Episode 024 – Eyes

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Sinclair’s decisions are called into question and Ivanova refuses to submit to a telepathic scan. Jason joins us to recap episode 1×16 – “Eyes”.

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2 Responses to “Episode 024 – Eyes”

  1. Voord 99 Says:

    [Spoiler for Legacies. I don’t think that you should bother with reading the spoiler warning aloud. Actually, this is going to be a long one, so I won’t be at all offended if you skip this entirely.]

    OK, the great “tickets” controversy. Obviously, the real reason why all these people get stuck on the station is to allow for a wider range of types of story.

    But can one make it work in-universe? I think it’s one of those questions where it may be helpful to flip it around and ask what the freedom of travel implies about how the assumptions of this universe might be different from ours, and then ask if that can be made to fit with the rest of the show.

    I’d start with the observation that Babylon 5 (the station, not the show) is a crazy idea. You want to promote peace, and your approach is to build a space station to house a sort of UN, that incidentally also houses a large number of people? This is not remotely cost-effective compared to something like the G8, a rotating series of conferences that would bring representatives of different powers together on a regular basis. This is an objection that the show acknowledges, since it makes it clear that a lot of the problems that people back on Earth have with Babylon 5 are budgetary. As well they might given that this is the 5th attempt!

    I said “crazy,” but not “implausible.” The Babylon Project was conceived in extreme circumstances, and people come up with strange things at times like that. In the Earth-Minbari war, humanity suddenly found itself at war with a vastly superior alien race about whom we knew practically nothing. Then, on the verge of completely wiping us out, they suddenly surrender for no apparent reason.

    This is where things like tickets, visas, passports and so on come in. These things are embedded in assumptions about international law, travel, and relations between countries that took centuries to develop. Some of them are very recent: visas and passports have only become a normal requirement to enter a country in the last century.

    What the Earth-Minbari War should be a terrifying lesson in is that the Babylon 5 universe doesn’t have those shared understandings between the many, many species with which humans now interact. In Legacies, this is the point of the gunports incident with which it opens: we simply don’t understand the protocols that govern how Minbari do things.

    There is no way to guarantee that aliens share enough of our assumptions about travel to make a “you must have a ticket for exit before you enter” feasible. That would require mutual understanding and agreements between the myriad alien species that don’t exist yet.

    The point of the Babylon station is to create a cultural space in which those understandings can develop. The idea is that it should be open to as many people as possible to come there. This is an idealistic, utopian goal, something that the show is up front about: “a dream given form…to create a place where humans and aliens can work out their differences peacefully… a home away from home…” That it should put practical concerns second to this idealistic goal is not that surprising.

    I personally find it much weirder that the military commander of the station is also the diplomatic representative of Earth. This is surely a job for a professional diplomat. Plus, there should be a serious involvement of xenologists (or whatever the B5 universe would call anthropologists who study alien cultures).

    As for Legacies itself, anyone who doesn’t have Neroon as Alien of the Week is just wrong. Wrong, I say! 🙂

  2. Centauri_Ranger Says:

    Did I hear right at the very last minute when you were signing off that one of you ladies said “stroke off”? If so that’s fraggin hillarious!

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