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  • #31
    I've long felt that WB made some major errors when it came to the Lost Tales, partly business-wise and partly in how they dealt with JMS.

    Business-wise, I think there were two major mistakes. First, they did a lousy job of promoting it, IMO. I hear that some of the saturation was pretty good but I can't help remembering that less than two months after the release, I was on a Lost Tales panel at DragonCon with a packed room, at least half of whom didn't even know about it. Second, of course was the mistake of having indicated that future DVDs would have a better budget and then not sticking with it when the time came.

    As for dealing with JMS, this post shows the arrogance of the studio execs, twice, in telling a writer that they just totally discounted his guild and the then-upcoming strike. Not very bright at all.

    I'd have loved to see more (especially about Vintari) but I'm also glad JMS drew the line.

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

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    • #32
      While the blame lies squarely with WB, I do have to say I was disappointed by fan reactions and reviews to The Lost Tales. Especially the whole "OMG it's religion! JMS has turned Catholic!" nonsense. Everyone goes on about wanting more intelligent, thoughtful sci-fi, but when it is actually delivered, it turns out that by "intelligent" people mean "with shakycam." The first part of Voices in the Dark is a beautiful piece of complex philosophy, rewriting the mythology of Christianity from a humanist perspective, and extremely poetic to boot.

      And what is the reaction? (I'd link to the Strange Horizons review, but it might make me puke.) Not enough explosions, not enough characters yelling at each other for no reason (i.e. what screenwriters think is "realism" these days), too much thought required.
      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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      • #33
        I guess those who complained about religion in Lost Tales either weren't paying attention during the 5 year arc or hadn't watched it at all.

        I haven't heard anyone wanting more characters to yell at each other, rather more people on B5 so it didn't look like a sparse skeleton crew before it's decommissioned.

        And Jan, if I wasn't here and/or listened to the Babylon podcast, I wouldn't have known about the DVD.
        RIP Coach Larry Finch
        Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
        Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

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        • #34
          I don't think its about the religion than its not a story worth telling. A demon/alien entity possessing a guy then trying to gain control of the station was a DS9 episode or five. After coming back for a such a long time, there needed to be a story that helped tie some loose ends. A Bester/Garibaldi story, a crusade story. Londo's last meeting with Vir or a story about the station dealing the Drahk. Something instead of throwing a religious story that was basically pointless.

          I am also not that thrilled with the Sheridan one since it makes no sense this kid is around and never discussed during Sleeping in Light. A person living with Sheridan for a year or two is kinda of a big deal. It was just cool to see Sheridan and Galen interact as well as the special effects. As bad as the budget was, the writing was not very compelling at times.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by lotjx View Post
            I don't think its about the religion than its not a story worth telling. A demon/alien entity possessing a guy then trying to gain control of the station was a DS9 episode or five. After coming back for a such a long time, there needed to be a story that helped tie some loose ends. A Bester/Garibaldi story, a crusade story. Londo's last meeting with Vir or a story about the station dealing the Drahk. Something instead of throwing a religious story that was basically pointless.
            Pointless? The story is an exploration of themes that permeate the entirety of Babylon 5, and a deeply poetic expression of the humanistic themes of the show. It is not a story about a demon possessing a guy trying to gain control of the station. It is a story about human mythology and faith, taking the old story of the end times and rewriting it as something magnificent and hopeful - a celebration of humanity finding its place among the stars (i.e. everything that Babylon 5 is about).

            If anything, it's insanely ambitious for such a small story: it takes Christianity and turns it upside-down, using its language and imagery to express an entirely different vision of the future.
            Last edited by Jonas; 10-03-2011, 05:07 AM.
            Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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            • #36
              Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow View Post
              And Jan, if I wasn't here and/or listened to the Babylon podcast, I wouldn't have known about the DVD.
              Me, neither. I didn't know about it until I heard about it here. (I don't get the podcast)

              I can see both sides of lotjx and Jonas points. On one hand it's a great discussion of what is alien vs supernatural and a lot of other moral issues, on the other it's three people talking in a room.
              I didn't notice any specifics about Christianity, other than the fact Father Cassidy was presumably a Christian. I enjoyed this particularly because it was the opposite of the same story of the Vorlons pretending to be Angels. JMS never stated there are no Angels but he opened the door to that possiblity. Same here, not saying there are no demons, but that's possible with this story.

              Actually, I enjoyed the story and thought it was good, enjoyed the philosophy and intelligent dialogue. It didn't bother me it was only 3 people but it seemed more like a play than an episode. But it was Lost Tales, the concept was more like little views into what the characters are doing out side of the main story arc, not really the most important points. If that were the case it would have been about the Telepath Crisis or the Drahk War, or a wrap up to Crusade. (BTW, I'd love to see those.)

              Besides, what would really be the difference between a big firey alien with "horns" and a "demon"? It's driver's licence? It says, "Hi, I'm from Hell." That Soldier of Darkness certainly could easily pass for a demon but he was never advertised as such. It's all about the presentation.
              "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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              • #37
                Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                I didn't notice any specifics about Christianity, other than the fact Father Cassidy was presumably a Christian.
                Not presumably - he is very specifically Christian (Catholic, in fact), and the story's ultimate point (as revealed in Lochley's speech at the end) is an inversion of Christian eschatology. The future is not heaven, or the flat Earth of Christ's thousand-year rule, but space; the Earth will burn, and humanity will take its place amongst the stars, leaving our demons (our fear of God, our superstition) behind. Lochley's words are in a sense religious, but the future she predicts is a humanistic one. Someday we will let go of the Earth, and though we will remember it fondly and with heartache, the elements of our old religions will burn even as we continue.

                I'd understand if Christians were offended by this, but it's depressing that so many people have accused the story of being "Christian propaganda" when it is pretty much the opposite - a story that looks at Christian mythology with sympathy, recognizing its beauty, but also acknowledges that the truth is different, that we will leave much of this behind.
                Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                  I'd understand if Christians were offended by this, but it's depressing that so many people have accused the story of being "Christian propaganda" when it is pretty much the opposite - a story that looks at Christian mythology with sympathy, recognizing its beauty, but also acknowledges that the truth is different, that we will leave much of this behind.
                  This Christian certainly wasn't offended by it ... how can I possibly be offended by an Atheist taking a different view of the situation than I do.

                  What I have always liked about the way JMS deals with religious/spiritual issues with B5 is that he acknowledges the possibility of what a Christian would call the "spiritual" dimension to our being and uses SF concepts to explore that in a non-religious way, rather than simply dismissing it out of hand.

                  I actually find that (as I did this story) to be respectful, rather than belittling, of my faith.
                  The Optimist: The glass is half full
                  The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                  The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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                  • #39
                    I can never remember the episode title, but there's always a bit I love about Babylon 5, and its when Sinclair introduces all of the alien ambassadors to the religious beliefs on Earth, and there is an ongoing line of people, each representing a different culture and belief system.

                    I think its stunning, simple and powerful, and shows respect for the multi-cultural nature of humanity.
                    I'm a pessimist: that way you're never disappointed but frequently, pleasantly surprised

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by I, Zathras View Post
                      I can never remember the episode title, but there's always a bit I love about Babylon 5, and its when Sinclair introduces all of the alien ambassadors to the religious beliefs on Earth, and there is an ongoing line of people, each representing a different culture and belief system.
                      "The Parliament of Dreams" shown 5th. JMS has said that he wanted to establish that religion was fair game to display and discuss early in the show.

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

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                      • #41
                        Followed by Mind War (I nearly always remember the name's because you bought them two at a time on the good ol VHS tapes!) Dear me they took up a lot of space!

                        I just think its a very touching scene that's very well done, and its stuck with me all this time.

                        Thanks Jan, knew I could rely on you
                        I'm a pessimist: that way you're never disappointed but frequently, pleasantly surprised

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                          This Christian certainly wasn't offended by it ... how can I possibly be offended by an Atheist taking a different view of the situation than I do.

                          What I have always liked about the way JMS deals with religious/spiritual issues with B5 is that he acknowledges the possibility of what a Christian would call the "spiritual" dimension to our being and uses SF concepts to explore that in a non-religious way, rather than simply dismissing it out of hand.

                          I actually find that (as I did this story) to be respectful, rather than belittling, of my faith.
                          I agree. I wasn't offened either.

                          I just didn't think it applied to Christianity exclusively because the one person was a Priest.

                          Sorry, Jonas, that's what I meant with presumably but I worded it terribly. Sometimes I think I should just stop posting.
                          "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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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                            Sometimes I think I should just stop posting.
                            Nope, sorry...you're not allowed to not post!

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

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                              I agree. I wasn't offened either.

                              I just didn't think it applied to Christianity exclusively because the one person was a Priest.

                              Sorry, Jonas, that's what I meant with presumably but I worded it terribly. Sometimes I think I should just stop posting.
                              Not a problem. I'm just obsessing about the details because I think JMS was doing something very specific and very impressive with Christian eschatological myth, and I wish that didn't get lost so much in discussions.
                              Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                              • #45
                                I was all psyched for Memory of Shadows. Oh well...Damm Warner Brothers.

                                Mike
                                "Hate is bagage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time" Edward Furlong American History X

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