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-   -   EpDis: A Day In The Strife (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=8491)

vacantlook September 26th 05 03:19

EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for A Day In The Strife
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for A Day In The Strife

vacantlook September 26th 05 03:27

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I went with a B. Despite my loving all the Narn and Centauri stuff in this episode, the rather bland other plot of the probe only interested me via Franklin's meltdown.

I like that we get to see Ta'Lon again. Londo trying to distance Vir to keep him safe from the darkness Londo is finding himself in is endearing adding a nice shade of grey to Londo's character considering that Londo just got done earlier telling Vir that the Centauri can't just defeat the Narn but have to break them after Londo's questioning of Na'Far regarding work camps and executions on the Narn homeworld. But ultimately for me, this episode rests on G'Kar. His struggles as the only remaining member of the Narn leaders still capable of doing anything for his people is the most important part of this episode for me.

RW7427 September 26th 05 05:10

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I gave it a C because of the probe thing. I think the ep would have been better without it.

Oatley1 September 26th 05 05:45

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I also agree that the probe plot was OK but not great. Still, a C for B5 is probably a B for most any other series.

Enlightened_GKar September 26th 05 08:27

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
The major problem with the probe was the manner in which it was finished. Sheridan -- on a hunch -- decides in a last-second decision not to send the answers. Okay, I would believe Garibaldi to do something like that on such an uncertain, primal feeling, but Sheridan? Captain Sheridan is responsible for the 250,000 people on Babylon 5. Why did those lives matter so much in "Severed Dreams" as Sheridan put the station at risk, but not here facing an even greater risk? It is not because there was not enough time to mention them, but it was because it is obvious to any audience with half a brain built that the probe would have no significant consequences to the lives on Babylon 5 we were supposed to ignore. The more that I think about it, the more the premise behind this probe seems like a ridiculous idea.
Bad, bad writing.

Furthermore, why did Babylon 5 not order an evactuation? Did the alien probe place a stipulation on transports leaving the station? Come on team, at least discuss possible tactical solutions (e.g. knock out the probe's sensors with, say an E-M pulse, thus allowing you to power your weapons; strap a MaintenanceBot with a fusion bomb onto a collision course, etc.). Offensive strategy deserves at least a mention in the script. The alien probe was such a poor plot line, because it was not given the dramatic attention that it required as well as the poor characterization displayed by Sheridan's call not to send the probe the information. The encounter with the probe removes all hope of redemption when our heroes fail to even attempt to wonder who sent it. No expeditions, no calls back home, no questions unsolved, no lasting ramifications -- just the probe's take-off.
Writing choke.

Is scheduling the Transport Association meeting AFTER the explosion time of the probe supposed to be that funny? To my knowledge, the Transport Association does not even receive another mention for the rest of the season. MOTHER! This probe just screws everything.

The Narn story is good, and the Londo/Vir good-bye was done superbly, but these two factors cannot save this episode from its fate.

As for Franklin's druggie story. . . umm . . . it never really seemed characteristic of him from the get-go. Dr. Franklin has all this history of genius, (Harvard medicine!) and moral fiber (bio. notes in E-M war) that it seemed unlikely for him to become victim to drugs in the first place. Oh, I know, it happens with doctors, but from a strict writing standpoint, Franklin needed to undergo some form of personal tragedy before sinking into the level of drugs. The way it was handled it just seemed like it was written just so Franklin could have something to do.

This is the episode where JMS could have turned it over to Harlan Ellison, Lawrence DiTillio, Scott Frost, Peter David, or someone to see what angle they had on this story. I mean, even though "Exogenesis" was worse, it at least resembled JMS-esque themes. In the final analysis, "A Day in the Strife" represents the second worst episode of this bright season. Like Montoya to Lennier, I am giving this one a failing grade.

Jade Jaguar September 26th 05 09:38

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I don't have time to argue with you about the probe right now, but I think you are way off base with the Franklin drug thing. It is because he is so strong, and driven to do his job, that he comes to rely on stims, not for escape, or pleasure, but to keep him going to do his job. Further, being a Dr., he thinks he has the knowledge to handle them, and not go to extremes, but he was wrong. It makes perfect sense to me.

Jan September 26th 05 11:45

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I agree with Jade Jaguar in the matter of stims and Franklin. Presumably the technology has improved in a few hundred years and even now there are drugs that can take you from 36 hours without sleep to feeling rested, alert and ready to go... *not* hyper or strung out. Yeah, if Frankin had gotten hooked on some kind of pleasure drug it would have been uncharacteristic but the stims were practically tailor-made for his personality.

As for the probe, I think the whole point was to demonstrate Sheridan's analytical and stretegic abilities, nothing more. Enlightened_G'Kar has some valid points except for completley ignoring that few of those suggestions would fit in the one hour (approx 43 minuts, I think) format.

Jan

Springer September 26th 05 14:12

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:



As for the probe, I think the whole point was to demonstrate Sheridan's analytical and stretegic abilities, nothing more.

Jan

And Garibaldi also makes a point of this during the episode.

Back to the episode ratings, I give it a C, because its not a poor episode, but it is a bit dull. Good to see Ta'Lon back with his nifty sword. I think they gave the character a sword because Marshall Teague is a nut about swords, and he was allowed to get the sword designed to his own specifications.

As for the Beserker, I don't think Sheridan jumped to the decision at the last minute, he was probably mulling over it for the course of the episode. But yeah, the probe storyline wasn't that strong, and if it couldn't have been though out better, it shouldn't really have been used.

As for the stims, they are perfectly legal in the B5 universe, so Franklin wasn't being irresponsible taking them every now and then. Franklin didn't need a personal tragedy to begin to abuse himself (although as we find out later with the walkabout, he had a lot or personal issues bubbling under). He probably used them for most of his life in a perfectly safe manner, but when work got on top of him (I think Confessions and Lamentations is when he really starts using them a lot; remember the Markab doctor telling him that too many stims weren't good for him, but Franklin was in a position where he really didn't have much choice) he started using them more and more. And Franklin seemd to be in denial about a lot of things to do with his personal life, so this was just another thing he added to the list. It was just something he had to sort out for himself.

Enlightened_GKar September 26th 05 14:31

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

. . . I think you are way off base with the Franklin drug thing. It is because he is so strong, and driven to do his job, that he comes to rely on stims, not for escape, or pleasure, but to keep him going to do his job. Further, being a Dr., he thinks he has the knowledge to handle them, and not go to extremes, but he was wrong. It makes perfect sense to me.

It does make perfect sense. I never said it was implausible, or shocking, or too difficult to believe that Franklin got hooked on drugs, but I did say it could have been handled better. This is fiction; think of the possibilities. Also, I never implied that Franklin came to rely on them for hedonistic pleasures, but what I meant to convey is that the stims did not have the proper origins in Franklin's life to be dramatically effective.
It could have been so much more powerful to have a valid and strong reason why our hero Franklin became so dependent on drugs. The way it was done, it was done okay, but this story had the potential to be done phenomenally.
If Franklin's drug addiction had appropriately warranted, then you are looking at a much better story.

GKarsEye September 26th 05 15:26

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

Captain Sheridan is responsible for the 250,000 people on Babylon 5. Why did those lives matter so much in "Severed Dreams" as Sheridan put the station at risk, but not here facing an even greater risk?

I don't understand this comment. It is certainly because he cared about the lives on board the station that he didn't send the probe. And it's perfectly in tune with his personality. Remember that before the Earth/Minbari war, Sheridan's life and career were unremarkable. He made a name for himself when facing the destruction of his ship at the hands of a Minbari battleship. Sheridan becomes some sort of military and strategic genius when the pressure is greatest (possibly the character is named after Civil War general Philip Sheridan?).

It's not as if he said, "Hey, you know what would be funny, if we didn't send the info, lol rotflmao!!" He thought it through and concluded that not sending it was correct. It would have been more risky to actually send it.


The "valid and strong reason" for Franklin's addiction is that he fell into the trap of routine and self-denial. The choice of drug was due to his OCD work ethic but both the draw towards addiction and the over-working come from the same loss of spirit, which is as tragic as any of the grand operatic drama things. Sheridan and Ivanova are our opera characters, Garibaldi and Franklin are our regular guys, and it's a good balance.

Sindatur September 26th 05 15:51

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I go "C" as well. I understand the probe stuff, but, didn't particularly care for it. I thought Franklin's slide into stim over-use was handled extremely well. In fact, even though I don't think the episode would deserve it, without the Franklin stuff, I would've rated the episode much lower, for personal preference.

hypatia September 27th 05 00:15

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
One point that shouldn't be brushed off is: why didn't they just write in a brief comment about beginning to evacuate the station? It actually does seem to be a real no-brainer of an element on your "immediate list of things to do" list.

Jan September 27th 05 01:01

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Dunno, but I'd say that evacuating the station would take more than just a passing mention considering that they'd have to commandeer every ship in the area (and there's no telling whether there would be enough ships around to take everybody withing the 24 hour window) and where would they put everybody anyway? I'm not sure, but I don't think they were on that good of terms with Drall to just send him 250,000 people to feed and doss down at a moment's notice.

Jan

GKarsEye September 27th 05 02:39

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Well what would Draal do, refuse?

I know that Draal isn't supposed to be used all the time, etc and so forth, but there have been plenty of situations where he could have lent a little assistance without interfering with Earth politics and such. With the Great Machine, JMS wrote in a Deus Ex Machina and then didn't use simply because it would have killed the story, yet there is often no logical reason story-wise not to.

KoshFan September 27th 05 03:41

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
What Draal probably would have done in terms of the probe was deal with the thing directly, but yeah, a little too much deus ex.

The best aspects of this episode are Ta'Lon's return and the banter between Ivanova and Corwin ("There goes my faith in the Almighty."). Other than that, a bit on the weak side.

GaribaldisHair September 27th 05 11:14

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

Well what would Draal do, refuse?

I know that Draal isn't supposed to be used all the time, etc and so forth, but there have been plenty of situations where he could have lent a little assistance without interfering with Earth politics and such. With the Great Machine, JMS wrote in a Deus Ex Machina and then didn't use simply because it would have killed the story, yet there is often no logical reason story-wise not to.

I got the impression that one of the major problems with using the Great Machine in the story was Draal himself. Having already re-cast the role once, JMS was then confronted with the reality of having given the role to a gifted theatre actor who was very often unavailable due to other commitments.

Draal was, of course, supposed to be in WWE but when the time came John Schuck was starring in a production of Hello Dolly (I think) on Broadway and was unable to take part. The role of the GM was clearly written so that Draal was integral to its use, so ... no Draal, no GM.

Here is one post from JMS on the subject (I have no idea what the issues was raised by the initial poster.

Click me ... please!

PillowRock September 27th 05 15:28

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

(and there's no telling whether there would be enough ships around to take everybody withing the 24 hour window)

Actually my guess would that;

A) There are almost certainly *not* enough ships handy.

and

B) Even if there were enough ships, they almost certainly would not be able push enough people through their embarcation gates quickly enough (by the time you allow for ships getting in and out of the docking bays and such). They just aren't set up for anything remotely approaching that kind of volume.

Basically, you would end up with an uncontrolable riot / cage match among the virtually the entire population of the station to get through the gates and onto whatever ships were available.


Escape pods wouldn't help unless there were sufficient ships waiting outside to get them all picked up in time to still be able to get out of range (or around to the shosowed side of the planet, relative to the blast).

hypatia September 27th 05 15:38

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Now that does make sense. But, in reality, don't you think they'd have quietly shipped the embassadors away?

It has been some time since I've seen the series, but was Kosh on B5 at the time?

RW7427 September 27th 05 15:58

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
With Vorlons...who knows? :p

I doubt Kosh would have hid out on Epsilon 3 anyway. He probably would have just gone off in his own ship.

hypatia September 27th 05 16:11

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Considering how the Vorlons might behave towards humans if Kosh were to have been killed, I'd probably be ushering him to his ship and wishing him a pleasant journey away from the station.

If Kosh was not concerned, I'd be wondering why. :confused:

PillowRock September 27th 05 16:34

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

But, in reality, don't you think they'd have quietly shipped the embassadors away?

Yep, I'm sure they would ..... at least they would if they thought they had any hope of doing it without triggering the aforementioned riot.

KoshFan September 27th 05 16:40

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

If Kosh was not concerned, I'd be wondering why.

Actually, any time the station was in deadly peril, that's a fair question. In the case of the probe, Kosh probably could have handled the entire thing himself if he wanted to. In the case of, say, the Mad Bomber, Kosh probably didn't know until after the whole thing was over.

In the case of the Shadows threatening the station while Kosh II/Ulkesh was aboard... well, who knows?

Shaal Mayan September 27th 05 18:26

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I gave it a B rating the probe story was one of the better storylines in this one .The rest was just filler for the storyline .

vacantlook September 27th 05 18:43

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

...the probe story was one of the better storylines in this one .The rest was just filler for the storyline .

I'm confused about your comment.

You think the part about Londo asking Delenn for a favor to get Vir to be the ambassador to Minbar, which reveals Londo's seeing himself in a dark place getting darker and his subsequent desiring to keep Vir safe from that darkness, or the part of G'Kar struggling with how to best lead his people now after they've been conquered yet again by the Centauri -- whether to stay free under sanctuary on B5 and lead or to return home to Narn and allow himself to be taken into custody to try to keep various Narn families safe -- to be filler? And you think that the probe storyline was better than Londo's and G'Kar's storylines?

hypatia September 27th 05 20:05

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
VL has a very good point. Londo sending Vir away really is a brilliant way to not only lead into Vir's character development, but it simply screams that he knows he's entering a very dark path.

And yet he's good enough not to want to drag Vir into it. And thus the dichotomy which is Londo.

Enlightened_GKar September 27th 05 22:41

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

One point that shouldn't be brushed off is: why didn't they just write in a brief comment about beginning to evacuate the station? It actually does seem to be a real no-brainer of an element on your "immediate list of things to do" list.

Common sense - the downfall of every bad story.

Like I said, the Vir/Londo stuff was the redeeming factor of this episode. It was always great when Vir was given a purpose instead of his early days of mindlessly following Londo's bidding.

RW7427 September 28th 05 00:44

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Yeah, when Vir arrives on B5 in season 1, he looks like nothing more than a bumbling buffoon. It's certainly good to see his character develop.

Shaal Mayan September 28th 05 19:17

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

I'm confused about your comment.

You think the part about Londo asking Delenn for a favor to get Vir to be the ambassador to Minbar, which reveals Londo's seeing himself in a dark place getting darker and his subsequent desiring to keep Vir safe from that darkness, or the part of G'Kar struggling with how to best lead his people now after they've been conquered yet again by the Centauri -- whether to stay free under sanctuary on B5 and lead or to return home to Narn and allow himself to be taken into custody to try to keep various Narn families safe -- to be filler? And you think that the probe storyline was better than Londo's and G'Kar's storylines?




Yes in all honesty .Londo asking Vir to go to Minbar was a way to get the actor out of the show.I always thought that Vir was not your average centauri to begin and he was nothing Londo even at this stage .Okay the G'kar line was grade A I will admit to being wrong about that .But for the most I liked the probe story line better.

vacantlook September 28th 05 19:44

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

Londo asking Vir to go to Minbar was a way to get the actor out of the show.

I think it did far more than just get Vir out of the show for a while. It set Vir up to have a position in which he could create Abrahamo Lincolni and help Narns escape from the Centauri, which really developed Vir's character. Compared to other characters, Vir is a minor character. I like that it developed him more, and that his becoming ambassador to Minbar reveals a lot about how much Londo cares for Vir despite how much he'll openly insult Vir to his face.

But hey, you like the probe plot more, so it's good then that there are parts to this episode that we both enjoy even if they're not the same parts. :D

GKarsEye September 28th 05 19:57

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I also love what they did with Vir and even regret not being able to "see" him complete his transformation into total hero as outlined in the Centauri Trilogy. Emperor Vir seems like a fascinating character.

I wonder what they would have done with NaToth or KoDath or whomever could have been G'Kar's assistant. Would she have stayed at G'Kar's side through everything? What about when G'Kar was Cartagia's prisoner? Or her reaction to his status as religious icon?

RW7427 September 29th 05 05:42

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Na'Toth was a prisoner of the Centauri herself, remember. As for how she'd react to G'Kar being prisoner, she'd probably try and kick Cartagia's ass. :lol:

vacantlook September 29th 05 05:46

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Quote:

Na'Toth was a prisoner of the Centauri herself, remember.

Ah, but would that have happened had Mary Kay Adams actually performed Na'Toth the same way that Caitlin Brown did, and jms had kept the character around the entire series?

RW7427 September 29th 05 06:19

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Mary Kay was not as good as JCB was! ;)

Enlightened_GKar September 29th 05 13:48

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I think G'Kar was much better off going solo, but had Na'Toth stayed. . .

I think she would have been a strong reminder of his past regrets. His warmongering, his scheming, his "reputed fascination with Earth women" -- all of it.
I do not think she would have bought into the idea of G'Kar being a spiritual leader, still tending to believe nothing, and she would have been even more angered by her people's obsession with G'Kar.
I think she would have laughed her way out of the room the same way G'Kar did in "Into the Fire," if she would have met that "Our reverance is our gift to you" Narn from "Objects in Motion."
Though I do not think she would have lasted until Season 5. Had she stayed, I think she would have faced certain death as a martyr for G'Kar's freedom.

Something interesting about G'Kar was the price on his head that the Centauri government placed. This issue was brought up when he left the station to find Garibaldi, but it never played a factor when he was on Babylon 5.
It would be kind of a comic book idea, and it was definitely good writing to leave this line of thinking out, but I could envision some Centauri bounty hunters going after G'Kar, and Na'Toth getting killed in the process.

That is just the way I saw it. JMS probably had something much better planned had Na'Toth stayed.

RW7427 September 29th 05 15:38

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I wonder what Na'Toth would have done to Lyndysty had they met. :devil:

Sindatur September 29th 05 16:00

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I've kinda always thought that if N'Toth had made it further, she would've gone with G'Kar, rather than Marcus, and probably been killed by Cartagia.

Stanley October 9th 05 03:34

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I voted average, keeping in mind that "average" for B5 is outstanding for many other shows.

I don't like the beginning, though. jms, if you must lecture us on the virtues of gun control, don't insult our intelligence by using a clown to represent the opposite side.

B5obsessive October 18th 05 15:32

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
Really like the Stephen plot here, esp. the bar scene. The sudden acquisition of energy was very well handled, with a "What the heck was that that just went by, this is not good." kind of feel to it. Micheal's face there is nicely done, too. He has an addiction of his own, and that face speaks of recognising something all too familiar in his friend.
Oh, and
"just because you never met a bottle you didn't like!"
Ooooff, low punch! That's gotta hurt! :(

RW7427 October 31st 05 01:04

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
I'm watching this ep now, and I'm reminded of how much I like the part with Sheridan and Ta'Lon. It's an unlikely combination, but one that was brought about by the Streib in season 2. And since Ta'Lon is on the station with Na'Far, the Centauri-appointed Narn rep, he gets a chance to thank Sheridan again for saving his life on the Streib ship.

KoshFan November 2nd 05 20:49

Re: EpDis: A Day In The Strife
 
That's one of the great things about Ta'Lon. He starts out as a bit-part throwaway character, is brought back (unexpectedly) for a recurring role, and finally winds up as G'Kar's right-hand man and replacement.


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