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Group Watch: Parliament of Dreams

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  • Trollheart
    replied
    OK, I'm moving into season 5 now ("Strange relations" last one I watched), but let's track back a bit and talk about this one.

    Probably one of the most "human" episodes of the show up to that point, something that as SotS says, invested you in the characters, laid the foundations for the coming plotlines, and showcased the brilliant acting skills of Andreas and Peter: brilliant together, brilliant apart. Loads of great lines, as already mentioned, and the endscene still stands as one of the best ever in any drama. I love the way it began with an atheist, when this could so easily have been ignored. The simple black suit signifying he who does not believe in any god: understated, elegant, made the point without hammering it home.

    I have to say I was never a fan of Sakai, but in fairness she wasn't in enough episodes to judge really. Interesting that when Sheridan came along JMS went on a totally different tack: no love interest initially (a dead wife) but them a relationship blossomed almost by accident, and became on the biggest uniting factors in the coming wars.

    I love the assassin story. Andreas excells in this, also great lines from Na'toth: "I had to hit you as often as I could, as hard as I could to make it convincing" or something. The paingivers were a great innovation, which resurfaced in Sheridan's interrogation in IIRT. I love the way a serious story, an assassination attempt, could be made almost comical, and yes, the end exchange between the assassin, G'Kar and Na'toth was priceless.

    Not, as you say, an arc episode, but a hell of a good one! Possibly one of the few that could be watched standalone, at that point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonas
    replied
    Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
    Digging up old threads as I watch the show again for now the 5th time. This time I'm going through with all the scripts in hand to see the differences and with JMS' analysis at the beginning. He mentioned in there that the Sinclare/Catherine relationship was a lot stemming from his actual life. And something just struck me for the first time: Catherine - Kathryn.
    Hah! I'd never noticed that, either. I wonder if JMS did...

    Leave a comment:


  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    Digging up old threads as I watch the show again for now the 5th time. This time I'm going through with all the scripts in hand to see the differences and with JMS' analysis at the beginning. He mentioned in there that the Sinclair/Catherine relationship was a lot stemming from his actual life. And something just struck me for the first time: Catherine - Kathryn.
    Last edited by SmileOfTheShadow; 03-25-2010, 12:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    Originally posted by jahkneebee View Post
    This episode really does it for me. In JMS's script books, he points out that the WB 'suits' came to watch the 'Earth religious demonstration" and it gets me every time, too.

    What could be more emblematic of JMS's philosophy but to state boldy that our diversity is our strength. Other places he states that we are diminished by the loss of a single voice, but this episode ennobles diversity of belief: even a more staggering statement today! I can only hope we all still see this as a basic truth; it keeps getting harder!

    G'Kar and Na'Toth with the assassin is a stellar B story.

    I agree with Kevin: this may be the best episode for B5 initiation.

    John
    Yeah, it's up there. I started with A Voice In The Wilderness, but for new people I'm going to either suggest here or Signs and Portents I think.

    Leave a comment:


  • jahkneebee
    replied
    This episode really does it for me. In JMS's script books, he points out that the WB 'suits' came to watch the 'Earth religious demonstration" and it gets me every time, too.

    What could be more emblematic of JMS's philosophy but to state boldy that our diversity is our strength. Other places he states that we are diminished by the loss of a single voice, but this episode ennobles diversity of belief: even a more staggering statement today! I can only hope we all still see this as a basic truth; it keeps getting harder!

    G'Kar and Na'Toth with the assassin is a stellar B story.

    I agree with Kevin: this may be the best episode for B5 initiation.

    John

    Leave a comment:


  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    [QUOTE=RMcD;37542]I'm always about equally split over this episode. The plotline involving the Narn assassin just doesn't work for me at all - it's seems almost cartoon-level in terms of the writing and the acting.
    QUOTE]

    Well..that would make a lot of sense, as I believe JMS had just come from writing cartoons.

    I guess I'm the only one who didn't find Sakai believable.

    Leave a comment:


  • RMcD
    replied
    I'm always about equally split over this episode. The plotline involving the Narn assassin just doesn't work for me at all - it's seems almost cartoon-level in terms of the writing and the acting.

    Everything else - the Centauri banquet, the Minbari ceremony, and as the poster above said, the interaction between Sinclair and Sakai, is just sublime, some of the best, funniest and most human stuff in S1. And the closing scene is one of the most powerful and amazing in the entire series..

    Overall I enjoy it, so it's mostly positive. Seems like it's B5 in chrysalis form, making positive moves towards the show it's going to become..

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin
    replied
    Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
    I thought her acting was a little unbelievable in this one. And her and Michael O'Hare didn't seem to have great on screen chemistry, but that may have just been me.
    I could not disagree with you more strongly. I really couldn't. One of my favourite relationships *period* in the entire B5 *run* is that of Sinclair and Sakai. One of the reasons I'm most bummed out about going with Sheridan instead of Sinclair (even though it most likely made the show better, despite the fact that Season 2 is my least favourite season) is because of the loss of this relationship. To me it just seems more real, and carries a lot of weight for me personally.

    Anyways, if that wasn't a clue... Parliament of Dreams is one of my all-time favourite episodes in the series run. I'm sure that's not normal, but everyone has an odd episode in their top 5, and this is mine. I didn't start with the show from the dead beginning, so when reruns finally came around and were starting from the beginning, I was pretty excited to give Season 1 a go and see what I missed. Until this point, I didn't feel like I had missed very much and was having a hard time keeping interest, and then we hit this sucker and I was just... amazed. I mean, this is a great episode for G'Kar's, and the character of Na'Toth was just fantastic, something you really miss when you skip over Season 1. And, as already said, Sinclair and Sakai were just great for me. So from that point on I was much more encouraged and excited about watching through Season 1, and indeed it gets better from here on out. Also, the various demonstration of the religious festivals for me tells so much about the characters and their backgrounds, much more then episodes like Midnight on the Firing Line or even the pilot that attempt to spell them out for you. This method is much more effective.

    I just think when this episode hits, all of the characters are really starting to get into their places. I mean there's a couple freelance S1 scripts that mess with that a little later on, but this episode is just really where everyone finds their groove. For me this was the best episode that wasn't really a heavy arc episode; I don't know what stars aligned to make it happen, but on my top 5 favourite episodes, this is the only one I can claim as not being a heavy arc one. For whatever reason, it's probably also the episode I've seen the most of the entire series, it's an easy one just to watch and enjoy, and I've never gotten tired of it.

    On a side note, many years ago when I attempted to get my fiancee into the series, I started from the beginning of Season 1, and got two episodes in. After that... she pretty much never wanted to watch the show again And I mean I was pretty bummed out, but she was *very* much against the show... and then one night she was bored, and was open to the suggestion of watching one. So I pulled out all the guns, skipped ahead, and threw on this one.

    And she loved it. I mean, she *loved* it, and from that point on was really into the series and eager to continue. But it took this episode to make it happen, and I have to give it a lot of credit for not only being an episode she enjoyed, but being an episode that took B5 from a series that she never wanted to watch again to one she was very excited to see more of.

    So anyways, one of my favourites, and it'll be a long time till we hit something else I like as much as this one.

    Also, I think we need to slow down a bit... I'm still not sure if taking the series chronologically was the best way to view episode per episode, but I definetly don't think we should be rushing it by posting two episodes at the same time, cause I know I can't keep up with that at the moment.

    Leave a comment:


  • SmileOfTheShadow
    started a topic Group Watch: Parliament of Dreams

    Group Watch: Parliament of Dreams

    Well...in my excitement for TLT, I watched 2 episodes last night...so I'm going to start posting more frequently. Also, I'll be gone for the weekend, so it makes sense to have a couple eps up for people to discuss. As we get further into the show, I assume more people will be interested in leaving some comments on the more interesting plots that develop, since all of the character introductions will be out of the way.

    This episode introduces all of the attaches. Lennier is of course rigid and timid. Natoth is quite his opposite. And we've already met Vir. The three add an interesting dynamic to the episode.

    One more person we get introduced to is Catherine Sakai, and I just finished reading To Dream In The City Of Sorrows, where she really gets developed bigtime (a must read if you haven't), so it was kind of fun watching the beginning of this episode. That book also mentions the minbari rebirth ceremony, referencing this episode further. I thought her acting was a little unbelievable in this one. And her and Michael O'Hare didn't seem to have great on screen chemistry, but that may have just been me.

    G'Kar's b-plot makes this one pretty funny, with the stand out line in my head being "You will know fear. You will know pain. And then you will die. Have a nice flight!" Cracked both me and my girlfriend up as they pushed the assassin toward his shuttle.

    Then..of course...."But in purple...I'm stunning!"

    Two quality hilarious lines.

    Still not the most significant of episodes. Thoughts?
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