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Thoughts on Byron...


I've noticed in my brief time lurking here and in the WB forum that many people (almost certainly a majority) don't like Byron.

I must admit I am not fond of him myself, although for a while I wasn't entirely sure why. Then I realized that, in a few ways, his attitude was reminescent of Bester (who can be evil and still be likable because he is a lot more witty

1) Byron thinks mundanes are inferior.

I think we see this in a lot of his comments. For example, he thinks telepaths can get along in the perfect peaceful harmony of mildy distrubing singing, but he thinks mundanes will always be fighting each other because they don't value each others lives. Now there is a pretty unfair generalization.

2) Not afraid to stab Sheridan in the back.

Pretty self explanatory. Sheridan goes out on a limb to let him form his little colony, and in turn Byron completely jeapordizes the stability of the fledging Interstellar Alliance to support his own goals.

3) Doesn't care for the affairs of mundanes. They can all rot as long as he gets what he wants.

Follows from number 2: by his actions he could have triggered an interstellar bloodbath. When no one gave into his demand for a homeworld, he'd release all the "secrets" he'd collected, a few of which might be serious enough to cause fighting between the IA members.

4) Wants "seperate but equal"

I think Byron is a chump for wanting to give up Earth for a telepath homeworld. As a human, Earth is his birth right. He's IMO a spineless whimp to abandon it so easily. I don't buy the theory that teeps and normals can't get along; we saw them do it pretty well a little later on in Crusade.

Sorry if I am resurrecting a topic that has been beaten to death, but it's all new to me. Anyone else have any thoughts on Byron? Maybe someone can try to defend him.

O.K. I'll give it a shot.

I think Byron was exactly what JMS wrote him to be. A young, arrogant, singularly focussed telepath.

But to say he's a "wimp" for leaving Earth is a little odd to me. Did you consider the other telepaths fleeing the Psi Corps to be "wimps" too? I certainly didn't. I saw people who were desperate to flee an organization they felt was horrendously immoral (which it was).

Actually, that's the only statement that you made which I disagree with.
Everything else seems to be spot-on. Although perhaps his callousness towards mundanes as a group is more his "singular focus" than an outright prejudice towards mundans. He's also seen how people are treating Lyta, I suspect. The mundanes on B5 should have gone out of their way to get Lyta settled somwhere somehow.

So I think the self-centered goals kind of went both ways on that one. It would be hard to care what happens to these mundanes and their alliance when you've seen first hand what the leaders of this new alliance have done to Lyta (or to be more precise NOT done for Lyta). They used her, at great risk to herself, and then just cast her aside like a worn out tire.

I'm not saying that gave Byron the right to do what he did. But I do think it helped clarify his reasons for doing it.
I have no problem with the telepaths wanting to leave Earth to get away from the PsiCorps. Nor do I blame them for wanting a home of their own where they can live in peace. I just didn't like the way they set about getting it.

I also agree Byron was almost as bad as Bestor in his treatment and dislike of normals. Sheridan want out on a limb for him and then Byron would have let the White Star fleet be crippled if he hadn't wanted a sop to lure Lyta into his group.
This was incredibly stupid because without the White Star fleet Earth (an others) could have taken over Babylon 5 and then where would Byron have been?

Part of Byron's problem was the incredibly bad dialogue JMS wrote for him. I think this was as a result of the extreme change in plans that occurred because of Ivanova's departure. Some of the things Byron did and said didn't make much sense but JMS had to remake the whole telepath story in a hurry,

I also have to admit that the Byron character just didn't appeal to me at all. Not my type! .
I don't dislike Byron, nor do I like him either. I think the show would have been just fine without him, but in the same token, he does add some interest to the show.
His dialogue wasn't as bad as some I've heard, and remember, JMS was reinventing the situation on the fly. He'd lost some of his notes and he'd lost Claudia Christian.

As to Byron's actions -- he had a fine idea, no problems there, but his methods were horribly wrong. I've always said that if he went to Delenn and asked for her help, the entire situation could have been avoided.

On the other hand, Byron was raised in the Corps. Maybe threats were too firmly engrained in him to really be overcome.
I'll just clarify, I do think Byron was right to leave the Psi Corp, but I think he was wrong to just give up on Earth like he did.

Lyta, who left the Corp and eventually brought the fight back to them, had a much better idea. Although from a Public Relations point of view, she needed a better slogan than "Remember Byron," something I'd rather not do.

I thought the overall arc itself that involved Byron was pretty good, though. It's just that I had some trouble sympathizing with the rogue telepaths very much due to all the things I mentioned about the Byron character.


Edit: regarding "casting off Lyta," I think that was all curiously overblown. I mean, having to move to smaller quarters is inconvienient, I don't think it was cruel. I don't see why she didn't just go to Sheridan to find some work, with a little bit of espionage training and her telepathic superpowers she could have been one highly paid spy (they were specifically looking for telepathic spies, after all).

Of course, if the characters always acted reasonably it would be a pretty boring story.
Let me just say that Byron was a perfect creation of a character that makes you want to vomit,claw your eyes out, and ultimately commit suicide.
In respects to the Byron plot, I'm sort of glad Ivanova wasn't there to be a part of it. If she would have taken Lyta's role, it probably would have ruined the series for me. As it stands, I tend to skip the first half of season five anyway because of that Shakespeare hippie martyr bullcrap.

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