Random Musings (and associated non sequiturs) v. 3.0

See, I never got into Babylon 5. Don’t know why. Was it actually any good?

The first season was rough, but it got really, really good. You have to watch the first season, though, since it foreshadows things to come. It’s even better the second time you watch it, since you can see things in the early seasons that you didn’t know to pay attention to the first time around.

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This is almost exactly what I tell people about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but just for the first half of S1. Once Bill Paxton shows up in that season, it’s on.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. felt like it had a surprising amount of trouble with ‘world building,’ Most sci-fi shows have a lot of world-building in the 1st season: Look at the 90s Treks or the aforementioned B5 for great examples. Episodes tend to be limited in sets (they blew the wad on the cool bridge/engine room/whatever. Also prosthetic foreheads.) and there’s tons of exposition dumps as they need to let you know why planet Wysiyg is important. So the first season has to hook viewers with a hand tied behind the show’s back.

Agents avoided some of this, but still seemed to have some 1st season trouble determining the ‘rules’ within the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe… Would it be part of the show to have Iron Man show up (apparently no…) and what’s kosher to reference (Later season 2 stuff has massive links to the MCU, but I’ve heard it kind of stopped after a while).

I need to get back to Agents but I started watching it on netflix and they were a season behind last I checked.

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Ditto, my wife gave up on it after event shortly after the Bill Paxton arrival that concerns the team. She hates that sort of crap, just like it takes her half a season to get used to a new Dr. Who, and we have to take a couple month pause to start even watching after the new doctor reveal.

I can’t remember the spoiler tag.

When the One dude did his face heel turn she just stopped wanting to watch it.

If you want some good British dystopian future, there’s a television mini-series called the Quatermass Conclusion, set in an alternate 1980s where … well spoilers.

It’s good sci-fi from established screenwriter Nigel Kneale (ref: all the Quatermass films, most of the better Dr Who episodes, the cult classic The Stone Tape about ghosts, etc) and even if the effects have aged badly the story it conveys was a real worry about the future in the 1970s.

Wasps build nests fast. I sprayed four smallish nests last night. I thought I’d gotten all of the wasps, but today, I see one wasp busily building a new nest that is already golf ball sized. Looks like another extermination mission is on for tonight.

@Woodman: Babylon 5 was a unique series in that the entire five-year storyline was plotted out before the pilot was even filmed, and even then, series creator J. Michael Straczynski said he didn’t have time in that five years to tell the whole story, so some of it went into about 20 novels (with some of them being three trilogies of stories), some comic books, a few stories in magazines and six TV movies, one of which led into the spin-off series Crusade. That one ended after 13 episodes due to severe executive meddling. He filmed the final episode for Babylon 5 at the end of season 4 when it wasn’t certain if they’d get that fifth year. They did get season 5, so he got to do the rest of the storylines he wanted and still kept the ending he planned on. He wound up writing 92 of the 110 episodes, including all of the ones for season 4, which I think are records that beat all other TV shows.

JMS also had contingencies in place for when actors wanted to leave the series. Each character had a backup. I think he said at one point that with a show where so many small plotlines built towards a greater story, it was pretty much required that he do this.

So for example, when Michael O’Hare decided to leave after the end of the first season, Commander Jeffrey Sinclair was replaced by Captain John Sheridan, played by Bruce Boxleitner. Michael came back an episode in season 2 and in a two-part episode that was a major event in season 3. What happened to Sinclair afterwards was told in one of the novels and was tagged by JMS as (paraphrased) “an official episode that we didn’t happen to film”.

It wasn’t until in 2013 and eight months after Michael died that JMS revealed the reason why he left the series. Michael had been having some mental health issues and it was starting to affect his ability to be an actor and how he interacted with the other cast members. So they both agreed he’d leave the show, and as mentioned, was able to come back three more times. During that conversation, JMS first promised to take Michael’s secret to his grave, but Michael corrected it to be “to my grave”. Michael got quite a bit better later on, but I think the only other acting he did on TV was the two episodes of Law & Order.

Another tidbit: JMS admitted that he kept a binder on the shelf behind his desk that contained the index cards with all of the plot points for the entire series. His computer was triple-encrypted, but that binder was in plain sight for several years. Then he took it with him to a convention because he had to also work on upcoming episodes for Season 5 and someone on the hotel’s cleaning staff threw it away. He searched the dumpsters but never found it. I forgot what he used for reference to write those episodes.

The guy put a lot of effort into the show and communicated freely with the fans at a time when no other show did that. It was also rare in that the stories that were in the comics, books and magazines were very close to being 100% canon since most of them worked from story outlines he wrote and handed off to those groups.

It’s a show that rewarded you for watching it and it’s why I’ve bought all of the reference material that JMS has published about the show during the past 10 years.

Medium rights and trying to stay consistent with, but not overly linked to, the MCU. That said, season 1 had a MASSIVE spoiler for The Winter Soldier such that if you didn’t see the movie opening weekend, the biggest stuff was revealed the following Tuesday when you watched the show. And they did have an appearance from at least 2 MCU people (Lady Sif and I won’t spoil the other one) in S1. But getting top-billed names from the movies into the show is tough. Stark is definitely referenced and Pepper Potts is on the other end of a phone call with Maria Hill (never seen tho).

What’s great about Agents is that there’s stuff from the first half of S1 that was referenced and relevant to the latter half of S3. The beginning of the show seemed to be a lot of disconnected procedurals, introducing the team and all their gadgets, but eventually things started getting tied together.

S3 had some minor spoilers for Civil War but nothing crazy.

I started watching it on netflix and they were a season behind last I checked.

Season three (which just wrapped up) goes up sometime in June, IIRC.

Morbid and angry post alert. Copied from my FaceBook.

I feel dirty reading how the Telegraph feels like it needs us to feel sorry for an old woman who struck eight school children at speed with a car, giving one of them permanent brain damage.

Of course the old woman didn’t mean to do it, she’s old and forgot which pedal was which in her car. But trying to make your readers forgive what she did by saying she goes to church and saying she once won Nurse of the Year is ridiculous.

If you’re so old you’ve forgotten the functions of your vehicle, you should not be driving. I have always supported mandatory retesting every ten years until you’re 60, when it should increase to every five years. Fail to retake your test? Life ban. Fail your test? Life ban.

Run over eight children? Damn right she’s banned for life.

Also, I hate the entire “she’s old, she shouldn’t go to prison” argument. If you pass your test at age 17, drive out of the test centre, and hit a person who has stepped out in front of you, you go to jail for reckless endangerment with a vehicle, and your license is revoked for dangerous driving. Drive out of Morrisons at age 67, mount the pavement, demolish a telephone box and kill the person inside of it and you get a telling off and points on your license.

Link: Original Telegraph Post

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Get rich.
Die trying.

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How the hell can a site named “Where That Food Truck” not have a map showing the locations of the damn food trucks?

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Because if it showed you where they were it couldn’t tell you their velocity?

Do your food vans not have those twee but awful hand-painted signs ahead of the layby or service station they’ve set up shop in? They’re a staple of the mobile “burger bus” industry over here!

Hell no signs that explain shit are Un-American. People deserve to be confused.

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Face it you could have a sign that explained everything in detail and a large subset of Americans would still be confused because reading comprehension is a lost art.

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Shut up dude, signs are not a lost art.

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And yet you still don’t have a nationally agreed on set of roadsigns, consistent font, nor consistent colouration - meanwhile even though Europe hates itself we’ve been using the same international set of signs* since the 1960s.

-* okay, so there’s one split; some places use blue-and-white directional arrows, and others use white-and-black, but there’s a reason for that: Southern Europe is weird.

Dat no lie.

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