Babylon Podcast #243: Questions and Answers

Welcome to Show #243!

Jeffrey shares with us a message about what it meant to him to have had Jeff Conaway in his life for a time.

Listener Feedback: Strangely, Tim adored Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”… to be expected?

Neil from Bowie comments on the concept of “stunt casting” in Crusade; Adam comments on “Patterns of the Soul” and the hierarchy of filing reports; Neil weighs in on our missing out on the story Crusade promised us; Neil enjoyed the interview with David Allen Brooks; Neil doesn’t understand why Adam dislikes “Mind War” and has questions about why the Windswords did what they did in “The Gathering”; Neil still has issues with the reasons why they destroyed the station; Jason has questions about “Racing the Night”; discussing how many POVs any tale can have; Joe doesn’t think there’s any benefit to doing a Babylon 5 remake that skews the story darker;

Just how bad an episode is “TKO”? Gary wonders… Gary has a different take on the forgiveness aspect of “Path of Sorrows”; Did TNT miss the boat by failing to suggest that Trace Miller become the show’s sexpot? Gary is watching B5 from the beginning again, and is once again confused by what exactly Dr Kyle was doing to Kosh in Med Bay

Lurker’s Guide 2.0: Summer is expanding the documentation to be covered at Lurker’s Guide 2.0, the major change being converting the episode guide into a full Wiki with cross-referenced topics, tidbits and everything you’d want in a Wiki. She’s also still searching for pictures of rare 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: I Should Be Writing
Promo: Slice of SciFi

Comments

  1. Jason from California says:

    I think they had to blow up B5 because it would be a hazard to shipping. The raiders use anything they can get thier hands on, and a giant station would probably be pretty usefull as a base for them. By blowing it up they can prevent this. Also if they used a fusion reaction to blow it up most of the peices would probably be vaporized.

    • Neil Ottenstein says:

      The words in the script for Sleeping in Light are “menace to navigation,” which can’t really be translated as you do here. Still, if they said they wanted to get rid of it so raiders couldn’t get their hands on it, then I’d buy that. Also in the script we see “as the debris moves off in different directions” – that debris is a “menace to navigation.” It looked like a nice explosion for TV, but it still doesn’t make sense. They should have disposed of B5 differently.

  2. Jason from California says:

    Also. for my own sanity, i always skip the gathering when doing a B5 watchthrough (including when i showed B5 to my new wife). Just too much wrong with it…

  3. Jason, you raise an interesting point. I never thought about the raiders. As I thought about the implications of that, I ran across some interesting scenarios. I wonder if there isn’t a story to tell…

    • I was going to send in a voicemail along these lines, but seeing as Jason beat me to it, here’s a couple of things to consider:

      Anyone – raiders, Drakh, some other ex. shadow servants – could have taken over a poorly guarded and otherwise unused space station, and then used it as a base for their operations.

      We know that using such a station as a base of operations has proved very successful – Babylon 4 came to the rescue in the Shadow War of circa 1260.

      Of course, you’re not likely to start citing time-travel events as a reason for destroying the station (it’s not a good idea to tear up the space-time continuum more than it already has been). Nor would you want to appear weak by claiming that a station in your control could conceivably fall into enemy hands.

      And so “danger to shipping” serves as a euphemism for “we don’t want anyone else using it”.

  4. I see my first message was not played, but second one was. Ok, a little interesting. Who doesn’t want more Talia on Ivanova action? Seriously, I do think that was one of the few storylines that could be expanded more due to how LBG stuff was not that friendly even during the mid 90s. The Minbari Civil War seemed tact on and made worse when the Earth Civil War started rolling. Also, watched the pilot of BSG on BBC America and it reminded me why the show was terrible.

  5. Hey, the new BSG was not terrible! The miniseries had some rough patches, but as pilots go, I’d rate it higher than “The Gathering”.

    The first two seasons of BSG were gold, and then someone started playing “let’s pick plot points by throwing darts at the wall while drunk”, and the show lost its focus for the better part of seasons 3 and 4, forcing them to pull a deus ex machina out of thin air to try to wrap things up. I was one of the few who didn’t hate the ending, but I was disappointed at some of the (unnecessary) steps they took to get there.

    I love B5 and both incarnations of BSG; I’d rate BSG seasons 1 and 2 right there with B5 seasons 3 and 4 as “stuff I’d watch in a marathon session anytime”.

    As for expanding the Susan-Talia story just by showing them having a more intimate relationship, how does that add to the story at all? We already know that Susan said she loved Talia, and we know that Talia was a spy… that wouldn’t change anything, and only adding in HBO sex scenes would just be gratuitous titillation, unless you went back and showed ALL the sex scenes that were hinted at in the show. And that could be scary!

    I also am curious why you think the Minbari Civil War was tacked on. Just seeing what happened in the story we saw, a war of some sort might have been inevitable.

    You have a power vaccuum that needed to be filled once Delenn broke the Grey Council, and knowing how much both the Warrior and Religious castes resentments with each other had been simmering for centuries and only got worse because of how the Earth-Minbari War ended, how can you say it was “tacked on”?

  6. the only season I liked was the New Caprica Arc after that the show had no idea what to do. It really should have ended there. The Gathering is one of the worst pilots, but I would take Season 2 of Babylon 5 over any season of BSG.

    My problem with Talia/Ivanova was 95% was just implied and then all of the sudden Talia is sleeping over. I understand Thompson wanted out of the show and it was all thrown together, but JMS could have played more with that. We needed to have scenes showing Talia and Ivanova and not just the HBO nude stuff. We needed to see their relations grow, so Talia’s betrayal has some meanting.It really felt like Talia’s betrayal was more of OMG moment than an emotional one which is probably JMS was aiming for. To be fair, any guest could have been the traitor and it would probably still be the OMG moment. We needed to see the utter destruction of a relationship we as fans were routing for. Then we will always question if anyone would get together like Sheridan/Delenn or Garibaldi/Lise. That is the only storyline where I think it could have been darker and better. I also think he could get away with more of that relationship on TV now than before.

    The Minibari Civil War felt like a storyline that was there just to get Delenn out of the way, so Sheridan can get ready for his Civil War. I have a real problem with all of the Warrior Caste just straight up ignoring their First Commandment of No Minbari shall harm another Minbari. Neroon did betray the Warrior Caste, but I refuse to believe he would be the only Warrior that would take action. I also think with the Warrior Caste seeing the Religious Caste going toe to toe with them to take out the Shadows wouldn’t have lead to some mutual respects. The entire Grey Council power vacuum could have been resolved in a more political way with a giant meeting and Delenn deciding to put the Worker Caste in charge. The storyline was interesting, but not enough that I would want to see more of it. Once, the Earth Civil War starts, Delenn, Londo and G’kar are thrown into the background. They could have done more with those characters during this time that didn’t involve war. We could have seen them building the Alliance or actually spent more time with G’Kar and Londo forming their relationship or dealing with their new roles as leaders of their people.

    • I agree, we could have seen more of them developing a close relationship, but I don’t think it necessarily had to go into the bedroom more. It would have been less of a leap to have shown them growing closer as really close friends, but I also think that if we’d had that, a lot of us would have seen it as an obvious clue when the traitor storyline came up.

      Given what we know about the suddenness of Andrea’s request to leave the show, I think we got a pretty good alternate solution. I think if she’d stuck around another season, we might have seen that storyline, but we might have seen the story go in a completely different direction. Remember, initially, the traitor in the fold was supposed to be Laurel Takashima, but I don’t know if that was going to have a PsiCorps connection or not.

      To me, Talia’s betrayal IS more of a shock to Susan because of how quickly she’d developed those feelings for her.

      And you’re totally right, the BSG guys were flying blind after the survivors left New Caprica. That’s where too many threads started fraying apart instead of coming together.

      • I am not really talking about the bedroom stuff when I say he could have gotten away with more. I mean just holding hands or a kiss. It was so taboo back even in the mid 90s, now its almost second nature on television to have gay and lesbian characters. The original question is if you could go back and do B5 what would be the darker storyline? Ivanova/Talia is my answer mainly due to how quick Andrea left the show. Her early departure turned what could have been a Shakespearean tragedy into a OMG moment that we barely talk about after it happens. I do think there would have been a PSI Corp connection, because there is always a PSI Corp when dealing with teeps.

  7. I also believe Tim is partially right, it was a political message to destroy B5. I do think, pun intended, it blow up in Earth’s face. Sheridan’s “death” and B5’s destruction are now and forever linked in that universe. I would suspect that linkage is viewed as a positive for the Alliance than a negative. I think the double side of destroying B5 was even though it was too expensive to keep up, the idea of someone taking it over weighed on EarthForce’s mind. I think its a combination of political, economical and defense.

    • I never understood the reasons for the station to be blown up – but just took it as Vogon bureaucracy and JMS saying this was the end of the show (and there wouldn’t be a season 6.

      • Icehawk says:

        Cheaper to blow it up than move it to someplace where it could be taken care of for a reasonable price. I doubt anyone would be willing to pay the price Earth would likely want to sell it for. I bet enough was taken from it for museum pieces by the rangers and others and the rest stripped for scraps to make the big bad blow up as a way to send what was left of her off in style.

        You know like we do with large ships. We strip them down then decommission them in the deep. Except there’s no reason to try to turn a space station into a space version of an artificial reef.

        Plus, who doesn’t like a large emotional explosion?

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