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  • On Quantum Space and Stranger things...

    TLT Spoilers below






    There has been some discussion about this quantum space (as featured in TLT). I'll suggest that we've actually seen this before in Babylon 5. If you recall, The jumpgate effect for the Excalibur in A Call to Arms was similar to what we see in TLT. Also, Sheridan states that it is a technology that they got from the Vorlons. The Excalibur was also partly based on Vorlon technology. So there you have it.

    Anyway there has been alot of talk about what the "demon" was. Just a few comments before I offer my own ideas. The last time JMS gave us a metaphysical challenge of this magnitude was in the Crusade episode The Path of Sorrows. At the end of that episode Galen receives a message of unknown origin. It is a message from Isabella, his dead girlfriend. Galen chose not to believe it. Yet we're never shown the origin of the message. Similarly in "Voices in the Darkness", we meet an apparent supernatural being whose origin is never explained. Now we are all good little scientific materialists (as is JMS) so we can't buy that it was the soul of Isabella or that it was Asmodeus the demon. So what was it?

    1. A Vorlon of unknown nature: Several folks have put forth this idea. We know that the Vorlons have manipulated humans using elements from their spiritual belief system i.e. Angels. However the Vorlons are gone. Could this be a Vorlon that was left behind? Or better yet, a fragment of Vorlon conciousness that is only semi-aware of itself, yet aware enough to know that it needs to leave. Could it have been left behind on earth hundreds of years ago? We know that Vorlon consciouness is a complex thing. It is certainly possible that a piece of Vorlon consciouness is inside of that man . Additionally it is possible that it may be insane. After all, we've seen Vorlons go insane before (Thirdspace).

    2. Latent Telepath: Perhaps this man, after his visit to Earth, acquired telepathic and telekinetic abilities (for whatever reasons). The sudden onset of these abilities could have driven this man beyond the brink. Perhaps believing that he is possessed is his way of dealing with it.

    3. A Shadow or Shadow minion: There seems to be little to support this contention. We've never seen a Shadow possess someone. However they have advanced capabilities similar to the Vorlons. Additionally the Centauri Trilogy (Which is cannon) places Shadow minions, the Drahk, on planet Earth back during the Meidieval days.

    4. The Drahk Plague: This one is wild. From what little we know of the Drahk plague we have learned that the plague has an intelligence and self awareness. Perhaps the plague has not been entirely "cured" in this individual and the nanotech is manipulating him and giving him extraordinary abilities so that it can leave the Earth (although I'm not sure how an Excercism would be useful here).

    Anyway, with this episode and with Path of Sorrows JMS seems to be having a bit of metaphysical fun. We may never get the answer as to what the "demon" was. But I have a feeling it wasn't a demon
    Last edited by Tim_Fleming; 08-04-2007, 12:11 AM. Reason: Possible TLT Spoilers

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tim_Fleming View Post
    There has been some discussion about this quantum space (as featured in TLT). I'll suggest that we've actually seen this before in Babylon 5. If you recall, The jumpgate effect for the Excalibur in A Call to Arms was similar to what we see in TLT. Also, Sheridan states that it is a technology that they got from the Vorlons. The Excalibur was also partly based on Vorlon technology. So there you have it.
    I can see that we might have been seeing an improvement in jump technology with the Excalibur but they still definitely were traveling in hyperspace as was discussed in (iirc) "The Well of Forever" when Mattheson said that, as a Telepath he couldn't risk being exposed to hyperspace since it enhanced telepath abilities.

    At the risk of putting forth a mundane reason for quantumspace, I think that JMS perhaps didn't want to put up with the complaints he got after Rangers about how different hyperspace looked in that compared to the original series. Never having seen Quantumspace before, there can't be any complaints that it's not 'right'.

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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tim_Fleming View Post
      So what was it?
      I'm glad JMS didn't answer this. Any answer he gave would have pissed off somebody. If it was definitely a demon, he would have pissed off anti-religious folk. If it was an alien, he would have pissed off the christians (aliens posing as religious figures). Whatever it was, it was.

      Personally, my first thought was that he was a latent telepath, and a thumping good one. At the very beginning, he's going through some sort of change, and then he's suddenly uber powerful. Telepath works for me. And since it's not answered within the episode, the audience is free to decide whatever they want about it. I like that.
      "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

      The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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      • #4
        Re: On Quantum Space and Stranger things...

        Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
        If it was an alien, he would have pissed off the christians (aliens posing as religious figures). Whatever it was, it was.
        With all due respect, I'm a Christian and however jms explains it would not offend me since I only watch Babylon 5 to see a good story and all that entails. I know he's an atheist and so already know he's going to come at things from a different angle, but that's alright. I do not subscribe to the new definition of "tolerance" where either everything has to be the way I like it or else I won't permit it, or I turn my brain off and believe everything that I hear.

        I wish, in light of this tale, others would do the same and just wait for answers from jms. We do, however, know from Tracy Scoggins what this story means to her.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
          I'm glad JMS didn't answer this. Any answer he gave would have pissed off somebody. If it was definitely a demon, he would have pissed off anti-religious folk. If it was an alien, he would have pissed off the christians (aliens posing as religious figures). Whatever it was, it was.
          I agree with that although the non answer has lots of people up in arms about JMS being a secret Christian or some such nonsense in another thread over here.
          ---
          Co-host of The Second Time Around podcast
          www.benedictfamily.org/podcast

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          • #6
            The non-answer I would suspect has to due with the writing of the screenplay for the Sliver Surfer movie. Maybe he will answer when he has more free time. Or wait until the script is released.

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            • #7
              I quite like the idea of the Demon being a remnant of Vorlon manipulation, but can't help but feel if that were the case it would've been alluded to at some point. Rogue telepath doesnt work for me either, it clearly has a mission and isn't plain crazy. Also since when have TP's had a 'stench'? Admittedly that could be mindplay, but I never got a sense of it manipulating others the way a rogue TP could. My hunch is that it was a Demon (else why notify Earth/Church to be on the lookout for more?). I would like that to be clarified officially though - at present it just doesn't work for me, any which way.

              Regarding Quantum space, i'm pretty sure its a deliberate progression, not a cover for the VFX differing. I'm a 3D guy, and we've have been cloning the B5 vortex effect 1:1 for a long time - i'm certain Atmosphere could have matched them too. I got the feeling the premise of QS was to show how the retrieved Firstone technology is changing the universe, bringing in a new age. No idea why the Vorlons didn't use it - maybe they found a flaw with it, perhaps the Valen class will get an urgent recall to the factory at some future date?

              Suspect there's a minor plot hole there, to be honest.

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              • #8
                Is anybody else curious about what the IA managed to take away from the Vorlons in addition to Quantumspace? Now that would make an interesting story.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
                  Is anybody else curious about what the IA managed to take away from the Vorlons in addition to Quantumspace? Now that would make an interesting story.
                  I'm more interested in the 'how', but the 'what' will also suffice

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                  • #10
                    Debating as always...

                    I am what I call an enlightened atheist. I am a recovering Catholic and have studied many religions in my youth. Therefore I have a rather broad view of religious ideals and various myths that abound.

                    But here's the odd thing... why can't it be a demon?
                    I would be one of the first to say, it has to have some other explanation, but frankly, I think the religious direction fits the best.
                    Which is likely what JMS may have had in mind in the first place. Not putting ideas in his head as it were, but considering all sides here.
                    Vorlon? Not unless it's one that's gone totally mad and deranged from being left behind, and therefore has a very good reason to get out into space.
                    But why the whole religious dissertation?
                    People have to remember that the only evidence of Vorlons that Lochley may have been exposed to was Lyta. She wasn't on B5 during the Shadow war and most people on Earth and elsewhere had no idea about Shadows or Vorlons. Cancel that... EA did know about Vorlons later on, but not necessarily how they were involved in a war.
                    (Those details don't matter)
                    So we're back to the dilemma. Why can't it be a demon. Just because some of us aren't religious or believe in angels and demons doesn't mean they don't exist. In the Babylon 5 universe. We've been shown a lot of odd things, metaphysical, mental, alien and otherwise. So why would this be any different?
                    Perhaps Vorlons were around and influencing Earth religions but as we have seen, the Vorlons were the authority figures and the Shadows were chaos and 'evil'. So if anything, demons would necessarily tend to be Shadows or some minion of theirs.
                    A crazed Vorlon? Perhaps. It's interesting to think though that if a Vorlon were held on earth since the medieval period, could it have been a
                    'fallen' angel? And it's brethren that cast it out trapped it on Earth as a 'demon' as punishment?
                    There are all kinds of reasonings here. And they're all possibilities.

                    Ain't it a kick in the head?
                    "It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest." - Georgia O'Keefe

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                    • #11
                      To exile a Vorlon to Earth simply take its spaceship away.
                      Andrew Swallow

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow View Post
                        To exile a Vorlon to Earth simply take its spaceship away.
                        Why? We've seen them exist just peachy keen in space without their suits before (when Kosh and Ulkesh fought) ... It took flying in to the sun to kill em. And we already know they can "fly" (as seen at the end of season 2). If a Vorlon wants to leave Earth, it can leave whenever it wants.
                        "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

                        The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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                        • #13
                          I am suggesting that the demon is not a just a Vorlon but some remnant of a Vorlon consciousness. Remember the Vorlons can do this sort of thing. I think that the man may be inhabited by a piece of Vorlon consciousness that no longer is sane. Additionally, given that this is something less than a complete Vorlon, it may not have all the abilities and powers that a regular Vorlon may have. Either way, I'd be interested to see any JMS commentary on this matter.

                          Finally, humans can survive under water...for a few minutes. It may be similar for a vorlon out in the vacuum of space.

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