11 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Messages from Earth””

  1. Unsurprisingly, whilst not the first episode of B5 I ever saw (that was the Gathering) – this was the first ep I saw SINCE watching the Gathering, and was the catalyst for me to go back and catchup on the earlier episodes. A ‘gateway’ episode indeed!

  2. The bridge of the White Star seems a lot bigger than before, with an arch between Sheridan/Delenn and the two consoles at the front. That wasn’t there before?

    Continuity exercise: can you spot what’s odd about G’Kar in his cell? I didn’t see it first time around, but this time I did.

    1. The White Star set was basically redesigned every time it has been seen so far. Original version tried to be more “organic” to fit the plucked chicken look of the ship and was supposedly a nightmare for directors. This latest iteration was designed with the director Mike Vejar.

      I don’t know if it’s the continuity detail you’re after, but when G’Kar writes he does it with his left hand. It was filmed normally but the shot was flopped in post production. Very common reason for slight continuity issues in major movies as well.

      1. On the White Star, maybe the changes are because it’s still in beta? That would explain why some user experience designer thought “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if the consoles moved around?” and some poor Minbari has had his desk moved into a corridor.

        1. That’s a great shot where the camera moves towards Sheridan and Delenn framed through three multiple curves. Then we see behind the conn, two more curves and, full symmetry, a door opening to reveal another.

  3. Something that bothered me about this episode is that for the second time in Babylon 5 there’s a new discovery about hyperspace.

    Back in season 2 “A Distant Star” Sheridan is the first person to come up with a chain of Starfuries rescuing a ship that’s drifted away in hyperspace. Well, OK, first person from Earth maybe.

    Here Delenn suggests jumping from within an atmosphere, which apparently nobody has ever done before. Really? How long have all these other species been using hyperspace for?

  4. Knowing this was a momentous episode, someone in Maryland opened up his house for a viewing of the episode using a TV projection device in a large finished basement. A call to JMS was also arranged and he took questions from the audience. The place was packed and it was quite a spectacular event.

  5. As a quick aside to Andy: While I generally agree with his stance on extended universe materials, in the case of Bablyon 5 many of the extended universe items are based on outlines from JMS and so are truely canon every bit as much as the show itself, while thankfuly not being required reading to understand the show. The three book trilogies in particular standout as being quite good, and cover Bester’s past and future as well as the founding of the Psi-corp, the fate of the Technomages, and everythign that happens on Centari Prime between “The fall of Centari Prime” and the future we glimpse in “War Without End.” That last one also happens to be the best of the three, in my opinion at least.

    Some of the comics fall into this “based on JMS’s materials” as well, like the comic mentioned in the podcast (which revealed the Talia subplot plot by accident because hte episode was unexpectedly delayed in airing) or a short set called “In Valen’s Name” giving the final fate of Babylon 4.

    1. Worth mentioning that only Issues 9-10 of the DC comic are stuck in “a dark place on the internet.” (Well, unless the reference was to Amazon, which is fair enough I suppose.) The other twelve issues were collected across three trades by Titan Books.

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