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-   -   EpDis: Severed Dreams (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=8663)

Stanley December 7th 05 19:26

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
Excellent, without a doubt. Its emotional whallop and its importance to the arc make it one of the best, if not the best. Z'Ha'Dum is the only one I can think of off-hand that can match it.

Lousy_Dodgers September 3rd 07 22:07

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
I am not 100% sure on this but did Delenn's forces arrive just after the second group or were they standing by in hyperspace? Based on something JMS said about Delenn knowing Sheridan would want to have a clean fight, I think she may have arrived during the first wave but held off entering the battle because it would create political problems for Sheridan. However, once Sheridan made his stand, the important thing was to stop that second wave of ships which B5 simply did not have the power to repel. That is my interpretation on what happened but as I said, I am not 100% clear on it. I think I like it a bit more than the other possibility which would be that Delenn just happened to arrive at the right moment.

As a side note, I think the opening of the episode where the Narn customs guard turns Londo's words against him is hilarious.

vacantlook September 3rd 07 22:14

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams

Originally Posted by Lousy_Dodgers (Post 307915)
I am not 100% sure on this but did Delenn's forces arrive just after the second group or were they standing by in hyperspace? Based on something JMS said about Delenn knowing Sheridan would want to have a clean fight, I think she may have arrived during the first wave but held off entering the battle because it would create political problems for Sheridan. However, once Sheridan made his stand, the important thing was to stop that second wave of ships which B5 simply did not have the power to repel. That is my interpretation on what happened but as I said, I am not 100% clear on it. I think I like it a bit more than the other possibility which would be that Delenn just happened to arrive at the right moment.

I think you're mixing two episodes together: "Severed Dreams" and "Endgame".

In Endgame, Delenn was at the head of the alien fleet. They remained in hyperspace while Sheridan led the collected forces of Earth ships and White Stars against Earth's orbital defense platform network. Sheridan didn't want to be seen as bringing an alien fleet to conquer Earth, so Delenn and the alien fleet stayed away until after Sheridan got the message from the Earth Senator that Clark had set the orbital defense platform network to fire at Earth itself. Sheridan then called Delenn and her fleet in to help take out the remaining platforms.

Lousy_Dodgers September 3rd 07 23:18

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
No, I know that happened in Endgame but the arrival of Delenn's forces in Severed Dreams seemed too perfect for them to have just gotten there. Without Sheridan asking her to engage at that time, I think Delenn decided to jump to normal space when that second wave arrived.

From JMS speaks on Severed Dreams


Why didn't Sheridan ask for help from Draal or Delenn?
The other thing to bear in mind about all this is the question of a "clean fight." If Sheridan were to bring in alien forces at his order to kill humans, it would pretty much destroy his credibility. Delenn came in at the end but only after he'd made his stand on his own.
One of the things that kicked off the French Revolution was the allegation that the King had brought in or was bringing in Prussian troops to help put down dissenters. As long as it was all more or less in the family, that was one thing...but to bring in outsiders was an absolute affront to them. (One of the singular incidents that started the fighting itself was a group of Prussian soldiers sighted sitting in a cafe having lunch, which caused this rumor about outsiders coming in to spread like wildfire, and led to the some of the first major incidents of rioting.)

Two brothers may fight one another, but let a third unrelated person come in and shove one of the brothers around, and they'll *both* turn on him.

During the worst days of the civil war, even Lincoln was offered assistance in troops from at least one other country; he declined, because it was an internal matter, and had to be resolved by those involved, not outsiders.

Sheridan's logic was exactly the same. It had to be a clean fight.
Based on that, I do not think Sheridan would have wanted help with the first wave of ships even if he knew Delenn was standing by in hyperspace. It just seems that Delenn have arrived before we actually saw the ships jump into normal space. So, I think that she arrived but was holding off on taking an active role until it became apparent that B5 needed help.

Elipsis September 30th 07 23:01

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
Absolutely fucking flooring. The problem with many sci-fi shows is that space battles lack consequences. The tremendous build up and reality of the situation made it such that when Earthforce vessels began firing on Earthforce vessels... it wasn't exciting, it wasn't intense, it was fucking tragic. Corwin innocently asking "What did we do wrong?" So sad. The whole episode was just so sad.

The offscreen death of Hague was kinda weak, but that can't be helped.

I would've liked to see more, but what could be cut out without detracting from the episode?

Estelyn September 15th 10 16:57

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
Wow, this episode has everything - action, politics, and character development. Though technical stuff and ships aren't my primary interest, I did think the FX and the filming of the battle sequences were spectacular.

Yes, civil war: "We know everyone we kill." It must be difficult to kill someone when you even know his cat's name! I watched the commentary to this a couple of days ago and remember JMS mentioning that the actor for the Major was mistakenly cast for the role - he had been thinking of someone else with a similar name, iirc. Still, I think this one does very well and brings the necessary presence to the character.

Again, we see Sheridan taking full and personal responsibility for his decisions - always a contrast to Londo's attitude. That decisiveness must win most of his officers to his side - only one laves C&C. They've been used to obeying the chain of command, now they too must decide which side they're on. Lt. Corwin, who couldn't previously imagine breaking that chain, makes his decision to side with the Captain. He must respect him very much to yield to his authority over that of EarthGov/military. He's been pictured as rather naive in previous episodes; now we can watch him maturing fast.

Am I the only one who thinks it's a strange play on words that *Mars* rejects *martial* law?!

It's almost impossible to choose a favourite scene - I love hearing the four top officers saying "fight" successively! But Delenn is really hard to top - she looks so strong, stern and determined in all of her scenes, a wonderful role model for girls! Seeing her lecture the various members of the Grey Council is moving, and when she breaks the staff as a symbol for breaking the council, it's a larger than life moment. (Reminds me very much of Gandalf breaking Saruman's staff in the book Lord of the Rings, as a sign that his power is broken.)

Sheridan and his father are great as well - we were already introduced to his caring nature when the Captain mentioned him making it rain so he could sleep in a previous episode. His motto "Never start a fight, but always finish it" is deeply significant. Knowing what happens later on, I find his words "If anyone comes for us..." prophetic.

Love the larger than life holo of Sheridan when he makes his announcement! Very symbolic...

Not only the unspoken farewell to his father is poignant, so is the look he and Ivanova exchange when she leaves to join the battle. I do like their relationship - they care deeply about each other without any sexual overtones. That's how it should be in the working world and so often, alas, is not.

The story is well written - just when they think it's all over and they just barely managed to survive with their last strength, the next wave of enemies comes. And Delenn's lines to the Earth forces are classics!

Several endings - the end of hostilities, then the look at the fallen, then the applause scene, and the chilling last shot of the traitor poster.

This is definitely one of the best episodes, the best so far, only to be topped by a very few of those to come.

Alioth March 31st 11 03:41

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams

Originally Posted by aajay (Post 246067)
True, I agree that it would have been suicidal, but this was the new improved "cocky" Earthforce.
I would have expected at least one attempt to call Delenn's bluff.

They were trying to put down rebellions everywhere at that moment--most of the colonies were revolting and declaring independence. This was actually a particularly vulnerable moment for the Earthgov/Clark regime, and they were going to try to retain as many of the colonies as they could--an effort that would be severely curtailed, at best, if they got into a war with the Minbari, so they cut their losses at Babylon 5. I think that turned out to be the only secession from Earth Alliance that succeeded, as they could now focus on militarily easier battles and keep most of the old EA together under their bootheel.

For all the bluster about "alien threats" in Earthgov propaganda, Earthgov's real plans seemed to center around consolidating what they had in a tighter and tighter fist (and of course using fear of such threats to help that along)--their program was internally rather than externally directed. They might have beat up on some minor alien powers here and there (we don't hear of anything for sure, at least IIRC, but we did see them intervene in an alien civil war in order to gain a strategic presence in that sector), but unlike the Centauri, they weren't going on risky offensives in every direction, nor did they want to, at that point anyway. If the Centauri Republic were Nazi Germany in terms of foreign policy, Earth was more Franco's Spain--or Stalin's USSR, between Molatov-Ribbentrop and Barbarossa, when they could consolidate internal control and control of their "sphere" (which did include smaller invasions of some minor powers, like the Baltics and Finland) while staying out of a larger war with major powers.

It's interesting that Earth and Centauri, the two emerging Shadow proxies in their latest war cycle, took these fairly different directions under their influence. I wonder what Clark answered when Morden first asked him "what do you want?" It may have been a very different, but equally acceptable, answer to the Shadows. Londo, in so many words, wanted to conquer alien worlds; Clark wanted to "conquer" his own people. I suppose these are two facets of "the dream" that the Shadows promote.

Alioth March 31st 11 23:36

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
Of course, getting in a war with the Minbari could get all the colonies to rally behind Earthgov and really cement their control of the population--for as long as they lasted, though.

Republibot 3.0 April 1st 11 22:05

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
Thing is, the superiority of the Minbari over Earthforce tech wasn't a secret. Clark - and the captains of those ships - knew they'd lose badly and quickly, and no one excepting Starfleet can afford to just throw away ships.

My thinking is that they probably had standing orders: take the station or blow it up if you can't take it. If any of the other big races show up, get out of there rather than risking an interstellar incident.

I'd imagine Morden probably had a hand in those orders. The Shadows wouldn't want that much attention at that phase.

Lennier's Tears February 7th 15 19:51

Re: EpDis: Severed Dreams
This one is really great, from the beginning to the end. This is Babylon 5 at its very best. Also, I've commented elsewhere that some of the B5 special effects look a bit dated now, but when I watched this last night, I didn't notice that at all. There's so much SFX in this episode, but the whole thing looks entirely believable to me. Incidentally, I don't think I've mentioned this in any of my other comments, but I really like the look of the Earth ships. They're so clunky and utilitarian-looking, I love it. Great contrast with the more organic look of the Minbari ships.

There's just SO MUCH here to comment on, I don't even know what to say here ...

The first few scenes:

A bit of humor at the beginning, with Londo complaining about the inefficiency of the Narns in security and being held up by one such Narn who overheard him, but then it gets serious right away.

I like that we're taken inside the Alexander as it is being pursued by the Clarkstown. That's a pretty intense bit (I suppose most of this episode is), with the second in command trying to convince Major Ryan that they REALLY need to shoot at the ship pursuing them. Then they destroy the Clarkstown and Major Ryan talks about its captain, his family and his cat Max. He sums it up quite nicely with "That's what makes this war different than anything we've ever fought before: this time we know everyone we kill".

Lest we forget the Shadow war is also building, a ranger brings ill tidings from the non-aligned worlds. And G'Kar apparently likes to lurk around the docking area :p

A whole lot of stuff happens in quick succession regarding the stuff going on on Earth: we learn of the bombing on Mars, the colonies all seceding, chaos at ISN, ships on their way to take over B5, with or without the Alexander there ...

I love the "Fight or surrender?" scene and the holographic announcement where Sheridan tells everyone Babylon 5 is also seceding. It's really on now!

Also, the more quiet scene of Sheridan calling him to talk to his father which contrasts nicely with all the hectic scenes of everyone quickly preparing for the fight.

Then, Ivanova convincing Sheridan that she needs to go out there with the Star Furies, and the look they share when she goes out. It's serious.

The whole fight sequence is super intense, and although I know exactly what is going to happen, I still watch it on the edge of my seat. As Ellipsis said upthread this isn't just a space fight, it's a tragedy. It would probably feel like that if you only had this episode to go on, but with everything that's come before it's just incredibly intense and sad. The music is appropriately funereal, too.

Same for the inside fight scenes. That slow motion shot of all those Narn security guards running towards the fight and getting shot down .. wow.

And, in the midst of all that, there's this guy with a fire extinguisher putting out some flames in the background as Sheridan is talking to his crew. What a great little detail.

Delenn is of course totally amazing in this episode, taking on the Grey Council and Earth Force all in the same day. She's strong, determined, righteous, and not about to put up with anyone's crap. A pleasure to watch. Of course this gives her all the best lines. The "Why not? Only one human captain has ever survived battle with the Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me." bit is legendary.

It's great to see Sheridan's short-lived relief when the station survived the battle, which turns to something more like resignation when more Earth vessels show up, and then even more jump points form right above the station.

I agree with the one poster on this thread who rated this episode a C on one thing only: the hand kissing at the end. I thought it was a tad cheesy, from an early 21st century point of view. But it's a VERY minor detail and I don't care that much. Also, there's no way to know what that sort of thing might mean in the 23rd century B5 universe. Various meanings have been associated with it in different places and different times. We haven't seen anyone else to this on the show, and with the relationship between the two growing, it's most likely something romantic, though. Sheridan was probably feeling a whole lot of gratitude towards Delenn as she saved the day. He might have been in a "I could just kiss you all over !!" sort of mood, but decided that probably the hand was the only acceptable location to actually kiss her :p

I like how the episode ends on the Night Watch "Traitors can't hide" poster too. Another nice little detail.

That was a bit of a chaotic posts, apologies for that. Like I said, there is just so much here to comment on!

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