Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:03 am

The first time we get to see the Omega in full firefight mode, along with a massive wall of fighters and a great view of the EF defenses. Watching the EAS Churchhill go down was a moving moment for me, I only wish we could have seen the crew a little bit like we did with Sheridan aboard the EAS Agamemnon in S4-Endgame. Still, Bruce McGill sold the moment as Major Ryan watching his friend Captain Hiroshi ram her dying ship for the simple hope she could do some good before her end. Easily the most engaging battle in B5. Sheridan watching his fellow EF members dying around him and in the end watching one of the attacking ships come apart even though the battle was over. His expression of self judgement, questioning the losses just taken and knowing that thousands had just died around him. All with only a few words... just perfect in my view.

My only problem was the single breaching pod that Clark's forces sent. A single platoon against the force of the station just seemed silly.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:38 pm

Yep, loved this battle. And as much as the technical gee whizz side of it, I loved that this was a battle that actually mattered. The characters had feared this day for a long time, and done everything they possibly could to put it off and avoid it. Work with the system, deflect the system, bend the system, even sneak around breaking the system and hope nobody notices. But in this episode they're down to it - buckle under and work for Clarke, or take a stand. The writing really sold the characters as being finally at the point where they were ready to take a stand and die for it, if they had to.

And if they'd lost here that was it, the whole resistance against Clark was done. And there wouldn't even have been a resistance to the Shadows in later years, for that matter. This really felt like one of those pivotal moments that decides how the next twenty or so years of history will play out.

One of the best episodes of anything that I've ever seen, IMO.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:57 pm

Oh, been too long since I've seen this one. And yes, a battle that was flash and substance.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Nutso » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:18 am

The best battle scene in Babylon 5. We get to see other characters besides the main crew. Bruce McGill was so awesome, I wished we could have seen him again when they retook Earth. Although I would have loved to have seen how Peter Foxworth would have done as General Hague in this battle.

Even the beginning of the episode was memorable. When the Alexander finally defends itself against, Major Ryan (McGill) reveals the reason he didn't want to fire on the Clarkstown is because he knew the opposing Captain and his family personally.

We even got to see just how awful the Narns are at war, they way those Narns ran past Garibaldi's cutoff point to meet the invading forces. They just kept running into ppg fire. It's the opposite of Patton's "You don't win a war by dying for your country. You win by making the other bastard die for theirs."

The music really sells the urgency and feeling of every shot. I was really tense during the battle.

http://youtu.be/tWl1ZteUS8U
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Deepcrush » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:37 pm

The episode itself really pulled out the stops to show how a civil war really feels. For some it becomes the absolute of hatred, for others it becomes the sadest memory of their lives if they manage to survive it. The cast and show really took off at this point because we could finally see some motivation on behalf of the Station's crew.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Coalition » Wed May 02, 2012 10:42 pm

Deepcrush wrote:My only problem was the single breaching pod that Clark's forces sent. A single platoon against the force of the station just seemed silly.


I'd bet they were special forces troops trained to seize stations. Even after the battle was over, there was still fighting going on, so there might have been more pods launched, plus elite troops (who have been given a copy of B5's deck plans). Also, figure B5's security was spread around to several points, so reinforcements couldn't easily head over to help their buddies, in case another breaching pod docked. If it did, the station's guns protecting them could be sabotaged by EF troops. Now once the battle was over, Sheridan sent the troops around to clean up the breaches, but until then the troops have to listen to their friends getting attacked, and know they can't leave their position or worse could happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mURWOwkFPM (0:32)
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Deepcrush » Thu May 03, 2012 4:02 am

You've got an awful lot of extremely unsupported reaching going on there.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Nutso » Thu May 03, 2012 2:27 pm

It'd be more plausible to say that the other breaching pods (which we didn't see) were shot down by B5's Starfuries off-screen. Plus President Clarks forces arrived with two EA Omega Destroyers and 2 Hyperion Class Cruisers. We never saw the Hyperions doing anything but we have to assume they were shot down off-screen, since they weren't there in the aftermath.

About the episode, Bruce Boxleitner did a fantastic job of relaying just how desperate the situation is. JMS is a libertarian so the issues of civil liberties and government out of the people's control is doubtlessly important to him personally. I think that's why this storyline developed so wonderfully. It's something the writer is passionate about.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Deepcrush » Fri May 04, 2012 7:44 pm

Nutso wrote:It'd be more plausible to say that the other breaching pods (which we didn't see) were shot down by B5's Starfuries off-screen. Plus President Clarks forces arrived with two EA Omega Destroyers and 2 Hyperion Class Cruisers. We never saw the Hyperions doing anything but we have to assume they were shot down off-screen, since they weren't there in the aftermath.


Seeing how easily the Hyperions can be destroyed by the current weapons of the time and how weak their defense grids are, it wouldn't surprise me if they went down so quickly that they were just missed through the battle. Likely used as fodder by the task force CO.

Nutso wrote:About the episode, Bruce Boxleitner did a fantastic job of relaying just how desperate the situation is. JMS is a libertarian so the issues of civil liberties and government out of the people's control is doubtlessly important to him personally. I think that's why this storyline developed so wonderfully. It's something the writer is passionate about.


What impressed me most about how JMS handled it is that even as a libertarian, he still understood the need and application of military force. Its hard to explain how many times we've had such groups protesting outside of our military bases. Yelling that if we just gave up on our military then everyone on earth would be happy. JMS not only presented the "bad side" of the military but also the positive, the soldiers willing to die to protect the people who seemed to be shunning them at the time.

Its important to remember that not everyone was against the way in which Clark was running things. As Major Ryan pointed out, a lot of people were even happy about Martial Law. Crime dropped to almost nothing, the military was given a huge boost of support, tech was absorbed that was previously out of reach. The Advanced Omegas or Omega-X's being the first sight of this. Later on we get the Warlock and then Marathon class ships which used Shadow Tech. While many of the colonies suffered under Clark, Earth and Earth Force had two golden years where both grew in power.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby McAvoy » Fri May 04, 2012 10:13 pm

Technology wise yes, golden years. But you have to ask yourself during that timeframe how many EAS officers and crew got arrested for being 'anti-Clark'?
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Deepcrush » Fri May 04, 2012 10:44 pm

Until the Clark-Martial Law... nearly none. Clark didn't really have to do much about the EF personnel who may or may not be loyal to him above Earth itself. His massive military build up and close selection of captains really handled much of that for him. Hell, the Poseidon Task Force which Clark worried about was just sent away on long range recon and policing with orders of comm-silence (or thats the theory that makes the most sense). Which put a large number of questionable captains a long way out of touch. The build up also meant that Clark could just promote people into positions to support him. If the EF Captain's Corps had 200 to start but Clark recruits a further 200 into the ranks. He's granted himself 50% of the new fleet without firing a shot or giving anyone a head's up. Since there really isn't anything out of the norm for a President to appoint command positions, just frowned on for taking them away. Much like he did with JJS on B5. A lot of the pre-Clark CO's seemed happy to just sit out the civil war, not wanting to take sides or not knowing who was really in the right. "Was Clark really bombing Mars for no reason, or was Mars truly rebelling as Clark stated and thus had to be forced back into line." If you're months away from everything going on and haven't set any plans to return... then its a hard thing to know what to do and who's side to take. JMS in script and Clark in character handled the situation perfectly. Allowing for Clarks forces to remain close and to spread out those who may or may not know what side they will take.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Captain Seafort » Fri May 18, 2012 11:21 pm

So, as previously mentioned I've finally decided I need to watch B5, and I'm going through the series - so no bloody post-SD spoilers!

As a first watch-through, the whole episode was pretty good, although from a dramatic point of view I think JMS overdid Sheridan's speech, given that B5's UDI came when they binned the Nightwatch, and became blatant as soon as they failed to open fire on the Alexander when she came through the gate.

Regarding the battle itself, I agree with Nutso that its likely that multiple pods were either launched or intended to be launched at the station, and were intercepted before they hit. The internal battle (as seems to be SOP for modern sci-fi) was pretty daft, be it the Narn approach to combat, or Garibaldi getting personally involved. While I can sort of accept Ivanova's logic that it would improve morale among the Starfury wing if one of the command staff was flying with them, it still leaves rather a large hole in the command structure if C&C had been taken out while she was leading the wing. Garibaldi's involvement in the defence, on the other hand, was a lot less excusable. As chief of security he should have been staying out of it to coordinate the defence, and left the leadership of the QRF to Zack. If another pod had hit the lack of centralised command and control could have been fatal.

On the external battle, I think RDM has been watching B5 a bit much. The Churchill's run was almost identical to the Peggy's, and that run could have been (loosely) based on the old Cain Manoeuvre. Also, my opinion of the Omega, originally based on discussions here, has also gone up a bit - those are tough ships, given that both the Churchill and the Roanoke suffered heavy damage very close to the rotational interface but continued to rotate.
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Re: Battle of the Week : Severed Dreams

Postby Tholian_Avenger » Sat May 19, 2012 1:49 am

Image

When the Breaching Pod (center of the screen) flies in to board Babylon 5 you can see some of the Valkyrie vehicles which debuted in the ground battle for Akdor at the end of the episode GROPOS.

Clearly these vessels have an aerospace capability. The semicanonical board game GROPOS, by Agents of Gaming, had the Valkyrie listed as gunships.

Perhaps they were intended to storm into Babylon 5's docking bay, or perhaps President Clark wanted to conquer the Great Machine on the planet below.
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