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Old July 27th 07, 17:43   #1
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B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

After reading the other "Discussion" thread, I thought it might be a better idea to have a thread that discusses the show, not the making of the show. Since that other thread is already 800+ posts long, I think a new thread just discussing the show itself might be easier on everyone's eyes.

I haven't seen it yet, but here are a couple posts from those who have. Feel free to add comments and discuss as you get your DVDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bester
Having just watched TLT I thought I would chip-in with my £0.02. SPOILERS abound!!! You have been warned...

First, I want to say that the look and feel of this production is amazing. It really feels like a return to the original series, but with updated CGI effects.

The problems I have with TLT are mainly with the first story. The station feels VERY empty, which is surprising considering the fact that a large celebration, involving the President of the IA and several ambassadors/representatives, is about to be thrown. The story is also dialogue heavy, which made the pacing slow, and I felt my mind wandering a couple of times.

Both of these problems are relatively minor compared to the next problem I had - religion is dealt with in very definitive terms during the course of the story, especially in the final minutes. This really surprised me. One of the things I loved about the original B5 series proper was the fact that JMS was always careful in presenting such issues as god, heaven, hell, the soul, etc in a manner that encouraged the viewer to think for him/herself and come to their own conclusions. There was never a "yes" or "no" answer. However, we are now expected to accept that an evil soul HAS possessed someone on B5, there IS a hell on Earth, and God HAS previously confined this soul to Earth. And the characters accept these facts with no reservation and with no possibility of any other explanation. This left me feeling a little uncomfortable.

The second story is simply AWESOME. There's a great chemistry between Galen and Sheridan, as they refer to each other as old acquaintances (if not friends). There's some very nice little touches here and there, including a neat reference to G'Kar and Franklin, which were dropped into the story for the specific benefit of long-time B5 fans. There's also some great darkness and humour in equal measure. This story just feels RIGHT.

The only problem I had with the second story is the very sudden and surprising emergence of a new type of Hyperspace, called 'Quantum Space'. Why have we never heard of this before, in SiL for example (for the same journey from Minbar to B5)? It adds no real benefit to the story and almost feels like something JMS dropped in just so he could set-up a couple of jokes. However, this was a minor complaint with an otherwise great story.

Finally, there is a conversation towards the end of this story which gives a hint at a possible future TLT (a direct sequel of sorts). In any event, I look forward to the release of more of these 'Lost Tales'.

Just a couple of points of interest (more SPOILERS)....

It is stated during the second story that Vir is second in line to the Centauri throne, with Prince Vintari third in line.

Doesn't Londo state during the course of the series proper that the position is heriditary? Also, I'm not sure how Vir being second in line during this time period fits in with the Legions of Fire trilogy (if at all).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan
More spoilers...

I don't recall Londo talking about the Emperor being a hereditary possition but the Regen refers to it. Londo *did* mention that he thought the Centaurum might well abolish the position after him, though. Could be that when Londo didn't have any heirs, the Centaurum found it necessary to establish a line of succession. Plus, Vintari is third in line so the position will, in theory be reverting back to the royal family.
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Old July 28th 07, 18:42   #2
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

I wonder why the traffic is so light here? Copies of TLT are flooding the internets, and barely anyone here has seen it? Oh well, here are my 2 cents…

(sorry this is so long--I just started writing, and couldn’t stop)

The good: It is very difficult to fault this production on a technical level. The pure FX and comp shots are beautiful. I wish we could see all of B5 look this good. I have mentioned here before that there was a burgeoning community of would-be CG artists that sprouted from a love of B5 back in the day. Now many of those computer artists helped create the new FX, and it shows. Unlike Legend of the Rangers, this feels like B5, but better. Tuzanor even looks like Tuzanor, not Blade Runner-Land.

There are many great shots where live action is composited into a CG background, and these are so much more convincing than they ever were in the series. One particularly amazing shot starts behind Sheridan’s starfurry, and the camera swings around to reveal live-action footage of Bruce Boxleitner in the cockpit. The shot is totally convincing, and is something they never would have been able to pull of in the old days. The scenes in the beautiful new docking bay CG set have a certain video game cut-scene quality to them, but so did almost all of the Star Wars prequels, so I guess it can be forgiven.

Another thing I loved was Peter Woodward/Galen. I know plenty of people who don’t care for the actor and/or the character, but to me, he was always one of the few actors who can take JMS’s often clunky, exposition-heavy dialog and make it sing like music. He’s great in this, and he seems to be acting in a different production than everyone else.

One other thing that surprised me was JMS as a director. He seems to have a good eye for composition and camera movement. There were a few shots or cuts that were great. I think with some more practice, he could become a good director. Not all was great on the JMS front, though. And this leads to…

The Bad: JMS often seems like he doesn’t quite understand the medium he is writing for. I think with filmed entertainment, you should strive to show, not tell. You should let the pictures and the cutting from one picture to the next tell most of the story. Here, as in most of B5, JMS opts to tell us everything instead. He gives up scenes that go on for pages of characters talking to each other. When they aren’t doing that (or sometimes even when they are) we get lengthy monologs or soliloquies instead. The script could very easily be a radio drama. Just rip the soundtrack from the DVD, stick it on your iPod, listen with headphones, and you’d get about 98% of the story perfectly.

His direction often matches his writing in this regard. He very rarely tells the story with images. What we mostly get is: master shot, medium shot of character A, medium shot of character B, repeat. To see what I mean about telling the story visually, go back and watch the famous scene in The Fall of Night where Sheridan ends up floating in the core of B5. In that scene, apparently planned shot-for-shot by JMS himself, the story is told one shot at a time with dialog added only when necessary. We get nothing even remotely as compelling as that here.

And I guess my overall problem with TLT is that I was just kinda bored. JMS has this vast, rich universe to play with and we get two pretty ho-hum stories. Maybe if these things came out fairly quickly, or maybe if there wasn’t such build-up, I wouldn’t have minded so much. But I was eagerly waiting for new B5--real B5. And all I got were stories of characters dealing with moral dilemmas, and not very interesting ones at that.

If you have the first volume of JMS’s script books, at the bottom of page 38 you’ll see JMS say about Infection, “…[ I ] decided to have our hero basically talk the enemy to death, about which the less said the better.” And I realized that is pretty much what happens in the Lochley story. Now I’m not saying TLT is as bad as Infection, but they do come off as pretty mediocre non-arc episodes of the series. Hopefully future DVD’s will be more interesting, especially now that some of the production groundwork has been laid (like the creation of some great, hi-rez CG sets and models). Though I am worried that the underwhelming aspect of this production is not exactly going to set the DVD-buying public on fire.

FORGOT TO ADD: If you acquired this like I did, via less than savory means, please buy the DVD also. We need to make sure JMS has a chance to tell some more interesting stories in the future.

Last edited by b4bob; July 28th 07 at 18:47.
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Old July 28th 07, 19:00   #3
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

JMS loves his wideshots. There's a couple of scenes in TLT which start with a wideshot and don't change to a closeup until WAYYYY after you expect it to. Not really a complaint, just something I noticed.

Also, b4bob, did you notice the hideous horizontal flip of Sheridan about halfway through his first conversation with Lochley (when he is still on his ship and she is on the viewscreen)? I found it rather distracting.
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Old July 28th 07, 19:06   #4
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bester View Post
...Also, b4bob, did you notice the hideous horizontal flip of Sheridan about halfway through his first conversation with Lochley (when he is still on his ship and she is on the viewscreen)? I found it rather distracting.
No I didn't notice it. I'll need to go check.

I can't believe we're the only two talking about this, Bester! Where is everybody?
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Old July 28th 07, 19:12   #5
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by b4bob View Post
Where is everybody?
No idea. I'm just glad that I've finally found someone else who has seen it and I can chat to about it!

Another question for you...

During the first sequence with Galen and Sheridan, the former gives the latter a necklace. Any idea what the significance of the necklace is? Or was it given simply to prove that he wasn't having a dream (Sheridan awoke with it around his neck)?
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Old July 28th 07, 19:27   #6
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Or was it given simply to prove that he wasn't having a dream (Sheridan awoke with it around his neck)?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
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Old July 28th 07, 19:36   #7
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

It just seemed like a funny thing to do, baring in mind that Sheridan just convinced Galen that he knows the difference between "dream real and real real".

Another scene that seemed a bit odd to me was Vintari telling Sheridan about Londo cracking a joke and walking "out of the room laughing". Is this the same Londo that Sheridan just dramatically told the ISN reporter was no longer in any mood for laughter?
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Old July 28th 07, 22:42   #8
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Whats with the big letters
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Old July 28th 07, 22:45   #9
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Ehhhh.....I think someone has forgotten to take their meds again.
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Old July 28th 07, 23:41   #10
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

If people have to spam the board in huge letters, could they at least do it with better grammar??

In any case, admin alerted and set onto the spam, so to anyone but the last two posters, the last two posts will be a bit confusing
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