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The Telepath War

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  • Satai with Punsch
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JasonDavis
    replied
    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.)

    Wow...

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

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubik
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JasonDavis
    replied
    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.

    I prefer my Telepath Crisis...which does extensively involve normals. Nobody's gonna blow up a building as big as that North American Psi Corps facility in "The Path of Sorrows" without the rest of humanity having an opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satai with Punsch
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubik View Post
    ... I think it's one of those 'untold' things that's best left alluded to, just so it provides some extra depth to the B5 universe. Same as the Vorlon homeworld, perhaps it's best left off screen?
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
    That is one of the things that make the Telepath Crisis such a tease ...
    Both Crusade and the Psi Corps books hint at it a lot, and in the end nothing happened. At least not yet, but who knows?

    As you say, it is rather obvious that JMS had plans for it and I guess what really put it on hold was the same things that put Crusade out the airlock.
    Part of me wonders how interesting a yarn it really would have been. I've never really had a burning desire to see it played out. The one chunky telepath-centric story we did get (Byron, etc) wasn't exactly awe inspiring. I think it's one of those 'untold' things that's best left alluded to, just so it provides some extra depth to the B5 universe. Same as the Vorlon homeworld, perhaps it's best left off screen?
    Last edited by Ubik; 09-12-2016, 08:30 AM.

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  • Satai with Punsch
    replied
    Originally posted by JasonDavis View Post
    JMS obviously skipped the Telepath Crisis when he decided upon the temporal setting of Crusade and he also sidestepped it when outlining the Psi Corps trilogy for Del Rey. I can only assume he still had some interest in exploring it as late as 1999, but he'd obviously moved on when it came to movie premises by then.
    That is one of the things that make the Telepath Crisis such a tease ...
    Both Crusade and the Psi Corps books hint at it a lot, and in the end nothing happened. At least not yet, but who knows?

    As you say, it is rather obvious that JMS had plans for it and I guess what really put it on hold was the same things that put Crusade out the airlock.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satai with Punsch
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    ... But it could be that the information about the source of the questions was in the sales copy rather than in the book? I don't recall....
    That is one of my nit-picks. In the book you never get any information about the questions. If they are JMS FAQ's, if they are picked from the B5 magazine or, as in the actual case, answers to email questions specifically made for the book. So the book is actually the primary source for them

    Leave a comment:


  • JasonDavis
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
    I assume the idea was still there in season five; Lochley is listed in the "Wars of the Mind" short outline in the TV movie book.
    I'd forgotten that Lochley was in the outline fragment. That would certainly extend the viability of Wars of the Mind into Fall 1997.

    (On a tangential note, I recently read an early draft of "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" written prior to the great contract debacle of Blackpool. While I was hoping for some great alternative version, it was effectively the same as the episode as produced; the only difference was Ivanova speaking some lines in the teaser that were later handed off to Garibaldi and a reference to "Captain Ivanova" during the telepath hostage clip.)

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeD80
    replied
    Originally posted by JasonDavis View Post
    As far as I can tell, the version of the theatrical film focusing on the Telepath Crisis fell out of favor some time during the production of season four (or possibly early season five). It's mentioned on a page of JMS's ideas for spinoff material that was reprinted in Artifacts from Beyond the Rim and then there was the partial treatment published in the TV Movie book. That's it for that notion.
    I assume the idea was still there in season five; Lochley is listed in the "Wars of the Mind" short outline in the TV movie book.

    Leave a comment:


  • JasonDavis
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    I'm pretty sure that a call went out for submission of questions, didn't it, Jason?
    I believe there was a solicitation for questions. By the time the project fell in my lap, there was a list of questions for each movie, but there were no names attached to them.

    Leave a comment:


  • JasonDavis
    replied
    Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
    I was surprised to see that the Telepath War movie was around, so to speak, so long as untill TMoS-time. Do you know if it ever developed beyond the few treatments you have in the books?
    As far as I can tell, the version of the theatrical film focusing on the Telepath Crisis fell out of favor some time during the production of season four (or possibly early season five). It's mentioned on a page of JMS's ideas for spinoff material that was reprinted in Artifacts from Beyond the Rim and then there was the partial treatment published in the TV Movie book. That's it for that notion.

    JMS obviously skipped the Telepath Crisis when he decided upon the temporal setting of Crusade and he also sidestepped it when outlining the Psi Corps trilogy for Del Rey. I can only assume he still had some interest in exploring it as late as 1999, but he'd obviously moved on when it came to movie premises by then.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeD80
    replied
    Yes! I submitted a question (about Sinclair in Thirdspace), but I don't think it was credited anywhere in the book to who asked what.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
    Aha, that is good to know. As a B5 fan I love the scriptbooks and bow to the enormous effort you guys must have put in to them. And as a academic I see an great potential for study and future work on the making of B5. But from that perspective there are also a few minor things that bother me regarding the source material. There are some instances where the books do not state where it comes from. Like this example or some of the interviews which can not be back-tracked to the original source. This is a bit problematic if they are to be used for scholarly work, unfortunately. But, this is nit-picking from a very narrow perspective, and the books are still probably the best thing done for any tv-show when it comes to mapping its creation and development.
    I'm pretty sure that a call went out for submission of questions, didn't it, Jason? But it could be that the information about the source of the questions was in the sales copy rather than in the book? I don't recall....

    Leave a comment:

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