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  • Dr. Stephen Franklin

    First of all I just want to say that I have nothing against the actor who played him. And I realize that the DR. Franklin character was a great favorite of many. I found that out by asking on imDb.

    But I just did not like his character at all.

    He was very good at his job (when not on stims), he was an asset to the station, and a lot of beings prolly would have died without him.

    But I just didn't like him. He was arrogant, smug, and altogether disagreeable. Notice I said nice things about him first? (ducks)

    He did have his good moments, like when he helped Delenn with her transformation, and after Sheridan died the first time, and Lennier went to him becasue he was worried about her.

    But for the most part whenever he was given a storyline of his own I was so bored. Two of his episodes I have to fastforward through his parts becasue I simply can't bear to watch, and one of his episdoes "Believers" I simply refuse to watch at all. It is such a horrible, horrible episode.

    Remember I have nothing against the actor, it was the just the character i had a problem with. I'm certain the actor was a very lovely person. And I'm happy his character had and still has so many fans. I just felt the need to let these thoughts out of my head through the use of typing letters to form words that hopefully make sense. I feel much better now. Please allow me to leave the room before you start throwing things. Thank you.

  • #2
    It's just his particular character arc. He starts out thinking he can solve everybody's problems, so early on in Believers he decides he's right about everything. Remember how pissed Sinclair gets at the end of that episode about it. His character evolves over time. You can't just start out with a character that's perfect and likeable because then his story doesn't go anywhere. I particularly enjoyed the episode where he "meets himself" and his other self tells him he's basically full of it.

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    • #3
      Ah, Delenn...we don't throw things around here although sometimes conversations get spirited.

      First, let me assure you that the actor was a lovely person indeed. A nice, nice man who loved meeting and talking to the fans.

      As for his character...yes, he was arrogant. Yes, he played god. He was extremely talented and was entitled to a certain amount of arrogance. I loved this part of "Believers":
      SINCLAIR
      Don't tempt me, Doctor! Who asked
      you to play God?

      FRANKLIN
      Every damn patient
      who comes through that door,
      that's who!
      (and it hurts)
      People come to doctors because
      they want us to be gods. They
      want us to 'make it better' or
      'make it not so.' They want to be
      healed and they
      come to me when their prayers
      aren't enough.
      (the heart of it)
      Well, if I have to take the
      responsibility, then I claim the
      authority too.
      (facing Sinclair nose-to-
      nose)
      I did good. And we both know it.
      No one can take that away.
      Powerful. And from that great height, he took a great fall, both in that episode and when he 'met himself'.

      Jan
      "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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      • #4
        Yeah, initially I did not at all like Franklin. He WAS an arrogant so-and-so, but "Believers", in which his arrogance reached godlike proportions, was also the episode that slapped him down at the end, and showed him he did NOT have all the answers. Delenn, if you haven't watched that ep I urge you to. It was the first WTF? moment in B5 for me, when I realised the cavalry were NOT going to come charging over the hill in the nick of time, and that all would not be necessarily well at the end of each episode. A powerful story, the moreso because it was one of the very few (the only?) NOT wirtten by the Great Maker himself.

        That said, I hated Franklin's "walkabout" story and thought it added nothing to the character, personally. I didn't see any major change in him from that point on, but I did grow to tolerate, but never like him. I know Richard Biggs has passed on now, but I'm sure wherever he is he wouldn't mind us still talking about and arguing over his character.

        He had some redeeming features, for me. His refusal to allow his work to be used in biotech warfare. His kindness to Delenn during the very early days of her transformation. His repeated attempts to help Garibaldi and his conforting of Ivanova after Marcus's death. But for me, even his relationship with Number One on Mars didn't ring true.

        I did, however, smile when Marcus pretended they were a newly wed couple!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Trollheart View Post
          A powerful story, the moreso because it was one of the very few (the only?) NOT wirtten by the Great Maker himself.
          Story idea by Joe; script by David Gerrold. There were 18 scripts written by other writers, but the majority of them were based on Joe's ideas. The execeptions I can think of off the top of my head are "Legacies", "TKO", "Eyes", and "There All the Honor Lies", and Larry DiTillio appears to have been writing in his own direction in season 2.

          Originally posted by Trollheart View Post
          But for me, even his relationship with Number One on Mars didn't ring true.
          I don't think this was supposed to be made out to be any kind of relationship really more than just two people hooking up. Not the first time Dr. Franklin took an interest in a woman that didn't get very serious. In fact I don't think we once see him in a long-term relationship, yet we see him get interested in several women through the course of the series.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Trollheart View Post
            A powerful story, the moreso because it was one of the very few (the only?) NOT wirtten by the Great Maker himself.
            JMS wrote 92 of 110 episodes and in all but a very few, he assigned the basic story. He chose David Gerrold to write "Believers" because Gerrold had recently adopted a son.

            Has everybody seen the memorial video that John Hudgens made when Rick Biggs died? It's got some of Franklin's better moments in it.

            Jan
            "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
              I don't think this was supposed to be made out to be any kind of relationship really more than just two people hooking up. Not the first time Dr. Franklin took an interest in a woman that didn't get very serious. In fact I don't think we once see him in a long-term relationship, yet we see him get interested in several women through the course of the series.
              Exactly. When it came to his personal relationships, Franklin was very casual, almost a love-em-and-leave-em sort of guy. I imagine that he developed that attitude when he was trading his medical services for rides on starships. In fact, the one time I came close to disliking him was when he made a move on Mariah in "The Long Dark".

              Look at how loose and casual he was when he arrived on the station. And he left the station the same way - a quick 'see ya' and he was gone. At least as far as we know, his work was all that he allowed to really touch his heart.

              Jan
              Last edited by Jan; 04-16-2010, 07:00 PM.
              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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              • #8
                if you haven't watched that ep I urge you to.

                I have watched it, trollheart. I watched the abominable thing twice, but never ever again!

                I mean Never.

                Ever.


                Well, maybe in my third time through just becasue my new theme for that run will be paying attention to his scenes to find out when I like him and when I don't. Like I don't think I ever disliked him in any scenes with Delenn.

                But then its Delenn. if you're nice to her then that makes you a good person in my book. LOL

                I'm just waiting for the right time to go back through. Prolly once V is over and I have nothing to write. I have to rewatch farscape too. And watch Andromeda if it ever arrives in the mail. So it may be awhile.

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                • #9
                  I truly can't understand anyone describing that episode as abominable! What's so bad about it? OK, Franklin's "I AM GOD" trip is a little hard to swallow, but the resolution of the ep, where EVERYTHING we know and have come to expect about sci-fi is turned on its head, makes it worth watching and praising by itself!

                  Not to mention the way all the ambassadors either weasel out of helping the parents, clinging to their own personal and political agendas, or feign indifference (a la Kosh).

                  I just love that episode. Yes the kid is annoying, as are the parents at times, but what about the abovementioned conversation at the end between SInclair and Franklin? The underlying message that even if we don't believe in/follow a person's religious beliefs they should not be interfered with (a lesson even more potent and relevant these troubling days!)? You can't find anything good about it?

                  That does surprise me, I have to say. Obviously you're entitled to your opinion, but to condemn the episode in such strong terms .... I just don't see it.

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                  • #10
                    Trollheart, I'll just leave it at, "I didn't like the subject matter."

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                    • #11
                      Trollheart, I think it was more of a good Star Trek episode than a B5 episode when everything was said, and done. Stephen ignoring orders was the only bright part of it.
                      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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                      • #12
                        I must be arrogant then as well, since I agree with Franklin's "People come to doctors because they want us to be gods". Not that I'm a medical doctor, but as a scientist, I can see how people come to science expecting all the answers and when they don't find it, they turn around and start believing in concepts which are false, just because they *seem* to give all the answers.

                        It's hard to put oneself in his position, but if you try, which argument would be the one that would make one stop trying to cure the child? To know the consequence of certain death whatever Franklin did, but that's said in hindsight. But without such knowledge?
                        Babylon 5 Animations

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
                          I must be arrogant then as well, since I agree with Franklin's "People come to doctors because they want us to be gods". Not that I'm a medical doctor, but as a scientist, I can see how people come to science expecting all the answers and when they don't find it, they turn around and start believing in concepts which are false, just because they *seem* to give all the answers.

                          It's hard to put oneself in his position, but if you try, which argument would be the one that would make one stop trying to cure the child? To know the consequence of certain death whatever Franklin did, but that's said in hindsight. But without such knowledge?
                          I'm with you on this. Franklin is probably my favourite character, and I think Believers is a very complex and powerful episode.

                          Franklin is no more playing God that any doctor or scientist who makes his decisions on the basis of proven fact rather than superstition. If, for example, the parents of a child want the child treated for pneumonia with the pseudoscience of homeopathy while the doctor knows that not using antibiotics will result in the certain death of the child, is the doctor not obligated to act against the wishes of the parents?

                          It's important to remember that the child in Believers is fine after the operation. It has not turned into a monster or lost its soul or become a hollow shell; it is the parents, in their fanaticism, that do the unthinkable. Not Franklin.

                          Sinclair's position is, of course, also justified - from his political perspective of running a space station. But Franklin acted morally. He acted according to his obligations as a doctor.

                          And that's why I like Franklin so much - he is the character with the strongest principles, and he absolutely refuses to betray them. His dedication is not to his job, but to saving lives. He is willing to risk everything to help others, to the point where he almost destroys himself. But he does it for all the right reasons.
                          Last edited by Jonas; 04-19-2010, 08:55 AM.
                          Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jan View Post
                            Look at how loose and casual he was when he arrived on the station. And he left the station the same way - a quick 'see ya' and he was gone. At least as far as we know, his work was all that he allowed to really touch his heart.
                            Really? I thought it was obvious that he felt attached to the place, but didn't let that stop him from following the calling of his heart. And if you look at his relationship with the other characters - especially Garibaldi - you see that he cares about his friends a great deal. He's very similar to Sheridan in that sense: caring, but driven.

                            I also thought his relationship with Number One was very believable, and absolutely lovely. And it was clear that they both would have liked it to be more, because they were very enthusiastic, but their work mattered too much to them.
                            Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by glindros View Post
                              Trollheart, I think it was more of a good Star Trek episode than a B5 episode when everything was said, and done. Stephen ignoring orders was the only bright part of it.
                              It would have been if at the end the parents thanked Dr Franklin for saving their son and bothering everyone, ...not what happened.

                              BTW, was there any ramifications to their "putting the shell out of it's misery" (not a direct quote)? It looked like premeditated murder to me, but maybe they got out of it for diplomatic immunity/lack of jurisdiction over them of EA law? I don't mean they were diplomats but that they might not have been under EA law because of them being foreign nationals without a clear legal something or other.
                              "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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