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#21 The Tyrant

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:18 AM

Well, the server hiccup seems to have eaten my post, so I'll re-post (riposte? Have at thee, Ex Isle!) :)

I've never seen Breaking Bad, but whenever I see Bryan Cranston, I always see Ranger captain Ericsson...sacrificing himself and crew to lure the Shadows to Corianas 6.

Yep, it was him.
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#22 Orpheus

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 02:03 PM

I've been thinking about why everything in the early series seems to happen so much sooner than I recall.

I think it may be as simple as this: when I watched an ep, I mentally labeled it "the latest". Most of the time that I spent thinking about an ep, it was still "fairly recent". All this was overlaid by the knowledge that more would come. Set the "now"  index to "after the series is over", blend well, and you get "that must've happened late in the series" (i.e. it was "recent" when I saw it, so it must be nearly recent now). It's a weird psychological phenomenon with many aspects, but it's not unrelated to the way we think we know "the essentials" when we're young, because we don't yet know what we don't know, and how important that will turn out to be. Once you've learned twice as much, you can see what a half-wit you were --but you still recall yourself being "a pretty smart person".

Gah! This is a terrible explanation. I think I must be part Vorlon.

Edited by Orpheus, 03 October 2017 - 08:06 PM.
slight clarifications of wording


#23 RJDiogenes

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:15 PM

Explanations are a three-edged sword.
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#24 Orpheus

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 12:52 AM

I haven't forgotten this thread. Other issues merely intruded (family health crises; the server move; occasional charming females)

Having just worked through the whole series (which I had largely forgotten), I find that everything about it seems different to me.

Here are a few thoughts, starting over from the "beginning" (S01E01) -- but after completing the cycle. As I started my notes, I want to rewatch the premiere, but that would take a larger chunk of time than I usually have, and I don't want to let this thread languish further. More thoughts will undoubtedly follow, out of series sequence.

"Midnight on the Firing Line" S01E01

Ivanova was much more Russian in Season 1 than later, especially here as she discusses the Earth election. This season was shot in 1993, less than 4 years after the fall of the Wall. Ivanova as second-in-command seems as deliberate a message as Ensign Chekov at the height of the Cold War ST:TOS -- yet as well integrated as she seems in the show, the Russian/Soviet dichotomy wasn't part of the original conception; Cmdr Takeshima, in the pilot, didn't carry the same message.

Molari's hair was rattier in the early seasons (as was he) --but so was Vir's. I recall thinking (back then) that this made it more reminiscent of the plumage of some birds, especially vultures or aging raptors. Speaking of hair, I remember thinking of Garibaldi as "balding" at the outset (The young always judge by the lush hair of youth, which is all they've ever known. His name didn't help). But after seeing him age through five seasons, his first season hair seems positively bushy.

Were the "meat cones" Garibaldi was dining on a subtle play on the "cone salads" that were briefly popular in California around that time?

It's odd that cuddly Kosh (I won't explain "cuddly" b/c spoiler) says that the Narn and Centauri are dying races that should be left to pass on.

The incident with Carn Molari and Ragesh III reinforces the impression, in the premiere, that the Narn are as ruthless/underhanded behind the scenes as the Centauri (thought perhaps not as brutal). This sets the audience up to feel its allegiances shift as nuances later emerge, as often happens on contemporary Earth when we dig past the headlines of foreign relations. The fact that the Centauri are so superficially similar to humans, as Garibaldi pointedly notes, was probably deliberate. Later, we will feel greater sympathy for the more "alien" (looking) Narn -- though all species on this show (except the Vorlons) are profoundly "human", and even the Vorlons remind me of early diplomatic accounts of contacts with China, which we now recognize as far more similar than some provincial early "official" accounts reported (the earliest accounts, by explorers, were not bogged down with foolishness as the first diplomatic contacts with China. OTOH, the first 'explorer' contacts [Norse; Columbus; etc.] seemed to understand less than later religious/diplomatic reports)

#25 The Tyrant

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 09:50 AM

Yeah, you can always tell where you are in the series by how much (or little) hair Garibaldi has... lol
Hope springs eternal, and is eternally dashed

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Which is a problem....
if you're powerless." - Drago Museveni

'God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh' - Voltaire

'It's in your nature to destroy yourselves.' - the Terminator, about Humanity.

"Who knew the divine was such a dissolute, horny drunk?  Although that would explain a hell of a lot about this series... " - Christopher, about Battlestar Galactica

#26 RJDiogenes

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 06:32 PM

^^  Like Captain Kirk's belly.  :lol:

View PostOrpheus, on 10 November 2017 - 12:52 AM, said:

I haven't forgotten this thread. Other issues merely intruded (family health crises; the server move; occasional charming females)  
:cry: ... :nod: ....  :thumbs-up:

Seriously, I hope the family health crises are done and all is well.

Quote

Ivanova was much more Russian in Season 1 than later, especially here as she discusses the Earth election. This season was shot in 1993, less than 4 years after the fall of the Wall. Ivanova as second-in-command seems as deliberate a message as Ensign Chekov at the height of the Cold War ST:TOS -- yet as well integrated as she seems in the show, the Russian/Soviet dichotomy wasn't part of the original conception; Cmdr Takeshima, in the pilot, didn't carry the same message.  
But she was adorable.  As much as I liked Ivanova, I always missed Takeshima. It was a shame they couldn't have brought her back for a bit, like they did with Sinclair.

It will be interesting to hear your thoughts as the show progresses.  It's been ages and ages since I've seen it, and I wish I had the time to watch it all again.  B5 is really on a par with classic Trek and was very predictive of what we're going through in the 21st century on at least three levels-- it's a shame nobody listened.
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#27 Orpheus

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 07:58 PM

D

View PostRJDiogenes, on 10 November 2017 - 06:32 PM, said:

^^  Like Captain Kirk's belly.  :lol:

View PostOrpheus, on 10 November 2017 - 12:52 AM, said:

I haven't forgotten this thread. Other issues merely intruded (family health crises; the server move; occasional charming females)  
:cry: ... :nod: ....  :thumbs-up:

Seriously, I hope the family health crises are done and all is well.

Dad  and Mom have each had a lot of issues this month. With Mom it was her heart (I've been getting emergency roadside calls), but I have a protocol that works for her (if she listens). With Dad, the issues have been harder to diagnose, but this weekend he went down to our place in RI, and had an attack of "acute" appendicitis (I'm pretty sure it was recurring chronic over weeks/months, with the current bout going back 9-10 days, which can be legendarily difficult to diagnose in some elderly folks), culminating in an emergency appendectomy this weekend. I'm actually grateful. I think he'll feel better overall now, for years to come.

I don't practice anymore, so I couldn't order an abdominal CT -- and TBH it was a "typical atypical geriatric presentation", so my index of suspicion wasn't high, and I definitely  didn't have a strong enough case to push the issue with their doctors. I did, however, mention my concerns while explaining why I was doing an abdominal exam before my mother's ER visit last weekend. She  then DEMANDED that they do an abdominal CT on her (no result) last weekend and on my father this weekend. It only took 20 years? 50? But they are now actually listening to me a little bit. The RI surgeon was condescending, but stunned at the CT results.

It was close to the best reasonable outcome. He's doing well (and looks to do better in the long run). She's doing fine. I gotta tell ya: I can't imagine how nonphysicians get through life.

Quote

Quote

Ivanova was much more Russian in Season 1 than later, especially here as she discusses the Earth election. This season was shot in 1993, less than 4 years after the fall of the Wall. Ivanova as second-in-command seems as deliberate a message as Ensign Chekov at the height of the Cold War ST:TOS -- yet as well integrated as she seems in the show, the Russian/Soviet dichotomy wasn't part of the original conception; Cmdr Takeshima, in the pilot, didn't carry the same message.  
But she was adorable.  As much as I liked Ivanova, I always missed Takeshima. It was a shame they couldn't have brought her back for a bit, like they did with Sinclair.

Fantastic! Now I know what to get you for your birthday!

Quote

It will be interesting to hear your thoughts as the show progresses.  It's been ages and ages since I've seen it, and I wish I had the time to watch it all again.  B5 is really on a par with classic Trek and was very predictive of what we're going through in the 21st century on at least three levels-- it's a shame nobody listened.

It was my first experience with online fandom, but I still never fully appreciated the show until now. I've called myself a B5 fan in the past, but only now do I think I'm heading toward deserving that title.

#28 RJDiogenes

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 08:07 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 November 2017 - 07:58 PM, said:

It was close to the best reasonable outcome. He's doing well (and looks to do better in the long run). She's doing fine. I gotta tell ya: I can't imagine how nonphysicians get through life.  
It's not easy, even for nonphysicians who have worked in the field for 30+ years.  I'm glad everyone is doing well. :)

Quote

Fantastic! Now I know what to get you for your birthday!  
Oooh, maybe I should create a wish list:  Tamlyn Tomita, Linda Park, Michaela Conlin, Nicole Beharie, Emily Kinney, Amy Acker....

Quote

It was my first experience with online fandom, but I still never fully appreciated the show until now. I've called myself a B5 fan in the past, but only now do I think I'm heading toward deserving that title.  
Come to think of it, it was one of mine, too. I first went online in 1993 on AOL dial up, and started to get into online communities the next year.
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#29 FarscapeOne

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 11:46 PM

I hope all your family maintains better status, Orpheus.

Regarding Takashima, one of my favorite things about JMS was how he created a "trapdoor", as he called it, for every single character in the event they didn't work out, actor leaves, production isdues... whatever the reason.  What ended up being Talia's ending was originally going to be Takashima.  As an example.

#30 RJDiogenes

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:59 PM

That's true. If she had stayed, I would have been pretty upset with that twist.
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#31 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 09:37 PM

I posted about this in the streaming thread but I figure it fits here more. Amazon Prime has all five seasons streaming. I have started watching. I just finished the 5th episode. I honestly can't remember if I saw any of season 1. If I did it has been so long I don't remember them. I am liking the show and the slow build. With the power of hindsight I can tell how JMS is setting things up for his five year saga. I am excited to get to seasons 3 and 4 when things shift into high gear.
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#32 RJDiogenes

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:14 PM

^^  Almost everything that happens will have some repercussions down the road somewhere.

If there's anybody out there who hasn't seen B5, you should watch it.  Not only is it a wonderful SF novel for television, but it's amazingly prophetic in many ways.
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#33 Virgil Vox

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 01:32 PM

Babylon 5 – Signs and Portents

Before the review there will be a brief history of my history with B5. I was never a regular B5 watcher. I didn’t hate the show but my young 90s self really couldn’t appreciate the show for what it was. I think I mainly watched around seasons 3 and 4 and only then because I wanted to see the big action scenes. I haven’t really made any attempt to keep up with the show since then.

Basically, I am approaching the show as a newbie. I remember certain things like who the Shadows and Vorlons are and why they are doing what they are doing and the fact that there is a civil war with Earth. I also remember the events of the TV movie In the Beginning so I know the secret of Sinclair’s missing hours. Big events like that. I don’t remember a lot of the smaller arcs and individual episodes.

I say that because I know that this show is decades old but try to keep spoiler talk to a minimum. I want to be surprised as I watch the series.

I did know going in that this was an important episode for the 5 year long arc. In that regard the episode is important and pretty good. It is still a pretty good episode even without knowing all the facts about what is coming.

Let’s start with Morden. First, he is a very sexy villain. He can ask me what I want any day of the week. His question is so innocent on the surface but it gets the ambassadors to reveal their darkest truths. The actor, Ed Wasser, was a great choice for this role. I know he continues to have a presence on the show but I can’t remember how large or small it is.

That space battle at the end was riveting, even with the 1994 CGI effects. It had big stakes and wasn’t just space ships shooting at each other. Sinclair had a battle plan and executed it flawlessly. He drove the raiders ships into a kill zone and just blew the crap out of them.

The raiders had been a problem for several episodes now so I liked seeing them attack in full force and get defeated. I know that other raider groups could pop up but hopefully this is the end for this group.

I did not anticipate the Shadow ship (is there an official name for the ship?) appearing at the end and destroying the raider ship. That took me by surprise. I didn’t think they even had a design for the ship yet. It shows just how serious JMS was about his five year plan.

The answers G’Kar and Londo give to Morden’s query show a lot about the characters and their respective races.

G’Kar, and the Narns, are only thinking short term. They are building up a war machine and want to make the Centauri pay for what they did to them. They have no long term goals after that. Londo even calls out G’Kar since the Narns are experiencing a famine because they are strip-mining their planet to build capital ships, the same thing they accused the Centauri of doing.

Londo, however, has clear plans. He hates the fact that the mighty Centuari Republic is but a former shadow (no pun intended) of its former self. He wants to bring back the glory days and have the Centauri be the power they used to be. This is something that Morden can obviously work with, since he returns the Eye to Londo and says that he will be in touch.

The Minbari obviously know about the Shadows since Delenn reacted quite vividly to Morden and saw shadows covering him. I’m eager to know more about that history.

The Morden/Kosh scene wasn’t as good as I was hoping. It ended rather quickly. Morden apparently has abilities beyond that of a normal human since he managed to damage Kosh’s suit. Not an easy thing to do.

Lord Kiro’s plan wasn’t well thought out. He believed that returning to Centauri Prime with the Eye and what looked like a group of all human Raiders would secure him the throne? He was pretty delusional. There weren’t enough Raiders even before the battle to take on the Emperor, let alone after.

I did find it funny that no one asked about Kiro after he was abducted. I guess no one cared about him enough to mount a rescue.

I wonder if Ladira’s prophecy will come true about Babylon 5 being destroyed.

Sinclair brought Garibaldi in on his missing 24 hours. I like that he trusted Garibaldi enough to clue him in. It works too, since Garibaldi discovers that Sinclair only got the job as commander because the Minbari agreed to him.

As en episode in the on-going saga that is B5 I think the episode is successful. Sinclair’s quest to discover what happened to him during the Battle of the Line is furthered. Morden is introduced and makes a pact with Londo. We see a Shadow ship for the first time. It is hinted that the Minbari had contact with the Shadows prior to this.

I think it works as a regular episode as well. We have the Raider plot brought to a close. Lord Kiro is introduced and has an arc that plays out over the episode. There are some nice character moments, especially the one between Londo, G’Kar, and the poor human stuck between them as they wait for the elevator.

I am loving this first season of Babylon 5, even though I’ve seen many people say it is the weakest. True, not all of the episodes have been home runs but I have found most of them enjoyable. It also isn’t always a subtle show and characters do like to launch into speeches but I’m okay with that.

What really surprises me is how much I have come to like Sinclair. At first I just wanted to get through season 1 so Sheridan would be introduced but now I am finding it sad that Sinclair will be gone soon.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
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It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#34 RJDiogenes

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 05:55 PM

I loved Sinclair and was pretty sad when he left. I was quite dubious about them bringing in Bruce Boxleitner, who I remembered as just a lightweight pretty boy from How The West Was Won, but he won me over pretty quickly. He has some great moments, including one amazing scene that is right at the very middle of the five-year run. But, no spoilers.  :lol:
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#35 Virgil Vox

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 08:02 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 18 February 2019 - 05:55 PM, said:

I loved Sinclair and was pretty sad when he left. I was quite dubious about them bringing in Bruce Boxleitner, who I remembered as just a lightweight pretty boy from How The West Was Won, but he won me over pretty quickly. He has some great moments, including one amazing scene that is right at the very middle of the five-year run. But, no spoilers.  :lol:

Well, when I get to that point you can tell me all about it.

I just looked up why Michael O'Hare left and it was really sad. On top of that, I didn't know that he had passed away.

I have been chugging through season 1. I am about to start the season finale. I might have to try and slow down once I reach season 2 so I don't burn through the series quickly. Still, I have four seasons left plus the spin-off Crusade and the TV movies. It will take me a while even if I do watch it as much as possible.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
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It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#36 RJDiogenes

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 06:33 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 20 February 2019 - 08:02 PM, said:

I just looked up why Michael O'Hare left and it was really sad. On top of that, I didn't know that he had passed away.  
Yeah, he had a pretty rough time.  JMS was really good to him.
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#37 Virgil Vox

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 10:03 PM

Babylon 5 – A Voice in the Wilderness Parts 1 and 2

Here is Babylon 5’s first two part episode and it is a slam dunk. I have no real complaints about the episode aside from a few questionable choices made by characters.

Epsilon III, the planet the station orbits, gets its time to shine since the episodes revolve all around the planet. A survey team is going to investigate the planet when a beam shoots out from a fissure. Later, a defense system is activated and shoots missiles at the defense team and its Starfury escorts.

This leads Sinclair and the crew to discover that there is plenty of machinery and technology still operational in the planet, and a lone alien named Varn is responsible for keeping it going. This causes a conflict since Earth Force sends a heavy cruiser to make sure humans get first rights to the technology and a remnant of Varn’s people also show up claiming that they have the right to the planet and all the technology. Oh, and the machinery is on a self-destruct timer and will explode pretty soon.

There is a lot going on in these two episodes but it all comes together quite well. Nothing feels really rushed.

I do believe that this is the first time an episode takes place somewhere other than the station. I don't think we have seen a single scene set off the station until now.

My one complaint is that both Sinclair and Ivanova go to the planet to investigate. They take no security forces with them and they leave Garibaldi in charge. It seems like the worst idea to have the two senior officers go explore a potentially dangerous planet by themselves with no back-up. One of them should have gone and taken one of the scientists and maybe some security personnel.

This was a pretty big episode for Londo, who pilots Delenn, Draal, and Varn back to the planet in the midst of a space battle. He also seems like he might be willing to place himself in the machine if need be. I’m sure dark things are coming for Londo but here he was a brave, fun character that did what needed to be done.

It was obvious once we learned what Varn needed that Draal would be the sacrifice. Even on a show like Babylon 5 they aren’t going to place one of their main characters in the machine. I did feel that the two episodes made us care about Draal so that his sacrifice had some weight to it. I  liked Delenn saying good night to him at the end of the second episode.

I do hope that Draal and Epsilon III come into play again. Once the Shadow War starts in earnest you would think the B5 crew would try and get Draal and all of that advanced technology on their side.

Conflict erupts on Mars as the Free Mars movement stages a revolt. I do remember that the question of Mars’ independence plays a big role in later events. It did shock me that it kicked off this early, even if the rebellion was put down by episode’s end.

Garibaldi’s character was fleshed out some more as we learned he left a love behind on Mars when he took the assignment to be head of security on B5.It was definitely mixed emotions when it was revealed that Lise was alive but she had married another man and was pregnant.

I love Ivanova. She is such a great character. Her speech about how the scientists should always listen to her and that she is God was hilarious. I also liked her “Boom” explanation to Londo.

I’m guessing Garibaldi might be a little psychic because Talia was right, he is always in the lift whenever she needs to use it. That was an amusing little scene.

I’ve noticed that the show has used the same two techs in the CnC for several episodes. I don’t think either of them have a name but I like that there is some continuity concerning the staff there. Hopefully they show up again.

The space battle was well done. I think I might prefer the battle in “Signs and Portents” but this one was still tense and well executed. I liked that it wasn’t just B5; instead they had the heavy cruiser to help them as well.

I thought that the cliffhanger for the first episode was effective. I had no clue what ship might be arriving through the jump gate. I hadn’t expected to see a Shadow ship yet so honestly I wasn’t willing to write anything off. The fact that it was an Earth ship was a nice twist.

What I liked was that it created an added wrinkle for Sinclair to deal with. He is supposed to have complete authority in that sector and now a captain has shown up and is bossing him around.

I thought we were going to have a situation like what happened in Battelstar Galactica when the Galactica and Pegasus launched Vipers against each other. I believe that Sinclair would have blockaded the planet if Pierce hadn’t stood down.

Only a few more episodes left until the end of the season. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen next.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#38 RJDiogenes

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 06:26 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 24 February 2019 - 10:03 PM, said:

This leads Sinclair and the crew to discover that there is plenty of machinery and technology still operational in the planet, and a lone alien named Varn is responsible for keeping it going.  
It's a nice little homage to Forbidden Planet, too.

Quote

I do believe that this is the first time an episode takes place somewhere other than the station. I don't think we have seen a single scene set off the station until now.  
Hasn't Catherine Sakai had her encounter yet?

Quote

This was a pretty big episode for Londo, who pilots Delenn, Draal, and Varn back to the planet in the midst of a space battle. He also seems like he might be willing to place himself in the machine if need be. I’m sure dark things are coming for Londo but here he was a brave, fun character that did what needed to be done.  
Londo is one of the most amazing characters in TV Sci-Fi, as is G'Kar.

Quote

I do hope that Draal and Epsilon III come into play again. Once the Shadow War starts in earnest you would think the B5 crew would try and get Draal and all of that advanced technology on their side.  
I bite my tongue....

Quote

I’ve noticed that the show has used the same two techs in the CnC for several episodes. I don’t think either of them have a name but I like that there is some continuity concerning the staff there. Hopefully they show up again.  
I think one of them is a friend of the actress who plays Ivanova, or something like that, and she put in a good word for him.

Quote

I believe that Sinclair would have blockaded the planet if Pierce hadn’t stood down.  
I bite my tongue....
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#39 Virgil Vox

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 06:24 PM

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Hasn't Catherine Sakai had her encounter yet?

I had forgotten about that.

Quote

Londo is one of the most amazing characters in TV Sci-Fi, as is G'Kar.

They are both amazing characters. They aren't always subtle characters but the actors always manage to pull it off. I was surprised by how much of a villain G'Kar is made out to be because the few episodes I remember painted him in a much better light.

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I think one of them is a friend of the actress who plays Ivanova, or something like that, and she put in a good word for him.

That was nice of her.

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I bite my tongue....

I have a feeling that is going to happen a lot as I watch the series and comment on it.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#40 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
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Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:18 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 02 March 2019 - 06:24 PM, said:

I had forgotten about that.  
Don't forget about that, it's very important.  :D That, and the conversation with G'Kar that followed, was one of the things that convinced me to follow the show.

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They are both amazing characters. They aren't always subtle characters but the actors always manage to pull it off. I was surprised by how much of a villain G'Kar is made out to be because the few episodes I remember painted him in a much better light.  
They both undergo a lot of development, and a lot of ups and downs.

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I have a feeling that is going to happen a lot as I watch the series and comment on it.  
Yes, I'm bleeding quite a bit now.  :lol:
Please visit The RJDiogenes Store. Posted Image   And my Gallery. Posted Image And my YouTube Page. Posted Image And read Trunkards. Posted Image  And then there's my Heroes Essays.  Posted Image



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