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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Leaving aside the absolutely dreadful human characters, the book "Dragon's Egg" is pretty much ideal scifi, IMHO.

The writer just couldn't get those human characters to be anything but wooden and unreal, which leads me to suspect he really WAS a Cheela. :D

Prim's book hit the right notes on this also, IMHO. The historical aspect, the references to and reverence for long-lost Earth seemed about right to me.

Something just reminded me of a story that I THINK was by Heinlein, was it "The Green Hills of Earth"? About a sort of vagrant old guy who had been blinded by radiation, bumming around, composing cheezy poems and ending up being a hero?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:17 pm 
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Yes. A classic. It's in a Heinlein short-story collection by the same title.

Rhysling, his name was, and "The Green Hills of Earth" appears as a folk song everyone knows in many of Heinlein's novels.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:52 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Yes. A classic. It's in a Heinlein short-story collection by the same title.

Rhysling, his name was, and "The Green Hills of Earth" appears as a folk song everyone knows in many of Heinlein's novels.


Ah, yes. I remember now! Thanx. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:21 am 
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Well I've seen "The Lost Tales" now and am ready to discuss!

There's also a review on SciFi.com:

Quote:
The opening narration is spoken by the late Andreas Katsulas, whose G'Kar was one of the most compelling and compellingly performed characters on J. Michael Straczynksi's cult TV series. It's a welcome touch, immediately raising hopes that the two vignettes that follow will capture some of the completed series' magic. Do they?
Is Sheridan willing to commit cold-blooded murder to stave off that terrible future?

Answer? Yes and no. On a visual level, the movie's ultra-low budget is betrayed by cramped sets and minuscule casts, which at times during the opening tale is enough to make viewers wonder whether the titular space station has a total population of under six. On the other hand, the use of CGI, while not cutting-edge, remains imaginative. As Col. Elizabeth Lockley (Scoggins) paces back and forth across a window, delivering one of the show's trademark speeches to herself, the starscape behind her rotates, reminding us that Babylon 5 the space station does, too. Interior establishing shots capture a curved interior landscape that appeared only a few times on the original show.

Both vignettes (their combined length is only 72 minutes) take place approximately 10 years after the series. In the first, one of several Babylon 5 tales dealing with religious issues, one of Babylon 5's civilian workers is possessed by what seems to be a genuine demon, one who openly dares a visiting Catholic priest to exorcise him. The priest's temptation: An actual exorcism would prove to a doubting mankind that the species still needs God. The catch: Why is the demon so anxious to go through the procedure? It's Lockley who finds the glaring contradiction in the demon's story, one with substantial implications for the significance of heaven and hell in a spacefaring future. It's a talky story, rife with speechmaking that sometimes borders on the forced, but for those who don't need space battles and explosions it's a neat ecclesiastical mystery, with a twist that might even satisfy the heathens.

A bumpy but rewarding return
In the second vignette, Alliance President John Sheridan (Boxleitner), sitting down with a reporter, provides us with some nice thoughts about the absent characters Londo Mollari, G'Kar and Delenn, as well as some puckish humor about the disorienting effects of quantum space, before a visitation from the technomage Galen (Woodward) delivers a portent of a dire attack on Earth. Sheridan is not pleased. "I'm tired of you guys crawling inside my head and showing me this kind of crap every time I think my life might be going good for a change! What's the matter with you people? Don't you have any other hobbies?" The complication: Is Sheridan willing to commit cold-blooded murder to stave off that terrible future? Or is there an alternative to a pre-emptive assassination?

Both stories suffer, at times, from static and clumsy staging, which may or may not be a function of the overall low budget. One jarring moment takes place in a scene establishing a sudden temperature drop affecting only one section of hallway, as one symptom of the first story's demonic possession; the characters involved in the story shiver and say "Brrrr" the instant they step into the affected zone, but a Minbari extra in the background just strides by, unaffected by the same phenomenon. (Oh, sure, you can explain that away. He's a Minbari. There are no Catholics on his planet. Our gods and demons have no claim on his soul, so he would not feel the supernatural unease that grips the spines of an Earthwoman and a Catholic priest. Etc. But it's still distracting, isn't it? Don't you still have to think about the seeming contradiction for a moment? Doesn't that Minbari's presence hurt the scene, just a little bit?)

The extras include "Fireside Chats" discussing various elements of the B5 phenomenon and interviews with Straczynski, Boxleitner, Scoggins and Woodward.

I admit it: As an old-time Babylon 5 fan, I got a genuine lump in my throat at the report that Dr. Stephen Franklin (Richard Biggs, who died with tragic suddenness long before his time) went with G'Kar (Katsulas, who also is no longer with us), exploring beyond the rim. "You know how he is," Lockley reports. "He'll take any chance to explore new territory before anybody else can get there." Gulp. Dammit, JMS! Don't do that to us! (Both actors are provided more conventional and deeply affectionate memorials among the extras.) —Adam-Troy

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:43 pm 
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*carefully reads nothing in thread*

Well, Blockbuster finally has season 3 available and I'm in the middle of it now. It's gotten so much better. The action has really taken off and it's nice that the big events have finally started.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:56 am 
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From a recent mail by JMS:

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One final note re: recent discussions on TMoS and more Lost Tales.

B5:TLT was commissioned at a $2 million budget to, yet one more time,
"test the waters" for B5. We did what we could with that, and that
was that. As we did with Rangers, which also suffered from not having
a lot of money because of concerns about "is there really a B5
audience?" Which is, of course, a foolish question from a studio that
has never really understood what it has in B5.

Of late, there have been more discussions from WB about doing more
DVDs, again at a low cost, or a cable thing, again with minimal
investment.

So for the last few months, I've been giving this whole subject a lot
of quiet thought. And I've come to a conclusion.

B5 as a five year story stands beautifully on its own. If anything
else is to be continued from that story, it should be something that
adds to the legacy of B5, rather than subtracts from it.

As well intentioned as Rangers and TLT were, as enticing as it was to
return to those familiar waters, in the end I think they did more to
subtract from the legacy than add to it. I don't regret having made
them, because I needed to go through that to get to the point where I
am now psychologically, but from where I sit now, I wouldn't make them
again.

So I've let everyone up here know that I'm not interested in doing any
more low-budget DVDs. I'm not interested in doing any low-budget
cable things or small computer games. The only thing I would be
interested in doing regarding Babylon 5 from this point on is a full-
featured, big-budget feature film.

It's that or nothing.

And if it's nothing, I'm totally cool with that because the original
story stands on its own just fine. I'm not lobbying for it, I'm not
asking fans to write in about it (nor should you) because such
campaigns never really have much impact...that's simply the position
I've taken up here. Lord knows I don't lack for other things to do
these days. I'm busier on more prestige projects with terrific people
and great film-makers than at any other time in my career.

At the end of the day, for me, it's not just a matter of getting more
B5. It's a matter of getting more *good* B5 that respects what came
before it and doesn't have to compromise visually or in terms of
action. The original show deserves better than that, the surviving
cast members deserve better than that, and the fans who have supported
it over the years definitely deserve better than that. A lot better.

So I've drawn that line in the sand, and I'm happy living on whichever
side of that line the universe puts me. Just thought you should know,
'cause it's your show too.

jms

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:42 pm 
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I think he's right.

With the budgetary constraints and the necessary cast limitations, the various follow-ups to B5 have felt sparse and cheap, and the writing hasn't been JMS's best work by a long chalk. I would rather see those five seasons stand as the achievement they are until and unless they can do a new story with a proper budget, one that calls a great script out of JMS (since it's pretty clear no one else is going to be allowed to write it).

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:52 pm 
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Did you ever read the Tecnomage Trilogy? I asked you at the top of the thread and you said you were going to go grab them. Did you?

They were written by Jeanne Cavelos, and approved by JMS, so they're Canon. And damn good Canon too...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:01 pm 
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They've vanished into the chaos of my son's room. I'll make another attempt to find them while he's packing up for school. I do really want to read them on the strength of your recommendation.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:51 pm 
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Be careful... you could find yourself wanting to watch it all again!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:29 pm 
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There could be worse fates. :D

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:00 pm 
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Jerry Doyle (Garibaldi) has died. :(


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:42 pm 
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I'm very sorry to hear that. :(

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:00 pm 
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:( :( :(

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