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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 30 August 2007 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Mriana - 30 August 2007 08:04 AM

LOL  Oh there are so many things I could say to that, but I won’t.

You are just no fun!

I was hoping I was going to get to use my black leather negligee line.

LOL  LOL 

psik

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Posted: 30 August 2007 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Oh my!  This is getting a bit wild!  :shock:  Do we really want to see that?

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 31 August 2007 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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dougsmith - 29 August 2007 10:36 AM

Advocatus, if you read the posts I linked to from JMS you get a sense of what things were like in the early 90s when both these series were coming out. It’s true that DS9 and B5 don’t resemble each other very much. But DS9’s beginnings were clearly based on the B5 pilot and writeup. Then they diverged afterwards, of course.

Well, yes, but in that sense you could say that a lot of ideas are “based on” one another.  Last year, how come all three broadcast networks had a new series about alien invasions?  Coincidence?  I’m just saying, like Mriana, that it doesn’t make sense to argue about whether one is a “rip-off” of another, because they DID diverge and each become a unique thing.

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Posted: 31 August 2007 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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advocatus - 31 August 2007 09:54 AM

Well, yes, but in that sense you could say that a lot of ideas are “based on” one another.  Last year, how come all three broadcast networks had a new series about alien invasions?  Coincidence?  I’m just saying, like Mriana, that it doesn’t make sense to argue about whether one is a “rip-off” of another, because they DID diverge and each become a unique thing.

I think if you look at the evidence that JMS presents, it was more than simply coincidence. That said, I do agree with you that nothing much is gained by talking about which series are rip-offs of which other series. They did diverge and in the final analysis had only the barest of resemblances. JMS says as much ... he’s not anti-DS9, and in fact is friends with a lot of the Trek writers. He just wanted to set the record straight about who got what from where.

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Posted: 31 August 2007 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Occam wrote:

Well if we’re playing “you show me yours - I’ll show you mine” I think I also have decent credentials because my father bought me my first Amazing S.F. and Astounding S.F. (later became Analog S.F.) in 1941 when I was ten.

That is really cool.  Have you heard that Werner von Braun was getting Astounding Science Fiction all thru WWII?

Werner Von Braun, who would head the Nazi V-1 and V-2 rocket programs, was one such teenage dreamer. Until his work was co-opted by the German army his overwhelming vision was of propelling man, not bombs, into the sky. It would stay so throughout the war - during which he had copies of Astounding air-dropped into neutral Sweden - and afterwards when he became head of the American space program.

http://www.popularscience.co.uk/features/feat20.htm

The problems I saw with the later Startrek series and with the B5 pilot (I think, the only one I saw, because it turned me off so much) were that they devolved into cowboy and indian stories just in a space setting.

The B5 pilot was only a little better than OK taken by itself.  But it was like the first 20 pages of a really good novel, it sets up what the story is about and you can’t tell how good it is going to get until you are farther in.  That is how I treat books, I give them 20 to 50 pages, if the author can’t make it interesting by page 50 I don’t risk wasting any more time.

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Posted: 31 August 2007 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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I guess my frustration tolerance is quite low.  If I get annoyed that the author hasn’t made a clear point or indication of where s/he’s going by the end of the first page, I close the book and don’t bother with it.  I believe a writer who takes twenty pages to interest the reader is going to say in 200 pages what a better author could say in ten pages. 

Occam

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Posted: 02 September 2007 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Occam - 31 August 2007 01:55 PM

If I get annoyed that the author hasn’t made a clear point or indication of where s/he’s going by the end of the first page, I close the book and don’t bother with it.

That must make selecting what to buy in bookstores a lot easier than it is for me. LOL

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Posted: 04 September 2007 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Despite the fact that most of this all happened before I was born, this is my basic understanding of how it all happened.

J. Michael Straczynski had beeng going around to distributors for about 5 years, pitching the idea of Babylon 5. However, producers didn’t think the audience attention span was long enough for the story arc, and they didn’t believe that any science fiction show other than Trek could exist on television. Heh heh, 5 years trying to sell Babylon 5. Coincidence? I think so! Anyway, after the 5 years they sold The Gathering which aired just a few weeks after the pilot episode of DS9. Then, in Feburary of 1994, the pilot episode of Babylon 5 aired.

Anyway, it was clear from the beginning that Straczynski intended to introduce the Shadows as the main enemy. After all, he had the entire outline planned out a long time ago. 2 Season of DS9 later, they suddenly decided that Trek would do something it had never done before. A long story arc with the Dominion. Coincidence? I think they were getting ideas from a certain other show out there…

A few other parallels I found:

Like the Shadows, the Founders tried to destabalize the Alpha Quadrant by infiltrating governments and trying to get them to war with one another.

Like the Centauri, the Cardassians ended up helping the Dominion, and paying the price in the end.

And a whole bunch of other plots for episodes which I don’t feel like posting…

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Posted: 07 September 2007 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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dougsmith - 31 August 2007 10:10 AM

I think if you look at the evidence that JMS presents, it was more than simply coincidence.

Okay, I have to admit that you have a point.  What finally convinced me was that I asked myself what I considered the single defining characteristic of DS9, and I decided that it was the Dominion War.  Sure enough, the defining characteristic of B5 was the Shadow War.  My apologies both to you and to Psiky.

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Posted: 29 September 2007 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Babylon 5: The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark (2007) - Youku
http://www.tv-links.co.uk/listings/4/8176

I was able to download it with the latest version of Firefox and RealPlayer 11 beta.  It isn’t really watchable in realtime with all of the pauses.

Some people might find the first half annoying wit the case of possession.  I thought it was somewhat funny.  The whole thing was merely OK by B5 standards.

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Posted: 27 October 2007 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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dougsmith - 13 July 2007 11:59 AM

One reason I particularly liked B5 is that it was non-episodic, it was all worked out in advance, and the creative genius behind it stayed until the end, writing most of the episodes. That said, it petered out in the 3rd season ... 4 and 5 were downhill.

I’ve heard a lot of opinions on B5 over the years, but that’s one I definitely have never heard!

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Posted: 27 October 2007 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Tracer Bullet - 27 October 2007 08:34 PM
dougsmith - 13 July 2007 11:59 AM

One reason I particularly liked B5 is that it was non-episodic, it was all worked out in advance, and the creative genius behind it stayed until the end, writing most of the episodes. That said, it petered out in the 3rd season ... 4 and 5 were downhill.

I’ve heard a lot of opinions on B5 over the years, but that’s one I definitely have never heard!

Welcome to the forum, Tracer Bullet; that’s interesting ... really? Did most people prefer 4 and 5?

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Posted: 28 October 2007 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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dougsmith - 27 October 2007 10:22 PM
Tracer Bullet - 27 October 2007 08:34 PM
dougsmith - 13 July 2007 11:59 AM

One reason I particularly liked B5 is that it was non-episodic, it was all worked out in advance, and the creative genius behind it stayed until the end, writing most of the episodes. That said, it petered out in the 3rd season ... 4 and 5 were downhill.

I’ve heard a lot of opinions on B5 over the years, but that’s one I definitely have never heard!

Welcome to the forum, Tracer Bullet; that’s interesting ... really? Did most people prefer 4 and 5?

Well, not so much the fifth season, but I was mostly surprised by your comment that B5 petered out in the third season. B5 comes up with some frequency on another forum I frequent, and it has a number of vocal boosters, all of whom say that the third season is probably the single best season of television ever.

The problem with B5 post-third season is that fact that during the fourth season it was unclear if the show was going to be renewed for a fifth season, so the entire plot was compressed into the fourth, leaving the fifth season a bit… sparse.

Also, thank you for the welcome!

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Posted: 28 October 2007 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Ah sorry ... miscommunication. The third season WAS their best season. I should have said it petered out AFTER the third season.

I agree with what you say—JMS tried to mash too much into season 4; it got a bit discombobulated.

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Posted: 28 October 2007 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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dougsmith - 28 October 2007 12:31 PM

Ah sorry ... miscommunication. The third season WAS their best season. I should have said it petered out AFTER the third season.

I agree with what you say—JMS tried to mash too much into season 4; it got a bit discombobulated.

Ah, okay. :grin:

And yes, it’s a shame about the last two seasons. I really like the fourth season, but it is a bit jam-packed. The conclusion of the Shadow War comes so abruptly that it really takes away from the slow buildup in the first three seasons.

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