Hobsonphile (hobsonphile) wrote,

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So. I just finished watching JMS's commentary for...

... The Fall of Centauri Prime. Let's see if I can jog my memory past the OMFG SQUEEEEE! stage. *g* Warning: Rambling stream of consciousness ahead...

JMS opened the commentary by saying that Fall almost didn't get shot (because there almost wasn't a fifth season) and that he's very happy things ended up working out in the end because, as he put it, while B5 is in many respects the story of the station and Sheridan and Delenn, it is "just as much the story of Londo and G'Kar" (I applauded loudly at this) and he would've been deeply disappointed had he not had the opportunity to write the proper end to their arc.

He praised Damien London/the Regent for his "me and my cerebral cortex are not quite here" performance. JMS also commented on how the Regent went from sort of this odd, silly character to a deeply poignant and noble character in the end, facing his death with bravery and dignity. Which is absolutely true and something I've neglected to comment upon in the past. Something JMS did not say, but which I also think is true, is that the Regent's speech could just as easily sum up Londo's life- particularly the "I have been quiet when I should've spoken" segment. And then, when the Regent faces his death "as a Centauri", I believe that is intended to reflect Londo's own sacrifice.

I don't know if I've explicitly said this before or not, but accepting the Keeper and the throne, I believe, is Londo surrendering to his greatest fear and is thus the fulfillment of Lady Morella's prophecy. It's the loss of pride, of power, of autonomy that Londo fears most (we see this telegraphed in The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari- it is pride that holds back the apology) and here... here he gives all of those up voluntarily for the sake of his people... for the sake of his world.

JMS called the destruction of Selini in Into the Fire Londo's one moment of triumph and said, when Shiv'kala brought out the detonation device, "and now that moment is being reflected back on him." Also in this scene, JMS mentioned Londo's patriotism as a major motivational force for the character and said there is a certain nobility in Londo, that he's willing to go down in flames "for the world he loves so much."

Commentary on the Best. Scene. Ever: On the laughter and friendly sparring, JMS exhorted us to "think about where they were in the first season. Could you imagine, back then, these two characters just joking around? ... They've come such a long way... in one of their first scenes together, they almost strangle each other in the Zocalo and now they're looking at each other with open affection and friendship..." JMS also praised Peter and Andreas for their ability to project so much character and emotion despite "ridiculous" wigs and prosthetics and such, at one point telling us to "look at all the emotion in Peter's eyes. I was blessed to have them both." Interestingly, JMS related that Londo's line- "When we first met, I had no power and all the choices I could ever want. Now, I have all the power I could ever want and no choices at all."- was actually inspired by something similar Peter said to him regarding Londo at the season four wrap party. Which proves that Peter was paying attention. *g* Significantly, JMS called G'Kar's moment of forgiveness one of the most important moments in the series and said that both actors were genuinely moved in real life by the scene. So that wasn't just acting, kids. Doubly significantly, JMS made an INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT CHARACTER NOTE: He suggested that Londo actually wants to fully embrace G'Kar in this scene, but clasps his arm instead because he knows he now has to keep people at a distance- "keeping G'Kar at arm's length to save him" is, I believe, close to how JMS put it.

JMS paused at least once to just oggle at how incredible Londo's arc is. Many, many times, he also commented on how deeply sad and tragic Fall is. "Think of how incredibly sad Londo's situation is right now... he has to drive away everyone he's ever cared about and walk his path alone..." And on the shot of Londo's lonely walk to his coronation: "That is probably one of the saddest shots we ever did on the show. Just a moment of perfect, utter sadness." That it is. I found myself crying- again- watching the episode even though the commentary track was on. *whimper* *more distressed noises*

So, that'd be my report for right now. I figure I owe it to all of you, especially the mighty S and S duo. *g* Coming up: the promised DS9 meta and probably a review of The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari, since I didn't get a chance to review that several months ago while I was reviewing fifth season as it was playing on the Sci Fi Channel. (I started a few episodes after TVLNoLM, IIRC) Ooh, and maybe that rant I never wrote on why I hate A View from the Gallery with the white hot fire of a thousand burning suns...
Tags: babylon 5

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