Babylon Podcast #177: Meditations on the Abyss (Season 5)

Welcome to Show #177!

We all wish a Happy Koshoween to all of our listeners! We really are still keeping an eye out for good B5 themed Halloween costumes, so if you see any, give us a shout out!

Deep Geeking: Tim, Summer and Jeffrey contemplate “Meditations on the Abyss”.

Examinations range from speculations on why G’Kar may have initially wanted his book to only be published after his death and the possible nature of the responsibility for the spirituality and spiritual explorations of his potential students/followers; to the nature of rationalization when deciding between doing the “right” thing and the “true” thing in the cases of both Findell and Lennier; and even a little bit on unrequited love.

We also talk about some of the deep space shots, and Jeffrey talks a bit about how the images were coming in fresh from the Hubble for the graphics guys to play with in post.

If anyone wants to Guest Geek on any of the upcoming episodes, novels and comics, let us know! Send an email to Tim and Summer about it, and we’ll get things set up!

Feedback: Gary wants to start a survey on what might be the best B5 episodes that would play best during Halloween week; and we do a quick off-the-cuff rundown of B5 cast and guest stars who made appearances in horror movies. Always beware the duck.

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Babylon 5 Information Gathering: If you know of a dead or abandoned B5 related website that may be in need of a new home, let Summer know! Maybe we can mirror it here or house it on a sister site.

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Promo: Car-ology


  1. Another great show, guys, thanks! I like this new fanged look on the header, too. 😀

    You know … I think G’Kar knew very well what sort of impact his book will have on “general Narn population” and that was precisely -why- he didn’t want it published while he was still alive. While G’Kar was a very loving of his people person, he kind of had a short fuse when it came to “all things stupid” and to me it all came out as him knowing in advance that stoopeed is mostly what he’d have to deal with, once the book came out.

    Interesting points about the “banishing from Rangers” part, guys. It -was- harsh, yes, but I’d like to point out that Mimbari were all -about- harsh, in general, were they not? I mean, it wasn’t at all “out of character” for them to make that sort of decision and I remember that when I watched it the first time–I actually processed it as a “good for him, the poor schmuck–at least he won’t have to feel like a completely useless failure for the rest of his life and will be properly utilized”.

    About the whole Linier over-training and his obsession with Delenn… I think that over-training was looked at as “dedication” and thus commended rather than reprimanded. Plus, Linier had a “good and respectful” background, which might’ve had the teachers -expecting- him to know better (maybe) rather than needing to be told things. Perhaps the teachers were ever relying on Delenn already having taught him “better than that”, since she was his mentor for a long time. As for his obsession with her (because I can’t really call this love, knowing the degree of it and what it pushes him to do)–I, too, think it had nothing to do with Sheridan being of a different species, and everything to do with it just being someone who is NOT Linier. It likely was even more difficult because Delenn DID love Linier, but not in the way he’d like it to be. So her, loving someone else in THAT way, while KNOWING about HIS love towards her in that same way and rejecting or, rather, quietly declining it–it must’ve given him a really heavy complex of inferiority. Which is really sad, for someone like -him-. For a very long time before he “snapped”–Linier seemed a sort of perfect embodiment of grace and honour to me, someone that “could do no wrong” and was really humble about it. Ah well, such as life.

    One last thing: Vir going ballistic was absolutely hilarious. I LOVED it. In general, I love Vir. I think he’s one of the funniest characters, on a non-sitcom show, that I ever saw. And him being so funny, -somehow-, makes his even more so tragic than he was intended to be.

  2. Gary The Great says

    Don’t forget Dina, it was Bill Mumy’s idea to jms that Lennier have romantic feelings for Delenn that started the whole mess, so in a way he was asking for it.
    As for G’Kar, I waiver back and forth between his motivation over the book. On one hand I too think that he thinks his people are lemmings, and can not truly think for themselves. On the other hand I think it is pride, and humility that holds him back.
    Vir’s performance in this episode, while memorable still seemed very comedic.He seems outraged at the situation, but not personally offended I would have liked to have seen a slightly “darker” Vir. The nearest comparable example is when he is talking to Lyndisty about the Narn, before she revels her feeling on the subject.

    Cute header Tim, but a Frankestein-Sheridan or Kosh, and maybe a Wolfman-Garabaldi included would have been nice too.

  3. Gary: Ah, I didn’t know that it was the actor’s own doing, initially. Hrm. Now I’m wondering what would’ve happened if JMS didn’t take to this suggestion and thus Lennier (sorry I keep misspelling it) would’ve never developed these feelings, as well as had no reason to do that stupid impulsive thing that he did at the end. Pity we’ll never know.

    As for Vir … I kind of process him like I do Chaplain’s characters (I know–a very odd comparison). Tremendously funny, but utterly tragic and adorable all around.

  4. Gary The Great says

    I like to think that Lennier, barring his obsession with Delenn would have felt he could do more good some place else in the universe. He would have left Delenn’s side and still would have pursued the job with the Rangers for more altruistic reasons, perhaps even becoming Ranger One / Entilzha.

    It’s sad we never got to see the details that led up to his final fate, and only a passing reference to his death.

    I think the Chaplin comparison is fair Dina. I just really enjoyed the more purposeful Vir in the Centauri Trilogy, and wish I had seen just a bit more of it on screen.

  5. Love the new banner!

    When you were asking about if any of the B5 cast had done work in horror movies other than Pat. I remembered that on the DVD extras of the Dawn of the Dead remake, Bruce played a bit role. And I seem to recall that Richard Biggs might have been on it too?

  6. Gary The Great says

    Sorry, I didn’t scroll down, I see it now.

  7. When I watched the series for the first time just a few months ago I was heartbroken at Lennier’s story. I thought he had some wonderful qualities and I grew to love him. And as much as I adored Delenn, I remember being constantly stunned that she not only seemed oblivious to the depth of his feelings for her, but kept inadvertently leading him on. You don’t want to be watching TV with me because I am the type who yells at the screen. When it came to her treatment of Lennier, there was constant screaming and disbelief.

    I finished my first viewing of the series and was left heartbroken by the way things ended up. This second time around, I think I’m yelling at the screen even more than I did the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Delenn probably more than I’ve ever loved any other fictional character. (And that’s saying a lot!) But for the life of me I cannot understand how this woman can be so wise and sensitive in so many ways and yet in this one area she seems so utterly clueless. The most painful thing to me is watching her touch him physically like she did to his scar in this episode. You can just see and feel how the poor guy is dying inside, and she doesn’t even notice! It makes me cringe in pain for him.

    I guess I just remember what it’s like to feel that way about someone you know you can never, ever have.

  8. Satai/Jhonny from Uppsala says

    When speaking of the Lennier – Delenn relationship we often seem to forget the impact of Minbari culture. Do not forget that “to serve” is an essential part of the Minbari way of life. Serve the klan, the cast, the fane, the family, the council, ones elders, ones superiors and so on, and doing so wholeheartedly

    Lenniers devotion to Delenn ismost likely seen as perfectly normal and healty. When Delenn eventually learns of the nature of Lenniers fealings she probably thinks of them as the ordinary kind of love and devotion, like hers for Dukat, that have gone a little bit “of track” but probably will adjust them self quite soon.

  9. Jhonny: I’ll have to disagree with this. “When Delenn eventually learns of the nature of Lenniers fealings she probably thinks of them as the ordinary kind of love and devotion, like hers for Dukat, that have gone a little bit “of track” but probably will adjust them self quite soon.”

    When he admits to what he feels, thinking they are about to die–she actually admits as well to knowing about his feelings and their exact nature. And because they are Mimbari, and this is Lennier we are talking about (the ‘perfect boy who can do no wrong’, for the most part)–she expects him to just sit on those feelings out of grace. The only actual surprise for her is that he’d act illy, /because/ of the feelings that he has. At least that’s how I see everything that transpired. (Have to remind myself to add that ‘it’s just my opinion’ every time, since all this are mere speculations. ;))

  10. Neil Ottenstein says

    I think Inga Heyer (a local fan working on the Hubble) helped get those images over to them for use. She would do Hubble presentations at Balticon.

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