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-   -   EpDis: A Distant Star (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=7881)

vacantlook April 24th 05 21:39

EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Episode 2.04

Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for A Distant Star
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for A Distant Star

Shaal Mayan April 24th 05 22:19

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
A excellant the second season is one of my favorites and it will show in my ratings for the eps as well.The highlight at least for me was Sheridan seeing an old friend again .This one goes alot better in establishing the friendship between May nard and Sheridan than the war prayer did with shaal mayan.I thought the two mens chemistry on screen came off better and believeable.The B story was good as well with the food advice.Garibaldi's story provides alittle more insight in to his character involving the bagna clauda

Flounder April 24th 05 23:24

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
One of my favourites on first viewing. It was a "WHAM" episode, and I liked Keffer. (So shoot me with a Nerf ball.)

RW7427 April 25th 05 05:42

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
IMHO, this is a good ep. Not one of the great ones, but entertaining nonetheless.

Springer April 25th 05 10:22

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
When I first saw this episode I loved it, now I only like it. I thought the entry of the Cortez was brilliant.

KoshFan April 25th 05 13:51

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
It's okay. We get more Shadow stuff, showing us that they are stepping up their campaign, but this still wasn't brilliant.

GKarsEye April 25th 05 14:56

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Yeah definitely a minor ep in the grand scheme of things and reminds me of a disadvantage of watching the series so many times: the revelations of the Big Bad Shadows get less and less important.

I always think of this one as the end of the series' warm-up period.

B5obsessive April 25th 05 20:15

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Meh. Can't get enthusiastic about this one, difficult to say why. I don't know, I just can't help feeling the whole "self-doubt-itchy-feet" think was annoyingly and uncharacteristically whiney (Ok hit me), and the Cortez looked like a starving gulper eel. The "food plan" bit was hilarious though. Anyone else prepared to agree that Stephen was *very* wise not to say that "But with very nice borders" line to Susan's face? :lol:

deaded April 26th 05 06:55

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Maynard spoiled the whole thing. Wow. Even *I* can act better than THAT! I mean, WTF?? It was actually embarassing, IMHO. Where did they find this guy?

Jade Jaguar April 26th 05 07:11

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
You've got to be kidding. Russ Tamblyn is great. He is the best thing about the ep. A little over the top, at times, but that's what I like about him. He was truly great from the mid 50s to the mid 60s. He is considered a cult actor. Here's his IMDb entry:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0848560/

deaded April 26th 05 07:22

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Wow.

It would take a P-12 to make that many people think he was good. You all must have been in the same place at one point in time. Otherwise tihs conspiracy is much bigger than I thought.

vacantlook April 26th 05 08:00

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
I'm there too in not much liking the guest characters of the episode, including the guy who played Maynard. I love the design of the Explorer ship though.

Sindatur April 26th 05 15:42

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Russ Tamblyn (Amber Tamblyn of Joan of Arcadia's father) was the lead role in West Side Story, and he was very good in that. Of course he was playing a punk in that, which is, I imagine, much different than playing a Starship Captain.

PillowRock April 26th 05 15:59

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Russ Tamblyn was the lead role in West Side Story, and he was very good in that.

I wouldn't describe Riff as "the lead role" in West Side Story. Tony and Maria are the leads. Riff is in with Bernardo and Anita as the first tier of supporting roles. (Chakiris and Moreno won the Supporting Actor and Suportting Actress Oscars for Bernardo and Anita.) I mean, nobody describes Mercutio as "the lead role" in Romeo and Juliet. ;)

Of course, Riff is the leader if the Jets. And Tamblyn did a good job with it.

Until I looked at the filmography I hadn't connected him to having played the youngest brother in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers several years earlier.

Sindatur April 26th 05 16:36

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Yea, you're right. I never really thought of Tony as the lead actor though, for some reason, even though he obviously is.

PillowRock April 26th 05 17:19

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Probably because when they are both (Riff & Tony) on screen, Riff is the much stronger presense .... the one that tends to hold your attention. Same thing, most of the time, when Tony is on screen with Maria (Natalie Wood). Even Doc completely steals the scene from Tony in the scene when Doc tells Tony that Maria is dead.

WSS is a great movie, but the casting of Tony always seemed to me to be a little bit weak. It seemed to be crying out for someone like James Dean .... if he was still alive .... and could sing and dance.

Well, maybe the singing part isn't necessary. Natalie Wood didn't sing Maria's songs (or at least it isn't her voice that made into the final soundtrack of the movie). ;) :P

B5_Obsessed April 26th 05 19:09

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Well, maybe the singing part isn't necessary. Natalie Wood didn't sing Maria's songs (or at least it isn't her voice that made into the final soundtrack of the movie). ;) :P

Richard Beymer's (Tony) songs were actually sung by someone named Jimmy Bryant. Beymer was great in Twin Peaks as dirty dealer Benjamin Horn. Russ Tamblyn, now 71, was also in Twin Peaks as the loopy Dr. Lawrence Jacoby.
http://www.cenedra.com/twinpeaks/chara/jacoby.jpg

KoshFan April 26th 05 22:36

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
The whole casting vs. singing thing for West Side Story is a tale in and of itself.

Clearly Tamblyn was good enough to survive in the business for forty years or so. You'd think the total idiots would have been weeded out after that ammount of time -- especially if they don't have huge... tracts of land.

Chilli August 18th 07 23:15

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Two big beefs with this one.

*) Explorer ship. Big badass ship that goes out to explore the rim of the galaxy, all on its own. And it doesn't seem to have a jump engine. Eh??

*) The Cortez. Okay. They named a ship after Hernándo Cortez. What are its sister ships, the Hitler and the Genghis Khan?

vacantlook August 19th 07 00:07

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chilli (Post 306604)
*) Explorer ship. Big badass ship that goes out to explore the rim of the galaxy, all on its own. And it doesn't seem to have a jump engine. Eh??

What makes you think it didn't have a jump engine?

Chilli August 19th 07 01:02

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vacantlook (Post 306611)
What makes you think it didn't have a jump engine?

They got lost in hyperspace due to losing the beacon to jump points, and thus not knowing where they are.

If they had a jump engine, couldn't they just jump to normal space, figure out their position due to the star field, and jump back into hyperspace with knowledge of where they were? Unless, of course, the jump engine was down - which was not mentioned, though.

KoshFan August 19th 07 01:21

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Chilli, there were sparks and smoke on the bridge! Don't you know that means the ship's been catastrophically damaged? How else would they show damage to a ship, except by sparks and smoke?

Jade Jaguar August 19th 07 01:41

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chilli (Post 306604)
Two big beefs with this one.

*) The Cortez. Okay. They named a ship after Hernándo Cortez. What are its sister ships, the Hitler and the Genghis Khan?

I'm with you on that one. Problem is, most of the "explorers" in those times were pretty much as bad. They could have named the ship the Humbolt, but few would know who that was.

vacantlook August 19th 07 02:25

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
They had to have a jump engine because the whole mission of that type of ship was to go where no jumpgates were and build them.

Chilli August 19th 07 02:47

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jade Jaguar (Post 306627)
I'm with you on that one. Problem is, most of the "explorers" in those times were pretty much as bad. They could have named the ship the Humbolt, but few would know who that was.

True, I guess. However, as bad as some other "explorers" were at the time, there aren't *that* many that explored foreign civilisations by completely destroying them. I would have been quite happy with a Marco Polo, for example. But I guess it just doesn't sound nearly as impressive.

Quote:

Originally Posted by vacantlook (Post 306632)
They had to have a jump engine because the whole mission of that type of ship was to go where no jumpgates were and build them.

That would make sense, and I would assume that. However, they not once manage that the jump engine is down. Noone asks if it can be repaired, or anything of the sort. Which just is .. weird.

Chilli August 19th 07 12:18

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
I checked the Lurker's guide on this matter to see what JMS had to say about the naming of the Cortez ..

Quote:

If Cortez had NOT landed in northern Mexico, do you think it would have remained undiscovered until now?

Fact #1: somebody was bound to discover the Americas.


Fact #2: any sufficiently advanced civilization or culture will inevitably attempt to exploit any civilization or culture not sufficiently advanced to fight back on a level playing field.


Blaming explorers for exploring has always seemed to me really kind of silly; do people *really* think that if Columbus hadn't landed here, it'd be 1994 and we still wouldn't know the world was round and that this continent was here? It doesn't matter who discovered it, the same result would've come. Somebody had to discover it sooner or later.
I hope his knowledge on the actions Cortez was *personally* responsible for is limited. Otherwise, for once in my life, I really don't get where JMS is coming from. By that logic, I can't hate Hitler either, because .. sooner or later, some German would have wanted to "explore" Poland, France and Russia.

Jade Jaguar August 19th 07 21:21

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
He does seem kind of fatalistic, about the native American cultures being "exploited" by "explorers." Of course he is right. If it had not been Columbus and Cortez and Pizarro, it would have been three other guys, probably equally brutal. But, even if it was inevitable, I still don't think it was excusable.

GaribaldisHair August 20th 07 09:48

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
The whole thing about losing the beacon has no bearing on whether a ship has a jump engine or not it is the basis of navigating in hyperspace ... if you are driving across the desert, you can't just say "This road is boring, I'm going to head out across the sand and find my own way. I'll be OK because I have a big powerful engine."

We previously had a long discussion about the purpose of the beacons, probably over at JMSNews, and the general concensus appeared to be that the beacons (whether all jump gates or not) correspond to known, mapped locations in normal space. For ships with their own jump capability, it simply means that you can jump out of hyperspace without a gate (i.e. between beacons, for example). However, as long as you are in contact with the beacon network, and know exactly where you are in relation to the beacons, then you can easily calculate your exact position in normal space.

However, once you lose contact with the beacon network, jumping out of hyperspace puts you into unknown, unmapped territory so no star chart is going to help you find your way home.

Chilli August 20th 07 13:41

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GaribaldisHair (Post 306705)
However, once you lose contact with the beacon network, jumping out of hyperspace puts you into unknown, unmapped territory so no star chart is going to help you find your way home.

They would have *some* approximate knowledge of where in the galaxy they were. Or if they didn't, they could determine this by determining the position of the galactic core in their viewfield. With that knowledge, they could identify multiple objects in their viewfield.

For example, they could do spectral analyses of nearby bright stars. Through a spectral analysis, they could identify a star's unique fingerprint instantly. Even today we have catalgues to identify stars by their spectral fingerprints, covering all the stars in our viewfield. These catalogues grow with every year, as every year, we get more and more measurements off stars that we don't actually see, but which telescopes - especially ones in orbit - do see. By the 23rd century, Humans would also have had the possibility to take measurements from all over the galaxy, to make these catalgues virtually complete for our galaxy - at least for relatively bright stars.

An explorer ship would most definitely have these catalogues. So there is no way in hell an explorer ship could not, in a random position in our galaxy, determine points A, B and C. And if you have the positions of A, B, and C, you know where you are. You don't even have to know their distances to you.

KoshFan August 20th 07 16:24

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Sure, but would they then be able to find the hyperspace route home? Cortez might have been able to jump out and find where it is in normal space, but they'd probably hop back in and be even more lost in hyperspace than before.

Sindatur August 20th 07 16:46

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Can you just jump out of Hyperspace into Normal space, without knowing where you're going. Or do you have to give coordinates that are within your jump range?

Chilli August 20th 07 18:34

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 306719)
Sure, but would they then be able to find the hyperspace route home? Cortez might have been able to jump out and find where it is in normal space, but they'd probably hop back in and be even more lost in hyperspace than before.

That's a valid point, I guess. Well .. not quite sure.

I know that hyperspace is quite complex, and that you can't map hyperspace 1:1 to normal space. However, if you couldn't to SOME degree do it, wouldn't ships forever fail to find beacons? With the knowledge of their location in normal space, wouldn't the Cortez know where to SORT OF look for the closest beacon, head in that direction, and eventually resore contact with it?

Unless, of course, the beacons are all extremely close to eachother - close enough that one of them is always in your visual range, making beacons a "rope" you follow along from beginning to end along your trip.

Chilli August 20th 07 18:36

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sindatur (Post 306724)
Can you just jump out of Hyperspace into Normal space, without knowing where you're going. Or do you have to give coordinates that are within your jump range?

As I understand it, a "jump" is the construction of a temporary bridge between normal space and hyperspace. I don't think you need to know where you're jumping to open a jump port.

One danger would be jumping into an solid object, if jumping blindly. However, the odds of that happening would be practically zero.

Skander August 20th 07 22:35

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
I rated this episode "Good", probably a little higher than I probably should because there are some aesthetic characteristics that I've always loved about the episode. The musical score for this episode by Christopher Franke was awesome, especially the music when we see the Explorer ship--The Cortez (definitely weird choice of name, though). I also loved how the ship looked--it explores and builds jumpgates, so it should look like a flying construction site. I enjoyed Maynard's character well enough, even if the Stinky-Swamp Rat bit was a little cheesy. The ambience at Earhart's was nice and the one-shot characters (Commander Galis and Captain Maynard) played off the regulars really well. You also get a glimpse of the Shadows and that's always enough to perk me up--I liked all the episodes that only hinted at the presence of the powerful Darkness (Distant Star, Signs + Portents, Coming of Shadows, etc.)

Cell November 24th 08 04:17

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
http://worldsoforos.com/secondviews/...babylon-5-204/

puzzle November 27th 08 17:47

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Quote:

Sure, but would they then be able to find the hyperspace route home? Cortez might have been able to jump out and find where it is in normal space, but they'd probably hop back in and be even more lost in hyperspace than before.
That's precisely how I would explain it.

Sure enough, if your jump engines work (I'm not sure if Cortez had them functional or not) you can pop out into normal space... and go home by the long route, which probably takes about 300 years. :p

Attempting to go home by the short route would require ability to see "through" hyperspace, and define structures found there in terms of normal-space geometry... which, as implied, is overwhelmingly hard.

Hyperspace is described as opaque to almost anything, except very few things (the tachyon or whatever-they-were-called beams maintained between beacons), so you cannot see far enough. Also, hyperspace is implied to have a geometry which is rather different and difficult to link to normal space.

So that's why, as far as I understand, a ship which cannot navigate hyperspace (either by using beacons or otherwise), would not benefit much from having an intact jump engine.

But they could jump around blindly, and unless they jumped into a solid object or lethally uninhabitable area, they might jump near some habitable planet or viable source of natural resources. Which could make it possible to sustain trying for longer, or even amass enough useful resources to survive a trip home in normal space.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chilli (Post 306733)
As I understand it, a "jump" is the construction of a temporary bridge between normal space and hyperspace. I don't think you need to know where you're jumping to open a jump port.

I've understood it that way too.

Quote:

One danger would be jumping into an solid object, if jumping blindly. However, the odds of that happening would be practically zero.
Unless hyperspace is "bigger" where normal space has more mass, or objects in hyperspace drift towards normal-space centers of mass. But that's just an idea to play with.

G'Kar February 5th 09 00:57

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
Just watched this episode and I've come to the conclusion that a B to a B- seems fit for it. While it's not part of the best of Season 2 it does serve it's purpose of being a source of character development needed for Keffer and Sheridan.

vacantlook February 5th 09 01:51

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
And it gives us more exposure to the Shadows.

Estelyn May 27th 10 00:28

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
I too noticed and enjoyed the music that was used when the Cortez appeared. The series theme was also varied for the fighter ships, with a military undertone to it.

The "food plan" subplot was a nice touch of humour. I was disappointed at the end though - Garibaldi's tear-jerking story should have been a fake. I would have thought he'd invented it to appease Franklin - it doesn't feel genuine to me.

I had a déjŕ vu when Delenn said, "Understanding is not required, only obedience." Didn't Lennier say the same words earlier in the series?

KoshFan May 27th 10 01:11

Re: EpDis: A Distant Star
 
I think it's the other way around on that, actually -- Lennier quotes her later on. But I'm just doing that from memory, I'm not sure.


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