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A quote:

"I am sure Robin Atkin Downes is a nice guy off camera, but Byron is written as a simpering Harlequin cover model. He whines and throws tantrums like a spoiled third grader—and this is the assessment of my wife, an elementary school counselor. He always seems surrounded by candles and echoes of the Mystic Moods orchestra (check out the end of "Strange Relations" for the most egregious example). On the plus side, his love affair with Lyta Alexander (Patricia Tallman) gives strength to her previously underutilized character. On the negative side—one of many negative sides to the Byron storyline—you know exactly where he is headed in his rebellion against Psi Corps. You can smell him wearing a cologne called "Martyr" a light year away.

Byron is the petulant albatross around the neck of Season Five. He is pouty when pleased, smug even in the throes of tragic passion. He is a walking Morrissey song, without the black humor. And his collection of telepaths seems snatched from central casting's idea of Goth wannabes. Any tension the show tries to generate from the conflict between these "freedom fighters" and the domineering Psi Corps is mitigated by the fact that Byron is so utterly annoying that you want Bester to just hurry up and kill him already. So much for pathos. JMS does not help much by placing Bester's solo episode "The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father" after Byron's story is wrapped up. Moving it earlier would have allowed us to understand more clearly why Byron's gang does not fit into the anal-retentive ranks of Psi Corps."

The rest can be found at: Babylon 5 Season 5 review. With spoilers

And I want to add: How could you nearly destroy my love for Londo and G'Kar in 'In the Kingdom of the Blind' with the horror that is Bryon's telepathic revolution? I've just started ffing through all of the Byron scenes - it was the only thing that got me through the horror of the Byron/Lyta love scene. And even then I want to send the writers a bill for the therapy I will no doubt need one day.

ETA: You bastards! You know what a tragedy of telepaths is? It's Bryon and crew being passed off as an adequate storyline and me being forced to watch them and their strangely well-styled long hair looming large on my screen.

ETA 2: I feel like the stuff set on Centauri homeworld with G'Kar and Londo have to be written by a different person that the rest of these episodes. They're so much better than anything else you see.

ETA: You know what I hate about telepaths on telly? That they're such an obviously cheap way to be all SciFi without spending any money. Babylon 5 loves that: this season is in love with the close up shots of wide-eyed telepaths and then something happening to a character while you are supposed to go 'Oh my! That was exciting!' Or just having telepaths waving their hands and doing spooky mind manipulation which is not at all spooky because looking at a bunch of people waving their hands is not terrifying at all. It's like all of those alien possession episodes that Star Trek specialized in.

Iosa Chriost was what I screamed at Byron's ending. WTF? The self-sacrifice and the singing of 'we will all come together in a better place' as he artfully pushed his long locks out of his face combined with the telapath singalong, Bryon sex scenes, the whole willow speech being given a second go round, and many other cruelties done to me by the writers WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN OR FORGIVEN. NEVER. Damn you for making me care enough about Londo and G'Kar and John and Delenn (who get about 5 minutes per episode) so that I will sit through any old crap.

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August 2011

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