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Old July 27th 15, 17:11   #39
Lennier's Tears
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: DC-ish
Posts: 329
Re: EpDis: Midnight On The Firing Line

What an excellent first episode this is! It is interesting to both the first-time and the repeat viewer. There is SO much story information in there, so many seemingly little things that will turn out to be important later. Every detail matters, but all this information is presented in sort of a casual manner, so that itís not overwhelming or confusing for a first time viewer. Thereís also plenty of action to pull you right in, and I think it shows quite well what kind of show Babylon 5 is going to be. Itís not going to be a ďmonster of the weekĒ type show.

I started my B5 watching with Midnight on the Firing Line originally. I didnít see the pilot until much later, although someone had filled me in on what happened in there. I canít remember how I felt about it back then, but obviously I continued watching and came to really love the show.

I only just recently did a re-watch, but I only started posting here halfway through the second season, so I figured Iíd start over again, so I can post in all the episode threads

I have a few comments on details that stood out to me during this viewing, for one reason or another:
  • Those Centauri we see at the very beginning of the episode at Ragesh III are wearing interesting clothes. That is to say, they address each other with what sound like military titles, so they are either military or at least some kind of security. The clothes look civilian. It occurred to me for the first time ever that I donít know what Centauri military looks like. Other than those palace guards with the shiny helmets, everyone always seems to wear their sort of fancy dress. Are palace guard uniforms the same as military uniforms? Are they only for lower ranking individuals? These guys didnít seem too fancy, either. Their clothes were definitely less ornate than what we see on Londo and his peers, or even on Vir.
  • What on earth (or not on Earth, as the case may be ) is Garibaldi eating in that scene of him in the Zocalo? It looks like a kiwano sitting on some other fruit, maybe grapes, or possibly blackcurrants? And then some mysterious pyramid things (see screenshot below). I wonder if that fruit is grown in the hydroponic gardens. In later episodes, characters sometimes make a big deal out of foods that are hard to get on Babylon 5, but I have never been able to make sense of what is easy to get and what isnít, or what is locally grown and what isnít.
  • Londoís quarters. Do they look different later in the show? Or is it just that this early on he hasnít filled his space with as much Centauri stuff?
  • I really like that scene where Talia Winters finally catches up with Ivanova and they have their little chat at the bar. But, the weird thing about it is that it includes Ivanova telling Talia all about what the options are for telepaths who donít want to join Psi Corps. Clearly Talia would know this, and the information is for the viewerís benefit. It feels a little weird, but then I guess itís hard to stick that information in there so we, the audience can know whatís going on but still have it fit in the dialog and make sense.
  • The election stuff is interesting. It might just seem like background information or universe-building, but itís of course all important to the story. This is one of those examples of how the Earth Alliance is modeled after the late 20th century US. Two presidential candidates and a direct vote. I love all the detail in the news reports on the election, particularly the line about concern regarding ďnon-terran influencesĒ. This is really well done
  • Londoís vision of his death. He says this is common among Centauri. Is this a magical element in the Babylon 5 universe? There could be some other convoluted explanation for this , but most likely it is indeed a fantasy element. If so, I think itís the only one in the whole storyline. Everything else has some ďsciencyĒ explanation, does it not?

Screenshot of Garibaldi eating:
I think we're well beyond pastels now.
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