Contents: Overview - Backplot - Questions - Analysis - Notes - JMS
Fourth season finale. A look back at the impact of Babylon 5 from 100, 500, 1000, and 1000000 years in the future.
P5 Rating: 8.50 Production number: 422 (but see Notes) Original air week: October 27, 1997 DVD release date: January 6, 2004 Written by J. Michael Straczynski Directed by Stephen FurstWarning: This episode contains spoilers for future episodes, as it's mostly in the form of retrospectives from future viewpoints.
The historical origin of the phrase is of note, given Sheridan's recent victory against Earth. Whenever a Roman general returned from a successful campaign, a great parade or Triumph would be held for him. The general would ride in a chariot, face painted red and in purple robes. Behind him, a slave would hold a golden crown of laurels and whisper the phrase into his ear.
More Soviet Revisionism in action....
I have something MUCH better in mind....
And best of all...it's eternal...and the whackos who've bugged me for five years are not.
It ain't just B5, it's any dream out there.
And in the end, they are wrong.
That's the message of the card.
That, and the truth that in 10 years the naysayers will be forgotten, and made irrelevant...but the show, the *show*...goes on. And will be around long after they and I have gone to dust. And all people will know when they see that card, 50 years from now, was that some jerks said it couldn't be done, and they were wrong, because they are *always* wrong. If you have the dream, the ability and the passion, you can bring your dreams to life despite overwhelming opposition. That's the message.
But for those on the other side, they will never see anything other than meanspiritedness because that's all they can *ever* see...because that's all they can bring to the table.
There's an old saying about books, which I'll rephrase to include B5: Babylon 5 is like a book, and a book is like a mirror: if an ass peers in, you can't exactly expect an apostle to peer out.
And yeah, that little closing card is going to remain on the show for its life...which will be long, long after its detractors (and admittedly myself) have gone to dust. On the one hand, it is a statement of hope to anyone else out there who has a dream, to follow it no matter who speaks against you, no matter the odds, no matter what they say to or about you, no matter what roadblocks they throw in your way. What matters is that you remain true to your vision.
On the other hand, for the reviewers and the pundits and the critics and the net-stalkers who have done nothing but rag on this show for five years straight, it is also a giant middle finger composed of red neon fifty stories tall, that will burn forever in the night.
In billiards, we call that a bank-shot.
The fact, as I see it, is that no one and nothing will ever solve all of our problems at once, now and forever. People will always be people. You can't wave a magic wand and fix it all.
Yes, there was another war...but had the Shadows not been stopped by our characters, there likely wouldn't have been a human race at ALL anymore.
Yes, there was a war, and many died in it...as tends to happen in war...but the nominal right side in it came out on top, which would not have been the case but for Garibaldi's simulacra giving them a leg up on things.
We have had, continue to have, and will always have wars, and grief, and struggle...we will climb up and fall down...but each time we climb a little higher, and in the end, we *do* build the world that our ancestors would have wanted for us...we *do* leave the cradle at last, and we take our place among the stars teaching those who follow us.
For my money, that's as happy an ending as we or anyone can ever hope for.
As with all things, the joy is in the going. We all know we're going to die, that as the poet said, "we are born astride the grave." But knowing that inevitable reality has never stopped human endeavor before....
It's the journey and the doing that matters.
The problem with most people is that they don't hold a grudge near long enough.
I'd have to check, but yeah, I believe we stuck a ranger symbol on the encounter suit.
"Don't worry anymore about using mainly securecam style coverage in act 3, I've just come up with another approach where I can cover it in dialogue to let you do whatever you want with the camera, so you'll have all the flexibility there you want."
Here's a use of a convention you haven't seen much before....
We don't miss these things.
It's altogether possible....
And Theo is only awaiting a story worth bringing him in for.
It was only when I was about halfway into the act that I thought, "Oh, crud, this is the same area Canticle explored." And for several days I set it aside and strongly considered dropping it, or changing the venue (at one point considered setting it in the ruins of a university, but I couldn't make that work realistically...who'd be supporting a university in the ruins of a major nuclear war? Who'd have the *resources* I needed? The church, or what would at least LOOK like the church. My sense of backstory here is that the Anla-shok moved in and started little "abbeys" all over the place, using the church as cover, but rarely actually a part of it, which was why they had not gotten their recognition, and would never get it. Rome probably didn't even know about them, or knew them only distantly.)
Anyway...at the end of the day, I decided to leave it as it was, since I'd gotten there on an independent road, we'd already had a number of monks on B5, and there's been a LOT of theocratic science fiction written beyond Canticle...Gather Darkness, aspects of Foundation, others.
Actually, the computer voice specifies that it is continuing to note atypical solar emissions...atypical meaning something unusual is going on.
All the more reason to get off the planet, asap.
And to the second half...yeah, Deconstruction (or at least the events that would go into it) was mapped out back then.
Since when do news anchors quote the Bible?
Why were Sheridan's childhood photos in black and white?
Even now portraits are often done in black and white just for artistic merit.
NYU is still around in the future?
Trinity College is a working college in Ireland that dates back to the American Revolution. Ed. note: In fact, Trinity College is even older than that -- it was founded in 1592.