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Season 4 Hair


Beyond the rim
Before reading forward, the following may be viewed as a spoiler by some very strict forum goers, so if you haven't seen season 4/5 don't read on. It will probably be more amusing if you read after watching those seasons anyway.

Okay, hi, as you will immediately see, I'm new here, but I'm a big follower of B5, and after searching the forums a bit, I wanted to discuss something that bothered me about the series, but which does not seem to have been talked about here before.

In Season 4 of Babylon 5, the audience watches a gradual change overcome Dr. Stephen Franklin. Specifically, we watch his hair make make a gradual journey from black to grey. Now, perhaps he needed to do this for the purpose of remaining "undercover" during his "covert operation" in the second half of the season, but let's be honest, that kind of gradual subtle change doesn't really constitute good camoflage.

Now, so what, people's hair turns grey after a while anyway, right? But, in the case of Dr. Stephen Franklin, as soon as Season 5 starts, he's, to use an AC/DC reference, "Back in Black" so to speak.

This has always bothered me. Perhaps this decision to move to grey hair was made solely by Richard Biggs, but even so, wouldn't they have wanted to darken it, at least for the purposes of television? And then why the sudden change at the start of Season 5?

Maybe I'm alone here, but I'd like to know what other people think.
It would seem that people in the future are just as concerned about their personal appearance as we are today. It should also be noted that Cap'n Sheridan's hair mysteriously changes from brown to auburn between s4 & s5 (maybe his goatee didn't match) and Garibaldi opted to go completely bald instead of letting time do it for him. I believe Londo also indulged in the ole Grecian formula when he became emperor.
I always got a kick out of the beginning of S4 in the Summoning... Sheridan's back from Z'ha'dum, back from the dead, and he's got a great new haircut! I guess Lorien is a barber and wanted him to look good upon his return. ;-)

I used to wonder about that too, but after all if Lorien could bring him back from the dead, why not have a good haircut to go with it?

The other thing that interested me is in the introduction to Season 4, Sheridan is shown with his helmet on, and I was always convinced that his hair was going to change during the season. Sure enough, by the end of season 4 he had grown a beard.

It seems his real wife, Melissa, hated the beard and by season 5 he had removed 90% of it and kept just a miniscule amount of moustache and beard. Apparently JMS wanted a beard so he had to keep it but he got away with the least possible.
and Garibaldi opted to go completely bald instead of letting time do it for him.

wrong, Zach did something accidentally and made Garibaldi lose what hair he had left, as said so in the series.
Hmm, I thought Ivanova had something to do with it. Either way, it would have to be something that would make him go bald permanently .
The joke was that a smuggler had sold him something that made him bald. Ivanova threatened to reveal this to Garibaldi to convince the smuggler to help supply the station.
Hi and welcome to the board. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

As for the hair - never bothered me. People go grey in real life and then dye it at some point. People can have red hair for ten years and then suddenly opt for jet black. People can bleach their hair one month and then go to something more natural in two months' time.

Changing their hair colour is what people often do. So I really didn't see that as a problem, neither logically or consistency-wise.

Sheridan's new Z'Ha'Dum/Lorien haircut excepted. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif That was somewhat... well, I didn't really expect Lorien to be a barber, either. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
Well, Lorien had a beard, so either he trimmed it himself, or he had a barber living in the pit with him. Well, unless there was a Shadow barber who made pit calls -- I don't think so! So, Lorien could surely trim Sheridan's beard if he had been trimming his own for eons. Also, perhaps his ship had an autobarber in it. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Actually first time in S4 we see the new haircut was in "Falling Toward Apotheosis". In "The Summoning" where Sheridan returns and gives that dramatic speech, he still has the old S3-cut. I think about these things too much... /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Marko Marin
No offense to GaribaldisHair and LondosHair that post here, but I don't pay much attention to hair. I just watch the show. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
IIRC, it was Jerry Doyle who made the decision to go bald, and JMS made up the smuggler/hair falling out thing to cover it up. The giveaway was the line Ivanova has, "that's my story and I'm sticking to it," which of course was what JMS used online every time he made a mistake and made up some ridiculous tale to cover for it.
I liked the idea that Garibaldi was bald. the way they explained it however was funny. His hair fell out. One point that wasn't mentioned about hair pertains to Sinclair. In the pilot he has long hair. When the series rolled around he had a military hair cut.
OK, took me a bit to find the reference, but in S1, "Infection", Garibaldi is buying that thing-or-another from the vendor after talking to the ISN reporter, and he tells the vendor:

Okay, I'll take one of these, but if it leaves a waxy yellow buildup on ANYTHING I'm coming back.

Maybe instead it's just a time-delayed hair loss potion? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

it isn't obvious to you all why hair stylez changed. I will educate you. Its called budget cuts. At the end of season 3 Babylon 5 had no home. The station that was showing it here in Chicago was channel 50. They started out as a little uhf station but because of choices like Star Trek TNG and Highlander The Series the station made profit and a much bigger budget. Then UPN(United Paramount Network) bought channel 50 as well as other channels from different states. Everyone knows Paramount is the mother of Star Trek, so naturally B5 being a Warner Brothers series was not going to be renewed so they found a new home in The TNT Network. Although a lot better off then other cable stations it did not have the money that the previous one had. Now the special effects were done by independants who worked for J. Michael Stryzinski. So they went with him to TNT and the special effects did not change so much. But hairstyles and uniforms did. Slight differences with some. Huge differences with others. In all other words TNT did not have as much money as the previous one had. It looked noticably cheaper on the actors and actresses. Another great series produced by Fox, Sliders went through a similar but worse change then Babylon 5. It went from Fox to the syfy network when they were a very new network and they had nowhere near the budget of fox. It destroyed Sliders. Thank goodness for good writing with Babylon 5 or it may of gone out crappy like Sliders. Peace
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