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  • Jonas
    replied
    I've figured out the problem with Byron, I think: he doesn't have a sense of humour. That's what makes him radically different from almost every other character on the show, even bastards like Morden or Bester - he almost never jokes, which is a big part of what often makes him dislikable.

    (I once met a person with no sense of humour. Her political values were actually quite close to mine in many ways, and yet I think she was the single worst person I've ever met, the most unpleasant and infuriating individual I've ever talked to... because she never joked.)

    So, from a writing standpoint, what would make Byron a far more palatable character is giving him a sense of humour. However... the truth is that there really are people like him, especially in the realm of identity politics (which is basically what he believes in, much like Bester). So, in a way, the writing is quite realistic.

    So if I could change one thing, I guess I wouldn't give Byron a sense of humour, but I'd give JMS his Season 5 notes back, along with Claudia Christian's contract.

    Or maybe I'd undo Crusade, because I think that the possibility of a spin-off affected Season 5 too.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    I was reading an interview with Chris Wren over at B5 Scrolls this morning. He worked on concept art and CGi for Legend of the Rangers. One thing that comes up time and time again about that TV Movie is the ‘gun pod’ scene, which was clearly a great concept executed badly because of budget constraints.

    I wish this scene could have more closely reflected the original script, or have been executed in a more tasteful manner. Whilst the battle scene is only a small part of the whole, it would have been a marked improvement. Hell, the pod scene could have been left on the cutting room floor... or they could have even simply intimated that the gun pod was being manned, relying instead on external battle shots to get the job done. As I’ve said before, I struggled a bit with Rangers, but that’s a whole other thread. So, here’s the relevant excerpt from the interview with Chris Wren that sheds some light on it. I personally found it very interesting as I've seen this aspect discussed a lot!

    I have to ask, the Liandra’s gun pod, what the hell was going on there? : )

    The gun pod went through a lot of conceptual changes, some creative and some forced by budget (sometimes right on set). Originally the script called for a complex chair attached to an armature, suspended in the middle of the spherical holographic room which Myriam’s character would sit in. It would move in all directions, track eye movement and respond to gestures as well as vocal commands. The room itself would be something similar to those seen in the Minbari cruisers during B5, but as it was a small self contained unit housing a single gunner the holograph would completely surround her for optimal viewing.

    You mentioned budget and creative pressures to change the concept!?

    It soon became clear this single prop/set would be more difficult and time consuming to design and implement than many of the full standing sets in the show. But the concept was also an extremely difficult sell at the time, not only to the network but some of the artists and crew as well. Today of course, the idea of someone sitting in a chair and manipulating complex weapons systems is commonplace (Atlantis) but way back in the year 2000 it was thought the audience would find the scenario boring and confusing!

    So who came up with the alternative idea?

    As I recall, Joe's initial script did involve the articulated chair. As the production company basically put the kibosh on that idea he also came up with the tractor/gravitational field in an overnight re-write. The solution seemed for Myriam to ‘float’ suspended in a tractor field that kept her suspended in the room, but gave her enough physical resistance so that she could spin, roll, and move in any direction with just a little bit of physical effort. Like the use of holograms this made sense (in the context of the B5 universe) as Minbari technology seems to include a more or less total mastery of manipulated gravity fields. Basically the tractor field would "feel" a bit denser than water.

    When this conceptual change happened, it affected the whole idea of how Myriam would behave when inside the gun pod. The idea was that not just anyone could use the pod effectively. It required special training, but also a natural instinct, a "relationship" of sorts with the ship itself, and a natural visual acuity and coordination. Unfortunately, here some confusion set in and there were some conflicting ideas about how the pod would be used.

    How did she end up looking like she was having a bit of a fit in the thing?

    With the chair gone, one camp saw Myriam using the pod as a very Zen sort of situation. She would have an almost cold, unnatural calm as she fired and engaged the ships belonging to ‘The Hand’. Not quite like "using the force" but the idea was that her movements would be graceful, elegant, almost ballet like. The other vision wanted her to be more dynamic, aggressive, her movements more like martial arts. That's the idea that won out in the end, and that's part of the reason the Minbari beams got replaced with the energy bullets. Personally I would have preferred if the production had stuck with the traditional Minbari weapons, but it was thought the image of beams shooting from her hands during these more violent movements would be confusing to viewers.

    For those who are interested, the whole interview can be found here.
    Last edited by Ubik; 07-15-2013, 08:59 AM.

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  • JoeD80
    replied
    The outline says something like (don't have the book in front of me):

    "Ivanova divides her time between commanding Babylon 5 and commanding one of the new Warlock class ships"

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  • cornholio1980
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
    In the plans for season five, she was supposed to do both.
    Interesting. I don't remember that. Any info on who was supposed to follow her as commander of B5?

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  • calloutdrummer1247
    replied
    ....I would see what would happen if Londo was put into the heart of the machine instead of Drael. o_O

    I think it would be quite amusing if you ask me. Maybe Drael's body couldn't take it for some reason so Londo insists on going in. I think it would have to be a pretty different Alternate Universe for this to happen. LIke I said, would be interesting and amusing especially in the next few seasons.
    Last edited by calloutdrummer1247; 07-07-2013, 10:12 PM.

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  • JoeD80
    replied
    Originally posted by cornholio1980 View Post
    Well, it would have been better than nothing, but if Claudia Christian would have stayed on, and I could choose between her commanding the station and a starship, I'd go with the former.
    In the plans for season five, she was supposed to do both.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by sarthaz View Post
    In Phoenix, when Joe asked the cast what was the most annoying part of being on Babylon 5, was it Robin who immediately starting singing, "And we will all come together in a better place ..."
    That bit always made me want to hurl the remote at the TV. Just... awful.

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  • sarthaz
    replied
    In Phoenix, when Joe asked the cast what was the most annoying part of being on Babylon 5, was it Robin who immediately starting singing, "And we will all come together in a better place ..."

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  • DaveNarn
    replied
    Your right, Byron Gordon wasn't leading the telepath's for any personal gain - I stand corrected.

    He tried to keep them calm and in line for as long as he could.

    Guess it was the communal form of thought interaction that was a little unnerving about him.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by DaveNarn View Post
    Byron certainly was a cult leader. The downtrodden telepath story on B5 about a charismatic figure taking advantage a group of disenfranchised people reaffirms what a great actor Robin is at how he sold the role.
    Question...take advantage of them? I honestly think that Byron did want the best for his followers. Trouble is, he had exactly the same prejudices against 'mundanes' as Bester except that he drew the line at killing them. What struck me a lot in the fifth season was the unconscious prejudice pretty much everybody showed. Byron still felt the telepaths were better than normals, Sheridan and Garibaldi used and discarded Lyta as convenient.

    On the subject of changing something, I think Sinclair didn't display that prejudice. At least he was genuinely concerned for Talia when she had to excuse herself from the negotiations and (iirc) when they talked about needing her help in 'The Quality of Mercy'.

    Jan

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  • calloutdrummer1247
    replied
    *peeks* THANK YOU!!!!!

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  • DaveNarn
    replied
    Originally posted by cornholio1980 View Post
    I'm not sure I hate him, but I don't like him either. For me, he's the least interesting recurring character of B5. He seemed to be there more to save a purpose than actually as a fleshed-out character. And I agree that we probably weren't meant to like him. But I couldn't even like him the way I like Morden, for example, with his sleaziness. Something about Byron just rubbed me the wrong way. And I do believe having Talia in that role, a charater we came to like, would have made for an interesting dynamic once she would have been this little cult leader.
    Byron certainly was a cult leader. The downtrodden telepath story on B5 about a charismatic figure taking advantage a group of disenfranchised people reaffirms what a great actor Robin is at how he sold the role.

    I felt the same way toward James Callis's character on Battlestar Galactica as Dr. Gaius Baltar - yuk!

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  • cornholio1980
    replied
    Originally posted by Ninja_Squirrel View Post
    [*]Call me naive, but I always felt the Ivanova/Talia thing was played very subtle, so much so that I barely (if at all) caught it the first time around. I just thought they were becoming really good friends. Yes, obviously, Ivanova comes out and admits a love for Talia in the Minbari ritual, so I got it eventually, but sometimes I'm dumb.
    Same with me. When I saw the episode for the first time, it wasn't uncommon for me to stay overnight at a good friends place. That doesn't necessarily mean that we actually did anything, like sexual . Thus, I also didn't get that, and I'm still split about that. On one hand, its a nice, subtle approach, on the other hand you could (not saying that I do, mind you) interpret it as chickening out. Also, you risk that people don't notice what you're implying.

    [*]Robin Atkin Downes was a very nice guy at Phoenix Comicon, and if you look at his IMDb profile, his list of acting & voice work is as long as both my arms. So, he's a nice, talented guy, and he played the role of Byron very well. But, seriously, doesn't everybody hate Byron? Considering how JMS wrote him and why he included the telepath story arc (getting the cult thing out of his system), I don't think we're supposed to like Byron. So, having Talia there instead of Byron would solve that problem.
    I'm not sure I hate him, but I don't like him either. For me, he's the least interesting recurring character of B5. He seemed to be there more to save a purpose than actually as a fleshed-out character. And I agree that we probably weren't meant to like him. But I couldn't even like him the way I like Morden, for example, with his sleaziness. Something about Byron just rubbed me the wrong way. And I do believe having Talia in that role, a charater we came to like, would have made for an interesting dynamic once she would have been this little cult leader.

    [*]I never liked the idea that Ivanova was going to get mixed up with Byron. In a way, I'm not too happy it happened to Lyta. But, at least Lyta was in need of such a thing, so it makes sense. Ivanova was too smart & independent to get mixed up with Byron, and... Ivanova just deserved better. But, with Ivanova & Talia already having a history, any temptation to return to that in s5 would make more sense.[/LIST]
    Well, I can understand why JMS wanted to do it, and I guess it could have worked. I would have seen it this way: She lost Talia, she lost Marcus. In both cases, she was running out of time in the end, losing them very suddenly. I definitely can see how that could bring a person to grab the next chance of love he/she's getting.

    But yeah, it would have been tricky to pull off, especially with Ivanova.

    So, yeah, having Ivanova in season 5 but with Talia returning for the telepath story arc instead of Byron is brilliant.
    Thanks

    However, would that require that Talia's original reason for leaving was not the hidden personality, so that when she retuned she would be the more familiar Talia. Or, would even the "bad" Talia somehow succeed in seducing Ivanova into the teep group?
    Well, that brings us to another unresolved issue: Koshs crystal of Talia's thoughts, that Garibaldi remembered as soon as the mole was revealed. Since he never picked it up again, I actually would have prefered if JMS wouldn'T have alluded to it. However, I always thought that this crystal could be the key to bringing her back. So, to make it clear: Of course it would have had to be the real Talia, who Ivanova falls in love with again, and who she then has to betray. Otherwise, it wouldn't really be tragic, would it?

    About the Lochley debate: I do believe that because of Claudia Christians departure and JMS losing his notes, he didn't have as much time to flesh out the character as with others, and that may very well have affected how she was written. Come to think of it, the same might be true for Byron. JMS might simply have run out of time, and did the best he could; but ultimately, it showed a little bit, especially compared to the great work he did previously. Then again, never forget that by that time, we knew most of the characters for 3-4 seasons already, so anyone coming in that late would have a rough start.

    [*]What if we had actually gotten to see the Vorlon homeworld.
    Actually, I'm glad that we never did, and hope that we never will. Just like going beyond the rim, that's one vista that IMHO is better left unexplored, and/or left to the imagination of the viewer.

    Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
    Along these lines I would have liked to see Ivanova in command of the Earth ship in season five - so we could see her dealing with the Shadow tech that was installed.
    Well, it would have been better than nothing, but if Claudia Christian would have stayed on, and I could choose between her commanding the station and a starship, I'd go with the former.

    I love this. One of my disappointments with the show was how they never got the chance to really establish the love-awakens-the-Shadows story properly. From Sykes to Sakai to Anna #1 to Anna #2, by the time of the big moment, that whole storyline ended up resting on Bruce's acting shoulders to sell a story that we never got to see. How great would it have been if they could have slowly built that story, where the audience lives with them being in love and then has her suddenly ripped from the show, and we feel and adjust to Sheridan's loss only to have her re-appear in "Shadow Dancing". She wouldn't even need to say "I'm Anna Sheridan ... John's wife." We'd know, and our jaws would drop like that snow globe.

    So, yeah, that's my answer to the question in this thread. I would have liked the Sinclair/Sheridan transition to dove-tail more cleanly (as if it were planned from the beginning), affording the opportunity to see more of the Agamemnon (I always loved those scenes), more of Sinclair's time on Minbar, and more of the love affair between Sheridan and Catherine Sakai. That's right
    I totally agree with this. Easier transition would have been nice. Back in the day I never got why they couldn't bring Michael O'Hare back for the first episode of Season 2; now I know and understand it, of course. It is still a shame, though. And I think those hard transitions are especially hard on a show like B5, that tells a continuing story. Then again, sometimes life simply get's in the way...

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  • calloutdrummer1247
    replied
    Same here! Someone outta write it!

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by calloutdrummer1247 View Post
    What do you think? He just seemed so happy with Adira and willing to drop appearances and his mask with her.
    That's an alternate universe story I'd love to see. Like you, I *like* Londo.

    Jan

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