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  • bakana
    replied
    Good point, but the idea was present earlier, if I remember my JMS commentary correctly.
    You could be thinking about the script Harlan was supposed to write that would have been a "sequel" to Harlan's script for The Demon with a Glass Hand from The Outer Limits.

    That was talked about before season one started filming, I think.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    Just a minor correction here...The story *idea* for A View from the Gallery might have been pushed back but the actual script was written (Final Draft) 8/21/97 whereas the script for Deconstruction was written (Final Draft) 8/4/97.

    Jan
    Good point, but the idea was present earlier, if I remember my JMS commentary correctly.

    Of course, I could also be completely wrong (for the first.... well, one of the first... times).

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair
    IIRC, didn't Harlan Ellison suggest the idea that became AVFTG fairly early on in the show, and JMS always intended to do it but didn't really get the chance until the 5th season?
    All I can find that suggests any kind of timing is this post:

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <[email protected]>
    Subject: ->402
    To: CIS
    Date: 8/8/1997 4:02:00 PM

    {original post unavailable}

    Harlan is working on something now, and suggested something that
    I then based an episode on, so we share story credit on "A View from
    the Gallery."

    jms
    ...which is about 3 weeks before the Final Draft was written which suggests that there was probably a Writer's Draft or First Draft in the works at the time. To me it sounds like Harlan's suggestion was recent but I don't think we can tell for sure from this post.

    Jan

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  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    IIRC, didn't Harlan Ellison suggest the idea that became AVFTG fairly early on in the show, and JMS always intended to do it but didn't really get the chance until the 5th season?

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by grumbler
    Since JMS already HAD the story of AVFTG written at that point (it was one of the script pushed back from the fourth to the fifth seasons)
    Just a minor correction here...The story *idea* for A View from the Gallery might have been pushed back but the actual script was written (Final Draft) 8/21/97 whereas the script for Deconstruction was written (Final Draft) 8/4/97.

    Jan

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Some good points, tvih, but I honestly think The Deconstruction... would have worked better as a short story than an episode. There was absolutely nothing visual about the story at all (kind of understandable given the time constraints, but still...).

    Since JMS already HAD the story of AVFTG written at that point (it was one of the script pushed back from the fourth to the fifth seasons) and it also was essentially non-visual, that would have made a better concluding ep for season 4, IMO, especially as it could then be told as a flashback. No Captain Lochley at that point, but frankly her charactor was entirely dispensible. Maybe the supporting actors were not available, and that is why JMS went with an essentially four-person show for Deconstruction.

    If Deconstruction HAD been relegated to a short story, that would have opened an episode slot for the one story that needed to be told and was not - the story of the struggle between Londo and the Drakh. It would not cover the end of that struggle in 2278, just the start of it in 2262 (i.e contemporaneously). We would have a LOT more sympathy with the older Londo in WWE, ItB, and SiL if we had been able to see the fine line he had to walk between dangerous opposition and disgraceful acquiesence. Sure, that story is told in the CP trilogy, but how much more powerful would it have been if Peter were acting it on the set and not just in our heads?
    Last edited by grumbler; 02-06-2005, 10:10 PM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by grumbler
    That just goes to show how different people react to things. I thought Deconstruction was one of the ten worst eps in the show- hastily written and woodenly acted by everyone but Jerry Doyle and Roy Brocksmith (the prior).
    Yeah well, Deconstruction wasn't a perfect episode. But it was a very interesting glimpse in the future of the B5 universe - the old Delenn and the "doubting Thomases", the human civil war and the "great burning"... and of course the "exodus" of the humans.

    If one wants to look for flaws, one is the recreation of Garibaldi etc by "memory patterns". How exactly was this supposedly did? Apparently the "programs" had the skills, even memories etc of the originals. That just wouldn't be possible. It would be just "guesstimation". And for the purposes they were created, the creators wouldn't even needed such thought patterns, only the lookalike features.

    But as with everything, overanalyzing is not always good. I mean if you think about it, so damn many similar humanoid races in the Milky Way in itself is a bit silly, but does it really matter? Not really.

    Anyways I'm sidetracking a bit there, tends to happen So anyway, I'd very much rather having than not having that episode, even though if it isn't necessarily up to the standards of many other episodes.

    For the telepath arc, well, it did feel a bit "detached". Ivanova's presence certainly would've made things more interesting, but for obvious reasons that was not possible Still, it's not bad, if not superb either.

    Oh, and about A View From The Gallery. I enjoyed that episode quite a bit, but somehow it felt slightly too "detached" too. As grumbler said, it might've worked better during the Shadow war. Now the whole attack by that whatever race is totally detached from everything else. If you think about it, kinda like the movie "Thirdspace" - the actions in it don't really relate much to any other episode or such (or well, Thirdspace actually does sort of explain why Zack doesn't make a move for Lyta, so to speak). The things taking place in those episodes are never mentioned anywhere else. But well, I still liked both AVFTG and Thirdspace, and very much rather have 'em too than not have 'em.

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  • Sherlock
    replied
    I've been reading posts on this board for a long time, and have finally decided to join.

    My personal thoughts on season five are that it was decent, but a clear drop in quality from the previous four. In particular, I thought that whole "Byron" thing was cheesy and melodramatic. That "Remember Byron" stuff was just plain bad. He was like some Fabio wannabe.

    The second half of year five was really pretty good, though. Overall I'm happy there was a fifth season. I got to watch it first on DVD, so I think it plays better that way than if you had to wait a week between episodes.

    And my thoughts on A View from the Gallery is that it was pretty badly executed. I know it's a fan favorite, but if you're going to do an episode from the perspective of minor characters, you have to KEEP with that perspective. Too many scenes had the two maintenance guys in the background, at which point the viewer becomes a participant in the conversations of the main characters, completely ruining the effect of eavesdropping on the action of the episode. Star Trek TNG did it much better in their episode with the young crewmembers (I believe it was called Below Decks).

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  • grumbler
    replied
    As for Season 5, I thought it was a flawed success, but a success anyway. I thought A View from the Gallery was the kind of hokey crap that JMS would have rejected out of hand except fo the need to fill in Season 5 (yeah, I know the original idea was to do something along these lines during the Shadow War, and it might have worked then, but the dialogue, especially Sheridan and Delenn's scenes, was just bad. Bo and Mack deserved a better-written ep.

    On the other hand, I though A Paragon of Animals was a near-perfect standalone type episode. There, the dialogue was what we expect from JMS. As a bonus, the Drazi finally get their comeupance. The telepath arc had its weaknesses (primarily caused by JMS being uncertain how to use the Lochley charactor, I think, as well as his decision to make Byron smug and smarmy without giving him any redeeming strengths or assets), but it worked out to a pretty exciting and satisfyingly ambiguous ending.

    The Centauri part of the season was too short, but otherwise as good as anything in the show.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by tvih
    Even with SiL as the last episode, I think a lot of things would've been "missing". Too much would've been "left in the dark".
    And Deconstruction of Falling Stars was an interesting episode on its own, wouldn't want to have missed that one either.
    That just goes to show how different people react to things. I thought Deconstruction was one of the ten worst eps in the show- hastily written and woodenly acted by everyone but Jerry Doyle and Roy Brocksmith (the prior).

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  • Satai Delenn
    replied
    Couldn't disagree more Babylon 5 has so much more potential than Star Wars or Trek if only WB would give it a chance .

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  • circularREASON
    replied
    I have to admit that S5 was already one of my faves.

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  • DGTWoodward
    replied
    Originally posted by Jump Now
    Besides, whatever disappointment there was at the time was tempered by the fact that JMS came up with "Deconstruction" as a way to close off season 4. For a start, a great episode - but bloody bloody clever too. I would never have come up with that in a million years.
    Too true. I am a part of the growing "thought that season 5 was pretty lifeless and (ulp!) DULL to begin with but now totally love it" brigade. Season 5 ROCKS!!!

    Once agan JMS shows his brilliance with the pen by showing us glimpses of Garibaldi's future in "DECONSTRUCTION..." weeks, nay MONTHS before the actual episode was written. Just priceless.

    As for season 5 'proper' episodes...Even the initially slow telepath thread ran much better this last time around. Of course the need for this short arc was necessary because JMS needed a self terminating thread to fill the first handful of eps, as these were originally to be filled with the Earth-War conclusion. When we reach the Centauri (arc-proper) story which more-or-less concludes the series, we are primed and ready for it and boy does JMS deliver!

    Who can forget the sight of Londo alone on his throne? such a poignant moment, so well visualised.

    Yes Season 5 rocks alright.

    Our advice to any "still not so sure" types...watch the WHOLE show again from the beginning, 2 or three eps per night, right through to the end. Year 5 just slips in like a velvet glove!
    Last edited by DGTWoodward; 02-02-2005, 11:30 AM.

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  • WorkerCaste
    replied
    Originally posted by Andoryu
    I totally agree, I never understand why everyone is so down on the telepath thing. To me what it did for Lyta was worth it, and i thouught Byron was an interesting character.
    I liked S5, but thought the telepath story line was weak. I can't answer for others, but I can tell what I didn't like about it. There were several things, with the major ones being directly related to the absence of Ivanova if I understand JMS's original intent correctly.

    First, I thought it was too removed from the main characters. It only tied to Lyta, who I see as a supporting character. That didn't provide a good enough in for me as a viewer. I couldn't identify as well with those characters. Also, Byron's similarities to Marcus were distracting. Having just lost a beloved character, seeing a wannabe took away from his impact. Now, it makes sense if the idea was for Ivanova to become involved on the rebound, but as a stand alone I think it interfered. Finally, the casting of Byron didn't work. I don't have anything against Robin Atkin Downes as an actor, I just didn't feel the words and the performance meshed well.

    At any rate, that's my take on the telepaths for what it's worth.

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  • Andoryu
    replied
    Originally posted by hishamT

    Even the Tragedy of a telepath was not that bad
    I totally agree, I never understand why everyone is so down on the telepath thing. To me what it did for Lyta was worth it, and i thouught Byron was an interesting character.

    In my opinion there is just too much open ended stuff from all the seasons to just "leave it alone" and I think there are a ton of stories left to tell in the universe of B5. That is of course as Crusade proved/was proving.

    My face has been blue for a long time with all the breaths Ive been holding for some new stories.

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