Yay! Another Crusade poll! ...and guess what I'm watching right now, this very ep. (as I'm rewatching all of Disc 2).
A solid 'B' mainly for the Eilerson thread.
Eilerson thread: A-
Chambers and her initial dialogue/delivery with Cynthia Allen (Eilerson) in Cynthia's quarters drag it down. Sal Landi as "Rolf Mueller" ??? Yeah right. Sal's not bad, but he's no "Rolf Mueller" (German/Austrian), and that kind of casting/disconnect strains the ability to stay in the story. Yeah, I know we could fanwank our way to explain it, but that shouldn't be necessary.
B- The Gideon & Lochley vs. The Lorkans fight scene, and the shower scene music (over the top, too loud, cliched, fitting for Mike Hammer, etc.) the drag it down, though I like this thread more now, than when I saw it on TNT in first run.)
It was on OK episode ... I was pretty excited about seeing Babylon 5 again! That was unexpected and fun. Unexpected mainly because I JUST watched the episode that comes right before this one on the DVD, in which Gideon tells Lochley that he'll swing by Babylon 5 in five years.
Other than that ... ehhh. The Lorkan storyline might have been interesting in the long term. Who lived on that planet before and who is the Most Holy? It was nice to see (hear?) Tim Choate again! The Brakiri ambassador looked familiar to me, too ... But a quick trip to imdb has let me know that that's just because the same actor played a Brakiri ambassador on Babylon 5. I think the makeup is a bit different, though.
Not so crazy about the Eilerson storyline. I'm not really buying his backstory as a loner nerd. Or as a serious academic, for that matter. I didn't much like the ex wife either.
Just to play devil's advocate with your view of archaeology in the future... I think the difference is that, when compared to archaeology on Earth, other than when it involves some kind of treasure, is about informing and educating us about the past, so its importance is primarily academic rather than financial. When you're digging something up on an alien world, the technology might have been buried for a million years, but it might also be a million years more advanced than Earth technology, and all of a sudden takes on a different importance. Sure there will be academic archaeologists who are in it to learn about alien cultures rather than grave robbing, but the artefacts are technological artefacts that can give us new technology, and in a capitalist society that's inevitably going to draw the mega corporations to it. It's tasteless, for sure, but I can understand how archaeology has largely transformed itself that way in the Babylon 5 future.
As for Eilerson, eh, I liked him. It was fun to have a more amoral, slimy character on the cast rather than everyone be goody-two-shoes. His character felt the most real out of all the characters on Crusade.
Yea, that is a fair point, and I think I've conceded it elsewhere (I'm always kind torn between not wanting to repeat myself too much and not wanting to assume that everyone reading a particular thread has necessarily read all the other episode threads). It DOES make sense for archaeology to be the way it is in the Babylon 5 universe. I can't really object to that from a storytelling point of view.
My problem is with how archaeology is portrayed in fiction in general. It just so happens that Babylon 5 (and Crusade) archaeology is exactly the same kind of stereotypical stuff you see in other movies and TV shows. There's usually some greedy and/or clueless archaeologist who unleashes something terrible because they're being too greedy or ambitious to see the danger. Even when the archaeologist character is the hero, it still looks like this:
(I randomly grabbed that off an image search, so apologies if it stops working)
It's all about "treasure", about the value of specific objects. It's never about context.
The reason I find that problematic is that that sort of thing has real world consequences. People REALLY believe that archaeologist make money off what they find. They believe that archaeologists' incomes depend on what they dig up, that they get to keep and or sell artifacts, that sort of thing. It matters because it turns people hostile towards archaeologists working on/near their properties. I've seen a surprisingly large number of people make serious claims that academia is a vast conspiracy and archaeologists are out to rob them of valuables that rightly belong to them (or hiding evidence of the REAL truth which involves bigfoot and/or reptilian overlords....). In the US (and of course everywhere has its own problems), if you mix that with anti-government sentiment and/or eminent domain type situations, you can get some scary outcomes.. Armed property owners chasing archaeologists off their land and that sort of thing.
On some level I want to just sit and watch the show and enjoy this imagined future where archaeology looks like that, without worrying about anything else. But then on another level, I am thinking about all the good people who spend so much time and effort educating the public about what it is archaeologists ACTUALLY do. And I worry about the angry old men with all the guns
I can't say how I would feel about Eilerson if he hadn't been an archaeologist... I don't necessarily have to like a character's personality to enjoy the character. For example, I quite enjoy seeing Bester on Babylon 5. But then again, there are personality traits that I find hard to watch, like Byron's arrogance. So, I don't know. Maybe.