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-   -   EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1 (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=7496)

vacantlook February 9th 05 03:04

EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Next.

Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1

KoshFan February 9th 05 08:57

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
I never thought much about this episode -- until I'd finished the series and then watched it again. A lot of foreshadowing and character development there....

Overall I liked it mostly because it started out slow and only gradually built, giving us a bit of a sense of how the station worked on the, oh, four or five weeks total that the world wasn't falling apart.

RMcD February 9th 05 11:54

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
It's weird that B5 only produced two 2-parters in five years. I suppose that once the episodes became so heavily serialised, it just wasn't necessary..

A Voice in the Wilderness is a little slow, I think, especially towards the end - there isn't quite enough plot to spread it out. A couple of random thoughts: I like the way that the Mars revolt is slipped into the background, though it's actually a major blip on the B5 timeline - it helps give a sense that there's a big universe out beyond the station. And Lise Hampton - who'd have thought from this that she'd be making appearances right up to the end of S5?

It seems strange that G'Kar is absent, though there are some neat moments for the other characters.

Also, I'd never fully appreciated the extent to which this episode pays homage to the film Forbidden Planet until I saw it recently - everything from the Great Machine to certain CGI background shots.

I always laugh at the alien at the end who manages to learn English in the course of issuing an ultimatum - must have been tough on the actor.

This episode gets a B+ from me.

Shaal Mayan February 9th 05 12:04

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
I give this on a C grade average nice setup for future story lines but the whole episode could have done in one .

KoshFan February 9th 05 15:25

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

It's weird that B5 only produced two 2-parters in five years. I suppose that once the episodes became so heavily serialised, it just wasn't necessary.

I've always seen Messages From Earth/Point of No Return/Severed Dreams as a three-parter, since there's next to no intervening time between them.

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And Lise Hampton - who'd have thought from this that she'd be making appearances right up to the end of S5?

Ah, Babylon 5 -- where even insignificant extras can be catapulted into importance. Lise Hampton, Lt. Corwin, and best of all, Ta'Lon.

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It seems strange that G'Kar is absent

I was just noticing this myself. See my new thread....

GKarsEye February 9th 05 16:22

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
I like Draal, this one much more than the blustering, slapstick one we see later.

The first thing I think of when I look at this episode is Londo. It's his last hurrah, last noble and "fun" adventure before entering the darkness that would consume the rest of his life. Once you've seen the series straight through, Londo in this episode takes on a whole new meaning- the first viewing, it's comical or silly. The second one, it's bittersweet.

Delenn continues to be pious and arrogant and annoying. I really don't like her as a person those first couple of seasons. After she hits bottom and claws her way on top and starts to kick ass, I'm in love with her.

What really bothers me about the Great Machine is that they didn't know it was there. There just happened to be one of the most powerful and mysterious devices in the galaxy sitting little right under the station and- oops- no one had the foggiest notion. Ok. :rolleyes:

A_M_Swallow February 9th 05 17:03

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

What really bothers me about the Great Machine is that they didn't know it was there. There just happened to be one of the most powerful and mysterious devices in the galaxy sitting little right under the station and- oops- no one had the foggiest notion. Ok. :rolleyes:

That is simply good camouflage. If the Great Machine does not transmit and keeps its doors closed only a detailed survey would find it several miles underground.

The odd thing is that one of the Zathras brothers did not take Draal to Babylon 5.

hypatia February 9th 05 17:18

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

The odd thing is that one of the Zathras brothers did not take Draal to Babylon 5.

Man, that never occured to me before. Maybe he didn't have a shuttle? :confused:

vacantlook February 9th 05 18:07

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

The odd thing is that one of the Zathras brothers did not take Draal to Babylon 5.

I don't understand this statement. Why would a Zathras brother transport Draal to B5 from the Minbari homeworld? Do you mean why didn't a Zathras brother transport the dying Varn from the planet to the station instead of leaving it up to Ivanova and Sinclair to go down to the planet and bring him back?

hypatia February 9th 05 18:24

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
That's what I assumed he meant, VL.

A_M_Swallow February 9th 05 20:23

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Yes I meant the old keeper.

KoshFan February 9th 05 20:45

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Maybe the Zathras brothers had their hands full keeping the Machine together as Varn fell apart. But even still I have to admit it's a little hard to explain.

Best answer? JMS had Zathras's first appearance in Babylon Squared already mapped out and didn't want to spoil the surprise.

2aMageing February 9th 05 21:48

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:


The first thing I think of when I look at this episode is Londo. It's his last hurrah, last noble and "fun" adventure before entering the darkness that would consume the rest of his life. Once you've seen the series straight through, Londo in this episode takes on a whole new meaning- the first viewing, it's comical or silly. The second one, it's bittersweet.



Ah, that's right. That might be my favorite Londo sequence.......up there with teaching bugs not to triffle with a Centauri. :)

"Landing thruster.......landing thruster.......let's see, if I were a landing thruster, where would I be????" :D

It kind of feels like we are getting a glimpse into who he was before he came to B5 and ended up being "touched by darkness". I can see the swashbuckling Paso Leati flying fearlessly through the storm of battle for the glory of the old republic. But, given the coming darkness, it is quite accurate to describe it as bittersweet to see him free of his station, even if only for a little while.

I thought part 1 was a bit better than part 2, mostly because I found the attacking aliens to be more rediculous than fearsome. The presence of Earthforce was a mildly amusing sideline player in the story. Really, the best of it was seeing Draal find a place for himself just shy of leaving entirely. It feels alot like when Sinclair describes himself as having found his place, like the arrow that springs forth from the bow, no doubt, no hesitation. Draal's place with the great machine felt very similar.


Altogether I would give it a B, probably B+. Kind of rough, but very worthwhile and easily entertaining.

vacantlook February 10th 05 01:36

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

Really, the best of it was seeing Draal find a place for himself just shy of leaving entirely. It feels alot like when Sinclair describes himself as having found his place, like the arrow that springs forth from the bow, no doubt, no hesitation. Draal's place with the great machine felt very similar.

It was kinda built to be similar, I think. Draal said that Varn chose to appear to him, Londo, and Sinclair because of their being so aquainted with the "3rd Principal of Sentient Life" -- the whole sacrificing oneself for another or others. Draal does it in going to the planet to take the position at the heart of the Great Machine, Sinclair does it in going back into the past to become Valen and take the Minbari Babylon 4 to help win in that struggle against the Shadows, and Londo does it in asking G'Kar to kill him to save Delenn and Sheridan.

GKarsEye February 10th 05 09:29

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
If a Zathras was shuttling people around during these episodes, both the sense of urgency and sacrifice created by the situation would have been lost.

"Great pardonings, but machine needing guardian. Old one dying... need new center. You being replacement, yes?" isn't as effective as having Draal see the consequences of inaction, feel the sense of wonder and sacrifice directly from Varn or Flarn or whatever that dude's name was.

And, of course, the machine was acting haywire- maybe the Zathrases couldn't fly away.

aajay February 10th 05 11:19

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Great episode. I love Ivanova's mantra (have it as my windows shut down) and her apology afterwards.
It's moments like that that set apart B5 from the other sci-fi out there.

grumbler February 13th 05 20:13

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

It kind of feels like we are getting a glimpse into who he was before he came to B5 and ended up being "touched by darkness". I can see the swashbuckling Paso Leati flying fearlessly through the storm of battle for the glory of the old republic. But, given the coming darkness, it is quite accurate to describe it as bittersweet to see him free of his station, even if only for a little while.


Yes, in retrospect it is sad to see that this, the Londo as Londo thought of himself (noble, self-sacrificing, carefree) was not the Londo that fate had decreed. The best feature of this episode was telling us that about Londo - and explaining why Delenn continued to feel it worth her time to try to draw him into the Conspiracy of Light.

2aMageing February 14th 05 17:21

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
That's a good point. Being able to glimpse something of Londo's virtue at this point does provide more viewer confidence that Delenn's efforts are more than just a general atempt to save as many people as possible, but rather a capability to see some positive potential in the heart of Londo. I like that Londo does manage to start doing some good things in late season 4 and early season 5 when he becomes "married" to Gkar, though his fate has already been sealed by his past actions and this window of virtue is also far too short lived.

deaded March 1st 05 10:59

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
Quote:

What really bothers me about the Great Machine is that they didn't know it was there. There just happened to be one of the most powerful and mysterious devices in the galaxy sitting little right under the station and- oops- no one had the foggiest notion. Ok.

Yeah, I know, LOL!! It was like, "Oh, wow, the biggest most powerful in the machine in the world? Right here? And we have access to it? BRILLIANT!!"

Quote:

Quote:

The odd thing is that one of the Zathras brothers did not take Draal to Babylon 5.

I don't understand this statement. Why would a Zathras brother transport Draal to B5 from the Minbari homeworld? Do you mean why didn't a Zathras brother transport the dying Varn from the planet to the station instead of leaving it up to Ivanova and Sinclair to go down to the planet and bring him back?

The way I reconciled this was that either 1) Zathras took care of the machine as was pretty much unaware of the Keeper, or, being able to travel through time Zathras knew that Susan and Sinclair would remove him and that Draal would take his place. Besides, the keeper was burnt out. There was nothing they could have done for him on B5 even if Zathras did bring him up there.

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I like that Londo does manage to start doing some good things in late season 4 and early season 5 when he becomes "married" to Gkar, though his fate has already been sealed by his past actions and this window of virtue is also far too short lived.

Yeah, that bummed me out. You really did see that he was a good guy and I so wanted him to stay that way. :(


(sorry to bring up yet another old thread. Last one, I promise. Probably.)

Cell September 6th 08 17:10

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
http://worldsoforos.com/secondviews/...babylon-5-118/

Estelyn May 21st 10 20:49

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
It is hard to review the first half of a story, isn't it?! I do like the idea that the planet B5 orbits ("all alone in the night" - doesn't that line of Sinclair's in this season's title sequence irritate you?! You'd think they were isolated from the rest of the universe - but everyone's old girl/boyfriends, mentors, enemies, rabbis show up, so they're not very alone, are they?!), which was thought to be uninhabited and chosen as the base for that reason, is discovered to be inhabited and full of advanced technology after all. The underground stuff looks fantastic.

I guess this half of the story gets its highlights from the personal moments - I love Ivanova's mantra, Londo's hokey-pokey, etc. The cliffhanger isn't bad either - not seeing something, just the reaction of a character to it, is always a good method to keep up suspense.

Lennier's Tears October 12th 15 03:54

Re: EpDis: A Voice In The Wilderness Part 1
 
I'm definitely a fan of "A Voice in the Wilderness". Both of the whole as of parts 1 and 2 individually. I love Draal. I have a PC named after him :) I think "Quickly, what's the third principle of sentient life?" is a great line because it makes me wonder what the other principles are. Also because it turns out to be relevant to the episode's storyline (as well as the main story, of course).

Little things:
  • I'm not crazy about the Garibaldi/transport tube "joke". It does nothing for his character's likability. He's a creeper! Imagine being Talia and feeling like you're constantly followed around by the head of security, no less.
  • This is one of those times where you can REALLY tell the show was written before social media took off. No one caught on to the fact that communication with Mars was shut down until the TV news told them!
  • Londo's conveniently present when Sinclair discusses Epsilon 3 stuff over his link.
  • I love Draal's "I'm going to the sea".
  • Also on the news debate on "the cost of maintaining a presence in space". I love these kinds of background details.
  • I'm glad to see this episode has a geologist who refuses to listen and ends up endangering everyone. It's not just archaeologists being assholes on this show :P
  • Speaking of principles of sentient life, I often wonder how humans and aliens in the B5 universe feel about eating meat. We see characters eat meat every now and then, although we don't know if this meat comes from an animal or is lab-grown, or what. It seems to me that existing in a universe where there are aliens (and possibly even without aliens, but with sufficiently advanced IA), there would be some vigorous debates on the nature of sentience and the relationships between species.

I'll have more when I get to part II :)


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