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The Drakh plague?



I know that some of the older people here will remember this but isn't the idea of the Drakh plague kind of a ripoff of the anime cartoon "StarBalazers"? Wasn't the premise of the entire show for the crew of a supership to find a cure for a plague dropped on Earth. I'm pretty sure I remember this correctly, I loved that cartoon when I was little.

A thorough search would reveal at least ten science fiction titles using a similar main theme.

A spaceship looking for a cure is the logical product of a planet being quarantined. That a planet might be contaminated and isolated to stop a disease from spreading is a very logical thing.

It is a conclusion which many authors have reached independently, because it's realistic. Should we despise art and literature because they are a rip-off of real life?

[This message has been edited by Lennier (edited December 19, 2001).]
As far as I remember, the Earth was being bombarded by some kind of rays that were destroying life, drying up the oceans, etc.

In Japanese fashion, the humans refitted the battleship Yamato (aka The Argo) for space travel with the mission of stopping the source of the devastation. I believe they also had to travel to the planet Iskandar for a a medical cure, but it might have been for radiation sickness and secondary to actually stopping the radioactive bombardment.

I watched this show at 4:00 after school every day so I'm a little rusty.

The Argo also had the incredibly powerful "wave motion gun" - a primary weapon whose technology was given to them by the Princess of Iskandar in order to help them fight the forces of Leader Desslok. However, using it did rob the ship of power and leave them vulnerable.

Yep, you heard that right.

"Draal gave Zathras list of things not to say.
This was one. No.... *tsk tsk*
No. Not good.
Not supposed to mention... "one", or... THE one.
You never heard that."
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>However, using it did rob the ship of power and leave them vulnerable.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Another old SF and fantasy concept. Any superweapon has to be given an off-setting weakness, otherwise the hero can always whip it out and win every battle. OTOH, if the hero is going up against superior forces he'd better have a superweapon or he's going to lose every battle.

(Thus, Frodo can become invisible to mortal pursuers by donning the One Ring, but this makes him more visible to the Ringwraiths and vulernable to the lure of the Ring itself.)

I think "Doc" Smith was used a similar idea back in the 40s. (And if you're doing SF, rather than magical fantasy, and your setting is a spaceship, what more logical way of doing this is there than having the weapon drain the ship's power and leave it vulnerable.)

I think the whole Starblazers thing is pure JMS misdirection, asuming he was even aware of the show. Of course he may have heard of it, but if he did he was using a similar (but hardly identical) situation in the initial setup of Crusade to prepare the audience for one kind of show - then he'd kick the table over at the end of S1 and reveal the show he was really doing. The cure would have been found in S2, although almost immediately revealed to be something other than what it first seemed.

To paraphrase JMS, the search for the cure was as much what Crusade was "about" as Sinclair's missing 24 hours or the Minbari surrender were what B5 was "about".

Don't forget, in S1 of B5 we got barely a hint about the Shadows or the coming war, which would occupy almost the whole of the next two seasons. Crusade was developing the same way, as revealed by the unproduced scripts. The plague business, and therefore the resemblance to Starblazers, was a decidely minor part of the whole.



Joseph DeMartino
Sigh Corps
Pat Tallman Division


[This message has been edited by Joseph DeMartino (edited December 19, 2001).]