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The Babylon 5 Discussion Thread [2x merged]

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  • The Babylon 5 Discussion Thread [2x merged]

    I was curious to see if anyone here including Mr. Moorcock watch the sci-fi series Babylon 5... I noticed that the later seasons seemed to be heavily influence by his works. I'm refering particularly to the philosophies of the Vorlons and the Shadows. Authoritarianism versus social Darwinism seems to be a mirror of the law versus chaos themes from the EC books.
    \

  • #2
    I didn't see much of the series, not being a great watcher of space fantasies, however good (or bad), but people did point out that one character was called Elric and that there have been other references to my stuff in that series, as well as others. Seems like reasonable 'homage' to me and nothing I'd get hot under the collar about.

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    • #3
      I was thinking of it more in terms of a tribute or homage than a steal also... I was just wonder if anyone else had noticed. I had forgotten that Galens teacher was named Elric.

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      • #4
        I think the real steal was the Voorlons=Law and Shadows=Chaos angle.

        Seriously though - a truly inspired plotline and the most inovative and mobius story I have seen in a long time - thoroughly inspired stuff.

        My favourite bits -

        J'Kar becomming a prophet against his will and having his message thoroughly hijacked by his unwanted followers (who despite beleiving him a living prophet - still choose to ignore him when it suits them).

        Londo's summary of humanity - its arrogance and shortsightedness when ascendant, and its undaunted nobility when facing racial annihilation.

        I would recommend Michael that you watch it - and forgive the early graphics and occassionally mistaken episode.

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        • #5
          And Sheridan's apology... I really need to find the script for that online...
          Sherdan's appology was just classic...

          Wait I found it:

          "Ahem... I apologize. I'm sorry. I'm sorry we had to defend ourselves against an unwarranted attack. I'm sorry that your crew was stupid enough to fire on a station filled with a quarter million civilians including your own people. And I'm sorry I waited as long as I did before I blew them all straight to hell. As with everything else it's... the thought that counts."
          - Sheridan's apology, "The Fall of Night"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Caliburn
            I think the real steal was the Voorlons=Law and Shadows=Chaos angle.
            No, the Voorlons represent social democratic keynesianism and the Shadows represent neoliberalism.


            Originally posted by Caliburn
            J'Kar becomming a prophet against his will and having his message thoroughly hijacked by his unwanted followers (who despite beleiving him a living prophet - still choose to ignore him when it suits them).
            That's the real steal, I think. It's taken straight from Monty Python's The Life of Brian.

            Sorry, not being at all serious. I've only watched 1,5 episodes of B5, but it seems like one of very few (or the only?) TV shows which might actually be worth the time spent watching it.
            You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rymdolov
              Sorry, not being at all serious. I've only watched 1,5 episodes of B5, but it seems like one of very few (or the only?) TV shows which might actually be worth the time spent watching it.
              I watched a fair chunk of that show... and the prequel/sequel movies... I think if you look at it as "epic" mythology then it's very enjoyable, but a lot of individual episodes were rather dire. The dialogue also tended to be rather lame, but I gritted my teeth through it because overall the show was very smart. It also, one might argue, gave the Star Trek franchise a kick up the backside. The series is probably worth watching once (if you happen to have the time), but I'm not sure it's something I would want to own... well, I wouldn't be able to afford it for one thing.

              As for steals, the other one I remember is an alien with The Sandman's mask, but I seem to recall Neil Gaiman wrote an episode or two, so that could definitely be put in the "homage" category.

              D...
              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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              • #8
                I actually just finished watching the whole series on DVD. It doesn't seem to hold up as well as some others over time. Some if the dialogue is pretty bad. I would guess that some of the reason is the JMS wrote most of the episodes himself and didn't have time to proof as much as he should have.

                When it was being televised, I thought it was the best show I had ever seen. I loved the multilayered story arcs and the serial narrative. Despite its flaws, still a pretty good show. The Vorlons/Shadows (I always hated that name, another one of those: the true name is too long to pronounce) conflict definetly reminded be of Mike's work.

                To me, Farscape is a far superior show. I know that Mike doesn't like big space ship shows. Farscape does take place on a big space ship, but it is more character driven than other Sci-Fi shows with far more humor. I was wondering if Mike ever saw any of Farscape and his thoughts on it.

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                • #10
                  I love B5 I just bought the season 4 DVD set and I'm looking forward to watching it. I'm also a huge Lexx fan but I didn't really enjoy Farscape I'm afraid.

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                  • #11
                    To Mike's question, Farscape is hard to describe. Really nothing like Star Trek or anything along that vein. It has a more consistent narrative like Babylon 5, but far more character driven. It's a hard show to just pick up on, and it takes a little while to get in to, it also has a lot of irreverent humor. If you can rent the DVDs it's worth it. The show really starts to pick up towards the end of season one. I think you might like it.

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                    • #12
                      Farscape is a Buck Rogers riff with better world-building, more innuendo, and Muppets :)
                      Best/Mario

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                      • #13
                        I do prefer Lexx, but Farscape had some good points too. The former was much sleazier, and occasionally satirical, but didn't bring anything especially new to the genre... it was a comedy as well as a space opera, and was often very funny indeed. Farscape had a few too many muppets for me, and I didn't bother watching it until the lead character (a chiselled American test-pilot) went insane and stopped making so many wise-cracks. Still, it did have some great female characters who, unlike the large-breasted aliens on ST, were actually allowed to have emotions and sex drives, which made a refreshing change. They were both funnier and scuzzier than ST ever could be, but never really took off in the ratings... perhaps for that very reason.

                        D...

                        PS. If it helps jog the memory, Mr M, one of the main characters in Farscape is played by the woman with long black hair in Pitch Black.
                        "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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                        • #14
                          I'm not much wiser, since I asked what it was about and mainly got references to other series I haven't seen either!
                          See, I'm the guy who secretly watches The Gilmore Girls... Could this be because my head is too full of space already ?
                          So -- how much like or unlike The Gilmore Girls is Farscape ? :)

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                          • #15
                            Michael,

                            Farscape is about an astronaut who accidentaly goes through a wormhole and finds himself on the other side of the Galaxy. The story is very quirky and driven by a number of recurring issues, namely,

                            1. He finds himself to be the most inferior 'alien' species in his new environment (nearly all the time). Yet he ends up leader of the group (see below).
                            2. He regularly uses Earth cultural references and slang to the complete confusion of his compatriots (a group of diferent alien convicts on a living ship with her own opinions) as a way of holding on to his sanity.
                            3. A species of very advanced aliens have put the secrets of wormhole technology in his head and he is mercilessly hunted for it by the two greatest galactic powers - the Peacekeepers (essentially space nazis) and the Skarens (worse than the Peackeepers).
                            4. He develops an excrutiating 'will they/won't they' romantic relationship with a Peackeeper (who is one of the convicts) which unlike many such devices in other series - works well and credibly.

                            It is rather complicated and very character driven with intense episodes of moral and psychological introspection that sometimes borders on the phantasmagorial.

                            Rather good actually.

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