PDA

View Full Version : Bad Astronomy on Babylon 5



ToSeek
2002-Jan-21, 01:33 PM
In the new B5 pilot, Legend of the Rangers, the spaceship the hero is piloting hides from the bad guys in the tail of a comet but spends the time dodging house-sized comet pieces coming through the tail and finally has to emerge because the ship can't take the pounding any more.

Am I right in that a comet's tail is actually pretty hard vacuum, and that comet chunks wouldn't be a big problem?

Wally
2002-Jan-21, 05:00 PM
I'd tend to agree with ya on this one. I think a comet's tail is mostly vapor with little sand-sized particles mixed in (which gives us our annual meteor showers). Can you imagine house size chunks raining down on us every shower!!! That'd get attention!

Chip
2002-Jan-21, 06:38 PM
In "L5" (should have been called "L7" as in squaresville - yawn) there was a sequence about landing on a comet and approaching it from within the tail, also with big chunks breaking away. Didn't those two end of the world movies, "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" have landing scenes on fragile asteroids with breakaway bits too? Anyway, I'm not sure. Of course its dramatic to depict it that way. In reality, there might be an occasional chunk blowing off once in a while, but probably mostly glowing dust. However, if we ever land on a comet, we might find it to be very fragile. Any comet experts care to comment?

Matherly
2002-Jan-22, 12:45 PM
O.K., havn't seen LotR yet (so no major spoilers!)

So my guess is that its a special First One comet... yea... that's the ticket...

<sigh> A shame because B5 is usually good about not doing actual bad astronomy (and I'm not talking about stuff like sound in space which we decided was probibly within the acceptable BA tolerance for Speculative Fiction like B5 and Star Trek)

Donnie B.
2002-Jan-22, 01:30 PM
Hey, you can't use LotR for the Babylon 5 spinoff... that's the acronym for Lord of the Rings!

[:D]

Matherly
2002-Jan-22, 07:47 PM
&lt;Carl blinks>

Um... watch me do it.

LotR is short for the television show "Legend of the Rangers". It is also used short hand for the J.R.R. Tolkien novel "The Lord of the Rings". The management apologises for any confusion this might cause.

See, I did it right there. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Chip
2002-Jan-22, 09:51 PM
On 2002-01-22 14:47, Matherly wrote:
"...The management apologises for any confusion this might cause..." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Oh. OK. (I thought you were requesting a Letter of Recommendation!) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Chip

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-23, 12:11 PM
Chip

That ot to of been Letter of the Recommender.

Alan
2002-Jan-23, 02:27 PM
On 2002-01-22 08:30, Donnie B. wrote:
Hey, you can't use LotR for the Babylon 5 spinoff... that's the acronym for Lord of the Rings!

[:D]


How about LotPR?

Legend of the Power Rangers.

That is what I thought whenever the ships gunner went into action.

James
2002-Jan-24, 01:14 AM
On 2002-01-23 09:27, Alan wrote:

How about LotPR?

Legend of the Power Rangers.

Oh, man. That is bad. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif


That is what I thought whenever the ships gunner went into action.


She didn't call for anything. She just stepped into a room. BTW, doesn't this movie take place after B5 went off the air?

WHarris
2002-Jan-24, 11:37 AM
On 2002-01-23 20:14, James wrote:
BTW, doesn't this movie take place after B5 went off the air?


Yes. It takes place in the latter half of 2265, about 3 years after the end of the series and two years prior to the beginning of Crusade.

Alan
2002-Jan-24, 02:27 PM
Spoiler below



On 2002-01-23 20:14, James wrote:


On 2002-01-23 09:27, Alan wrote:

How about LotPR?

Legend of the Power Rangers.

Oh, man. That is bad. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif


That is what I thought whenever the ships gunner went into action.


She didn't call for anything. She just stepped into a room. BTW, doesn't this movie take place after B5 went off the air?



Snipped from the SciFi.com website about the show:



This new chapter of the Babylon 5 story finds the mysterious Ranger force--a combination of humans and alien Minbari trained in space warfare as well as the unique alien philosophy of the Rangers and just about every conceivable form of martial arts--faced with deadly challenges in its attempt to create peace out of the war's destruction.


The gunner steps into a holodeck and uses these martial arts to fight - with bolts of energy flying from her hands and feet. If they carry this "GUI" further then her reaching out and grabbing or pushing objects becomes tractor/pressor beams.

What bothered me was the lack of coupling between her and the ship. There were no exterior shots of the ship firing. In all of the other shows pratically every other ship (the little flying saucers are the only exception I can recall) has well defined gun barrels and fire mainly in one direction. The ship is 20 years old, but we saw no evidence of such capabilities in the Earth-Minbari war, nor was such a fire control system incorporated in the White Stars. Why? It was introduced because it was a neat special effect. Another indication of what is to come is the fact the the ship is "haunted". The semi-psychic Minbari can get needed information from them anytime the writers are blocked.

I expect to get tired of "We live for the one, we die for the one" very quickly.

Chip
2002-Jan-24, 03:28 PM
On 2002-01-24 09:27, Alan wrote:
Spoiler below
"...The ship is 20 years old, but we saw no evidence of such capabilities in the Earth-Minbari war, nor was such a fire control system incorporated in the White Stars. Why? It was introduced because it was a neat special effect...I expect to get tired of "We live for the one, we die for the one" very quickly.


Of course old ships can be equipped with updated systems, but I agree with you. It would have been nice if they had said simply that. "We've installed the new haloweapon." Or whatever they call it.

Advanced tech that appears like magic can be impressive in SciFi, but one of the charms of the original B5 series was that they had to get out the hand-on tools to fix things: i.e. wear spacesuits if you go outside, use shuttle crafts instead of "beaming," use grappling hooks and cables to tow or move things, instead of beams. Star Trek spin-offs often relied too much on beams of various kinds to solve problems. But let's give L of the R a chance, it might get better.

Do you think the ship's cook says: "I cook for the one, they eat for the one?" /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Alan
2002-Jan-24, 06:34 PM
I plan to watch it a few more times before chucking it outright, it might get better.

All I could think when she started fighting was Power Rangers. Then, are the shot's intensity based on how hard she punches/kicks? What if she sneezes? If she covers her mouth when she sneezes, does she shoot her own ship? Does she get dizzy? Dizzy enough to throw up - gives new meaning to projectile vomiting!

It is a hookie special effect added just to be a special effect. It was just something added that annoyed me, that seemed really stupid, like computer screens that sound like dot-matrix printers when text appears (slowly) on them, or electronic timers on bombs that tick loudly.

Matherly
2002-Jan-25, 01:41 PM
O.K., I've seen it now.

The comet was bad. BAD JOE! BAD, BAD JOE!!! NO COOKIE!

The hologun (for lack of a better term) was a cute idea executed poorly. Why we havn't seen it before could be because it's only used by the Anlashok(sp?) (i.e. the Rangers). The Military Caste doesn't want to bother with it (they just want things to die in the most efficent manner) and the White Stars didn't have them because they didn't want to have to teach the Religious Caste crews how to use 'em. But the Rangers like 'em 'cause Rangers are goofy that way. That being said... it looked like laughable crap.

But beyond that, the show has some promise. I'm curious about The Hand (and I'm wondering if there is any connection to Thirdspace), and I was realitivly fond of the characters. Now, if we could only see Entil'Zha again, I'll be happy.

David Hall
2002-Jan-25, 01:45 PM
Aw man, there's another B5 series? This is the first I've heard of it (small wonder there /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif ). I never even got to see how the first series ended.

Well, heading back to the states for a visit in 2 days. Should be able to catch an episode or two. Doesn't sound too promising from what I've read on this thread.

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-25, 04:08 PM
Advanced tech that appears like magic can be impressive in SciFi, but one of the charms of the original B5 series was that they had to get out the hand-on tools to fix things: i.e. wear spacesuits if you go outside, use shuttle crafts instead of "beaming," use grappling hooks and cables to tow or move things, instead of beams. Star Trek spin-offs often relied too much on beams of various kinds to solve problems. But let's give L of the R a chance, it might get better.


I always liked the more hands-on technology of B5 as well. Even if by that point in the future we can move things around with beams, technology seems more compelling/realistic to viewers (at least to me) when it requires cables, tools, and some grease. That was always one of the nice things about the Millenium Falcon and Battlestar Galactica -- their respective crews were always tightening stuff down and swapping out parts. I might also add that this is one of the things I've always liked about Heinlein. His high-tech worlds are still gritty and blue-collar.

ToSeek
2002-Jan-25, 04:27 PM
On 2002-01-25 08:45, David Hall wrote:
Aw man, there's another B5 series? This is the first I've heard of it (small wonder there /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif ). I never even got to see how the first series ended.


Just the pilot movie so far. No series yet.

And if you've seen the first four seasons of the original series, you've seen the best of it. Season Five wasn't quite on the same level, IMHO.

Chip
2002-Jan-26, 04:37 PM
On 2002-01-25 11:27, ToSeek wrote:
Just the pilot movie so far. No series yet.
And if you've seen the first four seasons of the original series, you've seen the best of it. Season Five wasn't quite on the same level, IMHO.


However they did use your Tennyson quote on B5, which is alot more inspiring than to "live" and "die" for "the one." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-01-26 11:42 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Jan-26, 04:53 PM
On 2002-01-25 11:27, ToSeek wrote:

Just the pilot movie so far. No series yet.

And if you've seen the first four seasons of the original series, you've seen the best of it. Season Five wasn't quite on the same level, IMHO.


Thanks for the info. I got to see half of the last season, but it was in sporadic order as the friend who sent the tapes to me wasn't very organized about it. And he stopped sending them to me after a while. For the same reason I never saw the Crusade series either.

I didn't think the last season eps I saw were too bad, but yeah, they weren't to the level of the first 4. Of course if you know the history of the series, it's pretty understandable.

I gotta try to hunt the rest of it down eventually.

Matherly
2002-Jan-27, 02:50 AM
On 2002-01-26 11:37, Chip wrote:
However they did use your Tennyson quote on B5, which is alot more inspiring than to "live" and "die" for "the one." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


Oh, I dunno. It still gives me chills when Marcus says it when he is facing off against Naroon. The utter convinction in his voice as he stands against his death and doesn't yeld is truly one of the grat moments in B5.

Chip
2002-Jan-28, 03:04 AM
On 2002-01-26 21:50, Matherly wrote:


On 2002-01-26 11:37, Chip wrote:
However they did use your Tennyson quote on B5, which is a lot more inspiring than to "live" and "die" for "the one." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Oh, I dunno. It still gives me chills when Marcus says it when he is facing off against Naroon. The utter conviction in his voice as he stands against his death and doesn't yield is truly one of the great moments in B5.


One of my favorite moments (among many) is when Sheridan quotes Tennyson before facing off with the help of the First Ones in the big showdown between the Vorlons and the Shadows. The episode that concludes that story arc is titled "Into the Fire."

G'Kar, Delenn, Ivanova, Londo, Vir, Sheridan, Sinclair, Lorien, even Zathrus... all had wise things to say from time to time in B5. On the other hand, Kosh's blunt, vague, obscure statements are also a good lesson in hypothetical advanced alien (symbolic?) communication. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Roy Batty
2002-Jan-28, 12:29 PM
On 2002-01-27 22:04, Chip wrote:

On the other hand, Kosh's blunt, vague, obscure statements are also a good lesson in hypothetical advanced alien (symbolic?) communication. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif



... Yess ...
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif