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B5 [was Re: IAVRs]

From: David Brewer <david@b...>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 13:30:30 +0100
Subject: B5 [was Re: IAVRs]

Glenn M Wilson wrote [on B5]:
> Okay, I let my distaste for TV cut me out too soon.

Well, if you don't like TV generally, you may find that B5 isn't
to your taste. Unlike the usual Star Trek fodder it's carried
along by an Big Epic Plot, but at five seasons of twenty-something
episodes of forty-something minutes each there's an awful lot of
really bad, repetitive filler that an Epic Film Trilogy like Star
Wars doesn't need to be padded with. It's television and that's 
what television is... the same familiar thing each week, done on a
low budget with the same cast and sets.

I think I lost count of the number of episodes which were hung on
the unexpected appearance on B5 of someone's ex-lover, who turns
out to be someone important, or a Big Committee of Grumbling
Aliens had to be convinced to do something and one of the Heroic
Space Americans made an impassioned (patronising) speech to
convince them. Often the characters tried to sacrifice themselves
selflessly, but events intervene to save them... couldn't see that
coming, could we?

Still, it wasn't all repetitive plot elements, cheap effects, bad
acting and expositive dialogue. I enjoyed much of it, but I can't
help thinking that the Big Epic Plot would have been almost
incomprehensible if you hadn't seen it from season one. Other than
the Big Epic Plot I'd say "Londo" and "Vir", the Tragi-comic
Euro-aliens, pretty much carried the show. The supreme moment of
B5 is a throwaway scene when they spontaneously sing a snatch of
"Centauri Opera".

If you're going to give it a go, I'd think you'd have to adopt a
mindset where you can enjoy the awfulness of the low points as
much as you enjoy the high points. A case in point would be the
acting disaster known as Claudia Christian... she's like a road
accident, you know it's going to be terrible but can't take your 
eyes off her. Ironically, her inability to project her character 
makes her the fan's favourite... all her subordinates had to act 
as if they were terrified of her, when she plainly couldn't scare 
a three-year-old, so there's this weird dominance-submission thing
going on there. That, the uniforms, the lingerie, the whiff of

David Brewer

"It is foolishness and endless trouble to cast a stone at every
dog that barks at you." - George Silver, gentleman, c.1600

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