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Old September 26th 05, 08:27   #5
Enlightened_GKar
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 212
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.
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