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Old August 24th 07, 04:23   #1
KoshFan
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Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

After Louis Turenne couldn't come back for "The Long Twilight Struggle" JMS created the role of Brother Theo for him and -- as I recall -- promised it would be a much better role. After three appearances Brother Theo drops off the map. Of course, so did Draal... but JMS's difficulties with having the ultimate plot device are well-recorded, and so we know why Draal disappeared.

But what happened to Brother Theo? Why did he disappear? Was he simply too remote from all the critical plot lines of Season 4? If the arc hadn't had to speed up in S4 would he have returned then? Why didn't JMS play around with him in Season 5 when he was so desperate for filler? His story would have been interesting, I think.
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Old August 24th 07, 21:18   #2
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

JMS chose Brother Theo's level of involvement.
Starting in early Season 4 most of the station limped along in complete depression. Ivanova had all the viewers with shotguns in our mouths as she suffered through the hour of the wolf. I believe it would be neither out of place nor out of character for Brother Theo to attempt to raise morale around the station. On the other hand, there were a lot more plot lines in motion at the time, and they were probably more important.
Furthermore, Lyta entering Ivanova's quarters with a bold, desperate plan to find Sheridan is certainly more exciting than the rudimentary, realistic scene of Brother Theo telling Ivanova about the power of hope. (Now that I think about it, the two different scenes would work well if blended; Brother Theo gives his inspiring spiel about faith managing. Ivanova voices her disbelief, but just as she finishes her link signals, and it's Lyta with her plan.)

Shortly thereafter, Sheridan returns "from the dead." This kind of setup - a member of the clergy and a "resurrected man" - has not occurred since . . . Peter and Jesus. The rumors of Sheridan's return would have Brother Theo undeniably be curious, and that curiosity would lead him to Sheridan's doorstep.
Now suppose if Brother Theo managed to catch Sheridan with Lorien there. The discussion among the three of them would probably have little to do with the Great War, but it could have been one of the finest exchanges of the Series. Imagine.

An appearance would have been possible in "The Illusion of Truth" with Dan Randall portraying Brother Theo has the stereotypical religious fanatic, despite the kind, honest words he would have about Babylon 5. Hmm . . . maybe it is a good he didn't show up in this episode.
After this point on the Babylon 5 timeline, the fast, furious road to Earth begins. An appearance could have been made in any of the episodes in the second half of the 4th season, but that doesn't mean an appearance is warranted.

With the start of Season 5, JMS does not have an excuse for utilizing Brother Theo. The idea of a Brother Theo episode sounds phenomenal, especially at the beginning of the Season when he could have been used so effectively. The title "Secrets of the Soul" unfortunately belongs to a lame episode about the Hyach, but it could have been a stellar outing concerning our man Theo. Any viewer that trades an outing like, say, "Learning Curve" for the potential success an episode about Brother Theo brings is joking--no argument.

It's possible that Louis Turenne's health played a part in his lack of exposure, but the three strong appearances he made in Season 3 cemented the character of Brother Theo as a part of the family. As I said, JMS chose the character's level of involvement, and JMS chose wrong. It is one of the greatest shames of the series that we have to ask whatever happened to Brother Theo.
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Old August 28th 07, 11:47   #3
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

That's one opinion. My own is that I generally couldn't care less for the character. The best thing about that whole story strand was Passing Through Gethsemane, and that was more because of Brad Dourif and his character.
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Old August 28th 07, 19:22   #4
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

I LOVED Brother Theo! I look forward to seeing him the show! He was a kind and gentle spirit of a man... with just enough "kick" or attitude to see that things were done right!

And while I agree that Brad Dourif was wonderful in Passing Through Gethsemane, I also think Louis Turenne's contribution to that episode was remarkable.
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Old August 29th 07, 00:07   #5
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

I agree with Boxie. I've liked Douriff a lot, ever since I saw him play Billy, in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but Brother Theo is a great character, played well. As I said in my first post here, I wish they had included him, even if only to call his superiors on Earth, to send out an exorcist, all the time offering his sage and sardonic advice. I guess the best reason I can see for not including him, is that he is sharper than Lockley in many ways, and realistically, would have been more likely than she to figure out what was really up.
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Old August 29th 07, 04:19   #6
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

Oh yea, Dourif's character was written to steal the show. And he did an exceptional job with his performance. I distinctly remember thinking (as I'd seen him before only in the movie Dune) "wow, this guy really can act!"

So he's definitely my favorite part about the story. Other than the story itself, especially how it ended.

But I had to adore Brother Theo. He reminds me of an old, fussy math professor teaching in college/university. He wants the job defined for him, then for you to leave him alone to work on it. I loved when he hushed up (someone, was it Ivanova?) But in the end, he and his monks did unbelieveably fantastic work, and in relatively short order.

I also guess I really appreciate seeing a future where the monks are jumping at people exiting from their ships to ask "would you like to talk with us about god?" No, he and his monks simply engaged in employment to pay for their keep, and they wish to spread their knowledge of the religions of other species.

If there have to be monks in that era, let them be cool ones, like this.
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Old August 29th 07, 04:42   #7
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
...I loved when he hushed up (someone, was it Ivanova?)....
Are you thinking of in "The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place" when Theo says, "That is not what the good Lord had in mind when he said 'a joyful noise'." And Ivanova says, "Hello!?" And Theo responds, "Neither is that." (link to the Down Below Sound Archive clip of the above quoted exchange)
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Old August 29th 07, 04:54   #8
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

No, I thought he said "shhhh" when she went on talking after the monks were told their task. Surely I didn't misimagine it, did I?
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Old August 29th 07, 04:58   #9
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

In the episode "Convictions". When they were out to find who was doing the bombing, and the monks said that was the perfect kind of task for them.
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Old August 29th 07, 06:08   #10
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Re: Whatever Happened to Brother Theo?

It's been a while since I last watched "Convictions", and it's not one that really sticks in my memory, but I think I remember it now.
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