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-   -   EpDis: A View From The Gallery (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=9321)

vacantlook October 5th 06 07:19

EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for A View From The Gallery
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for A View From The Gallery

Jan October 5th 06 16:55

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
One of my favorites. I loved Mack and Bo

Jan

KoshFan October 5th 06 17:15

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
It really would have made more sense if it had been Clark's forces attacking and not some random space-faring Mongol Horde, but this was still a good ep. I personally love "break-the-mold" type eps, and while this one isn't as good as, say, Intersections in Real Time (or, to jump shows, Hush), it was still a fine example of the type.

Sindatur October 5th 06 17:43

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

It really would have made more sense if it had been Clark's forces attacking and not some random space-faring Mongol Horde, but this was still a good ep.

Not really. Clarke was already dead, and Lochley was already assigned as Earthforce's representative on the station. I think I recall hearing that those raiders were supposed to be someone we know, or were supposed to be someone we were to come to know or something.

Chilli October 5th 06 17:58

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
I actually liked how the invasion made no sense. What must of the normal people of the galaxy thought about the Shadow war and the Vorlon war? :D

hypatia October 5th 06 18:09

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Here I go again, not quite remembering everything about the epidose, here.

Why exactly was the raid something that made no sense? :confused:

Sindatur October 5th 06 18:30

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

Here I go again, not quite remembering everything about the epidose, here.

Why exactly was the raid something that made no sense? :confused:

Well, because it was someone that threatened the station with some pretty heavy resources, but, we don't know them, and they never came up again. So, it's because it's a one off enemy with no motivation that we never heard from again or before. So, in the context of Mack and Bo, not being in the know it made perfect sense, but, for the viewer, it did seem random.

B5_Obsessed October 5th 06 18:53

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

Quote:

It really would have made more sense if it had been Clark's forces attacking and not some random space-faring Mongol Horde, but this was still a good ep.

Not really. Clarke was already dead, and Lochley was already assigned as Earthforce's representative on the station. I think I recall hearing that those raiders were supposed to be someone we know, or were supposed to be someone we were to come to know or something.

The episode was originally intended for Season 4, before the end of Clarke's regime, and the attack would've exploited a supposed weakness - possibly the Minbari Civil War and the lack of Delenn's forces surounding the station.

PillowRock October 5th 06 19:39

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

The episode was originally intended for Season 4, before the end of Clarke's regime

That is to say, that was intent before the demise of PTEN, and the associated requirement to get to a satisfying series conclusion by the end of S4.

hypatia October 5th 06 19:54

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
I still don't get what's so totally unbelieveable about getting only one glimpse at this race. They obviously weren't too interested in mixing with other races, and they got their pants kicked in the fight.

So they didn't bug B5 anymore. At least not in any episode we get to see. :)

Jan October 5th 06 19:59

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
I'm with you, Hypatia. Why do people seem to think that we've met every race in the b5 universe? There was the same reaction to the baddies in Rangers. To quote a wise woman from Trek, "it's a big galaxy, Mr. Scott".

Jan

PillowRock October 5th 06 21:14

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Yes, it's a big galaxy and we (the known "younger races" of the B5 universe) certainly don't know everything that there is in it ......... But ........

There is the question of where Babylon 5 (the station, not the show) is. The station is not anywhere near any of the frontiers of known and charted space, where you would expect to make the vast majority of first contacts. The station was specifically built in a location where it would in neutral territory between the major powers, where proximity wouldn't give one race or group of races and advantage in the diplomacy going on there (any more than could possibly be helped).

Therefore, a new race coming in should have had to have passed through the territory of at least one of the known spacefaring powers to get to B5. Doing so (or even getting close) unnoticed and unchallenged seems unlikely at best.

Now one might postulate that the new race might possibly have bypassed other populated areas (whether intentionally or accidentally) by using unknown (to the "known" races) and superior hyperspace navigation techniques / technology, thereby arriving at B5 without having been spotted in hyperspace by ship traffic that was sticking to the routes implied in following the established beacons. The various races of First Ones had certainly demonstrated that this was possible. The problem with that is that what we do see of this race's capabilities in this episode certainly does not seem to indicate they are significantly more advanced than, say, the Centauri or Minbari ... who do still rely on the beacons.

The reason that the ep (as it stands) feels a bit unlikely to me isn't that there is this unknown race out there somewhere. It's that this first contact / strength test battle takes place at Babylon 5 and not somewhere less central to the known powers.

The only resistance free approach angle that I can think of would through what had been Vorlon space. I still see a problem with that option as well. If they had been a neighbor on the opposite side of the Vorlon Empire, then I would expect them to have had basically the same experiance with probing in that direction that Humans had ..... all exploratory ships disappear with all hands. For them to already be coming out the other side of the Vorlon Empire toward B5 so soon after the Vorlons had left would seem to imply that they had continued to probe in that direction regularly in spite of those losses. However, if *that* was how they operated, then you wouldn't expect them to disappear and never be heard from again just because they lost one battle with the White Star fleet at Babylon 5.

hypatia October 5th 06 21:17

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Didn't B5 already know they were coming? Perhaps they had attacked others on the way, and that's how they deduced they'd be hitting B5.

vacantlook October 5th 06 21:19

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Maybe they lived within former-Shadow territory. Now with the Shadows gone, they themselves have decided to poke their heads out while before they were fine with providing supplies to the Shadows.

PillowRock October 5th 06 23:09

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
It's been a while since I watched it, so some pricise details are a little hazy.

They had some warning, as I recall ...... but clearly not enough to get the White Stars back ahead of them (much less cut them off en route). So, by the time they got much of any information just about unknown or possibly hostile ships headed in this general direction, the alien battle fleet was already closer then the White Stars patrolling in known space (or at least most of them).

As for coming from formerly Shadow space, Shadow space had been out on the Rim. Again, they would have to come through some of the already known races' territorries to get to Babylon 5.


The other thing about the being a one-shot, is that it just felt incongruous with everything that JMS had done in the rest of the 5 years. Babylon 5 had just never been a show where a large fleet of ships showed up to be the main antagonist in one episode without ever being hinted at before or after. Hanging threads had always lead somewhere in this show.

vacantlook October 5th 06 23:28

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

As for coming from formerly Shadow space, Shadow space had been out on the Rim. Again, they would have to come through some of the already known races' territorries to get to Babylon 5.

While one can make a really big deal about it if they want, I don't see it as some big thing. It's not as if there's some meticulously canon map of the galaxy and who controlled what territory out there. And it's not like any such map could be concrete anyway because of just how much space there is out there in space. Space is HUGE. I can't imagine that any of the races, even major ones, have utter and total domination and awareness over absolutely every sliver of space they claim to be theirs.

Quote:

The other thing about the being a one-shot, is that it just felt incongruous with everything that JMS had done in the rest of the 5 years. Babylon 5 had just never been a show where a large fleet of ships showed up to be the main antagonist in one episode without ever being hinted at before or after.

Not a fleet of ships, but still one-shots that travelled through space, mattered for an episode, and then never mattered again:

the probe in "A Day In The Strife"
the Streib in "All Alone In The Night"

KoshFan October 6th 06 01:30

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
I once heard that JMS intended to end S4 at "Intersections in Real Time." In other words, the fight in "A View From the Gallery" would have been before "Endgame." As he'd already wrapped up that plotline, but still wanted the station in peril for this ep, he had to drum up a previously-unknown race.

hypatia October 6th 06 02:35

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
You'll have to ask someone like Jan or Joe about that.

Ranger1 October 6th 06 05:12

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
i am as we speak re-watching season 5, and i admit that i never liked it compared to the other four, ultimately the storylines felt rushed and because it was never intended, the arcs were all finished in season 4. there are some great episodes in season 5 but really they are just great episodes in a mediocre season. oh and it was the pak'ma'ra (presumably the correct spelling) who warned them of the incoming strike.

GaribaldisHair October 6th 06 09:48

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

... and because it was never intended ...

Just a small point, but S5 was always intended ... it was just that having been told that there would be no S5 renewal because PTEN had disappeared, the story arcs had to be accelerated to conclude in S4 rather than continuing on into early S5 as was originally intended.

That meant that S5 had to pick up from a completely standing start which ruined the momentum of the story, and elements that would have been introduced more naturally during late S4, such as the telepath colony, had to be pushed back into S5 in order to isolate S5 from the others.

Ranger1 October 6th 06 13:22

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
yes, yes, yes. you know what i meant, it felt disjointed simply because rising star and the deconstruction of falling stars, feel like the end of the story because after all they are, plus because the S5 arcs are much shorter than the much longer arcs of seasons 1 thru 4 it feels like babylon 5 "lite", and i'm just not cool with that.

Mike G October 6th 06 14:56

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Actually it was the Gaim who had had contact with them before.

PillowRock October 6th 06 15:37

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

I can't imagine that any of the races, even major ones, have utter and total domination and awareness over absolutely every sliver of space they claim to be theirs.

But that argument ignores the theoretical point of that race's incurssion.

If they're looking for beatable targets .... conquerable territory .... as the the episode said ...... Then they should have been probing at the defenses of whoever's territory they got to as they went. It makes no sense to stealthily slip through a large expanse of space and then hold a major battle to test the "beat-ability" of the people that you find on the other side. Even if you do find out that the race that you test is beatable, their territory is still not a candidate for conquest if you have to rely on being able to sneak through somebody else's territory every time that you want to send anything or anyone in either direction between that new territory and your established paower base. For all sorts of command / control / logistics reasons your position in that newly won territory would completely untennable.

This point doesn't wreck this whole episode for me. However, that doesn't mean that the point about this race's sudden appearance not making logical sense isn't valid.

hypatia October 6th 06 16:00

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Did anyone ever say B5 was going to be this group's first target?

And why can't B5 be situated in a convenient path for them?

Were the invaders originally going to be Clarke's forces, then? :confused:

PillowRock October 6th 06 16:13

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

ultimately the storylines felt rushed and because it was never intended, the arcs were all finished in season 4.

No, the story lines weren't "never intended". I don't have the quotes at my fingertips, but from back before S1 JMS had said that he intended the series to show the entire cycle of the war ..... *including* the reconstruction afterwards.

And I remember the stuff that KoshFan was talking about too. Intersections in Real Time would have been the S4 cliffhanger (ala Z'Ha'dum the year before). Meaning that the season boundary only shifts by 4 episodes (this much is stated explicitly among the quotes in the JMS Speaks portion of the IiRT page at the Lurkers Guide), and one of those 4 extra S4 eps would have been A View from the Gallery with EarthForce as the attackers (don't have the source quotes for that at hand, but I know that I read it somewhere along the line .... and not just in fan speculation).

The problem with S5 isn't that it telling stories that hadn't been planned all along. It's that the demise of PTEN ended up forcing them not to start weaving in those threads during season 4. Because of *that* feel detached from the rest of the arc, not part of the whole interwoven tapestry.

Lousy_Dodgers October 6th 06 16:24

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Yeah, I see your points; I am mixed on the episode since on the one hand, I do like the idea of focusing on people who are not the ones in positions of authority. Yet, everything else that JMS did in the series spoke against having alien races attack just because they can, especially one that we have not seen before. Even if the Clark option was not open, perhaps the Drakh could have worked or maybe one of the other races allied with the Shadows since they would at least have the motivation.

PillowRock October 6th 06 17:14

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

Did anyone ever say B5 was going to be this group's first target?

And why can't B5 be situated in a convenient path for them?

The problem is the lack of warning combined with B5 having been purposely positioned to be in the middle of all of the known races (which makes sense for original dimplomatic meeting place mission).

B5 could have just happened to have been on their path.

*BUT* if they were probing for weakness in potential opponents all along the way, and had to pass through enough populated space to get to something as centrally located as B5 is said to be, then the Alliance should have had enough warning to get at least some of the White Stars back into a defensive posture before they actually got to B5.


Now, if you want to speculate about reasons why it might make sense for them to have remained stealthy until they got to B5, then you can come up with some things. It's that it pretty much requires throwing out what is said about their motivations and strategy in the episode. It doesn't make any sense for them to be stealthy unitl the get close to B5 IF they are actually using a recon in force to test the combat strength potential conquest targets.

IF, on the other hand, they know a whole lot about the B5 region and what is and has been going on there, even though nobody in this region has ever even heard of them before ...... Then it could make quite a bit of sense to specifically try to sneak up on B5 and take it out. As long as the fledgeling Alliance President and Council is on the station, that could be a good way to try to break up the Alliance so that the smaller members would become easier prey.

vacantlook October 6th 06 19:45

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

The problem is the lack of warning combined with B5 having been purposely positioned to be in the middle of all of the known races (which makes sense for original dimplomatic meeting place mission).

Again, I still can't understand why anyone would think that Babylon 5 was totally and completely 360 on all axes surrounded by occupied alien territory. Just because B5 tends to be the center of the galaxy storywise doesn't mean that it's literally at the center of every race's space.

PillowRock October 6th 06 23:13

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
First of all, it doesn't need to be "totally and completely 360 on all axes". If you believe what's said in the episode, that this fleet is purposely engaging whoever they find in order to gauge their combat strength, then they would be going out of their way to hit people / places. Therefore, for them to get to B5 without giving much warning, the gap required couldn't be even remotely "small"; the gap would have to be a huge gaping hole.

I find that highly unlikely because:

A) Lots of the races around B5 have shown quite aggressive expansionist tendancies.

B) A couple of those races have been at it (as expansionist spacefaring races) for a looooong time.

C) Once again, Babylon 5 was specifically placed in a location that was centrally between all of those competing powers.

The combination makes me think that it would highly unlikely that any large vacuum of power / control would be left unexploited for long. Somebody would have moved in with at least some pressense to stake a claim.

The Centauri are always talking about how much their empire has declined as they have been pushed back by newer powers. And that gets talked about as a general trend, not just the Narn gaining independence and then expanding out, and not just a whole series of rebellions gaining independence. Do you really think that fighting to take planets away from entrenched technological powers would be the most cost effective way to grow a new empire if there were large unclaimed regions in the immediate vicinity?

Galahad October 7th 06 13:14

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Why are some people assuming that the aliens weren't aware of the White Star fleet's absence? How do you know it wasn't a tactical decision to attack based on the opportunity created by the Alliance fleet's engagement elsewhere?

Perhaps they were acting a lot like the vikings.

Jade Jaguar October 8th 06 01:54

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Although that probably wasn't JMS' original intention, I thought he made the aliens deliberately generic, and a bit comical, the better to serve as a backdrop for Mac and Bo. Part of what makes me think that is their helmets, which looked like something out of the 30s version of Buck Rodgers.

Joseph DeMartino October 8th 06 04:09

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
I really don't see the objection to the one stop aliens.

A location mid-way between the various powers is not necessarily one surrounded by the various powers. If the leaders of the leading countries on both sides of the Paciifc decided to create a meeting place roughly equidistant from all of them, they'd literally end up at Midway - Midway Island. Which is not notable for bordering much of anything.

In fact, B5 is where it is because the region is unimportant and not worth anyone's bothering with. Which makes it a perfectly reasonable spot for someone moving from point-A to point-B to travel through on their way elsewhere.

People are talking about B5's position like we are looking at national boundries on a map - countries on the surface of a globe. Space, as people keep forgetting, is three dimensional. The aliens could be coming from any direction and there may be no known sentient life along the line they've followed.

That's why they call it "space", folks. Because there's a lot of it. :)

Regards,

Joe

KoshN October 8th 06 16:13

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

I really don't see the objection to the one stop aliens.

Where'd they come from? What was their name? Who'd they conquer, or were they "attack and loot" sort of aliens, just passing through?

I gave it a D (Poor) and I thought that was being charitable. It was pure filler, like they had to crank out an episode and nobody could think of anything, so they threw together this padding piece.

hypatia October 8th 06 16:23

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
But that's likely what it would be like with a view from the gallery, so to speak. They aren't exactly at the information center of the station.

And not every episode need be arc-related.

KoshN October 8th 06 16:50

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

But that's likely what it would be like with a view from the gallery, so to speak. They aren't exactly at the information center of the station.

IIRC, Lochley (at the center of information) is overheard being briefed about or talking about the aliens, and she doesn't know, either. Nobody really knows much of anything about them, except that they've been attacking other races and B5 is likely the next target on their path.



Quote:

And not every episode need be arc-related.

It's really nothing to do with being arc-related. It's just lack of background information making the episode seem thin.

I'll have to rewatch the episode, but from what I remember of it, I found the bit about the aliens very unsatisfying.

hypatia October 8th 06 17:07

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
O.K.

I simply liked how we got, literally, a different view of B5. A view from the grunts doing the grunt work. ;)

But I know some people hate the episode, some hate all of season 5.

Londos6 October 8th 06 17:15

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

I gave it a D (Poor) and I thought that was being charitable. It was pure filler, like they had to crank out an episode and nobody could think of anything, so they threw together this padding piece.

Ditto.

KoshN October 8th 06 17:30

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

...some hate all of season 5.

Not me. Far from it. The Centauri/Drakh arc of Season 5 contains some of the best episodes of B5, IMHO. Seeing Londo accept that keeper, and his last (pre-keeper) meeting with G'Kar. The clips we got showing Londo's descent. Great stuff.

Once Byron is gone, the episodes get a lot better. Every time Lyta says "Remember Bryon." I think "Shut up. I'm trying to forget." :lol:

Joseph DeMartino October 8th 06 17:52

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

Where'd they come from? What was their name? Who'd they conquer, or were they "attack and loot" sort of aliens, just passing through?

We don't know. Which is sorta the freakin' point. There are still mysteries and unknowns out there. Not everything is going to be tied up with a neat little bow and come with a card listing all the particulars. Since we never did see them again, and they didn't stay to conquer and occupy any of the systems they did hit, I'd say the logical inference from the information that JMS does give us in the episode is that they are the "'attack and loot' sort of aliens, just passing through?" See, there's an answer to one of your questions, and it was right in front of you the whole time.

They're a reminder that the Shadow War and the formation of the Alliance didn't solve everything, that the universe is still full of surprises and that history (even fictional future history), unlike a story, never ends. They're a glimpse of the million and one tales that could be told in the B5 universe, but never will be. Why is this a problem for some people? Any really well imagined "sub-creation" (I think Tolkein's word applies here) is going to have the potential to generate many more stories than a thousand writers could produce in a thousand lifetimes.

Regards,

Joe

KoshN October 8th 06 18:30

Re: EpDis: A View From The Gallery
 
Quote:

Quote:

Where'd they come from? What was their name? Who'd they conquer, or were they "attack and loot" sort of aliens, just passing through?

We don't know. Which is sorta the freakin' point. There are still mysteries and unknowns out there. Not everything is going to be tied up with a neat little bow and come with a card listing all the particulars.

Some particulars would be nice. A hint. A rumor. A legend.


Quote:

Since we never did see them again, and they didn't stay to conquer and occupy any of the systems they did hit,

Do we even really know that last part, they didn't stay to conquer and occupy any of the systems they did hit? Maybe it wasn't important enough to even mention in another episode.


Quote:

...I'd say the logical inference from the information that JMS does give us in the episode is that they are the "'attack and loot' sort of aliens, just passing through?" See, there's an answer to one of your questions, and it was right in front of you the whole time.

That's it! They're Reavers! The Firefly universe couldn't hold 'em. Some of 'em escaped. :lol:

Really, they're just throwaway aliens, an overall background/overall event to tie together the "Mack & Bo wander about the station." episode.


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