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  1. - Top - End - #481
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Is that really how it works? Surely the actors are paid a flat fee to appear in a season of the show, not per appearance? I know that when Alexander Siddig was talking about the abrupt end to the Dorne plotline in "Game of Thrones" he said he'd been paid for a lot more work than he eventually had to do.

    JMS famously had "trapdoors" in place for all the major actors in case they couldn't continue for some reason. You do wonder if this was always intended to be Andrea Thompson's trapdoor--the part where Garibaldi thinks back to the memory recording of Talia Kosh made back in season 1 implies otherwise, because why remind everyone of that if you didn't intend it to go anywhere? I mean, if Andrea had instead decided to leave at the end of Season 3, how would that have been handled?

    In any case, I guess she got her wish to find a role with more meat to it--she played a fairly major character in NYPD Blue from 1996 to 2000.
    It's very much how it works. Actors get paid per episode (it may actually be paid out differently, but the contract is X$ per episode). Now, a more successful actor may be able to negotiate a better deal. But while they are paid a flat fee, the fee is based on the episodes they are going to be in. So if an actor agrees to do 5 episodes at $100,000 per episode, they are getting paid $500,000. If they end up only using them in 4 episodes, they still get $500,000. But if they decide they want them for 6 episodes, there's either some quick negotiating, or language in the contract that has already determined what the additional salary will be.

    Case in point: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) from game of Thrones. Classified as a second tier character, he was bringing in $100,000 per episode as of 2017. Sounds pretty good until you realize Harington, Clarke, Dinklage and Headey were bringing about anywhere from 5x to 10x that amount per episode.

    Alfie actually had an advantage for his character. Because they wanted to make sure the actor was available, they had to increase his arc. In the books, after Theon loses Winterfell in book 2 he isn't a POV character until book 5. The few mentions of him in Books 3 and 4 are second hand (you don't actually see him).

    But they decided to show us what happened to him in the intervening time,. This gives him a few episodes a season, and ensures he is available when needed.

    Indeed, depending on which version of the story you believe 9and there are several), this is part of the reason why Claudia Christianson left B5. Allegedly, she wanted some time off during season 5 to do other work (so she would not be in as many episodes, only 18). However, she wanted a salary that was consistent with her being in all the episodes (22).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E21: Comes the Inquisitor
    Now Delenn's story is what I consider to be the weaker part. I get the idea that they wanted to show that Delenn's and Sherridan's roles in the future will have to be selfless ones, and that they are not into it for either fame or the power they will gain. Which is a good one. But the execution with the Inquisitor doesn't really click. That Jack the Ripper reveal at the end is a bit silly, but I think it's meant to be foreshadowing that the Vorlons have been watching and occasionally meddling on Earth for a long time. It's just not clear in this episode for how long this really has been going on.
    It's also a HUGE clue that ...

    Spoiler
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    the Vorlons aren't the good guys that many people think they are. In their own way, they are as evil as the Shadows.
    Last edited by tomandtish; 2020-03-01 at 02:05 PM.
    "That's a horrible idea! What time?"

  2. - Top - End - #482
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

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    I don't know. They saw someone on Earth who was a huge problem and removed him, making him no longer a threat.

    Though I admit that this is only on the surface. If they wanted to, they could have protected the people of Earth from many much bigger threats, but they obviously didn't. That does support the idea that they took him because they regarded him as a valuable servant, not to prevent crimes.

    It makes sense in hindsight, but at this point in the show it's very murky. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  3. - Top - End - #483
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But that's the thing, just because that's often done doesn't actually make it any more believable. I just don't think a planet-wide monoculture is reasonable among an intelligent species, and this is the most glaring example of it I can think of in any SF TV series.
    But ALL the aliens are like that - humanity's special trait is having a large amount of cultural diversity and tolerating others relatively well. A central premise of the show is that despite how awful we've been to ourselves, we're actually better at putting up with weirdness than the alien races.
    Alignments are objective. Right and wrong are not.
    Good: Will act to prevent harm to others even at personal cost.
    Evil: Will seek personal benefit even if it causes harm to others.
    Law: General, universal, and consistent trump specific, local, and inconsistent.
    Chaos: Specific, local, and inconsistent trump general, universal, and consistent.

  4. - Top - End - #484
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Comes the Inquisitor

    It's ok for a bottle show.

    The G'kar stuff is nice....but the Inquisitor falls a bit flat. Sure it makes sense to test the leaders to make sure they are right. But Jack the Ripper?

    It does have the nice twist that the Vorlons have been doing things on Earth for centuries. And it sounds like a fun twist to say the Vorlons saved ''famous person X"......but it really just does not work out.

    When you add in some ''real" (maybe) historical person....it kinda makes your show a bit silly. It can be done right, like when the Enterprise D crew meets Mark Twain....but most often it just flops.

  5. - Top - End - #485
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E21: Comes the Inquisitor

    Oh, well... Can't say I'm a fan. This isn't quite a bottle episode, but sitting between two big effects and action episodes at the end of the season, this one was clearly made with a very tight budget in mind. It doesn't have any action and almost no special effects, and I assume almost the whole effects budgets for the episodes went into getting the Narn and Lennier into mask. And aside from G'Kar, their parts are so small they probably did all of those in a single day.

    G'Kar's plot does make some progress for his overall story, but doesn't actually accomplish anything. In a condensed version of the series, all of it would be cut. Except for the short scene with Vir in the elevator, though that scene seemed much more important for Vir than for G'Kar. Oddly enough, it also was the only scene with Vir in it, other than the one shot were he stands on a bridge. It's a good scene. I guess they just didn't have any other good point to squeeze it in. It could have happened pretty much at any point in the last three episodes.

    Now Delenn's story is what I consider to be the weaker part. I get the idea that they wanted to show that Delenn's and Sherridan's roles in the future will have to be selfless ones, and that they are not into it for either fame or the power they will gain. Which is a good one. But the execution with the Inquisitor doesn't really click. That Jack the Ripper reveal at the end is a bit silly, but I think it's meant to be foreshadowing that the Vorlons have been watching and occasionally meddling on Earth for a long time. It's just not clear in this episode for how long this really has been going on.
    Please, we always knew Sheridan and Delenn were the good guys. They do the right thing and are called out when they stray from it (eg Sheridan holding Morden hostage). "Heroes gonna hero" is information we already have and has been reinforced since each character's debut. The whole (narrative) point of the inquisitor is what it tells us about the Vorlons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
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    I don't know. They saw someone on Earth who was a huge problem and removed him, making him no longer a threat.

    Though I admit that this is only on the surface. If they wanted to, they could have protected the people of Earth from many much bigger threats, but they obviously didn't. That does support the idea that they took him because they regarded him as a valuable servant, not to prevent crimes.

    It makes sense in hindsight, but at this point in the show it's very murky. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    Spoiler: EDIT: I just realized that I crit-failed reading comprehension and proceeded to say back to you exactly what you said. Leaving it here for posterity, but it's still dumb
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    I think the important part is that their response to finding a serial killer was to offer him job. Yeah, they gave him a lecture and timeout and probably a spanking, but ultimately, they saw Jack the Ripper and thought "That kid is going places!" They (and Sebastian himself) try to frame it as penance, but still the human from the last 500 years or so who caught their eye the most, that seemed the most useful to them, that was worth intervening directly to make sure they got, was a brutal killer.

    The fact that they stepped in to stop the Ripper murders but not, say, the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide or the excesses of the Inquisition or whathaveyou is a pretty firm indication that "stopping a killing spree" was a side bonus to them, at best.


    Quote Originally Posted by Droid Tony View Post
    Comes the Inquisitor

    It's ok for a bottle show.

    The G'kar stuff is nice....but the Inquisitor falls a bit flat. Sure it makes sense to test the leaders to make sure they are right. But Jack the Ripper?

    It does have the nice twist that the Vorlons have been doing things on Earth for centuries. And it sounds like a fun twist to say the Vorlons saved ''famous person X"......but it really just does not work out.

    When you add in some ''real" (maybe) historical person....it kinda makes your show a bit silly. It can be done right, like when the Enterprise D crew meets Mark Twain....but most often it just flops.
    You find Mark Twain's presence in Time's Arrow (which incidentally shoehorns in Jack London because why not?) less silly than a stinger in Comes the Inquisitor?

    I like the "remembered only as Jack" bit precisely because it isn't plot critical. Contrast Original Series Star Trek's A Wolf in the Fold, where the Jack the Ripper reveal is plot-critical, and proceeds to hijack a decent murder mystery plot and go... places. That to me feels a lot dumber and more gratuitous than a last minute "Oh by the way, this ******* was also Jack the Ripper, BYE!" Basically, you can cut the final scene in Inquisitor and there's no damage to the plot. It's an interesting little filigree. A little pop-culture buckshus to put a nice button it. Which is a lot better than, say, writing an entire "Jack the Ripper was actually a space ghost" episode.

    EDIT: TL;DR, it's a really easy-to-find Easter egg, so it doesn't really bother me.

    --------------

    I must be in the minority here for liking the A plot of this episode. I guess I'm just a sucker for dramatic lighting or something, I dunno. Wayne Alexander does a good job.
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2020-03-01 at 10:13 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #486
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post

    I must be in the minority here for liking the A plot of this episode. I guess I'm just a sucker for dramatic lighting or something, I dunno. Wayne Alexander does a good job.
    I ytotally agree. He does an excellent job with it.

    I ran a D20 modern game about a decade ago where someone was using magic to ressurrect all the old serial killers. I used a screenshot of him for Jack the Ripper. He was the first one they got a look at (since he didn't know about street cameras he walked in front of one). General consensus was "Oh S**t!".
    "That's a horrible idea! What time?"

  7. - Top - End - #487
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Except for the short scene with Vir in the elevator, though that scene seemed much more important for Vir than for G'Kar. Oddly enough, it also was the only scene with Vir in it, other than the one shot were he stands on a bridge. It's a good scene. I guess they just didn't have any other good point to squeeze it in. It could have happened pretty much at any point in the last three episodes.
    Um, no? That scene wouldn't make anything like as much sense if it happened before the Centauri won the war rather than afterwards, which means it had to happen specifically at this point.
    "'But there's still such a lot to be done...'
    YES. THERE ALWAYS IS."

  8. - Top - End - #488
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I like the "remembered only as Jack" bit precisely because it isn't plot critical.
    .
    .
    .
    I must be in the minority here for liking the A plot of this episode. I guess I'm just a sucker for dramatic lighting or something, I dunno. Wayne Alexander does a good job.
    I agree on both points. Sebastian also being the Ripper is not critical to the plot, it's just a fun moment--and the look on his face when he says "Remembered only...as Jack" is genuinely chilling. Wayne Alexander is a highly underrated actor, IMHO--he's Californian born and bred yet he did an entirely convincing British accent here, and he also does a good job as Lorien later on.

    I also agree this episode says more about the Vorlons than anyone else. Ignoring who Sebastian is or where he comes from, he is entirely willing to deploy torture as part of his tests--and the Vorlons must perforce be A-OK with that, because they sent him! Saying "Oh, the Vorlons really did us a solid by taking a serial killer out of circulation" is missing the point massively.

  9. - Top - End - #489
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I agree on both points. Sebastian also being the Ripper is not critical to the plot, it's just a fun moment--and the look on his face when he says "Remembered only...as Jack" is genuinely chilling. Wayne Alexander is a highly underrated actor, IMHO--he's Californian born and bred yet he did an entirely convincing British accent here, and he also does a good job as Lorien later on.

    I also agree this episode says more about the Vorlons than anyone else. Ignoring who Sebastian is or where he comes from, he is entirely willing to deploy torture as part of his tests--and the Vorlons must perforce be A-OK with that, because they sent him! Saying "Oh, the Vorlons really did us a solid by taking a serial killer out of circulation" is missing the point massively.
    Jack the Ripper doesn't make plot sense, but it makes thematic sense.

    Who is Sebastian? Sebastian... Is.

    He is the one who failed. And is the one who know better than anyone the cost of failure. And therefore seek out that failure in candidates.

    It's not plot critical, but it's certainly a glazing of sugar on top of the plot. A thematic wrapping ribbon.

  10. - Top - End - #490
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Yeah, I'm going to jump on the self-proclaimed minority wagon and say I love this episode. I don't like torture in visual media personally, but Sebastian's acting is top notch. I can definitely see why some would call it over the top, but I think he nails the dangerously smart, utterly insane trope perfectly.

    Agreed, the A plot is definitely about the Vorlons, not the heroes, but there is one point that is worth mentioning. Sebastian's argument is not "are you willing to sacrifice everything for the cause?", because being a martyr is easy. He wants to know if you are willing to sacrifice your friends, your legacy, your personal sense of self; that you may have to do hideous things for the cause and die reviled as a war criminal for eternity, no matter the secret truth of the matter. And knowing that cost, are you still willing to go forward with the cause, knowing that in the end you might be wrong side of this war?

    His monologue at the end is just pure gold. So well done.

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    biggrin Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    S2E22: The Fall of Night

    Sherridan is out practicing with the fighter pilots for anticipated fights against Centauri fighters. He gets called back to the station with an urgent matter. The Drazi and Pakmara ambassadors tells him that the Centauri have attacked and annexed some of their border bases.

    Vir and Lennier have a short conversation about being uncomfortable about being involved in such important matters without being fully informed what's going on. Which apparently they do somewhat regularly.

    Sherridan calls Londo to him, who tells him they are only securing their borders. Sherridan replies that this is nonsense and the Centauri just keep expanding their borders with no end in sight. Londo maintains his typical strategy of appearing to be offended by disrespect for the Centauri Republic, but he seems to be quite disturbed by the events as well.

    Earth is sending an official from the Ministry of Peace, which makes Sherridan happy since his reports about the deteriorating diplomatic situation had been pretty much ignored so far, but Garibaldi is expecting trouble.

    The pilots return from their exercise and are discussing rumors about a ghost in Hyperspace, that looks like some nightmarish spider. Zeta Leader talks with the pilot who say he saw the ghost, who thinks someone is just making fun of him again. But he says he saw it too and wants to find out what it is, which the other pilot thinks is insane.

    Mister Lance from the Ministry wants to talk with the Centauri, Drazi, and Pakmara ambassadors, and he also brought with him a man from Nightwatch who wants to talk with the local members.

    A Narn cruiser arrives at the station, claiming to be the last remaining Narn capital ship. They are running out of fuel and supplies and can't run from the Centauri forever, but the captain thinks that one day his ship will be vital to freeing the homeworld. To that end he asks Sherridan to give them asylum.

    The Nightwatch guy visits Ivanova in her quarters to give her a personal invitation to join them. He tells her with Nightwatch become increasingly important, being a member will be beneficial to her future career prospects. What they want her in return is to keep her eyes and ears open about the traffic coming through the station and let them know of anything suspicious and potentially illegal.
    Ivanova asks if Lance knows about this personal visit, and he tells this has nothing to do with the Ministry and Nightwatch is an independent organization with its own activities. Ivanova tells him that the things that worry her the most about the stability and loyalty in the state and military are exactly people like Nightwatch and she does not want any part in it.

    Sherridan tells G'Kar about the cruiser that is parked behind the planet so that traffic between the station and the jump gate can not see it. He intents to give them asylum and also tells G'Kar that Lance has come to the station who has come to deal with the Centauri situation that is becoming a threat to everyone. G'Kar excitedly goes to personally talk with him.
    Yeah, about that, G'Kar. I don't think you can have nice things.

    The Nightwatch people on the station are having a meeting and the guy from Earth tells security officer Zak that he hasn't been sending much reports in the past, even though the other security officers did. Zak thinks the things that the others reported are not significant enough to report and people talking in public about disagreeing with the government hardly count as dissent against the state.

    G'Kar tries to talk with Lance, but he awkwardly refuses to speak with him.

    The cruiser captain calls Sherridan about the urgent need for supplies, and Sherridan suggests they shut down their jump drive to conserve energy. This will make it impossible for the cruiser to escape if it is attacked, but Sherridan gives him assurance that in such a situation the station will protect them. That's going to bite him in the ass.

    Lance comes to the command center to have a serious talk about the station's fighters training for engagements with Centauri forces. This has to stop immediately because the government has decided to sign a treaty with the Centauri to let them do their thing without interference from Earth. "We will, at last, know peace for out time."
    One of the command center officers tells Nightwatch about presumably the Narn cruiser.

    Londo hears about it and calls Sherridan to demand the ship and its crew to Centauri forces. Sherridan ends the call and goes to warn the Narn that they have to get their jump drive back on, but a Centauri cruiser is already coming out of hyperspace. Sherridan is insistent to keep his promise and launches the station's fighter. Sherridan tells Londo that his fighters will escort the Narn cruiser to the jump gate and attack the Centauri if they try to stop it. He gives the fighters order to shot back if they are attacked.
    The Centauri open fire first at both the Narn and the station. The Narn ship makes it to hyperspace but the Centuari ship is so heavily damaged in the fighting that it explodes shortly after.

    Obviously, Lance is furious about the whole situation. Sherridan quotes to him that assisting neutral ships not in active hostilities with the Earth Alliance is part of the standing orders for EarthForce. The Nightwatch man has to confirm that this is correct, but thinks Sherridan had unpatriotic motives when he did not inform the government about the cruiser immediately when it arrived.
    The Centauri know how bad this looks for them too, and decide to let it drop on the condition of an apology from Sherridan.

    Hotshot pilot who escorted the Narn to hyperspace takes a detour before returning to the station to go following a possible trail for the hyperspace ghost. He finds a shadow ship and starts recording his sensor data. He manages to eject a flight recorder before the ship detects him.

    All the diplomats on the station assemble in the park in the large open-air section in the center of the station to await Sherridan making a speech. G'Kar is hiding in the background getting Ivanova's attention. He offers to defend Sherridan by revealing his part in the responsibility, since he still has friends among the other diplomats, but Ivanova thinks that wouldn't be a good idea.

    Sherridan takes the public tram that runs through the central axis of the station to get to the park. At one station everyone gets out, with a Centauri leaving last. As the tram moves again, Sherridan spots a bomb left on the Centauri's seat. He overrides the tram doors and jumps out into the microgravity around the station's axis. But he has too much momentum and is drifting closer towards the ground on the outer hull. Ivanova spots him and makes an emergency call, but G'Kar is certain they won't arrive before Sherridan impacts on the ground.
    Delenn tells Kosh that only he can save Sherridan and how much is at stake, and Kosh opens his suit to get out. Everyone sees him as an angel with a face from their species as he flies up to catch Sherridan. Sherridan recognizes that it is Kosh.

    When Sherridan is back at his quarters, Delenn comes to visit him. He now understands what Kosh meant that everyone would recognize him if he comes out of his suit. Delenn tells him the Vorlons have been all over the galaxy for millions of years and visited many species to help them in their development. Unfortunately the Shadows will hear about it and suspect that the Vorlons will be taking sides in the coming war. Delenn thinks they probably won't, but it might make the Shadows change their plans to attack sooner.

    On the street, people are talking about the celestial being they saw and all insist it was a figure from their mythology. A Narn says it doesn't matter, for surely it has been a sign that the station has been blessed. The Drazi ambassador asks Londo what he saw, but Londo say he saw nothing, which seems to unsettle him.

    Soon after, with Earth having declared neutrality to the Centauri, the Centauri start increasing their invasions and annexation of border worlds of the smaller species. On the station, security officers with Nightwatch badges arrest a store owner and close his shop on orders of the Ministry of Peace on charges of sedition against the state.

    Also, a news station discovered the flight recorder of hotshot pilot who apparently was killed while recording a shadow ship, and are showing the footage on the news.

    --

    Pretty good episode. Solid good, but I am actually a bit surprised it wasn't amazing. I think this episode might have the biggest plot twist on the whole show, so it's expected that it loses in impact on repeated watching.

    When Kosh reveals himself, the scene is a bit corny. But it manages to not get too outlandish and remain reasonably grounded by Delenn saying right in the next scene that the Vorlons are not send but god. They only claim that when they visit low technology civilizations. Which I guess seems pretty plausible. It makes the Vorlons seem more amazing and trustworthy, without turning the show religious.
    Spoiler: Season 4 ending
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    And we later learn that even that is a lie. The Vorlons are not benevolent or acting out of compassion at all.


    Spoiler: Hardcore Nerding about Gravity in Rotating Space Stations
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    My science nerdry has always been related to space stuff, and the scene with Sherridan floating in the center of a rotating space station has been on and off my mind for ages. Was he really at risk of lethal injury on making contact with the ground? Ivanova has it right and does not say that he will splat on the ground, but that the concern is the ground is rotating at 60 miles per hour. (Which is about 100 km/h in science units.) The station has no artificial gravity but keeps people and objects pressed to the ground through centrifugal force. In a spinning cylinder in space, filled with a vacuum, you could hover just centimeters from the walls with absolutely no effect, but once you have contact with the walls and get dragged along through friction would stick to it. But the inside of the station is not a a smooth flat surface. There is lots of stuff already sticking to or out of the ground, so making contact with it would be like falling out of a car at 100 km/h? I believe that would be quite likely to kill him, especially if he gets smacked by the side of a building.

    But would it? The inside of Babylon 5 is not a vacuum but filled with air. And people on the ground are not experiencing 100 km/h wind, which means the air is rotating around the central axis of rotation at the same rate as the station walls. As Sherridan is slowly drifting closer towards the wall, the rotating cylinder of air would drag him along. If he is drifting to the floor slowly enough and the air has enough time to bring him to the same rotational speed as itself, I think Sherridan would just very gently float towards ground with a super soft landing. Or maybe a strong guy like G'Kar could catch him with his hands.
    But to this day I am not 100% sure I have this right, and air drag might not be fast enough to spin him up sufficiently before he reaches the ground. So falling out of a speeding car might be the real effect.

    But once in contact with the ground, he could not go back to floating by simply jumping up. People often say rotating space stations have artificial gravity, and when you stand or sit on the floor/walls it would seem very much like it. But it really isn't and things get quite wonky when they are not in contact. I once saw a calculation that a water fountain shooting straight up would have the water go in a figure eight path before splashing back at it's point of origin.

    Which also had me wondering why the station has a baseball field in the open-air section. Throwing balls over long distances inside a rotating station would be absolutely freaky. When something moves in the same direction as the station is rotating, it would reach the floor faster and appear to be under much higer gravity the faster it gets. If it moves in the opposite direction from the rotation, it would stay in the air longer and appear to be under much weaker gravity. Gravity would also feel lower towards the center of the cylinder, and be almost completely absent at the central axis of rotation. Which is why the tram going along the central axis is supposed to be zero gravity. An early episode showed everyone always touching handrails and people being strapped to the tram seats. They just didn't have the resources to really make it look good.
    Babylon 5 is easily big enough to not make this an issue anywhere near the outer walls. But very close to the central axis you wouldn't want to work in the rotating sections. You would feel very different gravity at your feet and at your head, and gravity would suddenly go up or down depending on which direction you are walking.


    Okay, where was I?

    I did not remember the plot of this episode, but I could tell immediately that the two officials from Earth would be trouble. And so did Garibaldi. I think that might even have been the only scene with him this episode. Sherridan expecting the Earth government to stand up for what is right and support his work to protect aliens in danger seems rather delusional at this point. When G'Kar was happy to hear the Lance had come to deal with the Centauri, I knew immediately that Lance would throw the Narn to the dogs. That's just how this show works right now.

    And speaking of the Earth guys. Again, being a historically educated German might give me a different perspective, but to me it really sounded very much like he was trying to sell her a brown shirt or a black shirt. Or sign up with the NSDAP or SED. Or perhaps the Bolsheviks. Straczynski is obviously a Polish American. While his grandparents had already fled to America when the Russian Revolution was redrawing maps in Eastern Europe, I imagine he is likely quite familiar with the authoritarian mess of Central and Eastern Europe in the mid-20th century. This whole situation with the politics on Earth has Germany, Italy, and Soviet Union written all over it. That big poster being put on the closed store informing the public about the owners crimes against society perfectly fits as well, and I always felt like Nightwatch is very close to the SA.

    Very good episode, nice way to end the second season.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Regarding the air rotating with the station: yes, I think you're right, it probably would. However, you can't have it both ways. Either Sheridan isn't spinning with the station, in which case the ground rotating under him at 60mph will kill him when he hits it; or he *is* spinning with the station, in which case, centrifugal force will throw him outward and he'll hit the ground at speed. Either way, he's just as dead, so I think we can give them a pass for requiring Kosh to rescue him.

    I do love when Sheridan practices his "apology" speech in his quarters, which basically involves him apologising for not blowing the hell out of the Centauri cruiser sooner when it opened fire on a station containing many Centauri civilians. Kind of a shame he never got to deliver it, would have been interesting to see the reactions.

    Two other details worth pointing out: Lance's assistant is played by John Vickery, better known in B5 terms as Neroon. Also, Lt. Keffer's semi-heroic death here was largely because JMS wanted rid of him--he'd been forced on him because the studio wanted a "Han Solo" heroic pilot, so he made sure to write him out as quickly as possible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E22: The Fall of Night

    ...

    Yeah, about that, G'Kar. I don't think you can have nice things.
    You, sir, have a talent for understatement.

    ...

    Lance comes to the command center to have a serious talk about the station's fighters training for engagements with Centauri forces. This has to stop immediately because the government has decided to sign a treaty with the Centauri to let them do their thing without interference from Earth. "We will, at last, know peace for out time."
    I'm never sure if, in character, he's deliberately quoting Chamberlain or not.


    Spoiler: Not actually spoilers, but responding to the science nerd digression
    Show

    --
    ... the ground is rotating at 60 miles per hour. (Which is about 100 km/h in science units.)
    Ouch. Shots fired.

    But once in contact with the ground, he could not go back to floating by simply jumping up. People often say rotating space stations have artificial gravity, and when you stand or sit on the floor/walls it would seem very much like it. But it really isn't and things get quite wonky when they are not in contact. I once saw a calculation that a water fountain shooting straight up would have the water go in a figure eight path before splashing back at it's point of origin.
    At least in the case of a person jumping, wouldn't the momentum from when they WERE on the ground keep them roughly in sync for a while? Maybe not more than a handful of seconds, but longer than the airtime of a human jumping under their own power. (Much longer and the slowing effect of air resistance starts to add up, I'm sure.)

    Gravity would also feel lower towards the center of the cylinder, and be almost completely absent at the central axis of rotation. Which is why the tram going along the central axis is supposed to be zero gravity. An early episode showed everyone always touching handrails and people being strapped to the tram seats. They just didn't have the resources to really make it look good.
    I thought they were pretty consistent here with rollercoaster harnesses and whatnot. But yeah, they probably specifically avoided characters with long, loose hair here for that reason (male Centauri hairdos are rigid enough to squeak by).

    What always bothered me a lot more was how you board and disembark between a rotating station and a non-rotating tram (or boarding platform or wherever the change happens).


    Okay, where was I?

    I did not remember the plot of this episode, but I could tell immediately that the two officials from Earth would be trouble. And so did Garibaldi. I think that might even have been the only scene with him this episode. Sherridan expecting the Earth government to stand up for what is right and support his work to protect aliens in danger seems rather delusional at this point. When G'Kar was happy to hear the Lance had come to deal with the Centauri, I knew immediately that Lance would throw the Narn to the dogs. That's just how this show works right now.

    And speaking of the Earth guys. Again, being a historically educated German might give me a different perspective, but to me it really sounded very much like he was trying to sell her a brown shirt or a black shirt. Or sign up with the NSDAP or SED. Or perhaps the Bolsheviks. Straczynski is obviously a Polish American. While his grandparents had already fled to America when the Russian Revolution was redrawing maps in Eastern Europe, I imagine he is likely quite familiar with the authoritarian mess of Central and Eastern Europe in the mid-20th century. This whole situation with the politics on Earth has Germany, Italy, and Soviet Union written all over it. That big poster being put on the closed store informing the public about the owners crimes against society perfectly fits as well, and I always felt like Nightwatch is very close to the SA.

    Very good episode, nice way to end the second season.
    The Bundt party reference always struck me as odd after my second viewing or so. It's something we were already forgetting was a thing by the 80's and 90's. So for someone to remember it and expect it to work as a snippy comeback 250 years or so years hence strains credibility. (Yes, Garibaldi loves 20th century cartoons, but that's specifically called out as weird to him, specifically.)
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2020-03-02 at 11:56 AM.

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    Season 2 Summary

    This one is a bit tougher than usual because I watched all but two of these episodes three weeks ago, but here we go.

    E1: Points of Departure
    E2: Revelations
    E3: The Geometry of Shadows
    E4: A Distant Star
    E5: The Long Dark
    E6: A Spider in the Web
    E7: Soul Mates
    E8: A Race through Dark Places
    E9: The Coming of Shadows
    E10: GROPOS
    E11: All alone in the Night
    E12: Acts of Sacrifice
    E13: Hunter, Prey
    E14: There all the Honor lies
    E15: And now for a Word
    E16: In the Shadows of Zahadum
    E17: Knives
    E18: Confesions and Lamentations
    E19: Divided Loyalties
    E20: The Long, Twilight Struggle
    E21: Comes the Inquisitor
    E22: The Fall of Night

    Season 1:
    Season 2:

    Best Episode: E9: The Coming of Shadows, where everything starts to really go wrong.
    Worst Episode: E10: GROPOS, an unlpleasant waste of time.

    Oof, this season had a really rough start and it only started getting decent in the second half. I rated seven episodes as good, but two of them only because they were entertaining to watch, even through the stories were very flawed. On the plus side, even the worst episodes of this season were nowhere near as awful as the real stinkers of Season 1.

    I said before that I really liked Sinclair in season 1, and in hindsight I very much enjoyed the greater mystery, and somehow even the more low-budget charm. Season 2 is certainly much better executed with increased production values, but overall I find it lacking in really great content. There are really only four great episodes with exciting development, which are S2E9: The Coming of Shadows, S2E16: In the Shadows of Zahadum, S2E20: The Long. Twilight Struggle, and S2E22: The Fall of Night. Had the show remained at this level, I think it would have mostly been forgotten now. Though fortunately, I know it didn't.

    So Sherridan is doing a pretty good job as the new leader. Since Sinclair had only been around for 22 episodes and E0: The Gathering, and there is so much more going on with the ambassadors, I think he had not yet become that fundamental to the whole show. And as a result, having him go was not actually very disrupting. And I think Sherridan finds his feet really remarkably quickly and you very soon forget that he's the new replacement.

    As far as I am able to remember, Ivanova doesn't get to do much this season, but she has a number of really good performances. Especially in S2E19: Divided Loyalties. I think that was the best part of the episode.

    Londo and G'Kar amazing as always. Blah, blah, blah. We know that. How could it be anything else.

    Sad to see Na'Toth gone. I think G'Kar could really use a sidekick and she looked like a good candiate when she was there. Vir is really starting to impress me, but Lennier is still doing nothing for me.

    Not really anything to say about Garibaldi and Franklin. They are there, do their parts. Franklin seems to have improved, but I still don't find him interesting.

    I already said plenty about Talia with nothing more to add here. I never appreciated her much the first three times (I think?) that I watched the show, but now I regard her as a great wasted opportunity. She could really have added something to the show, but it wasn't done, and then it was too late.

    I would say the main storyline this season is the war between the Narn and the Centauri. Which I think is really well done. Again, it was bad timing that the schedule of my viewings and reviews got disrupted at that point in the season, but from how I can piece it together, they did the escalation of hostilities really well. I always find it interesting to remember that in season 1, the Narn usually came across as pretty unpleasant, violent, and agressive. It's when they start to get pushed around by an even bigger bully that they begin to appear more sympathetic.
    To once more make the unrequired comparison, the Bajoran's in Deep Space Nine are pure victims in their situation. They are portrayed as a peaceful, agrarian, and religious culture that gets invaded by the evil Nazis, and any mean and dodgy things that are done by individual Bajorans gets attributed to the generations of oppression. With the Narn it's a very different situation. The Narn had some previous beef with the Centauri, but that conflict was behind them. The Centauri clearly had not changed since then or shown any regrets, but there was no indication of any immediate threat. The Narn started the whole thing purely out of spite. That in no way excuses the Centauri from anything they did in retaliation, but it very much is not a black and white situation. The Narn absolutely wanted this new war. It was only when they started to lose that they were looking for sympathy. But that becomes very relevant to G'Kar's storyline in season 3, so we'll leave it at that for now.

    Again, my memory is a bit hazy now, but I think in comparison the story with the Shadows and the Rangers has been dragging quite a bit. All the good development regarding the Shadows has been in Londo's story. Sherridan and friends don't really seem to have had much progress in that regard. Things on Earth are getting worse, but there isn't anything that looks nearly as dramatic as the most recent failed rebellion on Mars and the conspiracy against the president in the first season. I think that's the main reason I think the main storyline isn't really making much progress this season.

    Technically Season 2 is a noticeable improvement in every aspect. But I feel the story development isn't nearly as interesting as it was, with the exception of Londo.
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Season 2 Summary

    I would say the main storyline this season is the war between the Narn and the Centauri. Which I think is really well done. Again, it was bad timing that the schedule of my viewings and reviews got disrupted at that point in the season, but from how I can piece it together, they did the escalation of hostilities really well. I always find it interesting to remember that in season 1, the Narn usually came across as pretty unpleasant, violent, and agressive. It's when they start to get pushed around by an even bigger bully that they begin to appear more sympathetic.
    I believe it's somewhere in the DVD commentaries that JMS explicitly says this was the intent. The Narn are set up as the "bad guy race" at the start (analogous to TOS's Klingons, TNG's Ferengi, and DS9's Cardassians). Both because flipping the script is a bit shocking (and honestly was moreso back then, twist endings are a dime-a-dozen these days) AND because it gives the Narn a more varied characterization than just the put-upon victims in all things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I believe it's somewhere in the DVD commentaries that JMS explicitly says this was the intent. The Narn are set up as the "bad guy race" at the start (analogous to TOS's Klingons, TNG's Ferengi, and DS9's Cardassians). Both because flipping the script is a bit shocking (and honestly was moreso back then, twist endings are a dime-a-dozen these days) AND because it gives the Narn a more varied characterization than just the put-upon victims in all things.
    It also allows for situations like when Catherine Sakai goes to Sigma 957 in Season 1, and you think G'Kar is planning to have her ship destroyed, only for it to turn out that he was arranging a rescue. If the Narn were the good guys from the off it would have been hard to sell that twist.

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    It also makes their defeat in many ways a tragedy of their own making, and explains why they didn't get much help, since they pretty much started the war themselves. Ultimately, the Narn were hoist by their own petard, and Londo merely the facilitator.
    BSG PBF record on BGG: 15 - 17.

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    G'Kar has a line previously - I'm afraid I don't remember which episode or even which season - in which he gloats to Londo about the Narn getting their revenge on the Centauri. "The Wheel turns, does it not, Mollari?" he asks, presumably referring to the traditional concept of the Wheel of Fate, where its constant turning means that those who are above become those below and vice versa.

    What G'Kar doesn't realize is that the Wheel does indeed turn, and the Narn being on top at one moment doesn't mean they won't be on the bottom the next. But, of course, it's still true after that. And after that, and after that...

    Are there truly any victors? Or is it merely a sequence of victims? Is it possible to break the cycle, and how many cycles are there?

    Just some thoughts to keep in mind as we progress to Season Three.
    Alignments are objective. Right and wrong are not.
    Good: Will act to prevent harm to others even at personal cost.
    Evil: Will seek personal benefit even if it causes harm to others.
    Law: General, universal, and consistent trump specific, local, and inconsistent.
    Chaos: Specific, local, and inconsistent trump general, universal, and consistent.

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    Spoiler: Physics tangent (though chord might be more appropriate...it's a circle joke)
    Show
    On the physics of rotating reference frames.

    1. It gets tricky, and really requires showing your work to keep everything straight.

    For example, someone on the edge of the rotating circle jumping up. Now, from that person's perspective they're jumping straight up towards the center of the circle. But from an outside reference frame they also have momentum in the direction of the spin. This means that instead of a velocity going straight to the middle, they trace a straight line across the circle in the direction of the spin, which then intersects the outside of the circle.

    If the circle is large relative to the person and the jump, this, from the pov of the person jumping, looks a lot like them jumping up, then coming back down, as the circle has rotated beneath them at about the same rate as they were moving forward from the circle's initial momentum.

    When dealing with things like baseball this can get weird. At all points in the calculation you need to remember how the objects involved are moving with regard to a non-rotating reference frame for things to make sense, and you do get some weird curve effects when the arc of the ball is large compared to the size of the circle (this is related to the Coriolis Effect on Earth, and the direction hurricanes spin).

    In order to *really* determine Sheridan's fall you'd need to take into account his speed jumping out of the tram. His air resistance profile in all directions, the viscosity of the air in the station which would affect how fast it was moving at different points closer or further from the station... Near as I can tell it would be a combination of "splat" and "road rash." Neither of which would be good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    You, sir, have a talent for understatement.



    I'm never sure if, in character, he's deliberately quoting Chamberlain or not.


    Spoiler: Not actually spoilers, but responding to the science nerd digression
    Show



    Ouch. Shots fired.



    At least in the case of a person jumping, wouldn't the momentum from when they WERE on the ground keep them roughly in sync for a while? Maybe not more than a handful of seconds, but longer than the airtime of a human jumping under their own power. (Much longer and the slowing effect of air resistance starts to add up, I'm sure.)



    I thought they were pretty consistent here with rollercoaster harnesses and whatnot. But yeah, they probably specifically avoided characters with long, loose hair here for that reason (male Centauri hairdos are rigid enough to squeak by).

    What always bothered me a lot more was how you board and disembark between a rotating station and a non-rotating tram (or boarding platform or wherever the change happens).




    The Bundt party reference always struck me as odd after my second viewing or so. It's something we were already forgetting was a thing by the 80's and 90's. So for someone to remember it and expect it to work as a snippy comeback 250 years or so years hence strains credibility. (Yes, Garibaldi loves 20th century cartoons, but that's specifically called out as weird to him, specifically.)
    As far as being aware he's quoting Chamberlain, very unlikely. It's more of an aside glance by the writers about what's happening. It's highly unlikely he would use a quote that by its very nature makes him a naive incompetent idiot.

    Contrast that to the quote by Edgars in Season 4
    Spoiler
    Show
    where in the middle of his statement about the 'Telepath Problem', VERY CLEARLY suddenly realizes what he was saying.

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    Something else that I just remembered--we see the Centauri battleship blowing off one of the "prongs" that stick out at the front of B5 (what the heck are those things for anyway?). As I recall, apart from seeing some repair work being done at the beginning of next season, that never comes up again, which I think is kind of a shame--would have been cool to have the station showing that battle damage for the rest of the series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Something else that I just remembered--we see the Centauri battleship blowing off one of the "prongs" that stick out at the front of B5 (what the heck are those things for anyway?). As I recall, apart from seeing some repair work being done at the beginning of next season, that never comes up again, which I think is kind of a shame--would have been cool to have the station showing that battle damage for the rest of the series.
    They're cargo stabilizers. At least that's what they're called. How they actually FUNCTION is never explained.

    I think that initially that was the intention, to show damage continuously, but they use a lot of stock footage of the station, and that would mean they would have to make every shot of Babylon 5 going forward a new shot or forgo exterior shots completely, and the cost was just too high.
    Last edited by Olinser; 2020-03-03 at 03:57 AM.

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    Make a youtube channel called Babylon 5 Explained and cover it. Along with other videos about the plot significance of Centauri hair styles and that time a dock worker was on the same elevator as Kosh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Yeah, I'm going to jump on the self-proclaimed minority wagon and say I love this episode. I don't like torture in visual media personally, but Sebastian's acting is top notch. I can definitely see why some would call it over the top, but I think he nails the dangerously smart, utterly insane trope perfectly.

    Agreed, the A plot is definitely about the Vorlons, not the heroes, but there is one point that is worth mentioning. Sebastian's argument is not "are you willing to sacrifice everything for the cause?", because being a martyr is easy. He wants to know if you are willing to sacrifice your friends, your legacy, your personal sense of self; that you may have to do hideous things for the cause and die reviled as a war criminal for eternity, no matter the secret truth of the matter. And knowing that cost, are you still willing to go forward with the cause, knowing that in the end you might be wrong side of this war?

    His monologue at the end is just pure gold. So well done.
    This episode is also a very important piece of character development for Delenn. It's made very clear that Delenn did believe that she was "The Chosen One" coming into the interview. She was the one selected by Dukhat to be his successor. She was the one to go against tradition and become part human. She was the one who defied the Grey Council to make sure she remained at Babylon 5, the most important place in the upcoming war.

    She passes Sebastian's test by discarding that notion. The encounter knocks the arrogance and pride right out of her. She isn't the hero who will personally save the galaxy. She's just a regular person, and if she dies another will take her place. It's being willing to admit that you are nothing that allows you to accomplish great things.

    Spoiler: Season 4
    Show
    This also ties into how the Shadow War ends. Delenn and Sheridan make the arguments, but it isn't them that ultimately make the Shadows and Vorlons leave. It's ships in the fleet sacrificing themselves to keep the negotiations going. The younger races tell the elder ones that they aren't going to play their game anymore, and it doesn't matter if you kill the Chosen Ones. They will kill themselves fighting both the Vorlons and the Shadows to the very end - just like how Delenn told Sebastian that others would come after her if she were killed.


    The whole episode is a great dissection of the Chosen One mythos. It does get a bit corny at times, but Wayne Alexander's performance really sells it.

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    S3E1: Matters of Honor

    Sherridan goes to talk with Kosh, because he hasn't seen him in the week since he saved his life. Kosh says it's alright, but being seen by so many people drained his strength and he spend the time on his ship to recover. Sherridan assures him that nobody knows that it was Kosh who saved him, but it was apparently still a very great risk and effort that he took to save his life. Kosh "explains" that "it was necessary".
    This scene is probably Kosh at his best.
    "How do we knew you're still the same Vorlon inside that suit?"
    "I have always been here."
    "Yeah, you said that about me as well."
    "Yes." (turns to leave)
    "I really hate it when you do that."
    "... Good." (leaves)

    A Drazi gunship is trying to escape through a Centauri blockade and drops a small fighter at the very last moment before it's shot down. The fighter is piloted by a human pilot who takes course to Babylon 5. (And he's also in the intro credits.)

    Sherridan and Ivanova get a surprise visit from Mister Endawi from the EarthForce intelligence, who requests a meeting including Delenn.

    Garibaldi brings the fighter pilot to Franklin in Medlab after he was found unconscious in a damaged fighter arriving at the station. While Franklin is examining him he finds his Rangers insignia and calls another doctor to look over him while he has to leave for a moment, but when he turns around the man has disappeared.

    Londo has a meeting with Mister Morden to tell him the Centauri no longer have need for his services. Morden wants him to reconsider because the Centauri are still at war and there could perhaps be problems in the future, but Londo tells him clearly to go away. Morden thinks about it, and then agrees to leave with a smile. But then he turns around to say that there's still some formalities to wrap up and he'll be visiting him in his quarters soon. Then he will leave, for as long as Londo wants.

    Endawi wants to gather information from the ambassadors about the black ship in hyperspace that was recorded by one of Babylon 5's fighter that went missing. Delenn tells him that she's never seen anything like it. Sherridan confirms that no such ship has been seen near the station. Endawi leaves and Sherridan asks Delenn if the ship on the screen belongs to the Shadows she had told him about. She confirms it but thinks keeping their knowledge secret at this point will be vital for their chances to fight the Shadows in the future. Also she wasn't lying, since she's never seen one before. But there is no mistaking what it is, based on the descriptions she's heard.

    Lennier tells Delenn that there is someone who needs to talk with her very urgently and shows her the Ranger's insignia.

    Endawi goes to Londo and shows him the recording of the black ship, and asks if he has seen something like this before. Londo immediately recognizes it and says he's seen it in a dream about his future. He's standing on the Centauri Prime and looks up to the sky, with a huge swarm of the ships flying over him. That's everything he can tell about them.

    Delenn and Lennier disguise themselves and go to a small bar in Brown Sector. The human man goes over to them and offers them drinks. Lennier checks them for alcohol before Delenn drinks, and they don't have any. The man introduces himself as Marcus and says he hopes that his knowledge that Minbari can't drink alcohol is proof of his identity. When Lennier returns his insignia, he also tells them about the ceremony in which these are blessed in holy water, human and Minbari blood. He tells them to follow him, but they are being trailed by two humans. Lennier tells Marcus about them, and he noticed them as well. They get attacked by some gangsters and the three of them beat them up with relatively little trouble.

    Marcus is taken to Sherridan's office, and it turns out that Ivanova already knows all about the Rangers. Marcus tells them they have a small hidden training camp on a Drazi colony that is being under attack by the Centauri. The world is unimportant and the Rangers think the Centauri are looking for them specifically. They need someone to break the blockade for long enough to allow the Rangers to escape and hide somewhere else.
    Sherridan agrees that something needs to be done and tells Garibaldi to keep Endawi busy and not notice that he will be gone for a while. Sherridan and Ivanova take one of the station's shuttles and Delenn follows in her own ship.

    Morden comes to Londo with a map of the galaxy that assigns one third of it to the Centauri to do with whatever they want, but they have to stay out of the rest which Morden's associates claim for themselves. Londo wants to know what assurances the Centauri have that they won't be attacked later, and Morden tells him that there are none. Londo takes what he can get and just wants to be done with it.
    Morden quickly informs him that there is one world right on the border that his people claim, for which he has asked Lord Refa to secure it for them. Which turns out to be the planet with the Ranger base. Londo really doesn't like that Morden is dealing with Refa, but doesn't say anything. Londo would like to know what kinds of ships Morden's associates are actually using, but Morden doesn't give him an answer to that.

    Delenn and Marcus take Sherridan and Ivanova to a small warship made from Minbari and Vorlon technology, designed to not be recognizable as belonging to either of them. The crew consists entirely of Minbari priests, because the warriors have nothing to do with it and don't even know about it. Unfortunately, none of them speak English yet.

    Endawi visits G'Kar to ask him about the ship and G'Kar recognizes the image immediately. He opens a page in his holy book that shows the shape very clearly. A thousand years ago they came to the world of the Narn when they still had primitive technology, and set up a base on a remote continent. They mostly ignored the Narn, but their holy man believed that they were engaged in a great war among the stars. But he can't tell Endawi anything about where they had went for the thousand years and why they are back now.

    Sherridan arrives with the White Star at the planet but only finds automated gun station and no Centauri ships guarding the planet. They are quickly spotted by a Shadow ship that turns to attack them. Delenn warns that they are not ready yet, but Sherridan orders the ship to attack to give the Rangers a chance to make their escape. The Shadow ship fires at them, and to Delenn's surprise they miss, which they never do. Sherridan thinks the Shadows can't identify their ship and are letting them live to see what it is capable of. Fortunately this does give them the extra time needed to let the Ranger shuttles escape. Once the Rangers are away, Sherridan orders the ship to follow them through the jump gate, because he doesn't want to show the Shadows that the White Star has a jump drive. Delenn worries that they can't escape the Shadows in hyperspace.

    Sherridan has a plan to use the jump drive to open a jump point inside an open jump point. Ivanova thinks that it's suicide because the space disruption is so massive that no ship can get away before it's getting destroyed. But Sherridan knows the Wahite Star is much faster than any EarthForce ship and might be able to make it. He asks Lennier if she ship can do it, but Lennier has no clue about that. Sherridan decides to try it anyway.
    He tells Lennier to take the ship to the Markab jump gate, because now that one is only being used by looters scavenging on the Markab homeworld. They activate the jump gate and engage their own jump drive while exiting. They barely make it out of the space disruption but the Shadow ship is ripped apart.

    Endawi returns to Earth to deliver his report to his boss, admitting that all he got are some rumors and legends, but nothing concrete. Just as he leaves the office, Morden and a PsiCorp agent to hear what the intelligence service got. The most specific information they got came from the Narn, which Morden expected but that problem has already been taken care of. Nothing will get out. But the PsiCorp agent thinks they might actually be using the idea of a shadowy alien threat to advance their plans on Earth.

    Sherridan gets Ivanova, Garibaldi, Franklin, Delenn, and Marcus together to put all current information on the table. From now on they will meet regularly and share whatever they have learned and ask if anyone has answers to questions that have come up. Franklin has a question right away and would like to know what this talk of Shadows is all about.

    --

    Pretty good season opener. Nothing too spectacular, but it does a good job of getting everyone back on track who might need a little reminder of where things left of. Endawi actually does very little that matters to the plot, but him asking the ambassadors about the shadow ship allows the show to spell out again in a few words how the Minabri, Centauri, and Narn are related to the Shadows. He's not an interesting character in any way, but he performs the job quite well.

    The main thing of this episode is introducing the Defiant White Star. (The Defiant actually first appeared on TV five months before the White Star, so Star Trek probably can't have copied it. I think it's simply a obvious addition to a series based around a space station. A small warship makes much more sense than a big one when you already have a huge station.) Interesting design, but we have not really seen what it can do yet.

    I think perhaps the best part was the ending when it was revealed that the Shadows are doing business with PsiCorp and at the very least EarthForce intelligence. This finally brings the previously unconnected Shadow storyline and the Earth Government Conspiracy storyline together. Since we already knew with some certainty that PsiCorps is one of the driving forces behind the developments with the Earth Government, Morden discussing Shadow ships with a PsiCorps agent makes it clear that the Shadows are manipulating the the human government in the same way as the Centauri government. Which explains why the Earth government is letting the Centauri get away with their conquests. Though they don't know it themselves, they are really working for the same puppter master.

    The new opening credits for this season are much fancier than the previous two, and also a lot shootier. They make it clear right out of the gate that this season will be quite different from the cloak and dagger stuff of season 2.
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  26. - Top - End - #506
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    I always thought Sheridan was taking a foolhardy risk with that jumpgate thing--after all, he'd only been on board the White Star a matter of hours, and even the people who knew most about the ship weren't sure it could outrun the blast; was that really his best option for dealing with that Shadow ship?

  27. - Top - End - #507
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I always thought Sheridan was taking a foolhardy risk with that jumpgate thing--after all, he'd only been on board the White Star a matter of hours, and even the people who knew most about the ship weren't sure it could outrun the blast; was that really his best option for dealing with that Shadow ship?
    I mean, it's a question of "how would you like to explode," isn't it? Even the White Star's guns can't do much against a Shadow vessel in a 1-on-1 fight, they can't let themselves be captured (finding humans and minbari (not to mention Sheridan and Delenn specifically) onboard would really defeat the purpose of the whole "this ship is designed specifically to look like nothing belonging to any of the known civilizations." (Not that they'd be getting it back anyway, but still. They can't outrun the thing or hide from it. So the choices dwindle down to definitely dying (letting them Shadows shoot them down) or probably dying (which, of course means, a slim chance at surviving) in an attempt to take the enemy down. Sure, it's reckless, but when reckless is your only shot at actually surviving, it's hardly a stupid thing to do.

    Besides, he's a heroic captain in a space-faring sci-fi show: I think he's contractually obliged to have at least one highly unorthodox, wildly improbable victory.

  28. - Top - End - #508
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Marcus is taken to Sherridan's office, and it turns out that Ivanova already knows all about the Rangers.
    I love that Ivanova already knows. It drives me crazy when a supposedly competent character gets totally blindsided by something they really should have been aware of. Ivanova has much more to do with the day-to-day running of the station than anyone on board (even Sheridan). It makes sense that she would have seen Sheridan vanishing into mysterious meetings with Minbari and looked into things quietly on her own. Franklin not having a clue is hilarious for the same reason - he is exactly the type of person to never stick his head out of Medbay and see what everyone else is doing.

    The main thing of this episode is introducing the Defiant White Star. (The Defiant actually first appeared on TV five months before the White Star, so Star Trek probably can't have copied it. I think it's simply a obvious addition to a series based around a space station. A small warship makes much more sense than a big one when you already have a huge station.) Interesting design, but we have not really seen what it can do yet.
    It's greatly amusing to me that both space station shows accused of copying each other introduce their Cool Ship in the same episode. It's even funnier to see how differently they showcase their respective ships. The White Star demonstrates its cool new weaponry, it's maneuverability, and the ability to open its own jump point. It destroys a Shadow vessel, the first one we see getting destroyed. The Defiant goes into the Gamma quadrant where the cool new cloak...fails. They demonstrate their cool new weaponry...and lose. The whole crew gets captured and they wind up returning home a couple episodes later with their tails between their legs.

  29. - Top - End - #509
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Something else that I just remembered--we see the Centauri battleship blowing off one of the "prongs" that stick out at the front of B5 (what the heck are those things for anyway?)
    They increase the angular momentum of the station and reduce the precession caused by its spin, as well as providing lots of cargo room that isn't being rotated.
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    Chaos: Specific, local, and inconsistent trump general, universal, and consistent.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    If it's stationary then it doesn't have angular momentum. Which by itself does not have any value either way.
    But actually, that whole nonrotating section makes no sense. The only thing it provides is a section with weightlessness. Which could be useful for some situations, but since it's sits on the outer hull (which has been establish to spin at 100 km/h), the only way to move between the two sections is to first go out into space at the front of the station and then re-enter the other section. And in that case it would be so much easier to just have a small secondary station float nearby without any physical connection. Having that stationary section moving at a constant speed around the main section is only unnecessary complexity and energy consumption.

    It looks cool, though.
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