Comedy Review #412

B5 review Channel 4 8th October

This is the first in a series of 'amusing' reviews and synopses of Babylon 5. This is purely for your enjoyment, but if everyone hates it *that* much, I won't do anymore. Otherwise, the odd one from time to time. So, let the madness begin...

B5: 8th Oct 1997
Lines of Truuf?
Communication of Conflict?

What the heck was it called? Rewind time...

Yeah, *Conflict of Interests*. Something like that. I knew it had 'of' in the title, like the last one.

Without further, ado, here's my first synopsis of this week's episode, with an injection of satire, comment, wisdom, misinformation and spoilers. (Q.Which is worse? A.Wisdom)

1000 word synopsis:
Delenn's gone on holiday, so Sheridan's got some more time to victimise Garibaldi. Good for him!!

Mousey Ivanona continues Sheridan's idea of setting up a TV station to broadcast series 5 of B5 in case CBS pull the plug on the show. Analysis: Sheridan is really JMS, and Sheridan is a power-crazed apostle loony who wants people to listen to his every word. Hmmm...

Ga-ga-garibaldi turns a blind eye to a business opportunity while some dodgy geezers discuss his very self round the corner.

Sheridan orders Zak to take all Garibaldi's job-freebies away, including the company car and an executive toy that goes 'blam', because Sheridan doesn't like the company Ga-ga's been keeping. This is much the same reason for Emperor Cartiagia's taking G'Kar's eye out. 'I don't like his eye. Oh, and those contact lenses are simply awful. And for goodness sake Delenn, what's wrong with your make-up? It's too pale, darling. Sheridan, who did your haircut? One of the first ones?' Etc etc etc...

Ivonava explains that they need some tacky-ons for transmitting resistance information/series 5, and tells the Doctor:"The signals would take years to get from Earth to here". Well, that's a great idea!! Broadcast resistance info from Earth to B5!! but:
A.It's a bit difficult taking over ISN's broadcasting facility when President Clarke runs the place.
B.It's like preaching to the converted. Besides, what does B5 need with a resistance TV station? They've already *got* ISN and the cartoon channel.
What more do you want? Apart from the B5 channel, of course...

Doctor calls Ovenivy a complete fool when she suggests boosting a signal from a nearby deserted hellhole of a planet.

Garibaldi unwittingly gives up his weapons to Zak. Zak says he's just doing his job, and anyway, there's a gun store on every block these days, he can always buy a new one. Garibaldi pulls a face like an extra from Planet of the Apes and storms off in a huff.

Cue Ga-ga-garibaldi watching Dastardly & Muttley and Daffy Duck on the cartoon feed in his apartment. Shame he wasn't watching The Real
Ghostbusters, as that could have been a great plug for JMS's writing talents. Well, that and Murder She Wrote. Hahahahahaha...!!

Sheridan hotched it by making Zak take Ga-ga's weapons off him!! He's made Ga-ga-garibaldi go to 'the other side', in with the bad guys. Oh-oh, here comes tro-uble.

As for Dastardly&Muttley, the psi-cops are the General. Garibaldi is Muttley ("Squeak squeak chuckle etc"), laughing at Dastardly, played by Sheridan: "Drat... and double drat!!". Zak is the guy who says "Vroop!!
Verereraaaaa-Weeep!!" before everything, while Marcus is the nervous guy who stammers a lot. I suppose President Clarke is the pigeon ("Catch the pigeon!! Catch the pigeon!! Troo-da-da-doo-do-doo"), but maybe I'm reading too much into it. Oh, and Racing Mars is just Wacky Races.

Ivanova goes down... down... down... into the depths of Eplison 3 to meet that loonie Zathrus geez, but it's Zathrus' twin brother, Zathrus. His twin brother, Zathrus, is on a 1000-year vacation. The opening credits say: "Special Guest Star: Zathrus". Shouldn't that say "Special Guest Star: Zathrus"?

In this pointless scene (which only exists to pay Zathrus' actor for his troubles), melodrama abounds but there's always room for comedy. More room, in fact, than that big machine-room thingy in the centre of Epsilo 3.

Garibaldi teams up with an ex-lover. No, she's not dead!! She married the guy who owns half of Mars, so, hmm, perhaps she could help the Mars resistance in some way? Probably not. She went out with Garibaldi, for goodness sake, what do you expect? Someone nice?

G'Kar and Londo make a guest appearance. Those actors gotta pay the mortgage somehow. Still, with the number of lines they get, it's not enough to pay the rent on a 2-up, 2-down in Scunthorpe for a week. Sheridan tries to get into some kind of defence contract with them, and gives a great 'pitch' ("Think of all those innocent people"), but they ain't buyin'.
Perhaps he should get one of those Tory MP's implicated in the 'Arms to Iraq' scandal to give him a lesson in weapons' sales pitches.

Two bottles of eardrops encased in a perspex cube are the subject of 3 deaths down below. Daffy Ga-ga-garibaldi Ducks in the wake of some guy's PPG in a simple bar riot, and does a Bugs Bunny, 'digging' his way through the station at speeeed through the airducts with his new-found
fair-well-feathered friends his ex-lover, and some guy who speaks like that woman who says 'shh' during virtually every syllable. There's a bit nicked from "Sneakers" where the guy fires upwards through the rooftiles.
Plague-iarism!! Especially if someone lets those eardrops near a telepath!!
'Cos they're not eardrops!! They're deadly poiiiison to telepaths.

Ga-ga therefore makes sure two bad guys get it in the teeth. Cy-an-ara, amigos!! Yup, it's another of those fake teeth, where one bite is the deadly kiss of death. Maybe that's where JMS stores all his plotlines!! In his back teeth!! Hmm. Perhaps that's where we're sick of them up to. But not yet.

Sheridan is very angry at Ga-ga for makin' a mess of things, but there's nuffin-he-can-do, so Ga-ga just laughs in his face and goes back to his room for a shower.

A vid-com message from the guy who owns half of mars (and then some...), is deleted by Garibaldi without him even looking at it. Question is, is it a hypno-ray like last time? If it is, then Garibaldi has just screwed up his captor-blokes' plans. score one for the good guys.

Well, I don't think it was a hypno-ray, as Ga-ga picks up the phone after his shower... No hypno-message, just some guy asking if he wants a vacation to Mars. Ga-ga isn't really the timeshare type, but he agrees to 'pop on over'.

Ivonana has a bigger TV aerial hooked up outside B5 so Ga-ga-garibalding can watch his Donald Duck cartoons without fear of hypno-rays. Score one for Donald Duck!! For that matter, when's Zathras going to get his own, badly-drawn cartoon series, written by JMS? Time will tell... time will tell...

The resistance begin their first broadcast with a BBC2 testcard featuring Clive Andrson (and I can't possibly mean the talkshow host here, in fact I don't, merely due to libel laws). Frankly, I fail to see how a little girl holding a raytraced doll, or even a Ga-ga balding barrister is going to unseat the evil world-president Clarke Santiago, but then what do *I* know.

The broadcast is made anyway, with pages from teletext being the order of the day. Hey, the truuf is back in business, with Sheridan as CEO and Ovaltina as Deputy General Manager. And if Marcus is the official tea-boy, where does that leave dat ole' chesnut, Mr. Ga-ga-garibaldi? Daffy, duck, it's a Walter PPG wielding psychopath!!

Sorry about the repeated joke, but it's funny!!

The Verdict:
So, what's the verdict for this episode? Well, not as good as tuesday's Seinfeld, but damn fine!! They just keep getting better. More Garibaldi is just fine by me, but cut out the 6-minute pointless
Zathras-gibbering-on-about-talking-to-dust bits. it's all a bit too Doyostyevsky for me.

Okay, the guy last week (Simon Jones) gave Communicative Liners 80%. So I can't rate this one in percentages, as that would be 'copying'. So, I'll use the Venkman-O-scope method which I invented just now:

*Good bits:*


*Bad bits:*

1.Why is the Doc and Marcus back from Mars? I thought they were there for months, not two bloody weeks!! And where was Marcus? I heard Inavona mention his name once or twice. Flicking his stick? (If you'll excuse the rather lame innuendo... JMS didn't...)

3.Why oh why oh why does Ivanova flunk her lines like that when she says "...years to get that signal from Earth to here" rather than the other way round? Is JMS's brain seizing up? Or the Script Doctor? Aha, maybe it's Harlan Ellison, "Creative Consultant". "I have no guest-role and I must get the lines wrong". I need to know WHY this was said!! WHY!! WHY!!

Okay, so that's 1 Good point and 3 Bad points. Divide the Good by the Bad (1/3=0.333) and multiply by the date*month*year of broadcast=539195.391954.
Oh dear, that's a bit crazy. Now, this is the mark out of the number of episodes (3*20 + 8=68) to the power of the number of letters in J.Michael Strazynski's Name (20)=2.95147905179E+88. Divide it by the, er, above one.

Score:5.47385807786E+82. Let's call it 82%. And a well-deserved figure it is, too. Can't wait till next Tuesday. I just hope Seinfeld's as good as the last one was.

1997 Jeremy Smith.