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The Telepath War

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
    You have a great point there. Few things can beat what we imagine or our idealized version of what the movie should be.

    In my mind though it has very much of a cold war spy thriller, lots of sleeper personalities, reprogram camps and so on, with occasional horrific outbursts of killings and witch hunts (think The Manchurian Candidate, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy combined with Hotel Rwanda and The Year of Living Dangerously).

    After all everything will be very messy. Psi corp going after mundanes and non corp telepath alike, throw in a lot of Clark era xenophobia with added unresolved conflicts after Sheridans civil war, Earth - Mars conflict and so on. The mundanes will go after everyone they consider telepath, alien, Marsie and some other minorities for good measure ... Terrible times all around.
    What a wonderful set of references; the Manchurian Candidate, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy combined with Hotel Rwanda and The Year of Living Dangerously.

    I can only dream of a B5 production that approaches the greatness of those films. In some ways, I am kinda glad it never got made, as on a TNT budget there's no way it would have come anywhere close to those reference points!

    It does make me wonder what a 'modern' B5 production would look like, imagine a B5 project with a budget like Sense8... ohhh man. One can dream.
    Last edited by Ubik; 09-19-2016, 12:57 AM.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!


    • #17
      Originally posted by Ubik View Post
      It does make me wonder what a 'modern' B5 production would look like, imagine a B5 project with a budget like Sense8... ohhh man. One can dream.
      Production-wise, Babylon 5 came right in the middle of US television's transition maturation to an art form on par with cinema. Though the transition was presaged (in substance) by Hill Street Blues and (in style) by Miami Vice, I think Twin Peaks synthesized the two and the 1990s became a chronicle of imbuing television with more substance and style. Babylon 5 was strong on the former but never went as far as I'd have liked on the latter. A modern version--created after the rise of HBO and Netflix--would have an even stronger visual and aural aesthetic; I suspect a modern B5 would probably have done more of the experimentation that Mike Vejar did--things like the LCD projections, the extreme closeups, and setpieces like Sheridan's capture in "The Face of the Enemy."

      It would also be interesting to see a version of Babylon 5 that didn't labor--and sometimes belabor--to remind viewers of what they'd seen in previous episodes. The top-of-the-episode recaps were becoming fashionable when B5 was on, but there was still the stigma regarding ongoing narratives. I would have preferred 30 seconds of recap at the top of the show to the sometimes tortuous exposition like Marcus's semi-non sequitur about Valen in "War Without End" Part Two. Now, with a model like Netflix's (or Amazon's), there would be no need for ANY recap or in-show exposition because binge viewing is the assumed norm.

      Similarly, the variable running times on streaming services and pay cable (and to a lesser degree on flexible cable networks like FX) would alleviate the need to cut the story down to the bare bones to fit the running time. There are a number of moments where I think B5 could have taken a beat to let things sink in, but the clock was running. One moment that made it into the show was that Sheridan zoom-in/dolly-out with the dialed-out audio in "Severed Dreams." (And I'll wager that one made it in because it didn't steal any time from the story, whereas a beat with a character at the end of a scene would have to go because it was taking up valuable narrative real estate.)


      I spent way more time on that than I expected to. I'll shut up now.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Jan View Post
        I think there may be a misconception here. The telepath war was telepath against telepath, not telepaths against normals - though I'm sure some of them got caught up in it. The teep vs mundanes happened when telepaths were first discovered, leading to the formation of the Psi Corps (as shown in the Psi Corps trilogy). The telepath war that we haven't seen yet was sparked by Byron's death and led by Lyta.
        I am sure you are right Jan. In my mind though, that involved quite a lot of "spill over" as the whole telepath/psi corps business is all about grey scales and distrust. Which leads to all the bad stuff. But I have probably blown that part out of proportion in my mind, by making a parallel to the extermination of the Narn telepaths. After all G'kar tells us that the Narn telepaths were killed by the Shadows, but that "the surviving telepaths" helped fight them of. They in turn must have been killed of by the Narns them selfs. Sure, there is some talk of the surviving telepath gene not being strong enough to reproduce, but G'kar does use the word exterminated or something like that.

        Originally posted by JasonDavis View Post
        I tend to agree with Ubik.

        I used to imagine the Clone Wars that Obi-Wan Kenobi referred to as times of great intrigue when one's closest allies might be replaced with genetic replicas and only the Jedi could discern the subtle differences, eventually restoring order to the Republic.

        Then George Lucas gave us Attack of the Clones.

        That is the argument to end all arguments. I am convinced.