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  • CRONAN
    replied
    He was annoying - and he was meant to be.
    -------------------------------------------

    Lets seperate fact and opinion here. Its one thing to say you think hes an annoying character, quite another to *assume* he was ''meant'' one way or another. Since the only person that can possibly confirm/refute this would be jms, again, if you're stating this as a fact, BACK IT UP. What can you base this on, other than you're own - subjective - point of view?
    Last edited by CRONAN; 06-08-2004, 06:55 AM.

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    Bester was not written as particularly likeable, but Koenig played him so deliciously evil that I couldn't help but love the character. Plus, it's great to see WK actually get a part he can sink his teeth into. Not so with Byron (or Atkins-Downs), there was something about the character that just bothers me.
    Bester wasn't a pompous, self-centered, holier-than-thou putz. He was an evil bastard, but so nakedly an evil bastard (albeit one who cared on some level about "his" teeps) that he enjoyed being what he was. And we enjoy watching him. Byron was a self-concious sufferer and martyr like the worst of the 19th century Romantics (who he managed to sound like even when he wasn't quoting them.) He was annoying - and he was meant to be. Two unlikeable characters, but unlikeable in different ways. Bester is in the tradition of the great villians who are so cool in their own way that we have to like and even admire them on some level, if only for their skill at being what they are. (Think Dr. Doom, Magneto, Darth Vader) Byron was the opposite, so self-conciously "doing pennance for his sin" that he sucks all the fun out of any room he enters.

    Regards,

    Joe

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    But I never could understand why everyone came completely unglued when the Teeps asked for a world of their own.
    That's probably because they didn't come unglued when the Teeps asked for a homeworld, they came unglued when the Teeps violated their privacy and tried to blackmail them to get a homeworld. In doing so they absolutely justified the mundanes fear of them and the reason that an organization like Psi Corps exists and crossed a line that cost them any sympathy their situation might have earned them.

    What everybody keeps forgetting in treating the teeps as "just another minority group" (which JMS is careful not to do) is that unlike contemporary ethnic and other minority groups on Earth today Telepaths actually are different than "mundanes". They have specal powers. They can read our minds, we cannot read theirs. They can blackmail us, they can beat us at cards, in financial dealings, in love, in politics etc. These aren't made up prejudices. They reflect a reality that could allow teeps like Bester to enslave (or exterminate) the mundanes.

    One that reason racisim and similar "isms" are so horrible is that they are based on falsehood. There are no "races" among Humans. If we were dogs we'd all be the same breed. So there are certainly no racial "differences" much less "superiority" or "inferiority". But are Telepaths homo superior? Some of them will think so. Some of us will fear they are. And neither side will be dealing in fantasy, as the Klansman with his sheet or the Farakhan follower preaching about "White Devils" are.

    There are no easy answers to this problem, JMS doesn't mean for their to be. We can't take refuge in the smug moral superiority we feel over the bigots of our own world because we don't know what we would do if confronted with the reality of Human telepaths living among us, undetectable, potentially privvy to our every thought.

    Regards,

    Joe

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  • JackBauer
    replied
    "He wasn't supposed to be ''likeable''? And what do you base this on, other than your own opinion? Please show me the jms post that makes this point clear..."

    No.

    How about you show me the JMS post that makes it clear that we are supposed to dislike Byron.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
    replied
    I think there are many, many layers of reasons and events that conspired to cause Byron and his followers not to get a world of their own. As to Sheridan's reaction...again, I think there were layers of reasons for his reaction, some we may still not know (pure JMS).
    OK...sounds reasonable (no pun intended). Can we discuss some of these reasons? I find this subject interesting, since I have no recollection that any literal reasons were given for Sheridan's reaction on-screen.

    BTW, not disagreeing, just a request for more information.

    Leave a comment:


  • colonyearth
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
    Don't quite follow you there Kevin...can you elaborate?

    I still don't think the request was that unreasonable. And also, why did Sheridan literally start screaming at them when they made the request? To me, that was the catalyst for all the violence. I would think that -- at the least -- Sheridan would have said something to the effect that their request would be given some kind of hearing within the Interstellar Alliance. Yet, *he* curtly made the decision himself then and there, with no other explanation other than "this is not the time" (loudly). I'm still finding this point difficult, especially since no one wanted the Teeps there in the first place...seems like they would've *wanted* to get the Teeps off the station.
    I think there are many, many layers of reasons and events that conspired to cause Byron and his followers not to get a world of their own. As to Sheridan's reaction...again, I think there were layers of reasons for his reaction, some we may still not know (pure JMS).

    As for Atkins-Downes's performance. He is actually a good actor. I will defend him here and remind people of my reaction to people's attack on Christianson and Portman after SW:AotC came out; don't blame the actor, it's not always the actor's fault.

    In the case of AotC, it was clearly Lucas' fault, especially since I've seen Christianson and Portman in other roles where they acted their asses off.

    In the case of Downes, I will refer everyone to my posts about the potential director of TMoS and why it shouldn't be one of the series' directors. This is one reason, right here. The Byron arc, IMO, was very poorly directed. As for the long hair, I think that was a choice in order to give them a more 60's cult, hippie look. Kinda creepy and that was partly what JMS was going for.

    I can clearly see where JMS was trying to go Byron, and while we weren't supposed to love Byron like we did the main cast, we were supposed to sympathize with him and his cause.

    Did the whole Byron arc work as well as it should've and could've? No. Was it as bad as people make it out to be? No. Was it important to the overall arc of the B5 universe? Yes. It was a sparking point that sets off a chain of events that changes the universe forever...a recurring theme in B5.

    Take it for what it was, accept that the events are important and the knowledge they impart to you as a fan in regards to the arc (of the B5 universe, of Lyta, of the Teeps), and place it in that context of turning point. While turning points are not always remembered correctly throughout history, if they're remembered at all, they do still occur and are important to change.

    Take it for its worth in B5 and move on. TMoS will by no means be like that, so rest assured. Expect big, poignant, powerful, sweeping, moving, exciting and, like B5, life altering.

    At least, that's my prediction.

    CE

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  • Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
    replied
    Don't quite follow you there Kevin...can you elaborate?

    I still don't think the request was that unreasonable. And also, why did Sheridan literally start screaming at them when they made the request? To me, that was the catalyst for all the violence. I would think that -- at the least -- Sheridan would have said something to the effect that their request would be given some kind of hearing within the Interstellar Alliance. Yet, *he* curtly made the decision himself then and there, with no other explanation other than "this is not the time" (loudly). I'm still finding this point difficult, especially since no one wanted the Teeps there in the first place...seems like they would've *wanted* to get the Teeps off the station.

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  • Kevin
    replied
    It's not what they asked so much that got everyone upset... it's how they asked for it.

    Plus the fact that violence proceeded almost immedietly afterwards, which is what really ruined their chances.

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  • Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
    replied
    Re: Byron, I agree with the negatives. But for me, it had nothing to do with the fact that the character was written as "unlikeable". Bester was not written as particularly likeable, but Koenig played him so deliciously evil that I couldn't help but love the character. Plus, it's great to see WK actually get a part he can sink his teeth into. Not so with Byron (or Atkins-Downs), there was something about the character that just bothers me. I suppose if JMS intended that for the character, he succeded. But once again, all a matter of personal tastes.

    But I never could understand why everyone came completely unglued when the Teeps asked for a world of their own. Even after watching S5 again, I don't understand this reaction. Seems like a perfectly reasonable request...one that has been repeated over and over again throughout history. A group that has been persecuted and vilified attempts to strike out on their own...now where have I heard this theme before?

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  • CRONAN
    replied
    He wasn't supposed to be ''likeable''? And what do you base this on, other than your own opinion? Please show me the jms post that makes this point clear...
    Last edited by CRONAN; 06-07-2004, 03:15 AM.

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  • JackBauer
    replied
    "You say that you realize that the telepath arc in season 5 isn't the same as the telepath war, but your complaints make it sound as if that's exactly what you're expecting a Teep War movie to be like."

    What the??

    Did you even read my post??

    THis is what im hoping WILL NOT happen.

    "I think he's quite good - why else would we all hate Byron so much? He wasn't _supposed_ to be likeable to _us_."

    We hate Byron because hes dull and boring, not because his character is hateable. In fact, we as an audience are supposed to feel sympathtic to him and his cause. Even if he is a little pompus as an audience we are suppose to understand the motives behind his actions. Its almost like the character that Ed Harris played in The Rock. Hes an antagonist to the good guys but for all the right reasons.
    Last edited by JackBauer; 06-07-2004, 12:56 AM.

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  • CRONAN
    replied
    I agree that there was nothing wrong with Downes's performance. He is a fine actor who gave a convincing portrayal of a pompous, annoying character we were meant to hate. Geez, does everyone think every movie ever made about Hitler had a bad script and lousy acting, and if they'd both been better we'd've liked the guy? Man, I hope not.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Whaaaat!? Why is everyone here a Byron-hater? From the episodes I saw in S5, he seemed to be a great and inspiring leader among the telepaths, certainly much more interesting than the guy they had in season 2. Yes he did get the better of some of the B5 characters from time to time. As with Garibaldi, I can't say I blame him (oh hello mute, sorry to interrupt your deep silence, but i need to convince your leader to order you to spy on other people for me).

    I think he brought a refreshing perspective to the show.

    No, he didn't come from the same background as the others (Shadow war, Civil war, etc.) Nor was his character ever meant for all that. He had his own crusade to lead, and by God if that wasn't what he did (moment of silence please).









    Last edited by CRONAN; 06-07-2004, 03:15 AM.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
    Er, the particular Telepath War that JMS has been foreshadowing all these years will have a great deal to do with the events of S5 and nothing whatever to do with a struggle between Teeps and Mundanes. The Teep War of 2254/65 is Lyta's rebellion against Psi Corps, with an army of rogue teeps armed, trained and funded through the good offices of Michael Garibaldi.
    I would agree that this is how it will start, but I know of nothing that indicates that the teep-mundane crisis forshadowed in Rising Star will have nothing to do with the Teep War. JMS doesn't usually throw out things like that for no reason. I can imagine the crisis spiralling out of control and Bester trying to unite the teeps with a "second front" against the "mundanes"... unless you have actual evidence that JMS has said somewhere that the events of 2264/64 had "nothing whatever to do with a struggle between Teeps and Mundanes."

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    So, any war between the teeps and the mundanes, besides being on a much larger scale, is not going to be about remotely _anything_ that the fifth season teep crisis was about.
    Er, the particular Telepath War that JMS has been foreshadowing all these years will have a great deal to do with the events of S5 and nothing whatever to do with a struggle between Teeps and Mundanes. The Teep War of 2254/65 is Lyta's rebellion against Psi Corps, with an army of rogue teeps armed, trained and funded through the good offices of Michael Garibaldi.

    Even so, the story of the war won't be anything like the Teep arc of S5 because Lyta is no Byron and her organization - while still seeking a homeworld for Teeps and the ability to for them to live in mainstream society without being segregated inside the Corps - is not a bunch of Kumbabya-singing latter-day hippies. She is an armed revolutionary who launches a full-scale war against the Psi Corps. (A fight she wins given the fact the the Corps, the pins and the gloves are gone by the time Lt. Matheson is serving in EarthForce in Crusade)

    That some kind of Teep/Mundane crisis may be building in some undefined future, there are no indications that it happens before Sheridan's departure in 2281, so it can't be the one Delenn speaks of among the crises of "the next twenty years".

    Regards,

    Joe

    P.S.

    I agree that there was nothing wrong with Downes's performance. He is a fine actor who gave a convincing portrayal of a pompous, annoying character we were meant to hate. Geez, does everyone think every movie ever made about Hitler had a bad script and lousy acting, and if they'd both been better we'd've liked the guy? Man, I hope not.

    J.D.
    Last edited by Joseph DeMartino; 06-06-2004, 03:41 PM.

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  • AmyG
    replied
    You say that you realize that the telepath arc in season 5 isn't the same as the telepath war, but your complaints make it sound as if that's exactly what you're expecting a Teep War movie to be like. It won't. As has been pointed out previously on this thread, Byron and his followers were outsiders, a cult - they were rogues, on the run from Psi Corp, and most telepaths we've seen in the series were NOT like them. Since a Teep War will involve _most_ of the telepaths of Earth, and not just the disaffected outsiders, it's not likely we're going to have a Teep War involving black-garbed, sullen, shiny-haired depressed telepaths yelling "Free Byron!" all over the place.

    So, any war between the teeps and the mundanes, besides being on a much larger scale, is not going to be about remotely _anything_ that the fifth season teep crisis was about. Byron's teeps wanted a homeworld of their own, to be left alone by Psi Corp and the rest of humanity, and to be able to use their powers openly among themselves. The crisis between Earth's _entire_ teep community and Earth's _entire_ mundane community is going to be about suspicion, jealousy/envy, and fear (basically a fear of difference, but some will hold out the same suspicions that Edgars did; that we are two sentient species developing simultaneously and that one must achieve preeminence evolutionarily and thus eventually wipe the other species out).

    As for Robin Atkin Downe's performance, while I hated (hated! hated!) Byron, I don't have a problem with his acting ability. I think he's quite good - why else would we all hate Byron so much? He wasn't _supposed_ to be likeable to _us_.

    Now as for the books, i dont know which of the B5 books are cannon books but if you need a miniseries of books to make your tv show make some sense i dunno.
    A book being "canon" (not "cannon") doesn't mean it is _required_ reading in order to understand the series; it just means that it is a legitimate piece of the story, and that the events that take place in the book are considered to be 'official' events as far as the B5 universe is concerned. You absolutely do _not_ have to have read _any_ of the considered-canon books (the three trilogies; "To Dream in the City of Sorrows"; and most of "The Shadow Within") to understand what's going on in the series.

    Aisling

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