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Recoil January 20th 04 10:31

Drakh
 
Ok,

I realize there are 2 types of Drakh. You might call one type the "leaders" and the other type the "soldiers." The leader types seemt to be dark greenish and scaly with little points in the sides of their heads. The soldiers have a whiteish head that sorta looks like a skull, with red eyes.

My question is about the Soldier Drakh. Why is it, when you first saw them in "Lines of Communication" they had that weird, creepy, shifting effect to them, but EVERY other time you see them (in the Centauri Palace in Season 5, and in Crusade several times) they no longer have that shifty effect, and are just looking normal.

Frankly I thought they looked a lot creepier with their shifting effect. Every other time I saw them, I always thought they were the most fake looking alien in Babylon 5. Well...other than Nagrath.

Any ideas why? Was it some sort of tech that they only used once? (although that seems odd, you would think they would want to bust that out every time they could)

sleepy_shadow January 20th 04 11:03

Re: Drakh
 
Would you, as a peace-loving Shadow minion, knowingly board a Minbari ship of hell-knows-what origin... without taking along a limited-issue computer graphics effect for personal protection against unexpected assault? :p

Elric January 20th 04 11:07

Re: Drakh
 
I've often wondered the same thing myself. Maybe it is just down to budget - it probably costs a fair bit of time & money to do that effect :p

I also agree that they were the least convincing aliens that the makeup guys created. I was always impressed by their prosthetics (especially the Narn) so it was strange to see the Drakh done the way they were (unless it was intentional of course?)

Joseph DeMartino January 20th 04 11:32

Re: Drakh
 
Quote:

I've often wondered the same thing myself. Maybe it is just down to budget - it probably costs a fair bit of time & money to do that effect :)


Time and budget were a factor, but not the way you're thinking. The shifting, blurry effect was added to "Lines of Coummunications" because JMS was so unhappy with the original makeup developed for the Drakh. (He was probably haunted by memories of the Zarg from "Grey 17".) There wasn't time during production to keep trying new versions, or to reshoot the Drakh scenes, so the only way to salvage the episode was to add the blurr effect and obscure the makeup as much as possible. They kept working on the makeup thereafter to have something better ready for the Drakh's next appearance.

I don't think the later Drakh make-ups were so bad. They were, after all, supposed to be an ugly bunch, and the actors under it were not expected to do the kind of subtle emoting that Andreas and others did through the layers of Narn makeup.

Regards,

Joe

B5_Obsessed January 20th 04 12:57

Re: Drakh
 
At least they came up with a new addition to the arsenal of ineffective weapons against bad makeup. The previous champions were:

1. The frenetic quick-cut
2. The stilted-motion video effect
3. The fabulous shaky-cam (Empire of the Ants, anyone?)

and perhaps most effective.....

4. Darkness

The funny thing is that both the Zarg and the original Drakh look very good in still photos, but when they're moving around they look terrible. So, in JMS's defense, he wouldn't really know a practical makeup job was going to suck until it came lurching out onto the set.

I would have recommended lowering the light levels on the Whitestar and giving the Drakh a much deeper hood on his cloak to obscure most of his face. Hey wait, that sounds like the Servants of The Hand!

FlipperPA January 20th 04 16:09

Re: Drakh
 
I've always liked to think of the Drakh as not necessarily once race, but possible several. "Drakh" as a term could be thought of, perhaps, as "shadow minions". Then you could have one race, being soldiers, another leading, another as ambassadors...

Don't forget the Drakh under the Centauri Royal Palace in S5 looks different from Shiv'Kala, the soldiers, or the ambassador.

The "soldier of darkness" in "The Long Dark" may have been Drakh as well. ;-)

-Tim

Shaal Mayan January 20th 04 16:14

Re: Drakh
 
I liked the swaying movement of the drakh in Lines and was sorry to see it go when season 5 came around it seemed to give their race a mystery about them that no others had .

Nukemall January 20th 04 16:28

Re: Drakh
 
I disagree with the with all that swaying motion business. Thought that the Drakh in Lines still looked crap with all that blurring.

OTOH, I thought that Shivkala looked quite demonic when he appeared in The Fall of Centauri Prime, which I liked.

Zathras January 20th 04 17:46

Re: Drakh
 
Quote:


I've always liked to think of the Drakh as not necessarily once race, but possible several. "Drakh" as a term could be thought of, perhaps, as "shadow minions".


When Delenn questions the Drakh emmissary aboard her White Star in "Lines of Communication," she asks him, "Is 'Drakh' your name or the name of your species?". The Drakh's reply is simply (and in typical fashion after hanging around First Ones too much) "Yes."

After this episode, I figured that the Drakh must have some sort of hive mind or similar social structure at work and that they don't really have names - maybe just designations. Then, in Crusade, they start spouting off proper names (i.e. Shiv'Kala). I don't get it. Either the "soldiers" don't have names, or only the Ambassadors have names, or they all have names and the Drakh in "Lines" was just being cheeky. :confused:

KoshN January 20th 04 17:55

Re: Drakh
 
Quote:

Ok,

I realize there are 2 types of Drakh. You might call one type the "leaders" and the other type the "soldiers." The leader types seem to be dark greenish and scaly with little points in the sides of their heads. The soldiers have a whiteish head that sorta looks like a skull, with red eyes.

The Drakh we see in the Centauri palace are leader Drakh (e.g. Shiv'kala, from the Legions of Fire trilogy), not soldier Drakh. In Crusade's "War Zone" we see some soldier Drakh (as CGI firing on the first shuttle, as CGI marching toward Trace in the view through his binoculars, as CGI on the cliff side, and as live action inside the Drakh ship during the firefight, all without the shimmer effect. In Crusade's "War Zone" we also see some leader Drakh (the ship captains).

In all other episodes of Crusade (as well as "A Call to Arms") we see leader Drakh, who never displayed the shimmer effect.

Personally, I liked the shimmer effect we saw on the Drakh emissary in B5's "Lines of Communication."


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