Comedy Review #422

B5: The Rederedereconstructions of Movie Stars

Or: A Canticle For Leibowitz

On B5, someone's having a wedding. It's Sherry and Delenn. Battle of De Lenn!! (De Line... geddit??)

"I'll pay you back," says Dr.Franky, but for the life of me I can't remember what for!!

Suddenly, there is a blast of high energy and all the command staff, and G'Kar and Mondo Rondollari are catapulted far into the future!! Arg!!

First, they get blasted into a conference, with some dude from York (who has the accent of someone from 'darn sarth') detailing major Series 5 spoilers.

"I don't want to hear it," says speaker number two, holdimg her hands over her ears. But the man just keeps on talking.

"Yeah, so then Garibaldi cops it in a pillow-fight with his doppelganger, Sheridan turns into a loose parody of George Orwell's Big Brother fella in 1984, while a voodoo ninja from Hawaii brings President Clarke back to life, where we discover that the secret messages ISN never broadcasted were Delenn's admission that she had a sex-change some 15 years earlier."

The woman continues to block her ears with her hands and starts singing Auld Lang Syne. The host winces as he recants the gory details of Delenn's 'dodgy' music career under the trusting supervision of Stuck, Aching and Watershed.

Delenn, stood listening with Sheridan, has had enough. She storms across the room in a fit of rage and slaps the guy round the head.

"Come on then," she shouts, bone-head a-quiver, "I'll take you now!! Fists up!"

The man cringes.
"Delenn! It seems like only yesterday I was talking about you to that nice man at that tabloid newspaper..."

Delenn splutters.
"You sit here like some fat git, discussing the past like it means nothing. But I'll sue you... oh yes I will. I'll get that bald lawyer on my side... then we'll see who's boss..."

"Hey, there's nothing wrong with being bald..." says Garibaldi, offended.


Watch out: spoiler alert... Yes, some stupid guy appears to be watching Series 5, and it hasn't even been made yet!! Must have a time-travelling TV aerial or somesuch. So, there's a TeePee war - Didn't think B5 would turn into some kind of Cowboys & Indians pastiche!! Oh well...

Next, a few years after the present (2065), it's Cowboys & Indians. Sheridan's the cowboy, the indians are the telepaths, 'Home on the Range' is B5, and Garibaldi's circling the wagons, as he's being held hostage by the TeePee's.

"You gotta get me outta here," he moans, "I can't STAND these baked beans, you've gotta let me go... besides, I hate Westerns, gimme Tom & Jerry anyday. RoadRunner at least. Sheridan won't stand for it, he'll negotiate my release... he'll kick your ass..."

The bunch of TeePees giggle amongst themselves as they share a private joke.

Then, guess who's on the TV? No, it's not Tom & Jerry, stupid, it's Sherry!! Although he bears a close resemblance to Yosemite Sam. all gruff and beardy.

"ALLLLLLLRIIIIGHT YOU PESKY WABBIT... YOOUUUUUURRR'E WABBIT STUUUEWWW..."

So, Sherry's clearly lost it...

"This government cannot tolerate kidnapping and stuff... ughh-huhuhu. (Hu, huh he said pin)... So, over to Porky the Pig..."

And it's Ivanana!! But she's slightly more bloated than previously.
"Sorry about this Garibalding," she whimpers, "But yabba-de-yabba-de-yabba-de--That's All Folks!! De ne de de da de deeeeeerrrrrrrrr!!"

The sound of a PPG charging up is the last thing Gariwaldo hears. Well, that AND the sound of his brain saying hello to the wall behind him.


Delenn, having been catapulted far into the future along with most of the command staff, finds a future photo of herself on the cover of a Tabloid newspaper she's bought in a newsagent's in downtown York.

"Jesus, what's this Sheridan?"

"Huh?" mutters Sherry, browsing the top shelf distractedly. Delenn points at the picture of her ageing self.
"Look at this byline... 'These photos of Delenn taken with a tele-mega-mega photo lens from orbit around Minbar show her to be a recluse, never showing her face for the last 100 years'. Listen to that Sheridan, I turned into Greta Garbo. Look at the photo! Wrinkle city."

"Is that near the capital?" asks Sherry, leafing through a copy of Penthouse.

Meanwhile, Franklin is in a hospital with Garibaldi. But they got sent many years into the past, to 1995. They go into a hospital, thinking it is a cafe. They find someone ill with a terminal disease.

"Hey, I'm a doc from the future." says Franklin, "We can help you out."

"You got some pills, like in Star Trek 4? If you're from the future, you can cure me, right?"

Franklin glances at GariBalding nervously.
"Err, well sir, we'd have to take you back to MedLab. All the equipment's there, you see. MedLab's the place to be if you're ill."

The dying man whimpers.
"How do we get to this... Medlab, then?"

Franklin looks over at Gary.
"Er, well, it's back on Babylon 5, and we can't get back there."

The man laughs and coughs slightly.
"Well, that's bloody great. You should have seen wotsisname, Captain McCoy, when they were saving the whales in Star Trek 4. He gave someone pills he had. None o' this 'Medlab' rubbish. I bet you don't know the first thing about first aid, either. Medlab, medlab medlab..."

"Come on, let's get the hell out of here," whispers Franklin, "He's obviously delirious."

"Yer damn right..." mutters Garibaldi.


Comedy Review Special:
"Selected Comments I wrote but can't remember why:"

'Wots with the jingle bells?'

'Why Ryan Stiles?' (referring to someone who looked like Ryan Stiles)

'Aaargh - Goebbels and Mr.Hitler' - hmm.. something to do with the evil-type blokes who want to wipe out 'those pesky aliens'. Or perhaps I was watching a history programme at the same time as watching B5?

Last comment:'Garibaldi's a real smoothie - on the head.'


This does, of course, refer to the cool situation when Mr.Evil (as he is known) brings the entire command staff back to life using ancient voodoo magic. And some banks of computers. Okay, so they're holograms. So, Garibaldi, Frankie (who isn't going to Hollywood), Inaneovy, Sherry, Zack and Deline are all resurrected round a table, and sit there looking slightly smug.

"I knew I should never have eaten those out-of-date Krispies for Breakfast." laments Sherry, putting his hand through his own head, "My mother always told me they had no substance..."

Garibaldi glares at Sherry.
"You bastard. You cold-blooded murderer. Remember when those telepaths took over the station? 'Ooh', I thought as I was dragged away into the TP's ghetto, 'Sheridan'll bargain for my release.' But did you?? Noooooooo. You said 'Oh, winge winge, we won't pay for hostages, I'm a tight-fisted bastard.'. Well, Mr. Haircut 100, my brain was creamed all over the wall. And we ain't talking soup!!"

Sherry looks peeved.
"Gary, there was nothing I could do. I tried telling them I was willing to bargain, but what with that cold I had, it came out all wrong. My voice was all croaky. Really, Mickey, it's the truth. I'm sure you'll believe me. Christ, I gave you your job back, didn't it?"

Michael snarls.
"Yeah, but what about the goddamn danger money? Where was that?"

Delenn has had about enough of Michael's abuse.
"How dare you?" she splutters, "You sit there like some bald git, discussing the past like it means something. How do you know what it was like? You weren't there!! Sheridan was a good man, a kind man--" "Hey, there's nothing wrong with being bald..." interrupts Garibaldi, offended, "And Sherry was a stingy git," says Garibaldi. "Hey, Zack, woddaya you think?"

Zack looks nervous.
"Well, chief, I dunno, I mean Sheridan runs the place, he's the head guy..."
Gary sneers.
"Sheridan, he's just a puppet of the shadows, Zack. Don't you forget it. Now, Sherry, I want a straight answer. Why are you such a f-"

"Halt program." says Mr.Evil, manipulating the controls on a remote control device like so much putty (it's those rubber keys, you see, they're really annoying to control).
"Now, where's the damn popcorn? Good thing I taped this episode, that Pause facility comes in really handy." he says, leaving the room. But as he leaves, the remote control falls off the desk and the pause key is bumped against the floor!! The video unpauses...

"-ool?" shouts Gary, then looks around, "Right, that bloke's gone, we can stop pretending now. Okay people, Mr.Evil's gone for some popcorn, so let's invade his computer system!!"

Sheridan nods.
"And how do you expect us to do that?"
Gary pauses, then shrugs.
"Oh, I dunno. I think that electric tin opener over there is voice activated. Hang on, I'll give it a try..."
He wanders over to the tin opener and shouts at it. It whirrs round. He shouts again. It stops whirring round.
"Wow!! Now we can open tins!!" says Zack with a sneer, "But we're not even halfway to defeating the evil Mr.Evil."

"True." says Garibaldi, peering around the kitchen. Then, he looks at the tin opener again.
"Ohmigosh!! It's a shadow tin opener, hamster-powered. Now, if I can only..."


5 minutes later, the door opens again. Mr.Evil walks in with an armful of popcorn and sees the remote control on the ground.
"Now, how the hell did that get there? Oh yeah, now I see..."

He tries to change channels but it doesn't work. Garibaldi peers out from inside one of the cupboards.
"Ivananeona telepathically told the hamster in the tin opener to gnaw at some wires. Your remote control isn't going to work anymore!! And neither does your computer system. So, we now run your entire house. Close the door, Zack."

"Rightio, Chief." says Zack. The door closes. The squeaking of vicious hamsters can be heard from behind one of the cupboards.


Ten minutes later, Mr.Evil is dead. And 15 minutes after that, Garibaldi becomes the ruler of the entire earth. And as for Sheridan? Well, let's just say he's not too keen on his new job as security guard, watching over York town center for all eternity. As for Delenn? Well, let's just say she's under the trusting supervision of Stuck, Aching and Watershed. And as for Zack? Well, he's got an illustrious career playing an ageing corporal. In every film he's ever in. And as for I, Vaneona? Well, she's now in command of a small battle-raft somewhere in the south pacific. And as for Frankie? Well, he's in films now.


Last of all: Canticle for Leibowitz

Basically, Strazynski takes us far into the future to show us... How they act out plays in the year 5,500,000AD. In a kind of non-segmented theatrical sequence with numbers in the corner to show us what scene this is, the rangers act out various scenes from Canticle for Leibowitz: The Play, which is a favourite of theirs. A third through the play, we start with a completely new cast, just to confuse the audience. Another third of the way through, the cast changes again. At the end, something bizarre and ludicrous happens, and we don't understand a bloody bit of it.


Then, some bloke switches off the TV as the Earth's sun explodes, and bezzes off through a wormhole in a Vorlon spaceship. Wicked!!

Verdict: Good episode. Not as good as some others, but good.

Mark: Take the number of years and divide by 5500000= er, well, let's call it 95.3%. Just for convenience sake.

Besides, I've got this headache and you know what it's like and everything...

THE END


1997 Jeremy Smith.