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Republibot 3.0 March 18th 14 21:15

The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Hey.

On another thread we were talking about whether or not Lannier was always intended to die in the Telepath Wars, or in some other fashion. I agree he was dead by the time of Sleeping In Light, as was Lyta, Londo, and G'kar, but I think he was intended for a bigger, more heroic end than a random head-shot in an unfilmed Crusade episode.

I can spot two threads from the show that seem resolved, but seem less so when you look at them closer. Both of them involve The David Sheridan Incident.

We know that David was kidnapped by Londo/The Drakh on Centauri prime when he was 16 years old, and we know that Londo engineered the Sheridan's escape, and we know that Londo and G'Kar killed each other. We know G'kar didn't have his fake eye at the time. And that's about all we know.

Dangling threads:
1) Lannier: He's in love with Delenn, joins the Rangers to win her love, tries to kill Sheridan, then runs away in shame proclaiming that if Delenn ever needs him, he'll be there whatever the cost. And then he dies from a gunshot when Lyta is captured by Psicorps in an unfilmed episode. Yeah, that doesn't really track.

2) Londo: "You must save the eye that does not see." This could be several things, but most people take it to mean he should have stopped Cartagia from plucking out one of G'kar's eyes. Or saving "The Eye" Centauri relic. Neither of these fully make sense. I mean, obviously G'kar's eye DID see up until they plucked it out, so the wording doesn't make sense. Furthermore, they go to the trouble of establishing that G'kar's eye doesn't need to be attached to him to work, and he can use it to spy on people. And there's no payoff for this.

So here's how I think it was SUPPOSED to go down:

* Centauri Prime is under blockade. Nothing gets out, thanks to the Rangers, nothing gets in thanks to the Drakh/Centauri forces.
* David is 16, Keeper gets him, and he flies himself to Centauri Prime
* Londo demands Sheridan's surrender in exchange for David's life.
* Sheridan complies.
* Delenn is furious/terrifed at losing her family, and typically refuses to stay put.
* She either puts out the call asking Lannier for help, or (more likely) Lannier has been monitoring all this and simply shows up knowing she'll need him.
* He gets her past the blockades (Both of 'em) and to the planet, dying in the process, and atoning for his weaknesses in his own eyes.
* She gets captured, probably by David himself, who turns her in. (Keeper, remember?)
* She gets thrown in the cell with John.
* Meanwhile - I don't know how - G'kar is on Centauri Prime. He's using his detachable robo-eye to spy while trying to rescue one or all of the Sheridans.
* Londo sees the eye when it's stashed somewhere, recognizes it instantly, and SAVES THE EYE WHICH DOES NOT SEE, rather than turn it over to his masters.
* He uses this to help G'kar avoid capture, so G'kar can see what Londo sees, etc.
* Londo releases the Sheridans, and asks G'kar to kill him before his keeper can warn the Drakh.
* This they then do
* The Sheridan's escape.

That's my theory. There are a number of unanswered questions: How/why is G'kar there? Were Franklin, Garibaldi, Ivonova, Zack, or Lochley involved in any capacity? How, exactly, does this incident result in the collapse of the Drakh occupation?

Just the same, it seems to use elements that were set up but never paid off.

What do you think?

This fits into my far-less-likely "Lost Episode" theory, which I'll talk about if anyone's interested.

Springer March 19th 14 20:17

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
I haven't read Peter David's Centauri Trilogy in about 15 years, so my memory is a little hazy, but putting all the hints and clues together I was expecting something along the lines of what you posit here. Maybe that's why JMS was never interested in pursuing this plotline in a TV movie – we could already find the major plotpoints in previous episodes and there was no point doing something just to show people what they already know must have happened.

It was certainly set up that way in Objects at Rest: first Lennier's betrayal and then Londo giving Sheridan and Delenn the urn with the keeper; the presence of the two dangling plot points in what was meant to be a wrapping up episode cannot be a coincidence and that they had t relate to each other

But maybe having Lennier sacrifice himself to save Sheridan Jr proved a little bit too neat, a bit too obvious, which may have caused JMS to kill Lennier in the Telepath War instead. Plus, if JMS was thinking about a theatrical movie, he might have wanted to move some of his plots and character beats into that and showcase them there. So maybe Lennier ended up in the telepath war because JMS wanted him in the movie?

JoeD80 March 20th 14 13:33

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
On the "David Sheridan" incident, there are several notes Joe wrote about a planned 3-part episode in season five where he comes back from the future to stop his parents from becoming fascist in leading the alliance. It's in his year five outline in the scriptboks and his season five notecards that are in the "Artifacts" book.

As for Lennier, Joe told Bill he was going to die in the telepath war before that episode was written. Bill Mumy mentions it in one of his interviews and Joe's reassurance that it would happen after year five.

Edit:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Mumy
When I read that Lennier was toasted as one who had fallen [in Sleeping in Light], at first I tried to appeal that. I went to Joe and said, "Does he have to die?" and Joe said, "He dies in the great telepath war. He'll die like a hero, and it's way down the line; it's two movies down the line." I said, "Yeah, but he has to die?" and Joe said, "Yes, he's dying. He'll die like a hero and it will be great death, and it's after the fifth season" and blah blah blah.

That's Lennier's fate: he dies in the great telepath war somewhere down the line in the future.


Republibot 3.0 March 20th 14 15:19

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 447773)
Maybe that's why JMS was never interested in pursuing this plotline in a TV movie we could already find the major plotpoints in previous episodes and there was no point doing something just to show people what they already know must have happened.

It was certainly set up that way in Objects at Rest: first Lennier's betrayal and then Londo giving Sheridan and Delenn the urn with the keeper; the presence of the two dangling plot points in what was meant to be a wrapping up episode cannot be a coincidence and that they had t relate to each other

I've occasionally wondered if JMS wanted to do a "Secret" episode (The "Lost" thing I refer to in the thread title). We see flash forwards here and there through the series, most relating to "The David Sheridan Incident." Sometimes I wonder if JMS had planned to essentially film that entire incident - which is the climax of the series, really - as a piecemeal episode, a bit at a time, inserted as flash forwards over the course of the series (Somewhat similar to what Whedon did with the 1st season finale of Dollhouse).

So basically there'd be 110 episodes, but there'd be a super-secred 111th one hidden in the series itself if you went through it ep by ep and strung all the flash-forwards together.

Republibot 3.0 March 20th 14 15:20

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeD80 (Post 447815)
On the "David Sheridan" incident, there are several notes Joe wrote about a planned 3-part episode in season five where he comes back from the future to stop his parents from becoming fascist in leading the alliance. It's in his year five outline in the scriptboks and his season five notecards that are in the "Artifacts" book.


WHOA! What? wow!

Please tell me everything you know about this, including why it got cut.

Jan March 20th 14 17:41

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 447827)

WHOA! What? wow!

Please tell me everything you know about this, including why it got cut.

No real clue as to why it was dropped except that a fair amount of time had to be spend on the character change from Ivanova to Lochley and changing the thread of Ivanova getting involved with Byron over to Lyta. One thing that remained was how JMS described the fifth season as 'empire building'. Now, we weren't supposed to actually see any fascism by Sheridan/Delenn, just the visit from the future David Sheridan to warn/prevent that. Also, JMS didn't want to commit to an actor to play David, as JMS explained in the commentary for Sleeping in Light.

The fact that the Drakh (through the Regent and remote control pods) were responsible for the raids on the other races ships was changed, too. It was originally a faction of the Centauri.

Jan

Springer March 20th 14 18:24

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
To be honest I can see shades of that fascism left over in season 5. The Rangers in Learning Curve acting as judge and jury for one. The Alliance being somewhat nepotistic, Sheridan and then Delenn being president (did any other candidates ever challenge them?), their friends getting top jobs etc. What was a show of force in Rising Star with the White Stars flying loudly over Earthdome to convince them to join the Alliance. The Alliance didn't seem entirely transparent or totally democratic. Though I would have had a hard time believing any storyline that depicted Sheridan or Delenn actively being fascist and, even though we had already had a time travel storyline, it does seem to be quite an incredible plot.

Republibot 3.0 March 21st 14 15:42

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 447848)
Also, JMS didn't want to commit to an actor to play David, as JMS explained in the commentary for Sleeping in Light.
Jan

Oddly, it never struck me that David shold have been there for the Last Supper, but, yeah, he shoulda'.

Republibot 3.0 March 21st 14 15:49

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 447851)
To be honest I can see shades of that fascism left over in season 5. The Rangers in Learning Curve acting as judge and jury for one. The Alliance being somewhat nepotistic, Sheridan and then Delenn being president (did any other candidates ever challenge them?), their friends getting top jobs etc. What was a show of force in Rising Star with the White Stars flying loudly over Earthdome to convince them to join the Alliance. The Alliance didn't seem entirely transparent or totally democratic. Though I would have had a hard time believing any storyline that depicted Sheridan or Delenn actively being fascist and, even though we had already had a time travel storyline, it does seem to be quite an incredible plot.

I personally saw that stuff as a case of carrot and stick: We COULD have destroyed earth, and here's proof, but we didn't. So be our friends. It's a veiled threat masquerading as an invitation to a party.

But I could see that as the first stage in "The Great Sheridonian Empire" if JMS had decided to go that way. We've already seen Sheridan had great facility for misinformation, a fascination with conspiracies, and so forth. The only fascistic elements I can recall are when he gave his big speech on the catwalk in the Zocalo to the crowds about how they can win this not for a thousand years but forever. The pacing, the cadence, the way it's shot, the fire in his voice, that whole scene is like something out of Triumph of the Will.

It's Hitlerific! <G>

So now that you mention it, I can see fingerprints, though as shot I think Sheridan's greater-than-average moral sense and basic decency kept him from going down that road, it'd be interesting if, maybe, at some point, he stopped being the revolutionary and became The Great Dictator.

Hm. Very interesting.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd that would have given the Great Machine something to do.

(Incidentally, moving the ISA capital to Minbar always struck me as a stupid thing to do and something that wouldn't sit well with earth. There really was no logical reason not to keep it on B5, or perhaps move it to the planet.)

Psi Cop April 7th 14 12:06

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Would have made a good tv movie instead of the silly plots that wasted the opportunity to tie up loose ends.

Republibot 3.0 April 8th 14 12:55

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 448436)
Would have made a good tv movie instead of the silly plots that wasted the opportunity to tie up loose ends.

I get the feeling G'Kar's cybernetic eye was supposed to play more of a part than it did. They went to all the trouble of setting it up with no payoff.

Ubik April 23rd 14 10:01

Re: The David Sheridan Incident/Lost Episode
 
It would have been great to see a few episodes dedicated to David Sheridan, be it the ‘incident’ or the proposed time travel three parter. The proposal for the three part episode definitely tracks for me. I can completely buy elements of fascism creeping into the alliance under Sheridan.

Even though he was under Bester’s control at the time, I always thought there was a grain of truth to Garibaldi’s observations about Sheridan, and I could definitely buy into the alliance becoming exactly the kind of thing it was meant to oppose.

I must admit, I always felt a bit cheated by the flash forward to the events of ‘Sleeping in Light’. There’s something to be said for leaving certain thing undocumented, but I’d love to see some of those gaps filled. A shame some S5’s much mailgned teep arc couldn’t have been ditched in favour of the David Sheridan centric stuff.

Kevin, I think you’re theory / ideas around the David Sheridan incident are pretty solid. It’s fun to speculate, and sometimes I think speculation is all we really have left in the B5 universe!


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