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  • Jane Killick, Clark's Law, and DS9

    Are the Jane Killick scene by scene books worth collecting? I will likely collect them anyway just because they are about B5, but I would like to collect the best B5 items first, and then move on to the other stuff that I'd have to have just to be a completist, but that may not actually add anything to the B5 experience. Unless of course there isn't anything out there like that.

    The script books are still too expensive for my taste and I have all of the canon trilogies, pluse "To Dream in the city of Sorrows, and The Shadow Within - my favorite standalone, so far" . I also have the "In Valen's Name" comics, and The price of peace, graphic novel" .

    I have heard the non canon B5 books are atrocious, although I do want to get "Clark's Law" because that is the only part of the Earth Alliance Civil War that I was dissatisfied with. We never got to get to Know Clark as a person, or really got to know the story of what drove him to collaborate with the shadows and to kill President Santiago. And I will prolly get the others eventually. Knowing me I will likely find a way to enjoy them, since I have already enjoyed a few movies that other fans seem to hate. *crosses fingers*

    I am rereading my Price of Peace gn and just realized we do get to meet Clark briefly and see a little of earth. I'd forgotten.

    I especially want to know this part of the story because I am currently on season 4 of DS9, and just watched the trek version of that war. JMS is of course the master, and I still prefer anything B5 over anything Trek, however, with the Trek 2 part episode we did get to know Leyton pretty well, and what drove him, and we actually got to be on Earth during the Martial Law aspects, as short and inconsequential as it turned out to be.

    I thought by not going to Earth it helped us viewers to feel the isolation felt by everyone aboard B5, and to just hear secondhand what was going on down below, so I am not complaining, but I still feel like I am missing a tiny piece of the puzzle.
    Last edited by Delenn_of_Mir; 06-10-2012, 07:24 PM.

  • #2
    Personally, I'm not a big fan of the Boxtree non-fiction books. While there might have been some merit back in the days when there was virtually no B5 product out there, I think most long-time fans (of which I obviously include members of this forum) may find them a bit sparse in terms of information. But since Boxtree had the license initially, they were pretty much the only game in town at the time. I know from talking to Jane at the time, as we were covering the same beat so to speak, she wasn't given very much time or money to do the program guides, which were cheap and cheerful for lack of a better term. I have no doubt that if Jane had been given more resources, the books could have been that much better. Just my opinion of course, but I like to think it's an informed one.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
      Are the Jane Killick scene by scene books worth collecting?
      I think they are worth collecting. They have interviews from cast and crew organized episode-by-episode making it kind of a journey through the production. There aren't tons of pages like some of the Star Trek guide books but they have interesting stuff in them.

      Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
      I have heard the non canon B5 books are atrocious
      They vary quite a bit in quality for sure. I enjoyed the first book myself.

      Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
      or really got to know the story of what drove him to collaborate with the shadows and to kill President Santiago.
      Well in "Voices of Authority" it's shown that he collaborated with the Shadows because Morden asked him "what do you want?" and his answer was that he wanted Santiago dead. Maybe he just never liked the guy? Don't forget that the Shadows needed someone who had enough power-lust because *they* wanted to get to the telepaths in Psi Corps. If it wasn't Clark, they would have found someone else; so I think that Clark's motivations aren't really all that important to the story. He was a tool for the Shadows to use and then he got obsessed with control.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
        I think they are worth collecting. They have interviews from cast and crew organized episode-by-episode making it kind of a journey through the production. There aren't tons of pages like some of the Star Trek guide books but they have interesting stuff in them.

        They vary quite a bit in quality for sure. I enjoyed the first book myself.

        Well in "Voices of Authority" it's shown that he collaborated with the Shadows because Morden asked him "what do you want?" and his answer was that he wanted Santiago dead. Maybe he just never liked the guy? Don't forget that the Shadows needed someone who had enough power-lust because *they* wanted to get to the telepaths in Psi Corps. If it wasn't Clark, they would have found someone else; so I think that Clark's motivations aren't really all that important to the story. He was a tool for the Shadows to use and then he got obsessed with control.
        I do like interesting stuff, so consider me sold.

        Varying in quality could make reading them like a bumpy adventure then. Good times!


        Dangit! Now You've forced me to go back and rewatch an episode to check for something I may have missed before. You can imagine how this upsets me.


        Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro
        Personally, I'm not a big fan of the Boxtree non-fiction books. While there might have been some merit back in the days when there was virtually no B5 product out there, I think most long-time fans (of which I obviously include members of this forum) may find them a bit sparse in terms of information. But since Boxtree had the license initially, they were pretty much the only game in town at the time. I know from talking to Jane at the time, as we were covering the same beat so to speak, she wasn't given very much time or money to do the program guides, which were cheap and cheerful for lack of a better term. I have no doubt that if Jane had been given more resources, the books could have been that much better. Just my opinion of course, but I like to think it's an informed one.
        I'm sure Jane did the best she could then under those circumstances, and if the Boxtree books were indeed the only ones I assume that would make them much more valuable. When I eventually purchase them I will keep those circumstances in mind. Thanks
        Last edited by Delenn_of_Mir; 06-10-2012, 09:37 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
          I have heard the non canon B5 books are atrocious, although I do want to get "Clark's Law" because that is the only part of the Earth Alliance Civil War that I was dissatisfied with. We never got to get to Know Clark as a person, or really got to know the story of what drove him to collaborate with the shadows and to kill President Santiago. And I will prolly get the others eventually. Knowing me I will likely find a way to enjoy them, since I have already enjoyed a few movies that other fans seem to hate. *crosses fingers*

          Dell# 4 and #5 were the two worst of the Dell 1 thru 6 & 8, IMO. #4 is Clark's Law. I have 1 thru 6 and 8 ONLY because I'm a completist. #5 is as dry as sawdust and builds up and builds up to .....nothing. The best thing about #5 is the cover art. I also found the "A Call to Arms" novelization mostly clumsy and worthless.
          Last edited by KoshN; 06-11-2012, 09:24 PM.
          Mac Breck (KoshN)
          ------------------
          Warner Brothers is Lucy.
          JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
          Babylon 5 is the football.

          Comment


          • #6
            KoshN, what do you thing about "Personal Agendas"? that was book 8. JMS did sound too happy but he really didn't condemn any of the book as you have, so I'd like to hear what you think, please.
            "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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Marsden View Post
              KoshN, what do you thing about "Personal Agendas"? that was book 8. JMS did sound too happy but he really didn't condemn any of the book as you have, so I'd like to hear what you think, please.
              It was terrible. No, that doesn't quite describe it. Ok, you know how TKO was half-great, half-lousy, with the Susan story being great, and pretty much the rest being lousy? And how Grey 17 has a tiny little bit of awesome, surrounded by suck?

              And how Infection has this tiny itty bitty scrap of "oh, that's cool" in an episode that makes you want to put a bullet through your brain?

              Well, what if you mixed together the worst parts of those three episodes, in book form, and then made it even worse? You'd get Personal Agendas. And I believe I'm even being a bit kind to the writer here.
              "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

              The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
                It was terrible. No, that doesn't quite describe it. Ok, you know how TKO was half-great, half-lousy, with the Susan story being great, and pretty much the rest being lousy? And how Grey 17 has a tiny little bit of awesome, surrounded by suck?

                And how Infection has this tiny itty bitty scrap of "oh, that's cool" in an episode that makes you want to put a bullet through your brain?

                Well, what if you mixed together the worst parts of those three episodes, in book form, and then made it even worse? You'd get Personal Agendas. And I believe I'm even being a bit kind to the writer here.
                It all seems a bit vague, Omaha. What did you *really* think???

                "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                  KoshN, what do you thing about "Personal Agendas"? that was book 8. JMS did sound too happy but he really didn't condemn any of the book as you have, so I'd like to hear what you think, please.
                  #8 "Personal Agendas" was better than #4 Clark's Law and #5 "The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" but that's not saying much. #5 was the first book I read of the Dell #1 thru #9 series, and it almost turned me off from reading any of the others because it was soooo bad.

                  Here are some comments I penciled into #4 when I read it:

                  NON CANON. RIDICULOUS. Inconsistent with "In the Beginning." Only the Epilogue was any good.
                  Mac Breck (KoshN)
                  ------------------
                  Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                  JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                  Babylon 5 is the football.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you.

                    Answers like OmahaStar posted disturb me. He isn't the only one, of course, but there is a significant number of posters that by rote have declared certain episodes to be bad and everyone else should agree with their assessment by definition. I rather liked almost all of Infection and have never seen why it's supposed to be bad. I liked all of TKO. Grey 17... well I made a whole thread about a year or so about that. I sometimes wonder if some people even like Babylon 5 when I hear that kind of stuff.

                    I have the 3 trilogies, The Shadow Within and To Dream in the City of Sorrows and I was wondering about picking up some of the others cheap, but I don't think I will bother. I mostly got those based on a recomondation made by KoshN some time ago, possibly 2 years, and I couldn't remember about Personal Agendas as it was supposed to be in a better era of accuracy but somehow missed, apparently.
                    "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


                    • #11
                      Regarding #8, I didn't find it to be offensively bad. It was short (Has some 1 page chapters!) and harmless. Some think it tries too hard to be funny. [shrug] I didn't pencil in any notes except that pages 86-87 were where the author's humor was getting out of control, but if I had to sum up #8 in one word, it would "forgettable."
                      Mac Breck (KoshN)
                      ------------------
                      Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                      JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                      Babylon 5 is the football.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                        Thank you.

                        Answers like OmahaStar posted disturb me. He isn't the only one, of course, but there is a significant number of posters that by rote have declared certain episodes to be bad and everyone else should agree with their assessment by definition. I rather liked almost all of Infection and have never seen why it's supposed to be bad. I liked all of TKO. Grey 17... well I made a whole thread about a year or so about that. I sometimes wonder if some people even like Babylon 5 when I hear that kind of stuff.
                        It's an opinion. That's what we do here, share opinions about a subject we enjoy - B5. No one is holding a PPG to your head and saying "You must agree with everything Mitch says."
                        "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

                        The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
                          It's an opinion. That's what we do here, share opinions about a subject we enjoy - B5. No one is holding a PPG to your head and saying "You must agree with everything Mitch says."
                          I understand, and I'm sorry if I singled you out unfairly, I'd just heard it before from others. I really didn't dislike any episodes, but I realise not everyone liked every single one. I enjoyed the books I have too, but I think I'll just stick with what I have, I think in B5 to read a non canon book is pointless.
                          "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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                            Answers like OmahaStar posted disturb me. He isn't the only one, of course, but there is a significant number of posters that by rote have declared certain episodes to be bad and everyone else should agree with their assessment by definition. I rather liked almost all of Infection and have never seen why it's supposed to be bad. I liked all of TKO. Grey 17... well I made a whole thread about a year or so about that. I sometimes wonder if some people even like Babylon 5 when I hear that kind of stuff.
                            I have always thought of TV series episodes as bad, good and great. Guess I', part Minbari. I can watch a series if the three categories are mostly evenly divided. I don't talk about another category... horrible. They don't exist because as a series approaches horrible, I depart.

                            That being said, Babylon 5 was the first series where I honestly thought the three categories were seriously out of balance -- in a good way. Almost no bad, some okay, and a lot of great. You would think that would make me more tolerant of the lesser episiodes, but in a perverse way, it makes me pickier, I think.

                            "Infection" was the "monster loose on the station/ship/base" that had been done before. It didn't bring much new, and the resolution was right out of "The Changeling" from original Trek. Then came the last last act, and you had the conversation between Garibaldi and Sinclair, and you had the artifacts being spirited off. So overall, to me, the episode was basically "bad" (nothing new), but it got lifted up to "good" by the character development at the end and a wonderful performance by David McCallum.

                            Likewise, for me, "TKO" seemed overdone with regard to the martial arts story line, but the Ivanova story elevated it. "Grey 17" was the monster story again, with even less connections to the arc. Also, I just couldn't believe they could lose a whole deck on a station where finding room for a couple of coffee plants was a big deal. The Ranger One story elevated that episode, though.

                            I've always thought that the worst episode for me was "Exogenesis". I do like Marcus and Stephen working together, but there wasn't enough character development there to elevate this one.

                            Again, these are my opinions, but they are not by rote. I look at those and see flaws (or lack of originality) that lessen my enjoyment. I think these are some of the same things that other people see.

                            Believe me, though, I don't think any less of someone who enjoys them! It all comes down to what takes you out of the moment. What breaks the willing suspension of disbelief. It also doesn't mean that I like Babylon 5 any less. It was a truly great show.
                            "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              here is a sort of related comment for ya....

                              The episode that i would least want to watch is "Midnight on the Firing Line".

                              Why? Because i saw it way too many times... Due to the odd hours it was playing in my area, and strange rerun times that first season i wasn't sure i liked the show yet.... The pilot was.. interesting... and so i just caught the show when i caught it for the beginning of the first season. Every time i seemed to make an effort to watch the show it was ALWAYS that same episode. Decide to stay up until midnight on a school night to see the show, and guess what episode was on! It made no sense why that episode seemed to be played so much. Im sure it was just bad luck/timing but... now i just want to skip it. :P

                              As for the books, i enjoyed them all. BUT the trilogies i think were the best.
                              Milkman
                              www.mhoc.net

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