Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2004-12-30 Entry: "And So It Begins..."

And here we go... "Midnight On The Firing Line" and they're gearing up already... I'd forgotten this show hit the ground running with the Narn attack on Ragesh 3. Susan Ivanova and Vir Kotto make their first appearances, and Delenn's appearance has mysteriously changed since the pilot movie.

Garibaldi didn't trust telepaths in the pilot, now we've got Ivanova's antagonism towards Talia Winters. And considering how everyone dislikes Bester, I'm presuming that telepaths are generally disliked (ignoring of course Ivanova's reasons for not wanting telepaths around).

Ah, and we get the Londo / G'Kar death vision mentioned... and Garibaldi's second favourite thing in the universe (cartoons). And we get Santiago's re-election. There's a hell of a lot set up here, which I guess will be made up for by the fact that nothing happens in the next three episodes...

In "Soul Hunter" we get Stephen Franklin's arrival as doctor and the introduction of the soul hunters. Of course, if I remember correctly, no-one ever explains what purpose the soul hunters have... and all we seem to meet are the crazy ones (here and in River Of Souls)... although there might be contact with them in one of those unfilmed Crusade scripts (I can't remember). They get a decent presence in the Dark Distorted Mirror fanfic series rewrite, but what is that based on?

"Born To The Purple" sees the Londo Mollari / Adira relationship set up, which admittedly won't get a payoff until much later. G'Kar's diplomatic aide arrives, and she's something of a pit-bull... she'll get replaced at some point by Na'Toth (especially as I didn't remember this one at all!).

And last on disk 1 - "Infection" - which, from what I recall, is a completely pointless stand-alone episode, that fails to be saved even by David McCallum as guest star.

"The Parliament Of Dreams" sees Earthforce's crazy idea to hold a week of religious celebrations on the station carried out. Sinclair's second random girlfriend turns up in this episode. G'Kar gets a message from an enemy on the Narn homeworld who's dying. Unfortunately, he's paid someone to kill G'Kar for him, someone close to G'Kar... And this is the episode Na'Toth appears in.

Lets see - Centauri religious ceremony: suitably debaucherous. Oh, Lennier makes his first appearance... I think that's all the regulars now. Ah... the Minbari religious ceremony - lots of ritual, just to eat a strawberry! And finally, our religious ceremony... personally, I think this is one of the best scenes of the series. Because really, how do you demonstrate the dominant religion of Earth?

Ooh - "Mind War" - the big set up for Talia Winters' future telepathic abilities in the Shadow War. Oh yeah, they write her out of the show and have to come up with a convenient rationale for Lyta being able to do the same thing...

Catherine Sakai gets us the first appearance of Sigma 957. And Walter Koenig makes his first appearance as Alfred Bester. You know, for all I complain about the first season of this show not really progressing the story anywhere, there's a lot going on here.

"The War Prayer" sees the first appearance of the Home Guard when a spate of anti-alien attacks break out station-wide. Otherwise, a thoroughly unmemorable episode...

And here we go - "And The Sky Full Of Stars" - of course, it leaves more unanswered questions than it actually answers, but we get a few vague hints about what happened at the Battle Of The Line, why the Minbari surrendered, and why Sinclair has that hole in his mind.

Anyway, two Earthforce personnel trap Sinclair in some strange mental construct, where they get to question him about his blackout. The station personnel (well, Garibaldi anyway) get to run around looking for the Commander, and fortunately, they've got a security leak that can lead them right there...

And because the next disk is four episodes of rubbish, I'm going to take a short break and watch something else for a couple of hours...

In this case, the Pilot episode of The 4400. I saw all but the last episode when it originally aired, but I'll refresh my memory before getting to episode 5. It all begins with Maya - the young girl who disappears March 3rd, 1946. We're then introduced to Richard, who disappeared May 11, 1951 in South Korea, after his squadmates had finished beating him up. Orson, who went missing on June 11th, 1979, we're going to see a lot more of in this pilot, and Kyle and Shawn (April 22, 2001) get their story told over the full first series (well, all 5 episodes of it).

And then we're off... 4400 people mysteriously reappearing all at once. Tom gets back into Homeland Security because he wants to find out what happened to Kyle (his son, who's been in a coma for three years) and Shawn (his nephew, one of the newly returned). The drab beige colourscheme and lighting in the quarantine area is an interesting choice. Maya shows her first signs of precognition. And then they're let out...

What happened with the numbering scheme? I thought they were numbered in the order they disappeared, but this seems almost random!

At Shawn's welcome home party, he manages to heal a bird's broken neck.

And now they're borrowing music from Kingdom Hospital... Ivy's "Worry About You"

Okay, I went out, and now I'm back... and I'm going to be stupid and watch the other 1400 episode on this disk - "The New And Improved Carl Morrissey."

Carl, fish stockist, and abductee for 18 months, and married to Grace (Chloe Lewis from ER), suddenly finds he can win any fight he's in. And the local park that he proposed in, is now overrun with thugs and lowlives. Fortunately, when he's attacked by them, he can easily retaliate.

So Long Ago, Another Life, I Can Feel Your Heartbeat. It's Not A Dream.... okay, I've no idea who the theme tune is by... must watch credits more closely, or track down the lyrics... let me see... okay, Amanda Abizaid, "A Place In Time."

Lily and Richard get an apartment. Maya attempts to make decent contact with the female star... whose name is still eluding me... thankyou show - Diana. Tom discovers Shawn's visit with Kyle. Not much else of interest happens - they start building their hypothesis that there's a big plan behind the returnees, but it's on scant evidence... we'll have to see how the rest of the series plays out though...

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