Episode 016 – Believers

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A little bit of Biebermania, a little bit of filicide, a lot of anger. Jan joins us as we dissect episode 1×10 – “Believers”.

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3 Responses to “Episode 016 – Believers”

  1. Voord 99 Says:

    I was noticing that you were getting plenty of feedback, but none here! So I thought I might use this venue to say how much I’ve been enjoying your podcast.

    On “Believers,” I feel that the point of Londo’s talk about money must be that he’s fishing for a bribe. This is if I’m remembering the scene correctly. For some reason, I didn’t rush to rewatch the episode to make sure…

    But in qualified defense of this and “Infection,” I’ll offer the following. 20 years later such po-faced “Issue of the Week” B5-does-TNG episodic stories are very hard to take. Episodes of this type aren’t what make the show worth watching after all this time.

    But at the time, these episodes may have been an important “proof of concept” for executives, and even for ordinary viewers. It was important that a viewer could turn on the TV, watch a show they’d never seen before, and grasp what was at stake immediately. Hospital drama cliché – but in space! – achieves that (as does “The Nazis were wrong” – but in space!). Anything that over-relied on character ran the risk that the viewer might not stick with it long enough to become invested in the characters.

    There were only just coming into existence the things that changed all that. Babylon 5 was in fact for me the very first show where I used online recaps and discussion to bring myself up to speed. (I started watching around the middle of the second season.)

    [Mild bur real spoiler] Survivors, although it has traces of episodic disease, is an instance of the “better” first-season B5, being about a character and his past. I’m looking forward to hearing what you say about it.

  2. Squibby Says:

    SPOILERS FOR “BELIEVERS” AND THIS PODCAST.

    I’m just catching up on your older podcasts and found myself strongly disagreeing with your very negative reaction to this episode. To quote Londo, “..it can’t be that bad.”

    “”Believers” is the most misunderstood B5 story. Almost everyone misses the joke. This is a fanboyish nod to Isaac Asimov by two mega-fans of written SF.

    In case you haven’t noticed it, Babylon 5 is full of written SF references, from visual echoes of famous bookcovers, to character names, place names and even some events.

    Qbove all we have the Golden Age Science Fiction Paraphrasing Kosh.

    “Believers” starts the Asimov and raiders. From then on the story is Raiding ideas and making references to the works of Isaac Asimov. A few examples are – Franklin is a Foundationist (this comes Asimov’s Foundation series), and the discussions about people with fixed notions come from Asimov’s “Pebble in the Sky”. There are many more referential ideas and quotes.

    The original “Star Trek” ‘borrowed’ from Golden Age written SF which is why B5 referencing Asimov looks familiar.

    My rating – as a story 6.5/10, as an Asimov tribute 10/10

  3. Squibby Says:

    Sorry, that’s meant to read…

    Above all we have the…

    And
    “Believers” starts with the Asimov and raiders.

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