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Group Watch: Severed Dreams

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  • Morden
    replied
    Well, not much to add. Great cool episode with an epic and climatic feeling, one of my all-time-favorites.

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  • moreorless
    replied
    Originally posted by grumbler View Post
    Remember that they came in two waves. Why Smith never linked up with the reinforcements has never been made clear, but 4 destroyers and 4 cruisers, plus all of the supporting light craft, made a force pretty comparable to that sent against Proxima 3. They expected to find only the Alexander in support of B5.
    Clarks forces arriving in two waves was a rather obvious plot device but shear speed was IMHO a good enough justification for it, every hour B5 wasnt under his control was an hour it could be used to martial a resistance. A pair of Destroyers and Cruisers should have been enough to take the station if only the Alexander had been there plus of course there was the chance they wouldnt have to fight at all.

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  • Truth66
    replied
    It's been a while since I've watched this episode, or any episode for that matter, my schedule has been rather nuts. I've always said that this episode was my all time favorite. In fact if I remember correctly when the Space channel here in Canada had their Babylon 5 marathon one year on Boxing Day and the ones that aired were voted fan favorites, Severed Dreams was voted number one. Of course I had fun bugging my wife after that because I clearly wasn't the only one who loved that episode.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
    Clarke didn't send very many forces to secure B5 though...I find it a little hard to believe that that's all he had at his disposal. I guess he had bigger problems closer to home to contend with.
    Remember that they came in two waves. Why Smith never linked up with the reinforcements has never been made clear, but 4 destroyers and 4 cruisers, plus all of the supporting light craft, made a force pretty comparable to that sent against Proxima 3. They expected to find only the Alexander in support of B5.

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  • Triple F
    replied
    Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
    I think he actually was a little bit more hands off with the crusade bits than he was the season 3-4 stuff.
    I think in a way he might have had to with netter digital taking over the cgi from season 4. Lost some experienced people with that, and it did show a bit, sometimes. Pity.

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  • Hal_10000
    replied
    Ten Things

    Ten things I love about the Hugo-winnig episode:

    1) The battle is not just exciting, it's coherent. There is strategy, tactics and adaptation. They don't just roll up and slug it out like on ST. And it's not edited with a Michael Bay incoherence. You are always clear about precisely what's going on.

    2) Framke's stunning score.

    3) The look of despair on Sheridan' face right before Delenn's arrival. Great physical acting by Bruce.

    4) Sheridan's speech. I easily tire of BFSs (Big Fricking Speeches). One of the great things about B5 was that the speeches tended to be short, brutal and to the point.

    5) Sheridan's speech in voiceover as we get a look at the men he's asking to sacrifice for him. Beautiful shots as the starfuries exit B5.

    6) Bruce McGill! Talk about serendipity. "Bring us closer to the enemy." "How close." "Right down their throats."

    7) Delenn's return. Delenn's speech. Basically, anything involving Delenn.

    8) The applause at the end. Such catharsis.

    9) Ivanona's plea to fight with the starfuries.

    10) Here's something weird. One night, I just popped Severed Dreams into the DVD for fun. It didn't have as much of an impact as it usually does. A few months later, i watched the entire series with my wife, and it did have that impact. The episode is powerful because it pays off 2.5 years of tension.

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  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    Originally posted by moreorless View Post
    While it screwed with JMS's plans I'd say that Hague having to be killed off might actually have been a good thing. It really helped add to the sense that things had spiraled out of control plus Bruce McGill is great at that kind of world weary performance aswell.
    It was helpful...and it also made it easier for Sheridan to step up as the resistance leader because there was a vacuum from Hague's death. It made the plot flow much more nicely. I think he would have had to have been killed off/captured anyway. Who knows, we might have had a Hague captured and Sheridan taking off to rescue him rather than a Sheridan captured and interrogated episode. All my speculation, of course.

    And thanks to Jan for providing a better example of JMS' intense detail than I did. I think he actually was a little bit more hands off with the crusade bits than he was the season 3-4 stuff.

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  • moreorless
    replied
    While it screwed with JMS's plans I'd say that Hague having to be killed off might actually have been a good thing. It really helped add to the sense that things had spiraled out of control plus Bruce McGill is great at that kind of world weary performance aswell.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Number6 View Post
    @ Jan
    Interesting. Exactly what is that your quoting. Is it jmsÆs notes on what he wanted to see, and as such it would be past to the animators AND the director to create or is this editing notes which arrange existing filmed scenes together.
    I was quoting scenes from the actual script. Those numbers were the scene numbers. The descriptions are of what JMS saw in his head and yes, it was distributed to the director and CGI for them to make happen. It's what JMS called 'directing on the page'. What I quoted was a series of directions for the battle scene but the live action scenes are along the same lines. In that case, though, the director was free to override the script directions.

    [edit]
    Just noticed something, did we ever see a bridge shot of a ship called the ODYSSEUS in the battle. If not are these then more like a small scale story boarding thing then, more for jms than anyone else?
    Oops. I forgot to mention that the script that JMS chose for the script book was the version that still had General Hague in it. It had to be rewritten when Robert Foxworth bailed out. The ship was renamed and, actually, so was General Hague. In one script he's described as General Richard Hague and in another he's General Adam Hague.

    To answer your question, though, often scenes such as the above might have been moved around or eliminated completely when it came time to put the episode together. If the shot of the ship being jostled interrupted the intensity of the outsid battle, JMS would cut it. It would have been shot as written but cut when the final cut of the episode was made.

    Amazing how much you can learn about TV making from the scripts and JMS's posts.

    Jan

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  • jal
    replied
    great episode this.

    always loved the fact that jms had planned for Everett McGill to play Major Ryan but casting got a bit mixed up and hired Bruce McGill instead!

    and now there is no way in hell i could imagine anyone other than Bruce McGill for that role... suited him very well.

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  • Triple F
    replied
    @ Jan
    Interesting. Exactly what is that your quoting. Is it jms’s notes on what he wanted to see, and as such it would be past to the animators AND the director to create or is this editing notes which arrange existing filmed scenes together. As I know he did get involved in the final editing. I find it quite cute as well as he refers to "one of OUR fighters"

    [edit]
    Just noticed something, did we ever see a bridge shot of a ship called the ODYSSEUS in the battle. If not are these then more like a small scale story boarding thing then, more for jms than anyone else?
    Last edited by Triple F; 07-06-2007, 05:42 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
    Sure it's only a couple sentences...but that really says a lot. Most writers don't go that far. I don't have the Severed Dreams script on me or I'd use an example from there.
    I have. Here's a bit from the battle:

    77 EXT. AGGRESSOR STARFURIES 77
    As they DROP INTO FRAME from above, right behind Ivanova's
    wing, and FIRE, hitting and destroying one of our fighters.
    In the distance we can SEE the two aggressor destroyers.

    78 INT. IVANOVA'S STARFURY 78
    As the last of the blast lights her cockpit.

    79 EXT. IVANOVA'S SQUADRON 79
    They turn as a unit and, still racing forward, fire behind
    them as a unified force, taking out most of the oncoming
    fighters, and sending the rest scurrying.

    80 EXT. ODYSSEUS AND ACHILLES - WIDE SHOT 80
    The battle has come quite close to them, and we SEE a group
    of enemy and friendly starfuries locked in combat all around
    them, like bees buzzing the two great ships, with some firing
    toward the ships from the fighters. One hit gets through to
    the Odysseus.

    81 INT. ODYSSEUS BRIDGE 81
    As it shakes from the impact.
    According to the script book, this episode cut it so close that John Copeland delivered the episode to the uplink facility only minutes before it was due to be sent out to the PTEN stations. JMS also did a large amount of the editing of the episodes, too. Like Jon said, he's not exactly a hands-off sorta guy.

    Jan

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  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    Originally posted by Number6 View Post
    I stand corrected, never read the script books. Though the pushing out of the technical envelope mentioned was kind of pushed by the technical people as was the editing IÆd imagine. Though, as you say jms most likely gave an overview of what he was after visually.
    Right. Of course. I don't meant to discredit the people involved by any means. I'm sure they were up nights freaking out waiting for their scenes to render and hoping they'd get it done in time.

    To give an example:

    EXCALIBUR - SPACE
    The engines flare to life and the Excalibur blasts away from the area of the carnage. This should feel as fast as the last moments of the escape from the shadow planet killer in "A Call to Arms". Maybe split it into two shots to accommodate this.


    EXCALIBUR - BRIDGE
    We pan to find Gideon in the command chair, Matheson nearby.
    Sure it's only a couple sentences...but that really says a lot. Most writers don't go that far. I don't have the Severed Dreams script on me or I'd use an example from there.

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  • Triple F
    replied
    I stand corrected, never read the script books. Though the pushing out of the technical envelope mentioned was kind of pushed by the technical people as was the editing I’d imagine. Though, as you say jms most likely gave an overview of what he was after visually.

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  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    Originally posted by Number6 View Post
    Good episode but the bit highlighted. No, jms had nothing to do with that bit, great dialogue and some nice building up to the climax though.
    JMS wrote the show, and from the scripts I've seen so far, he's pretty darn detailed about what he wants down to these sequences. It was his vision, even though the work may have actually been done by someone else. And you *know* he was keeping an eye on them the whole time too. He's not exactly known as a "hands off" kinda guy.

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