Woo! Season 2 of Babylon 5!

I has!

Well, the first disk, anyway. (I’m Netflixing it.) But still, hurray!

I’m only one episode in, so here are my initial thoughts: why the heck didn’t they promote Ivanova to replace Sinclair? Doesn’t that make a lot more sense than bringing in a Mimbari-murderer who doesn’t know anything about the station? Ivanova knows the job, and she knows the people on Babylon 5, and I have no doubt she’d do the job brilliantly.

Hopefully they brought in Sheridan (whom I do not like so far) as part of someone’s nefarious plan? I don’t know. He’s certainly nowhere near as good at the diplomacy as Sinclair was (which I’m pretty sure is, uh, the whole job.) Ivanova’s not great about diplomacy either (little patience for fools) but I don’t think she’d get so scary-angry about the Mimbari. I’m really worried that Sheridan’s going to screw up and cause something terrible.

He seems a lot less willing to talk, even to the crew, which worries me. When they were facing the Mimbari attack, he just gave orders– confusing, scary orders– without explanation, even though there was time to explain and it would have significantly increased the chances of being obeyed. I mean, it’s just poor leadership to tell soldiers to sit there when they’re being charged, and to not attack under any circumstances, without giving the poor folks a reason. He’s lucky none of them panicked and shot one of the approaching ships. I hope he doesn’t give orders without explanations too often. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially since he hasn’t already earned everyone’s trust.

On the positive side: we know the Big Secret about Sinclair! And it makes sense! It honestly explains why the Mimbari suddenly surrendered, and why they didn’t tell anyone why. Usually when television shows have Big Secrets they either never tell you, or when they do tell you it doesn’t make a lot of sense or explain everything, or it’s not a thing worth keeping secret. This one, though, was worth the payoff, and I’m glad they didn’t drag it out any longer– it gives them space to allude to and then reveal more excellent secrets 🙂

So far, I’m really excited, because it looks like the screenwriters really do have a long story-arc planned. Shows like to lead me on with promises of coherent stories, but then they always fall into the same trap of making up exciting rubbish to increase ratings, and then dying a slow nonsensical death as people lose interest. In other words, it’s all middle-middle-middle, as opposed to beginning-middle-end. Thing are changing here on Babylon 5, and it’s exciting.

So I’m going to go watch episode 2!

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32 Responses to Woo! Season 2 of Babylon 5!

  1. nevermore says:

    About Ivanova not becoming commander of B5, remember Sinclair as a “lowly commander” got the post only because the Minbari wouldn’t accept anyone else. There were generals (like Ben Zayn) applying for the job. And Ivanova expected Sinclair to be replaced by an ambassador or a general; Sheridan as a “mere captain” only got the job because Santiago personally chose him. Ivanova by that time is only 28 years old (Sinclair’s 41, Sheridan 43); even with a promotion at that point there’s no way she would’ve gotten that job.

  2. eloriane says:

    I’m sure you’re right. Ivanova just got promoted to commander, as of the last episodes I saw, which is surely too low. She just doesn’t look twenty years younger than Sinclair and Sheridan, and when Sheridan was whining about “maybe I should never have come, it was irresponsible, I can’t do this job!” I wasn’t fond of him and so I agreed. But he’s growing on me now, and like I said, I’m sure you’re right.

  3. Crowfoot says:

    Hi there! came over from Shakesville 🙂

    zomg I LOVE Babylon 5! I think the only thing I was ever disappointed in the the production values/costuming, and that was pretty minor. Up here in Canuckistan we have a science fiction channel called the Space Channel and they were showing the whole series over a few times in a row. I think I watched it all the way through each time. And taped it! In fact, I think I still have those tapes and might bring them out and watch them again heh.

    What got me was the excellent writing. Lol it’s so hard to not talk too much about it :-D. But I shall remain mum. Enjoy! And I love Ivanova too. Big crush.

    *goes rummaging in closet for old vhs tapes*

  4. eloriane says:

    Hey, you’re in Canada? I might move to Canada! I’m a citizen (birthright, via my mum) and I spend my summers in Ontario. Whereabouts do you live?

    As for B5: I definitely agree with the love so far. I’ve never been particularly impressed by special effects so that doesn’t bother me (though I’m very into clothing design so the costumes sometimes drive me crazy– Delenn’s new hair looks awful! It bunches up on top of her head really weirdly.)

    I have to wait for Netflix to bring me my next installment– it’s going to drive me crazy, watching this four episodes at a time, I can already tell– but the slow pace is perfect for really analyzing what’s going on. And the writing really rewards thought, which is refreshing.

    Hey, do you know any other good sci fi shows that I should look into netflixing? I’m already a huuuge Dr. Who fan but other than that I’ve never gotten into sci fi TV. Anything particularly good? Or particularly sexist and horrible, and therefore good blog fodder?

  5. nevermore says:

    The part about Sheridan having doubts if he is in the right place (happened again in the Cortez episode) is something not very common for a Sci-Fi show. Add to this the conversation with his sister, about how he still hasn’t gotten over the loss of his late wife. All of that in the first four episodes after he arrived. I don’t think I’ve seen a captain portrayed so vulnerable and in self-doubts in a sci-fi show at the very beginning of his tenure, at least not in the early 1990s.

  6. eloriane says:

    Actually, that’s a very good point. Vulnerability in a captain is rare (something to do with the idea that strong men don’t cry? Not that he cried, but– you could tell that he did a year ago.) The more I think about it, the more sophisticated this show seems.

    I don’t have a lot of experience with military sci fi tropes– the only other sci fi TV I watch is Firefly and Dr. Who, and they don’t have a military structure running things– so I appreciate you pointing out my blind spots.

    And like I said, he is growing on me– by the episode with his sister, I was genuinely sympathetic. Now if only he’d stop it with the ending lines for each episode! (This one is just the writers’ fault, but it’s still annoying!)

  7. Crowfoot says:

    I’m in Vancouver 🙂

    I don’t really know of other good sci fi shows, unfortunately. I’m rather behind in watching the current crop of shows. I’ve heard good things about the new Dr Who, but haven’t seen it. I’ve heard good things about the new Battlestar Galactica, but have only seen bits and pieces. Both of these are on my rental list however! I’m more familiar with the various Star Treks, and always thought that Deep Space 9 had the most promise in doing something interesting- and succeeded in some of that.

    I’ve watched one episode of Torchwood and absolutely hated the leader of the group. Why do these shows always always do this “follow the leader-my word is law or get the hell out- no questions – no debate” extreme militaristic hierarchy thing? Bah. I can’t stand it. “You questioned my authority once so now I can never trust you and you must leave the group.” It’s so… patriarchal :-/

    Back to B5: completely agree, nevermore. I had the same reaction to Sheridan as eloriane initially- give what sounds like a bad order but don’t explain it at all? To troops who don’t know you? That just sounds like bad leadership. But then we see his doubts and his vulnerability.

    I liked him better than Sinclair… but then, I started watching the show in the second season, watched it all the way through, then started watching it again from the beginning when Space ran it through again (it was on at a great time slot for me, obviously, heh- 5-6 pm M-F). I had always thought that it was mostly because the actor that played Sinclair simply wasn’t as good as the one who played Sheridan. *sigh* I used to know the names. But maybe a good part of that is just getting used to the one character before the other. I need to start watching it again from the beginning to see how I feel about the shift.

    But! have you noticed the actor that plays Delenn on Lost?? 😀 I was watching Lost and started cheering when I saw her. (sorry this is so long- clearly I miss talking about this show 😉 )

  8. eloriane says:

    Vancouver, eh? I’ll be in Vancouver this November! Part of an epic road trip– my fraternity has a chapter at UBC, and one of my (female) brothers and I are driving to see all the chapters.

    And don’t worry about length– I sure don’t, lol. I like talking. It’s why I have a blog.

    But back to the sci fi…I totally have a crush on David Tennant, the current Doctor (#10). I love him to bits. But then, there’s a saying in Who fandom– “you never forget your first Doctor.” With very few exceptions, whichever of the ten doctors you experience first is your favourite doctor. So my parents are all about Tom Baker (#4), from the 70s, because that’s when they were watching, and one of my friends is all about Christopher Eccleston (#9) because she started watching right after the reboot, whereas it took me a year to hear of it.

    I bet it’s very much the same principle with other shows– if you like who you start watching with, then you’ll be constantly comparing the replacement to the original which doesn’t really help you to enjoy the new fellow. But I’m fighting the impulse on this one– I’m sure I’ll get used to Sheridan. Just as long as nobody takes Ivanova away from me!

    I highly recommend Dr. Who, by the way– start with “The Christmas Invasion” (Tennant’s first episode 🙂 ) so I won’t have to fight you over who’s the best Doctor 🙂

    I’ve watched some each of BSG and Torchwood but neither really impressed me. BSG was fun the first season but it really seemed to lose focus the more time went on…nowhere near as tightly written as B5.

    And Torchwood just gave me nightmares! I didn’t mind the leader so much– he was a minor character in Dr. Who and was very cool there– but they never seemed to actually encounter any aliens. After several episodes that were nothing more than humans being really, really awful– ritualized cannibalism!– and a lot of blood all over, I stopped watching.

    As for Delenn on Lost– cool! I love spotting actors in different places. (David Tennant was in Harry Potter as Barty Crouch!)

    I’m not sure if I’ll watch the show, though. Lost strikes me as suffering from the same thing as BSG (and, reportedly, Heroes)– a lack of plot coherence. I’m not convinced the writers know where they’re going with everything. I’m waiting for the shows to end to decide whether or not I want to invest the time 🙂

  9. nevermore says:

    My guess is having earned a degree in psychology helps writing complex and vulnerable characters. 🙂 All of them are vulnerable in B5, and you’ll see a couple of the “strong men” (and women) cry and do other things heroes aren’t ordinarily supposed to do.

    If you end up liking B5, ST: DS9 might be worth a try. They also have a few very interesting female characters, not to mention a black captain. I’m just in the process of watching Farscape for the first time, which is quite bizarre and quirky at times, but more episodic than B5 or DS9. None of them is written as tightly as B5, though.

    My impression is that most fans prefer Sheridan over Sinclair. Sinclair’s a very restrained personality and I’m not sure if he could’ve carried the show as well as Sheridan did.

  10. eloriane says:

    Actually, earlier on I wrote about how Sinclair didn’t seem to have any personality at all 🙂

    So I think I’ve been too hard on Sheridan. I’ll have to add that to my list of things to write about. (I worried that I’d have trouble coming up with stuff to say but so far I’ve had trouble getting it all down!)

    And thanks for the recommendation of DS9– I think I’ll finally give in to my mum’s nagging and netflix that, too 🙂

  11. nevermore says:

    Ah, and about Delenn’s hair – on the DVD commentaries (don’t listen to them before you’ve finished the series – spoiler altert), you have Stracyznski apologizing more than once that during much of season 2 they could never get it right 🙂

  12. eloriane says:

    Haha! Brilliant! Yeah, it’s a little different every time we see her but it still looks so wrong half the time. Hopefully they figure it out eventually 🙂

  13. Crowfoot says:

    ah yes! I saw your post on how Sinclair didn’t seem to have any personality at all. I’m just doing all my B5 posting here it seems, heh.

    And another yes to Delenn’s … hair… skull thing. It just doesn’t quite work!

    nevermore, do you mean Stracyznski got a degree in psychology? oh I’m such a poor nerd *hangs head* I should look these things up :-p ! But then, I watched the show back in… ’98? ’99? and wasn’t on the interwebs at that time. lol I fail at nerdiness 😦

  14. eloriane says:

    Yeah, I’ve just gotten in the habit of linking to my site whenever it seems conversationally relevant (the art of blogwhoring!).

    More screenwriters ought to get degrees in things other than writing. Psychology is a great one for avoiding mistakes in character development, but I’d love to see more movies written by people who understand science. Just today I was watching Eureka, and one of the supposed geniuses said, “Well, random events do tend to cluster together.” My science-oriented family actually had to pause to laugh at that statement– they don’t! At all! That’s what makes them random!– but I think the writer must have thought it sounded like a plausible response.

    I want to go into screenwriting eventually, actually, but I’m majoring in Arabic for ungergrad; partially because my school has no film major, and partially because I think I’ll be able to write better films if I have had experiences that have nothing to do with film. We’ll see how that one works out.

  15. nevermore says:

    @Crowfoot, yes, Straczynski’s got degrees in clinical psychology and sociology (with minors in literature and philosophy).

    The problem with Delenn’s hair is indeed the crest. They had a lot of trouble getting Mira’s hair underneath that crest, and the crest kept slipping. Londo’s hair also was an “accident”, according to jms. On the drawings, his hair was much shorter; but Peter Jurasik came to jms out of the mask with the hair untrimmed and jokingly asked if he liked it. jms, thinking PJ was serious and not wanting to hurt him, agreed, hoping they’d somehow get it right – as a result now PJ thought jms really liked it. So they got stuck with that “cat on his head” (jms), and for almost two years never got it right.

  16. eloriane says:

    Aww, I like Londo’s hair! No one else in the show ever looks right in it (probably because they don’t have the receding hairlines; it looks particularly weird on younger centauri.)

    As for Delenn’s hair, I just have trouble understanding how hair can go underneath something like the bone crest, which I understood to be attached to her head. Though right now all the hair above the crest is piled on top of her head, so perhaps they were struggling with the same issue.

  17. Crowfoot says:

    Speaking of David Tenant! My first brush with Dr Who was the fuzzy-haired guy with the long scarf 🙂 Always wanted that scarf lol. Well, tonight and last Friday I’ve been watching the newest Dr Who and am loving it! Yeah, he’s pretty cute that one, in a Slytherin sort of way 😉

    Anyways, just thought I’d share how you’ve inspired me to try out the show (I’ve always meant to, but kept getting distracted).

    Moar Dr Who plz kthxbai

  18. eloriane says:

    The fuzzy-haired guy is #4, and he’s the most iconic doctor. Because I am a huge geek, I knitted myself a replica scarf. Yes, an exact replica. It is three times as long as I am tall (turns out Tom Baker was a really tall guy!). I’m working on a shorter one that’s more like a normal scarf that just happens to mimic the pattern, but all the time I used to spend knitting is now taken up by blogging, so progress is a bit slow.

    It sounds like you’re actually watching #9 (Christopher Eccleston), who was nice enough, I suppose; I liked him, but not as much as I am totally in love with Ten. Slytherin’s a good word for Nine, but Ten is…geekdorable? Ten’s hyper technobabble is the cutest thing in the world. Nine is great though, he did a lot to revive the show, and I’m glad you’re watching it! I really adore it.

    Man, I have to get the second half of the latest season somehow…I’ve had to abandon all my Who-related sites to avoid spoilers for the season finale, but it looks like my Tivo is never going to record it for me. What happened to reruns?!

    Anyway, you should write a guest post about Dr. Who for me to publish while I’m in India! 😀 😀 😀

    Or you can just, you know, talk to me normally about it. 🙂

  19. Crowfoot says:

    India?!?! oooooh I covet that more than the hand-knitted scarf copy (that’s awesome!)

    And no, this is definitely Tenant. Definitely Barty Crouch! I recognized him in HP as well (“hey, isn’t that the new Dr Who?”). I don’t know this Chris Eccleston fellow.

    I’ve heard Google is my friend.

  20. eloriane says:

    …OH.

    I thought you couldn’t possibly be talking about Tennant, because he’s the least Slytherin person I’ve ever seen. Except, of course, when he’s playing Barty Crouch. FAIL.

    In my defense, though, Eccleston is the first of the “new” doctors and he is a bit Slytherin. He did season 1 of the reboot; Tennant didn’t come in til season 2. I interpreted “the newest Dr. Who” as “the reboot” which would have you watching Eccleston first…

    Yeah, I still fail. But, I would like to note, this is a reading comprehension fail, not a google fail! I knew Tennant was in HP…I saw him myself! I just, um, didn’t make the connection.

    I suppose the only defense that remains is: I’m going to India and you aren’t, neener neener neener! 😀

  21. eloriane says:

    Oh, and I guess “I have a Dr. Who scarf and you don’t” too, though I’d gladly make one for you (maybe a mini one? please?) if you’d like one. Be warned, though, it’ll take a million years!

  22. Crowfoot says:

    Google is my friend!

    it’s definitely Tennant that I’m watching. I didn’t catch the year of this episode, so I don’t know if it’s a repeat or not. I do recognize Eccleston from other places, but I don’t remember what, but I haven’t seen his Doctor. I’ve seen Paul McGann’s tho! It was.. a movie of the week? It was some time ago I think.

    As for a guest-post, I think I’d be too nervous! I should have to think hard and analyze! (like I don’t do that already heh). I just may take you up on that 🙂

    BUT! tell me about India!

  23. eloriane says:

    Haha, I thought you were telling ME to google!

    I’m going to Chennai, India for a few days (that’s in the southern tip part) to attend the wedding of a friend of the family. My mom and dad were invited, but my mom’s job has been stressing her out and she’s been to India before, so I get to go with my dad instead! Three days will be taken up by our parts of the wedding, but that leaves seven more for general awesomeness. I’m really looking forward to it.

    And I wouldn’t be nervous about posting here. Demonstrably, it’s a pretty laid-back bunch 🙂 Also, I find that it’s good for me to stop worrying and just publish. But if you don’t want to, obviously you don’t have to. I just thought it might be fun for the commenters who keep talking about wanting to blog, and it’d be a big help for me. 🙂

  24. Crowfoot says:

    lol sorry about the confusion re google. I should have added something about going to check! I can see Eccleston as Slytherin, but Tennant just keep looking.. kind of reptilian somehow. But in a cute geeky sort of way! And I’m liking the converse sneakers and suit/trench coat affair. Not as iconic as that scarf, of course. And I would love Doctor scarf! Tho not 16′ or however the original was lol. I don’t knit at all and have nothing to offer in return alas.

    I can tell you my favourite light-bulb joke!

    How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light-bulb?

    a fish

  25. Crowfoot says:

    (I put this in 2 comments because one giant one felt like it would just be too long)

    so cool going to India! And for a wedding! double awesome. I hope you handle the jet lag well – I’ve discovered melatonin several months ago and it’s been helping me get over my insomnia. My cousin, who travels all over for work, uses it to get over jet lag. He says that he takes it just at bedtime when he arrives wherever he’s going, and it helps him switch over to the new sleep cycle. I mention this because it would be crappy to be 1/2 asleep for those 10 days. Forgive me, I’m a little bit mother-hen, a little bit (lot bit) Gemini-who-loves-to-share-info.

    And of course, you’re right, this is a laid back bunch to blog with 🙂 I think I just need some hand-holding! And, again, you’re right about just publish! I should!

  26. eloriane says:

    Then I officially nominate myself for the role of Crowfoot’s Official Hand-Holder! You are going to write something, and I will publish it on November 5! There! Do it!

    The scarf will be in return for the post 🙂 In return for your joke, I have MY joke (the only one I tell):

    Two muffins are in an oven. The first muffin says, “Boy, it’s hot in here.” The second muffin goes, “OMG A TALKING MUFFIN!!!”

    I think I made it up when I was little. I have become known for it. I almost told it at my pre-graduation Senior’s Night celebration, except we got the sound system working in time.

    I’ll look into melatonin for the jet lag, though I don’t tend to have trouble shifting my sleep patterns around. Which is to say, I struggle so much with maintaining regular sleep patterns that jetlag is indistinguishable from my usual troubles. But I’ve only been to Europe before, and India is, uh, farther.

    Also, do you want my IM screen name or my email or something? (I’ll give them to you anyway, HA! eloriane@gmail for email, and ladyeloriane for AIM.) I feel a little guilty filling up my blog with what’s sort of a private conversation! Which isn’t to say I mind, just that we’ve kind of strayed from the topic of Babylon 5.

  27. eloriane says:

    Also, the punchline my friend told for the surrealist joke was this:

    Two. One to hold the giraffe, and the other to purple elephant bathtub.

  28. Crowfoot says:

    LOL on both jokes 😀

    and um yeeeaaahhh slightly off-topic methinks! Thanks for your email and AIM (yay AIM, I’ve got iChat). You, of course, have my email address, and my AIM account is Cinnificus.

    And I accept your posting as Crowfoot’s Official Hand-Holder and your charge of posting something on Nov5 🙂

    k will stop thread-drift now (sorry about that. I am teh chatty tonight)

  29. Crowfoot says:

    oh, I forgot to mention- please feel free to delete these messages as they really are off topic. Of course, you are free to do as you wish with your own blog! But I mean that I don’t mind/wouldn’t be offended or anything if you did. (just in the interest of keeping things cleaned up)

  30. eloriane says:

    No, I love chatting! It’s just 1am here and I should sleep soon.

    But I’ll need whatever-it-is written by Oct. 30, I realized, so I can schedule it before I leave…I’ve added you to my buddy list so the next time I catch you online I’ll do some Official Hand-Holding. 🙂

    I think my noisy typing is keeping my brother up in the next room, though, so this’ll have to be good night. Thanks so much for agreeing to write! I’m really looking forward to it!!

    Sleep well 🙂

  31. Crowfoot says:

    you too! 😀 and thanks for asking!

  32. […] things, never got around to it. A conversation in a comment thread about First Doctor Syndrome with eloriane reminded me that I should check it out and I did. And, well, there you go. […]

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