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Old February 7th 15, 00:10   #16
Lennier's Tears
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Re: EpDis: Messages From Earth

Great arc episode! Lots of very exciting Shadow stuff, trouble with Earth getting REALLY serious. Good stuff!

I have no response to the question in the last post on this thread. I don't know the details of what happened to the Narn telepaths. But, I haven't read any of the B5 novels or comics, so there's rather a lot of the backstory that I don't know at all. Perhaps someone else will know!

Comments on the episode:

The breakfast scene at the beginning: It's fun and entertaining and a good segue to the Marcus fighting scene. I do have a question about it. Bacon and eggs are hard to get on Babylon 5? Later in this episode Sheridan says it's a 2-day jump to Earth space. That doesn't seem SO long that you can't get eggs ... Is it just that people don't eat that sort of thing much in the 23rd century, and thus it's hard to come by?

I like newly enlightened G'Kar in his prison cell. The religious-y music that plays on the closeup of his writing is a nice touch.

I like all the scenes with Dr. Kirkish. The slow motion and music and such works really well with that meeting room scene. The flashback scenes with the Shadow ships on Mars are pretty chilling. Once again we find out that Interplanetary Expeditions is shady as hell*.

That scene with Sheridan taking off his Earth Alliance pin and staring at it are really well done. It illustrates well what he must be feeling.

That blond-haired Night Watch guy is super creepy. I agree with Estelyn above that his comment about feeling like a god, watching all those people on the security monitors tells us much about why he's an excited participant in the Night Watch program.

The White Star scenes: Something going on with the camera angles here. The command chair looks pretty far from all the other consoles, and there appears to be a console practically in the hallway, when Sheridan walks by it on his way to get some sleep.

The scenes with Sheridan and Delenn on the Minbari beds is a nice buildup to their later relationship. I like Sheridan talking about the sound of rain, and missing his father.

I always like everything White Star. Some excellent action sequences here. Sheridan tricks another Shadow ship. I like how they sort of crumple when they are destroyed, consistent with the whole "spider" theme they have going on.

Of course it had to be the Agamemnon that confronted the White Star. For Sheridan, that's not just "one of his own", it's his own ship! This is a great bit, where he can't decide what to do, and this time it's Delenn with the clever plan.

I enjoy Marcus' chart at the end I get the impression he's not just well-educated in English literature, he seems to know his Earth history pretty well too, using the Ottoman Empire as a model. Who would think to do THAT?

[The following is a total side note]

* Dr. Kirkish says that the goal of Interplanetary Expeditions is to use archaeology in order to find "new" technology. That seems to be a pretty established idea in the Babylon 5 universe's 23rd century, not many people seem to think there's anything wrong with that basic idea, it's just IPX's shadiness that they have a problem with. That idea makes me pretty sad, but I guess it makes sense, considering humankind was at the brink of extinction just a decade before. I imagine many people would be in favor of using all scientific research to put Earth in a better position relative to other races.

There are ethical medical doctors in the Babylon 5 universe, as we have seen with Dr. Franklin's refusal to hand over his notes on the Minbari, even during the Minbari war. Ethical archaeologists, though ... a bit harder to find. Dr. Kirkish is the first and only "good" archaeologist we get to see on B5. Although the fact that she chose to work for IPX is questionable, but then this isn't the post-capitalist utopia of Star Trek, so I suppose an archaeologist has got to make a living any way they can ...

All the other archaeologists we see on B5 are "bad guys". It's a major plot point in "Infection", and both "The River of Souls" and "Thirdspace". [There's also a tiny archaeology story element in "Soul Mates", with the Centauri artifact Matt Stoner is selling, which ends up severely injuring Londo. Matt Stoner mentions his selling the artifact is perfectly legal because he acquired it in a documented archaeological dig and has all the paperwork. That seems to be a thing that is normal and acceptable in the B5 universe, so that doesn't make him a bad guy for THAT reason, I suppose.]

This isn't necessarily anything to do with the B5 story, as the way in which the B5 archaeologists are bad guys is much the same as the way archaeologists are bad guys in ALL of fiction. Fictional archaeologists are pretty consistently villainous. Not in that they are plotting great evil, but mostly they are so caught up in their own interests, on the hunt for fame or riches, that they end up doing unethical stuff that endangers everyone around them. Of course that's a lot easier to do in fiction than in real life, because of the abundance of curses, demons, aliens, and any other evil thing you can think of. Real life archaeology is rather more boring.

Anyway, I'm obviously a bit hung up on how archaeology is portrayed in fiction. It does have an effect on real world archaeology.

I'll stop talking now
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