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-   -   EpDis: Infection (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=6760)

vacantlook October 20th 04 20:32

EpDis: Infection
 
Time for another.

Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for Infection
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for Infection

KoshFan October 20th 04 21:16

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Infection suffers from some gaping plot holes, but it's redeemed by the oodles upon oodles of foreshadowing.

(You know a writer's doing a good job when the word "foreshadowing" has ominous, double meanings.)

vacantlook October 20th 04 21:43

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
The main story of "Infection" I found to be rather bland. It does introduce the concept of organic technology, which is good for the show being that orgtech has such a prominent place in the lives of several of the major alien races in the galaxy. The whole purity theme was hammered a bit too hard, I think, which caused me to not really care all that much about it. So, perhaps the story of the episode is good, just not the execution of that story.

Two things in the episode I considerably enjoy:

- The scene between Sinclair and Garibaldi in Sinclair's quarters at the end. I like the whole theme of having something worth dying for versus having something worth living for, which we get even more strongly later in the show with Sheridan on Z'ha'dum. I love Sinclair's telling Garibaldi that he doesn't have an answer for Garibaldi's question and that he knows he should have one.

- The scene at the end between Franklin and Ivanova when the two security guys show up to tell Franklin that the orgtech has been ordered back to Earth for study by the EarthForce weapons devision. I love Ivanova's response: "I'll be over there getting drunk... with the rest of the aliens."

Markas October 21st 04 01:46

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
The Ikarran solution to invasion was a bit interesting, but otherwise, I found it to be a pedestrian episode.

phoenixrising October 21st 04 02:36

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
And you'll notice later in the season (after Sinclair and Garibaldi's talk) Sinclair didn't put his ass on the line quite as much as he used to.

vacantlook October 21st 04 03:04

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Yet Sinclair was still looking for a reason, which he gained when he learned/understood that he is/was Valen.

Shaal Mayan October 21st 04 09:02

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I will give this one an average grade I liked the story of the organic tech nice setup for later episodes of the series .

aajay October 21st 04 11:56

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Not one of the better eipsodes, but I enjoyed seeing David McCallum - a fav of mine since the Man from U.N.C.L.E. days.

GKarsEye October 26th 04 13:42

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

- The scene between Sinclair and Garibaldi in Sinclair's quarters at the end. I like the whole theme of having something worth dying for versus having something worth living for, which we get even more strongly later in the show with Sheridan on Z'ha'dum. I love Sinclair's telling Garibaldi that he doesn't have an answer for Garibaldi's question and that he knows he should have one.

Like most TV shows, this is your typical "what have we learned today?" moment of the episode. Unlike most TV shows, it actually has repercussions throughout the shows and introduces themes that would be revisited.

By the way, I'm re-watching the series with my sister, and we just got through TKO, so I'm kind of in-step with these polls. :)

darth_librarian October 28th 04 05:11

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I really liked this, it was great. I acknowledge a lot of the problems with it especially as it was first filmed, but the cool premise of organic tech, a man with a big gun on his arm and a real Man from UNCLE were enough to win me over.
Lots of foreshadowing to later plots as well.

RW7427 October 29th 04 21:49

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Not one of my favorites, but I watch it anyhow. ;)

rangerPHIL October 30th 04 15:07

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
the foreshadowing in this one won me over.

The fact that the planet of Ikarra had been dead for 1000 years ( the last shadow war ), and the technology was created to stop an invasion ( but does not tell you by whom - they could just have been in league with the shadows - but it is left for the viewer to figure it out ).

:D

nimisha October 30th 04 21:56

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I enjoyed the foreshadowing too. Also, from watching the DVD's over and over,(can't help myself) I noticed that the actor who played the Narn T'lon was also the research assistant. I get a kick out of seeing how JMS uses the same actor for multiple characters.

Shaal Mayan November 15th 04 08:32

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Anthor piece of foreshadowing is the Icarns were trying to create a pure Icarn .Later in season 4 when Delenn goes home to sanctify her coming marriage to Sheridan Callenn uses the same line of keeping minbar pure.

GKarsEye November 15th 04 08:47

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
As I'm re-watching the series with my sister, I'm surprised by how many times I reference this episode when reminding her of foreshadowing: organic tech, "1000 yrs ago," IPX, etc.

Cell May 26th 08 01:31

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Enjoy my latest review,

http://worldsoforos.com/secondviews/...-104/#more-325

Truth_Seeker May 26th 08 01:41

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Cell aren't you too hard on "Infection".I know that it's not the best that B5 can offer, but an F?

Ferazel May 26th 08 02:36

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
No I don't think it was tough, it is one of the worst if not THE worst B5 episode in my opinion. Besides the ending that states why space exploration is important, the episode is generic Star Trek fare. I guess I missed this foreshadowing that people are referring to, but I had no inkling that this was foreshadowing the Shadows in any way shape or form.

Truth_Seeker May 26th 08 05:02

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
In this episode we hear for the first time about IPX, which is a very important organization later in the series(Catherine Sakai; Anna Sheridan;the doctor from "Messages From Earth";"Thirdspace").We also find out that the Vorlons probably have organic technology.

I don't think that it deserves an F.

Cell May 26th 08 07:20

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Truth_Seeker (Post 322534)
In this episode we hear for the first time about IPX, which is a very important organization later in the series(Catherine Sakai; Anna Sheridan;the doctor from "Messages From Earth";"Thirdspace").We also find out that the Vorlons probably have organic technology.

I don't think that it deserves an F.

Foreshadowing in the form of simply name dropping an organization that will play a role in the series later does not constitute good storytelling. It's cool in the sense that it's a neat little thing that most people probably ignored on first viewing, but it certainly isn't something that will help an episodes grade, especially an episode as bad as Infection.

Jan May 26th 08 11:56

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
The main bit of foreshadowing that's completely ignored in the review is "When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy." Shadows and Vorlons anybody? We also see that Earth wants organic technology which points directly to events on Mars later on with the Shadow vessel.

Even JMS is aware that "Infection" became about the "man in a scarey rubber monster suit" rathern than many of the things he wanted it to portray. Still, it should also be remembered that it was the first episode shot even if it was the fourth shown.

Jan

Cell May 26th 08 15:32

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 322546)
The main bit of foreshadowing that's completely ignored in the review is "When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy." Shadows and Vorlons anybody? We also see that Earth wants organic technology which points directly to events on Mars later on with the Shadow vessel.

Not so much ignored, more that I don't agree with that interpretation. I don't believe that the Vorlons/Shadows obsession with each other ever led to them becoming more like the other. Their obsession was always with their own version of control, not the enemy.

Jan May 26th 08 16:56

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
It's not always a matter of becoming more like each other, it's often a matter of taking the same or similar actions albeit for supposedly different reasons. Manipulating humans on a genetic level vs using them as central processing units. Destroying entire planets touched by the Shadows vs setting entire planets and races at war with each other.

I would differ that "Their obsession was always with their own version of control..." too, though. Their original difference was a philosophical one and they obeyed certain rules in being shepherds for the younger races. It's when their obsession became about control, about who was right that they became their own enemy.

Jan

hypatia May 26th 08 17:24

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I would tend to agree with Jan. Every time I have heard the phrase "... become like the enemy" it did not mean that all aspects of the enemy's philosphy, politics, etc had to be adopted to fit. It meant primarily that the horrific tactics which you once abhorred you now embrace in the name of destroying the enemy. After awhile, those caught in the middle don't/won't really care if it's communism/capitalism, or dictatorship/democracy, or catholocism/protestantism... they'll only notice that you all use whips, now.

A_M_Swallow May 26th 08 19:12

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
The show Infection was foreshadowing is Crusade. Earth's playing with organic technology was going to lead to big problems.

Cell May 26th 08 19:13

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I understand what both of you are saying, but I don't think that applies to the Vorlons or the Shadows at all. They were always control freaks and it was their obsession with control that led to both of them becoming as openly powerful as they were. They didn't become like one another, they were already like one another.

hypatia May 26th 08 20:13

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I know you have never changed your mind about anything, once you state an opinion. So I'll make this my last word, to wrap up the conversation from my end:

I don't know if it was stated or I just felt it was implied that the Vorlons and the Shadows, over time, grew to taking the extremes they we see and find out about in B5. I got the distinct impression they didn't start out that way. More like their "argument" grew gradually, in stages, until it became a matter of devastating or developing whole species. Whether or not you want to see that as a "... you become the enemy" kind of thing is actually a completely trivial point.

Oh, and for the record, I never read fan reviews. I don't see much point in them. I like the approach taken here: post a thread for an episode, state your opinion in brief, and use it to stimulate meaningful conversation. Disagreements do occur, obviously, but sometimes opinions can be changed and we can all learn something of a new perspective about the show.

But I know you'll never really be part of this, because you start off completely cemented in your own opinions. So, that's fine, I'll read some of your posts, likely skip the longer ones, and avoid responding. It seems the best way to approach the situation, when debating the inflexible. I'm just more interested in discussing these things with people who might admit to learning something from someone else from time to time.

Cell May 26th 08 21:04

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 322573)
I know you have never changed your mind about anything, once you state an opinion. So I'll make this my last word, to wrap up the conversation from my end:

Taking the approach that "you never change your mind" is incredibly short sighted. Changing someone's mind or opinion should never be the goal of any conversation or debate. Rather the goal should be a simple exchange of ideas and if those ideas happen to provoke a change in the opinion of someone else, then so be it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 322573)
Oh, and for the record, I never read fan reviews. I don't see much point in them. I like the approach taken here: post a thread for an episode, state your opinion in brief, and use it to stimulate meaningful conversation. Disagreements do occur, obviously, but sometimes opinions can be changed and we can all learn something of a new perspective about the show.

Read or don't read my reviews, it doesn't really matter to me as I will write them even if no one is reading them. Although since I am a professional writer and do review B5 and other media not as a fan but as an extension of my other writing it is a misnomer to call my reviews fan reviews. Even if I weren't a professional and just a fan, there is nothing that separates a fan review from a professional review except the professional gets paid.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 322573)
But I know you'll never really be part of this, because you start off completely cemented in your own opinions. So, that's fine, I'll read some of your posts, likely skip the longer ones, and avoid responding. It seems the best way to approach the situation, when debating the inflexible. I'm just more interested in discussing these things with people who might admit to learning something from someone else from time to time.

If that's the way you want to approach it that's fine, although it has been my experience that not taking into account all opinions and rather only those that fit some criteria you have created leads to a bad end.

Elipsis May 27th 08 18:00

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I never posted here, but I did give this a D awhile back. I consider it the 2nd worst episode in front of TKO.


TBH I have to agree that all the "foreshadowing" is incidental and requires broad interpretation of a number of phrases. What brings this Star Trek episode out of the F range is the sequence at the end with Garibaldi and Sinclair and the time taken to give him the bit of depth that you wouldn't see on many other shows.

Galahad May 27th 08 23:57

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by A_M_Swallow (Post 322568)
The show Infection was foreshadowing is Crusade. Earth's playing with organic technology was going to lead to big problems.

I think it does a lot more than foreshadow Crusade. It gives you a good indication of whats going on back home... this together with Earth's active stance with the Deathwalker situation/Epsilon III and the hidden factions in the Government backing Home Guard and a few other things tell us that Earth has not come to terms with it's dismal performance in the Minbari War... and this has led to a dangerous obsession with alien tech... in a bid to develop shortcuts to be on an even keel with a race such as the Minbari once more.

There are lots of little touches (even with guest or minor characters) that give us an inkling that Earth is a place that has a lot of fear, self doubt and insecurity.

It's this fear that leaves them wide open to the approach of Morden... and leads to the xenophobic idiot Clarke, moving himself into a place where he can seize power.

Urban Roy April 2nd 09 13:15

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I felt that this episode was something of step back, mostly to do with the quality of the production rather than the story which was fine if a little bland. I thought it was a nice touch to pick on Sinclair always putting himself on the line. It have been niggling at me and it was very well explained.

As always a pleasure to see Iliya Kuryakin.

I also thought that it was slightly strange that Babylon 5 was only two years old (although given that it was 10 years since the end of the Minbari war and there were four Babylons before it that makes sense). It does not feel like two years is long enough for a place to develop the seedy corners and the underworld that Babylon 5 has. It feels like an underbelly develops, it doesn't just appear fully developed. Could just be me I guess.

vacantlook April 2nd 09 19:38

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urban Roy (Post 339445)
I felt that this episode was something of step back, mostly to do with the quality of the production....

Then it shouldn't surprise you to learn that "Infection" was the first episode filmed, though it was aired forth. Season one did quite a bit of that: filming an episode in a different order than it was broadcast. It often, but not always, had to do with giving the special effects team enough time to produce the CGI of the episode. Other times it was just in shuffling episodes around a bit to try to make the flow of the story throughout the season better. After season one, there was very very little of this sort of shuffling as the episodes be come less stand-alone than in season one.

Cell April 2nd 09 20:32

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urban Roy (Post 339445)
It does not feel like two years is long enough for a place to develop the seedy corners and the underworld that Babylon 5 has. It feels like an underbelly develops, it doesn't just appear fully developed. Could just be me I guess.

Good point, this has always been a nagging issue with me as well.

Sindatur April 2nd 09 20:38

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cell (Post 339500)
Good point, this has always been a nagging issue with me as well.

However, in the series, it does show us that people make their way to B5, and can't support themselves, or afford passage off, so, in order for B5 personnel to clean up the "riff raff" as the population of them grew, that would entail paying for their passage off the station, so, it never really felt odd to me. It's not like folks down on their luck can just walk to the next town or hitch hike.

KoshFan April 2nd 09 21:45

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Plus I think it's implied later on that B5 was never truly finished. Lots of places to hide, lots of nooks and crannies... and of course it's a great trading post, which means it'll soon have a black market.

Had the underworld been shown to us six weeks after the station was finished, sure. But I think two years is enough to develop some seemy spots.

GKarsEye April 4th 09 15:30

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
When I've visited or learned about developing towns, I was fascinated by how quickly economic and cultural sub-communities develop. It is, in fact, perfectly reasonable- and expected- for "brown sector" and all sorts of little hubs of activity to develop real quick on a place like Babylon 5.

Jade Jaguar April 5th 09 04:14

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urban Roy (Post 339445)
It does not feel like two years is long enough for a place to develop the seedy corners and the underworld that Babylon 5 has.

Us seedy folks can bring down property values pretty fast. It's one of our few talents... :D

Estelyn May 15th 10 18:51

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
Having just rewatched this episode, I must say I agree with much of what has already been written here - the main story is below par for the series, but some aspects (McCallum, Garibaldi confronting Sinclair, Ivanova) do redeem it somewhat. I'm not sure whether I like the closing lines - Sinclair's interview, which finally takes place. The lines are almost too cheesy to be really touching.

Alioth May 21st 12 06:38

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
[QUOTE=Galahad;322650]
Quote:

Originally Posted by A_M_Swallow (Post 322568)
I think it does a lot more than foreshadow Crusade. It gives you a good indication of whats going on back home... this together with Earth's active stance with the Deathwalker situation/Epsilon III and the hidden factions in the Government backing Home Guard and a few other things tell us that Earth has not come to terms with it's dismal performance in the Minbari War... and this has led to a dangerous obsession with alien tech... in a bid to develop shortcuts to be on an even keel with a race such as the Minbari once more.

There are lots of little touches (even with guest or minor characters) that give us an inkling that Earth is a place that has a lot of fear, self doubt and insecurity.

It's this fear that leaves them wide open to the approach of Morden... and leads to the xenophobic idiot Clarke, moving himself into a place where he can seize power.

This may have been the first episode to give us these clues, followed by many more. It became apparent fairly quickly that in this show, Earth wasn't the secure utopian hub of some enlightened Federation. Your analysis of Earth's political and social climate and why it probably developed is pretty spot-on. Maybe a bit like Germany after WWI, minus an analog of the Versailles Treaty, but instead, oddly, a "surrender" of the enemy that no one could understand--other than perhaps that some "fifth column" was in place, hence the suspicions about Sinclair, general xenophobia, etc. But it sort of echoed "stabbed in the back" sentiments among many Germans after WWI, leading to the horrible scapegoating of a certain "Other" within that society.... Indeed, the intent of that Ikarran technology dovetailed pretty well with that pevailing mood on Earth, although the Earthers probably didn't know what the B5 leaders learned about Ikarran history. They were, as you say, simply looking for any shortcut to military advantage--possible dangers and consequences, including those from not really understanding what they'd discovered, be damned.

This ep does have a good bit to offer beneath the surface, although I agree that much of the immediate story was executed rather hamhandedly, and probably doesn't impress on first viewing before knowing the arc Earth takes in the series. I think at first viewing I did pick up a little that something may not have been quite right with Earth, but probably chalked it down to "the military-industrial complex is still alive in this future". I don't think we even know yet the nature of the Earth-Minbari War and that we got our asses handed to us (unless this is mentioned in "the Gathering", but I didn't watch that--separate DVD--until after the series proper).

Alioth May 21st 12 06:45

Re: EpDis: Infection
 
I don't think we ever see the small, portable organic devices the Shadows also had (which those smuggled artifacts remind somewhat of) in the show itself, but in some of the books we do see them. Such as the Shadow Within and
Spoiler for Shadow Within:
that little machine made from that mouselike creature native to Z'ha'dum, which was found in the Mars dig. Strangely, I didn't even pick up on the Shadow tech foreshadowing until I watched again after having read that book.


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