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The unusual suspects


the worst episode thread made me wonder, about favourite unusual episodes? everyone loves episodes like Endgame, Severed Dreams, War Without End, etc, etc, but what about the episodes nobody thinks about? how good is Comes the Inquisitor really? What about Visitors From Down The Street (Crusade)? I'm talking every season, every movie and every show. Personally, i love Visitors From Down the Street, because it is really quite an amusing episode.

On a side note, am i really that weird for thinking Na'Toth is kind of cute?
Visitors from Down the Street is about the only of the 'off-format' episodes that I don't care for. But then, I was never a fan of X-Files anyway.

I love off-format episodes, although B5's were never quite as good as some other shows I've seen.
I on the other hand quite liked Visitors, since the x-files is probably one of the few shows I ever watched religiously for years on end on television (i.e. not on DVD, which is how end up watching most shows I really like now). It wasn't great, but it was fun seeing (fellow x-files fan) JMS having a bit of fun with it.

As for other shows, Farscape comes to mind. They did some of their best work in the off format stuff, although their regular episodes could get pretty weird and out there already.
Sticking the B5 universe:

For me the best off-format episodes are probably:

Intersections in Real Time
The Illusion of Truth

They aren't exctly *fun* to watch (well the early section Illusion has some fun; but not once the broadcast starts). But given what they are and what they are doing, they shouldn't be ...... in much the same way that Schiner's List and Sophie's Choice are not exactly *fun* to watch.
I loved "And Now For A Word" where a news team was covering B-5.

I especially loved the part where the newswoman talked about "our exclusive interview with Vorlon Ambassador Kosh"..........when in actuality it was the news team running after Kosh as he made a hasty escape.

And the PsyCorps commercial was priceless.
Hmm .. quick view over episodes I personally considered "weird" - hope I didn't forget anything too important :D

And Now for a Word, I *hated* the first time I saw it. I started liking it more and more on repeated viewings, and love it by now.

I didn't care much for "The Illusion of Truth". I didn't hate per se, but which I found a bit .. predictable, really. And I thought Sheridan was a bit of a dumbass to let them film in the first place. Gee, who'd have thought it would end like it did?

Atonement was awesome.

Intersections in Real time was .. not as deep as it thought it was, I thought ;) Showing torture as something "kind of weird" basically, but something you can easily beat if you have balls. I've never been tortured, but I doubt it's quite like that, to be honest.

Deconstruction of Falling Stars .. a favourite of mine.

A View from the Gallery .. I liked the way in which the main plot of the episode - strange aliens attack - just didn't make sense. As .. would the shadow war make any sense to average Joe? I did not like .. everything else, basically :D

Day of the Dead .. recently covered :D

Visitors from Down the Street .. I've only seen it once, like all of Crusade. But I recall liking it loads. Don't remember more than that :D
JMS made a good point about "A View From the Gallery" regarding the complaint from fans that nothing was ever known about the aliens.

Not even their names.

He pointed out that the story was the viewpoint of the two maintenance guys.

And guys like that would NEVER know anything about the aliens. Not even their names.
some really good points, i especially agree about "And Now For A Word" i love that episode, just for the psicorp ad and the tosspiece looking psi cop. however the second question remains, am i really that weird for thing that Na'Toth is pretty cute, i mean have a think, would you?
Visitors from Down the Street is about the only of the 'off-format' episodes that I don't care for. But then, I was never a fan of X-Files anyway.


I was a fan of The X-Files until Season 6. From the first episode of Season 6, it went sharply downhill, and it became more and more obvious that Chris Carter had no idea where he was going with it.

The only part of Visitors from Down the Street that I didn't like was the alien head prosthetics and how the tendrils moved (like rubber fishing worms).

I thought the interplay between Gideon and the aliens was great. The music also seemed to be right on the money, as well, creating a nice atmosphere. A lot of good quotes came out of that episode.
I sometimes skip Visitors when I watch Crusade, but usually I just let it play and find something to occupy my attention while it's on. ;)
I loved Visitors From Down The Street if for no other reason than the thing with the sewer pipe leak causing that smell no one could find while riding the tube.

And how Gideons shaking of it dumps a load of crap on his security team.
i just love the end of the episode, because the alien dude lights up a smoke, and first time i saw that, i thought to myself "finally, proof they smoke in the future" and yes i know the culture of that planet was based on the past, and there was an episode of B5 where people were warned they were in a no smoking area, but looking at some aliens on the show that could have been a warning to some alien race that has smoke rising off of their bodies all the time (extremely unlikely i know), but it just tickles me slightly to know people still smoke in the future, even though their culture is based upon earths past.Although in SiL mike has his cigars, but i saw Visitors before i saw SiL
For what reason would the fact that people smoke in the future 'tickle' you? I've seen too many people get lung cancer -- and lose their battle to it -- to find that the least bit positive.
Shadow Dancing is one of my favourite episodes of all. That episode seemed to deliver movie-quality thrills that were far too good to belong on television, and it's almost a shame that it's so overshadowed by being immediately followed by Z'ha'dum. I think it's the best B5 battle too. Netter Digital's effects may have been technically better and more ambitious than Foundation Imaging's, but I felt something was lost when Ron Thornton left..

On the other hand I think War Without End may be a little overrated. I love Zathras, the Londo scene, and the ending, but there are some (necessary) contrivances in there to make it work, and I thought Michael O'Hare's delivery wasn't as good as in S1.
Intersections in Real time was .. not as deep as it thought it was, I thought ;) Showing torture as something "kind of weird" basically, but something you can easily beat if you have balls. I've never been tortured, but I doubt it's quite like that, to be honest.

I would point to the JMS Speaks section of the Lurkers' Guide page, which in part reads:

"As someone who has degrees in both Psychology and Sociology, and who has been a supporter of PEN International (a multinational group that monitors the treatment of writers who are prisoners of conscience in other countires) for years, I have had a longstanding interest and familiarity with this area...and through my European roots with relatives who were in Germany and Poland when the camps were in full swing, and later when the Russian government beat down its people. I have plenty of personal background on this one."

I would also note that Sheridan was a very prominent person, one who would be a major coup to be able parade in front of the press after having been broken into contrition. As such, there would be serious limits to the visible physical damage that they would want to do to him. Torture that resulted in noticeable physical damage would *greatly* reduce Sheridan's value for propaganda later.
I agree.

There were a lot of very real elements in the episode "Intersections in Realtime." Lets remember the goal of that was not to torture Sheridan for information, but convert him (brainwash of sorts) so he will do their bidding. That is very much the breakdown of the mind. The Interragators explaination of "truth" when talking to Sheridan was a perfect segway to get Sheridan to see things a different way --- their way.

That episode was very well done and well researched.
Plus, I think Psychological mindgames and breaking of people, is far more likely to get you what you want from someone you are torturing then to simply start cutting off fingers. If they didn't tell you what you wanted, or do what you wanted when they snipped the first finger off, the other 9 probably aren't going to produce much better results.
I've always liked the idea that I saw on the Lurker's Guide years ago, that one reason they had to resort to so much trickery and drugs was becasue Sheridan's now "sealed off" from telepathy, as we saw in that scene with Lyta.

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