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Old November 21st 17, 21:18   #11
okesh_naranell
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

Just to caveat: of course everyone's entitled to their own rewatch episode order - some might prioritise plot continuity, others character development, episode pacing, jms' original intention, or just nostalgia! This is just my two cents...

My rationale (which I think is the same as b5historyman's) for 'Signs and Portents' coming quite late is based on the below "prop continuity":
- Delenn is given the triluminary in 'Babylon Squared'
- Delenn's "agents" use the triluminary in 'Legacies'
- the chrysalis device is 1/3rd built in 'Legacies'
- the device is 2/3rds built in 'Signs and Portents'

Based on this the order goes 'Babylon', 'Legacies', 'Signs'. Since other factors place 'Babylon' quite late in the season, this means 'Signs' ends up even later.

It does seem strange when one's used to 'Signs' position as an almost out-of-nowhere glimpse of the broader story, which then recedes before resurfacing at the season finale - however I think it can also work as a near-season end "mini-climax" (similar to 'The Long, Twilight Struggle' or 'Shadow Dancing') by tying up the season's Raiders storyline with a big space battle!

But for me the most compelling argument to place 'Signs' after 'Babylon' is to strengthen Delenn's late-Season One character arc. This is one of my favourite parts of Season One because it's all but invisible on first viewing, with the sub-text only evident on re-watching.

With the above order, Delenn's story goes:
- standing before a Grey Council skeptical of the Shadows' return, Delenn asks to remain on Babylon 5, with only the self-belief instilled in her by Dukhat to drive her
- her fellow Councillor (who I always head-canon to be Jenimer btw) gives her the triluminary as a coded endorsement and signal that he believes she is the one prophesied to undergo the change promise by Valen
- Delenn begins building the device, in the meantime using the triluminary in obtaining Branmer's body
- as she continues to build the device, Delenn is visited by Morden. Sensing the presence of his companions, she realises: "they're here"
- fueled by her recent encounter, she sends Lennier to Kosh with the question "Have the Shadows returned to Z'ha'dum?". Kosh responds "Yes."
- knowing the fatal risk she could be taking, Delenn goes to Kosh to voice her last doubts. Remembering the advice of her mentor, Delenn looks into the face of a Vorlon and her doubts are removed. She completes the device and enters the chrysalis

If 'Signs' comes before 'Babylon', as well as the inconsistency of the chrysalis device-building, it seems odd to me that her recent encounter with what she strongly believed to be a Shadow agent wouldn't be part of the discussion over whether or not Valen's prophecy is at hand. With the above ordering Delenn has already been shunned by the Grey Council and is left alone to wrestle with the implications of Morden's visit and whether she has the strength to do what must be done...

I won't pretend there isn't a bit ret-conning/"head canon" going on here, so of course it's possible to "head-canon" these things the other way - perhaps the changing state of the chrysalis device indicates Delenn had previous bouts of doubt and she constructed, then deconstructed, then reconstructed it... As I said earlier, it's just a question of which elements you want to prioritise for your own ideal viewing experience...
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Old November 21st 17, 21:36   #12
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

WOW! Thanks so much for chiming in okesh_naranell.


Well I think this is HUGELY important. I want to introduce a newbie to the show and the more consistent every little detail can be tied together the better. He was a toddler at the time the show was on, so his experience of television is vastly different than my own. The reason I want to show him the show in this order is not only trying to create as much consistency as possible, but also so I can come to this list and show him the dates.

Having said all of this I have a doubt. As we all know it is nearly impossible to pick up on EVERY little detail the first time around. This makes me think that maybe I should show him the show in an order closer to the original air date order the first time around. I know he is likely going to like the show and if he watches it a second time in this order it might be like seeing it for the first time all over again. I don't know. That is probably how I would have done it the second time around if I had this list when I did it.
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Old November 24th 17, 06:54   #13
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

That's quite the breakdown, okesh. I hadn't noticed that the Chrysalis device is 2/3 built in "Signs" vs. only 1/3 in a later ep. And you're right, re-ordering it to have Morden be a part of her decision-making process is an improvement...

I think my only objection is that "Signs" is such a teaser episode, hinting at so much to come, that I like it arriving a little earlier to get people's attention!
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Old November 24th 17, 13:35   #14
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshFan View Post

I think my only objection is that "Signs" is such a teaser episode, hinting at so much to come, that I like it arriving a little earlier to get people's attention!
I can see that. It definitely makes viewers pay attention to the fact that the episode might be important down the road.
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Old November 28th 17, 12:05   #15
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshFan View Post
I, too, am interested in the ordering of Season 1 -- placing "Signs and Portents" so late surprises the heck out of me.
Bearing in mind I did all the ground work over 20 years ago, I'll do my best.

Much of the dating from Season One was worked out on the dialogue and visual clues in the episodes. For example "And the Sky, Full of Stars" we get the information from Knight 2 about Sinclair being 39 born in May 2218. So this was placed before his birthday. Also Garibaldi was reading Universe Today that had an article about Shaal Mayan accorded honours so that puts it after "The War Prayer". "Soul Hunter" was dated from Franklin's framed order you see in "Interludes and Examinations" so that gave me a date for the "Soul Hunter" story. "Infection" I placed after that. There's a scene scripted in "And the Sky, Full of Stars" where Knight 2 makes Sinclair relive his confrontation with the Ikarran war machine, saying it was last month so that places that story in March and "And the Sky.." in April.

The placement of "Born to the Purple" comes from Garibaldi's comments in "Infection" about Security being arranged for next Tuesday for the Narn/Centauri negotiations (The Euphrates treaty) which Londo as we learned in Born to the Purple he had been ducking for a week, presumably because of Adira.

"A Voice in the Wilderness" was the last story where you see Delenn's quarters without the Chrysalis device, the table she builds it on is empty. "Babylon Squared" Joe confirmed that she got the Triluminary and the Chrysalis Device on her visit to the Grey Council Cruiser and brought it back to B5. She started building it so Legacies, Grail and Signs and Portents (which had an on air date) are ordered on the basis of what stage she was at building it.

Hope this gives you a little insight. As I said it's been over 20 years
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Old November 29th 17, 02:57   #16
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

All very logical! Thank you.
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Old November 29th 17, 11:52   #17
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Re: JMS approved Chronological viewing order

Quote:
Originally Posted by okesh_naranell View Post
Just to caveat: of course everyone's entitled to their own rewatch episode order - some might prioritise plot continuity, others character development, episode pacing, jms' original intention, or just nostalgia! This is just my two cents...

My rationale (which I think is the same as b5historyman's) for 'Signs and Portents' coming quite late is based on the below "prop continuity":
- Delenn is given the triluminary in 'Babylon Squared'
- Delenn's "agents" use the triluminary in 'Legacies'
- the chrysalis device is 1/3rd built in 'Legacies'
- the device is 2/3rds built in 'Signs and Portents'

Based on this the order goes 'Babylon', 'Legacies', 'Signs'. Since other factors place 'Babylon' quite late in the season, this means 'Signs' ends up even later.

It does seem strange when one's used to 'Signs' position as an almost out-of-nowhere glimpse of the broader story, which then recedes before resurfacing at the season finale - however I think it can also work as a near-season end "mini-climax" (similar to 'The Long, Twilight Struggle' or 'Shadow Dancing') by tying up the season's Raiders storyline with a big space battle!

But for me the most compelling argument to place 'Signs' after 'Babylon' is to strengthen Delenn's late-Season One character arc. This is one of my favourite parts of Season One because it's all but invisible on first viewing, with the sub-text only evident on re-watching.

With the above order, Delenn's story goes:
- standing before a Grey Council skeptical of the Shadows' return, Delenn asks to remain on Babylon 5, with only the self-belief instilled in her by Dukhat to drive her
- her fellow Councillor (who I always head-canon to be Jenimer btw) gives her the triluminary as a coded endorsement and signal that he believes she is the one prophesied to undergo the change promise by Valen
- Delenn begins building the device, in the meantime using the triluminary in obtaining Branmer's body
- as she continues to build the device, Delenn is visited by Morden. Sensing the presence of his companions, she realises: "they're here"
- fueled by her recent encounter, she sends Lennier to Kosh with the question "Have the Shadows returned to Z'ha'dum?". Kosh responds "Yes."
- knowing the fatal risk she could be taking, Delenn goes to Kosh to voice her last doubts. Remembering the advice of her mentor, Delenn looks into the face of a Vorlon and her doubts are removed. She completes the device and enters the chrysalis

If 'Signs' comes before 'Babylon', as well as the inconsistency of the chrysalis device-building, it seems odd to me that her recent encounter with what she strongly believed to be a Shadow agent wouldn't be part of the discussion over whether or not Valen's prophecy is at hand. With the above ordering Delenn has already been shunned by the Grey Council and is left alone to wrestle with the implications of Morden's visit and whether she has the strength to do what must be done...

I won't pretend there isn't a bit ret-conning/"head canon" going on here, so of course it's possible to "head-canon" these things the other way - perhaps the changing state of the chrysalis device indicates Delenn had previous bouts of doubt and she constructed, then deconstructed, then reconstructed it... As I said earlier, it's just a question of which elements you want to prioritise for your own ideal viewing experience...
Pretty much as I saw it Joe authorised it and he posted on the matter, which I copied at the top of the thread.
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