Babylon Podcast #173: The Ragged Edge (Season 5)

Welcome to Show #173!

Tim and Summer venture down the rabbit hole, and ponder the implications of the vast lack of dental hygiene portrayed in science fiction television. Are SF TV writers simply avoiding having to create new dental technology, or having to explain the continuing use of bristles on a stick, or is it simply to save precious minutes for real storytelling?

Deep Geeking: This week, we discuss “The Ragged Edge”, a pivotal episode in the growth of both the Interstellar Alliance and G’Kar; and in the fall of both Centauri Prime and Michael Garibaldi.

We talk about the hestitation of G’Kar to embrace his new role as spiritual guide for the Narn, and Ta’lon’s role in helping him open up to the possibilities from being a spiritual teacher; about Garibaldi’s slow fall back into the bottle having dire consequences for his safety and his friend’s life during a mission; and the revelation to the core group about the different Centauri factions at work in the royal court, the probable connection of one of them to the raids on Alliance member worlds and the likely threat level to Londo’s life should he find out and go asking the wrong questions in the wrong places.

We also ask the question “Who killed Tafiq?” because of the uncertainty of whether or not the same people who killed him were also the same ones who killed the pilot.

And remember…

When seeking instant enlightenment,
You must put your face in the book.

Feedback: In this week’s emails, we address the changing appearances of the Drakh, and whether “Drakh” is a name for a collective of races instead of for a single race of dark servants; some theories of the extent of Lyta’s enhanced abilities against mundanes being stronger than they might be against a Psi Cop, and some speculative casting for a B5 “reboot”; anecdote on the pulling of Zima from Austin Powers; and a few more opinions on spirituality and religion and the vast grey area encompassing both.

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  1. Chris From Poland says

    The first couple of episodes of “Farscape” dealt with the toothbrush and hygiene issue. It turns out aliens use dentics – non-sentient insectoids – to clean their teeth. These little slugs walk aroung the mouth, leaving a minty scent. But they taste awful when you try to eat them – they evolved this way to avoid getting eaten.

  2. in the episode Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi? G´kar cleans his teeth, ok without a brush but still he practices dental hygiene. 🙂

  3. Oral hygiene is important on Babylon 5. Remember when Ivanova pointed out to Na’Toth that she should check young Alisa’s teeth in Legacies.

    There’s also this piece from the moderated newsgroup of pretended missing dialog:

    Sinclair: Stick close to the Vorlon. Watch the shadows, they move when
    you aren’t looking. Check both ways before crossing the street.
    Brush your teeth and floss between meals and…for God’s sake
    Michael! Wash your hands every once in a while!

  4. I am commenting before even having listened to this.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see a new podcast. I recently moved (not by choice) and have been in internet-less HELL since the 25th! Finally got back online today.

    Thanks for making my day!

    (Why yes, I have no life. But y’all knew this already.)

  5. Farscape. Episode 103 “Exodus from Genesis”

    D’Argo gives John a Dentic.

    After it’s done, John comments that it tastes “Minty!”

    At which point D’Argo stops him and advises him to “NEVER swallow a dentic!”

  6. Regarding Londo and G’Kar: I think that BY season five they kind of grew into being frienemies–the sort of odd couple that knows too much about one another to really -like- each other, but at the same time–BECAUSE they know one another so well–here’s a sort of mutual respect and caring. I definitely think that “closer to the end” G’Kar acted as though he felt responsible for Londo in a kind of parental way. (But that could be just me, of course.)

    I’m not sure Michael actually -knew- that his contact/old buddy would come down bearing alcoholic beverages. I can see him not wanting Steve there because he hoped to drink himself into oblivion all by himself, yes, but the appearance of that bottle from his buddy definitely seemed like a surprise and Michael even attempted to make himself decline it (or so it looked to me)

    I agree with you, Tim, about Franklin. That was quite a sad moment to actually hear him deciding to leave and it DID bring it home that things are rolling towards the end for the whole show. (Which, I have to say, I never wanted to end and I still think it could be easily brought back and then go one forever–not a spinnoff, mind you, but Babylon 5 specifically. To this day, with–perhaps–the exception of LOST–I think it’s the best Sci-Fi show that was ever made. About cosmos specifically–for -sure-.)

  7. Addition, specifically for Tim: In the Technomage Trilogy there were two types of Drakh, actually, specifically described. One type was that which had the keepers as part of itself and the other, referred to as soldiers, was the skeletal thing with the … wait for it … glowing red eyes! Those eyes, in fact, was their “defining aspect” that would tell anyone who is looking at them that they are Drakh -soldiers-.

  8. Neil Ottenstein says

    Regarding being an atheist – remember the lineup of Earth religions way back in Parliament of Dreams . JMS had the following to say about the lineup (it is also on the Lurker’s Guide page):

    The atheist was not only first in line, he was the best dressed and smartest looking and nattiest one in the line.
    jm(what a coincidence)s

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