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Old November 30th 09, 17:38   #50
Jan
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: Does any tv series / book saga / movie saga achieve B5's plot structure?

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Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 View Post
By which I mean: This is Lyta Alexander! She doesn't *need* Byron to convince her of her powers, strength, and responsibilities - we've spent three seasons by this point watching her learn all that. She's not a wallflower, she's a chick who can blow up a planet with her brain, a chick who holds back out of defference to others, and gets taken advantage of for it, but she's braver than hell and plenty smart. She is no man's woman, and doesn't need to be.
Here I have to disagree. There's no way the Lyta we saw for most of the series would become a resistance leader without a catalyst and Byron was utterly necessary for that. Face it, even though she was exploring her powers, Lyta was basically a doormat all too much of the time.

That said, JMS admitted that after the loss of his notes when he was about to begin writing Season 5, he clung to the Byron story too hard. When I was preparing the Joe Cuts for Volume 15, I also noted that there were a number of scenes where Byron was communing with his people cut from the final aired episode. I think that those would have made him a more sympathetic character. I also think that if there'd been some scenes where we saw why some of the teeps ran away instead of them being mostly mute it would have helped. Sure we saw some of that with the teeps talking to Talia early on but that was too long ago.

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However, there's an *Awful* lot of dead air in Season 5, an awful lot of standalones, not to mention seven episodes of Byron. Given that JMS was able to work the whole "War to Retake Earth" thing in to five or six episodes of Season 4 - and it was the high water mark of the series - it seems to me he could have probably worked the entire telepath war in to Season 5 if he'd wanted to.
Somebody (here, I think) once tried to find all of the episodes that didn't contain any arc progression. As I recall, he didn't find any. Personally, I don't think that B5 would have been anywhere near as good without the standalones, off-format etc. episodes. It was in them that we got the real character development. "A Late Delivery From Avalon" springs to mind as an excellent example.

That said, at some point JMS seems to have changed the timing of the entire series at some point. The synopsis of the arc that was printed in Volume 15 seems to show a much different timline than we had, with the Shadow War extending into the follow-up series, Babylon Prime. That would explain why Season One was sort of leisurly when compared to the others.

Jan
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