Sunday, March 9, 2008

B5 S1 Ep 9-12: Deathwalker, Believers, Survivors & By Any Means Necessary

Babylon 5: Signs And Portents Season 1 Episodes 9-12 have been moving the characterizations along nicely among other heavenly bodies. I thought I would make mention of a few notable observations as the series continues to establish itself and players.

First, can we say Andrea Thompson as telepath Talia Winters is about as smokin' hot as blondes get? I think I can. I mean that girl has curves in all the right places. She is workin' it! So there you have it. It's been said. She's absolutely dee...lightful. By the way, not to demean, a fine actress to boot!

Second, Richard Biggs has been turning in some fine recurring character performances as Dr. Stephen Franklin. Clearly a fine actor, I've been enjoying his work, besides no science fiction show is complete without a good doctor [is this a rule somewhere?]. My affection for this cast should come as no surprise. As I have said before the cast is outstanding as a whole and makes the B5 experience an engaging one.

Third, Jeffrey Doyle as Garibaldi, the epitome of hot headed cool, sometimes reminds me of Bruce Willis in his affect, expression and overall look, not often just at times. It's quite funny. Also, while not a huge fan of O'Hare, he does generate some sympathy from me as commander. He has a thankless job in his efforts to maintain relations aboard Babylon 5, navigate political and social conflict and placate ties with councils of the Earth Defense Force. I think I have that right. Not to mention he is a necessary man of wisdom from time to time.

Writer David Gerrold steps in to pen Believers. Gerrold is most notable to science fiction fans as the man behind Star Trek's The Trouble With Tribbles from 1967. The episode makes mention of a problematic creature within the Babylon verse that is dreadfully problematic and would be so if imported onto Babylon 5, a clear nod to the Tribbles. Overall it's a pensive episode concerning God and one's belief system amidst competing belief systems and alien cultures.

Despite the weak production values on CGI I do enjoy Babylon 5's fighters, dubbed Starfury, and the station design is beginning to grow on me. With a bit of a budget those Starfury fighters could really look like something special. As it stands here they look dangerously close to the kind of clips extracted from a video game like Star Wars Rogue Squadron. The ships that float around Babylon 5 between scenes just look so damn silly. I think back to the modeling work and the care that went into shows like the original Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica and the detail that went into those sequences still holds up well today. At least those ships were more convincing than the computer dreck found here. Underdeveloped CGI is really a turn off for me, but there are glimpses that give me pause for hope and I'm only clearing the midway point of Season 1 afterall.

Deathwalker: C [English actress Sarah Douglas guests. She played Ursa in Superman and Superman II. She also appeared on Stargate SG-1 as one of the Tok'ra.]
Believers: C+
Survivors: C+
By Any Means Necessary: C

Classic dialogue from Survivors:
Sinclair: "You're more trouble than a toilet full of snakes, but I couldn't run this station without you." Garibaldi: "Commander, I sense a huge payraise coming my way."

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