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Old June 2nd 08, 04:30   #21
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

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Originally Posted by A_M_Swallow View Post
Not the teep way. Teeps are the power behind the throne, they allow mundanes to be the front guy. They exercise power by advising the front guy. For instance in negotiations the buyer and the seller are both mundanes, they simply tell their man when the other man is lying.
I believe that is the way it has played out in the B5 universe, however I don't believe that is the way it would ever actually play out. Those with the power become the powerful, it is the great mandate of human history. For that reason I can't ever foresee a real future where there would be that many teeps and teeks running around and they would not be in the seats of power or at the very least have tried to gain the seats of power.

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Bester cannot give an honest report, as he said, he would not be believed.
I viewed that as more of a pleasantry towards Sinclair. An official report would never fly, but an unofficial report to those in power that like Bester know all about the experimentation on Ironheart and many others would at least give his report the time of day if not find it completely believable.
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Old June 2nd 08, 09:42   #22
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

My favourite part of this episode is the converstation between G'Kar and Catherine Sakai:

G'Kar: "There are things in the Universe billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless, and if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know. We've tried and we've learned that we can either stay out from underfoot or be stepped on."

G'Kar: "They are a mystery and I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the Universe. That we have not yet explained everything. Whatever they are, Miss Sakai, they walk near Sigma 957 and they must walk there .. alone."

Great lines!!!
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Old June 6th 08, 17:50   #23
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

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Great lines!!!
The exact words in my head!

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Old May 15th 10, 21:38   #24
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

I can echo what others have written about the dialogues - some really good lines there, on telepath abilities and love, and on the old, huge race. I also noticed the "in a million years" reference and thought of the Deconstruction of Falling Stars. I'd like to add two details that have't been mentioned before:

The telepaths use the word "mindquake" for what happens around Ironheart - I like it!

I find it an interesting glimpse in the practicalities of daily life to see Ironheart being brought to his quarters by a hostess, with a welcome program on TV - like hotels have nowadays. I don't think there is a similar scene in the rest of the series.
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Old May 27th 12, 10:38   #25
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

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The bad:

This episode is slightly tarnished for me because I can't help but think of it as a stop-gap way of dealing with the fact that the "wrong" telepath is on the show. Had Lyta stayed, this whole thing would have been unecessary.

Ironheart himself was kind of annoying. The over-announciating and the melodrama is one of the classic instances of B5 corniness, something that plagues the show throughout, especially the first season.

The good:

Though this ep is an "accident," the Bester character would probably not have come to fruition, so in that respect it's a "happy accident." And it's a decent intro to Psi-Corp, one of my favorite things in the series.

Favorite moment: Talia talking about telepaths making love while traveling through a tunnel.
I'm not sure how "accidental" or an adjustment to casting circumstances this show was though. I think there still would have been the need to introduce the face of the darker side of PsiCorps (i.e. Bester), and that could have easily had to do with having psi-cops hunting down someone who could leak a particularly dark secret of the Corps and/or be a result of their nefarious experimentations. Some particulars might have been "adjustment" (like would a "gift" have been necessary--but making the psi-cop target a former lover of Lyta wouldn't be a stretch either, and would similarly heighten the inner conflict of Lyta as it did in Talia--and so a parting "gift" would even fit that circumstance).

I think we can be certain that the PsiCorps and their plotting and black ops were to fit strongly in the arc, and we can probably infer Bester's character would be a key part of it, so therefore an introductory episode very much like this would probably still have aired had our resident teep been Lyta. The "humans become energy beings/First Ones in a million years" thing probably would have also still been integral to the arc (or rather, the whole concept of "ages" in the show--is that the "fourth age of mankind"?), so we may have still had the same Ironheart specifically, as well.

Last edited by Alioth; May 27th 12 at 11:03.
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Old May 27th 12, 11:28   #26
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

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Oddly enough I never saw this episode until I got the DVDs. I knew roughly what happened, but not the specifics....
And oddly enough, conversely, this is one of the few eps (I caught 2 or 3) I did see when the series aired. (I didn't get "into" the show until buying season 1 on DVD about three or four years ago.) I remember the creepiness of Walter Koenig's character, and also being creeped out by the whole concept of telepaths, and what the implications would be of a world where they existed.
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Old May 27th 12, 12:25   #27
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

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Originally Posted by Cell View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_M_Swallow View Post
Not the teep way. Teeps are the power behind the throne, they allow mundanes to be the front guy. They exercise power by advising the front guy. For instance in negotiations the buyer and the seller are both mundanes, they simply tell their man when the other man is lying.
I believe that is the way it has played out in the B5 universe, however I don't believe that is the way it would ever actually play out. Those with the power become the powerful, it is the great mandate of human history. For that reason I can't ever foresee a real future where there would be that many teeps and teeks running around and they would not be in the seats of power or at the very least have tried to gain the seats of power.
We're seeing, sort of, the process of them (by way of the PsiCorps) attempting to do just that, throughout the series. But remember that telepathy was first noticed among humans maybe 100 or so years ago (whenever the PsiCorps trilogy story started--I think it was close to the time humans first encountered the Centauri also), and that they weren't a very "united" group of people for most if any of that history either--there was a lot of distrust depending on what route one wanted to take with that gift (PsiCorps or rejection of PsiCorps), and apparently within PsiCorps itself. Remember that teeps were the only ones who could block each others' scans, and thus "hide" themselves or their own agendas from each other. And there was also quite a lot of fear of the "mundane" majority to overcome--and for many, PsiCorps was a way to "go along to get along" and appease that majority. An ascendance to full power over the human race would take at least a century, and quite a degree of unity among them, to achieve.

But their natural key to power would in fact be their stealth, and their abilities for blackmail and mental suggestion and manipulation of mundanes. Thus the course they were starting to take (backing Clark and becoming a key part of his control apparatus) was, I think, the most plausible.

But we also have the Shadows (who Clark was also in bed with) complicating matters--we see (in the Technomage Trilogy particularly) that the Shadows will use teeps where their abilities are particularly needed, but overall disliked and even feared them somewhat, and started "disposing" of them by making them into ship CPUs (I always wondered if battlecrabs CPUed by teeps should have potentially been able to block teeps from jamming them though--AFAIK that's never been an issue). So that would have also complicated any plans for a unified conspiracy of teeps for power--we don't get to see much of what goes on on Earth, but I imagine there was a lot of teep-against-teep backstabbing within PsiCorps itself as to who would get promoted by the Shadow-puppet organization that was Clark's EarthGov, and who would get "disappeared" and shitcanned into a battlecrab hull. And also, just as teeps could form a conspiracy, they could also disrupt one among their fellows (and be best able to do so).

Again, their main impediment was that they weren't unified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cell
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_M_Swallow View Post
Bester cannot give an honest report, as he said, he would not be believed.
I viewed that as more of a pleasantry towards Sinclair. An official report would never fly, but an unofficial report to those in power that like Bester know all about the experimentation on Ironheart and many others would at least give his report the time of day if not find it completely believable.
I think you have a point here.

Last edited by Alioth; May 27th 12 at 12:41.
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Old May 31st 12, 00:15   #28
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

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Originally Posted by Alioth
(I always wondered if battlecrabs CPUed by teeps should have potentially been able to block teeps from jamming them though--AFAIK that's never been an issue).
Wonder no more. JMS stated it clearly:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jms
the whole purpose of picking up teeps was to start putting together ships that could withstand telepathic jamming. That was the whole *point* of "Ship of Tears."
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Old August 9th 15, 18:42   #29
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

I like Mind War for many of the same reasons mentioned by Vacantlook in the very first comment.

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"Mind War" was one of the early episodes of B5 that really stuck in my mind when I saw it.

It was really fun seeing Walter Koenig make an appearance on the show; little did I know that his character would become such a powerful reoccurring character on the show! Bester is such a completely different character than Chekov was on Star Trek. He's such a great villain and he leaves such a massive impression!

We got to get more about the horrors of the PsiCorps in this episode. We got a small touch of it in "Midnight On The Firing Line" with Ivanova telling Talia about what the PsiCorps rules did to her mother. Here we get Talia being hit again by something bad the PsiCorps did to someone, this time her lover Jason Ironheart. I know Jason was created to jumpstart Talia's powers similarly to how Lyta's touching Kosh's mind were her jumping off point for becoming more than the plain little commercial teep that they were. I liked Jason's character for the most part. The grabbing of the temples of his head when his powers cracked up was a bit melodramatic and cliche, but I liked how he portrayed a bit of calmness in knowing what he could do with his powers. I liked how all he wanted was to get away to keep the PsiCorps from getting to know which combination of chemicals and other techniques that were used on him to unlock his powers.

I loved the scene where Bester and that other PsiCop scanned Talia and how after it happened, Ivanova felt so much concern for Talia. When Ivanova's pouring that glass of water for Talia, the look on Ivanova's face speaks volumes without any words spoken by her whatsoever. Definite good acting on the part of Claudia Christian!

And we even got the beginnings of the Garibaldi-Bester antagonsitic relationship in this episode with Bester picking up on Garibaldi's "anatomically impossible" thought. What does everyone think the actual thought was? I figure it was shoving Bester's head up his ass or something similar.

And then there's the final scene of Talia alone in her quarters learning she now had a bit of telekinetic ability: a very haunting scene.

I really like this episode!
"Yes" to all of that, except maybe that I didn't have a problem with Jason Ironheart's possibly somewhat melodramatic gestures. I like the character a lot, the one thing I found a little off about him is that somewhat amusing 90s windbreaker jacket.

I find it hard to say how I felt when I first discovered Walter Koenig as Bester. I'm so used to that character now he's probably more "Bester" in my mind than "Chekov". But yes, this is obviously a great first appearance of a character!

I love all the Psi Corps stuff and that scene where Ivanova offers Talia some water after that painful scan is indeed great (adding a screenshot because why not? ) There's just so much there about Ivanova's history and how she feels about the Psi Corps.



List of random thoughts upon watching.
  • Of course someone had to say "What could go wrong?" Who does that??
  • Talia probably has to explain telepathy to mundanes fairly often. She has it down pretty well.
  • This is the episode where we learn that the telepath/mundane ratio is about 1/1000. I think I've probably wondered about that in some 5th season thread because I didn't remember. This is good, solid information, although I still have lots of questions about just how many are in the Psi Corps versus on the run/in prison/on sleepers and just how many of them are barely telepathic (probably most).
  • I like how the Psi Cops are shown blatantly breaking the Psi Corps rules right from the start by barging right into everyone's head instead of talking to them. They're clearly above the law.
  • This is also where we learn about how powerful the Psi Corps is.
  • That other Psi Cop (Kelsey) is amazingly annoying. That's a good acting job!
  • I think I've commented on this in other threads because it's a regular thing, but why is it that everyone just walks into the command office, like how on sitcoms people are always just walking into each other's houses. Maybe there is some security checkpoint people have to pass before being allowed into that area, but it's still a bit weird.
  • I love how much humans like hats in the Babylon 5 universe, and how that is a pretty consistent thing throughout the series.
  • "You know what it's like when telepaths make love?" That seems like maybe too much information to be sharing with the commander. On the other hand, Talia was raised in the Psi Corps. She probably doesn't really know what it's like to have private thoughts. Not at this point in time, anyway
  • That's an antique penny?
  • The "ant" speech/dialog is indeed great. How convenient that they just so happened to be having that conversation by a flower shop and that there was a convenient ant on hand
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Old August 14th 15, 15:59   #30
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Re: EpDis: Mind War

I'm gonna break with tradition and start out with something positive. I liked Koenig in this one. Koenig holds a weird place in my mind. ("There is a hole... in your mind...") Young Koenig is Chekov, and I don't dislike him, but nothing about that role distinguished him as an actor. Old Koenig is Bester, and I think he did a good job as an actor. These two aspects of Koenig have minimal connection in my head.

Bester's fellow psi-cop was oddly pretty and annoying. I think if she'd acted worth a damn she could have been a likeable character (or, a character worth disliking).

The scan was a little over dramatic. Two P12s shouldn't need the whole hand waving thing to violate the mind of a P5 on any level. I get that it shows something is going on instead of just staring intently, but it came off as some sort of "ooga booga" witch doctor flash.

The Psi Corps being part of a conspiracy is fairly obvious. Politicians would all suspect it, because you don't get to be a politician without being a paranoid bastard with a lot to hide.

When I was watching this, I'd expected Sinclair to send security to the wrong area as a decoy knowing that the PsiCops would find out and investigate. Gave him too much strategic credit I guess.

That killswitch in his mind was pretty useless. Probably should've made it a spoken word.

>Convenient ant
Well, now I'm picturing alternate versions of this scene where he replaces the ant in his speech with some baby he just grabs out of a stroller.

>Teeks are 1,000,000 to 1
That means with the current world population there'd be about 7,000 telekinetics. 3,500 sane ones. Assuming the Corps is any good at tracking them down, that seems like more than enough to already have your band of traceless assassins.
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