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So, the last three of the episodes we watched last watchalong!  Yeah, we probably watched a lot more than was healthy, but hey.  It's good stuff, so at least we have that to fall back on. It's not like we're rotting our brains by watching Twilight Marathons, or something to that extent.  JMS was always much fonder of 'making one think' rather than blind following.  XD  Anyway, all comments taken from The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5.  Sound bytes are from the Down Below Sound Archive.

Points of Departure:

"Why do the Minbari have a grudge against Sheridan? It was wartime, after all.
They don't much like the way he did it, which was rather sneaky. My sense is that the Minbari have something of a superiority complex; the idea of being beaten, even briefly, by a technically inferior race is going to grate on them. Also, bear in mind, that the military caste has not been fully informed about WHY they were ordered to surrender...so there's a great deal of animosity just barely submerged there, which is pointed at the only real human they know from the war...because he cost them."

That seems like a rather silly question, if you ask me.  Why wouldn't the Minbari hold a grudge?  Did you expect them to just go 'Oh, hey, I completely understand about that whole Black Star incident. It was wartime, after all, and you were just surviving'?  Really?  Heck no.  Being at peace with someone isn't the same as washing away old wounds.  Ask anyone from China about WWII.  Actually, ask my friend Sophie.  I've seen her go on a (scholarly and hypothetical) rampage about all the things the Japanese did, and there's still a lot of hostility there.  Oh, Sophie.  XD  Granted, the Japanese committed a lot of atrocities during that war that should never use 'it was wartime' as an excuse, but Sheridan's victory wasn't an 'honorable' victory.  He's not fighting the way Minbari believe he should fight.  I would be surprised more if the Minbari just accepted him. 

For a more current example, would everyone who has lost a brother or sister, mother or father, wife or husband, or friend to the War in Iraq walk up and shake the person who killed their loved one's hand and congratulate them on the new assignment?  It was 'just wartime'.  They might know that not everyone in Iraq is to blame for their loved one's death, but there will always be some tension there.  The Earth/Minbari War was only eleven years ago, so I'm not surprised at all about their reaction.

Er, sorry.  That was a bit of a rant.  I think the second statement in that question made me a little angry...

"The fact that Minbari believe in souls does not make it so.

If a story is rigorously SF, but some of the people who inhabit the story have belief systems, does that automatically invalidate it as SF?

I don't think it's the position of this show to state whether or not a belief system is true but rather to explore the actions of those who THINK it's true; not to resolve arguments, but to start arguments. (See "Believers" for more on this one.)

What the characters believe is subjective, and is their business. Or, as Sheridan says in a later episode, "I'm not saying what I'm saying. I'm not saying what I'm thinking. For that matter, I'm not even THINKING what I'm thinking.""

Religion does not invalidate Scifi.  In fact, I really do wish that more scifi would include belief systems and use them.  Babylon 5, you have spoiled me...  T_T

"BTW, and just for the heck of it...the line about paying off karma at an accellerated rate is something Kathryn has been muttering for ages; I popped it into the script for fun."

rofl.  This is why you don't marry a writer.  You never know what will pop up in their scripts.

"Basically, I decided to name the EA Lounge "Earhart's" because she is an important figure in aviation history, and I wanted a 40s art deco style to the place, down to big band music, and it fit perfectly. There have been more women aviators, civilian and elsewhere, than we know, particularly during WW II at home, and they deserve recognition."

<3  You know, I focus on the Fresh Aire a lot, but I always forget the Earhart is there.  ^_^;;;  I think it's because we see the Fresh Aire more often, since Earhart is only for EA personnel.

"Yes, the quote definitely comes from Lincoln. I hated the old Babcom logo, so we dumped it."

So that's why they changed it.  XD

"Interestingly enough, I figured on giving Sheridan a tie to the Civil War through his ancestor, General Philip Sheridan (sometimes called "Little Phil" by Lincoln). Afterward, I discovered that Bruce is a big civil war buff, so the Lincoln stuff worked very well.

One of my favorite sequences from this episode is the stuff aboard the Minbari cruiser during the Battle of the Line; the shots surrounding Delenn and the other Minbari gives it a very god-like aspect. Just wonderful."

That's actually more adorable than it should be...  I didn't realize he was a civil war buff. 

"For what it's worth, Sheridan is neither a "space cowboy" nor a "gung ho type." This description has nothing to do with the character, and I'm not quite sure where you got this. Certainly I never said or implied it.

Captain John Sheridan is a war hero, of sorts; he squeaked out the only real victory of the Earth/Minbari War. (Which means the Minbari don't generally like him a lot.) He did what he did because that's his job. He's a professional soldier. For the last two years, he's been commanding the Agamemmnon, a high-visibility Earthforce starship on deep patrol. As such, he has had to learn to work with a number of different races and species.

In some ways, his character is somewhat more well-rounded than was the case with Sinclair, over whom a general sense of doom often seemed to hang. Sheridan is often very thoughtful and introspective; at other times, he can be just a bit eccentric; he leads by respecting those who work under him, and givingthem room to grow; like any career officer, he HATES the bureaucracy with a passion, and this is the one thing that can drive him nuts; he knows that commanding B5 is a great opportunity, but he also knows that his presence brings certain complications with it, and he's very ambivilant about that aspect; he's the son of a diplomatic envoy who disappeared on his 21st birthday, running off to see (of all things) the new Dali Lama being installed; he has a very easygoing manner, and a great sense of humor. He quickly re-forms a friendship with Ivanova, for whom he has great respect and professional admiration. (For a time she served under him at Io.)

He is, actually, a fascinating and intriguing character with a lot of different shadings...none of which have *anything* to do with being a "space cowboy" or "gung-ho type."

Anyway...point being...when it was announced that there was going to be a new Lieutenant-Commander, a number of folks went ballistic and said the show would now be ruined. I said, in essence, look...I created Takashima; I can create an interesting character to replace her. And I thunk up Ivanova, who according to the rec.arts.b5 poll is the most popular character on the show. When it was announced that Sinclair would be STAYING with the show, after the pilot, a number of folks said this was bad, he was wooden, he stunk, get him off...and ended up being very enamored of him. My only reply now about Bruce...give him, and me, a chance. I genuinely think you will like what you see a *lot*.

In the course of the first season, Ivanova, Garibaldi, G'Kar, Londo, Delenn, others...they've exploded into strong characters. You need an equally strong character designed to hold his own, and be memorable, in that august company. Sheridan was designed knowing we had a much elevated playing field around the character.

Obviously, clearly, and irrefutably, an actor brings a *lot* to any role. No question. But it tends to begin with what is created. I've seen it said here, repeatedly, that none of the characters are uninteresting; they all have lives, and agendas, that make them fascinating to watch: Londo, Morden, G'Kar, Delenn, Garibaldi, Ivanova...what those characters are came out of my head, in terms of who tey are, what they say, what they believe, where they came from and where they're going. Why would I invent a new character that was any less involving, or interesting, or multifaceted? Particularly knowing that he's going to be a central character?

Speaking as someone who's been in fandom a long, long time, I know there is always a tendency for panic, to assume the apocalpse is upon us, that something is never going to be the same again. I heard this after the Enterprise was destroyed in "The Search for Spock." I've heard this a lot over the years. It's generally over-reaction and worry before anyone has even seen a frame of film.

Bottom line being...wait and see, then judge. I've tried very hard not to let you down, and I think so far I haven't done so...I have no intention of starting now. Bruce is doing an absolutely *brilliant* job as Captain Sheridan, bringing a thoughtfulness and intensity and charm and intensity to the part that is a joy to behold. Give him a chance.

Alas, I wrote my note about Bruce around 1 or 2 in the morning, and I meant to balance out *intensity* with *intelligence*, but my brain saw the first letters i-n-t-e, and vapor-locked.

I put that in because it's not only a lovely description of Sheridan (though it is lacking in mentioning that Sheridan has an epically adorable frown-y face.  And that he's just plain adorable in most ways.), but a pretty much spot on characterization of fandom.  Fandom is surprisingly set in its ways.  New things are frightening, and for some reason, we let the fear of the unknown take over our trust in the writers.  It's like killing the lead actress half-way through the film, except, hey, Psycho did pretty well with that, so hey, we've got a lot of precedence for things working out.  I think it's just the bad ones that stick out in our memory and like a broken heart, we can never trust again.  Cue the Over Dramatic Angst Music.  Sometimes I really think fandom needs to chill.

Also, the addendum amuses me.  JMS staying up to write at 1 or 2 in the morning really shouldn't amuse me as much as it does...

"How important to the Arc is Sheridan?
How critical was Aragorn to the storyline of Lord of the Rings?"

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

"Just to clarify: in Soul Hunter we set in place the question of what these things are, and do not resolve that question. Dr. Franklin offers that with the correct technology, it might be possible to make (for lack of a better term) a clone of someone's neural patterns, copy his personality and memories into a storage device...but also dismisses the notion of soul stealing.

I traffic in ambiguity."

And he's so proud of that fact, lol.

"Re: you're noticing the line, "You talk like a Minbari" from Neroon to Sinclair in "Legacies"....yup. Sometimes this stuff is in broad strokes, sometimes in teeny little things like that. Also ties in even further with where Sinclair goes."

Sneaky JMS is sneaky.  He's also got a lovely bit about Soul Hunter, which dipped heavily into the growing humans with Minbari souls arc. 

"A vibe shower would theoretically use sonic waves (in combination with other elements, like disinfecting lighting, as seen in "Signs") to remove dirt and kill bacteria.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it."

I'm so very glad I don't live in the future sometimes.  *loves her hot showers*  This sounds like such a Doctor Who solution though.  Sonic showers!  And he knows the science is bad, but goes with it anyway.  <3

"It's always interesting, if you have one character upon whom everyone else leans, even depends, to *remove* that character for a time. Because then those characters have to *react*...to either stand or fall on their own. It shakes things up a little...and vastly intensifies the characters."

And this is why you are a psychology major.  You like to mess with people far too much.  This is coming from a fairly sadistic person herself.

"I'm going to test myself, and see how much I can say without saying too much.

You have X-number of characters. They're all in the same place. You're trying to tell a story that has a great deal of scale, and covers all kinds of worlds, changing politics, alliances, on and on. The question becomes, how do you *illustrate* that? To use a line from the original Trek, when a mob guy is brought aboard the Enterprise, he says later, "All I saw was a room and five guys."

So now you start saying, "Hmmm...what if I remove Character A from the chessboard, and move him over *here* for a while? He wasn't going to be doing much for the next little bit anyway. And we won't just "deal" with that change, it's part of the story...it broadens out the story to include Place A *and* Place B. It has repercussions down the road. It comes up again in the future. Elements from Place B now become known on Place A. Character A may even make an occasional reappearance to keep us even more closely connected with Place B, which is necessary because Place B is very, very important."

What we have in mind here isn't quite comparable to anything that's been done before. The character will still be alive. The character will continue to have an impact on the story. The character will be spotted from time to time. The character will continue to show up in the comic and the novels. And through this move, you have the benefit of substantially opening up the B5 universe, you help create the realignment of characters and loyalties that was anticipated for this season, and it helps kick over the tables, as we did in Chrysalis.

Just a slight refinement on the argument."

Well done on the whole not saying too much thing.  Though, sadly, Sinclair does not make as many reappearances as I think JMS originally hoped for, if this is the case. 

"I can probably answer your question a little better after you've seen the second episode of this season. For now, let's just say this: in working out the story for year two, Sinclair's main line of connection was to the Minbari. But the Minbari storyline was diminishing in ways onnected to the war in year two; obviously we all know what is on the upswing in year two, certain dark forces. I needed someone who has a connection to *that* side of the story to personalize it, and Sheridan brings that connection to the mix, although he doesn't know it yet."

Certain dark forces.  JMS, you tease.  And 'he just doesn't know it yet'.  He is such the ultimate troll.

"The Battle of the Line and the hole in Sinclair's mind was always intended as the entry point or trigger to the story. It's like Frodo being given the Ring in LoTR. The story isn't about that, that's how we get INTO it. Frankly, there's no way you can sustain that one element for five years, nor did we ever intend to do so.

The only difference in the resolution of that aspect is this: we had originally intended to resolve the missing 24 hours, and the Battle of the Line, by episode four, season two. We've simply moved it up 3 eps to the first episode. Because new players are coming onto the field, in the form of the Shadowmen, and other forces, and we now have to begin turning our attention to new mysteries."

For some reason, the LoTR references are amusing me.  Also, hearing him talk like this makes me a little sad, because I think of Crusade.  They were originally suppose to solve the main reason for the show at first within the second season, but it didn't even get through the first before it was canceled.  >.>  Evil TNT.  Hisssssssssssss.

"Sheridan, or more specifically the need for someone *like* Sheridan began to get through clearly toward the latter part of last season, as I began planning out season two's progression, and kept looking at elements of the story and trying to find ways to get Sinclair into the heart of them. They felt contrived, for the most part; and the other characters, like Londo and G'Kar and Delenn, were *really* moving forward in a big way. The role of Sinclair was becoming primarily that of a "problem solver," and when that happens, a sort of glass bell falls down around the character, and you can't do much with him.

So what the writer has to do is break that bell in one way or another; do something totally unexpected to him, and bring in someone who has a direct, personal connection with the storyline emerging in season two, so it's not contrived or forced."

You know, I always sort of assumed it was because the actor left, rather than plot reasons?  It's interesting to see this side of it, that Sinclair was just getting too comfy with his part in the story.

"All the characters are unique; there seems to be this bone-headed notion, that I frequently run into, of "Well, Ivanova's just Takashima renamed," or "Sheridan's story is just the same as Sinclair's, same guy just renamed." They're *not* and never have been. The story of one does not devlove automatically upon the other. If you make a change, it's because you have something better in mind...otherwise why make it?"

Because for every Sheridan we have, there is a Vicki, who is pretty much a carbon copy of the character she was replacing, as sad as that is to say.  Still, it is a noble sentiment for those of us who aren't as cynical about television as others.  Plus, I would trust JMS in the very least on this regard.

"What about Catherine Sakai?

This is the one thread that I'm still trying to decide about."

Is that why we never hear from her again?  Well, that's actually kind of disappointing.  I thought you had all the answers.

"They didn't get married. Wasn't time, and his new posting precluded that."

So much for a happy ending.

"Re: the narration...last year, Michael had the benefit of being able to see the sequence prior to reading the narration, and reading with the images. That was when we were shooting in July to air in January. In this case, shooting in August to air in November, Bruce had to wing it, without any images for reference, just text. Now that we've got the opening completed (and we weren't satisfied with it or done tinkering with it until a few days before delivery), we'll probably let him do it again with the visuals before him, so he knows what he's reading to, since it'll have a *big* impact on how he delivers the stuff.

There's a reason for this: due to time constraints, we have to get Bruce to do the narration *without* having the images in front of him; he had no way of knowing where beats would go with the images, or what would be under it (since we were still putting the new opening together), so we had to artifically build in pauses when we did the final transfer (as opposed to year one, where we had the images assembled long before we had Michael do the narration). What took forever was that 5 fade/dissolve/wipe, which just killed us time-wise, but is spiffy to look at.

Now that it's all together, we plan to have Bruce re-do the narration with the images in front of him, so he can respond naturally and make it flow, the way he would've been able to do had we had the material ready in time.

Combining two comments in that one, so if it sounds like he's repeating himself, it's just because they're two separate comments.  I find it interesting that Bruce had to wing it like that.  I don't think I remember hearing the original (and I'm pretty sure on the dvd's this has been replaced).  I'm kind of interested to hear the original...

In short: SHERIDAN!  The cuteness begins.  Did I mention his frown-y face being epically adorable?  It is.  And then you have things like him saying his good luck speech to an empty room because it was the only time he could do it.  I always thought it was a good one too.  He just needed snuggles.  Also, since I think I've mentioned it before, this monologue was the one I combined with the Ivanova is always right speech to make my monologue in my junior high theatre class.  I had that one first, then went into the Ivanova is always right bit after it.  It actually makes a fairly good combination.


"One aspect of the Yeats quote, and the Lincoln quote, and the Tennyson quote(s), and the many others, is that I think a lot of folks at some point tuned out of, or aren't interested in, literature and poetry because they've never really been exposed to it. So just to be a little subversive, I work some of it into the show. I choose that which has meaning to the show, and the characters, in the hopes that (as has happened here), viewers will dig out the original material and be exposed to some *really* nifty writing. Granted that television must entertain at minimum; it should also elevate and ennoble and educate, and this is too good an opportunity to waste, provided one does not become didactic about it."

YES.  Thank you, JMS.  There are times we really do love you.  Plus, I'm all for poetry quotes that are relevant to plot.  Admittedly, I'm also extremely fond of Tennyson, which was part of the reason I adored Sinclair...  And hell, listen to him recite it.  My God, G'kar needs to read poetry more often. 

"Speaking of looking into the abyss...which comes from "Revelations," it's a partial quote. Neitzsche: "When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks also into you.""

Because hey, why not bring in more psychology?  >.>  Nah, I love you for it.  Granted, it was only Monty Python that kept me sane through reading most of them, but still.

"Yes, since you've sussed it...the plan was to turn Delenn from male to female in "Chrysalis," in my original plans, as well as making her half-human. And yes, it would've had one hell of an impact...but my concern when I made that decision not do do this back in the pilot was based on the reality that we couldn't do it well. The "male" voice, altered by computer-enhancement, just sounded REAL bogus; we couldn't get it right, and I had to decide between dropping it, and doing something the people would rightly describe as lame all season, just for one big payoff. It was a tough call, but it had to be made."

As I said before...  While this would have been interesting, and I know a few people that would have loved to have this sort of character to relate to...  I'm too damn greedy with my strong female characters to be too saddened this didn't happen.  It makes me feel like a bit of a horrible person, but at the same time, I'm going to cling to what we were given and go out kicking and screaming if you try to take it away.

"Anna chose to take Sheridan's last name. Her decision. You have the option. Some do, some don't. If you start to pass rules that no woman CAN take her husband's name or she's betraying something, then you're being just as restrictive as those who insist a woman MUST take her husband's name. Me, I'm pro-choice on every level. She felt like it.

(And I note that my own spousal overunit kept her own name. But then, who in her right mind WOULD take Straczynski...?)"

The post script of that is extremely amusing to me.  I like the pro-choice thing.  I'm honestly not sure what I would do if I ever found a guy.  I think I'm shallow enough that it would have to sound good, though I don't think I could ignore it if it was really important to him that I took his name.  *shrugs*  I suppose we'll see if it ever happens.

"Yes, generally stories are self-contained, but in the case of season endings like "Chrysalis," it takes time to get everything back up and running again. The bigger the explosion, the longer it takes to clean up the mess."

Boom.  Sooner or later, BOOM.

"[Talia's] not seeing the shooter from outside Garibaldi's POV. That shot in particular is *exactly* from Garibaldi's POV. It's a lot like what is done in hypnosis, going back into somebody's memory and dragging out details they might have seen but not noted; the eye sees more than the brain recalls at any given moment. When we shot that scene, I was on-set, and the camera was put *exactly* where Garibaldi was standing, so we'd be very careful that it WAS his point of view. So though I hate to contradict you, it's not "a stupid plot hole from hell.""

It's usually good to assume that the psychologist really does know what he's talking about.  Really.  He's got a degree in it, after all.  Just saying.

""Morden is the mongoose."

So what's needed now is a conveniently placed cobra...."

The mental images of that... especially when you know just who the cobra is, are really quite amusing.

"Yes, if Laurel had stayed with the station, either she would have pulled the trigger on Garibaldi, or been directly involved in other ways."

While part of me would have been extremely interested to have watched that play out, I'm still not willing to give up Ivanova.  I don't think Takashima would have had the same impact on my younger self as Ivanova with that kind of plot line.  And like I said earlier with Delenn, kicking and screaming.

"About Na'Toth's change of actresses
The actor wanted to pursue other avenues. She'd primarily worked as a romantic lead in films, then came in at the last minute to help with season one. She then wanted to go back to that. The character stayed because we need the character to have some prior knowledge of the situation, rather than bringing in somebody new.

Re: Na'Toth...you have to remember this was not our decision, but rather Caitlin's, in order to pursue some romantic lead parts. We made an offer equal to the other cast, but she opted out to pursue films. We cast the best actor to come in the door to fill Na'Toth's boots, and we need that character there because of the prior knowledge she needs to have to fill her role in the story. Mary Kay is, I think, trying to reinterpret the character. We're nudging in the other direction. One way or another, this will be made to work.

She left Babylon 5 for romantic leads?  Really?  >.>  How extremely disappointing.  Na'Toth really could have been awesome as a female character, but now I see why she was more or less faded out instead.  How very sad.

"Actually, no, it's not a rumor; I'd mentioned this some time ago, but apparently some didn't see it....

So to repeat: we'd had to replace Mary Woronov with virtually no notice after we found that she really had a hard time with the narn prosthetics (wouldn't wear the contacts, and other stuff). In a panic, our casting director called in a favor from Caitlin Brown, who is mainly a leading-lady type actor. She came in and, in fact, for the first episode (shooting almost immediately afterward) wore a variation of the Ko'Dath makeup, because there wasn't time to make one specific to her.

She came in without being under the 5-year option that generally exists in these situations. Did one year, about 9 episodes, as Na'Toth. And had to turn down a couple of leading-female parts. During the hiatus, she did a romantic lead character in a film with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. And had to ask the hard question: do I continue to grow as a romantic lead actor in feature films, or play Na'Toth? She is a VERY gorgeous woman, and felt awkward hiding behind the mask and cutting herself out of leading female parts in feature films to do it.

We went 'round and 'round about this for some time, it was a very difficult decision for her because she likes the show and everyone here, but finally opted out. On one level it's a pain in the butt, but we respect her decision. And it *is* her call, not ours.

(Quick aside...pfffttthhpplttt to those who, in their theory that Sinclair/O'Hare quit, said that I'd naturally say it was mutual because I could never say it was the actors choice because somehow I'd get in trouble. No, I *would* say it if O'Hare had opted out on his own. And in this case, that's exactly what happened.)

We didn't recast Sinclair because that character is going somewhere from whence he may (and will) return, and because that serves the story; in this case, we are recasting Na'Toth. By the end of season one, Na'Toth knows stuff that I need that character, G'Kar's aide, to know. (Though I was briefly tempted to do the Murphy Brown Secretary line, with G'Kar getting a new aide every so often due to terrible airlock accidents...but I went to lay down for a while and the notion passed.)

So no, it's not a rumor, it's quite true. In fact, we just finished up a casting session and found someone who's very right for the part; and though we weren't confined to this, is actually about the same height, same build, same attitude as Caitlin, and whose voice is very similar. I don't think much difference will be noted in the long run, really."

Okay, so maybe not quite as much scoffing, but still.  Babylon 5.  I'd take that over romantic leads any day.  Of course, I'm not all that good with romance, so there's probably a bit of bias in there...

"Is the name "Z'ha'dum" a reference to Khazad-dum from "The Lord of the Rings?"
Not really, no...I always imagined that Z'ha'dum was originally the Minbari word for the place, and the Z'ha has echoes in Entil-zha and Isil-zha. The dum (doom) part is obvious. Not to say I wasn't aware of Khazad-dum, but it wasn't on my mind at the time."

Oh, Entil-zha.  Actually, I really like these little language footnotes.  It makes me wonder if I really shouldn't try the Silmarillion, despite how my relationship with Tolkien was rocky at best. 

"Re: "switching places"...this is *exactly* what I noted early on; the intent to set up in the very beginning a situation where those who've seen basic SF before on the tube will go, "Oh, okay, I got it ...this is the Bad Guy, this is the Good Guy, this is the Comic Relief, this is the Ally," and so on, because that's generally what's been the case in TV SF; you set up the various sides from day one, and virtually nobody moves.

So you get them to rely on their conditioning, then you begin to move the chairs around, so suddenly what you THOUGHT was the good guy is maybe something else; and what you THOUGHT was the comic relief is a tragic and dark figure; and what you THOUGHT was the bad guy is maybe one of the real heroes of the story. And you try and make the path that results in those changes as interesting, moving, or scary as possible."




*cough*  Sorry.  Who moment.  Really though, this statement says a lot.  And I just want to give cuddles to both the characters he is talking about.  I'll admit though, it is a lot of fun messing with the reader's preconceived notions.  I may or may not have been using that in a current story...

"Of course Londo realizes he's being...not exactly set up, but that he's getting into a very bad situation. But on the other hand, he sees that perhaps this is his last chance to grab for something more than what he is; he's not a young man anymore, and offers such as this, even though he knows there will be a price someday (as he states to Morden), do not come along every day.

Here is the key to characterization: who is your character, what does he want, how far will he go to get it, and what is he prepared to lose in that process?"

I think that's really one of the most tragic bits of Londo's character, was that he chose this.  He knew it was going to turn bad, but he decided to go ahead anyway.  And now we see the consequences of his choice.

"Morden is human.

Morden dat I can't say."

Okay, that one was bad.  Even I thought that was bad, and I come up with some pretty terrible puns...

"Oddly, the new makeup takes *longer* for Mira than the old, which went on in a couple of fairly straightforward pieces. Now there's a lot more detail work and more pieces."

Oops. I feel kind of bad for her now.

"What would be different if there hadn't been cast changes after "The Gathering?"
The only problem with answering how things would've been different is that some information might get out by inference about how things might still *be*. However, to do what I can with the question (never let it be said I don't try to accommodate....).

If Lyta had stayed on B5, her arc would be pretty close to that of Talia, except that she would have begun to form a strong link to Kosh, first in the form of dreams, then something with implications that could be read as menacing or benign.

If Dr. Kyle would have stayed around, he would have moved more into the position of advisor/paternal figure for Sinclair. He also would have continued to be more scientist than doctor.

Takashima would have been revealed as having been in on the Vorlon assassination attempt by season's end, and would have betrayed Garibaldi in the events in "Chrysalis," either giving him over to those involved with the coup, or pulling the trigger herself. While we would know this, our characters would not, for as much as another full season.

Carolyn Sykes would've gotten into major trouble with one of the major EarthCorps.

Finally, if Sinclair had stayed with B5 at this juncture, the events in "Points" (the reveal of the Minbari surrender) would've taken place in episode 3 instead of 1. Episode 1 would've consisted mainly of the events in "Revelations," which was mainly as a bystander to the events around him, since the sister aspect specific to Sheridan obviously wouldn't be there. Basically, with all the events surrounding Delenn, Londo, G'Kar and others, he didn't have one whole hell of a lot to *DO* in the first six to eight episodes, since that segment was set aside primarily to introduce the Shadowman war and get that cranking, and Sinclair had no real direct connection to that.

The might have beens are very interesting.  Actually, it's fascinating how reality effects the show.  A little saddening too, that the story can't be allowed to follow its original form, but I think over all the series was better for it.  After all, Ivanova.  One really just has to point to her character.  I love how he's calling them 'shadowmen' too. 

It also makes a bit more sense in retrospect of why G'kar wasn't in the first season very much, but Londo was.  They still needed to set up Londo's character, where as G'kar's main importance to the plot comes with the Shadows in a much later way.  G'kar wasn't quite as needed in the first season, so there wasn't a lot for him to do and he just wasn't there.  This changes drastically in the next season when the shadows come much more into play.

Not much to say on this episode?  I think I took too long getting to the write up, really.  But yay Delenn with hair!  And Sheridan's widow issues.  And Londo being generally annoyed.

The Geometry of Shadows:

"BTW, having now edited seven episodes, and seen several finished ones, I think that of the first three, "The Geometry of Shadows" (#3) is my personal favorite. "Revelations" is certainly a biggie, a staggering chunk of the arc...but "Geometry" is just an absolute hoot, something of a breather from the intensity, and largely for fun with some undertones. If you liked "The Parliament of Dreams," you'll probably love "Geometry.""

Geometry of Shadows is one of my all time favorite episodes, actually.  It is, as stated, an 'absolute hoot'.  Ivanova is awesome.  And promoted.  Plus, added awesome of Garibaldi!

"There were *substantial* differences made between the first draft and the final, based on the fact that a lot of the physical stuff I'd written for Claudia -- getting herself out of the problem she was in with the Drazi -- had to be dumped because the actress had a broken foot. So that aspect has to be remembered. We pushed her to the limits, and I didn't want to push further."

Awwwwwwwwwwwww.  But Ivanova literally kicking butt is so awesome!  Still.  It was amusing how things turned out. 

"You hit on the head *precisely*. When Garibaldi was popping the energy cap in and out of the PPG, he was on the floor, nominally in the dark, thinking of killing himself. I didn't want to play it up, didn't want to make it what the story was about...just show him doing it, over and over. And from Sheridan's face, seeing the last of this, it's clear he got it...and I thought he handled the scene *perfectly*, by his whole demeanor, but NOT talking about it except indirectly."

:o  Wow.  Like, really?  I totally never got that from watching this scene.  I just thought he was restless.  But it makes a lot more sense now, at least Sheridan's reaction.  Learn something new every day.

""The Geometry of Shadows" seemed to me a good metaphor for the technomages; a mix of science with something dark and mysterious. How do you work out the geometry of something that in one sense doesn't really exist, but is a projection of something else that DOES exist? That seemed to me as good a notion of technomagic as anything else."

And has a few hints of things you never got the chance to go into.  But hey.  Oh, Galen.  I do love the Technomages quite a lot.  They're a fascinating group, and it's a pity Crusade didn't go any further.  THE PLOT WE COULD HAVE FOUND OUT.   At least I got (some) of it from the books, but still.  Not quite as satisfying, that.  And the Apocalypse box.  >.>  I've never quite forgiven them for not telling us that one.

"Be assured, Vir's position continues to be important, and he moves a bit closer to the limelight as he does so...remember, he's the one who has to watch Londo's actions like a man watching an accident in slow motion, and try to do what he can to stop it."

Oh, Vir.  He is also a highly dynamic character in terms of plot, and he needs lots of cuddles. 

"The technomages are from various races and worlds; there are some who are Centauri, some who are human, even other races such as the Vree and the pak'ma'ra, though these in particular happened to be from Earth. (If they were Centauri, why would Sheridan have been interfering with their emigration?)"

The Centauri technomage was one of the most awesome characters in the books.  I liked her a lot.

"No, actually, the technomage symbol (all of them, actually, including the ones on the wall) are all derivations, specifically altered, of old runes and the like. In some cases, we removed words and inserted mathematical symbols. The fiery symbol is all one piece, and is also an old rune."

Yay for runes!  <3

"Actually, Londo has two coats, a cloak, several different colored vests (blue, black, others), often wears just his shirt, we've seen him in his PJs...he's got a fairly large wardrobe."

And it's a very awesome wardrobe.  I do enjoy Londo's outfits a lot, actually.  XD

"Also, Londo looks for the blessings of the technomages the same way the witches performed that role in "Macbeth." There are other parallels one might draw as well, though again they're still two different stories."

Yeah, you can't go wrong with that sort of parallel.  Macbeth is one of my favorites after all.  XD

"What happened to the Emperor's son?
Ah...a very sad case, that. Turhan's only child, his son, died during a boating accident, of all things. He drowned. His personal guard, who was apparently unable to find Turhan's son in the murky water, was found dead several days after making his report; his own death was officially ruled a suicide, out of grief. But there are always stories...."

Oh, Centauri...

"How was it written before Claudia Christian injured her ankle?
Mainly it was written with Ivanova solving her problem on her own, without Garibaldi being there."

Which is why we love you, JMS.  Your female characters can (generally) solve their own problems. 

"Nope, that really was Claudia walking on her broken foot in the council chambers. She's a trooper...."

Considering I've known people who have gone on point with two broken toes, I can't say I'm surprised...

"Ann Bruice did a great job on the technomage costumes; I agree. She found ways to implement what was described in the script that were both creative and wore well, and fulfilled the function. I wanted black, with fine silver lines, and an almost circuitboard look to the patterns in places, but not *obviously* that, stylized. She took that and came back with a true niftyness...."

Have I mentioned I've always wanted to be a technomage.  They are so cool.  <3  And really, the costumes of B5 are very, very good, so more props to this person!

Really, what's not to love about this episode?  It's hilarious, for one, Technomages for another.  And Londo, if you really need a third.  You shouldn't need much more than Ivanova facing off against the Drazi though.  I do love Elric though.  He has a very soothing voice.  <3  Plus, he quotes Tolkien

On a completely unrelated note, I now ship Leela with Boudica in the tragic sense.  I'm not generally one to ship characters automatically if they aren't canon... a ship has to grow on me a bit and I'm not always convinced you can keep them truthful to the character in canon if you're going out of bounds of the show.  But I fell for Leela and Boudica hard and fast, mostly because it's a tragic sort of relationship.  I adored it.  Thank you, Big Finish, for giving me something I wasn't aware was imperative to my existence (well, Four head canon, really, but hyperbole works too). 

I blame Ivanova for my love of tragic romances.  I really do...


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2012 06:34 am (UTC)
Awww. **pets exhausted-mood Ivanova picture**

Lot of what I said in Points of Departure I already said, but adding:


His description of fandom anxiety is really spot-on. It panics at EVERYTHING.

I'm intrigued by the part where he says he brought in Sheridan in order to make the captain role less of a panacea type of role that Sinclair was sort of turning into. It's bringing in a new character in order to bring in new challenges, essentially. It calls to mind (at least for me) when DW brought in Rory for the sixth season; Amy had more or less settled all her (conscious) problems by the end of the fifth season, and so in comes Rory, with sorting out his position in Team TARDIS, so all the more interesting stuff got assigned for him to do in that season, for the most part.

JMS misspelled "devolve" as "devlove," and that amuses me to no end.

I didn't realize that the opening sequence was such a big to-do. 0_0

I love how in reading these things, you get the sense that JMS is just head-over-heels with his characters. HE LOVES ALL OF HIS CHARACTERS. ALL OF THEM. And it is so sweet to see that dedication! <3

So, other final thoughts on that episode from me:
I'm still getting used to Sheridan, honestly. I sort of distrust him. And I distrust him for two reasons, one of which is irrational:

1. He's blond. Which I *know* is utterly irrational, but it's a knee-jerk psychological response on my part that makes me initially mistrust blond men until I get to know them better. (Dark-haired men, on the other hand, can be sent my way without fear.) So, just a matter of getting to know him better.

2. That whole thing with his deceased spouse (which was in Revelations, but whatever; still applies). It felt like they were trying to play it up just a little too much too soon; it feels like I'm being told to like him out of sympathy, and that has ALL MY WRITER INSTINCTS balking in Extreme Distrust. (Something similar, I think, happened with me and that first episode with Ivanova and her dying father. At first I was like "NO" but they made up for it later with that wonderful Shiva episode.) If the resolution for Sheridan's situation had been stretched out a little more sublty over several more episodes, I feel like it would have paid off better. And I wouldn't still be in that stage of DON'T TRUST YA TRYING TAH MANIPULATE MAH AUDIENCE FEELINS FER YA, SHERIDAN.

On to Revelations:


Delenn from male-to-female. Hm, interesting, but I'm on your side with this, Mem. And sometimes working with Plan B works out fantastically, and that certainly is what happened in this case.

Na'Toth's first actress left for ROMANTIC LEADS?! But she's so awesome at being BADASS, why would she leeeeeave? :( DO NOT UNDERSTAND HER REASONING. And I dunno, I've never heard of the name of Caitlin Brown since, so...

That pun was terrible. And I usually love terrible puns...

Delenn with hair! How I feel about that: not sure, neither for or against. Yet to see.

On to Geometry:

WHAT? REALLY? (regarding Garibaldi contemplating suicide) I did NOT catch that at all!

Ooooooo, liked the Macbeth parallel!

Also: ROFL Leela and Boudicca. I know you meant in "the tragic sense," but I'm always infinitely amused by pairing historical figures with fictional ones.
Mar. 31st, 2012 02:26 pm (UTC)
There are other angst reasons for doing that to Garibaldi though. You will see. XD

Fandom almost has no sense of trust at times. It's all like... not every change will screw you over. Some will, yes, but can't you trust the writers are being paid to make things enjoyable?

I just approve of bringing in Rory for any reason. XD But yeah, once you've resolved issues, you need to bring in new ones.

He actually has a lot of mispellings and typos, which I usually don't catch until Firefox spell checks them automatically. Oh, the days before a solid spell check. I think most of these were just quick posts he made to address things, so he didn't really look over them.

You have to love the characters. Or writing them is just sort of a pain, really. I do agree though, it's cute that he likes them.

Well, there was reason for wrapping that up quickly. Namely, to set it up and move on from it, to the developing trust with Delenn. And, because this is JMS, what happens when that trust is broken. Just keep watching. The next Morden episode will actually help with that.

I know. It seems like such a silly reason for her to leave the show when she was such a bad ass character.

I totally missed the whole Garibaldi thing too. I almost want to go back and watch the episode again now. I mean, the sheer number of times I've watched that particular episode is ridiculous, but I've never caught that.

Well, it was a Big Finish Audio that did it. At first, Leela was all crushing on Boudicca, calling her 'my queen' and telling the Doctor to go screw himself and the web of time, she was staying. Then she realized that Boudicca wasn't as honorable as Leela had thought and there is angst, and then a final, *epic* battle between Leela and Boudicca that makes you weep for the fact that this wasn't an actual serial. Writers of the 70's, why you no write this plot? It was AWESOME. Then the final scene between Leela and Boudicca where Leela runs off with the Doctor saying Boudicca is lost...

I want fic of them considering each other after they've left and all the angst that goes with it. <3
Mar. 31st, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
Angst reasons for Garibaldi in a tux? Oh damn it, it's going to be a funeral isn't it...

Eh, I'm still not sure about the effectiveness of the wife thing. I'm fine with him being a widower, but I still think it was resolved too quickly and too soon; I didn't really feel an emotional connect to those moments (especially since we'd only known Sheridan for one other episode, so we're still getting to know him), so it came off as like "oh...okay, on to the next thing" sort of deal, which is really a shame since there's a lot you could build with that issue. And I don't see why the Delenn thing could not have developed alongside it. ;-)

It seems like such a silly reason for her to leave the show when she was such a bad ass character.

I know! I keep thinking to myself "Hhmmm...badass female character with character development?....or a generic romantic female lead that usually has no development or unique features whatsoever?" And then it just doesn't compute.

You should write the Leela/Boudicca thing! It would be epic!
Apr. 1st, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
No, angst reasons for him not to be in a tux. Well, really, for there not to be a wedding. The whole point was that he didn't get to see Sinclair off at all.

Oh, trust me. It's not resolved. It's not resolved by a long shot. It was resolved for the episode, because you do need to resolve some issues every few episodes and it was probably just easier to keep the actress around for one rather than several, but it is far from resolved. It just needed to be out there as set up for Other Things.

It really doesn't. And one would think she was getting better exposure on the tv show. Though I can sort of see why she wouldn't like the prosthetics... But I thought she looked pretty even with them, so. *shrugs*

Nah, I'm too lazy. And I'm still working through this bloody ice warriors fic.
Apr. 1st, 2012 08:38 am (UTC)
**squinty eyes** But if the wife's deceased, why would it matter when/for how long they hire her actress? She'd only be in one episode no matter the case...


Oh, I figured his emotional issues weren't completely solved or anything. But I still think it felt like too much introduction to/emphasis on the issue all at once. "Hey my sister is here! :D AND NOW WE TALK ABOUT SPOUSE. AND TALK ABOUT SPOUSE. AND VIDEOTAPES OF SPOUSE." Well, actually, my biggest issue was with the goodbye video thing at the end; I mean, I understand the whole...needing to say goodbye thing, in order to set up for Delenn and whatever, but it feels like it was supposed to have been a Significant Moment, and it was just...it felt like it was trying too hard, too soon.

I dunno, maybe I'm just fussy about these things; I will ALWAYS balk when a character is introduced and then very shortly after tied into A Personal Loss. I've just seen it so many times before that if it isn't dealt with using just the right amount of subtlety, it feels like the author is playing the Sympathy Card. :-/
Apr. 1st, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
No, not her actress. The sister chick.

Fair enough. But you'll see. There are a lot bigger things at work.
Apr. 1st, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Same argument applies for sister chick. :P

Indeed; it will be interesting to see what JMS spins out of that issue.
Apr. 1st, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Also, my mother agrees with us on the whole Garibaldi thing. She always thought it was just a restless tick as well, not suicidal thoughts. I love how we've apparently all missed it.
Apr. 1st, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
Apparently it was TOO much subtlety in that case. XD

The art of subtlety is hard to master.
Apr. 1st, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
Apparently Cy got it? And so did that person JMS was responding to.

I don't know. It seems like one of those things that you have to have been there yourself to see it in the characters? And JMS did say he was trying to keep it from becoming a major factor in the episode. Which making the majority of us completely miss it seems to have done the trick. XD
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )