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-   -   Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure? (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=11587)

Jan November 23rd 09 11:55

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dangerousapple (Post 352762)
For instance, itís obvious Cahterine Sakai was set up to have the same fate as Sheridanís wife. As it stands, were are left with foreshadowing in Sakaiís arc to events that eventually DID expire, but with the replacement character instead.

While it may seem obvious, it's probably not quite that simple. In the synopsis of the arc that JMS wrote prior to the first season (published in Volume 15 of the script books), we're told that around the end of season 3 or beginning of season 4, Catherine would be mind-raped and all memory of her relationship with Sinclair lost. The only way Sinclair would have been able to get her back would be by esentially doing it to her again and he couldn't bring himself to do that.

That said, whe Claudia left the show, her planned romance with Byron did get moved over to Lyta.

Jan

Republibot 3.0 November 28th 09 21:31

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Yeah, a whole lot of ugly, stupid reality interfering with the direction. In fact, if you've read JMS "Memo" - the B5 he'd set out to right is a very, very different show which more-or-less adds up to about the first two and a half sesons of the B5 we got. (Here's a link for anyone who's not already familiar with the "Original Concept" http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...tion-babylon-5 ) and his original spinoff idea was many things, but it certainly wasn't Crusade ( http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...prime%E2%80%9D )
It's really interesting - with hindsight - to see how much drifted and how many compromises and changes had to be made to keep the show running. The fascinating thing - for me, anyway - is that the show seems to have gotten better every time JMS went under the gun, and had to re-engineer the whole damn thing to keep it running. He seems to work well under adversity.

butlerd November 29th 09 02:05

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 352764)
That said, whe Claudia left the show, her planned romance with Byron did get moved over to Lyta.

Although I missed Claudia Christian in S5 and as mediocre as the telepath arc ended up being, I would have been aghast at Ivanova having a romance with Byron. I just couldn't see it being plausible, actually- not as plausible as her and Marcus (had he lived). The *romance* between Lyta and Byron- and her reaction to his death- made much more sense in the overall context of the series.

KoshFan November 29th 09 06:06

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Wow. If that was JMS's original plan... it's a textbook case of why we writers rewrite. That outline is like something I might have cooked up when I was 17.

dreamer November 29th 09 10:21

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Blimey

Ivanova and Byron? :guffaw:

That's just all sorts of wrong right there. But then again, I really dislike half of the fifth season and Byron along with his tacky hand holding just takes the cake.

Republibot 3.0 November 29th 09 22:41

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Well, to be fair, none of us know exactly what JMS intended for the Byron story. My impression was that Ivonova was going to be attracted to Byron because of his "This Year's Marcus" feel, but she was going to feel realy bad about it for the same reason. I've heard speculation that it was going to be something like Marcus chasing Ivonova, and Lyta chasing Marcus, which would make it a little more interesting and a little less Junior High.

Still, hard to judge things that none of us know anything about. My gut tells me that the original draft of the Byron thing would have been better than what we ended up with, all things being equal.

Anyone want to know what *my* beef with Byron is?

Jan November 29th 09 22:53

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
JMS has said that:

Quote:

It's no secret that I would've had Ivanova becoming somewhat
linked to Byron romantically (she would see him as a character like
Marcus, which is why there are certain similarities, and she would take
a chance only to find it wrong this time, underlining that she'd missed
her one major opportunity thus far for a good relationship). This was
expressed to Claudia toward the last part of S4, so she knew at that
time that her latent ability would be coming out, and that she'd have a
big part in S5.

In this scenario, Lyta would have become a devoted follower of
Byron's, much as she has, but it would have been more love from afar:
protective, somewhat unrequited but hoping for more...so that when he
met his fate, Lyta would end up right where she is now, just by a
different road.

jms
It would have been interesting to see Ivanova taking an emotional chance for once.

Sure, what's your beef with Byron?

Jan

Republibot 3.0 November 30th 09 16:11

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
My beef with Byron is just this:

He's an uterly useless character from a narrative point of view.

I don't think he was *conceived* of as one. Obviously, JMS had some important purpose in mind for him with the whole Ivonova is a Latent Teep thing, but by the time the Claudia Christian stuff all came down and she was out of the show, that part was lost, and all Byron was left with was the Martyr/Messiah/Mentor thing, which, as we've all noted, is agonizing and slow, and in the end it accomplishes nothing. It's superfluous.

Think about it: We spent seven episodes with Byron training Lyta, Byron dying, Lyta taking command of the rogues, and going off, without resolving the arc, so seven episodes with Byron himself, and one or two specifically dealing with the fallout from it, but no actual *resolution.* that's both frustrating and time consuming, made worse by the fact that Oz never did give nothin' to the Tin Man that he didn't already have.

By which I mean: This is Lyta Alexander! She doesn't *need* Byron to convince her of her powers, strength, and responsibilities - we've spent three seasons by this point watching her learn all that. She's not a wallflower, she's a chick who can blow up a planet with her brain, a chick who holds back out of defference to others, and gets taken advantage of for it, but she's braver than hell and plenty smart. She is no man's woman, and doesn't need to be.

How much cooler would it have been if Lyta went to Sheridan at the start of Season 5 and simply said "Here's what I want in exchange for my services in the war: I want to start a colony of Teeps on the station." Sheridan would have gone along with it - probably reluctantly, but he's an honorable man, he recognizes his debts. And from the start of S5 forward, Lyta would have been the leader of the telepaths, organizing them, training them, caring for them. She doesn't need a mentor, she already knows how to do this stuff. Certainly she doesn't need a preachy, longwinded black-and-tragic-like Hamlet figure. Wouldn't you much rather spend seven episodes with a character you already know and like, rather than some new guy that no one gives a damn about? If having Lyta leave the station was crucially important to JMS' larger plan, then fine, have her leave the station with her minions when it's no longer safe for them there, swell, I don't care, but having her casting googoo eyes and doing nothing else for a third of the season was useless. If JMS lost Ivonova, he should have lost Byron too.

Which brings me to my second problem with the Telepath arc. I get that JMS had some big, involved plans in mind for the Telepath War. I'm cool with that. It seems like he hoped to have it be backstory in Crusade, just as the Minbari War was backstory for B5. That's swell, no problem. There was talk of doing a Telepath War theatrical movie at one point - just talk, but still - and I know that a large part of the "Lost Tales" project was to involve the Telepath Wars. I totally get that things were going off the rails, and things didn't end up working the way JMS had hoped/intended.

However, there's an *Awful* lot of dead air in Season 5, an awful lot of standalones, not to mention seven episodes of Byron. Given that JMS was able to work the whole "War to Retake Earth" thing in to five or six episodes of Season 4 - and it was the high water mark of the series - it seems to me he could have probably worked the entire telepath war in to Season 5 if he'd wanted to.

I know, I know, I'm totally secondguessing the great maker. Sorry. He was banking on some hail mary passes that ultimately didn't get completed. Still and all, that's my beef. What do you guys think?

KoshFan November 30th 09 16:15

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Republibot, did you heart the "lost notes" story about season 5? I think that accounts for some of that season's troubles... also the reason the Earth Civil War was resolved so quickly was because he wasn't banking on having a Season 5. 90% of the pacing woes would have been just fine if S4 had ended on "Intersections in Real Time" and the war had been wrapped up beginning in S5.

Jan November 30th 09 16:38

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 353030)
By which I mean: This is Lyta Alexander! She doesn't *need* Byron to convince her of her powers, strength, and responsibilities - we've spent three seasons by this point watching her learn all that. She's not a wallflower, she's a chick who can blow up a planet with her brain, a chick who holds back out of defference to others, and gets taken advantage of for it, but she's braver than hell and plenty smart. She is no man's woman, and doesn't need to be.

Here I have to disagree. There's no way the Lyta we saw for most of the series would become a resistance leader without a catalyst and Byron was utterly necessary for that. Face it, even though she was exploring her powers, Lyta was basically a doormat all too much of the time.

That said, JMS admitted that after the loss of his notes when he was about to begin writing Season 5, he clung to the Byron story too hard. When I was preparing the Joe Cuts for Volume 15, I also noted that there were a number of scenes where Byron was communing with his people cut from the final aired episode. I think that those would have made him a more sympathetic character. I also think that if there'd been some scenes where we saw why some of the teeps ran away instead of them being mostly mute it would have helped. Sure we saw some of that with the teeps talking to Talia early on but that was too long ago.

Quote:

However, there's an *Awful* lot of dead air in Season 5, an awful lot of standalones, not to mention seven episodes of Byron. Given that JMS was able to work the whole "War to Retake Earth" thing in to five or six episodes of Season 4 - and it was the high water mark of the series - it seems to me he could have probably worked the entire telepath war in to Season 5 if he'd wanted to.
Somebody (here, I think) once tried to find all of the episodes that didn't contain any arc progression. As I recall, he didn't find any. Personally, I don't think that B5 would have been anywhere near as good without the standalones, off-format etc. episodes. It was in them that we got the real character development. "A Late Delivery From Avalon" springs to mind as an excellent example.

That said, at some point JMS seems to have changed the timing of the entire series at some point. The synopsis of the arc that was printed in Volume 15 seems to show a much different timline than we had, with the Shadow War extending into the follow-up series, Babylon Prime. That would explain why Season One was sort of leisurly when compared to the others.

Jan

Republibot 3.0 November 30th 09 20:33

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
I've noticed that JMS tends to work in 6 and 7 episode chunks. If you notice, his arcs tend to begin or end about 6 or 7 episodes in to a season, or 6 or 7 episodes prior to the end of the season. This makes sense, as logically everything worth happening isn't gonna' *just* happen on New Years Eve.

The "Earth attempts to destabilize B5" arc from S4 got truncated, and the Retake Earth arc got massively accellerated, but JMS has said that season *would* have ended with Sheridan captured. (Or possibly "Intersections in Real Time", I forget.) That implies that we'd have had the first hunk of S5 be the whole rescue and endgame of the war, which, presumably would have ended around episode 5, 6, or 7-ish, if the fifth season had been assured.

This still gives us 2/3rds of the season for setting up the Drakh, the Fall of Centauri Prime, the telepath thread, etc. If you take out all the standalones in S5, the season feels more consistent. If you cut the telepath stuff and the standalones, the last 6 or 7 episodes are freakin' great.

Understand I'm not saying that Standalones are bad, or that I want it to be entirely arc driven, I'm just saying that the season didn't cohere as well as the others did, and some of that is Byron's fault, and some of that is loosing his notes. As an outside observer - and this is not in any way an authorotative opinion - it looks as if, by pushing stuff in to Season 4, season 5 was about a third empty.

I agree Lyta was something of a doormat up to this point, by I still maintain the story would have been better if she was learning how to lead people by herself, you know? Characters change. They change more in B5 than in most shows.

So was anyone ever able to reconstruct some of the stuff that got lost in JMS' notes when he got hacked? Do we know (roughly) what went missing? Any details?

Jan November 30th 09 22:57

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 353043)
So was anyone ever able to reconstruct some of the stuff that got lost in JMS' notes when he got hacked? Do we know (roughly) what went missing? Any details?

Sadly, what got lost were index cards that he kept his notes on. He had episodes broken down and bits of dialogue written down on the cards. He took them to the UK with him for a convention after getting the Season Five renewal and when the hotel changed his room, the cards got lost or thrown away.

Jan

Jade Jaguar December 1st 09 01:56

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 353034)
Here I have to disagree. There's no way the Lyta we saw for most of the series would become a resistance leader without a catalyst and Byron was utterly necessary for that. Face it, even though she was exploring her powers, Lyta was basically a doormat all too much of the time.

Exactly.

I liked Byron as a character. The only problem I have with the teep arc is the behavior of B5 personnel. In general, their behavior was as bad as the behavior of those who helped the Nazis round up Jews in WWII, even when they didn't agree with the Nazis. But, I think that was JMS' point.

dreamer December 1st 09 14:18

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
I think it was absolutely ridiculous how everyone behave towards Lyta in the fifth season. Couldn't actually almost believe what I was seeing when I watched it for the first time. Makes about as much sense as having Sam in LotR to snatch the One Ring from Frodo and announce himself as Lord of Middle-Earth.

Considering what Lyta went through with the others you'd think that at least someone would call attention to their own behavior. I wish that the teeps would've wiped the floors with the station personnel. Well... except for Zack.

About Winters being Control, I always kinda piled it up with her in the first episode where she strangely and obsessively tries to form some sort of relationship with Ivanova right off the bat. I'm sure she could've just filed the specifics somewhere after the first encounter where she confronted Ivanova at the bridge and introduced herself. But no, she has to rub it in just for the sole reason of establishing Ivanova's character.

KoshFan December 1st 09 17:09

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamer (Post 353078)
About Winters being Control, I always kinda piled it up with her in the first episode where she strangely and obsessively tries to form some sort of relationship with Ivanova right off the bat.

.... Or she could have been trying to do the good and professional thing by establishing a working relationship with someone she's going to have to work with a lot.

dreamer December 1st 09 18:18

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 353081)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamer (Post 353078)
About Winters being Control, I always kinda piled it up with her in the first episode where she strangely and obsessively tries to form some sort of relationship with Ivanova right off the bat.

.... Or she could have been trying to do the good and professional thing by establishing a working relationship with someone she's going to have to work with a lot.

No one behaves like that.

Have you relentlessly besieged someone like that when starting in a new job? Doesn't really strike as normal behaviour to me.

But yeah, I suppose that's what it's about. Ain't the first crude thing in B5, though!

Republibot 3.0 December 1st 09 18:22

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Re: the index cards.

That totally sucks. I was under the impression that someone hacked his computer, and destroyed files there.

Jan December 1st 09 20:26

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
There was at least once where he got a Trojan Horse in email but if he lost crucial notes that time I don't think he said anything about it. Sort of adding insult to injury, the weekend his notes were lost was the same weekend he found out about Claudia quitting. To say that Season 5 got off to a rough start would be an understatement.

Jan

Jade Jaguar December 2nd 09 01:32

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamer (Post 353090)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 353081)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamer (Post 353078)
About Winters being Control, I always kinda piled it up with her in the first episode where she strangely and obsessively tries to form some sort of relationship with Ivanova right off the bat.

.... Or she could have been trying to do the good and professional thing by establishing a working relationship with someone she's going to have to work with a lot.

No one behaves like that.

Have you relentlessly besieged someone like that when starting in a new job? Doesn't really strike as normal behaviour to me.

I guess you've never encountered any salesmen, of the sort we have in the US. Psicorp is a separate entity from the command structure of B5. Ivanova was not Talia's superior, but Talia's position made it necessary that she 'sell herself' to Ivanova, whether Ivanova liked it, or not.

A_M_Swallow December 2nd 09 03:37

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamer (Post 353078)

About Winters being Control, I always kinda piled it up with her in the first episode where she strangely and obsessively tries to form some sort of relationship with Ivanova right off the bat. I'm sure she could've just filed the specifics somewhere after the first encounter where she confronted Ivanova at the bridge and introduced herself. But no, she has to rub it in just for the sole reason of establishing Ivanova's character.

You do realise those scenes was two lesbians romancing each other?
It was also setting up Psi Corps and written for Lyta.

dreamer December 2nd 09 13:12

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by A_M_Swallow (Post 353124)
You do realise those scenes was two lesbians romancing each other?
It was also setting up Psi Corps and written for Lyta.

I don't bite.

While it wouldn't even perhaps raise an eyebrow if Winters would've been male and he'd been obsessing for Ivanova, I find it extremely unlikely that Winters has a gaydar so strong that she'd get Ivanova. One could of course argue that she scanned her - except that I think that Ivanova would've picked that up and spaced her from where she stood.

Besides, if Winters would've been driven by Control, it'd be a whole helluwa lot easier for a dame like that to hitch up with a man from high in the command.

The salesman angle that Jade Jaguar suggests might explain it a bit. The Corps seem to have this twisted push to suck up to people, complitely disregarding how people usually get acquainted. Like Harriman, who almost spilled his life's story with the first handshake.

Republibot 3.0 December 6th 09 14:59

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Well, actually, both the characters are pretty clearly bisexual. Talia had the relationship with Jason Ironheart, and presumably others. Ivonova had the relationship with...uhm...that british guy with "Earth First" in season 1, and clearly wanted one with Marcus. Seems Ivonova mostly prefered men.

If we assume that Talia was intended to be Control all along (She wasn't), then it makes sense for Psicorps to have done a lot of research on all the comand staff on B5. They'd have complete psychological evaluations of all the career officers anyway, and so it'd be easy for them to discover if Ivonova had a weakness for icy, curvy blondes, and capitalize on that.

flobo February 8th 10 00:48

Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?
 
Going back to the topic, i've just discovered an anime which was produced from 1988 to 2000.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_...alactic_Heroes
Don't let the title fool you, it's not a comedy :D , it is an anime adaptation of a 10 novels, making it very similar to B5 in that aspect. In total, there's 160 episodes and a few movies, i've seem only 30 episodes so far, but it seem to be a very good series already.

Moreover, if you search reviews online, it seem many people considers it japan' B5 the same way gundam is their starwars.
"babylon 5" "legend of galactic heroes"


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