Blast From The Past … Genesis of a Calibrator … Part 7

BABYLON 5 #22: The Long Twilight Struggle(42)/Divided Loyalties(41):

B052

7.0

1.33

DPL

LDCA

Category: Science Fiction / Fantasy / TV

These episodes haven’t even shown up on the satellite yet and it’s September 1995 now.  It will be a long time before they show up on disc.  I’m certain that these won’t be released until 1998.  Ouch.  The final four episodes of the second season are being held back until October (Satellite broadcast is September 29) in order to lead directly into the third season of the series.  The chances of finding reruns of these four shows will be difficult.  More casting changes in store for the show this upcoming season.  What they are is unknown.  JMS has indicated that the universe of Babylon 5 is about to be turned upside down in the third season as the order of things is about to change.  People we expect to survive to the end will be killed off and the audience will be left at square one.  Don’t expect certain characters to be the heroes in the end because that will not happen.  We already know that Mr. Garibaldi will meet his destiny in a blaze of glory. (No longer, thanks to events in “War Without End.”) JMS describes the upcoming change as comparable to the Clings now running the Federation and that is the way the story is from now on.  So Lyta Alexander returns to the station to inform the group that they have a traitor in their midst.  Cool continuity for the story.  “Divided Loyalties” has production number 20 for the season, but it is shown as #19 in terms of continuity.  “The Long Twilight Struggle” is #19, but #20 for story continuity.  Talia Winters becomes the show’s first story casualty as she turns out to be the traitor / sleeper agent in their midst.  A major twist in the story line, but it makes perfect sense after the foreshadowing is repeated during flashback sequences.  Another blow to the heroes of the story.  (Of course, in real life, Andrea Thompson asked to be written out of the show given her small number of roles.  The Lyta character will be able to fill that role nicely though.  Talia is never coming back according to JMS as the character is dead.)  The reaction on Garibaldi’s face just before he about to be scanned by Lyta is classic.  Watch him reach for his PPG and the look on Sheridan’s face as the gun comes out.  “The Long Twilight Struggle” marks a major turning point in the story.  The episode is actually very depressing in a very cinematic style.  A very somber, but dazzling wham! episode that pushes the series further from the likes of Star Trek.  This is not Trek, as events have meaning in this universe.  The accompanying music during the space battles are almost classical in nature and help to raise the emotional level of the episode.  Beautiful and spectacular, as the show demonstrates why it has the best CGI effects team around.  There is no comparison to SAAB.  We jokingly mention that if the show were to air in Japan or Europe, the feel good ending would have been dropped to heighten the impact of the rest of the episode.  As it is, it turns out to be a joke because it does nothing in terms of cheering up the viewer.  The stakes are too high and the heroes are too far behind in the race.  Exactly where the author wanted the heroes at this point in the story.  Has the show introduced any contradictions yet?  No, not a single thread of contradiction.  They have even gone to the effort of explaining why characters look different from when they last showed up.  (Even though in reality, they probably just couldn’t get the same actor to reprise the role.)  What are mass drivers and why are they outlawed as weapons?  From a closer inspection, the devices are actually small asteroids launched toward the surface of the planet for the purpose of orbital bombardment.  Since the rocks maintain their integrity during the re-entry phase, the impact on the planet is akin to planetary collisions and devastating.  While not nuclear in nature, the impact does create a massive shock wave as well as throw vast amounts of soil into the atmosphere.  Like throwing rocks, the weapon is primitive, but fascinatingly effective.  The Shadow battle is the only battle in the B5 universe that actually takes place over long distances as the Shadow capital ships effectively destroy the Narn fleet.  Only the Shadow fighters are drawn into the close proximity of the Narn fleet.

 

BABYLON 5 #23: Comes The Inquisitor(43)/The Fall Of Night(44):

B054

7.0

1.33

DPL

LDCA

Category: Science Fiction / Fantasy / TV

End of the second season of this now highly rated show.  To boldly go and kick Deep Space Nine in the butt.  What?  This show has already aired in England months ago and not in North America yet.  This just isn’t fair to the loyal fans.  A chance to sit back and regroup our thoughts on the events of the previous episode.  The Vorlon begins testing the metal of Sheridan and Delenn.  Are they the right people for the upcoming struggle.  You would figure that at some point the shadows will turn on the Centauri.  And when does the Vorlon get killed?  “Comes the Inquisitor” is an effective episode in the spirit of the torture episode from ST-TNG (“Chain Of Command”).  The revelation that the inquisitor is actually Jack The Ripper from 1888 London was an embellishment that did not need to be inserted into the show.  The show stands just fine without this little piece of information.  “The Fall of Night” is next with the Centauri launching an attack on Babylon 5 itself causing significant damage to the station.  (Something we would never see on DS9 as they have only one model and refuse to touch it or destroy it where as the Babylon 5 station does not exist as a real model, but as a computer graphic.)  The new weapons array of the station as discussed in the “GROPOS” episode is put to the test at last.  The story continues and the stakes escalate.  Cherish these episodes as the series may not repeat these particular shows again.  Wow!  That is all I can say about the season finale of Babylon 5.  Well, maybe a bit more.  Things move fast and furious in this last episode as everything our heroes believe in starts to crumble around them.  The end of the line for another cast member who throws his life away to push a plot point.  Heavy on the special effects and the story takes that unexpected turn which really leaves the viewer disturbed.  The story is really progressing now and I cannot wait for the season premiere in one week.  Massive death and destruction, the shadows, Earth Government conspiracies, Kosh, assassinations, and the story pushes on.  Looks like Commander Ivanova gets the narration duties for season three as she begins narrating at the end of season two.  The addition of the new ship for Sheridan will provide for some interesting times next season.  A retrospective of the season just past is that the shows have gotten consistently better.  Observe the sequence with the tram car explosion, there are 65 composite special effect shots all in a matter of four minutes.  It gets bested in the third season and many more times in the fourth season as well.  I have to tape Comes The Inquisitor again because the first time around, the DVHS program bug showed up and recorded a blank screen for 30 minutes before I could correct the problem.

 

 

Michael Chen

Michael Chen is the only THX Video Systems Instructor in Canada, and beyond these borders, is one of just two THX Video Instructors in the entire world.  He has actively consulted with Spectracal and ChromaPure and has created numerous education videos on the calibration process with still more to come.  His Video Calibration Training Series has quickly become the most comprehensive and simple to understand learning tool on the market today.  He has also taught classes for both the ISF and Spectracal as well and is now spearheading his all new TLVEXP calibration training program. Let Michael teach you Video Calibration and add that additional income stream to your installation and integration business

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