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vacantlook September 27th 06 22:16

EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for The Paragon Of Animals
Lurker's Guide Extended Synospsi for The Paragon Of Animals

hypatia September 28th 06 00:25

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
The voting for this season should be interesting. So many fans hated season 5. :lol:

Chilli September 28th 06 12:18

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I didn't hate season 5 .. there were quite a few things about it that were quite great :D .. there were just some factors about it that really spoiled a lot of the fun of it for me.

--> Byron
--> Lochley
--> Sheridan (whom I didn't hate in season 2, 3 and 4 .. but who became a really annoying diplomat wanker in this season in my eyes)

.. it payed off in the latter half of the season at least. Pity there is a first half of the season as well :D

Sindatur September 28th 06 14:41

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I agree, people don't hate S5, they hate first part of S5, but, it couldn't be helped, Claudia was gone, and the threads had to be restarted. The threads started in the first few eps of S5 were supposed to be woven into end of S4, and the end of S4 action was supposed to be stretched a couple more episodes into S5, so there was a seamless blending, rather than an all out orgasm at the end of S4 and a restart in S5.

i actually don't think I hate any of S5, but, there are a couple episodes that don't quite work for me. I don't hate Byron nearly as much as alot of people do

KoshFan September 28th 06 16:40

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
When I went through season 5 there were a few episodes that I missed -- my friends didn't have them on tape, or only partially. As a result I've only seen Byron at his best and most impressive ("Hit me again") while I have yet to hear a single second of the horrible song people keep talking about. As such I don't really mind him.

Chilli September 28th 06 18:00

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

When I went through season 5 there were a few episodes that I missed -- my friends didn't have them on tape, or only partially. As a result I've only seen Byron at his best and most impressive ("Hit me again") while I have yet to hear a single second of the horrible song people keep talking about. As such I don't really mind him.

Oh yeah. I loved the part where Byron was hit :D .. Byron being hit GOOOD :D

Though his finest moment was still going up in a great big ball of fire. That was just awesome :D

Sindatur September 28th 06 18:03

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

When I went through season 5 there were a few episodes that I missed -- my friends didn't have them on tape, or only partially. As a result I've only seen Byron at his best and most impressive ("Hit me again") while I have yet to hear a single second of the horrible song people keep talking about. As such I don't really mind him.

We will all come together in a better place, a better place...

hypatia September 29th 06 00:06

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I never found them that annoying. :p

They certainly had their part(s) to play in the overall story, and the hatred you feel for Byron is basically the feeling the mundanes in the series have for him, for the most part.

Boxie September 29th 06 15:19

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I've yet to figure out WHY I don't like Byron... :D I like EVERYBODY else so this is a tough one for me! I have no problem with any other telepath, rogue or otherwise...so I'm stumped! All I know is he's not my favorite! :D I guess I can't say I never met a telepath I didn't like, huh? Except for that one guy...the Centauri telepath? Now that I think about it, :lol: he was kind of icky, too!

Londos6 September 29th 06 15:35

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
It was the hair and the song :rolleyes: plus the overwhelming attitude of superiority.

GaribaldisHair September 29th 06 16:42

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I stand by what I have always said on this ... I think Byron was intended to generate mixed emotions in the viewer, i.e. we sympathise with his cause, and with what has been done to 'his people' down the years, but find his attitude and superiority complex as annoying and disturbing as Bester's.

hypatia September 29th 06 16:50

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Exactly. :cool:

Sindatur September 29th 06 17:19

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

I stand by what I have always said on this ... I think Byron was intended to generate mixed emotions in the viewer, i.e. we sympathise with his cause, and with what has been done to 'his people' down the years, but find his attitude and superiority complex as annoying and disturbing as Bester's.

I agree with most of that, but, I don't think we can really compare Bester to Byron. Bester is a character people love to hate, Byron is a character many wish didn't exist.

Boxie September 29th 06 21:09

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I'm afraid that I found both Byron, :( and the actor unfortunately, kind of like "vanilla"....just not enough punch there for me, you know? I did like the story concept, so I wonder if a different actor could have brought a little something more to it for me....

Chilli September 29th 06 22:15

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

I'm afraid that I found both Byron, :( and the actor unfortunately, kind of like "vanilla"....just not enough punch there for me, you know? I did like the story concept, so I wonder if a different actor could have brought a little something more to it for me....

Well .. I disliked Byron on both the rational and the irrational level.

I found him deeply unappealing .. but even when just looking at the story lines, I found him massively disgusting. What a little hypocrite, honestly.

He basically made the very valid cause the telepaths had seem like a matter of a bunch of abused children being pissed off.

Giving Sheridan - who took down the evil empire that had been opposing him - and the Alliance, which had NOTHING to do with the problems the human race had created for its telepath took ANY credibility he had ever had from him. His actions were so dominated by hatred .. while pretending to be such a holy angelic little lamb. Honestly .. to hell with that fucker. :D .. it's the best thing that could have happened for the telepaths' cause to get rid of that kind of leader.

Sindatur September 29th 06 22:46

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Dang, He's got a very full history of Video game voicing, at least 75.

Boxie, you Didn't like the actor? So you dislike Morann in "In the Beginning" who was also played by Robin Atkin Downes?

hypatia September 29th 06 23:15

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

Giving Sheridan - who took down the evil empire that had been opposing him - and the Alliance, which had NOTHING to do with the problems the human race had created for its telepath took ANY credibility he had ever had from him.

Sorry, Chilli. It may be the cold I caught but I can't for the life of me see where the "Giving Sheridan - " part of this leads to. I know you had a point, did you leave a key word out somewhere? :confused:

vacantlook September 29th 06 23:26

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I think the word left out was "blame" hyp. Byron and his group blamed Sheridan, Delenn, and the Alliance for their current suffering/repression they experienced at the hands of the Earth Alliance government because Sheridan and Delenn were in a position to help telepaths establish a homeworld of their own independent from EarthGov. Byron and his group believed that Sheridan and Delenn had a moral imperative and the responsibility to do so because they were the leaders of the war that the Vorlons essentially bred telepaths to be weapons for. But now that the war was over, Sheridan and Delenn, in the opinions of Byron and his group, were just not concerned with the deathgrip-tight rules that telepaths were forced to live under; as long as the telepaths served their purpose as weapons, they were then pushed aside or forgotten as Sheridan and Delenn went about forming their new galactic government.

hypatia September 29th 06 23:29

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
So you think that was supposed to read "Giving Sheridan blame"?

That would make sense, yes. :)

KoshFan September 30th 06 00:40

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
My reaction to Byron? First, he was an idiot, because he tried to scare people into doing what he wants. Which rarely ends well. Second, he was doubly an idiot, because he should have gone straight to Delenn. If anyone could wrastle the League into doing something positive, it was Delenn -- and if any race had spare planets lying around, it was the Minbari.

Boxie September 30th 06 03:03

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

Boxie, you Didn't like the actor? So you dislike Morann in "In the Beginning" who was also played by Robin Atkin Downes?

:) I'm sure he's a very nice man and a good actor, but in the Byron role, :o he just didn't do much for me....

hypatia September 30th 06 03:41

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I notice you didn't answer the question. :)

Boxie September 30th 06 08:24

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

I notice you didn't answer the question. :)

:( .....sorry. I'll try to do better. I actually thought he did okay in that role. It was a relatively small one, he really didn't have a lot of lines, but I thought it an important one because of the way he was used to illustrate the mindset of the warrior caste regarding the obliteration of the human race.

I thought he was somewhat ...overshadowed, if you will... by the other Minbari characters he played opposite. Mira was just excellent, as always. I also thought the actor with the booming voice who played Coplann (sp?) and the soft-spoken Lenonn (sp?) were both quite good. Beyond those examples of course, is Peter and Andreas, Bruce and Rick...all of whom gave outstanding performances.

As I said, I'm sure Robin Atkin Downes is a fine actor, but perhaps the others "raised the bar" so often and so high in my eyes...... that's what I came to expect from everyone...??

Chilli September 30th 06 12:29

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

I think the word left out was "blame" hyp.

Bingo. Thanks .. I suck :D

GaribaldisHair September 30th 06 14:45

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

I also thought the actor with the booming voice who played Coplann (sp?)

That would be Robin Sachs, who also appeared as Hedronn in Points of Departure, the Narn Captain in Movement of Fire and Shadow and various other parts I believe ... as well as the brilliant bad guy (Saris) in Galaxy Quest.

Quote:

and the soft-spoken Lenonn (sp?)

Theodore Bikel ... who previously appeared as the Rabbi (Koslov?) in TKO.

hypatia September 30th 06 15:31

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

Quote:

I think the word left out was "blame" hyp.

Bingo. Thanks .. I suck :D

Don't make any promises you can't keep, especially with Markas around. :devil:

Your post was clear enough to answer the question, I was just curious what specific word you were planning to use. :)

I hope people don't start poisoning ilikemike with anti-Byron tales before she's had a chance to see a few episodes. :lol:

Londos6 September 30th 06 17:10

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:


That would be Robin Sachs, who also appeared as Hedronn in Points of Departure, the Narn Captain in Movement of Fire and Shadow and various other parts I believe ... as well as the brilliant bad guy (Saris) in Galaxy Quest.

He was also Ethan Rayne on Buffy.

KoshFan September 30th 06 17:50

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
And he was fantastic as all of them.

hypatia September 30th 06 18:35

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
See? So that narrows it down for some of you at least.

It's either the way the part was written, or the way he interpreted it that so bugs you about Byron.

But it's just so appropriate that it does bug people. :lol:

He was basically a Psi-cop-in-training with a Psi-cop mentality that broke away and still kept the whole Psi-cop attitude.

I disagree with some people's interpretations of why he did some of what he did (like in "View Behind the Gallery" or whatever that Bo and Mac episode was called).

But by then some people just saw nothing but bad in him.

Anyhow, I think the response is pretty much what it should have been. A good cause, but maybe a bit of a foolish approach.

An interesting suggestion was made about just quietly asking the Minbari. Do the Minbari have loads of planets that they haven't colonized?

Chilli September 30th 06 20:03

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

See? So that narrows it down for some of you at least.

It's either the way the part was written, or the way he interpreted it that so bugs you about Byron.

Can it be both? :D .. I quite honestly think both apply equally for my dislike of Byron.



Quote:

He was basically a Psi-cop-in-training with a Psi-cop mentality that broke away and still kept the whole Psi-cop attitude.

I didn't really get the Psi Cop vibe from me. To me, he seemed more like an abused child. His parents had beaten him. So, of course, the whole world must pay in return. He just had NO perspective about matters, he was so blinded by his own hatred.

I could have dealt with all that, if it hadn't been accompanied by this air of .. "oh I'm so fucking holy. I'm soooooooo pacifistic and lovely. I'm soooooo much better than all you." It was his hypocracy that really bugged me :D Bester at least knew he was an utter bastard.

Quote:

Anyhow, I think the response is pretty much what it should have been. A good cause, but maybe a bit of a foolish approach.

Foolish just about sums it up :D .. especially as he COULD have well gotten somewhere with a reasonable approach.

Sindatur October 2nd 06 15:28

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

Second, he was doubly an idiot, because he should have gone straight to Delenn. If anyone could wrastle the League into doing something positive, it was Delenn -- and if any race had spare planets lying around, it was the Minbari.

I'm not sure about the Minbari have spare planets laying around, but, I do remember yelling at the screen asking what are you doing you idiot. Go to Delenn, she'll make it right for you, she'll make them take care of you.

That one single action on Byron's part, I believe was what made the Teep War inevitible versus getting their desires and averting it. (of course this is assuming there isn't a bunch of unexpected stuff that came up, but, from what we know, it seems it all could've been avoided if he had just gone to Delenn)

Elipsis March 2nd 08 00:17

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Started out with a B-- but upon further reflection, none of the telepath sequences were particularly interesting and I ended up kicking it to a C+.

How did this thread turn into the official spot to debate the validity of the Byron character?

Estelyn November 8th 10 19:55

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I can see why this thread turned into Byron-bashing - this is the episode that changed my attitude toward him. When he first showed up, I sympathized with the teep cause, but his outright arrogance, feeling better than other humans, successfully erased that from my mind. If that was the intention of the author, it succeeded! Isn't he acting just like the mundanes he so despises?

The colony starts to look like a cult community, intensified by the hippie/free love look of the teeps, and it sure looks like Byron is turning into a womanizer, taking advantage of the female attraction to him. As I don't find him attractive, I can't understand what they see in him.

I was amused over Garibaldi's comment on G'Kar, that writers are a sensitive bunch. Was JMS talking about himself? ;) I must say, I enjoyed his artistic affectations and the word duels with Londo. Their dialogues are a highlight!

The other conversation I liked was that of the Enphili, seeing the ships coming: he thought it was a new star, he stated, but they are not stars. But I thought - yes they are - they're White Stars!

I don't understand why Lyta chooses just this moment to turn to Byron - she'd just been thanked by Sheridan for her part in saving all those lives. What more did she expect?

Galahad November 10th 10 21:07

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
A lot of the most irritating behavioural aspects exhibited by Byron come after his intimate encounter with Lyta. I've always strongly maintained that what she said would happen... exactly happened and that the experience telepathically burned him.

Up until that point Byron had been seeking nothing but toleration... but after he learned the truth telepathically (not conventionally), his quest for toleration became ambition... and that was the catalyst for what followed.

The allusion to cults is very apt... and you see the entire growth cycle of a dangerous cult in the evolution of the B5 teeps. Cults tend to start out as a small group of people turning inward, removing themselves from society and initially focusing on higher ideals such as peace and love. however their introversion skews their perspective and at some point an individual will consciously or unconsciously become aware of their influence on the people who depend upon them... and it's only a few short steps beyond that before they begin to abuse that power.

But credit to JMS he didn't write Byron black and white and he has him both eventually perceiving what the end result of his rashness and arrogance has triggered and even attempting to make some kind of amends (albeit too little, too late).

Yes the whole thing with the telepaths and Byron is uncomfortable to watch... but I put it to you that is exactly how you are supposed to be reacting to those characters, so we shouldn't be so dismissive of the portrayal.

I was much the same when I first watched Abigail's Party, I cringed through a lot of it and particularly loathed the character of Beverly. I remember voicing my discomfort to a colleague at work the day after which they said "Yes... that's the point, you are supposed to feel that way!"

Thus began my induction into the world of black comedy.

Alioth September 5th 11 12:36

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 271933)
My reaction to Byron? First, he was an idiot, because he tried to scare people into doing what he wants. Which rarely ends well. Second, he was doubly an idiot, because he should have gone straight to Delenn. If anyone could wrastle the League into doing something positive, it was Delenn -- and if any race had spare planets lying around, it was the Minbari.

True that that would have been his best course--as we see that Delenn did sympathize more than the other Alliance bigwigs with their desire for their own world. But I don't know if he'd have known she was the "conscience" of the Alliance that she was--he was an outsider and didn't really know any of them personally (not sure how much opportunity he had to discreetly "read" her or what that would have told him). As a human, it was his fellow humans (Lochley, then Sheridan) that he first apporoached. But yes, he did some rash things. I think he was desperate, used to people rejecting them and not much caring about their plight (which made him bitter and tending to seek ways to force the issue--like the blackmail), and a bit self-righteous. Not sure what I'd have done in his situation.

I've said in another thread that with the few billion Sol-like stars in our trillion-star galaxy, there has to be some unsettled planet somewhere. They could have maybe even found one themselves after some research (and remember there was the former Markab homeworld, and also some worlds bombarded to extinction during the Shadow War even before the planetkillers came out), then only asked the Alliance for protection (although that probably would require membership, and they may not have been interested in that either) as their population was small and would still be vulnerable.

As for his arrogance which others mention--yes he does start to show it here. But up until this point I never knew that telepaths had to actively run noise, rhymes, or whatever through their minds in order to block out others' thoughts: I thought they had to actively seek to listen to the thoughts (with thoughts only "accidentally" getting through if they were intense enough), so it would be easy to choose not to. I.e. that violating privacy was an active act, not a passive one. But upon learning that it's a passive act, and they must exert themselves, actively clutter their brains, in order to not violate privacy, I guess I became more sympathetic. It's sort of like making someone of greater agility walk around with weights shackled to him so he'd be "equal" to everyone else (I think there was some short story I read about some dystopia like that). Yes, I'd be terrified if there were actual telepaths who could read my mind without effort. But in this universe, they can't help it, and asking them to actively cripple themselves doesn't seem right. Of course it's a complicated moral dilemma, as JMS intended it to be. But if they're seeking their own planet where they can keep to themselves, that seems like good way out for all concerned, and you'd think the "mundanes" of the Alliance would be jumping to help them do it.

I don't have the sheer loathing of Byron some seem to have here. He's flawed, he makes mistakes, but ultimately he does take full responsibility for them, which is better than many people do. And talk about being between a rock and a hard place....

Jade Jaguar September 6th 11 01:23

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I certainly never thought of Byron as stupid. He, and his people, were persecuted and desperate. I agree that Delenn was the one to talk to, about finding a planet for the teeps, which I think could have been done. I also agree that Byron didn't know that Delenn was the one to approach. Someone should have had the sense to suggest that to him.

Further, I think that Sheridan and Lochley, in giving the teeps up to Bester, committed as vile and immoral an act as giving up Jews to the Nazis in WWII, of sending escaped slaves back to the South in the USA. I don't give a damn what legal justification they had for it. It was wrong.

vacantlook September 6th 11 04:50

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I think that's my biggest disappointment with the reality of making the tv show: with Claudia Christian leaving the show, we never got to have Ivanova, afraid of love escaping her once again after Marcus's death, jump at the chance to be with Byron only to eventually call in Bester, one of her most hated people in the universe, to deal with the telepaths.

Jan September 6th 11 12:27

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jade Jaguar (Post 373483)
Further, I think that Sheridan and Lochley, in giving the teeps up to Bester, committed as vile and immoral an act as giving up Jews to the Nazis in WWII, of sending escaped slaves back to the South in the USA. I don't give a damn what legal justification they had for it. It was wrong.

As it happened, to the best of our knowledge no teeps were given up to Bester in the end. The ones involved with the violence would have been if they'd lived and that's fair since at least one person died. But that line of teeps going past Lyta were getting telepathic instructions on where they could go for help as they left, they weren't going into Bester's custody.

Jan

Jade Jaguar September 19th 11 08:30

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
Okay, technically, you're correct. Although they intended to give them up, it didn't quite work out that way. But, without the threat, if the teeps had been, and known they were secure on B5, no one would have died.

Lennier's Tears March 7th 15 04:27

Re: EpDis: The Paragon Of Animals
 
I quite enjoy The Paragon of Animals, although there's a bit too much Byron for my liking, and even the title refers to the Byron story. It kind of makes it all about that, like how it's hard to think of Grey 17 is Missing as that episode with the Marcus/Neroon fight.

You can count me among those who hate Byron. Which isn't to say I think it's a badly written character. Just that I hate the character. He's not a nice guy. And that's OK, not all characters have to be "nice". It's just that there's so annoyingly much of him. I think it's the arrogance that bothers me most of all. Not just his whole "mundanes are so inferior" attitude, but .. everything about him. The randomly quoting Shakespeare stuff ... (I watched with someone who yelled "Shakespeare was a mundane!" at the TV during this bit. I laughed). I'm also with Estelyn in that his apparent attitude towards the women in his little group squicks me out. He appears to be quite receptive to their adulation, in true cult-leader fashion. It's creepy and gross.

Babylon 5 is always interesting in this way ... The human telepaths clearly have some valid issues that all of us mundane viewers can sympathize with. And then we have this arrogant ass as a champion of the telepath cause, going about it all wrong, too.

I too would have LOVED to have seen this storyline unfold with Ivanova in it. Now THAT would have been interesting. Alas.

I enjoy the declaration of principles bits, although I'm sad to see that all the ambassadors have gone back to their usual unreasonable shouty selves. I also like the Enphili story.


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