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Nice touches and little things.

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  • Nice touches and little things.

    I hope no one minds me starting a thread, but I was hoping we could discuss some of the little things (and not so little if you like) that really makes Babylon 5 a great story. I'm happy to report that I just got the whole 5 seasons on dvd and I'm rewatching them (again, but this time not taped of tnt, quality is about 1000 times better) and I've been noticing some really cool little things that I didn't remember that I really enjoy. To get things started:

    This might not be a little thing necessarily but so many shows when they pause to go to commercial break everyone just sort of freezes up. Of course 1/2 a second before disapearing isn't the time to start a new speech but there's and unatural pause that if your used to it you might not even notice but after watching Babylon 5 again I notice that they really don't do that. For example someone is told something bad (like Sinclair of Sheridan) instead of that stare at the camera for a 1/2 second they visible emote with expressions or movement. It's much better the way Babylon 5 does it, I don't know if that's directing or acting or both or more but it's great that the characters don't act like they know they are in a tv show and have to pause for ads.

    Here's a small thing I liked. In Gropos, right at the end when Mike is kissing Dodger and the sarge yells at her to get moving he gives Mike a little get moving motion but then as soon as he turns around the sarge smiles and shakes his head, it adds a lot to the character and makes things more real to me and better. Character development is good but it shouldn't come at a cost of the story, some stories have people as little more than line delivering robots and others just sit around and talk about their "feelings" and don't anything. I'm happy Babylon 5 balanced things so well. It truly is a great novel for television.
    "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
    "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

    "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

  • #2
    I love that they hired Jerry Doyle's ex to play his girlfriend in GROPOS.
    "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

    The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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    • #3
      Anybody's welcome to start a thread any time, Marsden. This one looks like fun.

      On the 'characters freezing waiting for the commercial break' thing, I agree that there doesn't seem to be much of that 'caught in the headlights-fade to commercial' look on B5. I wonder if some credit could go to the way the show was edited. JMS would shave off a few frames here and a few seconds there so that the most story possible could be told in the time he had.

      One of the little things I appreciated once the DVDs came out was being able to read some of the Universe Today headlines that I went by too quickly on the show and were blurry if I paused the VHS tapes.

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

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      • #4
        I liked it when Zack was getting fitted for his new uniform and he was complaining endlessly about it. The Minbari seamstress in the background was mimicking him and tittered when he got stuck with a pin.
        Flying around the room under my own power.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Spoo Junky View Post
          I liked it when Zack was getting fitted for his new uniform and he was complaining endlessly about it. The Minbari seamstress in the background was mimicking him and tittered when he got stuck with a pin.
          He (Zack) really was good in the whole series wasn't he. I can't remember right now but there was one episode where Zack was holding back Sherdian from doing something violent and stupid, (I wish I could remember) and after Sheridan calms down enough to leave peacefully Zack just shrugs and makes a "jeez" kind of noise. It's really well done and I'm sure on another show it could have been totally missed (because security guards are robots with no emotions, right?) And I can't remember if was a commercial or a just a change but again it really portrayed something without a lot of script or time but seems meaningful (at least to me).
          "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
          "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

          "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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          • #6
            I loved when Ivanova mentioned what caused Garabaldi's hair loss, and Richard Biggs getting to dance with his wife.
            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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            • #7
              This is going to be fun.

              Right now I cannot put my finger on a single thing - 'cause there are so many.

              Later I intend to review the series *again*, this time rather slowly, then write about my perspective in my blog. That should "jog my memory" . Mind you, we all have our unique perspective on B5, so looking forward to getting started. (so much I want to do - so little time - don't we all know it ?)
              Jan from Denmark

              My blog :

              http://www.babylonlurker.dk

              "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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              • #8
                Oh, Marsden, this thread is gonna be great

                One thing I noticed with Babylon 5: they don't have that awful "And this is what happened the last time..." intro that is so common in many shows.

                The only time they did that and that comes to mind right away is the two parter "War without end". The second part opens with Sinclair's voice over "previously on Babylon 5", but that is one of the few episodes. And here it actually made sense.
                There is something similar to this at the beginning of season four, when Sheridan is still away and the characters have those voice overs, talking about the situation and their feelings. It also helps to ease the viewer into the story, but it's done gently and discreetly and not like in Buffy or Stargate, for example.

                For me, that is just another reason why I love B5. JMS assumes that his viewers are smart enough to get the story without hammering it home at the beginning of each new episode.
                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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                • #9
                  I loved the way they changed the title sequences to match the season.

                  The moments between Londo and Vir were also some of the nicest "soft touch" bits of the show. You could tell Londo's mood for the whole episode by whether he treated Vir as a protege or a servant, usually early in the show. That set a whole mood for the ep without doing anything obvious with music or dialog.

                  I agree with Jan that the headline were an interesting touch, given that everyone knew no one would be able to see them until years after the show, when technology had advanced enough to allow the viewer to pause a readable frame.

                  There's lots of evidence that this show was a labor of love for all kinds of people only involved off-camera. The fact that the relic from Garibaldi's lost Starfury was Buckaroo Bonzai's "Oscillation Overthruster" was neat.
                  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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                  • #10
                    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this yet: The restroom.
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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                    • #11
                      I liked that flashbacks would be shown in Black & White. Nice artistic touch.

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                      • #12
                        The scene where Talia's "control" or whatever personality is exposed is really cool. I like the way her voice and facial expression, just about everything changed. Again, quality acting. It just make my mind spin how so many things changed around and came out so good. Personally, I think (some of) the problems with the production made the story better. If Andrea Thompson wanted to stay on the show who would have been control again? If Pat Tallman stayed she couldn't have came back and I thought her coming back was even better because she was there and left, if you know what I mean, I don't think I'm elaborating too well. Also, the fact that a show would actually allow something to happen to one of the main characters is cool. It was all handled very well.
                        Last edited by Marsden; 03-09-2009, 06:20 AM.
                        "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                        "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                        "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Londo's nicknames for his three wives : Pestilence, Famine and Death is a nice touch. Three of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and who is the fourth ?
                          Yes - War - a bit of foreshadowing ? nicely done. I am sure this is no coincidence.
                          Jan from Denmark

                          My blog :

                          http://www.babylonlurker.dk

                          "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My favourite bits are, in no particular order (and probably missing a dozen)

                            The running story arc. Copied a dozen times since in SF shows now, but at the time, pretty rare (Though I don't think JMS was quite the first)

                            The acting and the flawed heroes, again one of the earlier attempts at this and we all know how popular flawed heroes are these days.

                            Good solid differences in the way people from different cultures speak. Some over intellectualisation of some characters (listen to the lurker in Grey 17 is missing, he was well schooled!) but generally dialogue varies across people, which is always nice.

                            Some really nice lines and some really nice moments, both touching and uplifting.

                            The last few shows of season five really bring down the tempo and the mood and the whole thing just gets really depressing, which is a terribly sad way to end a series, but everyone pretty much got a chance to say goodbye, and there was a sense of closure.

                            The entirerty of "sleeping in light", giving the entire story a finality and not leaving you with that "I wonder what happened to them after that" feeling.

                            I could go on, but I've made myself late for work...

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                            • #15
                              Here's a good entry to this thread: Kim Strauss It doesn't matter what kind of snakehead they make him, he's good.


                              I loved it when he said "Purple." as the whole explanation of the Drazi thing.

                              The very nature of the Drazi episode is good, it should seem pretty damn obvious to the people (things) that know all about them already. Why shouldn't they act like everyone knows, they all do.


                              I'm really happy Cabbageheadism was kept to an absolute minimum, I really only noticed one time so far, when Sheridan said Sector 37 is behind the planet where only they can see them, and that one wasn't too bad because he portrayed like he was half talking out loud to himself and also then Corwin replied with a respectful "Yes, sir" which made it seem obvious that he and everyone already knew that, too.

                              BTW, I don't know if Cabbageheadism is a commonly used word, I didn't make it up, I read it about it in a book about X-files but it also applies well to a lot of shows. It's where two characters of equal standing (like Mulder and Scully for example) walk into a situation and start explaining things to each other that need to be explained to the audience at home but not to the characters themselves. You don't walk into a room with someone and turn on the lights and say, " I flipped this switch and it causes the lights to come on."
                              Last edited by Marsden; 03-12-2009, 06:25 AM.
                              "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                              "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                              "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

                              Comment

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