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  • Bester's world

    Just rewatched "The Corps is mother, the Corps is father". What a brilliantly-written episode! In some ways a little similar to "A view from the gallery", in that we get to see Babylon 5 from another perspective. JMS takes us behind the walls of the Psi Corps's headquarters, shows us Bester training in two new interns, and through their eyes, and his, we're shown not the dark, oppressive chamber of horrors we have been led to expect resides beyond those forbidding doors, but a well-run and functioning department, whose hierarchy (seem to) genuinely care about their members, even the "blips".

    JMS treats us to a masterclass in misdirection, showing us how hard it is for poor Bester, who's always blamed for anythng bad that happens when he visits B5. Witness Zack's comment when the second body turns up, and Bester asks him how he knows that the Corps are responsible. "Just a hunch" he growls. Also, later, in medlab Lauren tells Bester that Zack doesn't like "their type", and Franklin leaps to Zack's defence, asking how she knows that. "He told me so," she says simply.

    And so, we are led to sympathise with Bester and the Corps, quite against our will, and maybe even harbour a feeling of guilt about how the command staff of Babylon 5 have treated Bester in the past. Is he really a bad guy? Maybe all he was doing was, as he always said, trying to protect his people.

    Maybe, just maybe, he's not the black villian he's been painted as up to now.

    And then, the final scene, where Lauren excitedly asks to be allowed to "deal with the mundane" and Bester agrees, and she spaces him, brings us to our senses and slams us back to reality as we see that Bester, indeed any Psi Cop, thinks as little of mundanes as we perhaps do of the odd insect we may find ourselves swatting in the summer.

    Chilling.

    And you wonder then what sort of world Bester would live in? If the teeps took over, if a war broke out, and inevitably the telepaths would win, how would normals be treated? Can't you just see everyone not known to be, or registered as a telepath being marched into Psi Corps Testing Centres ("We're everywhere, for your convenience") and if they're found not to have any psychic ability, being either shipped off to "relocation centres", being perhaps "disappeared" or even executed en masse.

    Bester would probably rationalise it as "Look what they've done to us over the years, how they've treated us: with contempt. With fear. With mistrust. Well. they were right to fear us!" Perhaps he would consider keeping some number of mundanes alive to perform the menial tasks that would be deemed beneath his teeps, but which have to be carried out nonetheless. But in general, I think there would be a fairly comprehensive cull of mundanes.

    Would you want to live in THAT world?

  • #2
    I wouldn't mind if I was a teep.

    But as a mundane certainly not.


    I think it would have been fun to see a story unfold that was all about Bester trying to take over the world. As long as in the end he never suceeded.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post

      I think it would have been fun to see a story unfold that was all about Bester trying to take over the world. As long as in the end he never succeeded.
      Is that not the Pri Corps trilogy of books ?
      Jan from Denmark

      My blog :

      http://www.babylonlurker.dk

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

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      • #4
        Book one of the sci corp trilogy told the story of how telepathy was discovered and the birth of the corp. It ends with Bester's birth.

        Book two is his childhood growing up in the corp, with a quick over view of his career. It ends with his first trip to B5.

        Book 3 completely skips the telepath war and shows an aged Bester on the run from the authorities after having somehow escaped from a war tribunal. my meories are fuzzy on how that happened. I remember they mention his trial, maybe they hadn't had it yet, but were preparing it? Anyway he is on the run and Garibaldi tracks him down.

        I guess you could say it was his story of trying to take over the world, at least book 2 anyway, but I would have liked a whole lot more details. As well as the story of the war. There needs to be a new trilogy written all about that. That would be so awesome! The movie idea is great but will most likely never happen but a book trilogy is actually possible maybe.
        Last edited by Delenn_of_Mir; 04-09-2010, 02:19 PM. Reason: new thoughts that occurred to me after the fact.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
          The movie idea is great but will most likely never happen but a book trilogy is actually possible maybe.
          Oddly enough, it's the other way around. If JMS finds a story he wants to tell in a movie, he can do so and if WB doesn't want to be involved, since he owns the movie rights, he can take it someplace else.

          For books, though, a publisher would have to buy a license from WB and then commission the books. Thing is, the trilogies didn't sell all that well (due in large part to lack of marketing) so nobody's interested.

          Funny business...

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

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          • #6
            I always thought of Bester as like Magneto, not evil in a self serving way but the ends justify any means necessary to protect his people.


            I wish more of the season 5 episodes were like this, too much time was lost/wasted on Byron and the Hair Bunch.


            And it didn't bother me a bit when they spaced the creep, he had it coming, I hope they woke him up first.
            "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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            • #7
              Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
              Book 3 completely skips the telepath war and shows an aged Bester on the run from the authorities after having somehow escaped from a war tribunal. my meories are fuzzy on how that happened. I remember they mention his trial, maybe they hadn't had it yet, but were preparing it? Anyway he is on the run and Garibaldi tracks him down.
              There was information about the war in the third book. It takes place after the war, but there were glimpses into some events that happened including the fate of Carolyn ("Ship of Tears") and Lyta. Not a clear play-by-play of the war for sure, but you do find out information about what the war lead to, like what happened to the Psi Corps. Also some of the plot connects to Crusade (i.e., there's still a quarantine on Earth even though the cure to the plague has been found.)

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              • #8
                An also interesting part of book 3 was that he actually found another woman who would love him, iirc.
                What's up Drakh?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
                  Book one of the sci corp trilogy told the story of how telepathy was discovered and the birth of the corp. It ends with Bester's birth.

                  Book two is his childhood growing up in the corp, with a quick over view of his career. It ends with his first trip to B5.

                  Book 3 completely skips the telepath war and shows an aged Bester on the run from the authorities after having somehow escaped from a war tribunal. my meories are fuzzy on how that happened. I remember they mention his trial, maybe they hadn't had it yet, but were preparing it? Anyway he is on the run and Garibaldi tracks him down.
                  Actually, Book 2 covers much more than just a "quick" overview of Bester's career -- it leads straight from his childhood into his first assignments as a Psi Cop, and from there over a period of years in a very organic manner, up to him departing for Babylon 5 with Kelsey (viz: "Mind War").

                  But you're correct about Book 3 leaping slightly over the main events of the Telepath War -- though there are a number of very tantalizing clues in it about several of the war's major, key moments that deserve to be developed more fully down the road.
                  "Listen up, boy, or pornography starring your mother will be the SECOND-worst thing to happen to you today."

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                  • #10
                    I was working the night shift and reading the books on my break periods, so maybe that's why I seemed to have missed so much of what was going on. I was just really tired. LOL

                    And I was watching friends at the same time. One of these days I'll go back and read them, and hopefully I won't miss so much that time.

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                    • #11
                      I just got done reading the This Trilogy. I thought book one was very boring and had a hard time getting through it. book 2 was more interesting, it explained why Bester was the way he was. It seemed that everyone he trusted seem to disappoint him until he finally could not form any relationships. I also liked how they connected Lyta with her grandmother and mother and you got somewhat of a back story of her. I agree that book 3 had a lot of gaps that should of been explained more clearly. Over all it was a good story!

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