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  #16  
Old 09-17-2017, 06:33 PM
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"A Distant Star"

This was C & T's second viewing of the Season 2 opening titles, and this time C asked me about Bruce Boxleitner. She said she recognized his name and asked me what else he had been on. I said that his previous TV series was "Scarecrow and Mrs. King". It turns out that C had watched that series during its original run and had liked it.

It just so happens that when the Cortez entered the jumpgate, C asked what the jumpgate was. I paused the playback and explained that it was a jumpgate, an entry into hyperspace. I said hyperspace functions as a kind of shortcut, enabling a space traveler to cross vast distances in a relatively short period of time. I noted that she had asked her question at the perfect time, because hyperspace figured prominently in this episode's plot.

T found the diet, er, food plan subplot highly amusing. He noted, "Even in the future no one wants to go on a diet."

Although we pretty much watch the show at one week intervals, like the original air dates, C is having a bit of trouble remembering continuity. For example, she asked why Ivanova was using a cane. I reminded her that Ivanova broke her foot when dealing with Green and Purple Drazi in the previous episode. Likewise, when the Shadow ship appeared in hyperspace, C asked what that was, and I first said, "Those are the people that are helping Londo." Then I added, "Those are Mr. Morden's associates." I was somewhat vague so as not to spoil the upcoming reveal of the Shadows.

When it was over T said it was pretty good. I told him that IMO the second season is better than the first season, the third season is even better than the second season, and the fourth season is just as good, if not better, than the third. I also told him that there were some really good episodes coming up later this season. But even though "A Distant Star" isn't an acclaimed episode, both C & T seemed pretty engaged by it.


"The Long Dark"

As I had mentioned before on this forum, this is an episode I had considered skipping, because it was repeated so many times that I got sick of it. However, I did show it to C & T. Even though I still consider "The Long Dark" a lesser Season 2 episode, I thought it held up pretty well and both C & T seemed engaged by it.

There was not too much commentary from them. However, we all got a good laugh when Amis said of the soldier of darkness, "I think it's calling me" and then the phone rang.

At the end C noted the picture in the book of G'Quon and said, "That looks like what they just shot." I replied that this was foreshadowing, but I resisted the impulse to add, "No pun intended."
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2017, 02:05 PM
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"A Distant Star"

This was C & T's second viewing of the Season 2 opening titles, and this time C asked me about Bruce Boxleitner. She said she recognized his name and asked me what else he had been on. I said that his previous TV series was "Scarecrow and Mrs. King". It turns out that C had watched that series during its original run and had liked it.

It just so happens that when the Cortez entered the jumpgate, C asked what the jumpgate was. I paused the playback and explained that it was a jumpgate, an entry into hyperspace. I said hyperspace functions as a kind of shortcut, enabling a space traveler to cross vast distances in a relatively short period of time. I noted that she had asked her question at the perfect time, because hyperspace figured prominently in this episode's plot.

T found the diet, er, food plan subplot highly amusing. He noted, "Even in the future no one wants to go on a diet."

Although we pretty much watch the show at one week intervals, like the original air dates, C is having a bit of trouble remembering continuity. For example, she asked why Ivanova was using a cane. I reminded her that Ivanova broke her foot when dealing with Green and Purple Drazi in the previous episode. Likewise, when the Shadow ship appeared in hyperspace, C asked what that was, and I first said, "Those are the people that are helping Londo." Then I added, "Those are Mr. Morden's associates." I was somewhat vague so as not to spoil the upcoming reveal of the Shadows.

When it was over T said it was pretty good. I told him that IMO the second season is better than the first season, the third season is even better than the second season, and the fourth season is just as good, if not better, than the third. I also told him that there were some really good episodes coming up later this season. But even though "A Distant Star" isn't an acclaimed episode, both C & T seemed pretty engaged by it.


"The Long Dark"

As I had mentioned before on this forum, this is an episode I had considered skipping, because it was repeated so many times that I got sick of it. However, I did show it to C & T. Even though I still consider "The Long Dark" a lesser Season 2 episode, I thought it held up pretty well and both C & T seemed engaged by it.

There was not too much commentary from them. However, we all got a good laugh when Amis said of the soldier of darkness, "I think it's calling me" and then the phone rang.

At the end C noted the picture in the book of G'Quon and said, "That looks like what they just shot." I replied that this was foreshadowing, but I resisted the impulse to add, "No pun intended."
See if people weren't having a "Silly B5 Quoted Conversation" I wouldn't have missed this post for three days.

Glad things are moving along in a positive manner. I love A Distant Star and I wish we'd gotten another episode of the explorer ship just doing what they do. I would have also liked to see The Cortez in action during the civil war. We should have at least heard which side Maynard joined.

I admit that The Long Dark is not one of my favorites, but that is because I don't really care for the concept of the monster. I think the story behind the episode is GREAT, but the creature concept is a bit ridiculous to me; invisible, large, and able to somehow sneak onto the Copernicus. I mean I get that it is somehow a being of energy or whatever, I have just never cared for the execution of the creature concept much. I've always felt that dealing with energy beings or invisible beings is just a matter of cheap production values when it comes to TV shows, other than the Vorlons.

I love Dwight Schultz and what they do with his character. I think it is brilliant when they get into the stuff with him and Garibaldi. I also like the idea of the explorer ship left adrift for all of those years. Can't say I like it when it goes all Soap Opera with Franklin, but I definitely would have liked to see more follow up to how Mariah Cirrus adjusted to her new life.

The hook just keeps going deeper and deeper, like I think we all knew it would. Oh they have so much in store. Are you thinking about upping the frequency of viewing as we get deeper in?
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2017, 07:14 PM
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Glad things are moving along in a positive manner. I love A Distant Star and I wish we'd gotten another episode of the explorer ship just doing what they do. I would have also liked to see The Cortez in action during the civil war. We should have at least heard which side Maynard joined.
Apparently the explorer ships go along the rim of known space for years at a time. The Earth civil war might have been over by the time Maynard got back to populated areas.

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The hook just keeps going deeper and deeper, like I think we all knew it would. Oh they have so much in store. Are you thinking about upping the frequency of viewing as we get deeper in?
I don't think it's likely we will get together to watch the show more than once a week.

However, I suppose it's possible we could start watching two episodes in one sitting. We did watch all of "Sherlock" together, and one episode of "Sherlock" is the length of two B5 episodes. But if that were to happen, I don't think it'll be until we get to Season 3 or Season 4.

Speaking of 90 minute B5 sessions, I haven't mentioned this before, but I do plan to show them "In the Beginning" later on. Specifically, I plan to show it to C&T after "Atonement". I want to test the hypothesis that "Endgame" will be even more effective if they first see General Robert Lefcourt in "In the Beginning".
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2017, 08:09 PM
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Apparently the explorer ships go along the rim of known space for years at a time. The Earth civil war might have been over by the time Maynard got back to populated areas.
Yes I imagined they could have missed everything, but I want to know the actual story. Did they get back into known space and learn of the Shadow War, The Civil War, and the founding of The Interstellar Alliance? Those are some pretty big headlines. Those are the kinds of things that happen and make a Captain and crew question whether or not they should listen to their new superiors; if they have new superiors. That is a whole other Babylon 5 Expanded Universe Fan Fiction tale waiting to happen.

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I do plan to show them "In the Beginning" later on. Specifically, I plan to show it to C&T after "Atonement". I want to test the hypothesis that "Endgame" will be even more effective if they first see General Robert Lefcourt in "In the Beginning".
I kind of see your reasoning, but I really like "In The Beginning" being toward the end. I admit that when I re-watched with people I did have to explain who young Lefcourt was, but I'm not so sure he is important enough to put "In The Beginning" before "Endgame". But I guess we'll find out.
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2017, 08:58 PM
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Yes I imagined they could have missed everything, but I want to know the actual story. Did they get back into known space and learn of the Shadow War, The Civil War, and the founding of The Interstellar Alliance? Those are some pretty big headlines. Those are the kinds of things that happen and make a Captain and crew question whether or not they should listen to their new superiors; if they have new superiors. That is a whole other Babylon 5 Expanded Universe Fan Fiction tale waiting to happen.
Maynard: Hey Swamp Rat! I go off to the rim for a few years and look what happens!

Sheridan: That's President Swamp Rat to you!

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I kind of see your reasoning, but I really like "In The Beginning" being toward the end. I admit that when I re-watched with people I did have to explain who young Lefcourt was, but I'm not so sure he is important enough to put "In The Beginning" before "Endgame". But I guess we'll find out.
The other reason is that if JMS had followed his original Season 4 plan, "Atonement" and "In the Beginning" would have been together as a three part episode:

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One sub-thread I'd been planning on was a 3-episode arc that would look at how the Earth/Minbari War started, and Delenn's situation at the start of the war, joining the Council, that sort of thing. Now I was able to split that out. So in the series I can, in an episode, get into Delenn's role in the war and go into the background of how she got to know Dukhat, how she got into the Grey Council, and so on...all the stuff you'd need to see prior to the war. Then the two hours covering the rest, the progress of the war itself, could be covered in the two-hour movie.

With the *benefit* that we'd have a little more money for the movie than we would for two conventional hours, so we could do *more* in the way of EFX, production value, and so on, which you're going to need to really sell the E/M war. So strangely enough, and as tends to happen, this has put us in the position of doing it *better* than if I'd dropped it into two standard-budget episodes, as was my original plan. - JMS

http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-10251
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  #21  
Old 10-08-2017, 07:16 PM
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"A Race Through Dark Places"

I decided to skip "A Spider in the Web", which basically asks a bunch of questions that the series never answers. Plus this way I didn't have to try to explain Control (Talia) wanting to kill Talia (Control). I merely told C & T that the episode was problematic. I then reversed the order of the next two episodes in accordance with JMS' initial plan:

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Yes, originally, "Soul Mates" was to air after "Race." At that time, PTEN was initially going to show just 6 new episodes, and we would have come in after the rerun break with "Race," then "Soul." - JMS

http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/030.html#JS
In addition, reviewers at The AV Club and SF Debris recommend showing these episodes in production order.

Not a ton of commentary from C & T. However, this time C asked, "Is that Chekov?", and I replied in the affirmative. She didn't make the connection back when we watched "Mind War". She also mentioned that Walter Koenig looked ill, "pasty" was her word, during this episode. Meanwhile, T chuckled when Ivanova said Sheridan's wife must have been a saint.

When Bester made his way to Downbelow C asked, "Why is it raining?" I replied, "I don't know, leaky pipe maybe? But you would think they would fix it." T agreed with my assessment.

The confrontation between Bester and the telepaths threw C & T for a loop. C's first comment was, "What happened?", shortly followed by "Did she really do that?" And then T asked, "What happened to the Captain?" Each time I simply said, "Watch." Finally T said, "Ah, so it was all an illusion".

There was some concern generated by the dramatic framing of Talia's Psi Corps insignia at the end of the episode. C asked if it was some kind of listening device and I said no. I suppose I could have been clever and said that there was something else in the room listening in on their conversation, but I didn't think to do so at the time.


"Soul Mates"

Since we skipped "The War Prayer" back in Season 1, I introduced this episode by saying that Centauri nobility is like old European nobility, with marriages arranged for political purposes. I then told them that Londo has three wives that's he's not very fond of, and that he nicknamed them Famine, Pestilence, and Death.

C recognized Lois Nettleton but couldn't quite place her. She asked me the actress' name and I said, "Her last name is Nettleton, I can't remember her first name." But then C remembered that her first name was Lois.

When the lovely Mariel showed up, C said that would be the one Londo picked. Furthermore, when Timov slapped Londo, C said that he wouldn't be picking that one. Needless to say, C was surprised by Londo's choice at the end of the episode. I asked T which one he thought would be chosen, and T had agreed with C that Mariel would be the one.

T was amused by Delenn's hair-raising adventures during the episode. And when Delenn asked Ivanova about her cramps, C said, "OK. We all know that means."
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2017, 11:07 AM
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[b] C asked if it was some kind of listening device and I said no.
Just a quick comment while I have a minute. The insignia is something I wondered about a one point. There are a few moments when we see characters remove the insignia as a symbolic gesture. Well I thought wouldn't it be an interesting twist if the insignia pins turned out to actually be tracking and/or listening devices. So I definitely see where C might have been coming from.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2017, 09:18 PM
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I thought wouldn't it be an interesting twist if the insignia pins turned out to actually be tracking and/or listening devices. So I definitely see where C might have been coming from.
It's funny that we see anti-listening devices at least twice, e.g., All Alone in the Night and Rising Star, but we never see anyone using a listening device on the show.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:20 AM
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It's funny that we see anti-listening devices at least twice, e.g., All Alone in the Night and Rising Star, but we never see anyone using a listening device on the show.
HAHA, true unless you count Londo in The Geometry of Shadows trying to secretly record his encounter with Elric. But he got pretty immediately burned on that one.
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:26 PM
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HAHA, true unless you count Londo in The Geometry of Shadows trying to secretly record his encounter with Elric. But he got pretty immediately burned on that one.
And Elric recording Vir, which burned Londo even more.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:07 PM
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HAHA, true unless you count Londo in The Geometry of Shadows trying to secretly record his encounter with Elric.
You could also count the stolen link in "Objects in Motion", which was modified by an assassin to gain access to the security channels. Not a bug per se, but it was a true listening device.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:09 PM
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G'kar's replacement eye for visual surveillance.
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  #28  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:35 AM
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G'kar's replacement eye for visual surveillance.
Good one! I forgot about that.
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  #29  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:51 AM
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And Londo recorded Morden revealing that he was doing favors for Refa, as revealed in Ceremonies of Light and Dark.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:12 PM
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Meditations on the Abyss; the Drazi put a bug in Vir's shopping bags.
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