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-   -   Is it time to give season 5 another chance? (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=45789)

JoeD80 August 1st 16 00:20

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 456684)
I’m a little confused about the legalities of who can claim jurisdiction over the rogue telepaths. They committed their crimes on Alliance territory (B5) against Alliance members, the ambassadors of alien governments. Shouldn’t the ambassadors be demanding their extradition, like they did for Deathwalker?

Deathwalker wasn't part of any of those governments. The telepaths are Earth citizens.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 456684)
and I really do feel that bringing in some outside writers would have helped add some much-needed colour and variety to the season, as they did in season 1.

Just a random side-note: Peter David & Bill Mumy wrote one fifth season script, but it was not produced.

Jan August 1st 16 11:44

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 456684)
I’m a little confused about the legalities of who can claim jurisdiction over the rogue telepaths. They committed their crimes on Alliance territory (B5) against Alliance members, the ambassadors of alien governments. Shouldn’t the ambassadors be demanding their extradition, like they did for Deathwalker? Surely they wouldn’t want those telepaths, with whatever sensitive information they essentially stole from the ambassadors, going back to Earth where they could conceivably give that information to EarthGov, to potentially be used against the League worlds?

In addition to what JoeD80 has said, the telepaths did commit crimes on the station but they first committed crimes in Earth territory by going rogue. By ISA rules, that would make it an Earth internal affair.

Springer August 1st 16 12:58

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
I guess I'm just surprised the ambassadors allowed the telepaths with sensitive information in their heads to go back to Earth, where they could spill the beans to the Psi Corps and EarthGov. I mean, look at the fuss over Edward Snowdon going to Russia. Knowing those ambassadors, I'm surprised they didn't demand the telepaths have their minds wiped or something to prevent that sensitive information being passed on to others! In interstellar politics wouldn't the crime of espionage be more serious than just going rogue on Earth? If Sheridan had advised the ambassadors to begin extradition proceedings, even if in the end the extradition wasn't granted, it would have given Sheridan, Lochley and Byron more time to come up with a solution.

It's just nitpicking, I know, it just felt that too many of the characters made knee-jerk or bad decisions.

Jan August 1st 16 14:00

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 456694)
I guess I'm just surprised the ambassadors allowed the telepaths with sensitive information in their heads to go back to Earth, where they could spill the beans to the Psi Corps and EarthGov.
<snip>
It's just nitpicking, I know, it just felt that too many of the characters made knee-jerk or bad decisions.

So the rogues *said* they had the ambassador's secrets. Who's gonna prove that and how? ;) Get yet another telepath to go in and get those secrets to prove it? Which race's telepath would do that? Would all the other races go along with that? IMO, that'd never happen.

As for the bad decisions - exactly the point. Remember, B5 is all about process. So Sheridan and others had to learn by doing.

Springer August 1st 16 14:41

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 456695)
As for the bad decisions - exactly the point. Remember, B5 is all about process. So Sheridan and others had to learn by doing.

That's my other big bugbear this season – part of the process is learning from mistakes, but we don't see that. We don't see Sheridan and company learning that maybe using telepaths to spy on people is ethically dubious. We don't see Lochley learning that maybe working with Bester isn't such a good idea after all. JMS always said that B5 was about people taking responsibility for their choices. In the first half of season 5 he set up some provocative questions, had the characters make mistakes... and then no one takes responsibility for the tragedy that occurs, no one shows they've learnt.

Though I should say that the second half of the season is more about taking responsibility; Garibaldi and his alcoholism, Londo and the situation he helped create on Centauri Prime.

Jan August 1st 16 15:50

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
All I can say is that there were only a certain number of episodes and a certain number of minutes per episode. The show was a slice of history and history is seldom neat and tidy. ;)

Springer August 1st 16 16:30

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 456697)
All I can say is that there were only a certain number of episodes and a certain number of minutes per episode. The show was a slice of history and history is seldom neat and tidy. ;)

That feels like it's just deliberately ignoring the show's (perceived) faults. I feel it *is* okay to criticise the show and JMS' writing; doing so is not a betrayal of the show or of JMS. It's the stature and esteem that the show is held in that makes critiquing it worthwhile and helps us better understand the story and the characters. And different people will have different critiques and not everyone will share the same ones, but it's the discussion that helps illuminate the different ways that we view the show. Trying to avoid criticising the show is doing it a disservice.

B5 is my favourite show, ever – period. We're all still here 20 years after the show aired because it means something to us, and surely we repeatedly go over and analyse the same plots and characters because we're seeking to appreciate it and understand it better, the same way a piece of classic literature might be discussed and critiqued over the generations.

Look at it this way – I keep going on about the ethicality of using the telepaths for spying because I'm interested in the writer's intentions, and how that's reflected in the story. Was JMS trying to get the audience to question whether using the telepaths was ethically ok? At the time of writing did he believe that kind of invasion of privacy in the name of spying was ok in the context it was used in? Would he think the same today, and how would he tackle it in a modern storyline? What does it say about the characters? And as we're interested in characterisation and character growth, how did the Byron incident change any of the characters, other than Lyta? In a story with strong character-driven plotlines, how events change the characters is paramount to how we judge the meaning behind those events.

Plus when JMS talks about the story being partly about taking responsibility for your actions, that was something I took to heart in life, so I do notice when it's missing from the story.

JoeD80 August 1st 16 17:14

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

We don't see Sheridan and company learning that maybe using telepaths to spy on people is ethically dubious.
Probably because he never thought that. I stick by the idea that characters don't need to end up learning the lesson for the show to have presented it. The fallout was a direct result of his line of thinking.

Quote:

We don't see Lochley learning that maybe working with Bester isn't such a good idea after all.
This is the one part I think would have played very differently with Ivanova; her having to call in Bester after all that happened in the previous four seasons would have been some powerful emotional scenes.

Springer August 1st 16 17:24

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeD80 (Post 456700)
Quote:

We don't see Lochley learning that maybe working with Bester isn't such a good idea after all.
This is the one part I think would have played very differently with Ivanova; her having to call in Bester after all that happened in the previous four seasons would have been some powerful emotional scenes.

And Ivanova was meant to be the character that fell in love with Byron. Yeah, that would have been a great storyline if it had happened that way.

I wonder if JMS was ever tempted to give Lochley and Byron a history together?

Edit: I'll have a ponder about what you say about the characters not needing to take stock and consider their role during the aftermath of the events. My instinct is to say I disagree but we're entering realms of narrative structure – in a strong narrative, is it ok to not show things like this? What would be the pros and cons of writing it that way be? As a writer I'm interested in narrative structure so I'll think about it – perhaps it's placing trust in the viewer to know the characters well enough to know that yes, of course they would have regrets.

Jan August 1st 16 19:09

Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 456698)
That feels like it's just deliberately ignoring the show's (perceived) faults. I feel it *is* okay to criticise the show and JMS' writing; doing so is not a betrayal of the show or of JMS. It's the stature and esteem that the show is held in that makes critiquing it worthwhile and helps us better understand the story and the characters. And different people will have different critiques and not everyone will share the same ones, but it's the discussion that helps illuminate the different ways that we view the show. Trying to avoid criticising the show is doing it a disservice.

Not exactly sure where all that came from but it couldn't have been in response to what I posted. You perceive faults. I don't. But I never - ever - said anything about there being a problem with critiquing the show. I simply see what we got as more realistic than you do and I personally prefer what we got than what you say you would have liked to see.

That's all, nothing more.


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