Split from Favorite B5 episode topic

Still a favorite with many of our regulars, come on in and share your insights on this ground breaking series.

Moderator: Bmat

Post Reply
User avatar
MrB
Casual Poster
Casual Poster
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: UK

Split from Favorite B5 episode topic

Post by MrB »

[Moderator's note: This subject drifted from the topic of favorite B5 episode. So it has been split and moved to it's own thread where discussion is welcome. Bmat]

Ok, here's the thing, my previous post was not meant to incite a riot, let me explain...

...I love the Sci-fi genre, I can sit and watch virtually anything, however, as I watch more and more Sci-fi in whether in the from of Movies or TV soap operas, I find a lot of it is losing something, it's innocence, its naivete, for example look at Movies made in the 1950's - early 1960's, War of the Worlds, This Island Earth, Rocket-ship XM, The day the Earth stood still, when these films were made, they were groundbreaking, cinema goers flocked to see them in their droves, Movie Sci-fi was a relatively new concept, the idea that creatures from outer space could come to Earth and take over exhilarated and frightened the masses. Now these films were not (usually) big budget movies, in fact Sci-Fi flicks were considered "B-Movie" status in comparison with other films that were being made at the time. The actors who starred in them were not the Humphrey Bogarts, The Cary Grants, etc, and invariably the acting was at best questionable, with a few exceptions.

If we skip a short period of time, we now have TV serials Star Trek, Space 1999, Logans Run, which continued on until the end of the 1970's again these were groundbreaking, they were new, now your average Joe didn't have to go out to the Cinema to see great Sci-fi, it was there in their own home and its popularity flourished, these Sci-fi soaps (for want of a better description) had it all, excitement, adventure, space travel, technology, romance, tragedy and above all that same innocence present with the movies of an earlier period. For me they were the ultimate in Sci-fi, I remember vividly the anticipation of waiting to see what was going to happen to Captain Kirk that Wednesday.

Jump on a little further and we start to see the big budget Sci-fi movies, the likes of Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, The Thing, these films were groundbreaking in their use of Special effects, from what I have watched/read/listened to, George Lucas' career could have been entirely different if Star Wars had not been the cult it has become, I believe there were those who had called him mad and laughed at him for taking on such a project.

Then we move on a little further, the spate of cursed earth/ post apocalyptic movies that came out, Buckaroo Banzai, Cyborg, Trancers (although Jack Deth is one of my all time favourite characters) and a few forgettable others. Then Sci-fi for me just seemed to become a little stale, for a while, there was usual run of the mill "invasion from space" movies interspersed with some fantastic quality movies with excellent story-lines, special effects etc the likes of Aliens, The Abyss, Independence Day and a whole range of others (too many to mention here).

Meanwhile I felt that the TV soap operas where starting to go a similar way, while still largely very good, there seemed to be a lack of innovation, Voyager, Deep space Nine, TNG were all based around the Gene Roddenberry universe (ok, that's not the best description) Stargate SG1 (while an excellent opera, still derivative of the movie) and Babylon 5.

I saw, what I believe, is the pilot a few years ago, which tells of the war between the Minbari(?) and Earth, and after watching I thought WOW, excellent Movie, hope the opera is as good. For me it wasn't, it seemed to descend into a political drama, if I want politics, I'll watch "The West Wing" (which is great), as far as I was concerned, the fact that Babylon 5 was set in space, in the future , in a fantasy universe (scientifically speaking of course) seemed incidental to the programme, it could just have easily been made in the east end of London. Much like the movie Titanic, which was a story about the love between an upper class Kate Winslet and a lower class Leonardo di Caprio, oh, and the Titanic sunk as well.

Don't get me wrong, This is not an attempt to start a flame war or to pick a fight and I am open debate on this subject. I am aware that there are those who love this programme, and I haven't followed it as avidly as some, but I am entitled to an opinion, and my opinion is, I didn't like it.
You can't dangle the bogus carrot of possible reconciliation in front of my face whilst riding some other donkey.

User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Post by Magus »

Just thought I'd mention under post-apocalyptic you forgot to mention Mad Max and The Terminator. Otherwise I found your post very informative and thought provoking as to the history of sci-fi. Makes me want to go to that museum in Washington.

I never myself watched Babylon 5. It was never on at a time that was convenient for me. Nor, for that matter, am I a Star Trek fan... I have a thing against Will Shatner. I myself took more towards The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone and Night Visions.

Anyway, having never actually seen an episode of the show I'll refrain from naming one as my favorite.

:roll:

:wink:

User avatar
MrB
Casual Poster
Casual Poster
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: UK

Post by MrB »

I never got to watch the original episodes of "The Outer Limits", however I have seen one or two of the updated versions, and one that sticks in my head the most was about a scientist who discovered life in a piece of mars rock, put them in a glass case where the creatures created a society with the scientist as their god, I think one of the Bridges brothers was in it...

fantastic !

and yes, I forgot about those two !
You can't dangle the bogus carrot of possible reconciliation in front of my face whilst riding some other donkey.

User avatar
MrB
Casual Poster
Casual Poster
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: UK

Post by MrB »

That should have been "Martian rock" shouldn't it !
You can't dangle the bogus carrot of possible reconciliation in front of my face whilst riding some other donkey.

User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Post by Magus »

That was the first episode, I think, of the new series. I just bought a dvd of the show yesterday.

I never cared for the old Outer Limits or the new Twilight Zone.

User avatar
aldan
Artisan Wordsmith
Artisan Wordsmith
Posts: 3886
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Ohio, right now...
Contact:

Post by aldan »

Well, The Terminator wasn't exactly post-apocalypse. In fact other than the very few future shots they showed, it took place in today's world. Right at the end of the flick the nuke goes off in LA (at least that's what we infer) as she's driving in Mexico (she'd just crossed the border, I think).

Oh. And what... doyouhave... against... Bill Shatner...?
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Post by Magus »

Star...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

Trek.

ProfCrash
New User
New User
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:38 pm

Post by ProfCrash »

I suppose you could make the argument that B5 could have been told in an environment other then space. I am sure if you wanted to, you could make the same argument about any Sci Fi show. Battlestar Galactica could be a group of people in sailing ships, without maps and a sexton floundering in the ocean trying to find land while being chased by some foreign power that wants to destroy them. Star Trek would be the building of a UN with real power.

B5 is very much Science Fiction. The entire Shadow War is based on the idea that all of the younger races had to come together as a political entity in order to defeat the all powerful Vorlons and Shadows. There was no way to physically defeat these two races, they were simply too strong. There is no way to develop an analogous situation on Earth.

What is great about Babylon 5 is that it is not a show based only on big space battles and fancy effects. The science in B5 was real science, no techno babble allowed. Ships actually had to use thrusters. You had to develop a method of creating gravity (this is why Human ships had rotating sections). There were issues of developing multiple environments for alien races that could not breath air. Translators were needed to talk to some races because plenty of beings did not speak English. If anything, these handy little touches make the show more Science Fiction then almost any other Sci Fi show I have watched.

You had the battles (Severed Dreams was simply awesome) but you had the drama as well. You actually get to know the characters. You see them happy and hurt. They are forced to deal with the consequences of their actions. Do non Sci Fi series deal with this? Yes. Does that mean that B5 is not Sci Fi? No. It just means that it is really good Sci Fi because it is not one dimensional.

User avatar
aldan
Artisan Wordsmith
Artisan Wordsmith
Posts: 3886
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Ohio, right now...
Contact:

Post by aldan »

Thank you, Prof! That was a fine explanation. Now, did it have politics in it? Yes. However, that was because we were dealing with a human civilization. That's just the way humans are, what they seem to need. Some humans go against that, and those, too, were on the show. I'd have to say that Babylon 5 was a show with, well, range. It's strange saying that, because most of it took place on a space station out in the middle of galactic nowhere, more or less. However, that's what it had. Range... Range of Emotions, of Characters, of Storylines, of Actions, of Politics, of Meaning.

However, it wasn't an action show, it was one that required you to think to enjoy, which is why so many watched it once and then never again...[/quote]
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

Post Reply