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Old December 18th 14, 04:48   #1
Morden
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Season 1 Potpourri

This post contains an assorted collection of questions and comments centered around Season 1. I'm bringing them to the most illuminated fans of B5.

"Midnight on the Firing Line" - The Centauri's ability to see their death is such an interesting feature. Although it goes against the meek handling of Vir, why weren't we exposed to the vision of his death? Or other Centauri?

"Soul Hunter" - Solid show. Instead of focusing on this species for The River of Souls, it might have been more interesting to see what these jokers were up to during the Great War. With souls spilling left and right, it would have been fascinating to see their agenda at this time of mass death. Furthermore, it would have been interesting to see their relations with the Vorlons and Shadows.

"Born to the Purple" - Is Vir really playing a video game at a diplomatic meeting? I get that B5 deserves credit for how it advanced humor to science fiction, but... oh, and G'Kar is playing the video game a few scenes later. Forget it. Adira's cleavage is the only thing that saves this episode.
And what's with the open-eyed kiss?

"The Parliament of Dreams" - I would love to know what happened to Tu'Pari during and after the Narn-Centauri war.
Is anyone else upset that Ko'Dath didn't stick? Her ferocity might have been watchable. Sure, I liked Na'Toth, but Ko'Dath is Na'Toth on stems. And did we get anything more official in regard to Ko'Dath's demise beyond her airlock incident? Surely there's more to her death than that.
Wonderful that we saw a Narn display of religious services later in "By Any Means Necessary."

"Mind War" - Even if the Ironheart storyline was lost in Andrea Thompson's departure, Bester's introduction was phenomenal.
If it's true that when telepaths make love it's all mirrors, wouldn't Talia have noticed this when she knocked boots with Ivanova? Wouldn't that have given Ivanova's status as a telepath away? You could argue that Talia never made love to a normal person, so she never had a frame of reference to compare with, but I don't buy that. Talia must have had a college phase where she at least experimented with a normal person? Right?

"Deathwalker" - Was there ever an explanation as to what the Vorlon ship was shooting at - or more correctly - missing? I saw this post concerning the topic from way back:
http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=778&page=2

Still, the commentators never settled on any conclusions. The theory that the Vorlons missed their first shot at the ship carrying Deathwalker because they had just emerged from hyperspace doesn't fit their cold, calculating nature.

Deathwalker's sick adherence to the survival of the fittest outlook raises the question of whether or not the Dilgar were in cahoots with the Shadows. Obviously, the Shadows were far from active at this point, but might the Dilgar have had contact with one of the Shadows' allies?

This makes me wish we some coverage of the Drakh/Streib/Wurt's relationship with the Shadows. Perhaps covered by an episode of Crusade, but some level of description as to how the servants of the Shadows ingratiated themselves would have been wondrous.

"Deathwalker" is a truly fantastic episode. Maybe the best non-JMS script.

"Survivors" - Major Lianna Kemmor? She made Major? This girl can't be older than 25.

"Signs and Portents" - According to JMS in the Lurker's Guide website comments for this episode, "...roughly about one-fourth of this season's episodes are WHAM episodes. That figure will increase in year two to about one-third. Year three (Neilsen willing) will be half-WHAM and half-not. Year four would be three-quarters WHAM. And year five is all WHAM."

Umm... what happened here? I was with him until Season 5 being all wham. I realize that PTEN forced JMS to wrap up the with Earth Civil War well ahead of schedule, and that he planned for Sinclair to finish the Great War and then become Valen, but I still don't understand. What timetable did JMS have in mind with his statement that all S5 would be significant to the arc?

"TKO" - If you can find a more racist hour of TV, I commend/pity you. Walker Smith calling aliens "Snakehead?" Racist. The alien who said Humans need to stay out of the Mutai? Racist. The portrayal of Ivanova's rabbi, the greatest cliche in all B5? Superracist. Yes, one word. Superracist, which can be defined as:
Superracist adj. - An unintentional, subtle racism that is far more offensive than even overt racism, which can be seen in "The War Prayer," because "The War Prayer" carries an offense all on its own.

"Grail" - The Na'Ka'Leen Feeder's tentacles looks identical to Londo's cock. Wouldn't that be a twist if, in the teaser the dude tied to the chair was just getting a giant mushroom stamp?

I love the continuity with Delenn and her devotional reverence toward "true seekers." I appreciate her warmth toward Alduous Gajic, as the same warmth is seen when King Arthur delivers Excalibur to her.

Maybe we're due for a story entailing a teamup between King Arthur and Thomas. Not Jinxo, who carries that goofy, clownish smile throughout each scene, but a serious, true-seeking Thomas.

"Eyes" - At one point, Ivanova calls out telepath Gray because he's scanning her. He is surprised at how swiftly and surely she recognizes his scan. What great continuity with Ivanova being able to detect when she's being scanned.

Anyone else picking up a gay vibe between Harriman Gray and Col. Ari Ben Zayn? 50 Shades of Gray, indeed.

The threat of Internal Affairs in finding a loyal command staff came a season too early. The timing of this episode invites no tension whatsoever, because the loyalty to Earth Alliance had never been questioned to this point. Imagine a telepath and a EarthForce colonel arrived after Sheridan had declared the "conspiracy of light" to the command staff.
Now you have an interesting story.
Imagine they had arrived in "Divided Loyalties" to provide a counterpoint to Lyta Alexander.
Now you have a very interesting story.

"A Voice in the Wilderness pt. 2" - The Hyperion could easily have showed itself in Earth's Civil War. With Captain Ellis Pierce's forceful, authoritative behavior there's little question as to which side he served.
The unanswered questions concerning Epsilon III are unending. Was there ever a greater arc in mind for the planet? Or was it always meant to be an underutilized world with awkward usage made unavailable during each major battle?

"Babylon Squared" - Tim Choate's acting in the scene where he initially meets Sinclair is fantastic. The expression on his face after he stands is astounding. He has an incredible tone in his voice when he hits the cold realization that Sinclair is, "Not the one."
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Old December 18th 14, 09:46   #2
Springer
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

Some interesting points. I'll respond to a few now, and later may come back to the others when I have time. I love season one and talking about it.

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Originally Posted by Morden View Post
"Born to the Purple" - Is Vir really playing a video game at a diplomatic meeting? I get that B5 deserves credit for how it advanced humor to science fiction, but... oh, and G'Kar is playing the video game a few scenes later. Forget it. Adira's cleavage is the only thing that saves this episode.
And what's with the open-eyed kiss?
There was a British MP recently caught playing Candy Crush Saga on his phone during a parliamentary debate. It happens!

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Originally Posted by Morden View Post
"The Parliament of Dreams" - I would love to know what happened to Tu'Pari during and after the Narn-Centauri war.
Is anyone else upset that Ko'Dath didn't stick? Her ferocity might have been watchable. Sure, I liked Na'Toth, but Ko'Dath is Na'Toth on stems. And did we get anything more official in regard to Ko'Dath's demise beyond her airlock incident? Surely there's more to her death than that.
Wonderful that we saw a Narn display of religious services later in "By Any Means Necessary."
I think the inference was that Tu'Pari arranged to have Ko'Dath killed, so that G'Kar would be suspicious of Na'Toth. I think the Assassin's Guild went after Tu'Pari – he's dead.

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Originally Posted by Morden View Post
"Mind War" - Even if the Ironheart storyline was lost in Andrea Thompson's departure, Bester's introduction was phenomenal.
If it's true that when telepaths make love it's all mirrors, wouldn't Talia have noticed this when she knocked boots with Ivanova? Wouldn't that have given Ivanova's status as a telepath away? You could argue that Talia never made love to a normal person, so she never had a frame of reference to compare with, but I don't buy that. Talia must have had a college phase where she at least experimented with a normal person? Right?
I think the people involved have to willingly drop their barriers – I'm guessing Ivanova was holding back somewhat.

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Originally Posted by Morden View Post
"Deathwalker" - Was there ever an explanation as to what the Vorlon ship was shooting at - or more correctly - missing? I saw this post concerning the topic from way back:
http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=778&page=2

Still, the commentators never settled on any conclusions. The theory that the Vorlons missed their first shot at the ship carrying Deathwalker because they had just emerged from hyperspace doesn't fit their cold, calculating nature.
I think JMS responded to this with a rhetorical question – "yes it did, didn't it?". Delenn said the Shadows never miss, so the Shadows must therefore be even deadlier than the Vorlons. It also showed that the Vorlons were not infallible.

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"Deathwalker" is a truly fantastic episode. Maybe the best non-JMS script.
Along with By Any Means Necessary, The Long Dark and Soul Mates, yes, I'd agree.

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Originally Posted by Morden View Post
"Signs and Portents" - According to JMS in the Lurker's Guide website comments for this episode, "...roughly about one-fourth of this season's episodes are WHAM episodes. That figure will increase in year two to about one-third. Year three (Neilsen willing) will be half-WHAM and half-not. Year four would be three-quarters WHAM. And year five is all WHAM."

Umm... what happened here? I was with him until Season 5 being all wham. I realize that PTEN forced JMS to wrap up the with Earth Civil War well ahead of schedule, and that he planned for Sinclair to finish the Great War and then become Valen, but I still don't understand. What timetable did JMS have in mind with his statement that all S5 would be significant to the arc?
Season four would have ended with Earth forces capturing Sheridan, and the episode that became Intersections in Real Time. The Earth Civil War would have ended by mid-season 5, leaving the remainder of Season 5 for the formation of the Alliance, the fate of Centauri Prime, possibly a David Sheridan plot-line and maybe a bit of telepath stuff, hopefully without soppy Byron. Sounds like it could have been pretty wham to me.

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"TKO" - If you can find a more racist hour of TV, I commend/pity you. Walker Smith calling aliens "Snakehead?" Racist. The alien who said Humans need to stay out of the Mutai? Racist. The portrayal of Ivanova's rabbi, the greatest cliche in all B5? Superracist. Yes, one word. Superracist, which can be defined as:
Superracist adj. - An unintentional, subtle racism that is far more offensive than even overt racism, which can be seen in "The War Prayer," because "The War Prayer" carries an offense all on its own.
What I never understood is the anti-human sentiment from the aliens in this episode – I don't think we see that in any other episode? While the Rabbi was a bit of a cliche, I didn't think he was racist, and neither did JMS who is from a Jewish background.

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"Eyes" - Anyone else picking up a gay vibe between Harriman Gray and Col. Ari Ben Zayn? 50 Shades of Gray, indeed.
I think you're on your own with that one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morden View Post
The threat of Internal Affairs in finding a loyal command staff came a season too early. The timing of this episode invites no tension whatsoever, because the loyalty to Earth Alliance had never been questioned to this point. Imagine a telepath and a EarthForce colonel arrived after Sheridan had declared the "conspiracy of light" to the command staff.
I think that might have been game over for the command staff had that happened. I guess Sheridan avoided the spotlight for so long because Clark thought he was one of 'his' men, as Hague says. It's probably only after the event of the Fall of Night that they really start to question him, and by then the Nightwatch is already there to pretty much do the job of testing everyone's loyalties anyway.

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"A Voice in the Wilderness pt. 2" - The Hyperion could easily have showed itself in Earth's Civil War. With Captain Ellis Pierce's forceful, authoritative behavior there's little question as to which side he served.
The unanswered questions concerning Epsilon III are unending. Was there ever a greater arc in mind for the planet? Or was it always meant to be an underutilized world with awkward usage made unavailable during each major battle?
I agree, it would have been fun to see the Hyperion and her captain again, especially given the historical importance of the Hyperion – it was present at first contact with the Minbari and presumably survived the Battle of the Line too. One of the things B5 didn't do so well is having continuity with incidental characters like that. Even in Season 5, when Robin Sachs' Narn Captain reappears, he is actually playing a different character to the one he did in Season 2 and 3. Bit of a missed opportunity.

I think Epsilon 3's main role was to open the time rift for Babylon 4. Originally B5 would have been destroyed in season 5 by the Minbar Warrior Caste (the storyline was going to be quite different before Michael O'Hare left), and the survivors would pull B4 through time to use as their new base. Plus they didn't have much luck with the actors who played Draal – Louis Turenne had a heart attack, though he eventually came back as Brother Theo, and John Schuck got a role in a long-running Broadway play, so he became unavailable.

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Originally Posted by Morden View Post
"Babylon Squared" - Tim Choate's acting in the scene where he initially meets Sinclair is fantastic. The expression on his face after he stands is astounding. He has an incredible tone in his voice when he hits the cold realization that Sinclair is, "Not the one."
Zathras is just awesome. :-)

Last edited by Springer; December 18th 14 at 10:58.
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Old December 18th 14, 15:30   #3
Morden
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

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There was a British MP recently caught playing Candy Crush Saga on his phone during a parliamentary debate. It happens!
Nice. You played a real world example, so tip of the cap.
That said, it still seems like an odd choice made by the writer. The prop department contributed to the oddness by providing one of the biggest technological eyesores in B5.

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I think the inference was that Tu'Pari arranged to have Ko'Dath killed, so that G'Kar would be suspicious of Na'Toth. I think the Assassin's Guild went after Tu'Pari – he's dead.
That's two ignominious ends. A pity.


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I think JMS responded to this with a rhetorical question – "yes it did, didn't it?". Delenn said the Shadows never miss, so the Shadows must therefore be even deadlier than the Vorlons. It also showed that the Vorlons were not infallible.
Hmm, but what is JMS suggesting there?



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Originally Posted by Springer View Post
Season four would have ended with Earth forces capturing Sheridan, and the episode that became Intersections in Real Time. The Earth Civil War would have ended by mid-season 5, leaving the remainder of Season 5 for the formation of the Alliance, the fate of Centauri Prime, possibly a David Sheridan plot-line and maybe a bit of telepath stuff, hopefully without soppy Byron. Sounds like it could have been pretty wham to me.
Thanks for reminding me of this. I had forgotten hearing that IiRT was meant to be a finale.


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I think Epsilon 3's main role was to open the time rift for Babylon 4. Originally B5 would have been destroyed in season 5 by the Minbar Warrior Caste (the storyline was going to be quite different before Michael O'Hare left), and the survivors would pull B4 through time to use as their new base. Plus they didn't have much luck with the actors who played Draal – Louis Turenne had a heart attack, though he eventually came back as Brother Theo, and John Schuck got a role in a long-running Broadway play, so he became unavailable.
Interesting. Thank you, I knew about Turenne, but not Schuck.

The Warrior Caste? Really? Where can I read more about this?

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Zathras is just awesome. :-)
Can't you feel the tremendous weight of his disappointment? Even with basic dialogue, as though Zathras went to the Drazi School of English-speaking, Chaote rocks this scene.
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Old December 18th 14, 18:33   #4
Springer
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

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The Warrior Caste? Really? Where can I read more about this?
The original outline for the B5 storyline was detailed in volume 15 of the B5 script books that JMS issued through Cafe Press (volume 15 was offered free to readers who'd bought the first 14 volumes, they are all out of print now). Essentially the station is destroyed at the end of season 5, but Sinclair, Delenn and Garibaldi escape, steal Babylon 4, and a new sequel series starts called Babylon Prime.

Kevin Long (Republibot 3.0 on these forums) has summaries on his website:

http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...tion-babylon-5

and

http://www.republibot.com/content/hi...babylon-prime”
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Old December 19th 14, 01:30   #5
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

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"TKO" - If you can find a more racist hour of TV, I commend/pity you. Walker Smith calling aliens "Snakehead?" Racist. The alien who said Humans need to stay out of the Mutai? Racist. The portrayal of Ivanova's rabbi, the greatest cliche in all B5? Superracist. Yes, one word. Superracist, which can be defined as:
Superracist adj. - An unintentional, subtle racism that is far more offensive than even overt racism, which can be seen in "The War Prayer," because "The War Prayer" carries an offense all on its own.
At last, somebody got the point of that episode! Now look for the more subtle but absolute racism against telepaths, particularly Lyta. Not just from Garibaldi who knew he was prejudiced against them, but from Sheridan as well. Part of that might have been due to her not being a part of his chain of command but certainly not all of it.

Jan
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Old December 19th 14, 19:27   #6
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

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"TKO" - If you can find a more racist hour of TV, I commend/pity you. Walker Smith calling aliens "Snakehead?" Racist. The alien who said Humans need to stay out of the Mutai? Racist. The portrayal of Ivanova's rabbi, the greatest cliche in all B5? Superracist. Yes, one word. Superracist, which can be defined as:
Superracist adj. - An unintentional, subtle racism that is far more offensive than even overt racism, which can be seen in "The War Prayer," because "The War Prayer" carries an offense all on its own.
At last, somebody got the point of that episode! Now look for the more subtle but absolute racism against telepaths, particularly Lyta. Not just from Garibaldi who knew he was prejudiced against them, but from Sheridan as well. Part of that might have been due to her not being a part of his chain of command but certainly not all of it.

Jan
Not wanting the derail the thread, but Sheridan was prejudiced against telepaths? Is this the same Sheridan who considered Talia a friend, who kept the secret of the underground railroad, who treated Ivanova with just as much friendship and respect after she told him she was a latent telepath, and who granted a bunch of rogue telepaths the right to stay on B5 despite everyone advising him to the contrary? I know he didn't particularly get on with Lyta, but that seemed to be mostly after she had Z'Ha'Dum destroyed and with all that Vorlon conditioning she had, he couldn't trust her.

If you could hold anything against him, it's that during the war he may have seen telepaths as a weapon, just as the Shadows did. But on a personal level, I honestly don't see the prejudice (beyond the wariness of dealing with the Psi Corps knowing what they were getting up to behind the scenes).
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Old December 22nd 14, 11:25   #7
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

I never saw sheridan as being anti-telepath at all to be honest. He didn't entirely trust them, but then again who did?

There is one moment in season 4 when he issues a right good old telling off to Lyta after z'ha'dum exploded, but i assumed that was because his new 'agenda' had been disrupted a little.
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Old January 3rd 15, 03:44   #8
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

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I never saw sheridan as being anti-telepath at all to be honest. He didn't entirely trust them, but then again who did?

There is one moment in season 4 when he issues a right good old telling off to Lyta after z'ha'dum exploded, but i assumed that was because his new 'agenda' had been disrupted a little.
If this were Facebook, I would click the "like" button on your post.
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Old January 11th 15, 04:42   #9
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Re: Season 1 Potpourri

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"Midnight on the Firing Line" - The Centauri's ability to see their death is such an interesting feature. Although it goes against the meek handling of Vir, why weren't we exposed to the vision of his death? Or other Centauri?
Part of that may be logistic. Only Londo was needed for the series and so making big plans for other Centauri may cause problems. Plus doing it for a lot of characters would just ruin the surprise of their deaths. It worked for Londo or a great extent because of the circumstances. But knowing how Lord Refa died definitely would have been a spoiler.


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"The Parliament of Dreams" - I would love to know what happened to Tu'Pari during and after the Narn-Centauri war.
Is anyone else upset that Ko'Dath didn't stick? Her ferocity might have been watchable. Sure, I liked Na'Toth, but Ko'Dath is Na'Toth on stems. And did we get anything more official in regard to Ko'Dath's demise beyond her airlock incident? Surely there's more to her death than that.
I thought the actress portraying Ko'Dath was REALLY bad and Na'Toth was MUCH better portrayed.


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"Deathwalker" - Was there ever an explanation as to what the Vorlon ship was shooting at - or more correctly - missing? I saw this post concerning the topic from way back:
http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=778&page=2

Still, the commentators never settled on any conclusions. The theory that the Vorlons missed their first shot at the ship carrying Deathwalker because they had just emerged from hyperspace doesn't fit their cold, calculating nature.
I don't remember seeing a good reason as to why they missed in their first shot.

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This makes me wish we some coverage of the Drakh/Streib/Wurt's relationship with the Shadows. Perhaps covered by an episode of Crusade, but some level of description as to how the servants of the Shadows ingratiated themselves would have been wondrous.
I don't remember any connection between the Streib and the Shadows. But yes, I wouldn't have minded more info on the Drakh and other Shadow servants.

Just checked. I don't believe JMS considered everything in Jeanne's novels as cano. Their MO doesn't really make sense as being with the Shadows honestly:

Despite their physical similarity to the Shadow Surgeons, J. Michael Straczynski has stated that the Streib have no connection to either side fighting in the Second Shadow War.[3] However, Jeanne Cavelos's novel trilogy "The Passing of the Techno-Mages" firmly establishes the Streib as being in the service of the Shadows and working alongside the Drakh and Wurt on Z'ha'dum. They are, however, mentioned separately from the Shadow Surgeons, establishing them as separate races. They also look similar to the Vree, who are members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds/Interstellar Alliance.

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"Signs and Portents" - According to JMS in the Lurker's Guide website comments for this episode, "...roughly about one-fourth of this season's episodes are WHAM episodes. That figure will increase in year two to about one-third. Year three (Neilsen willing) will be half-WHAM and half-not. Year four would be three-quarters WHAM. And year five is all WHAM."

Umm... what happened here? I was with him until Season 5 being all wham. I realize that PTEN forced JMS to wrap up the with Earth Civil War well ahead of schedule, and that he planned for Sinclair to finish the Great War and then become Valen, but I still don't understand. What timetable did JMS have in mind with his statement that all S5 would be significant to the arc?
Oh geesh. Well he has a whole timeline of what he originally planned and it's a huge break from what we end up with. S4 is almost filled with arc related WHAM episodes thanks to the strong chance of no fifth season. S5 was just anticlimactic to me with the Telepath arc, wooden Lochley and out of character Lennier really dragging down the season.


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"A Voice in the Wilderness pt. 2" - The Hyperion could easily have showed itself in Earth's Civil War. With Captain Ellis Pierce's forceful, authoritative behavior there's little question as to which side he served.
The unanswered questions concerning Epsilon III are unending. Was there ever a greater arc in mind for the planet? Or was it always meant to be an underutilized world with awkward usage made unavailable during each major battle?
I think they could have made better use of Epsilon III. I never understood why E3 didn't take out the Shadow vessels surrounding the station at the end of S3 or defend the station in Severed Dreams. Although I believe in the latter case Sheridan forbade it.

In the end the power of the Great Machine was probably just too much. It would have provided many Deus Ex Machina solutions to things. Just as the healing machine could have created a LOT of convenient life saving events and it only returned once.

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"Babylon Squared" - Tim Choate's acting in the scene where he initially meets Sinclair is fantastic. The expression on his face after he stands is astounding. He has an incredible tone in his voice when he hits the cold realization that Sinclair is, "Not the one."
Agreed. He did an amazing job.

My issue with Babylon Squared is minor. I never understood how the return of the people on B4 never made the news in any way. Seems like a pretty MAJOR thing to hide.

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