Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “A Spider in the Web”

One Steven Schapansky, frequent guest on B5AG and the podcast’s designated Control Group, will be pleased to know that Talia Winters is real, and not a hallucination from the first season! She’s back and a cyborg’s after her, so let’s talk about it sans spoilers…

10 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “A Spider in the Web””

  1. Interesting side note I noticed while ripping my DVDs (wanted to watch them on my phone) the title for this episode in the episode itself is merely “Spider in the Web.” yet all documentation seems to add a “A” to the beginning.

    There was another episode later that does something similar. Can’t recall what it was at the moment though.

    And poor James Shigeta. The man can’t catch a break. If it’s not German thieves posing as terrorists it’s Free Mars radicals or mongolian war lords.

    1. I’ve just bought my first TV and DVD in 20 years, since back when I watched these on VHS. I also treated myself to 2nd hand boxsets. This episode is gallons better than I remembered, perhaps because I was confusing it with the cyborg tale from S1. And yes, Talia! Nice to see her finally come into her own some.

  2. The one thing that always confused me about this episode, is why Garibaldi was the one setting up the station scanners to look for this weird element. Why would someone in *security* be doing that? Shouldn’t there be someone in CnC that does all that stuff, some sciencey person?

    1. You know, B5 does have a serious lack of a “science” officer, doesn’t it?

      Never thought about that before.

      1. It’s particularly odd that physicists aren’t more interested in the disappearance of B4, both before and after it becomes clear in S1 that it involves time-travel.

        But one of the basic rules of B5 is that anyone with a PhD is corrupt, reckless, stupid, or some combination of the three. MD’s are OK, though.

        1. Well I figue earthforce is probably keeping what happened during B^2 kinda hush hush.

          Talking about it any more would be kinda spoilery.

  3. Maybe I just missed it, but no one — really, no one? — thought it worth pointing out, here or in the podcast, that Ms. Carter’s great-great-grandfather, who piloted the first colony ship to Mars, was named John? JMS with the Barsoom shout-out long before the unfairly maligned Disney film!

  4. One thing about the “suddenly Mars” comments …. This was in the day when SF shows did not have “Previously On” segments before them, which are now standard for practically all serial shows. If it did then we would have seen some scenes from A Voice in the Wilderness reminding us of the Mars riots and perhaps some other shows.

  5. I also always thought the episode title was “A Spider in the Web”, it just feels better than “Spider in the Web”.

    Lurker’s Guide talks briefly about the title issue. Originally everyone, including JMS and the satellite link, referred to the episode with A, but on-screen title was without A, even in the original airings and not just DVDs. First draft of the script released in the script books has the title without A.

    However, the most definite source must be the writer. In the introduction for the script he answers a question if there’s anything that fans often misunderstand about the episode. Direct quote from Larry DiTillio himself: ‘The most glaring mistake is the title. It was never called “A Spider in the Web,” it was just “Spider in the Web.”‘

    I’d say that’s about as close to the source as it’s possible to get, even if I don’t like it.

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