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Old 03-20-2010, 06:55 PM
Trollheart Trollheart is offline
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Byron and the Telepaths on B5 --- your comments?

Sounds like a rock band, doesn't it?
Another from my posts on the other forum, one which is, for once, causing a bit of debate. Wondered what you guys thought?

Rewatching season 5 now, I groaned inwardly when Byron made his appearance, because to me at least, the telepaths who came to form a colony on Babylon 5 were underused and badly-written, if such a criticism can be levelled at the Great Maker!

The character of Byron jarred with me from the off: he was dark, moody, brooding and seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. Yes, I KNOW the galaxy had screwed he and his people over, but come on! He was more like a character out of one of Anne Rice's vampire novels than a leader of a people, a potential Moses!

And as for the story about Simon, the kid: surely that deserved further development? It looked like it could have been an interesting story, but no, he's killed in the episode in which he's introduced. The rest of the teeps were never fleshed out in any way, so that it seemed to be Byron leading around a nondescript rag-tag band of followers, like some telepahtic Jesus (no offence meant!), with Lyta hanging on in later eps. Where was the structure?

What did they contribute to the story? Yes, there was the "big reveal" and the fact that this ended up being one of Sheridan's worst and most miscalculated mistakes, but other than that, what did they do?

Now admittedly I'm just getting into season 5 again, "Learning curvet" on tonight, so perhaps I've forgotten something important. So does anyone feel differently? Or did the "Telepath colony" plotline take up valuable space in the story that could, perhaps, have been better used?

Interested to know your thoughts...
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2010, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Sounds like a rock band, doesn't it?
Another from my posts on the other forum, one which is, for once, causing a bit of debate. Wondered what you guys thought?

Rewatching season 5 now, I groaned inwardly when Byron made his appearance, because to me at least, the telepaths who came to form a colony on Babylon 5 were underused and badly-written, if such a criticism can be levelled at the Great Maker!

The character of Byron jarred with me from the off: he was dark, moody, brooding and seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. Yes, I KNOW the galaxy had screwed he and his people over, but come on! He was more like a character out of one of Anne Rice's vampire novels than a leader of a people, a potential Moses!

And as for the story about Simon, the kid: surely that deserved further development? It looked like it could have been an interesting story, but no, he's killed in the episode in which he's introduced. The rest of the teeps were never fleshed out in any way, so that it seemed to be Byron leading around a nondescript rag-tag band of followers, like some telepahtic Jesus (no offence meant!), with Lyta hanging on in later eps. Where was the structure?

What did they contribute to the story? Yes, there was the "big reveal" and the fact that this ended up being one of Sheridan's worst and most miscalculated mistakes, but other than that, what did they do?

Now admittedly I'm just getting into season 5 again, "Learning curvet" on tonight, so perhaps I've forgotten something important. So does anyone feel differently? Or did the "Telepath colony" plotline take up valuable space in the story that could, perhaps, have been better used?

Interested to know your thoughts...
I think it's an interesting storyline, and I think highly of Robin Atkin Downes, but it does have flaws in the presentation (and sometimes, though less often, in the writing).

One of the main problems, I think, is that we only get introduced to Byron. The story needed more characters to work, to show that this is a real group, and not just a bunch of goth extras.

And it needed more humour. Real people make jokes, even if they're telepaths. Realistic characters are what makes B5 so good, and all these grim faces just aren't real.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2010, 03:35 PM
Trollheart Trollheart is offline
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Agree on all points. I made this very point on another forum: the telepaths, other than Byron, are faceless. You can see them as "Long-Haired Guy A" or "Sexy Female B", but that's about it. We learn next to nothing about them, so there's no way we can feel anything but "meh" for them in their plight.

Also, Byron's continued arrogance and just plain impoliteness, even when people are sticking their necks out to help him, as Lochley did twice, wears old real fast. You get the sort of feeling they deserve what's coming to them, and I couldn't feel any sort of sympathy for them when it all went wrong and they all burned.

If anyone, I felt sympathy for Sheridan, who had taken a gamble in affording them sanctuary aboard Babylon 5, and had lost bigtime.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
If anyone, I felt sympathy for Sheridan, who had taken a gamble in affording them sanctuary aboard Babylon 5, and had lost bigtime.
I didn't. Yeah, he felt like he owed them something for Simon saving his life but that reason came after
Quote:
We both know there's a telepath war coming one of these days. It
wouldn't hurt to have some of our own on hand in case things get ugly.
If anything, I felt sorry for Lochley who tried to avoid the situation but ended up having to deal with the consequences of Sheridan's decision.

Jan
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:18 AM
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When I watched Season 5 the first time, I really didn't like the telepath story at all, and it ended up looming much larger in my memory than it actualyl was. At the time, I thought that one of the reasons it didn't do anything for me was that there didn't seem to be a solid connection to what had gone before. It seemed like it came out of nowhere and wasn't tied to the story line very tightly. That, to me, made it seem like filler. And, of course, the were unendingly grim and humorless as has been pointed out. They were really tough to like. When I heard some of what happened with Claudia behind the scenes, and some of the original thoughts for the way the telepath story was supposed to develop, it suddenly made a great deal more sense. Ivanova would have tied it a lot more tightly to the core characters and happenings. And the whole point was NOT to like them. I think it would have been much different under the orginal plans, but, of course, we'll never be able to say with any certainty. I will say this, though... on repeated viewings of Season 5 I've found that they have much less airtime than I originally remembered. They've become less anoying.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:30 PM
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ILUVJOHNSHERIDAN ILUVJOHNSHERIDAN is offline
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The Telepath storyline really did nothing for me either. I think Season 5 should of been more dedicated to the main Charactors. There was a lot of wasted airtime on the Telepath. The whole storyline about how the Alliance was responsible for the Vorlons adusting humans for the war. Hello it wasn't only the humans, it was the other alien races too. I never understood the separations between the human telepath and the others. Another thing I did n't understand was why Psi corp was still in operation after the fall of Pres. Clark and why rogue telepath were still be hunted down.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:42 PM
Trollheart Trollheart is offline
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Psi Corps would, I believe, siimply have gained too much power (in the Senate, and other places), either openly or covertly, to allow it to be able to be disbanded. Plus, when it comes right down to it, the new president would (reluctantly perhaps) have to admit that she needed something like Psi Corps to keep the various telepaths in check. Also, I'm certain Psi Corps and Bester would have amassed enough dirt on the new leaders before Sherdian "liberated" Earth to ensure that they could not simply be disposed of.

As to the rogue telepaths: I think you'll find we mundanes will always feel threatened by anything we see as superior, and so the order would have stayed in place that rogues should be "returned to the Corps", ie hunted down. The language would have perforce have been more flowery and probably more in line with a press statement issued by the Ministry of Peace, but the core (hah!) idea would still be there: mundanes good, telepaths not so good, rogue telepaths VERY bad (sound like Zathras now!), and the Psi Corps would be seen as "providing a service" by hunting them down.

What surprises me is why the telepaths on B5 didn't do a "Sheridan" and secede from Earth, set themselves up as a new race (which they more or less were) and bid for inclusion in, and therefore the protection of, the Interstellar Alliance? Too cerebral? Well, I can hear Byrons's annoying voice now explaining it:-

"We have fled our own homeworld, the world of our birth, and are not wanted anywhere we go. We keep to the shadows, keep to ourselves and try not to get noticed wherever we find ourselves. And still they distrust us, hunt us down, shun us, try to kill us, or to make us into what they are, what we can never be. Well, we choose another path."

"If Earth does not want us, we want no part of it. We choose to begin a new life, a new existence as a new race, Homo Simpson (sorry!) Superior, and we ask, in this spirit, captain, Mister President, as a new race if we are welcome to join your alliance? Will you afford us sanctuary, protect us from the hounds of the Psi Corps, in return for what we can give you? Or are your high ideals all just talk, like so many mundanes?"

Or something...
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2010, 06:10 PM
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ILUVJOHNSHERIDAN ILUVJOHNSHERIDAN is offline
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lol you nailed him. sounds just like him. I'm not sure why the story line went the way it did. I just know it could of been better, there were so many possibilites. The alliance should of found a planet suitable for a homeworld for them or something like that.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2010, 03:51 AM
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I always thought Sheridan should have had the telepaths resettled on the Markab homeworld It was isolated without a jump gate and probably had enough infrastructure in place to make a colony viable.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:50 AM
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I always thought Sheridan should have had the telepaths resettled on the Markab homeworld It was isolated without a jump gate and probably had enough infrastructure in place to make a colony viable.
What about all the dead bodies? Talk about a cleanup job!

I always thought that having all the teeps in one place would make them a rather convenient target, given how many people don't like them and fear them. When they first arrived, before they managed to get some defenses up, they'd be pretty vulnerable.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2010, 08:48 AM
Trollheart Trollheart is offline
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Yeah, but you try taking a telepath by surprise!
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2010, 10:50 AM
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Yeah, but you try taking a telepath by surprise!
10 or 20 thousand high yield nuclear missiles launched from hyperspace.

Maybe opening a jump point inside the planet.

Not just for telepaths, but for any ideas of war - esp genocidal wars that seem so prevalent in B5.

This might be a seperate thread idea, now that I think about it some more.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:09 AM
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I don't think that missiles of any sort can open hyperspace jump points. Anyway, why bother with missiles when you can use asteroids like the Centauri did to the Narn homeworld. And it's not necessary to surprise the teeps, just throw something at them they can't defend against. A small colony wouldn't be able to defend against much.

I've always thought that the bodies left on the Markab homeworld would be the bigest drawback. Even if it did have a hospitable climate for humans, which we don't know.

Jan
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:26 AM
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Jan, you do not need the missiles to open the point, just launch the missiles in Hyperspace and send them through jump points opened the "old fashioned way".

The Centauri were not very serious about their asteroids, meaning they were not very big and not going very fast.

Lastly the Markab home world might be littered with tasty snacks for some races. Alternatively, yeah its a horrible job, but there is a furnished planet there and it is likely worth hiring a few hundred thousand Pak'Ma'Ra for a decade or two to tidy the place up.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:52 PM
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