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Old February 12th 14, 23:17   #1
Springer
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Michael O'Hare

I've been able to find the time recently to have a little bit of a re-watch of season 1 and have managed to get through the first 12 episodes in two days. One of the things that has really struck home on this rewatch is what a superb job Michael O'Hare did, and in hindsight knowing what he was going through it makes his work seem even more extraordinary. O'Hare came in for a lot of stick from people saying he was wooden, but I honestly don't see it (seriously, tell me a scene where you think he was wooden?). I think part of it is due to people's expectations of what the lead of a show like B5 should be like, but the character of Sinclair was never meant to be charismatic like Kirk or Sheridan. What O'Hare, and in turn Sinclair, had in abundance was gravitas - he had a presence and his voice was just great, it commanded respect and authority and he played the role of the traumatised commander superbly in my opinion. So I just wanted to recognise the work that O'Hare did and I'll always value season one for his performance as Sinclair.
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Old February 13th 14, 00:52   #2
KoshN
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Re: Michael O'Hare

I always liked O'Hare's performance except for his scenes with Blaire Baron (in The Gathering), with whom he had zero chemistry. That scene, discussing The Battle of the Line was filled with bad acting, by both of them. It was just a bad scene. They should've done it a few more times and had good direction.
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Old February 13th 14, 20:42   #3
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Re: Michael O'Hare

I was really disappointed when Michael O'Hare left the series. The character and O'Hare's performance really grew on me. I always thought it was plausible that the rumors were true, Warner Bros. wanted him replaced in order to renew the show for a second season. It just sounded right, partly because so many people complained about his performance. As it turns out, it was about mental health issues, and that certainly does add a new layer to his tenure. A man trying to hold it together playing a man trying to hold it together, I'm not sure how often that happens.

I have also been confused by the criticism that he was 'wooden,' because given Sinclair's tastes throughout the first season, it was obvious to me early on that he was a stoic individual. The Tennyson recordings, talking about meditating with the Jesuits, breathing exercises, appreciating the solitude of C&C when no one is there, staring at the Japanese stone garden, 'walking in the green' when G'Kar finds him, everything points to someone who needs contemplative time to himself, someone trying to construct and maintain a calm center. The character has wartime pain inside that he generally doesn't want to talk about, but sometimes it comes out, like in 'And the Sky Full of Stars.' Although JMS has stated that it was a mistake to make his character so complete (or 'arrived' is the word he used), who would not be as interesting to watch go through the hero's journey throughout the story (paraphrasing), I think Sinclair was one of the best-written characters in the entire series. After the shallow, not-much-to-them characters in Star Trek: the Next Generation (who talks about chocolate that much?!?), it was a relief to find a lead with real depth, a painful past, hopes for the future, and even a death wish. I love the idea of a leader who appears to be stable, but hides serious flaws within, who then has to take on an increasingly important role in a universe that's much more dangerous than he's ready for. And from time to time, circumstances force him out of his carefully-built shell of serenity, and when that happens Sinclair usually turns explosive. If he had remained, Sinclair might have been a time bomb. It's too bad we missed out on whatever JMS had planned for his death wish.

My favorite O'Hare performances were in 'Soul Hunter,' 'Infection' (I still think the most underrated episode in many ways, even JMS says it's one of his least favorites), 'And the Sky Full of Stars' of course, 'Deathwalker,' 'By Any Means Necessary,' and 'Chrysalis.' His voice was astounding. I used to crank the opening credits through my biggest speakers because his narration sounded so good, so deep, it was haunting and inspiring.

I was so glad O'Hare came back for 'War Without End,' and I was glad to hear the real story for his departure last year in Phoenix. That was a very cool convention, I hope there will be another one.

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Old February 13th 14, 23:24   #4
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Re: Michael O'Hare

Completely agree. His performance always seemed very restrained and nuanced to me. I was always intrigued by the 'original' arc that JMS had planned. What we got was great, but it would have indeed been fascinating to see it played out with Sinclair in place (had other circumstances been more favourable).

**And HELLO! to everyone here at B5TV, some of you will know me from JMS News already. Same user ID. More when I get time folks!
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Old February 14th 14, 00:35   #5
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Re: Michael O'Hare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raw Shark View Post
I was really disappointed when Michael O'Hare left the series. The character and O'Hare's performance really grew on me. I always thought it was plausible that the rumors were true, Warner Bros. wanted him replaced in order to renew the show for a second season. It just sounded right, partly because so many people complained about his performance. As it turns out, it was about mental health issues, and that certainly does add a new layer to his tenure. A man trying to hold it together playing a man trying to hold it together, I'm not sure how often that happens.

I have also been confused by the criticism NSPUCY 8:00AM (M4K)-> East Palestine, Short Turn Assist Until Released.that he was 'wooden,' because given Sinclair's tastes throughout the first season, it was obvious to me early on that he was a stoic individual. The Tennyson recordings, talking about meditating with the Jesuits, breathing exercises, appreciating the solitude of C&C when no one is there, staring at the Japanese stone garden, 'walking in the green' when G'Kar finds him, everything points to someone who needs contemplative time to himself, someone trying to construct and maintain a calm center. The character has wartime pain inside that he generally doesn't want to talk about, but sometimes it comes out, like in 'And the Sky Full of Stars.' Although JMS has stated that it was a mistake to make his character so complete (or 'arrived' is the word he used), who would not be as interesting to watch go through the hero's journey throughout the story (paraphrasing), I think Sinclair was one of the best-written characters in the entire series. After the shallow, not-much-to-them characters in Star Trek: the Next Generation (who talks about chocolate that much?!?), it was a relief to find a lead with real depth, a painful past, hopes for the future, and even a death wish. I love the idea of a leader who appears to be stable, but hides serious flaws within, who then has to take on an increasingly important role in a universe that's much more dangerous than he's ready for. And from time to time, circumstances force him out of his carefully-built shell of serenity, and when that happens Sinclair usually turns explosive. If he had remained, Sinclair might have been a time bomb. It's too bad we missed out on whatever JMS had planned for his death wish.

My favorite O'Hare performances were in 'Soul Hunter,' 'Infection' (I still think the most underrated episode in many ways, even JMS says it's one of his least favorites), 'And the Sky Full of Stars' of course, 'Deathwalker,' 'By Any Means Necessary,' and 'Chrysalis.' His voice was astounding. I used to crank the opening credits through my biggest speakers because his narration sounded so good, so deep, it was haunting and inspiring.

I was so glad O'Hare came back for 'War Without End,' and I was glad to hear the real story for his departure last year in Phoenix. That was a very cool convention, I hope there will be another one.

Raw Shark

"Be careful, Ambassador. Not every dream I've heard lately ends well for you."
Commander Sinclair
I also completely agree. I never thought O'Hare's acting was wooden except for his scenes with Blaire Baron in The Gathering, but she was bad there, too. He just always seemed like somebody who was maintaining a tight grip on things to avoid losing control, and was fiery inside. However, since I started B5 with "Shadow Dancing", I started with Sheridan. However, I liked both station commanders; they were just different.

As in your sig., it's certainly true that O'Hare/Sinclair/Valen had some great lines that were perfectly delivered.

ps. You know what ringtone I use for my closest friends on my Droid? Sinclair to Garibaldi: "Hello, old friend."
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Max Eilerson: "The story of my life. I finally find a city like this, intact, deserted for ten thousand years. Probably contains hundreds of patents that I could exploit and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."

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Old February 14th 14, 00:44   #6
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Re: Michael O'Hare

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
Completely agree. His performance always seemed very restrained and nuanced to me. I was always intrigued by the 'original' arc that JMS had planned. What we got was great, but it would have indeed been fascinating to see it played out with Sinclair in place (had other circumstances been more favourable).

**And HELLO! to everyone here at B5TV, some of you will know me from JMS News already. Same user ID. More when I get time folks!
You need an avatar.
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"Crusade" (1999) - "War Zone"
Max Eilerson: "The story of my life. I finally find a city like this, intact, deserted for ten thousand years. Probably contains hundreds of patents that I could exploit and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."
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Old February 14th 14, 05:41   #7
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Re: Michael O'Hare

Liked O Hare's performances. It's difficult to portray someone of that ilk. Little did we know. As far as his performance in War Without End, it was amazing.

I for one was gutted when they 'replaced' him at the beginning of season 2. Not saying Bruce didn't do a good job, it just took me a while to adjust to sheridan over sinclair.
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Old February 14th 14, 10:19   #8
Springer
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Re: Michael O'Hare

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I always liked O'Hare's performance except for his scenes with Blaire Baron (in The Gathering), with whom he had zero chemistry. That scene, discussing The Battle of the Line was filled with bad acting, by both of them. It was just a bad scene. They should've done it a few more times and had good direction.
I haven't watched The Gathering in a while so I can't remember how the acting played out in that scene, but I do remember reading an interview with Julia Nickson in TV Zone magazine where she said her and Michael O'Hare spent a lot of time outside of the set working on their scenes so that they could get the chemistry right. It was a shame we didn't see more of Sakai as she brought out a different side of Sinclair and helped make him a more rounded character.

Raw Shark mentioned By Any Means Necessary as a standout Sinclair episode and I agree, it was a real tour de force for Michael O'Hare. And even in Believers, which is a Franklin-centric episode, I thought he was outstanding.

Best Sinclair scene? Kicking Neroon's arse in Legacies has got to be up there. Even Marcus couldn't do that!

In some ways Sinclair and G'Kar were similar, kind of 'warrior-monks' if that makes sense.
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Old February 15th 14, 03:41   #9
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Re: Michael O'Hare

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Originally Posted by KoshN View Post
I always liked O'Hare's performance except for his scenes with Blaire Baron (in The Gathering), with whom he had zero chemistry. That scene, discussing The Battle of the Line was filled with bad acting, by both of them. It was just a bad scene. They should've done it a few more times and had good direction.
I haven't watched The Gathering in a while so I can't remember how the acting played out in that scene, but I do remember reading an interview with Julia Nickson in TV Zone magazine where she said her and Michael O'Hare spent a lot of time outside of the set working on their scenes so that they could get the chemistry right. It was a shame we didn't see more of Sakai as she brought out a different side of Sinclair and helped make him a more rounded character.

Raw Shark mentioned By Any Means Necessary as a standout Sinclair episode and I agree, it was a real tour de force for Michael O'Hare. And even in Believers, which is a Franklin-centric episode, I thought he was outstanding.

Best Sinclair scene? Kicking Neroon's arse in Legacies has got to be up there. Even Marcus couldn't do that!

In some ways Sinclair and G'Kar were similar, kind of 'warrior-monks' if that makes sense.
I was thinking of the scene in The Gathering where Sinclair throws his Battle of the Line medal (in its case) against the wall of his quarters and she picks it up. THAT SCENE. Very clunky.

I definitely liked Sinclair and Sakai better. That looked far more real.

Yes, Sinclair and post-dust/Kosh G'kar were similar.
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Max Eilerson: "The story of my life. I finally find a city like this, intact, deserted for ten thousand years. Probably contains hundreds of patents that I could exploit and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."
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Old February 15th 14, 14:37   #10
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Re: Michael O'Hare

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As it turns out, it was about mental health issues, and that certainly does add a new layer to his tenure. A man trying to hold it together playing a man trying to hold it together,

fascinating observation


it definitely adds a layer to watching his performance

true to the ethos of the character, he does a hell of a better job holding it together than most of us would probably do
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