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watching Babylon 5 with L - season 2

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  • #16
    Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
    I didn't think the other three movies were worth owning.
    Correct. Although, I did enjoy River of Souls as an unintentional comedy film. Martin Sheen's opening scene, HAM central.

    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by alpha128 View Post

      I didn't think the other three movies were worth owning.
      Incorrect. I will take the counter argument that they all have their merits. I think A CALL TO ARMS is the second best one behind IN THE BEGINNING. I admit they have weaknesses, but I wouldn't say any of them are bad. I will say that I originally found THIRDSPACE and RIVER OF SOULS to be a bit disappointing, but that is mostly due to the fact that I didn't love the chosen subject matter. I also don't really classify THE GATHERING as being the same category as the other films. It was made with a different purpose. And now that I think about it IN THE BEGINNING and A CALL TO ARMS fall in that same category. RIVER OF SOULS and THIRDSPACE are pretty much their own entities, which is why they might be considered a bit weaker, but I still enjoy all of them - including all the ham that is served with them.

      And look, I wrote more so that means I am right and Ubik is wrong.
      Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Ubik View Post
        Correct. Although, I did enjoy River of Souls as an unintentional comedy film. Martin Sheen's opening scene, HAM central.
        Originally posted by Looney View Post
        Incorrect. I will take the counter argument that they all have their merits. I still enjoy all of them - including all the ham that is served with them.

        And look, I wrote more so that means I am right and Ubik is wrong.
        Nope. Two-thirds majority means Ubik and I are right and Looney is wrong.

        Seriously, I recorded "Thirdspace", "River of Souls", and "A Call to Arms" on VHS when they aired. In all the subsequent years, when I still had my VHS player hooked up, did I ever have the desire to watch any of them again? The answer is no I didn't.


        Originally posted by Looney View Post
        I also don't really classify THE GATHERING as being the same category as the other films. It was made with a different purpose.
        Yes and no. The original cut of "The Gathering" was the pilot and made to sell the show. However the 1998 special edition had the same purpose as "In the Beginning" - to introduce the show to the TNT audience who had never seen it before.


        Originally posted by Looney View Post
        And now that I think about it IN THE BEGINNING and A CALL TO ARMS fall in that same category.
        Not quite. If "Crusade" had achieved its planned five-year arc, instead of completing only thirteen episodes, then yes, "A Call to Arms" would have served the same function for "Crusade" that "In the Beginning" did for "Babylon 5". That is, fill in the backstory prior to the start of the series. But since "Crusade" was cancelled so early, both "A Call to Arms" and "Crusade" fall into the same category - curiosities that are interesting, but have no lasting impact.

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        • #19
          Well I say you are both crazy. I think you need to revisit those movies. AND WHERE IS THE GREATER MAJORITY HERE? Speak up everyone.

          THE GATHERING (both cuts), IN THE BEGINNING, and A CALL TO ARMS more directly connect to the overall arc than THIRDSPACE and RIVER OF SOULS. I don't see how you can say that "not quite" about A CALL TO ARMS just because CRUSADE didn't last? That part of the Babylon 5 Universe arc still happened. We just haven't been told the entire story. I've never heard it said that JMS says forget everything related to A CALL TO ARMS and CRUSADE. I've never heard it said that he says the show was canceled so wipe that part out of the Babylon 5 Universe. (Side note: Should we start at thread about portions of the Universe we wish he would say we should wipe from the history of the Babylon 5 Universe or are there already too many threads where people talk about aspects of the show they don't like? )
          Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Looney View Post
            I don't see how you can say that "not quite" about A CALL TO ARMS just because CRUSADE didn't last? That part of the Babylon 5 Universe arc still happened. We just haven't been told the entire story. I've never heard it said that JMS says forget everything related to A CALL TO ARMS and CRUSADE. I've never heard it said that he says the show was canceled so wipe that part out of the Babylon 5 Universe.
            Yes, of course, "A Call to Arms" and "Crusade" were, are, and will continue to be part of the "Babylon 5" Universe.

            My point is that, because only a small portion of that particular story was ever told, it's not essential viewing. Sure I enjoyed it for what it was. Furthermore, a friend loaned me the "Crusade" DVD set a few years back, and I happily rewatched it all.

            But I didn't buy "A Call to Arms" and "Crusade" because they are a narrative dead end. Of course a completist is going to want it all. But honestly, apart from "In the Beginning", none of the spin-offs and sequels ever held a candle to the original B5 series. Perhaps if TNT hadn't interfered with "Crusade" and strangled it in its crib, it would have had a chance to live up to its potential, but sadly we'll never know.

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            • #21
              Now that I think of it, A Call to Arms is an interesting one. One of my main issues with it is that it's very obviously a back door pilot for Crusade. I also remember it being a bit plodding and unnecessary, plus, don't me started on how lame the Drakh are.

              I do wonder if the opening episodes of Crusade could have been a lot stronger had the events of Call to Arms been folded into Crusade. That threat of the virus could have been established quickly, giving some chaos and drama, and we'd not need the somewhat forced callbacks to the original B5 and the cast. All we really care about is 'there's a virus now', and that could have been firmly established in one episode. The absence of 'A Call to Arms; would have perhaps helped Crusade hit the ground running.
              Last edited by Ubik; 03-31-2019, 09:47 AM.
              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

              Kosh: Good!

              Comment


              • #22
                On this subject (which should be changed) I have nothing to say.
                Solely because I agree Looney with about 99%.

                The somehow "weak" Drakh reminds me to a somehow very strange looking Vorlon in The Gathering. If we never had a series and the pilot had to stand alone: how would we now talk about this "weak monster"? (If we ever would talk this subject). But see how the Vorlon did evolve to a such mysterious and tremendously interesting race down the road. Taking in account JMS storytelling crafts, I definitely could imagine that the Drakh would have become a really interesting race along a Crusade 5y story arc.

                B5-Stefan

                Memo to self: must start a new "The Gathering" rerun...


                --
                "Vorlon poetry compares to Vogon poetry the way that Vogon poetry compares to Vegan poetry."
                [Straczynski tweet, Nov 17, 2018]
                Last edited by B5-Stefan; 03-31-2019, 10:30 AM.

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                • #23
                  A Call to Arms is a fairly self-contained story in itself, just does a few things to set up the show.

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                  • #24
                    So for reasons stated below this week's watch report is written by L. aside form adding the actual episode names, it's unedited. I'm handing you over to her now

                    Phaze is tired. Tells me 2-3 hours after watching that I need to do writeups. Or at least write
                    something. This will totally end copy-pasted as a post, but sure. It's a ONE TIME THING though!
                    Hear that, Phaze?

                    Darkness thing The long Dark
                    Ivanova wore her hair loose. All over. Amis did crazy well. Franklin totally unprofessional
                    by getting all touchy-feely with his patient. A doctor should know about hero-worshipping
                    and not take advantage of that. Would've been sued and lost his medical rights in these days.
                    Creep. Handy assault rifle looking guns available under desks in C&C. Cool. Funny how
                    pistols still look like pistols and when you need firepower it looks like rifles. Gotcha.
                    Darkness thing was very humanoid. Naturally. Again. Everyone is. Will be interesting to see
                    if and how this thing connects with everything else about darkness. Those that already were
                    shown aboard, the things in hyperspace, those things that destroyed that Narn place and the rim
                    stuff. Mostly that. I think.

                    Free Mars Spider in the web

                    Ivanova took the time to put her hair up. A very tight braid thing, she means business now.
                    Or maybe it was midway last episode? Anyway first it was loose then it wasn't. Noticed Talia's
                    restrictive clothing when she was very damsel-in-distress scampering away from Abel. High-heels
                    and very tight skirt? Really? Phaze said it's because psi-corps are a-holes. (He was more PC
                    about it.) Loved Ivanova's opinion about Talia. She's "interesting". Was very much expecting
                    the thing about psi-corps. That's what she meant. Uncharacteristic correctness there. Also
                    loved the part about how they first tell everybody they can't leave and before Sheridan
                    (that's the name of that commander dude now, isn't it?) clears them to leave she goes
                    (Iva)nova on them and says "tell them all to go away!". Well that's what they wanted first
                    place, wasn't it? Also gotta love how they run away from whasshername's quarters. Sheridan just
                    stands there in the middle like no hurry at all. Then nobody even tries to close the door,
                    when it's not totally unreasonable to assume it would be built to contain a blast at least some.
                    Next they just have to make it around a corner for safety, also there's that obligatory
                    guy sprawled on the floor. Dunno if these things were such cliches back then, but they sure
                    are now. Sorta also made me wonder if the psi-corps, or whoever are behind the dead people
                    running around and the darkness are somehow related. Will see I guess.

                    Oops. Lotsa text. Hope you enjoyed. - L
                    "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. "

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                    • #25
                      Hi, L! Thanks for the report! Hope to see you again some time.

                      "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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                      • #26
                        You know L brings up an interesting point. Anyone know if we should attach meaning to Ivanova's hair choices? Seriously, was it just random or was there a plan?

                        And yes, L,Phaze is right. I believe the audience is meant to believe Psi Corps dictated how Talia dressed. Look back to BORN TO PURPLE, 1.3, to see Talia wear something that does not look like it was according to what Psi Corps told her was acceptable to wear. Sinclair buys her dinner at Fresh Air and it is the first time we see her wearing something that doesn't look like it is meant to be part of Psi Corps guidelines. Also important to note that her hair is up in that scene. Can't recall any other scene where that is the case, so the Corps has hairstyle restrictions as well.
                        Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                        • #27
                          aaand it's utesday evening, i lie in bed roughly spherical cat beside me purring like a small motorcycle typing to you. Two excelent season 2 episodes tonight.
                          Soul Mates
                          In all honesty I've been waiting for this episode for two reasons, firstly, Jane Carr as the irrepressible timov, which she caries off with ablomb and secondly that hair scene with Delenn and ivanonva. Several stand out mments with L, we discussed looneys response and hair is probably going to be an ongoing theme in this season for us. Several points to note. Firstly her reaction to Matt Stoner (total creep and arsehole). Her utter delight at delenn bad hair day, while noting that Ivanova had her hair down. Also a note of an ongoign psycorps theme in these two episodes with Stoner in this one and in the next one well... Final note on this episode was Linda delighted cry at the final scene with Delenn and Ivanova in the lift "I was wonderin gfi they were going to mention menstruation". Never have i heard tht work said in such an excited nad happy tone of voice... also she did enjoy Kondo torturing g'kar and causing him headaches.
                          A race through dark places
                          and now we have bester (so creepy, L) she did note feeding of looney's comment about bester explicitly stating that the corps clothed him, i also pointed out (and i think it's the first time it's said in the series, more than once) The corps is mother, the corps is father. L shared sheridan's confusion at the end "what happened". and asked after all the shooting "was it fake".I couldn't resist pointing out with the flashbacks to ironheart how ti was all starting to link up now. i almost forgot about the B story in truth, probably becuase Bester looms so large (despite bieng a rather tiny person). she seemd satisfied with the episode and the outcome.
                          "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. "

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                          • #28
                            the coming of shadows
                            wikipedia describes this as a "key episode in season 2" and for L's benefit im saying here it won a hugo in 1006 for best dramatic presentation (short form), She really didn't like reefa and there was much amusement about g'kar wht I mostly remember re this episode was laughter, didn't pick up on one of my favourite lines form here "the past tempts us, the future frightens us and the rpesent confusies us and the future frightens us"but what i mostly remember is laughter. She did note the shadow ships again and seemed to like the design "very spider like nd alien appearance". Also i messed wiht her a little, ,i'd forogtten about g'kars intent to sacrifice himself and i'd said "rmember, nobody is sage in this show, no character is gauranteed" it was actually a refence to sinclair. She did note he looked a lot older in the video feed,
                            gropos
                            She seemed to take an immediatte liking to dodger. A lot of commentery about how the military is and how nothing seems to have changed , comments about uses of terms like jar heads and the chants and so on. she seemed surprised that all of the featured poeple died. I pointed out that the character playing franklin's father wasn't his actual father. no tmuch taking really and the epsode seemed to fly by.
                            Can I point out i was hassled about the lateness of this post, we wtched the epsodes on monday and 'm only posting now. Hope you're happy L
                            "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


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by phazedout View Post
                              gropos
                              I pointed out that the character playing franklin's father wasn't his actual father.
                              I assume you meant to say that actor Paul Winfield wasn't Richard Biggs' actual father. The characters were actually father and son.

                              As a side note, looking now at their IMDb pages, I see that both actors died in the spring of 2004.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by alpha128 View Post

                                As a side note, looking now at their IMDb pages, I see that both actors died in the spring of 2004.
                                Yeah I remember thinking how weird that was back then.

                                And back to watching with L. Going through so many good episodes. I wish I was watching with you. Just started watching Game of Thrones Season 8 with a group of friends and my dad. One week down and we're having so much fun.

                                When you said you messed with L a little by telling her nobody is safe I remembered watching the show with my mom. I did that to her often, but in my defense she would constantly predict certain characters were going to die.

                                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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