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-   -   EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=9007)

vacantlook May 10th 06 18:54

EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for The Illusion Of Truth
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for The Illusion Of Truth

puzzle May 10th 06 20:22

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
I liked it quite a lot. :)

An interesting sidestory reminding of how unequal access to information, and ability to limit its ordinary flow (or threaten with reprecussions who transmit undesirable information) makes available powerful tools for manipulating perceptions and opinions.

Especially so between places separated by natural (distance), semi-natural (language) or traditional artificial barriers (borders).

Having said that, I wonder how Babylon 5 never mentioned a then mostly fictional, but now increasingly real form of creating artificial information scarcity - namely DRM. I'm sure that EarthGov would have loved to have customer lock-in technologies which media corporations already now develop. :D

Darn, they're a century ahead of EarthGov already in 2006, and the countermeasures are ahead it too. :p

Well, perhaps dramatic reasons, perhaps because nobody of the storytellers stumbled on the idea, perhaps because they thought it wouldn't be realistic or interesting. But had I been writing the story, I'd have written in a little question "can DRM be used for this too?".

Given good ideas, "how will people of the time circumvent blockade" would have also been a nice tidbit of a story. But hey, airtime and time in general is finite - it was good enough without getting to everything. :D

KoshFan May 10th 06 20:31

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
One of the more aggravating episodes, not because it's badly done but rather to the contrary.

hypatia May 10th 06 21:15

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
Well put, KoshFan.

GKarsEye May 10th 06 21:39

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
One of my favorites.

A small character thing about this ep is that it shows that, despite everything, Sheridan can sometimes be incredibly naive. We see this again in season 5.

Elipsis December 4th 07 19:56

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
I granted this a B.

And yes, it is incredibly frustrating to watch, especially the 2nd time through.

dkone December 4th 07 22:03

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
This is one of those episodes that are hard to watch, but that's exactly why Babylon 5 was such a great show. It didn't play it safe and it took you places you didn't want to go.

mattikake December 10th 07 13:08

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
I gave this a C. Not terribly convincing Sheridan and Delenn would fall for this given their run-in's with the press and beaurocracy before. I mean, as the viewer I saw through this straight away on the first viewing. Not a great deal of fun to watch again and again.

Estelyn October 13th 10 21:24

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
Yes, this one is too close to home to be merely "entertaining". We see how propaganda works, how pictures are made to lie, how truth is distorted. And at some level, we realize that it didn't just take place in Communist Russia or Nazi Germany, but is happening today - perhaps even to us?! Not much comfort zone left there...

We see things twisted, taken out of context, in an attempt to "prove" whatever point the government is trying to make. And who in the B5 universe knows the context well enough to recognize that? We viewers have seen Delenn's actions and know that she is not the enemy, but would the ISN audience not be taken in by this so-called documentary?

The other aspect that we also experience today is xenophobia, prejudice, fear of what is different.

What I find especially awful is the hypocritical treatment of Sheridan, with the seemingly well-meaning offer to "help" him.

I didn't see him as being naνve about the reporter - I think he basically decided to get it over with, so that they could see how bad it would be. Bester had warned them about the propaganda that would be coming.

As to the dramatic treatment at the end, I was very impressed that JMS - and Furst, who directed - let it end in complete silence. That says more than any explosive reaction could have done. It was a nice touch to have us see the room and characters from the pov of the screen, which was then turned off.

Oh, and I assume that the ISN commercial breaks were the actual commercial breaks when it was shown on TV - I don't remember...

Lennier's Tears February 20th 15 02:24

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
This episode makes me sooo uncomfortable. But I see in this thread it's not just me! Like Koshfan said upthread, it really is well done, which is what makes it uncomfortable.

That Randall is such a smarmy guy, but he speaks the truth when he says everyone has an agenda. I like that that point is being made here by a guy we all hate.

Here yet another example of how non-secure communication over link is. It's not the first time on the show that some inconvenient situation is created because someone overhears a message sent to someone else over their link.

Argh, another evil archaeologist :(

I enjoy Lennier headbutting the camera after it keeps bumping his head, and that scene where Londo is telling Sheridan about how cold it is in his quarters: "No, I said it was COLD, as in, 'Oh, my left arm has snapped off like an icicle and shattered on the floor!'" in true Londo-fashion. Incidentally, that's kind of how I'm feeling tonight, brrr.


I've commented on this before, but any episode of Babylon 5 that features the TV news looks a bit dated now, because what is portrayed is 90s style news. This isn't how news works now. I don't mean to say I don't think the propaganda is unrealistic, or that I don't think anyone would try something that blatant. On the contrary, I think it's entirely realistic. But you know there would be people countering with their own news all over the place. Even if there is no interstellar internet (and really, isn't there?? Or is Babylon 5 cut off somehow? This isn't actually mentioned, but apparently Sheridan can't just email his parents), people who have gone to Babylon 5 would be tweeting or blogging (or whatever) their own pictures and videos. Ok, I suppose just because we're only shown what ISN is doing doesn't mean that sort of thing isn't happening where we can't see it, but I get the distinct impression that stuff like that doesn't exist in the Babylon 5 universe. There are other episodes where this is more clear.

What's the deal with calling Stockholm syndrome Helsinki syndrome? This appears to be a "thing" elsewhere on the internet also. Is this a joke I am missing?

Springer March 11th 15 18:31

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
I have one word for this episode: contrived.

The set-up has our characters doing and saying stupid things so that they could be twisted in the news report. Letting the reporter onto the station was the first stupid thing. What possessed Lennier to take the news crew to Down Below? The stuff Delenn and Sheridan were coming out with: "doesn't recognise boundaries or politics", "nothing in the Universe will be able to stop us". Franklin doesn't have to divulge anything about patients in cryo – patient confidentiality and all that, so he doesn't need to lie. And, as Lennier's Tears has pointed out before, the links proof remarkably insecure. The NSA would love them!

A few bits I don't understand. How did the news crew get access to the station records to see if the people in cryo are registered as being on the station? And how on Earth does Garibaldi go about finding a Drazi statue stolen in a raid many light years away by apparently never leaving his seat in the Zocolo?

There are a few bits I like. Zack smiling at the camera. Lennier headbutting the camera – Lennier seems to have a mischievous sense of humour sometimes, which you wouldn't automatically expect from him. I liked seeing old Londo again. I liked the ending, with everyone storming out of Sheridan's office in silence, then Sheridan coming back to turn the TV off. I like the CGI shots of the ships being repaired – it's nice to have some new shots of outside of the station. I don't like the CGI of Earth in the ISN broadcast – why not just use a real picture rather than terrible CGI? And if ISN and indeed EarthGov is based in Geneva (funny how nobody seems to have European accents) why does the CGI image of Earth show North America?

I also wonder about the reporter. Was his intention to try and get some of the truth in there, as he said, but was forced to do the report a certain way? Probably not. But he also is able to relay information to Sheridan during the report. At the beginning of the episode Sheridan is concerned about having heard nothing from his dad, and the reporter is able to convey to Sheridan what has happened – the farm has been burned down, but his dad has escaped. I wonder if Sheridan asked the reporter for info on his dad, and the reporter may have not been able to do anything about the way the report was edited, but could have been sympathetic and snuck in that information for Sheridan?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lennier's Tears (Post 451166)
What's the deal with calling Stockholm syndrome Helsinki syndrome? This appears to be a "thing" elsewhere on the internet also. Is this a joke I am missing?

It might be to imply that the guy is a stooge, and either not a real psychiatric doctor, or at best a very bad one who doesn't know his stuff – I presume the highly qualified doctors wanted nothing to do with it.

Lennier's Tears March 12th 15 00:53

Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 451298)
I have one word for this episode: contrived.

The set-up has our characters doing and saying stupid things so that they could be twisted in the news report. Letting the reporter onto the station was the first stupid thing. What possessed Lennier to take the news crew to Down Below? The stuff Delenn and Sheridan were coming out with: "doesn't recognise boundaries or politics", "nothing in the Universe will be able to stop us".

Haha, I was kinda wondering about how they ended up in Down Below. But Lennier is still not the most worldly acolyte, perhaps. I could see it happening. As for Sheridan and Delenn, yea, you'd think they'd know better. But I could also see it happening. Maybe :p

Quote:

A few bits I don't understand. How did the news crew get access to the station records to see if the people in cryo are registered as being on the station?
I'm assuming they have someone "on the inside" helping them out, but I'm not sure now if there was a hint of that in the episode or if I just made that up.

Quote:

And how on Earth does Garibaldi go about finding a Drazi statue stolen in a raid many light years away by apparently never leaving his seat in the Zocolo?
Garibaldi's got skills! :p


Quote:

But he also is able to relay information to Sheridan during the report. At the beginning of the episode Sheridan is concerned about having heard nothing from his dad, and the reporter is able to convey to Sheridan what has happened – the farm has been burned down, but his dad has escaped. I wonder if Sheridan asked the reporter for info on his dad, and the reporter may have not been able to do anything about the way the report was edited, but could have been sympathetic and snuck in that information for Sheridan?
Huh, I had never considered that. I always assumed that was stuck in there to taunt Sheridan, but now that you mention it, it could be the exact opposite.

Quote:


It might be to imply that the guy is a stooge, and either not a real psychiatric doctor, or at best a very bad one who doesn't know his stuff – I presume the highly qualified doctors wanted nothing to do with it.
That would be pretty clever. Too clever for me, clearly :D


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