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Retooling in order?


New member
I think the telemovie showed potential, but if a series is in order, I tihnk there is a definite need for retooling. After all, if you take a look at "The Gathering," the original B5 movie, they did rework a number of details like makeup, effects, etc.

I think Legend of the Rangers was a good first start. Here's what I think needs to be reworked:

1. Loose the VR weapons stuff. Not only doesn't this make sense, but it looks goofy.

2. Rethink the sit-around-the-table and fly the ship dynamic.

3. Stop with the bad guys rhetoric. I'm tired of hearing that they're older than old, and ten times worse than the shadows. Sometimes it's better to shut up and keep the mystery going.

4. Better writing. Much better writing. Less uncomfortable exposition.

The actors did a fine job and were well cast. Most of my gripes are with the details and thin plot. Let's hope the SciFi picks this up as a series. And let's hope that the roughness get's smoothed out.

P.S. G'kar still rocks.


- Fred
I would have to agree with you on points 1 thru 3. Point 4 I can't comment on since I don't know what has already been written (I'm sure JMS has already started!).

I'd also like to request that Anla'Shok Cantrell find a different hairstylist. One who has a better selection of hair colorant for her. On all three tvs in our residence, Miss Sarah Cantrell had EXACTLY the same hair color as Miss Lyta Alexander. Can't blame the cable company. Watched both the Dish Network feed at 6pm PST and the Cox cable feed at 9pm, due to the need to get four PAL copies for friends in the UK.

Surely there must be other choices... or was this such a low budget that the make-up/hair stylists used the surplus from the B5 original series.

The VR weapons HAS to go. David Martell needs to be a bit rougher looking - he's far too 'perfect'.

IMHO: (and since the Winter Olympics are coming to a state next to me)

Technical Merit: 5.7
Artistic Impression: 5.3

It's got GREAT potential.

<A HREF="http://www.coribright.com
" TARGET=_blank>www.coribright.com

Gah, it was just.....Ah, man. Nasty.

Am I the only one here who thought the weapons pod was neat?

It would have been TEN TIMES WORSE if Sarah just sat there and poked a button, let me tell you that. Where's the drama in a button?

I liked the idea of sitting around the main console. I never really understood shows where the crew worked together seamlessly without even looking at one another. Eye contact, in those sort of situations, seems crucial to me.

Eye contact and the language of your body is just as important as what comes out of your mouth in any type of communication. With the Liandra's setup, everyone sees everything they need to see. No turning, no twisting. It's faster, easier, and less annoying.

Why do you think most seminars are set up with the participants facing one another? So the interaction is heightened, so people understand each other more.

Plus, if you're the navigator on the Enterprise, you have to turn around to see the Captain. On the Liandra, you just flick your eyes upward, and there he is.

I may be way off the mark on this one... but that's how I view it.

channe@[url="http://cryoterrace.tripod.com"]cryoterrace[/url] | "I wonder," said Frodo, "but I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale."

[This message has been edited by channe (edited January 20, 2002).]
I totally agree. The bridge idea was VERY neat. Not only is it something new that other shows havent done, but it makes SENSE! As for the weapons pod, perhaps some tweaking will make it work. I think the VR room for weapons makes sense, as the person in there can see everything (much like a Minbari cruiser). However kicking and punching to shoot weapons is a little weak IMO. I think:

1) Keep the weapons pod / VR room
2) Change the way they make the ship shoot so its not kicking and punching.

And we are good to go.

The bridge does rock too =)

'I don't believe in the no-win scenario' - JTK
I agree that the Vr bubble needs to be tweaked. I read a comment in another thread that an actual suspended bubble with Vr controls would work, and it seemed good to me.

My main problem was the sets on the Liandra. They were just too plastic, too fake, and too ugly. Thinking back to B5, they could have made it sooo much better. Interrior designs for the Excalibur and the War Room were ten fold in creativity and coolness then what the Liandra bridge was. Ughhhh. just not good.


"And that, Mollari, is why it will not be your people, or mine, or the Gaim, or the Drazi or the Vorlons or the Shadows who in the end will stand astride the galaxy like giants. It will be the humans."
"I think you are the one who is mad, G'kar," Londo said. "I can choose just as well as the humans. I can choose to stay in this cell, with you, or I can choose to leave."
"Yes, but can you choose for there not to be a cell at all?"
"I don't understand," Londo said.
"Exactly," G'kar said. "Exactly."
I think that VR combat thing sounds realy neat (haven't seen the movie).

It's very Minbari IMHO. Minbari warriors love a good face to face fight with knives or sticks even though they are among the most advanced known races. They would not be content to let a computer do the targeting and just press a button once in a while. The more physicaly challanging and skill demaning a system is the better as far as they are concerned. The system was designed for WARRIORS that LIVE fight, not SOLDIERS that just want to destroy the enemy as fast as possible. IMHO there is a distinch difference, though it could probably be made more clear as it seems most people just don't see it.

IMHO the consept is no more silly than the fact that minbari warriors prefeer melee weapons over advanced energy weapons whenever possible. It'a all about theyr tradition and culture.

Guess they could stress the fact that this system was not designed by or for humans, maybe have the characters comment on the cumbersome nature of the system, but IMHO it makes prefect sense when you consider Minbari custums and tradition, and it looks good on TV (for what I have seen in the trailer anyway).

This is not the human military. It's not Earthforce. The Liandra wasn't built for humans, it was built for Minbari - built before the Minbari even knew who the hell the humans were.

Humans in the Anla'shok take upon themselves the attitudes that come along with one thousand years of tradition.

Besides. I think Sarah was enjoying herself.

channe@[url="http://cryoterrace.tripod.com"]cryoterrace[/url] | "I wonder," said Frodo, "but I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale."
Channe, I thought it LOOKED cool at times and kind of silly at other times. As a concept, I guess it is pretty inefficient. I can see an experimental model trying it perhaps. Maybe the Liandra could get upgraded and get a new weapon's system.

I think what came across sillier was the dialogue. Not all of it, but in spots. I didn’t want to mention this awhile ago, but even one of the commercials surprised me with a line that just seemed, well, kind of silly.

<table bgcolor=black><tr><td bgcolor=black><font size=1 color=white>Spoiler:</font></td></tr><tr><td><font size=2 color=black> When David says "... we don't die stupidly". That just seemed less than poetic to me. </font></td></tr></table>

"The Bible is a book: it is a good book, but is is not the only book" - Inherit the Wind

"I do not believe that the same God who
has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."—Galileo

Hypatia -

Read my review to find out what I thought about the script and the dialogue. It's towards the bottom.

I still want a series, though. Definitely. I'm intrigued. Retooling or no, it'll be interesting to find out what happens after G'Kar...

...oops, a no-spoiler topic! You'll guess, though, if you've seen the last scene, and you know what G'Kar is going to do shortly afterward.

channe@[url="http://cryoterrace.tripod.com"]cryoterrace[/url] | "I wonder," said Frodo, "but I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale."
Tweak the gunnery pod and it I think it would be quite good. The kicks and punches were the biggest problem for me.

I like the bridge. The 3D image allows for this kind of set up while a flat, opaque screen does not. It allows for increased interaction and with a military crew looking at the Captain is not going to hinder their acceptance of orders.

"Crying isn't gonna get your dog back. Unless your tears smell like dog food. So you can sit here eating can after can of dog food until your tears smell like dog food or you can go out there and find your dog."-Homer in The Canine Mutiny
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by channe:
Am I the only one here who thought the weapons pod was neat?

Just kidding. I'm sure some people liked it, but personally, I thought it was the worst part of the entire movie. It just looked really, really silly. From a B5 technological 'realistic' point of view, I suppose it fits, given what we know of Minbari technology. But, on screen, it just looks really silly. I really, REALLY hope jms cuts this out before the series premieres.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>
I liked the idea of sitting around the main console. I never really understood shows where the crew worked together seamlessly without even looking at one another. Eye contact, in those sort of situations, seems crucial to me.

Usually, I like the fact that the captain is in the middle of a ship's bridge. But somehow, this table approach seems to work as well. I look forward to seeing more of this.

The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.
My problem with everyone sitting around a table is that if fosters a dynamic where everyone discusses things rather than doing things. While the crew obviously needs to discuss things, this layout is not conductive to activity in combat situations. People are given specific roles so that they function cohesively as a whole unit. Eye contact isn't going to help here. People need to do their part and be so connected to it that it's like an extension of themselves. The table metophor is a destraction and a bad interface. Also, I keep thinking they're having breakfast.

The VR weapon system is another example of a bad and inefficient interface. First person perspective is not the best perspective for a firefight. The gunner can't get as much data from looking around as she could from seeing a map or other representation. In order to see around her, she needs to turn around. A 2D projection of 3D space solves this problem better than the elaborate VR setup. Not to mention that you have to zip down to the Bat Cave whenever you'd like to shoot something.


- Fred
Hmm, retooling...

1. I loved the characters.
2. I loved the actors cast to portray the characters.
3. I ABSOLUTELY loved the VR weapons. The gunnery pod was the high point of the show. If anything, they should add another one on the port side for the pilot/navigator.
4. I liked the "command table."
5. I liked the plot the first time I saw it. *COUGH*thirdspace*COUGH* Eventually, the aliens are actually going to be *older* than the universe, having popped through from a previous incarnation. This isn't a judgement: JMS can do whatever he wants. It just kind of amuses me.
6. The storyline writing itself does need to be better.
7. I'm kind of worried that JMS has turned G'Kar from Cassandra into Bob Newhart - the last sane man. G'Kar has long been my favorite, but now he seems to be the *only* one with any sense. The ambassadorial staff and the Grey Council have been turned into the Starfleet Admiralty - apparently it's clueless at the top.

On a semi-related note, I dare anybody here to agree with me on the following: I think that the original version of "The Gathering" was far superior to the re-edit. It instilled the epic sense of wonder that hooked me on the show. Then JMS had to go Lucas on us. ARTISTS SHOULD BE BANNED FROM GOING BACK AND TOUCHING UP THE CANVAS! Only disaster results. So far I know of only one other person who shares my opinion on this.

- Timo
"We cannot guarantee success. But we can deserve it." -- John Adams

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