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"Sleeping in Light" - Ten years ago

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  • #16
    Wow.

    I can't even begin to express what B5 has meant to me. Well, maybe I can, but it will take dozens and dozens of pages. In short, though, I can say that it has profoundly affected me both as a person and as an artist.

    "Sleeping in Light" is probably the best piece of audiovisual storytelling I have ever seen - certainly the best ever done for television. I have seen it many, many times, and yet it still makes me cry every single time. It is amazing.

    My favourite intro is either the first season's or the last season's - the former having that sense of dark mystery, and the latter that combination of the epic and the emotional that make B5 so powerful.

    And while I can't say that the show taught me something on a philosophical level, it engaged me philosophically and gave me something to think about. And I deeply enjoyed that it told us that change is possible - not just cultural or personal, but political change - if people work together. Because as much as it says that every human being has to act, what B5 also shows - and this is something that most works of art these days are missing - is the necessity for organization, for working together to achieve a common goal. It's not about the lone hero out to fight evil. It's about people coming together to change how the world works.

    Nah - I just can't write a coherent post about this. Someday I will write a long, long analysis of my thoughts regarding every single episode. Then I'll be able to say what I want to say. And someday I will do a television series of my own, and Joe will watch it and go "wooo". Yes.
    Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Jonas View Post
      Nah - I just can't write a coherent post about this. Someday I will write a long, long analysis of my thoughts regarding every single episode. Then I'll be able to say what I want to say. And someday I will do a television series of my own, and Joe will watch it and go "wooo". Yes.
      Remember what JMS said at the very end of his SiL commentary: "Dream your dreams. And I'll see you down the road."

      I'm listening to the SiL soundtrack here at my mundane job.

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

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Jan View Post
        Remember what JMS said at the very end of his SiL commentary: "Dream your dreams. And I'll see you down the road."

        I'm listening to the SiL soundtrack here at my mundane job.

        Jan
        I hear you Jan, I keep the end of SiL on my ipod, and can see the docking bay doors explode and tumble every time I play it. It chokes me up every time.


        Is there an actual soundtrack for SiL ?
        What a wonderful world you live in. -
        Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by glindros View Post
          Is there an actual soundtrack for SiL ?
          Yes, there is. I have been listening to it all evening while making some wallpapers to honor the occasion. I had to fight the tears back a couple of times, especially when looking up quotes.

          If you guys are interested, you can check the wallpapers out here. Sorry for the implementation and the many clicks to get them, but my gallery ain't working properly. Hope you like them.
          It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have something worth living for?
          Rule TwentyNine (Blog about B5, politics, environment and much more)

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          • #20
            Apparently Christopher Franke doesn't sell the soundtracks from his site any longer. Here's a link to some on Amazon.com

            Those are great wallpapers, *Starstuff*! Thanks for sharing.

            At *last*!! After over a month at my new job I've found somebody who knows and likes B5! Halleluja!

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

            Comment


            • #21
              Thanks, Jan

              ANd I noticed as well that Franke no longer offers the soundtracks, too bad. But congrats on finding another B5 soul at your job. I am still searching. Maybe I need to convert someone, this seems to be the only avenue left.
              It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have something worth living for?
              Rule TwentyNine (Blog about B5, politics, environment and much more)

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by *Starstuff* View Post
                Yes, there is. I have been listening to it all evening while making some wallpapers to honor the occasion. I had to fight the tears back a couple of times, especially when looking up quotes.

                If you guys are interested, you can check the wallpapers out here. Sorry for the implementation and the many clicks to get them, but my gallery ain't working properly. Hope you like them.
                Cool wallpapers Starstuff,
                Damn, I'm tearing up just checking them out,
                Great work MATE.
                CHEERS
                Gav
                Abso-fragging-lutely-dammit.

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                • #23
                  Very nice Starstuff. Great start to the day for me.
                  "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                  • #24
                    Agree with the others, Starstuff. Nice wallpapers.

                    There were two moments in SiL that made me realize, when I was first watching it, just how special that episode was, and how much it meant to me.

                    The first was maybe ten minutes into the episode, when I realized that there was going to be no opening credits. I hadn't even considered that such a thing was possible, but I thought it was really great: JMS was saying that anyone watching the show didn't need no stinking credits. We already knew.

                    The ending credits were amazing. Such a simple concept, but so well-executed, with the perfect score to go along with them.

                    Then, the Babylonian Productions logo flashed on the screen, and it struck me that this was the last time I would see it "live." From now on, it would be in reruns (yeah, okay, Crusade, but that was not the same thing).

                    I sat in my chair for peobabl;y half an hour, with the TV off, just thinking about how far the show had come, and how much I was ging to miss it. I've never had quite that feeling before, and probably never will again.

                    Now, ten years later, I can only say that i envy those who can watch the show for the first time. It won't be the same as watching it over 5 years, but in many cases that is even better. The story flows so well when you can just go from one episodes to the next, without having to get out your VCR tape to try to find that moment in a previous episode that you know was referenced in this week's episode.
                    I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                    • #25
                      Not only was it memorable ... it still is very special.
                      I have a set for me and one for lending out. (I couldn's stand the thought of not being able to loose a box but I wanted share Babylon 5 with my friends, so...)
                      What usually happens is this: If a friend gets to season 3, season 4 is seldom asked.
                      I simply get... "Don't bother... I bought the whole set."
                      That's how enjoyably addictive it still is.
                      Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
                      John Sheridan

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                      • #26
                        My thoughts

                        Hey. First post and this seemed like a good place to start.

                        I remember that period when the B5 pilot movie aired. There were proposed TV series all over. Space Rangers, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Island City (remember that anyone?) and , of course, B5. I videotaped each one as they aired, some I liked more than others.

                        I liked Babylon 5 the least.

                        Why? I'm not sure. I was looking forward to it, couldn't wait to see it. But, unlike the other pilots, I knew to expect more out of it than the dumb fun of Space Rangers. Maybe that was it: the aired pilot wasn't really up to what I had expected. Anyway, none of the other shows took off, but when B5 premiered, I gave it a shot.

                        Ploop. Midnight on the Firing Line was, for me, another dud. Was expecting more (again) and I wasn't grasping it. Plus, I really liked Stewart Copeland's score to the pilot movie and Chris Franke's stuff was leaving me cold.

                        About seven episodes later, I gave up.

                        Yet, something kept knawing at me, like I wasn't being fair to the show. And I couldn't understand it, I loved 99% of the sci-fi shows up to that point. I was and am a lifelong Trek fan, but I never compared any of the other shows to it (not consciously). Space:1999, Buck Rogers, Galactica, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - all favorites all of varing quality. Then I started to understand: I liked the format of B5. I gravitated to the "military command structure" of these shows. I just wasn't liking the characters. Still, I gave it another go about 3 episodes before the season finale.

                        Then it hit me and everything changed. I was looking at it backward; JMS took the format I was used to and turned it on its head. Sure, it had the same command structure as the other SF shows, but in actuality, the human characters weren't as important as the aliens. It wasn't a show about Earth people going on missions and stopping invaders and whatever. It was about the whole alien community and how humanity fit in.

                        And boom goes the dynamite.

                        Anyway, the finale airs and I love it. Then I see the previews for the next season (my station ran the last few episodes just before the second season premiere) and I see the one thing that usually sinks a show for me: new lead actor. Like the later Earth: Final Conflict, B5 had an offbeat actor as the untraditional lead (only that show never recovered from the loss). I had just started to like him, but then comes Bruce B. I have to say, I hated Scarecrow and Mrs. King, so I wasn't jumping for joy. But I was hooked on the plot, so I watched anyway.

                        I have to admit, I liked Sheridan a lot more than Sinclair. Why? Again, the old school Trek fan liked the "Kirk" aspect of Sheridan: the space cowboy. And JMS, being who he is, let me think that was what this character was all about.

                        Nope. That was just a ruse until we saw where he was going.

                        The second season really cooked as the Shadow arc took flight and it finally felt like B5 had fired all thrusters. And THEN, the humans got interesting. Sly bugger, he wanted us to get to know the aliens as real people, not gimmicks. They weren't "androids" or "shapeshifters" or whatever. They had names and personalities that changed and grew. We would always have time to get to like a human, that's much easier to do. So now, all was in place and, damn it, I ate my plate of crow with pride.

                        Finally, after the amazing fourth season ended, I saw the recut pilot. Total difference and I know see how it was robbed way back when. Plus, every scene with Laurel was a totally different take. All of a sudden, she wasn't a crap actor. It became a much better film. I'm still not Franke's biggest fan, but his music is servicable. Until I saw In The Beginning. First, the movie is amazing in how it blends new and old footage seamlessly. But there's that scene where humanity is fighting to its last man, and Franke's music suddenly becomes beautiful. I was sold.

                        The fifth season was a come down from the packed fourth, but it finally picked up mid-year. I really started getting sad as I could see the series winding things up (and some thing never resolved - a touch a liked a lot).

                        Then came Sleeping in Light. It aired the same week that Jimmy Smit's character died on NYPD Blue, which was an incredibly heartbreaking episode. This episode was just as moving, as we caught up with everyone 20 years later. It was great to see Ivanova again and get teasing mentions about those who had died in between. I was doing great, until the very - very - end. When we see Delenn waking up every morning to watch the sunrise. And her tender reach, trying to capture what she can of the man she loved. I broke down at that point, because my heart ached for her. I was 100% convinced of the reality of this character and was heartbroken over how she would spend the next however-many-hundreds of years she had left never loving another like she did Sheridan. 20 years sounded like a long time when Sheridan was saved from Za'Ha'Dum, but DeLenn would live another 5 or 10 times that without him.

                        It was, without a doubt, the best series finale I have ever seen. I have no idea if JMS ever said anything like this, but he should have: "See what happens when you plan shit out?" I can think of a number of long running show which would have benefitted from the same kind of planning.

                        So there it is, the tale of a guy who gave a show he didn't really like another two chances and ended up living through on hell of a great epic story.

                        And you know, it is possible to love Trek as well as B5. It's a big universe. There's room.
                        Last edited by DelVarner; 12-15-2008, 11:47 AM.
                        There is a hole in your mind.

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                        • #27
                          Hi DelVarner, welcome!

                          That was very nicely written. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share it with us.

                          Not to worry about there being a hate-on for Trek here. I don't care for all of them but the original series was one of my major TV loves.

                          Welcome again. Hope to see you around the threads.

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

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I agree with Jan, Del Varner. Very eloquent. I too come from a Trek background. Seen all 11 films...for better or worse.. I like how you gave every scifi show a chance (probably even TimeCop...uggh!) but the cream finally rose to the top. Welcome aboard...and now that you've been properly introduced, give the Silly B5 thread a spin...we are all having a blast...

                            PS...one word of advice...watch out for Jan...she has the ear of the Great Maker himself and a following of Narn bodyguards she doesn't hesitate to use...
                            There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against such power, governments, and kingdoms, and conquerors cannot stand.
                            WE WILL BE FREE!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Ranger 6 and 7/8 View Post
                              PS...one word of advice...watch out for Jan...she has the ear of the Great Maker himself and a following of Narn bodyguards she doesn't hesitate to use...
                              Tsk, tsk...now Ranger, don't go trying to fool the new folks in the neighborhood. I've *never* had JMS' ear, I've just caught his eye sometimes with my incessant questions. He really should do something about those loose body parts...

                              As for these handsome Narns standing here...don't all the telepaths wear them these days?


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

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Sleeping in Light

                                I remember checking the Lurker's Guide in the year or two prior to SiL, seeing the picture of the Giant Space Duck and wondering, "What the hell is that"? But what finally aired was possibly the most bittersweet hour of drama ever seen on televsion - a combination of "Brian's Song" and "Love Story" for the sci-fi crowd. Lovingly written, brilliantly executed, and fondly remembered. Damn near perfect.
                                Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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