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Babylon 5: What's your favorite episode?


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One of the episodes I particularly liked was Rumors, Bargains, and Lies. Sheridan realizes there's no way he's going to talk everyone into signing off on cooperation with the Rangers, so he hatches a brilliant plan: manipulate them until they demand that he let them in on it. His scheme involves blowing up asteroids for no readily apparent reason, stonewalling the alien ambassadors looking for an explanation, and even publicly denying that anything happened (through Ivanova). It's brilliantly executed.

 

Having said that, however, there is one thing about the episode that definitely bugs me. It's Londo's reaction. He doesn't understand what Sheridan is doing and finds it very frustrating. That seemed really strange to me, because something like that seems like it would be straight out of the Centauri playbook. But that's a fairly minor quibble, I suppose. I guess it's possible that it never occurred to Londo that humans were even capable of playing the game at that level.

 

In any case, a great episode.

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13 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

No he doesn't.  I know I couldn't care less, and I say this as someone who started reading in 1996 and had to wait 23 years to see how the story ends.  The first three books were great, now I'm done.

 

 

 

See, you made the classic mistake of thinking that there were any protagonists.

 

The only streaming service that has the entire series is Google Play for $30/season.  Find a DVD box set.

 

 

I own(ed?) the entire B5 on DVD; whether it still exists is questionable because many things got thrown out in my last move. Many more will be thrown out with this one, but at least going forward I’ll have a whole house to fill with random crap.

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On 9/26/2020 at 1:11 AM, Bazza said:

 


    I always had the private opinion that Sheldon’s distaste for Babylon 5 was based on the fact that it’s much less a show about Space Stations and Aliens than it was about people.  The same “human” interactions that baffled and repulsed him are the very bones of the show.

   I have no idea if the writers gave this any thought or whether it was just another quirk, but it does have an internal logic that makes sense to me.

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On 9/28/2020 at 5:02 PM, Old Man said:

See, you made the classic mistake of thinking that there were any protagonists.

 

The only thing I despise more than Game of Thrones and its self-contained setting is how it has influenced many other works of fiction. GoT didn't introduce the concept of a bleak world with depraved characters in the spotlight, but it sure as hell popularized the idea. Now, there's always at least one ostensibly non-villainous character that's some flavor of rapist*, murderer or sadist.

 

* Best case scenario, they're a charming sexual assaulter.

 

I don't mind a dark milieu. I don't even mind the idea of a hero with a troubled past. What I draw the line at is the implication that anyone wanting to do good that hasn't suffered a personal tragedy is either hopelessly naive (and best be fitted for a coffin A.S.A.P.) or in possession of a sinister ulterior motive. There's a quote from the CRPG Skyrim that gets under my skin ->

 

Quote

“What is better: to be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?”

 

That line made me want to scream in frustration. I still want to scream at everyone that takes this bit of dialogue to be some sort of brilliant subtle indictment that can be used to justify scorn of honest do-gooders that aren't struggling every day. It doesn't matter how you arrived at your decision to push back against evil; all that matters is that you are genuine.

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2 hours ago, Bazza said:

GRRM has said that he based GoT largely on the War Of The Roses, and GoT is tame compared to actual history. 

 

Is that supposed to be a type of justification? I've read about pogroms and Khmer Rouge; I have zero interest in reading stories or playing games where the main characters are carrying out war crimes. I have negative interest in people that chastise others for not enjoying soul-sucking interactions as a matter of course.

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5 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

That line made me want to scream in frustration. I still want to scream at everyone that takes this bit of dialogue to be some sort of brilliant subtle indictment that can be used to justify scorn of honest do-gooders that aren't struggling every day. It doesn't matter how you arrived at your decision to push back against evil; all that matters is that you are genuine.

 

I heard the same about vampires in CO. The whole "nature vs nurture" crap.

 

Quote

Vampires are dead bodies animated by a spiritual infection. Blood will have blood because it must, because that's how the infection is spread. The infected wake up inside their coffins, break out, and dig their way up out of their own graves. Undead, unnatural things, driven by a need for blood and horror. Parasites that prey on the living. There's nothing romantic, or melancholy, about vampires. They're leeches on two legs. ~ Simon R. Green The Big Game

 

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Or glitter-y.

 

 

2 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

 

Is that supposed to be a type of justification? I've read about pogroms and Khmer Rouge; I have zero interest in reading stories or playing games where the main characters are carrying out war crimes. I have negative interest in people that chastise others for not enjoying soul-sucking interactions as a matter of course.

 

It is what it is. An attempt at historical fiction in the style of The Accursed Kings (French monarchy) based on the War of the Roses, as backdrop, whilst being an authorial commentary on Lord of the Rings. 

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On 9/26/2020 at 2:06 AM, Bazza said:

 

That basically is the premise of the show. Penny being the non-nerd is the POV character for the mainstream audience to see Geek culture through. 

 

It veered away from that about Season 6 or so...coincidentally that is when it got noticeably less funny.  I still love the first 5 seasons though.

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2 hours ago, Greywind said:

 

I heard the same about vampires in CO. The whole "nature vs nurture" crap.

 

Vampires are dead bodies animated by a spiritual infection. Blood will have blood because it must, because that's how the infection is spread. The infected wake up inside their coffins, break out, and dig their way up out of their own graves. Undead, unnatural things, driven by a need for blood and horror. Parasites that prey on the living. There's nothing romantic, or melancholy, about vampires. They're leeches on two legs. ~ Simon R. Green The Big Game

 

But what if the vampires 'sparkle' in the sunlight?  :)

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Getting back to Babylon 5:

 

I had the honor of hearing J. Michael Straczinski talk at Norwescon, and one of the things he talked about was how he makes stories. B5 fans may find some of it familiar.

 

You start with characters. As you create each character, come up with answers to these questions:

 

Who is the character?

What does the character want?

What impedes the character from getting/doing what he/she/it wants?

What does the character do to try overcoming those impediments?

 

And that's your story. Good advice for GMs and players as well as TV writers or novelists.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

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24 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

Getting back to Babylon 5:

 

I had the honor of hearing J. Michael Straczinski talk at Norwescon, and one of the things he talked about was how he makes stories. B5 fans may find some of it familiar.

 

You start with characters. As you create each character, come up with answers to these questions:

 

Who is the character?

What does the character want?

What impedes the character from getting/doing what he/she/it wants?

What does the character do to try overcoming those impediments?

 

And that's your story. Good advice for GMs and players as well as TV writers or novelists.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

 

That sounds like "character creation 101" to me.  But something that seems to never really be considered enough by most games or players.

 

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