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Old August 1st 07, 14:55   #41
KoshN
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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B5 should always be made on a shoe-string, its the law.
A used shoe-string hanging together by a couple of threads and it's a Warner Brothers law.
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Old August 1st 07, 18:07   #42
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Still, that emptiness, especially in the brig area seemed to serve the first episode. Who'd want to hang around that area when things were acting weird there, the unnatural step changes in temperature (the cold), and the smell? Would you be hanging out down there, especially in those conditions?
Exactly my point! Guards would have to be somewhere in the vicinity, because they worked there and took care of the prisoners. There are none. Random Minbari would not be there, because they didn't have to be there. Yet, there one is, casually walking past Lochley and the priest. My only conclusion, given the incongruity, is that they used a Minbari because they already had the costume, and no other security types are ever shown.

Actually, it would have made more sense to have no one at all than to have some random religious caste Minbari, but no one probably thought of that when the idea of a security guard was shelved and they scrambled for a substitute.
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Old August 1st 07, 18:16   #43
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Random Minbari would not be there, because they didn't have to be there. Yet, there one is, casually walking past Lochley and the priest.
He (?) probably worked in food service or facility services and had to be there.

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Old August 1st 07, 19:13   #44
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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One obvious thing I noticed was that in the opening theme as we go form planet to planet, there is no picture of Ivanova but all the other humans are there. Could that have something to do with the fallout between Claudia and JMS ?
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Lyta?
Garibaldi?
Number One?
Dr. Hobbes?
Garibaldi is in there. Number One and Dr. Hobbes were never primary characters featured in the episodes' credit sequence. Out of the human characters, we are missing Lyta, Zack and Ivanova. One might argue that Ivanova is the most important character out of those three, since she has been there from the beginning.

Still, I don't think Claudia Christian's exclusion has anything to do with the fallout with JMS. The choice of which character to include probably has more to do with the following:
  • Sheridan is actually in TLT
  • Garibaldi's story is already written and planned for TLT 2
  • Franklin is in there as a tribute to Richard Biggs

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Old August 1st 07, 22:20   #45
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Still, I don't think Claudia Christian's exclusion has anything to do with the fallout with JMS. The choice of which character to include probably has more to do with the following:
  • Sheridan is actually in TLT
  • Garibaldi's story is already written and planned for TLT 2
  • Franklin is in there as a tribute to Richard Biggs
True, though why then include characters like Lennier and Vir in the Minbari and Centauri shots, when they're not mentioned in either of these two stories either? Presumably because there's extra room in those shots (since the only other Minbari and Centauri are Delenn and Londo respectively), while the human crowd shot is already kind of crowded, I guess.

Still, Ivanova is definitely the most significant omission in that opening montage. Every other character who was in the "front credits" for at least four of the five years of B5 is featured. (And Lochley is the only one who was there for less than four years who's featured....presumably because she's the star of one of the two stories on this disk!) Ivanova's also the most significant character to go unmentioned in the Sheridan story. (I consider the "big seven" of B5 to be Sheridan, Ivanova, Garibaldi, Franklin, Delenn, Londo, and G'Kar. All of them are mentioned here except Ivanova.)
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Old August 1st 07, 22:52   #46
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Hi all, 1st post here. I watched the show from the beginning and it sure was overdue for some new B5 stuff.
I'll throw my 2 cents in: Enjoyed the 1st story for it's horror/religious angle. I kept expecting to see Linda Blair coming around the corner of the hall. However, it definitely didn't seem to fit in the B5 universe. I believe someone already mentioned that JMS always left the matter of God ambiguous in B5, but here it seemed to shout it out. Unless the creature of Asmodeous is just an advanced life form and using the history of human religion to forward it's own agenda, ala the Vorlons.
The second story was enjoyable due to seeing Sheridan again. I also like Galen. The story did seem forced, but that should be given for a short story. I guess I'm just spoiled from the original series watching plots evolve over weeks.
It's been too long, so maybe someone here can help me with this: I'm lost as far as Sheridan's thoughts about Londo at this time. This was a few years after the plague, but before David being kidnapped and Sheridan being captured. Does Sheridan know that Londo is being controlled by the Drakh somehow? I know he doesn't know about the keeper yet, but does he think that what the Centauri are doing is Londo's doing or the Drakh? Did he know that the Drakh were behind the plague and thus also the Centauri were involved?
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Old August 1st 07, 23:03   #47
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Still, Ivanova is definitely the most significant omission in that opening montage. Every other character who was in the "front credits" for at least four of the five years of B5 is featured. (And Lochley is the only one who was there for less than four years who's featured....presumably because she's the star of one of the two stories on this disk!) Ivanova's also the most significant character to go unmentioned in the Sheridan story. (I consider the "big seven" of B5 to be Sheridan, Ivanova, Garibaldi, Franklin, Delenn, Londo, and G'Kar. All of them are mentioned here except Ivanova.)
Maybe I'll be proved wrong, but I don't believe we're going to be seeing JMS putting Claudia Christian in anything B5-related ever again. I really got the impression that words must have been said in the heat of the moment that wrecked that working relationship for good, even if they make up on a personal level. And after going to all the trouble of writing her out and replacing her with someone he actually likes and enjoys working with, why bother?

Lyta's absence is a bit more disappointing, though it suits her character. Perhaps she should have appeared next to Kosh?
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Old August 2nd 07, 06:30   #48
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Maybe I'll be proved wrong, but I don't believe we're going to be seeing JMS putting Claudia Christian in anything B5-related ever again. I really got the impression that words must have been said in the heat of the moment that wrecked that working relationship for good, even if they make up on a personal level. And after going to all the trouble of writing her out and replacing her with someone he actually likes and enjoys working with, why bother?
Because she's a better character and better actress than Lochley/Scoggins. I like Tracy's attitude and work ethic, and she seems like a great person, and I hate what CC did, but I still have have difficulty accepting Tracy in B5 and Crusade. I try to accept her, but I still think this was a casting mistake, one that never goes away (to the continuing detriment of the show).

I think if Ivanova/CC was back in the show (e.g. commanding the Titans), I could accept Lochley/Scoggins in her current role.


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Lyta's absence is a bit more disappointing, though it suits her character. Perhaps she should have appeared next to Kosh?
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Old August 2nd 07, 11:44   #49
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Number One and Dr. Hobbes were never primary characters featured in the episodes' credit sequence. Out of the human characters, we are missing Lyta, Zack and Ivanova.
What, no love for Keffer?

Or Sinclair, on a slightly more serious note.

The thing about the credits is, it seems pretty defined by grouping characters by planet. Including any more humans would have seriously cluttered that first shot of Earth. It would be interesting to see what would be done with future episodes that could potentially feature characters who are missing - if not Ivanova ( ) then Lyta, Bester, or Zack. I was really pleased and surprised to see Kosh in there though. He never gets enough love.
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Old August 2nd 07, 11:46   #50
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Re: B5:TLT - Show Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Well, we just got our DVD today from Amazon and watched it tonight, and I have to say....I'm not sure what my reaction is.

The first story, flat out, I just didn't like. I thought the concept was intriguing, and some of the points very well thought out (like the now-somewhat-obvious-now-that-you-mention-it concept of how space travel would be a major blow to the Church). However, I just didn't feel it justified 40-some-odd minutes of screen time. As has been noted in some other reviews, this is a problem that, given what B5 has seen in the past, should have had them looking every direction for an answer except actual demonic possession. Again, interesting concept, but it just didn't seem to fit into the B5 universe.

For that matter, it seemed very dialogue-heavy to me as well. Now, I appreciate a good dialogue, or even monologue, and B5 had plenty of great examples, but this just wasn't one of them. I felt like they retreaded the same concepts a few times unnecessarily (will have to go watch it again for specific examples), and I agree that it just seemed a weak way to open the first B5 material in 8-some-odd years. Further, there seemed to be several holes in the logic. First, nothing the "possessed" did proved he was a demon--given B5's past, telepaths or TKs should've immediately lept to Lockley's mind. Second, she called in a priest before she checked if anything had happened on his leave? I mean, he's fine for 4 years, leaves for Earth for a bit, comes back and suddenly goes nuts. That should've been the first thing to check. Third, I don't know if anyone else figured it out at the same time as Lockley, but the device of having her pace in front of a window (which seemed very badly mismatched between the set and the CGI, for whatever reason) and suddenly figuring out the solution all on her own just didn't fly with me, especially since I was sitting there for at least 5 seconds mad that Lockley wasn't saying what the solution was. Yeah, 5 seconds isn't much, but it is when we're already on a tight timeline as it is.

Fourth, I agree that B5 just seemed too obviously empty. I missed having other sets that they could walk through as they talked, which I know obviously they couldn't do, but it still was keenly felt here. Plus, couldn't they have thrown some of the production crew into costumes and had them walk by, just so it didn't seem so empty? And did they just build 10 feet of corridor? It just seemed too obvious that they couldn't walk anywhere because there was nowhere to walk to, and I missed the ability they had in B5 or in other shows like BSG to walk-and-talk, and thus give us at least a sense of motion as well as the scale of the environment while delivering us information.

As for the FX, my god the CG looks great, but at the same time, this is the company that brought us BSG, and for some reason I expected more. Specifically:
- The docking bay scene had no movement whatsoever except for the green screen plate. What, not even workers in the bgnd? Or machinery moving? And why did the lighting on the composite shots look wrong, like it was too obvious it was a green screen?
- The ending scene panning out from Lockley's window just again had a bad mismatch of CG to live action. It just looked way too fake to me, for some reason. Again, it wasn't a huge deal, but compared to the rest of the DVD's CG, and also compared to what Atmosphere has done on BSG, surprising.

...

Now onto the second half....yes, that was only about the first half!!

The second half, IMHO, was notably better than the first, and for a few reasons:
- Galen. I mean, come on.
- Seriously, though, Sheridan and Galen got some great dialogue together. The reporter scenes kinda made me cringe, especially with the joke about the camera, then in the next scene the camera clearly isn't pointed at Sheridan anymore. Oopsie. But when Sheridan and Galen got together, you could sense the chemistry. And it wasn't just the actors; you can tell JMS enjoys writing their scenes, because they just get the best banter, at least in the DVD, especially since Sheridan said a few things that we've all thought at least a few times ("Why do you always pick on me, just when I start feeling like things are going okay??" LOL)
- For some reason, the FX composite shots just looked cleaner, and even the hallway shots seemed less static. Apparently they built more corridor for this part? And apart from the docking bay again, the CG composites looked well matched, basically what I was expecting my earlier scenes-of-complaint to be like.

However,
- Necklace? I mean, as a device to convey that it wasn't just a dream, why bother? We just established that Sheridan already knew. It was a red herring, in a DVD that couldn't afford the time for one. I was entirely expecting, especially given the Centauri intertwining, that it was the poison that Sheridan was to use for the kill, but nope.
- For that matter, since when does Galen arrange for a starfury "accident" to get the job done? Just didn't seem very Galen/technomage-like.
- As a note/example on someone's earlier comment about JMS liking to talk about things instead of showing them: I kept thinking it would've been far more effective to have some sort of big, red "ARMED" switch for the weapons, rather than having Sheridan ask the computer. I just felt it would've been better. But then, rarely did I like them talking to the computer in the starfuries in the series anyway. It's slow, inefficient, and a bad idea if you're in a low-oxygen environment to start with. But I digress.
- Come on, raise your hand if you thought there was a chance in hell that Sheridan was going to let his ship fire. I mean, Bruce's comments in the interviews aside, I was never fooled for a second. The moral "dilemma", I felt, wasn't there. We've been down this road a thousand times, and if anyone should know better about how a thousand different things could happen to change the course of time, it's Sheridan. (Or Sinclair, but Sheridan would be second in that line Maybe there was more to it, like the technomages testing him or whatnot, but we didn't actually get to see any of that or hear about it, so it's just making excuses for the plot, IMHO, and that's not something B5 historically has ever really needed.

Overall, I liked the second half, but I just felt with this format and limited budget, it would've been better to either a) drop the first story and expand the second to the full 70 minutes, and give us time to establish a real moral quandry somehow, something to actually make us cringe at Sheridan's decision, or at least question what it'll be, or b) just drop both stories and go with one that would give us some honest dramatic tension.

I think the biggest impression I got, though, was that it was a big tease, almost like saying "hey, this is how awesome B5 could look if we made the series now, don't you wish we were doing that?" grrrr.

Maybe I'm being overly critical, but between the bar of my expectations being raised by great shows like Firefly, BSG and even B5 itself, I just felt it didn't quite get there--combined with the fact that this is the first new B5 in 8 years, and for all we know the last new B5 we'll ever get. Hopefully not, but with that possibility, I just felt the pressure was on for this 70 minutes worth of time to shine as best as possible, and instead I just felt it kinda shimmered.

To each their own, though, I guess. :~

(as a footnote: I just read a week ago a series of blog reviews of B5, and the guy's parting comment about the series was how amazing it would be to combine the production crew of BSG and JMS's arc-writing talents. Given how this DVD kinda gave us part of a glimpse of what that'd be like, I'd have to say I'm now very very angry at him for putting that possiblity into my head. arrrrgh)

--mcn
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