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  • If you could change one thing about B5...

    In the interest of getting a bit of conversation going (yes, itÆs a quiet day at the office), IÆd like to pose you all a question!

    If there was one thing you could change about B5 what would it be?

    DonÆt say nothing, because IÆm sure everyone has something, even if itÆs something tiny that theyÆd like to have seen done differently. Look at it this way, you get to day dream about speculative æwhat ifsÆ in the B5 universe. Lots of scope there!

    IÆll get us startedà

    I would have loved to have seen a fifth season where Claudia Christian had remained on the show. Unsure if it would have improved the teep arc, but it would have certainly been subtly different if what JMS has said is anything to go on.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

  • #2
    Oh, interesting question. I'm going to go with the exact opposite, not to be contrary, but because I liked her character better.

    What if we'd had Lochley come on board once Takashima had been transferred? I think I'd have liked to get to know that character better. It probably would have heightened the tension of breaking away from Earth if she'd been there.

    (BTW, just as a reminder, we shouldn't take this into full blown story ideas though we can certainly discuss what specifics might have been changed.)

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ubik View Post
      IÆll get us startedà

      I would have loved to have seen a fifth season where Claudia Christian had remained on the show. Unsure if it would have improved the teep arc, but it would have certainly been subtly different if what JMS has said is anything to go on.
      Wow, you picked a big (the biggest?) one.

      Mine has a prerequisite that we live in a alternate reality where Michael O'Hare did not have the health issues that we now know forced him to leave the show...

      I would like to have seen a season 1 that had John Sheridan as a recurring background character and a season 2 and maybe season 3 also that continued to see Jeffrey Sinclair as a recurring (more often) character. Even though replacing Sinclair had behind-the-scenes reasons, I still like the original cover story that too much of the main story arc was wrapped up in one character and needed to be split up. So, I would like to have seen Sheridan's command experiences aboard the Agamemnon and his growing suspicion of anti-alien politics. And, I'd also really like to see what life was like for Sinclair on Minbar with him becoming Ranger One in less than half a year and how he prepared for what happened on Babylon 4 a year after that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jan View Post
        Oh, interesting question. I'm going to go with the exact opposite, not to be contrary, but because I liked her character better.

        What if we'd had Lochley come on board once Takashima had been transferred? I think I'd have liked to get to know that character better. It probably would have heightened the tension of breaking away from Earth if she'd been there.

        (BTW, just as a reminder, we shouldn't take this into full blown story ideas though we can certainly discuss what specifics might have been changed.)

        Jan
        I see what you did there! You just turned everything upside down.

        If Lochley had been on board from the outset it could have been VERY different too. I can imagine some interesting storylines playing out between her and Garibaldi, especially with the shared history of addiction. I could see them being quite close friends / allies. Had she been there for æSurvivorsÆ, I could see their little Season 5 confrontation happening far sooner! There are so many pros and cons. I could see Lochley being just as interesting a character, and perhaps a bit more æin your faceÆ confrontational than Ivanova. She also had an interesting past that could be explored. Lochley could have been a great addition.

        HereÆs the thing that gets me about Ivanova not being present for Season 5 - Although IvanovaÆs dealings with the Psi Corps were explored in many B-plots in season one, I felt that more could have been done with it. There were plenty of moment where her past bubbled to the surface (Divided Loyalties) in prominent ways, but it could have been turned into something more interesting had she been around for season 5. That latent hatred for the Corps could have come to the fore at some point, perhaps putting her in a seriously compromising position! I felt a lot of those threads were laid to rest with Talia self-destructing due to the sleeper personality emerging. This could have definitely been explored more.

        B5 Trivia:

        I only just discovered that the exchange between Kosh and Abbut, monitored by Talia Winters in the episode, "Deathwalker", was to provide a means for Kosh to restore Talia to her real personality using the data recorded by Abbut. That is, if Andrea Thompson had stayed on. Cool stuff, that all makes sense now. I always assumed that Kosh was somehow alluding to using telepaths against the Shadows later on in the war.
        Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

        Kosh: Good!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ninja_Squirrel View Post
          Wow, you picked a big (the biggest?) one.
          I know, I know... glaringly obvious really. But I think the O'Hare one is potentially even bigger, it only affects the ENTIRE STORY ARC!!

          Originally posted by Ninja_Squirrel View Post
          Mine has a prerequisite that we live in a alternate reality where Michael O'Hare did not have the health issues that we now know forced him to leave the show...

          I would like to have seen a season 1 that had John Sheridan as a recurring background character and a season 2 and maybe season 3 also that continued to see Jeffrey Sinclair as a recurring (more often) character. Even though replacing Sinclair had behind-the-scenes reasons, I still like the original cover story that too much of the main story arc was wrapped up in one character and needed to be split up. So, I would like to have seen Sheridan's command experiences aboard the Agamemnon and his growing suspicion of anti-alien politics. And, I'd also really like to see what life was like for Sinclair on Minbar with him becoming Ranger One in less than half a year and how he prepared for what happened on Babylon 4 a year after that.
          Yes, absolutely. The splintering of the arc with O’Hare’s departure was positive from a creative standpoint, but it’s such a shame we couldn’t have seen more of what happened to him on Minbar. I mean, the Valen reveal was wonderful and it’s likely we might not have got that had O’Hare not departed.

          From another standpoint, I also enjoyed reading about the initial plans for the Babylon 5 / Babylon Prime arc, and I would have loved to have seen what the show would have become had Sinclair stayed on. I think all those changes kept JMS on his toes! Creatively speaking though, some were better than others!
          Last edited by Ubik; 07-03-2013, 08:07 AM.
          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

          Kosh: Good!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ubik View Post
            I only just discovered that the exchange between Kosh and Abbut, monitored by Talia Winters in the episode, "Deathwalker", was to provide a means for Kosh to restore Talia to her real personality using the data recorded by Abbut. That is, if Andrea Thompson had stayed on. Cool stuff, that all makes sense now. I always assumed that Kosh was somehow alluding to using telepaths against the Shadows later on in the war.
            (Honest, I'm not trying to disagree with everything today! )

            Actually, while I've seen that allegation many times, I've never seen anything to support that theory and I completely disagree with it. I think he was gathering a weapon to use *against* her. Why would he be gathering up

            Reflection, surprise, terror. For the future.
            if it was for a *good* purpose? None of Talia's flashes was positive in any way. I think this one's along the lines of the assertion that Sinclair being revealed as Valen was supposed to be the final shot of Babylon 5 - oft-repeated urban legend.

            Ninja Squirrel, I like your 'alternate reality' idea a lot.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jan View Post
              (Honest, I'm not trying to disagree with everything today! )

              Actually, while I've seen that allegation many times, I've never seen anything to support that theory and I completely disagree with it. I think he was gathering a weapon to use *against* her. Why would he be gathering up "Reflection, surprise, terror. For the future".

              If it was for a *good* purpose? None of Talia's flashes was positive in any way. I think this one's along the lines of the assertion that Sinclair being revealed as Valen was supposed to be the final shot of Babylon 5 - oft-repeated urban legend.

              Jan
              Yes, that scene has always come across as sinister to me. Perhaps what I just read IS an urban rumour. Has JMS ever commented on that scene? Did it ever come up in the Asked and Answered series?

              I personally never interpreted it as anything positive, as I said, I always thought it was something to be used against an enemy. The Shadows seemed a likely culprit given their fear of telepaths. Perhaps this was intended as æleverageÆ of some sort, to get Talia to act as he wanted, or perhaps something more sinister?
              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

              Kosh: Good!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                Yes, that scene has always come across as sinister to me. Perhaps what I just read IS an urban rumour. Has JMS ever commented on that scene? Did it ever come up in the Asked and Answered series?

                I personally never interpreted it as anything positive, as I said, I always thought it was something to be used against an enemy. The Shadows seemed a likely culprit given their fear of telepaths. Perhaps this was intended as ‘leverage’ of some sort, to get Talia to act as he wanted, or perhaps something more sinister?
                This is the only post that seems relevant:

                Originally posted by JMS
                Kosh certainly knew more about her, and almost certainly her
                second persona, than anyone suspected.

                jms
                Which doesn't really say much but when added to other comments in the show about Vorlons not trusting/being leery of telepaths (despite us later learning that they fostered their talents), my feeling was weapon. This also ties in with Lyta's change into a weapon at the hands of the Vorlons.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post
                  This is the only post that seems relevant:

                  Originally Posted by JMS
                  Kosh certainly knew more about her, and almost certainly her
                  second persona, than anyone suspected.

                  jms

                  Which doesn't really say much but when added to other comments in the show about Vorlons not trusting/being leery of telepaths (despite us later learning that they fostered their talents), my feeling was weapon. This also ties in with Lyta's change into a weapon at the hands of the Vorlons.

                  Jan
                  I really should trust my instincts, instead of what's written on the internet! Cheers for the info Jan!
                  Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                  Kosh: Good!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is the most unimaginative answer ever, but for me, it's also definitely Season 5 with Ivanova. The whole teep-arc would have been so much more powerful.

                    Know what? I'll actually double it, if I may, and add Talia. As interesting as it would have been to see her character arc as originally intended, I love the whole Ivanova/Marcus storyline so much that I would not have her never leave. However, I would have brought her back in S5 instead of Byron. Imagine how powerful that would have been, if Ivanova and Talia would have finally ended up together (again), only for her then having to call in the Psi-Corps, and to see Talia killed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jan View Post
                      Oh, interesting question. I'm going to go with the exact opposite, not to be contrary, but because I liked her character better.

                      What if we'd had Lochley come on board once Takashima had been transferred? I think I'd have liked to get to know that character better. It probably would have heightened the tension of breaking away from Earth if she'd been there.

                      (BTW, just as a reminder, we shouldn't take this into full blown story ideas though we can certainly discuss what specifics might have been changed.)

                      Jan
                      I don't know how I feel about this. I liked Lochley, but I do think she was poorly written. However, knowing what JMS must have gone through to try and get those early 5th season episodes written in the first place, I don't know if she would have been poorly written under other circumstances.

                      In your world, does Ivanova never come aboard?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sarthaz View Post
                        I don't know how I feel about this. I liked Lochley, but I do think she was poorly written. However, knowing what JMS must have gone through to try and get those early 5th season episodes written in the first place, I don't know if she would have been poorly written under other circumstances.

                        In your world, does Ivanova never come aboard?
                        I'm going to ask you the same question I asked in a different conversation and please believe me when I'm genuinely asking for your thoughts. What makes you say that she was badly written? The only example that comes to my mind is at least one attempt at humor that fell flat. Otherwise, I thought her far better fleshed out in only one season than Ivanova.

                        Would Ivanova ever come on board? Sure, I think she'd have made a great squadron commander instead of Keffer.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jan View Post
                          I'm going to ask you the same question I asked in a different conversation and please believe me when I'm genuinely asking for your thoughts. What makes you say that she was badly written? The only example that comes to my mind is at least one attempt at humor that fell flat. Otherwise, I thought her far better fleshed out in only one season than Ivanova.
                          Don't worry, Jan, I take no offense and understand your question. And I agree that Lochley had a more developed "character sheet" than Ivanova's one-note "I'm Russian, and we like to say 'I'm Russian' a lot" background. So it's not the back-story of Lochley that I found lacking -- although being married to Sheridan rang silly to me -- but the execution of her character that was poor.

                          I think her no-nonsense style was overwritten at the beginning, likely because Tracy is beautiful and they wanted her to seem strong enough to fit in with the cast, but it was too much. Claudia is also beautiful, but I never felt like they overwrote her strength (just her depressing Russian quips). Also, I found some of the dialogue between her and Garibaldi to be cringe-worthy. The idea that she knew what he was going through was strong, but the execution fell flat for me. Her interaction with the telepath situation was also pretty blah, particularly her Captain's Log moments.

                          Anyway, Lochley didn't ruin the show for me or anything, but I never felt she was written into the show particularly well. Of course, some of that is due to Scoggins, who is a perfectly capable performer (and seems to be a really cool person), but I wouldn't consider her a "gifted" actor. Andreas and Peter were likely given lots of sub-par dialogue that we never noticed, because their talent is so extraordinary. Tracy didn't seem as well-equipped to elevate the average into something more.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sarthaz View Post
                            Andreas and Peter were likely given lots of sub-par dialogue that we never noticed, because their talent is so extraordinary.
                            It really drives me crazy when I see people say this. Yes, they are great actors. But the reason Londo and G'Kar are good characters? It's because the writing was good. I think it was an interview with Peter I was reading where he was asked how he made Londo come to life so well, and he said something like, "I just do what Joe writes."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                              It really drives me crazy when I see people say this. Yes, they are great actors. But the reason Londo and G'Kar are good characters? It's because the writing was good. I think it was an interview with Peter I was reading where he was asked how he made Londo come to life so well, and he said something like, "I just do what Joe writes."
                              Joe, you are of course right that the script needs to be good in the first place, but I think it's 50 / 50. Half of it lies in the delivery, half in the script. A good actor will really animate a character's words, getting the rhythm of their delivery just right, but a sub par actor will make that same dialogue sound wooden or clunky.

                              I don't want to derail the thread, but JMS does sometimes struggle with writing naturalistic dialogue. I need my DVDs or script books to hand to quote examples, but he does have a tendancy to give characters longer chunks of dialogue, of the type that you'd rarely use in a normal conversation. It's that tendancy towards long monologues that sometimes creeps into exchanges between characters. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE some of those monologues, but it's a stylistic tick that sometimes lets the writing down, especially when he's dealing with more casual conversations between two or more people.

                              I noticed this the other day when re-watching some season one episodes. For example, some of the exchanges between Catherine Sakai and Sinclair in Mind War. I think it's the scene in his quarters where she's celebrating a big payout from one of her jobs. I found myself thinking that if her lines finished a sentence or two earlier (same for Sinclair I think), or were split up as more of a back and forth, it'd sound far more natural. (Jan, I'm doing my best to explain my criticism! )

                              Writing natural sounding dialogue is REALLY hard, I know this from experience. What works on a page might not work when acted out, and whether it works or not can also be very much down to the actor's delivery. Perhaps it's the need for exposition that creates these problems? Or maybe it's more a style of writing JMS inherited from writing for stage productions. Hence, the thespians tend to pull it off better!
                              Last edited by Ubik; 07-04-2013, 06:21 AM.
                              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                              Kosh: Good!

                              Comment

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