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Old January 16th 19, 15:29   #64
Psi Cop
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Middle West U.S.
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

Originally Posted by Springer View Post
There's something that bugs me about this discussion and about B5 fandom in general. B5historyman has put a huge amount of work in over the years, it's genuinely fascinating to study the timeline – but, I do subscribe to the 'death of the author' theory, that once a work is out in the wild people can interpret that work how they choose, and the author cannot tell them how they should interpret something. That includes having personal timelines that work for them. The author can say what they had in mind when writing their story, the author can even embark on a bit of revisionist history as JMS seems to have done with the timeline, but the reader/viewer should not be beholden to it.

How often do we watch series or movies, or read novels and have different opinions about what really happened? Those opinions are what drive discussion of the story and help develop deeper meanings. To take that away by telling someone they have to see the story a certain way seems to me to be doing the story a disservice.
I completely agree with this statement, but I also REALLY like b5historyman's approved version of events. Having said that I have definitely imagined my own B5 history of events and episode orders. The fact that JMS approved b5historyman's version is great as a reference tool that I think works really well, but that definitely doesn't mean the world is required to take it as sacred scripture that can not be deviated from. I think a good way to look at it might be to say if one were forced to choose a way that everyone should experience Babylon 5 for the first time then logically one would have to say release order is the only way it should be watched if one wants a level assessment of what every viewer had a chance to experience. In that same world if we were forced to choose a second way to view Babylon 5 in hopes of achieving the same results over a mass spectrum of first time viewers then I think b5historyman's order would be a logical second choice. But we don't live in that world so we are able to come up with our own theories of how it should be viewed. Having said that we're talking about choices made by people who already saw the show in release order and were allowed to make the choice of alternate ways to view the show.

Over on JMS News alpha128 is posting about showing the show to two friends. alpha128 is showing a "condensed" version of the series with episodes deemed by alpha128 as "filler" filtered out. (alpha128 did ask JMS News Users for opinions on the episodes that were going to be edited out.) I completely understand the reasoning because alpha128 wants the two friends to make it to the end of the series and fears their lack of interest in Science Fiction is a big hurdle to overcome. I see this as an issue because the episodes chosen as "filler" were not chosen by those who were going to view them. alpha128 chose what episodes his friends would enjoy without knowing if they would actually enjoy them. I guess my point is that one shouldn't really talk about alternate ways to view the series without some REALLY good reasons because no one knows what aspects of the series a viewer is going to fall in love with. alpha128 had good reasoning because his friends are not fans of Science Fiction, and the updates have shown that. b5historyman has better reasoning to deviate from release order because the pieces of the puzzle fit together a little better , but I am still on the fence as to whether or not I would show the series to a new viewer using his chronological order because of the "level playing field" concept. I really think it might be important to experience the series the first time the way most have experienced it so the viewer can then decide for themselves how they like it best.

Last edited by Looney; January 16th 19 at 15:32.
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