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delennhug

Another Top 5:

For carbonelle:


Top Five Things I’d Change About B5

If I could go back in time:

1) I’d institute a rule whereby someone from the crew would be required to hit JMS over the head with a large brick every time he considers writing a meta-episode (ETA, per selenak's suggestion: using a POV outside of the characters we know and love). The Deconstruction of Falling Stars and A View from the Gallery would cease to exist.

2) More detail on the Earth-Minbari War would be included, and the extent of Delenn’s culpability would be more fully explored. Perhaps the tensest moment of the series would be the scene in which Delenn reveals to her husband some of the specifics of her war-time leadership.

3) In the fifth year, more genuine opposition to Sheridan and the IA would emanate from within the Earth Alliance and elsewhere. The show would not so blithely accept Sheridan’s position as benevolent quasi-king of the universe. Sheridan would instead face the pressures all leaders face in a liberal democracy, which, presumably, he took military action to defend in the first place.

4) The more blatantly obvious historical and literary allusions would be toned down considerably and applied thoughtfully and accurately.

5) Occasionally, I would shuffle the characters around a bit to prevent balkanization and encourage less expected interactions. Vir Cotto and Commander Ivanova live on a five-mile-long space station – you’d think they’d run into each other a little more often. Or, hey, what about G’Kar and Lennier?



Continued from here.

Comments

1) I’d institute a rule whereby someone from the crew would be required to hit JMS over the head with a large brick every time he considered writing a meta-episode. The Deconstruction of Falling Stars and A View from the Gallery would cease to exist.

I agree with you totally there. Falling Stars is an episode that feels so much like a thrown together piece of crap that I usually just skip it whenever I am watching the episodes in order again.

2) More detail on the Earth-Minbari War would be included, and the extent of Delenn’s culpability would be more fully explored. Perhaps the tensest moment of the series would be the scene in which Delenn reveals to her husband some of the specifics of her war-time leadership.

You know, that would have made for a great fifth season episode if JMS had written it.

3) In the fifth year, more genuine opposition to Sheridan and the IA would emanate from within the Earth Alliance and elsewhere. The show would not so blithely accept Sheridan’s position as benevolent quasi-king of the universe. Sheridan would instead face the pressures all leaders face in a liberal democracy, which, presumably, he took military action to defend in the first place.

I agree, and I think they should have focused on it in the early first season and not the telepath storyline. They should have had more interaction between Sheridan and Luchenko (I would have loved to have seen more of Beata Pozniak in that role, because I loved how she was in Rising Star), maybe even have cast someone as a liaison between the two who could have given us an inside look into what would have been going on inside Earthdome.

4) The more blatantly obvious historical and literary allusions would be toned down considerably and applied thoughtfully and accurately.

Agree with you there. On a side note, Harry Turtledove's alt history saga (Great War) has lost itself in being almost an exact copy of events that took place in the OTL World War II, except that the events in OTL Germany take place in the Great War's Confederacy.

5) Occasionally, I would shuffle the characters around a bit to prevent balkanization and encourage less expected interactions. Vir Cotto and Commander Ivanova live on a five-mile-long space station – you’d think they’d run into each other a little more often. Or, hey, what about G’Kar and Lennier?

I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Vir and Delenn, personally.
I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Vir and Delenn, personally.

Well, I was just picking names at random, really. *g* Certainly - as my friend, selenak, and others have already discovered - putting Vir and Delenn in the same room can make for a wonderful scene. Regarding my own future plans, meanwhile, canon itself provides me with an excellent excuse to bring them together - after all, Vir does thank both Delenn and Lennier for easing his transition to Minbar in Dust to Dust. Language lessons, anyone?
Falling Stars *was* thrown together after JMS found out that a fifth season was going ahead. It's technically the first episode of season five, but the production numbers were changed so that Sleeping in Light was last (After being filmed at the end of season four).
1! Oh my god, yes! Die die die, "Lookit me, I'm soooo meta" episodes! Save the metatextual analysis for your books of commentary on the series or something, JMS. Please!
I didn't mind it so much when SG1 did it with Citizen Joe because SG1's writers didn't even pretend that episode was anything other than a goofy, implausible love letter to the fandom. But -

- you can tell JMS takes his product so utterly seriously. Which, don't get me wrong, isn't wholly a bad thing. But it does kill the humor potential.
Yes. It isn't that meta *can't* be fun, but that the Whoa-this-is-so-serious meta can kind of overbearing and a bit over the top in a bad way.
Hear! Hear!
What's a meta episode? Are those the ones where they recap and go on and on and on?
In a meta episode, the writer pulls out of the narrative with the express purpose of reflecting upon his product. Self-referrential episodes do not necessarily have to be terrible, but when they slip into telling us, the viewers, what to think about the author's text, they can be quite awful. The Deconstruction of Falling Stars and A View from the Gallery, alas, were both meta-episodes of this overbearing type. Both suffer from the dead hand of a writer too in love with his primary heroes to recognize that there are other legitimate perspectives within the universe.

Sheridan and Delenn, surely, can be honored on their own merits without JMS pushing things along.

One meta episode may stay, though, because The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari in a way qualifies as one (what with sentences like "the bottles are all empty? The metaphor is getting a bit thick now!" and its summation of Londo's arc up to this point and everyone's commentary on same; oh, and even Sheridan's arc gets summed up). And is great.

I'm fine with the rest.*g*
Point taken on TVLNoLM. Perhaps I should modify that to say: "every time he considered writing a meta-episode using a POV outside of the characters we know and love." It's just too tempting to Sue the story when you're working with OC's. Londo, on the other hand, notices and resists the meta. *g*
Agrtee on all of this, although I still haven't seen Deconstruction of Falling Stars, probably will in the next few days, and am interested to know if it's as bad as a lot of people say.

PS

I'd add "more detail on the Minbari Civil War", because that's the bit that seems really rushed to me. Maybe it suffered because of the S4/5 uncertainty?
1) I’d institute a rule whereby someone from the crew would be required to hit JMS over the head with a large brick every time he considers writing a meta-episode

...doesn't he know that you're supposed to leave that stuff to fanfic writers? Way to wreck our fun!

Thank you.

If the Ultra Secret Time-Machine project ever bears fruit, you'll be the second to know.