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Old December 13th 14, 05:30   #1
Psi Cop
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Which storylines disappointed the most?

While the overall story arc of B5 was well done given the constraints of studio, budget, and actors coming/going I found a few storylines disappointing:

1) No 1 beef of all time - The Telepath War. There was none! This despite numerous hints that there was one coming. All we got was 'Jim Jones' Byron leading his lambs to the slaughter...

2) Mars - Built up as a major story during Seasons 1-3 this arc simply became a device for Sheridan to get to Earth. Not to mention the shoddy actors in the resistance...

3) Ivanova - Should have been B5 captain not Lockley (I know there were problems with getting Claudia to sign on) and her latent teep abilities could have developed into a great storyline with Bester and the Psi Corps...

4) The Alliance - I expected something better out of the ashes of the Shadow and Earth Wars. Poorly introduced in 'Rising Star' (an episode I despise), it is simply a galactic UN with all its incumbent squabbles. Should've been developed into something greater (as Delenn might say). Something that reflected the almost spiritual nature of the series.

5) The First Ones - For beings that are supposed to be almost god-like they never really amounted to much except as an example to the Shadows and the Vorlons to 'get the hell out of our galaxy' (a line that almost ruins the almost perfect 'Into The Fire' episode that ended the Shadow War)...

6) The B5 movies (except for 'In The Beginning') - A perfect opportunity to tie up loose ends wasted on what? I'm still trying to work it out.

7) Crusade and Legend Of The Rangers - Cancelled because they weren't B5. The Rangers/Technomages were not integral to the B5 story. A sequel series should have followed the Psi Corps/Centauri/Narn/Alliance story arcs. A 5 year series on finding a cure for a plague? Wouldn't hold my interest for 5 episodes...
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Old December 13th 14, 09:56   #2
Springer
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Re: Which storylines disappointed the most?

You mention many of the major storylines here!

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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post

1) No 1 beef of all time - The Telepath War. There was none! This despite numerous hints that there was one coming. All we got was 'Jim Jones' Byron leading his lambs to the slaughter...
I agree here, but we've debated this to death on the forum recently, so I won't add anything more at this stage.

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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
2) Mars - Built up as a major story during Seasons 1-3 this arc simply became a device for Sheridan to get to Earth. Not to mention the shoddy actors in the resistance...
Well, I liked Number One! I don't know, I think if there was a problem with this storyline, it's that we didn't see the follow-through we didn't see any of the political ramifications of independence in season five, but this ties into my point about empire building later.


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3) Ivanova - Should have been B5 captain not Lockley (I know there were problems with getting Claudia to sign on) and her latent teep abilities could have developed into a great storyline with Bester and the Psi Corps...
Agreed, but that was a situation outside of the storytelling that led to Ivanova leaving, so couldn't be helped. But Lochley grew on me.


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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
4) The Alliance - I expected something better out of the ashes of the Shadow and Earth Wars. Poorly introduced in 'Rising Star' (an episode I despise), it is simply a galactic UN with all its incumbent squabbles. Should've been developed into something greater (as Delenn might say). Something that reflected the almost spiritual nature of the series.
It wasn't like the UN that's what the Babylon 5 Advisory Council was prior to the Alliance. The Alliance was a formal treaty between the different worlds, getting them to work together, a bit like the European Union. I would have liked to have seen this go further, with empire building. The original plans for a spin-off after B5 were to have been about the Rangers and Empire Building, I would have loved to have seen that.


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5) The First Ones - For beings that are supposed to be almost god-like they never really amounted to much except as an example to the Shadows and the Vorlons to 'get the hell out of our galaxy' (a line that almost ruins the almost perfect 'Into The Fire' episode that ended the Shadow War)...
I liked that they were left mostly mysterious. And the Shadows, Vorlons, and Lorien were First Ones too, and we saw plenty of them. Happy for the rest of the First Ones to be left to myth and legend. And they had cool ships.


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6) The B5 movies (except for 'In The Beginning') - A perfect opportunity to tie up loose ends wasted on what? I'm still trying to work it out.
I liked Thirdspace. River of Souls seemed to be the only one that was a bit of a waste to me. Not sure what I would have liked to have seen in its place though. Telepath War couldn't be told in one telemovie, I don't think - would have needed an entire season for that! Maybe we could have seen more of the future stuff, with David Sheridan, but even then it would be just showing us what we already know happened.


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7) Crusade and Legend Of The Rangers - Cancelled because they weren't B5. The Rangers/Technomages were not integral to the B5 story. A sequel series should have followed the Psi Corps/Centauri/Narn/Alliance story arcs. A 5 year series on finding a cure for a plague? Wouldn't hold my interest for 5 episodes...
Well... that's not strictly correct. Crusade was cancelled because of TNT meddling, and then TNT deciding they didn't want to do a SF show after all. It wasn't going to be five years of looking for a cure - the cure was supposed to be found by the second season, after which the show would evolve into something else- the real story, about Earth using Shadow tech for nefarious purposes (which we got a hint of in Path of Sorrows and would have seen more at the end of the first season) and the crew of the Excalibur on the run, with a little help from some B5 characters. Does that sound better? We'll never know how good it could have been without TNT killing it. Legend of the Rangers though, yep, that wasn't great.

Aside from availability of actors affecting storylines (Michael O'Hare, Claudia Christian, Andrea Thompson, John Schuck - would have loved to have seen more Draal) which couldn't be helped, it is the political, empire-building aspect of the Alliance that disappointed me by its relative absence. Also, the Minbari plotline; of the different species they as a whole always seemed less rounded to me, compared to the Narn or Centauri. We kind of lost the threat that the Warrior Caste held in season one, which just gave way to bickering in the Grey Council and then a truncated civil war that lasted two episodes.

But I do find it hard to be too disappointed by anything B5 did - I love the show too much!
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Old March 25th 15, 12:35   #3
Mororless
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Re: Which storylines disappointed the most?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
While the overall story arc of B5 was well done given the constraints of studio, budget, and actors coming/going I found a few storylines disappointing:

1) No 1 beef of all time - The Telepath War. There was none! This despite numerous hints that there was one coming. All we got was 'Jim Jones' Byron leading his lambs to the slaughter...
Certainly it seems more interesting that a lot of what we got in season 5 although it did always seem to be being built up as something that would happen in the longer term. Personally for me the real disappointment was more that Bester personally didn't play a larger role in the 5th season.

By the end of the 4th season he was clearly the most interesting antagonist remaining and whilst he featured a bit more in the final season I would have liked to see him involved in a key part of the plot some how, there seemed plenty of ways that could have been achieved.

Quote:
2) Mars - Built up as a major story during Seasons 1-3 this arc simply became a device for Sheridan to get to Earth. Not to mention the shoddy actors in the resistance...
Not really sure about this, going more indepth into Mars seems like it could have involved a lot of rather mundane politics.

Quote:
3) Ivanova - Should have been B5 captain not Lockley (I know there were problems with getting Claudia to sign on) and her latent teep abilities could have developed into a great storyline with Bester and the Psi Corps...
Unsure about this, as I said in the Rising Star thread I think the character is delt with quite effectively with season 1-4 and the finale, arguably not as "complete" as the others as she hasn't broken out of a tragic cycle but that seemed to be the point to me, leaving someone still unresolved with hope for the future.

Sleeping in Light really means you can';t resolve her in season 5 and honestly I'm always had trouble seeing her fit into the Byron story, you could I spose argue day of the dead would have suited her well although it would be more week of the dead.

If your locked into leaving her character unresolved honestly what I would have liked to see a bit more of was focus pre Marcus's death. She was a bit of an odd character in B5 in that she until the very end she never really had a plot that built episode on episode although I spose that might have JMS's intension, to have her story built more as bits and pieces over the whole series. Andrea Thompson leaving when she did might I spose also be an issue as I could see the story we got in Divided Loyalties being spread over several episodes.

Quote:
4) The Alliance - I expected something better out of the ashes of the Shadow and Earth Wars. Poorly introduced in 'Rising Star' (an episode I despise), it is simply a galactic UN with all its incumbent squabbles. Should've been developed into something greater (as Delenn might say). Something that reflected the almost spiritual nature of the series.
The issue I spose is that Sheridan becoming some kind of demagogue/godhead had been raised as a negative so many times that there was the need to present the alliance as based on something more concrete.

What I think was missing a bit was simply more honest oration by Sheridan and Delenn that could have been inspirational without becoming to messianic. The problem I spose is that it was introduced in a bit of a rush in season 4 and by season 5 the tension was being rebuilt rather than capped off with grand speaches. I think JMS did his best to cover this with Deconstruction of Falling Stars which looked to cover the same kind of themes but it perhaps wasn't quite as effective as several episodes early in season 5(if the earth war ends there as planned) would have been.

Quote:
5) The First Ones - For beings that are supposed to be almost god-like they never really amounted to much except as an example to the Shadows and the Vorlons to 'get the hell out of our galaxy' (a line that almost ruins the almost perfect 'Into The Fire' episode that ended the Shadow War)...
I think they were best left as they were as a Tolkien like "unseen vista", an object of awe and mystery that could have been lost if they'd been featured more and explained.

Quote:
6) The B5 movies (except for 'In The Beginning') - A perfect opportunity to tie up loose ends wasted on what? I'm still trying to work it out.
The problem I suspect was that TNT really did not want films carrying on the B5 arc they wanted relatively one off films that more casual viewers might watch. My guess is JMS was fighting to slip in the connections to existing B5 that we got in them and likely wouldn't have got the green light for something like the Telepath war.

Quote:
7) Crusade and Legend Of The Rangers - Cancelled because they weren't B5. The Rangers/Technomages were not integral to the B5 story. A sequel series should have followed the Psi Corps/Centauri/Narn/Alliance story arcs. A 5 year series on finding a cure for a plague? Wouldn't hold my interest for 5 episodes...
The problem for me was that B5 was designed to tell the story it told, that includes the various races and characters who were created to fit into the kind of plot JMS had in mind. You look to directly take up the torch with a follow up and I think you risk carrying a lot of baggage around and trying to fit a lot of squate pegs into round holes, honestly I think the 5th season suffered a bit from this anyway.

I think JMS might have been better off going directly into the main story he had planned involving Shadow tech and maybe linking it to the Telepath war somehow. That could have made G'Kar and Lyta potential lead characters as well, maybe linking up with some kind of earth force or alliance mission and the Techno mages? kind of a halfway point bertween an entirely new cast and just restarting B5. Lyta would obviously have links into that story and I think G'Kar by that stage was an effective character even outside of stories directly involving his background although I spose the book of G'Quan may have including more on the shadows or maybe the story would somehow relate to his new philosophy?

Last edited by Mororless; March 25th 15 at 18:11.
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Old March 25th 15, 14:00   #4
Wulf
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Re: Which storylines disappointed the most?

Ironheart's gift. Obvious reasons.

Season 5 telepaths. Fabio-Lite never grabbed me (in the special area), and I never really ended up giving a crap if most of them lived or died. But hey, free mind-sex with Lyta, so they had that going for them.

Most of the movies. They'd have been barely acceptable episodes, never mind wasting a movie on them.
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