Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “Thirdspace”

So, it turns out there was an even more powerful alien-race-with-dubious-motives than the Vorlons.

In other news, water is wet.

There’s ALWAYS a bigger fish. Did “Thirdspace” pull off presenting the bigger fish in the B5 universe?

7 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “Thirdspace””

  1. Haven’t listened to the pod cast yet.. but…this is as bad as a 1st season episode. By far the worst of the tv movies. The name TURDspace is well deserved.

    On my first watch, back in the day, I at least thought that the elevator scene with Lyta and Zack was good and funny. On this rewatch, it still was, but was also WAY TOO LONG. Seriously way too long . After reading the lurker’s guide and seeing that JMS write this scene because it all came up too short, it made sense. What a waste of talent and CGI. JMS at his worst. 🙁

    1. haha having listened to the podcast, guess Im alone in still hating this. I did give it a good chance but there was something about it that ruffled me the wrong way. 😉

      1. No, you’re definitely not alone, and I was a little surprised how positively our guides view Thirdspace. I wouldn’t go as far as hating it, but I just can’t get myself around to like it. For me it’s somewhere in the weakest third of B5. I do know some people who consider Thirdspace the absolutely worst of B5, even worse than TKO, Infection etc.

        The biggest problem for me is that B5 was always about the strong, consistent big story, in which most of the pieces fit, and even the seemingly stand-alone episodes always have something to support the big picture. As Thirdspace is a late insert it doesn’t really fit anywhere. No matter when it’s watched it always comes out of nowhere, the universe is almost destroyed, and it’s never again mentioned, so it has the Star Trek classic, big red reset button in the end, and it has no meaning whatsoever. Because going in I already knew it can’t affect the universe and it has to end in status quo there’s no real sense of danger anywhere, so in the end I just don’t care.

        The nice character moments are redundant, they don’t really tell anything we don’t already know. The story doesn’t hold up to a closer inspection. The execution definitely suffers from the limited budget more than normal episodes, the goal was probably too ambitious.

        Of course one could say that In the Beginning is redundant as well, but at least it makes me feel something. It tells more details about characters and events that I already care about, even if it’s a partial clipart.

        1. Weirdly, I’m sort of where you are in your estimation of Thirdspace, but for the opposite reason.

          I also don’t hate it. (I don’t really *hate* any episode of B5, not even A View from the Gallery). I don’t even dislike it – I tend to dislike the episodes where JMS turns up certain JMSesque things a little too far, but those episodes are actually doing something. Whereas Thirdspace is just there in a blah sort of way.

          But it’s not that I think it doesn’t fit anywhere. It literally doesn’t fit anywhere in S4, but only because of trivial things. But as a two-parter in S4 (which, as I understand it, was what it originally was going to be, before S4 had to be compressed) it would have been fine, even if I’d prefer that time to be spent on giving Into the Fire and the Minbari civil war each an extra episode. It would have counterpointed the more significant material in S4 nicely with a bit more of the sort of “B5 does its version of a standard SF plot” that we saw a fair bit of in S1-S3.

          But it doesn’t rise to the level of a “movie.” (OK, a “TV movie.”)

  2. I have to wonder about the economics of IPX. Is it really that profitable to wander around looking for alien technology? Aren’t there older space-faring races who most likely have already grabbed the good stuff?

    1. I’d always assumed that IPX had big fat subsidies and government contracts. Certainly events like “Messages from Earth” demonstrated a close connection with EarthGov.

      1. It’s a good classic SF trope, so I’ll forgive it. But if it needs defending….

        ….Space is big. Really big. It’s more than possible that there’s plenty of good stuff that the other races haven’t found yet. Especially since other races have a sensible caution about following up in areas that they associate with the First Ones.

        (Of course, that means that humans aren’t *likely* to find it, which is a real problem with this sort of thing. It’s very hard to believe that brief exploratory visits to other star systems by solo operators like Catherine Sakai can cover the required territory sufficiently thoroughly. But there are other aspects of space opera that have this problem, too.)

        But I suspect that JMS would deal with this with one of his speeches about how “Humans are special. We form communities. We fight on, and we don’t give up….” It’s all a bit John W. Campbell.

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