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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Ninja_Squirrel View Post
    [*]What if we had actually gotten to see the Vorlon homeworld.
    I think the Vorlons were so great precisely because we saw so little of them and their culture.

    Having said that, I'd STILL be sorely tempted by the possibility of a peek at the Vorlon homeworld. It would have to look very alien and strange, almost like a Dali painting, everything disolving and merging together. Given we never really see a Vorlon's 'true' form, it's hard to imagine how they'd live.

    Having recently read The Nautilus Coil again, I can't get the organic tech out of my head, forming structures with a mere thought. Would Vorlon cities perhaps adapt to the tastes of whoever was visiting / viewing it?
    Last edited by Ubik; 07-04-2013, 06:50 AM.

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  • Ninja_Squirrel
    replied
    Originally posted by cornholio1980 View Post
    Know what? I'll actually double it, if I may, and add Talia. ...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.
    Oooohh! I like this idea for several reasons:
    1. In general, I like the idea of characters (and their respective actors) not leaving so abruptly such as Takashima getting replaced by Ivanova off-screen in the gap between pilot & series, Talia leaving because the actress wanted to go, and Sinclair being replaced between seasons because of O'Hare's aforementioned health problems. Having gradual transitions and/or characters also coming back sometime (like what happened with Lyta) is cool to me.
    2. 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. I like the idea that this could have gotten explored further, and it might have made season 5 better.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.


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

    Originally posted by sarthaz View Post
    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.
    I don't know about "poorly" written, but as I re-watch seasons 5 this summer along with the Tuning In To Sci-Fi TV podcast, I have noticed one thing... Lochley's style of talking is kind of..."rambly." Sometimes she practically repeats herself or comes up with weird examples to make a point, and in general, she just uses too many words to say too little. She's like me...only worse.

    Other characters already have a well-established style of talking, so they can make their points faster and often more profoundly. Lochley though didn't seem to have that same "verbal efficiency," at least not in the first six s5 episodes I've re-watched so far.


    Steering back to the main topic, here are a few more random "what ifs" that would be cool to explore:
    • What if The Great Machine of Epsilon 3 had gotten explored more? It would be nice to know more about how it was made and why, who made it, what else it could do, whether it was the only one, etc. It's one of those mysteries that I'm okay being an open-ended mystery, but it wouldn't hurt to know more about it either.
    • What if we had actually gotten to see the Vorlon homeworld.
    • Since JMS chose to explore the technomages further in Crusade, a few of the TV movies, and a couple of the book trilogies (there were some in the Centauri trilogy too, if I remember correctly), what if he had explored them further in the main series instead of just the one season 2 episode?

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by pascalahad View Post
    I so want to steal the Doctor's TARDIS and go back in time to pay from my own pocket the 5000$ Foundation Imaging needed to buy a wide screen to render the special effects at a 16:9 ratio. So we would have decent-looking DVDs and the possibility of having the series released in a format close enough to HD.
    Amen to that.

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  • pascalahad
    replied
    I so want to steal the Doctor's TARDIS and go back in time to pay from my own pocket the 5000$ Foundation Imaging needed to buy a wide screen to render the special effects at a 16:9 ratio. So we would have decent-looking DVDs and the possibility of having the series released in a format close enough to HD.

    And I would say in advance to jms that he was going to have his five years no matter what. It would have allowed the fourth and fifth season to have a better, natural pacing.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    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.

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  • JoeD80
    replied
    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."

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  • sarthaz
    replied
    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.

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  • Jan
    replied
    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

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  • sarthaz
    replied
    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?

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  • cornholio1980
    replied
    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.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    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!

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  • Jan
    replied
    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

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  • Ubik
    replied
    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?

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  • Jan
    replied
    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

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  • Ubik
    replied
    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.

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