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What Kind Of Story is Babylon 5?

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  • What Kind Of Story is Babylon 5?

    Would you say that B5 is:

    A: Character-Oriented

    B: Action- Oriented

    C: Setting- Oriented

    When it comes down to it, would you watch a show about Sheridan, Delenn, Londo, or G'Kar if their story took place in a totally different setting?

    Could you remove the Babylon Station and still watch the show?

    Could you replace all the characters, but keep the station, and still love it?

    What if there were no Shadows or Vorlons or other aliens? What if Londo, G'Kar, and Delenn were all human? Would you still be interested in them?

    If there was no Shadow War, but B5 was just the story of a hardworking crew working on a space station, would you still be interested in their lives?

    What for you is the most important element of B5, and what if any elements could you remove and still care?


    For me, I love the station and I could probably watch a 30 season show on just the station, with a constantly revolving cast, like E.R in Space, but I also really love all the main characters and would probably be interested in them no matter where they lived.
    And I would be just as interested in Londo, G'Kar, or Delenn if they were human, but retained their core personalities, proclivities, and morals.

    So I would say B5 is a Character-Oriented show first, although I really do love the universe. But I believe that Delenn, Londo, and G'Kar are strong enough characters that they could live on their own, if divorced or expelled from their surroundings.

    What do you think?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
    Would you say that B5 is:

    A: Character-Oriented

    B: Action- Oriented

    C: Setting- Oriented

    What do you think?
    Definitely A: Character Orientated, with a side order of space opera style storytelling.

    B5 is all about decisions and consequences. It's the journeys those characters undertake that makes it so engaging. As many have mentioned before, G’Kar and Londo are the beating heart of the show. Their personal transformations from beginning to end are remarkable and have real emotional impact and weight.

    In terms of the setting, the station is essentially a wrapper for the whole thing, and it should also be noted that it’s primarily a money saving mechanism to make the show affordable to make. The stories come to B5, not the other way around. Large events like the Shadow war could easily be substituted for something else, and it would still be a good show. But I do think races like the Shadows and Vorlon’s made for interesting foes and allies. There’s some real pioneering design work there done by the folks at Foundation Imaging.

    I would, however, definitely not want 30 seasons of B5. Like any show that runs too long, it would eventually begin to run out of good idea. Stargate is a great examples of a franchise that stuck to a very specific formula and became insufferably dull because it endless recycled itself. If we look at the various attempts to spin off B5, for me it’s very much diminishing returns. So, I think the fact that B5 has a succinct beginning, middle and end, is what really sets it apart from other show that have run longer. That well defined scope helped to maintain quality. I like that it was ‘get in, tell the story that needs to be told, get out’. Chapter closed.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

    Comment


    • #3
      Ubik,

      As co host of a stargate podcast which has covered in excess of 250 episode of the show, I call your attention to SGU, the universe show definitely did not follow the formula and although the attempts to do what BSG did 8both in terms of a darker tone and the ensemble cast list) I think it did it very well. Sadly sci fi (I will *not* use the other spelling) decision to reinvent itself and market to "key demos" meant it was srangled at the end of season 2, that being said, still a great show.

      B5 is and always will be about the writing, yes the characters and the acting people (using actors, a strictly male term to refer to female players still feels weirdly PC to me) embody that writing, without Andreas, PEter and Stephen we would not now and love them as we do today, but always always ALWAYS the writing has to be good. To me, the scripts are the foundation upon which the show is built, yes it has to be delivered well, but while good players can make bad writing at least passable, brilliant writing shines through even in the mouths of mediocrity. As Ubik said, we are looking at a character driven show. I will agree n the no 30 seasons thing, The simpsons, for example, has been going for 25 years which IMO, is about 18 years too long.

      Loath as I am to praise trek, It hink they got it right with seven years, extend much longr (unless you go for the ER rotating cast model) and you end up being stale.

      Fina lthoughts on the writing thing, look at the newsroom, Aaron is kiling it after three seasons, better to go out in glory, on a hgih than continue, as with lost, to thte point whereeveryone is gong "please, for the love of fate LET IT DIE".

      It should be hoted I Was ingressing until tree am and am fucntionign on 5 hours sleep, any lack of coherence is due to cognitive impairment, I needs my 7 hours.
      Phaze
      on the "In finnish there is no he or she, third person singular is simply h
      "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by phazedout View Post
        Ubik,

        As co host of a stargate podcast which has covered in excess of 250 episode of the show, I call your attention to SGU, the universe show definitely did not follow the formula and although the attempts to do what BSG did 8both in terms of a darker tone and the ensemble cast list) I think it did it very well. Sadly sci fi (I will *not* use the other spelling) decision to reinvent itself and market to "key demos" meant it was srangled at the end of season 2, that being said, still a great show.
        My apologies, the Stargate comparison was lazy, but it was a useful way to illustrate my point.

        For the record, I thought SGU was brave, inventive and a cut above what Stargate had become. It was a GREAT show by the time S2 concluded. There really is no justice when it comes to SF TV. I still don't get that so many Stargate fans have a beef with SGU. As much as I enjoy Atlantis in a throw away / fun SF kinda way, I didn't mourn its passing.
        Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

        Kosh: Good!

        Comment


        • #5
          What a tough question.

          And I think what makes is so tough to pick one is it's all three intertwined with such and expert hand you cannot find where one ends and another begins.


          It's an epic history of the founding of the Interstellar Alliance, which according to Deconstruction of Falling Stars, lasts at least a million years into the future. That is very significant, because the founding of a million year alliance, all covered in a five year span is quite remarkable. But the characters were not passive spectators and took an active role in the events. The station was the only place it could have happened. It was a unique series of events that caused it to be the right place at the right time. The action flowed naturally from the events covered. It was not the focus nor was it extraneous but an important part of the story.

          On the whole it's a remarkable work of art with no parellel to compare to it.
          "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


          • #6
            It's fun to imagine B5 as a Western

            Maybe a trading post out on the western frontier just after the U.S. civil war, or in Londo's case, France 1815.

            Comment


            • #7
              I really hated SGU. I don't know why. I tried a few eps and they just felt so dark and depressing and I didn't care for any of the cast. I think they would have been better off starting a new franchise because it just wasn't Stargate for me. At all.

              B5 had heart and warmth and characters I cared about. The main characters Even the sets were warmer. It was lived in and cozy, not sleek and cold.

              I hope JMS doesn't go all modern for the movie.

              Comment


              • #8
                Character-Oriented with an awesome Universe to explore.

                I feel that B5 could have remained good for 30 seasons as long as JMS was running it with the quality guest Writers and Directors the show always had and the budget to do it right. There were so many avenues that could have been explored. The variety of styles and techniques they used to make the show left many trails that could have been blazed. Just think of all of the episodes that could have been done relating to IPX exploration or even more exploration of Epsilon III by the B5 crew. Think of the episodes they could have done that gave us inside glimpses into the other races and their worlds. Think of the episodes that could have been done that followed characters after they left B5, like what happened with Ivanova or some obscure supporting character like Harriman Gray. Think of the episodes that could have been done SGU style where the station became the obstacle to overcome as it aged. Think of the episodes they could have done about Mars under its own leadership, and so on and so on. I feel like the different styles that were used to tell the character driven stories provided B5 with an endless fountain of plots. The station is the foundation, but the stories could have taken place everywhere.

                And I agree with Delenn_of_Mir. I hated SGU, but when it was over I did want to know what happened.
                Last edited by Looney; 11-12-2014, 01:47 PM.
                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Definitely character oriented, though for me the only one that really doesn't apply much at all is setting oriented. One of the things I enjoyed about B5 was that they never tried to make the station into some kind of character the way (especially) the original Trek did.

                  Jan
                  "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I disagree, B5 was it's own thing, a living breathing city. It certainly is a "character."
                    "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
                      Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
                      I really hated SGU. I don't know why. I tried a few eps and they just felt so dark and depressing and I didn't care for any of the cast. I think they would have been better off starting a new franchise because it just wasn't Stargate for me. At all.

                      B5 had heart and warmth and characters I cared about. The main characters Even the sets were warmer. It was lived in and cozy, not sleek and cold.

                      I hope JMS doesn't go all modern for the movie.
                      SGU really warmed up by the second season. I admit it was too self consciously 'gritty' in a flagrant attempt to ape BSG, but it really did improve. It had a proper acr going by that point, and the ideas were very grand indeed.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A good story.

                        Certainly the characters are what makes the show. Watching Londo and G'Kars destiny approach and more down-to-earth stuff such as Garibaldi's battle with alcoholism are more central to the show than the action. All the character's souls are what makes the setting (the station) interesting and makes it hard to watch it go in the finale.
                        Last edited by JoeD80; 11-13-2014, 10:02 AM.

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                        • #13
                          As a result of the explosion a huge debris field remains in orbit around Epsilon III.
                          Bigger sections of the station impact the planet below

                          Though Draal forbids trespassers, the nine remaining Zatheras and Spragg continue to search and recover souvenirs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The 9 remaining Zathras on epsilon 3 would make an awesome cartoon. I would watch it! Sadly, I don't know who would voice them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
                              The 9 remaining Zathras on epsilon 3 would make an awesome cartoon. I would watch it! Sadly, I don't know who would voice them.
                              The first person that comes to mind is
                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0667326/ Rob Paulsen
                              Raphael from the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Antoine D'Coolette from the 1993 Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakko from Animaniacs, Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, Rude Dog from Rude Dog and the Dweebs, Mighty Max,The Happy Elf, Rev Runner from Loonatics Unleashed, Gordon from Catscratch, Gray Fox in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, P.J. Pete in Goof Troop and Carl in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

                              Other possibilities:
                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0012121/ Charles Adler
                              Buster Bunny on Tiny Toon Adventures, Ed and Bev Bighead on Rocko's Modern Life, I.R. Baboon on I Am Weasel, Cow, Chicken and The Red Guy on Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel, Starscream in live-action Transformers movies, Doctor Doom in The Super Hero Squad Show, Ickis on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and Cobra Commander in the current G.I. Joe series. Also serves as voice director for Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys and As Told by Ginger

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0281486/ Charles Fleischer
                              Roger Rabbit and others in Who Framed Roger Rabbit

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004931/ June Foray
                              Granny (Looney Tunes), Rocky in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show; also played Natasha

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0331906/ Gilbert Gottfried
                              Iago in Aladdin, the AFLAC duck, Digit and Widgit in Cyberchase

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0363641/ Jess Harnell
                              Wakko Warner in Animaniacs, Hunter in Road Rovers, Captain Hero in Drawn Together, Krypto the Superdog, Sewer Urchin and Human Bullet in The Tick, Spyro in Spyro: A Hero's Tail and Spyro: Shadow Legacy, current voice of Crash Bandicoot, Secret Squirrel of the show's same name, Ironhide and Barricade in Michael Bay's Transformers, Wooton in Adventures in Odyssey

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0625456/ Jerry Nelson
                              Robin the Frog, Floyd, Crazy Harry, Camilla the Chicken, Pops and many characters of The Muppet Show, Count von Count, Mr. Johnson, Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, Little Jerry, Herbert Birdsfoot, Farley, the Amazing Mumford and many characters of Sesame Street, Gobo for Fraggle Rock, and other Muppet series

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0758608/ Peter Sallis
                              the voice of Wallace in every Wallace and Gromit film, Ratty in The Wind in the Willows TV series and narrator on Rocky Hollow

                              http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0761498/ Chris Sanders
                              Stitch in Disney's Lilo & Stitch and spinoffs and Kingdom Hearts II

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