22 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “The Fall of Night””

  1. Hi there. Not a comment on the latest episode – but a more general comment and thought you may see it here. Recently started re-watching B5 and am listening to your podcast as I go – fantastic podcast; very funny, informative and enjoyable.
    As a british listener, I just wanted to mention that the UK DVD release of Season 2 has ‘bonehead Delenn’ in the title sequence for the first 2 episodes, and then ‘hairy Delenn’ in the remaining episodes. It appears from comments you made at the beginning of this season that this was not the case for N America releases.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Minor nitpick- The scenes at the end of the episode are supposed to take place on New Year’s Eve, 2259. We have that fantastic scene of Ivanova lighting the Hanukkah candles for what appears to be the eighth night of the holiday. Thing is, the eighth night of Hanukkah takes place on December 23rd that year.

    Otherwise? Great end to a great season. 🙂

  3. I’ve a busy work week, so will comment in depth later. I listened to this section on an evening stroll and was treated to at first, a classical violin score which I took to be you lot fooling around with a mournful dirge for Keffer. I had it in my head to compose some eulogy for Warren Keffer, ‘counsel to the heroes of Akdor, revealer of the Shadows’, that sort of thing. Then the violins got faster and a bit surreal, and stopped in dead air and I realised I’d played the wrong mp3. Steven (First) Schapansky, delightful to have you back. I think I speak for all the regulars in especially looking forward to your perspective on this. A lot of great very well hosted, with notable thanks to Chip for reading JMS on spoo, I was giggling off my rocker.

  4. Chip, your brilliant delivery of the description of spoo made my day. I must have looked quite silly, listening to the episode in the gym and laughing loudly (couldn’t help it) as I worked out.

    A bullet necklace is one thing, shutting down someone’s shop is another. Of course Night Watch can happen today. They’re on our college campuses, blocking tenure and denying applicants for faculty jobs, demanding “safe spaces,” getting people fired for uttering political heresies and threatening schools’ accreditation for committing sins of badthought. Authoritarian thought police are authoritarian thought police, no matter which side of the isle they hail from.

    While I agree that budget considerations influenced the lack of windows, it does make sense. Star Trek may have lots of big beautiful windows on their starships, but that’s because they have access to vast quantities of phlebotinum, handwaveium, and unobtanium for the construction of their ships. We actually do get to see Dwight Schultz looking out a window in The Long Dark, and it is a small porthole-like aperture on the floor.

    Why are we now sending Stephen to the Zocalo? What happened to throwing him out the airlock? I know Dr Franklin doesn’t find it funny, but with all these spacings, he was on track to become the “They killed Kenny” of the podcast. So sad.

    1. From performing his seduction of the innocent, Welles has designs on being a regular at B5. He wants to keep his status quo and his own group of government-approved retail partners. He doesn’t want any muddiness to that branding.

    2. I would even if B5 would have windows not wanted to have windows in my room… I easily get sick, when I can’t see the motion I’m feeling and it’s also in a bit the other way round, when I see motion but nothing changes… and you would see the spinning of the station all the time through the windows…

  5. Ooh! I’ve paused Lineage, which I thought one of the weaker episode of Angel S5. But Wesley’s father is played by Mr. Lantz, Ray Dotrice! I’m going to re-adjust my tuners and enjoy this!

  6. As I understadn it, not every race actually prefers their Spoo fresh. The Centari apaprently prefer their spoo aged, and offering a Centari fresh spoo is something of an insult. This is why Londo takes particular offense and spits on it when G’kar offers him fresh spoo in Midnight on the Firing Line, in addition to him having recently finding out it was the narns who attacked Ragesh 3.

  7. Well. Their is perhabs a quite obvious reason, why they have no windows (they could have them in the floor, if they wanted to): Prevending people to get space sick! I don’t know, but the station needs to rotate in quite good speed to obtain 1g, which means, that perhabs people would feel unconfortable by watching all the time stars flying by.

    And what Steven said about “who designed this place”: A o’neill design is the most efficient version of a big space station: You have enough space for much people to live there, you can even grow vegetables there (on most other based, Deep Space Nine and Stellvia (an anime of 2003) included, they have no fresh vegetables on the table) because you can assign big parts to agriculture, you don’t need to spend much energy into gravity and need to repair the gravitation devices, you only need to keep the station spinning (which will, as space is a vacuum and there is no friction, will 99,999% of it’s time need not any energy for obtaining the spinning, so it’s practical) and well…

    why would you even want to look outside the whole day? It’s not like star trek, where you can see every week a new planet, another star ship or something else spectacular. It’s always the same dame red planet Epsilon III and some ships going by. You don’t even have different weather on the planet, the orbit around Jupiter at Io station is perhabs more fascinating than from B5.

      1. If the station had windows the outside would be so much darker than the inside you would not be able to see anything anyway, what would be the point?

        1. I think the absence of Windows is one of those things that one can file under “What JMS was trying to do with the show at the time.”

          Well, OK – he was trying to save money. Pretty much everything about the look of the show was driven first and foremost by “How can one make a space opera without Star Trek budgets?”

          But B5 also advertised itself as based more strongly in Real Science than previous televised SF. This is obviously pretty superficial in some ways (telepaths!), but there is a definite element of the show that at the time was trying to appeal to the kind of viewer who had grown up reading things like OMNI magazine, not to mention midcentury science-fiction.

          In fact, if I’m not misremembering, I first encountered the “rotating tin can” model of a space station in OMNI at some point during my childhood in the ’80s (although the issue itself may well have been from the ’70s).

          So the absence of windows is (beyond avoiding unnecessary and expensive visual effects) about deliberately eschewing a certain kind of identifiable Star Trek visual grammar in favor of something more “realistic.”

          1. Also, if it had windows they would be in the floor. Which means you would walk on them. People have enough trouble walking over transparent glass viewing panels over say the Grand Canyon, how freaked out would they be if you told them you’re standing on a single piece of glass that is all that is stopping you from being ejected violently into deep space…. There’s nothing below your feet for 100 light years…

  8. Someone in the RASTB5 boards asked JMS about
    “Imagery in [the] Season Two episode titles.” I love his response:

    Yes; work it out as you have, but take it further…we start with a point of departure…then after some revelations, examine the geometry of shadows, then begin to more forward, a race through dark places. We come toward the long dark, our past a distant star. We carry the motif of a world getting dark. The coming of shadows that darkens into the long twilight struggle, the last period between day and night…and we end the season on…the fall of night.

  9. Answering one of Steve’s questions.

    I wish I could find the quote, but as I recall, JMS was asked what Garibaldi would have seen if he was in the garden. The answer was “Himself!”

  10. @Chris Nielsen
    “how freaked out would they be if you told them you’re standing on a single piece of glass that is all that is stopping you from being ejected violently into deep space…. There’s nothing below your feet for 100 light years…”


  11. When I heard of spoo I immediately thought of the schmoo from Li’l Abner, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmoo . Whether deliberate or accidental, the similarities are interesting. Li’l Abner would have been in newspapers when JMS was young, and the schmoo in particular appeared on TV in several incarnations.

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