him it had been since he'd re-upped?
            If I remember correctly, it was 6 months before Sheridan's last visit to the station.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Macbeth
              Jan, I was referring to Grumbler and others who suggested that B5 would go offline for up to 1/3 of the time. I could see why it would want to, but I do not see how it could.
              How could it? By shutting down equipment, releasing watchstanders, etc. Going offline is actually quite easy.

              The argument that the station would be unable to defend itself if C&C is offline is clearly absurd. There are other stations on the ship which could monitor the situation and launch fighter, activate the defense grid, etc.

              What would be missing were all of the watchstanders who were directing the incoming and departing ships, refuelling, loading and offloading cargoes, moving ships, etc.

              As to JMS' comments that the C&C is only offline 2 to 3% of the time, that is logical, but the show itself, I believe does not bear out this assertion. There are lot's of references to it and lot's of scenes with C&C empty, a pretty high coincidence level.
              I am also suspicious of this interpretation of the 2 to 3% figure. I don't think JMS really meant that C&C was manned and ready 97-98% of the time.

              This still does not help me with the Rangers not being able to find Zack in Sleeping In Light. Even if he was out of the military, he would have an identicard (shown as requirement to get onto or off of B5 so presumably in wide use), a military pension, a bank/credit account, a place to live, a cell phone number, a Blockbuster Card...It is hard to disappear today, probably even harder in the 2280's and presumably the intelligence gathering abilities of the Rangers should not be stumped by that. I also believe that the directives of the Prsident and former leader of the Rangers would get a high priority.
              That depends on how long it had been since he re-joined. Recortds take time to update, and the Rangers could have been caught in between tick and tock.
              I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Jan
                I think that the timing was very tight although no specific time frame was mentioned onscreen. Remember that Ivanova, Garibaldi and Franklin droped everything and left *immediately* for Minbar. I don't remember, did Zack say how long before Sheridan saw him it had been since he'd re-upped? I just assumed that the Ranger had gone to the last known address that the Alliance has. You know how slow communication can be between Earthforce and the IA! So I don't think that they wouldn't have found him with even a small effort, I think there just wasn't time.

                Jan
                Good point - maybe the Rangers delivered the invitation right after Sheridan died.
                I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                • #23
                  Or else the Rangers delivered Zack's letter to the addy that Sheridan had for him ... which was clearly pre-return to B5, since Sheridan wan't expecting to see him there.

                  On arrival, no one there knew that Zack had re-upped to the station, and the Rangers didn't really have time to undertake a full investigation as to his whereabouts, so simply took the letter with them when they returned to Minbar.

                  It isn't really that much of a stretch.
                  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

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                  • #24
                    Speaking of going offline, is Boxleitner a quick study or do you think he was reading when he did the Lincoln speech in PoD?
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by LessonInMachismo
                      Speaking of going offline, is Boxleitner a quick study or do you think he was reading when he did the Lincoln speech in PoD?
                      I have no idea. My memory is awful. I have trouble even memorising the shortest poem. How do actors learn all those lines? Does anyone know or had training as an actor?
                      Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
                      John Sheridan

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