Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

03 Jun 2008, 9:00 a.m.

Weird Things

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2008 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Hulu now features the first two seasons of Babylon 5. Since Leonard and I enjoy Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, we've started on Bab5, which features (I am promised) big old arc-y epic alien wars and political intrigue and tragedy and character development. Fans often apologize to newcomers for the first season, and I am understanding why; as a scifi writer, Leonard the other night took personal offense to some clanking exposition. "There are so many better ways to get that across in one sentence!" he exclaimed. Specifically, in "Born to the Purple":

Mollari: I've already made a reservation at Fresh Air.
Adira: Fresh Air? That's the finest restaurant on Babylon 5!

Leonard instantly came up with three better lines for Adira:

[Astonished face]
Fresh Air?!
I thought they were full up months in advance!

But since Battlestar Galactica is emerging at the stately pace of one episode per week, we have no choice (read that in a William Adama voice) but to watch its precursor instead.

Also: If Sarah Peters weren't in Mali right now I'd assume that she had made this video.


Paul Wright
03 Jun 2008, 15:23 p.m.

I don't recall the dialogue in later series of B5 getting that much better: there were still some total clunkers, ISTR, including some proper "as you know, your father, the King" exposition (in the first episode I attempted to show to Sarah, which put her off). Happily, there were good bits too. Mollari and G'kar tend to get good lines.

I think the crappy dialogue and bad rendering are what you have to live with to get the plot, a bit like the bad sets on the old Doctor Who.