This isn’t what I expected: Babylon 5 (ep 16-33)

I didn’t think of all characters that Londo (the Centauri Embassador) would be the one seduced by the promise of power enough to start a war. He is such a jolly, simple vices sort of guy. I’m now convinced that the guy who was offering each of the ambassadors exactly what they want, is basically the devil. At least he seems uncomfortable with his new position and is having moral qualms.

I never would have thought of Ambassador Delenn, the mysterious Minbari woman (who by the way I think is one of the best acted characters on this show) would sacrifice her position and go into a chrysilis and become human. Let alone that we would get a episode of her trying to figure out human hair and cramps. But she and Lenier are great, and I love their relationship growing through all of this.

I really never thought that the new captain had an ulterior motive and was gearing up for the coming war. I didn’t want to like the new captain when they switched them for the second season. I really like Sinclair. But Sheridan came aboard, with his love for real oranges and his speech, and endeared himself to the crew and to me. And then to find out he’s a conspirator . . . I’m hoping it’s all for the good.

I suppose however, I should have expected something like this to start up. The main premise of the show is the Babylon 5 was designed to create peace between the aliens, so of course the main conflict should involve a big war. Something larger and darker seems to be coming as well, as certain characters are aware, so I imagine it will be halted or inturrupted by the Darkness. Either way, I am now officially hooked.

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Now we’re getting somewhere – Babylon 5 (s1, ep7-18)

I think I’m finally getting a sense of the beginning of the big story here. But first, some new favorite episodes.

One is Ivanova mourning the death of her father (TKO). The other plot is neat, sort of an alien fight club. But still grieving for the loss of my father a year ago, this one hit me in the feels. It was beautifully done, especially as Ivanova is a no longer practicing Jew, and it is a visit from a Rabbi that is an old family friend that triggers the mourning.

In Grail, David Warner plays a very interesting character, a person actually on the search for the Holy Grail. I love how this show continues things from earth into the future that I would not have thought of continuing. The Minbari honor this gent greatly, and he really does act like a chivalrous knight of the round table.

But I think my favorite, and the best promise of things to come, is from Signs and Portents, which introduces a mysterious character who keeps asking the major players on the station what they really want. And manages to fulfill some of those desires. Also, there are some big things going on behind the scenes with the raiders, and Sinclair, the tough but fair commander of the station (with the sexiest voice ever!) was chosen to be commander, not because Earth thought he would be good for the job, but because the Minbari requested it. I am looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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Not Sensing an Arc (Babylon 5, s 1, ep 2-6)

I am enjoying watching Babylon 5. It reminds me of a time when sci-fi was a lot less grim dark, so it is a welcome break between episodes of The Expanse or Colony. But I had been under the impression that this show was written intensionally to be only five seasons long, and that this structure afforded it the chance to have a very particular arc to it. So far, I’m not seeing it, or the setup for one. But I don’t wish to judge it too quickly. Most shows don’t kick into their major arcs this early, or at least, they didn’t used to. Nowadays, with the speed at which cable channels cancel them, most shows have to perform insanely well from the beginning. Really, I appreciate the chance to just get to know the characters in the show, and find out about their backstories without some huge disaster hanging over them.

The Psi Core story continues to satisfy, and the last episode, Mind War, actually had Walter Koenig (aka Chekov from the original Star Trek) as one of the Psi Cops there in pursuit of a renegade telepath. There was an episode (The Parliament of Dreams) about cultural exchange, the main mission of the station, touching the main religious beliefs of each culture. Interestingly, though they had a similar issue that many sci-fi shows are accused of, that of presenting an alien race as a monolithic culture, they made it purposeful. Rather than presenting one main belief to represent humanity as the other alien races did, they had a chain of people representing as many beliefs as possible.

There were soul eating aliens, a creature that was a cross between a Dalek and a Cyberman from a long dead civilization, and a slave girl plot that felt like it should have involved Orions.

So far, the show feels very much to me like the original seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And I’m not seeing anything insanely original that makes it stand out above other sci-fi shows. Its interesting, so I mean to watch all of it. But so far it’s not hitting me as anything amazing.

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Marvelous Realism neé Magical (ft. MARVELS and A.D.)

Next episode is up – what is magical realism, and can things like graphic novels be considered part of the genre?

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Finally Watching: Babylon 5 (ep. 1)

Babylon 5 came out in 1994, about the same time as my favorite sci-fi show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Which is probably why I haven’t seen much of it. I have always heard great things about it from friends with similar tastes, so now that it is available on Amazon Prime, I’m finally watching it. I will try to post my thoughts as I go.

My first reaction was – wow, I remember how terrible CGI used to be. The space scenes and ship graphics aren’t that great. Certainly not as good as Star Trek was by that time. The aliens were colorful, though, as was the setting inside the station, so I stayed interested.

The story, though, the idea, is pretty cool. The last space station dedicated to keeping peace between various alien cultures, along with strong, moral leaders who really want to see that happen, and a fun somewhat snarky sense of humor is a combination I enjoy. I like the space travel through warp points kind of thing, something different than the warp drive or hysperspace from other shows and movies.

But the thing I like most? Well, actually a few things. Telepaths – telepaths being treated the way humans really would treat them – as dangerous beings that need to be controlled, registered, and watched for their whole lives. The other thing, was the first officer. Through the whole first episode she is straigh laced, hard, competant and respected in her position. But at the end they show her relaxing at the bar, with her hair down, looking beautiful. And no one thinks anything of it. Usually someone would comment on one side or the other, but the fact that this lady can be both and not get teased or hit on or have her authority questioned is awesome.

Having the fighter pilot introduce aliens to Duck Rogers was just sugar on top of a good first episode. Can’t wait to delve into the series even more.

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Does Outrage Culture Bug You? (ft. Ant-Man and the Wasp)

Listen here!
Can films have agendas, or is everyone overreacting? Also, a guest! Writer / editor Will Ford-Conway (@wafcstudios) gives his take, and commemorates over a decade of comics and superhero movies with his high school chum.
Want to suggest a topic for the next episode? Write to us at unboxingstorypodcast (at) gmail.com or subscribe to our Patreon for exclusive content and polls.

Unboxing Story: Taylor Sheridan and Sicario

Next Podcast – all about Taylor Sheridan. Well, OK, and Benicio del Toro.

SCREENWRITER SPOTLIGHT: TAYLOR SHERIDAN (FT. SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO)

Want to suggest an idea for the podcast? Become a Patron!

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Arecibo Thanks and Final Total

Thanks to all of you who donated and joined us for our Live RPG Invitational in support of UNIDOS Puerto Rico Disaster Relief. We had a great day playing Arecibo. Those who donated over $20, or patrons at our $4 level, joined our Secret Council and influenced the game as we played.

Good food and drinks were enjoyed (or not) by all who played. Special thanks to 7th Dimension Games for the use of their back room, Nicolas Hornyak for the game Arecibo, and Evil Hat for the FATE Core system. All sales of Arecibo also benefit Puerto Rico.

Together we raised $485 for those in Puerto Rico who suffered from the hurricanes last fall.

Watch the game here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/279359646

Unboxing Story: Puberty Powers, Activate! (ft. Cloak & Dagger, Impulse)

Our newest episode! Teen supers and why we love them.

Unboxing Story: Puberty Powers, Activate!

Titan Academy – Episode 7: Issues

This week on Titan Academy, our heroes are reeling after the chaotic events at the game. Their school and hideout in ruins, they are forced to continue classes at IMU (the Institute for the Morphologically Unique). Each of them has had to face questioning from the Halcyon government as well as the few AEGIS agents still in commission. AEGIS itself is under investigation after the discovery of Chimera agents in their midst.

Hiro is still interning at AEGIS, and throwing himself into his work, making his grades plummet and his friendships suffer. Takar, as the now amazing popular Volt, is spending even more time with Omega who refuses to give up on AEGIS yet, and is participating in multiple public relations campaigns alongside the hero. Aether is being questioned about their hideout, though only with his father present who insists they can leave the moment he gets uncomfortable. Oblivion is only approached by Firefly, who again offers to enter her mind and help her retrieve her memories, but only because she has to.

Taking classes at IMU isn’t so bad. They have already found friends with the Guild, a group of young supers including Dragonborn, Dryad, the Fates, and Owlbear. While at school they discover that the Supers Registration bill has passed from committee and is before the city council for a vote. The students organize a march on city hall, and invite our heroes to participate. After the events at the big game, however, neither Oblivion or Volt are talking to Aether.

So Hiro has to find Aether to see if he will join the protest. Not wanting to be outdone, Oblivion and Takar end up racing to Ryan as well, and there is a quick pile up in the hall. Eventually they all agree to go to the protest.

The protest is in full swing, with supers and there supporters and normies separated by a long string of dividers and police. Omega is making an impassioned speech in front of city hall, begging everyone to stay calm. Even if the vote is to go forward with the law, there are ways to deal with it legally and peacefully. But the kids can feel the tension rising.

The crowd starts to move, and someone gets bumped the wrong way, and one of the dividers goes down between the sides. Rather than let anyone get hurt, the heroes jump into action. Liv tries to keep the divider from hurting anyone, but some people in the crowd end up getting tossed up into the air rather than kept on their side. Aether steps in and creates an aether current that they slide down to safety.

Once all eyes are on him, he delivers an inspiring speech, reminding everyone that really supers, normies, they are all the same and all citizens of Halcyon city, and they shouldn’t need a registration for those who are different. They just need to get to know each other, learn that they can be trusted, and move forward together.

Slowly, people from both sides begin to pair off and head off together, peacefully and happily. Aether becomes big news, and his father is insanely proud of him when he arrives home. Unfortunately, he also learns the rest of the truth about his grandfather.

Rosie’s Diary

3 Dec 59

We had our first death today. I don’t know if I can stay here much longer.

30 Mar 60

I found what I thought were Q’s records, but they can’t be. I know for a fact most of these are incorrect. Has he been lying to AEGIS? But why would he be under reporting his success? I’m going to keep digging.

24 Nov 60

Not much to report on Q. To be honest, I haven’t been thinking about him much at all lately. CB and I when to dinner last night, our first official date. It’s all I can do to not be distracted at work. It seems things have not been going well for him either. I can’t say that being a woman among military scientists is quite so bad as being a colored man among white Americans, especially since I have been able to convince quite a few of the Joes that I can hold my own in a fight. But it is nice to have someone to commiserate with.

25 Jan 62

I finally found Q’s other reports. It took a good deal of digging, and more than a few close calls, but I found them. Apparently he’s found a way to encrypt them in Jeeves. It’s even worse than I thought, reels and reels of failed trials, and more related to where we find out volunteers. I couldn’t even look at him at the meeting today, but I’ll have to be careful. I don’t want anyone to suspect until we know for certain what’s going on.

15 Sept 63

I confronted Q today. He denied nothing. He knew. He knew there were children being subjected to testing against their will in every division of Chimera. Subjected to gamma radiation, to genetic alterations, interfering with brain waves, muscle functions, making them fight in some bloody testing chamber. He tried to explain why what we were doing was good, that we were going to be protecting people from dangerous supers. None of that excuses this horror. I’m going to meet up with CB and talk options. This has to end.

3 Nov 63

Tonight’s the night. We’re taking 3 and 4 and we’re hooking it. We cannot be part of this project anymore. I don’t care how many excuses Q makes, he’s barmy. CB and I will meet at the back entrance when the guard’s changing. Between the two of us I’m sure we’ll have no problem getting away.

And I think its time, once we have gotten away, I will tell CB about the baby. But not just yet. There’s no telling what we may have to do to escape, and I don’t want him fussing over me.