Babylon Podcast #205: Feedbackapalooza, Second Wind

Welcome to Show #205!

In addition to discussing our varying shower singing talents, Tim, Summer and Bret ponder yet more reasons why that shower curtain was there. The Vorlon encounter suits might have been used as practice rooms for Top 40 pop bands.

We also settle the dispute on which of us right about when it was mentioned in the show when more than just Sinclair had been examined and interrogated by the Grey Council, but that only opens up a whole different can o’ worms that bears further scrutiny and over-evaluation in only the way we can do!

Listener Feedback: Rod from Nashville appreciated our episode discussing religion, and thinks that B5’s handling of religion and spirituality paved the way for more recent shows to explore those themes, including the recent BSG incarnation; Arkle feels left out because not as many of his comments have been played as Gary’s (and Tim’s the one you need to bribe!), and he’d like to hear us discuss elements in B5 that had initially showed up in prior JMS projects; Gary explains why he doesn’t enjoy “River of Souls” as much as other stories in the realm;

Adrian in KY is a new podcast listener, and he gives us his interpretation on the retcon factors in “In the Beginning” (he doesn’t think it’s as big a deal as we did); Father Beast gives us his interpretation of The Babylon Podcast’s “Sleeping in Light” moment; Father Beast also weighs in on the Religion in B5 episode and the materialistic philosophy of the Soul Hunters; Mike in Detroit finally listened to Show #200… and is now recovering from the traumatic flashback to his teen years; Mike in Detroit explains why “Parliament of Dreams” is one of his favorite episodes; and Edmund gives us is Babe-ylon 5 checklist

Emails: George Moore corrects Tim’s recounting of the pendulum scene from Contact; Lurker Steve in MN has a theory that the Minbari religious beliefs may be the result of Vorlon tampering, and wonders if anyone else also thinks that this might be a possibility; Colin in San Marcos would like to hear us talk about the unfulfilled premises and promises from Babylon 5‘s early directions, to fill in some of the blanks for folks who were not able to obtain the scriptbooks.

Lurker’s Guide 2.0: Summer is starting a push to get Lurker’s Guide 2.0 completed and finished, including missing collectibles, photos of magazine covers and toys, and all sorts of other B5 goodies that didn’t get included in the original guide during the years after Crusade. Let her know if you want to lend a hand.

More Parody/Filk Songs Wanted: If you know of any more B5-related fan songs out there, definitely let us know, so we can let other B5 fans know where to buy them! And if those CDs are out of print, let’s brainstorm on ways to get those songs back out there for fans!

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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: How to Grow Your Geek

Comments

  1. > Lurker Steve in MN has a theory that the Minbari religious beliefs may be the result of Vorlon tampering

    I thought this was clear to everyone, only to hear that three hosts disagreed with Steve. I have never explained this to anyone, but I’ll try. Maybe like a joke, if you have to explain it, it’s not worthwhile.

    JMS filled B5 with the idea that meddling is not a good thing — not good intention or bad intention, just don’t meddle at all. The Vorlons did not have to be seen, so they could plant impressions and little things like psychic genes that would create telepaths. Ditto Shadows. When these races desired to be seen, they could appear as whatever would have created the reaction they wanted. Assigning the meaning behind an action to an created appearance would be a human idea and not something an advanced race would do. If you want to start a war, you can provide a sequence of events planned such that one side instantly and completely blames the other, and no disguise of angels or devils is needed. Indeed, it would get in the way in that it would attract attention to the wrong point.

    The answer to the question of which side to follow is given by Sheridan when he tells both sides to leave them alone. Russia shouldn’t direct, point, focus, build, or tear down Afghanistan; America shouldn’t try to impose their point of view on Vietnam; and there are many more examples that JMS no doubt considered in illustrating this idea. Short version: Don’t be judgmental.

    Cheers!
    Michael

    • Not judging. Just strongly disagreeing with the levels of meddling being put forth as theories based on piles of evidence to the contrary.

      Did the Vorlons take advantage of existing Minbari beliefs for thousands of years? Yes. Did they perform genetic manipulations all over the place to make it easier for them, so those species could perceive a telepathic projection of a celestial image whenever they saw a Vorlon, and to speed up the development of true telepaths? Hell yes. Did they create the entire expanse of the Minbari religious system? I have to say no.

      We don’t have any evidence that the Vorlons came to Minbar in their pre-spacefaring days specifically to design a societal system (the three castes), and set up a framework for their religious caste to adhere to, nor to make any other influence that would guarantee the other castes would abide by the doctrines set forth from that framework. Too damned much work to do in a society that was thousands of years away from stepping into space, and even longer than that away from becoming a space-faring powerhouse.

      Checking the Chronologies: the last war between the First Ones and the Shadows was around 8000BC. Someone started building jumpgates around 5000BCE. Minbari civilization “dawned” around 4800BCE, and the three castes evolved later, but they didn’t become space-faring until around 1100 (they discovered the jumpgate network). During the last Shadow War involving the last of the First Ones, Valen brought B4 to the Minbari in 1260, created the Grey Council, and turned the tide of that war.

      My opinion is that most of the changes in Minbari culture that we know of from “modern” times were brought to them by Sinclair when he joined them as Valen, and single-handedly transformed their culture to help them survive that Shadow War, and thrive beyond it as a major force in order to help protect the rest of the galaxy when the Shadows returned. The Grey Council and his edict that Minbari shall not kill Minbari brought a stability to Minbari culture that they hadn’t previously known… if the Vorlons were truly that interested in guiding Minbari culture, they would have taken a more active hand in stabilizing it long before. Since all the Vorlons wanted was more sentient bodies to fight on their side, what the Minbari did at home truly didn’t matter that much to them.

      The Vorlons were too busy playing the larger game of chess with the Shadows to worry about what each tiny pawn was doing at home. Especially in the times when the First Ones were still in the game… I don’t think they would have allowed the Vorlons to have engaged in that deep a level of manipulation. From the rules Lorien set down, that wouldn’t have been tolerated. After the rest of the First Ones left, sure, they got more meddly, but by that time, Minbari culture had already been set for 5000 years.

      So I’m not being judgmental, just making a conclusion based on the massive amounts of B5 knowledge on my bookshelves and floating around in my brain!

  2. Father Beast’s “Sleeping in Light”-invoking voicemail may be the single greatest voicemail yet heard on this podcast.

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