Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Group Watch: And The Sky Full Of Stars

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

  • Group Watch: And The Sky Full Of Stars

    I watched this one while I was on the plane this weekend rather than with my girlfriend at home while I've been doing this run through. (Yes, I'm skipping the non:JMS episdoes so we can get close to the end by TLT time!) I think this was a good choice, as this episode isn't that accessable, but sets up some interesting aspects to the show that have a huge payoff in "in the beginning." Also, Sinclair's captivity with Minbar gets brought up a number of other times. I feel like the salient points to this episode are recapped in other episodes, so it really isn't that important overall.

    What I don't like about this episode (as well as one or two others in the show's history) is the going into the mind and having people there, showing it as a full universe inside the mind. It really takes away from the realism of the universe that B5 sets up, and I know it's "sci-fi" or whatever, but Trek does that a lot, and that's what makes trek more of a fantasy universe than a real one that B5 is a lot of the times. B5 could actually happen for the most part, which is what's kinda cool about it.

    That gripe aside, I enjoyed this episode. JMS always seems to handle people getting tortured pretty darn well, and it seems to be what he likes to write since he writes it often enough.

    I think the most chilling part of this is when Franklin asks Delenn "What did you do during the war?" This has such a bigger impact when we find out later she's pretty much the one that pushed the hardest for it.

    My first thought was "why didn't they just bring in some telepath to scan Sinclair?" but then I realized, if these people are so xenophobic, they've probably got the same feelings toward teeps, who are even more dangerous than most aliens.

    Watching Delenn at the end of this makes me realize why she's my favorite character in the show. She's so brave and self-sacrificing, it's really inspiring. Up until this point she's just some part of some strange race. Characters develop so wonderfully in this show.

    Anyone else?
    Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
    True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

  • #2
    First wham episode. Still in my top 5 episodes of B5 ever, even if it does have a few flaws (such as being the first of several episodes to introduce a MacGuffin that inspires flashbacks).

    Some reasons I love it:

    The pacing. The way the whole episode is structured is brilliant, building slowly to a crescendo.

    The music. First introduction of the Requiem theme, which is simple but oh so evocative. But also some interesting themes being used through the rest of the episode, including sounds that seem reminiscent of ringing phones and whalesong. Christopher Franke outdid himself here.

    The hugely enjoyable, scenery-chomping performance of Christopher Neame, who played Knight 2. The role was originally intended for Walter Koenig, but I can't imagine even he could have done a better job. One character I certainly wouldn't mind seeing again at some point.

    The whole notion of the defence of the Line, a battle so catastrophic that only a tiny handful of deeply-traumatised pilots survived (actually one of my reasons for finding In the Beginning a little disappointing was that it detracted from of the air of mystery I'd built up around these events). I was only watching as a casual viewer the first time B5 aired, and this was the first hint I really got that B5 took place in a vast, epic and dark universe incorporating events on a sweeping scale, rather than just inside a self-contained space station. It made me sit up and take a little more note.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RMcD View Post
      First wham episode. Still in my top 5 episodes of B5 ever, even if it does have a few flaws (such as being the first of several episodes to introduce a MacGuffin that inspires flashbacks).

      Some reasons I love it:

      The pacing. The way the whole episode is structured is brilliant, building slowly to a crescendo.

      The music. First introduction of the Requiem theme, which is simple but oh so evocative. But also some interesting themes being used through the rest of the episode, including sounds that seem reminiscent of ringing phones and whalesong. Christopher Franke outdid himself here.

      The hugely enjoyable, scenery-chomping performance of Christopher Neame, who played Knight 2. The role was originally intended for Walter Koenig, but I can't imagine even he could have done a better job. One character I certainly wouldn't mind seeing again at some point.

      The whole notion of the defence of the Line, a battle so catastrophic that only a tiny handful of deeply-traumatised pilots survived (actually one of my reasons for finding In the Beginning a little disappointing was that it detracted from of the air of mystery I'd built up around these events). I was only watching as a casual viewer the first time B5 aired, and this was the first hint I really got that B5 took place in a vast, epic and dark universe incorporating events on a sweeping scale, rather than just inside a self-contained space station. It made me sit up and take a little more note.
      Yeah it really is paced a little well, and I forgot to mention the music for that scene! Every time that music starts playing I get a little chill in my spine for the rest of the show, it's so good. I wish other television shows had memorable music moments like this one. I really think that may be what makes this episode.

      In the Beginning does kill the mystery, but they did so at a very tasteful time, much later in the show. I think the Sinclair story had to be explained fully like that since it wasn't ever really resolved because of his leaving the show. That movie is one of the best stand alone B5 concepts there is though. I'd start people out on it..but I feel like it does ruin season 1 if you watch it first.

      I did think the acting in this was superb as well.
      Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
      True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
        Yeah it really is paced a little well, and I forgot to mention the music for that scene! Every time that music starts playing I get a little chill in my spine for the rest of the show, it's so good. I wish other television shows had memorable music moments like this one. I really think that may be what makes this episode.
        Yeah, I think people sometimes underestimate just what a difference the soundtrack alone can make. Would Star Wars still be the behemoth it is if it had had a mediocre soundtrack? Bladerunner? B5 was one of the first series I can remember that really began to blur the huge division that used to exist between television and cinema, and the music was a big part of that. Still, the image of Christopher Franke locked up in a little dark room with his keyboard and his video linkup to his orchestra in Berlin, composing a brilliant new unique score for every single one of 110 episodes and 5 movies, is pretty frightening. I can only assume he didn't get out much in those years.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not sure I'd call the Knights a MacGuffin as we see many people/groups with similar sentiments in the first season espeically.

          I definately agree about Christopher Neame, one of the real highlights of the first season for me was just how many great character actors were bought in for the supporting roles.

          What I don't like about this episode (as well as one or two others in the show's history) is the going into the mind and having people there, showing it as a full universe inside the mind. It really takes away from the realism of the universe that B5 sets up, and I know it's "sci-fi" or whatever, but Trek does that a lot, and that's what makes trek more of a fantasy universe than a real one that B5 is a lot of the times. B5 could actually happen for the most part, which is what's kinda cool about it.
          As sci fi cliche's go I quite like this one personally, I spose because in trek it was a good way of adding some personal tension while getting round the "reset button" problem. I don't think this episode really fits into that pattern though as Sinclair's discovery of his situation isnt a major plot point as it typically was in trek.
          Who are you?
          What do you want?
          What is the average inflight speed of an unladened swallow?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by moreorless View Post
            I'm not sure I'd call the Knights a MacGuffin as we see many people/groups with similar sentiments in the first season espeically.
            I really meant the virtual-reality cybernet itself there. Off the top of my head the other flashback-inducing Macguffins would be the dust in Dust to Dust (although that served other plot purposes as well), the 'Dreaming' in Atonement, Londo's heart attack in the Very Long Night of Londo Mollari, and the alien that fed on forgiveness in Path of Sorrows. The last of those is the only one I thought really seemed to come over as lazy writing.

            Comment


            • #7
              To be fair to writers ... inducing flashbacks in some form or other is one of the few ways you can introduce stuff from the past without having the characters just expositioning about it.

              At least with the B5 examples they are (mostly) flashbacks to things we have never seen before rather than a way to save money by filling time with scenes repeated from previous episodes ... a la The Simpson's 135th episode Spectacular (or whichever numbered episode it was).
              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


              • #8
                RmCd -I Agree - the placement and use of music in this EP is WAY above what comes in the EP's before it.

                When I re-watched the series with my wife after being away from it some 8 + years this is the first one that kept her on the edge of her seat.

                When I'm in the mood to revisit season 1, this is always a must watch.
                I am a man of a not insignificant build. Standing 6'1, 205 lbs with a good more of that muscle than chub. Aged some 36 years, I can - if I choose - put on an imposing aura. There are - however - 22 words that can reduce me to a quivering mass of weeping tears. A pitiful semblance of a 5 year old boy who just watched his puppy get ran over in the street. Those words? - As for Delenn, every morning for as long as she lived, Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                  To be fair to writers ... inducing flashbacks in some form or other is one of the few ways you can introduce stuff from the past without having the characters just expositioning about it.

                  At least with the B5 examples they are (mostly) flashbacks to things we have never seen before rather than a way to save money by filling time with scenes repeated from previous episodes ... a la The Simpson's 135th episode Spectacular (or whichever numbered episode it was).
                  I'd add that most of them were IMHO well worked into the characters overall story's and the methods just didnt come out of the blue. Thoughout the series earth gov go to great lenght to control people, the Centuari put alot of stock in dreams and visions, the Minbari constantly look to history and the Narns/G'Kar to moral/spiritual revelation.
                  Who are you?
                  What do you want?
                  What is the average inflight speed of an unladened swallow?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                    To be fair to writers ... inducing flashbacks in some form or other is one of the few ways you can introduce stuff from the past without having the characters just expositioning about it.

                    At least with the B5 examples they are (mostly) flashbacks to things we have never seen before rather than a way to save money by filling time with scenes repeated from previous episodes ... a la The Simpson's 135th episode Spectacular (or whichever numbered episode it was).
                    That's a really good point. There's not much worse in my opinion than a clips episode. Though, Stargate actually has some of the more interesting clips episodes there are.
                    Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                    True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X