selenak: (uptonogood - c.elisa)
1. Norma Bates (Bates Motel version)

2. Philip Jennings (The Americans)

3. Missy (aka Gomez!Master) (Doctor Who)

4. Jimmy McGill (Better Call Saul)

5. Rachel Duncan (Orphan Black)

6. James McGraw/Captain Flint (Black Sails)

7. Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

8. Bernie Gunther (Philip Kerr: The Bernie Gunther Mysteries)

9. Sarah Connor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

10. Alfred of Wessex (The Last Kingdom)

11. Andra'ath/Miss Quill (Class)

12. Londo Mollari (Babylon 5)

13. Phyllis Crane (Call the Midwife)

14. Doc Holliday (Wynona Earp incarnation)

15. Jessica Jones (MCU version)

And you came up with some awesome prompts!

Now the questions: )
selenak: (Branagh by Dear_Prudence)
...and I don't mean the latest attempt to repeal the ACA, because that particular sparing came through hard work by people who made phonecalls, Senators Murkowski and Collins putting people before party and McCain proving he has a sense for cliffhangers and drama.

No, I just discovered that back in ye early 90s when the first three Bernie Gunther novels were published, successful and thus considered for movie versions, the two actors in consideration for the leading role were Klaus Maria Brandauer (wrong accent and wrong size, but could see him having pulled it off, acting-wise)... and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thank the universe for small favours the world was spared that one. Nowadays, HBO has aquired the rights to the novels and Tom Hanks wants to executive produce (though again, thank you, universe, for favours, he's too old to play Bernie Gunther now except for the late 50s settings. Also, he's wrong for the part. Nothing against Tom Hanks in principle, but not in this role, at any age.

Since I believe in constructive criticism: I can see Max Riemelt (Wolfgang on Sense8) as Bernie Gunther, and since after the wrap-up movie (yay!), there will be no more Sense8, he's available. Advantages: actually German, actually from Berlin, actually the right age for Bernie Gunther in the 1930s when the series starts (and it's easier to age someone up than to age him down, especially if that actor has to play action scenes), and fluent in English which I assume (since HBO is producing) the series will be shot in. Also, he can do sardonic and increasingly self loathing.

(if it has to be an international movie star, Michael Fassbender would also do.)

(Going to actors who don't speak German and aren't at least half-German: Kenneth Branagh would be good for older Bernie, but just would not be believable anymore for a man in his 30s.)

Meanwhile, have two fanfic links in two different fandoms:

Spider-man: Homecoming:

Just a kid: Both a prequel and a fleshing out to and of canon - covers Peter from Ben's death to the movie. Great voices for all the other suspects, too.

Babylon 5:

The Book of the Dead: in which the Centauri afterlife turns out to be far different than what Londo had expected. Also features a great G'Kar, Timov and Vir!
selenak: (Shadows - Saava)
[personal profile] bimo requested „Not in Words“, as she’s in a Centauri kind of mood, and since I am also in a Centauri mood, I’m gladly obliging.

Preamble: Timov has to be my favourite B5 one shot character, i.e. she’s only in a single episode, "Soul Mates", though Londo’s wives get of course referenced in several more, both before and after their actual appearances. Still, Timov’s one and only episode, in season 2, left me with such a vivid impression of her that when news got out that the writer of of said episode, Peter David, he of the many tie in novels I’d read in Star Trek, would also be writing a trilogy about the Centauri post show, I rejoiced. And looked forward to more Timov. As for the Centauri trilogy, I’ve already written in the past on why I felt it was a severe let down (short version: shoddy world building and –evolving, bad characterizations of many characters, lazy stereotypes abound), but it does have its perks, and Timov’s return in the first volume is certainly one of them. However, which is why I borrowed a scene and a premise from “The Long Night of Centauri Prime” to wrap this story up. Onwards:

Anatomy of a Centauri Marriage )
selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
This week, Potterdom had its twentieth anniversary. I always felt somewhat on the periphery of the fandom - I enjoyed the books and read some of the fanfic, I did have some opinions and theories while the books were published, but I never felt compelled to write fanfic myself, I didn't ship anyone with anyone else, and I don't think I had a Harry-Potter-related argument with anyone. Oh, wait, I think I did argue, but only in one post, about how whoever sorted the Beatles into HP houses and put John in Slytherin and Paul in Gryffindor was completely wrong, and then I wrote some silly meta fic to prove it. But other than that.

Anyway: I'm still fond of the books and some of the fanfic, and so I was delighted to see [profile] fernwithy celebrated the anniversary by writing a story about Harry shortly after Voldemort's death, trying to figure out where to go from there, and, not so coincidentally, what to do with Grimmauld Place 12, which as you'll recall Sirius left him, co-starring Kreacher and Andromeda Tonks, with cameos for Dudley and Petunia Dursley,


It captures grief, survivor's guilt, empathy, hope so very, very well.

Meanwhile, I just found there's this lovely bit from the last convention which both Stephen Furst and Peter Jurasik attended:

Boo on the cheapness of Warner Brothers, but aww on these two.
selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
Now, universe, this is just not fair. Stephen Furst has died, whoh played the wonderful Vir Cotto in my beloved Babylon 5.

If Londo's and G'Kars intertwining stories were for me the core of Babylon 5, Vir was its heart. He defied the cliché that a character who is good, sweet-natured and kind is per definition less interesting than the darker characters around him. Vir going from seeming comic relief to Londo's protesting conscience to the Centauri's best hope for a better future was moving, funny, dramatic - all of it. And Stephen Furst was up to whatever JMS wrote for him, with fantastic comic timing (the waving at Mr. Morden, for example) and heartrendering expressions (for example, the scene where he tries to apologize to G'Kar and G'Kar replies, well, here's the scene itself:

If you're in a scene with Andreas Katsulas and still hold your own, in a situation where you're a part of the people who occupied the other man's home planet (again) and you still make the audience feel for you as well as G'Kar, then you're an artist. Stephen Furst was.

I would have loved to include the scene between Vir and Londo after Cartagia's death as well, because for me that's not just one of Vir's best scenes but one of the show's most memorable, but alas, it doesn't seem to be on YouTube. Suffice to say: that scene says so much about who Vir is, about the Londo and Vir relationship, and also about B5 as a show, because most other shows would not have bothered with the aftermath of killing a villain so completely evil as Cartagia was.

Babylon 5 would not have been as good a show without Vir Cotto, and Vir Cotto might have been a very different character if he'd been played by anyone but Stephen Furst. I'm so grateful the two, Vir and Stephen Furst, found each other.
selenak: (LondoGkar)
Spotted this meme, and did it for one of the few OTPs I actually have: Londo/G'Kar 4eva!

Here are some winter-related questions about your OTP! Enjoy!

1: Who makes the other hot chocolate?

Neither. The correct answer to this question is, of course: Vir!

2: Who knits the other a seasonal sweater?

No, not Vir, and don't even dare to ask Na'Toth. Londo, being a fashion-conscious Centauri, wouldn't inflict something on himself that either he or G'Kar manufactured. However, he considers scarfs to be an Earth origin article with suitable aesthetics and warming quality for both Narn and Centauri. He therefore ordered several (for himself, G'kar and Vir) and billed the whole thing to Centauri Prime claiming it was expense to promote Human-Centauri trade relations.

3: Who’s family hosts a bigger holiday gathering? What’s the gathering like for your OTP?

G'Kar doesn't have biological family, because they were all killed by Centauri, if you care to ask. And he'd never inflict Londo on those Narn still alive he feels somewhat close to. Londo, otoh, would like to point out that nobody throws bigger (or better) parties than the Centauri, regardless of the occasion. As for his family: on Centauri Prime, there are Timov and his dead friend Ursa's children whom he adopted into House Mollari as promised, on Babylon 5, there's Vir, and though Timov declares him to be madder than usual, he did invite everyone to the Centauri feast of the new year between seasons 4 and 5 - on the station, not wanting to push his luck since his reconciliation with G'Kar was still rather recent. As for what it was like for them: the three way snark between Londo, G'Kar and Timov still sells as a recording, because someone who shall remain nameless had the bright idea to tape, err, crystal-conserve it, making a small fortune of the result. Londo later declared it to be one of the most stimulating nights of his life. Make of that what you will.

4: How would your OTP react to having a snow day?

G'Kar isn't too keen on snow until he's introduced to the concept of snowball fights. A part of him wants to comment that the waste of water is a very Centauri thing to do. The other part is busy throwing snowballs at Londo.

5: Who offers the other one their jacket?

Londo's jackets would not fit G'Kar, and besides, there's a whole pyschological minefield there because during the occupation, the Centauri used to dress their "decorative servants" up somewhat. Otoh, if the two of them were, say, trapped in a cold place together, G'Kar would declare that "if it means your incessant prattling will stop", Londo could have his coat, and upon Londo's refusal would add "the sound your chattering teeth make is even more annoying than the sound of your voice, Mollari, so take the coat!"

6: Who makes a snowman that looks like the other member of your OTP, or do they both do this?

They both do that, long before they become an item, in those climate zones on the station that feature snow. The mocking potential is enormous, after all. "Leave it to you to find a way to get your hands on Londo that doesn't get you in a cell", was Michael Garibaldi's comment.

7: Does your OTP ever have snowball fights?

See above. Of course they do.

8: What gifts would they get each other for the holidays?

Londo has prepared a very special edition of the Book of G'Kar. One with his footnotes and comments on G'Kar's wise utterings. G'Kar observes that since this means Londo actually read his book, Londo already has received a gift. That he happens to have prepared a meal he's cooked himself that can be consumed by Centauri as well is sheer coincidence.

9: How do they spend their winter holiday? Do they even celebrate the same holiday?

On the one hand, no, since the Narn made it a point of pride not to accept Centauri calendar years, and their belief systems are completely different anway. HOWEVER, on Babylon 5 they got into the habit of celebrating their New Year's days when the humans did. It was one of Sinclair's earliest brokered compromises, and it stuck.

10: What sort of seasonal treats does your OTP like to eat?

Since they can never agree on flarn, and human sweets are tricky for Centauri, they stick to fluids, or to be more precise, to the fine holiday brivari enjoyable to both of them.

11: How do they spend New Year’s Eve?

See above. Definitely in a verbose way. Whether Londo's tentacles also get involved, not even Galaxy Gaby knows, though they claim to.

12: Who initiates the New Year’s kiss?

G'Kar. He says it's only to shut Londo up, of course.

13: Who tries to get a secret gift for the other one for Valentine’s Day?

G'Kar found out about this human holiday because it was an excellent opportunity to hit on human women; Londo found out about it when stationed on Earth as part of the Centauri delegation because Mariel always had some beautiful jewelry afterwards that he hadn't paid for. Neither of them would consider this holiday to apply to them... but Delenn, being the fiendish matchmaker she canonically is for these two, sent gifts in their names to the respective other.

14: Would your OTP take a walk together in the snow?

Yes. G'Kar says it's just to ensure nobody other than himself kills Londo Mollari. Londo does it in the happy certainty that snow didn't feature in a single one of his ominous dreams, which means that as long as he strolls through it, he's destiny-free.

15: Which one gets more excited over the first snow of winter?

Londo, because: see above.
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
Reveal time: this is the story I wrote for this year's [community profile] history_exchange. I swear I meant to write a short one this time, but while it's nowhere as long as my previous effort, Catherine de' Medici and her daughters still demanded a tale in three chapters.

Reine Mère (10908 words) by Selena
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: Historical RPF, 16th Century CE RPF
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Catherine de' Medici & Elisabeth de Valois, Catherine de' Medici & Claude de France, Catherine de' Medici & Marguerite de Valois, Claude de France & Marguerite de Valois, Henri II de France/Catherine de' Medici, Catherine de' Medici & Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de' Medici & Francis I. of France, Henri II de France/Diane de Poitiers
Characters: Catherine de' Medici, Élisabeth de Valois | Elisabetta di Valois, Claude de France (1547-1575), Marguerite de Valois, Mary I of Scotland | Mary Queen of Scots, Diane de Poitiers, Francis I. of France, Felipe II de España | Philip II of Spain, Henri II de France, Gaspard de Coligny, Henri IV de France, Henri III de France, Clarice Strozzi de' Medici
Additional Tags/: Mother-Daughter Relationship, Motherhood, Power Dynamics, Character Study, Female-Centric, Parent-Child Relationship, Parenthood, Daughters

Catherine de' Medici and her daughters: what forms a woman, a mother, a queen?


In completely unrelated news, last night just before I fell asleep I saw that Jerry Doyle, Mr. Garibaldi from Babylon 5 had died, at only 60 years of age. The B5 ensemble really looks increasingly cursed. Garibaldi was never my favourite character, but he was a firm entry in what I tend to think of my "secondary faves" category, i.e characters who are never my best beloved but whom I always remain fond off, instead of going hot and cold on them. And not just because he played off beautifully to both my favourites, Londo and G'Kar. I found him interesting in his own right, his scenes with Bester were always riveting (and sometimes darkly hilarious), and his was one of the character voices that are very easy to find for fanfiction. For all that Garibaldi was an immensely talkative character, I find that quiet moments are the ones that touched me most, and that was very much due to Jerry Doyle's acting - Garibaldi's face when hearing that Sinclair had been on B5 and left again without seeing him in "War without End", both the big reveal scene in "Face of the Enemy" in s4 - where you see the horror in his eyes - and the confrontation with Bester in s5 when Bester casually says "how stupid do you think I am anyway?" - and his final scene with Londo in the s2 episode where both Garibaldi and the audience know that Londo crossed a moral threshhold and their relationship has irrevocably changed, but Garibaldi has one last drink with his no-more-friend. I did not know Jerry Doyle as a person. But as an actor, he contributed to creating something that means so much to me.

Here is what JMS wrote about him.

2016: get better, please. You've taken so much already, year.
selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
One more day to sign up for the History Exchange! Come on, fellow history loving readers, you know you want to. 500 words is really low pressure and can be easily done.

Babylon 5:

Every now and then you need a story that's a break from the angst and is just hilarious. Like this one.

Perception: in which it turns out that Refa had an, err, somewhat mistaken impression about what the Londo and Morden relationship was all about. This has lasting consequences. :)


If running's a plan: Natasha-centric story that takes her, and the team, from the end of Avengers to the end of Age of Ultron, showing the growth and change of the Natasha/Bruce relationship and the team coming together. As opposed to majority of the fandom, I actually liked Natasha/Bruce in AoU, but still, fleshing out how they got there really good to read about, as was the Avengers going from almost strangers (except for Natasha and Clint, of course) allied by necessity to a team working together. While Natasha/Bruce is the main relationship of the story, I really appreciate it also gives storytime to Natasha's other relationships (Clint, Nick Fury, Tony, Steve) - so often fanfiction focuses only on one and lets the characters live in isolation.
selenak: (bodyguard - Sabine)
Specifically, wrong in the choice of "Best of B5" episodes on their list. Which is here.

Look, I know such lists are completely subjective. And as someone who loves the first season, too, I’m always glad to see it defended. But some of the other season picks and more importantly episodes NOT chosen are frankly baffling. Geometry of Shadows in season 2, but not The Coming of Shadows, THE pivotal episode of the season (and the one which won the Hugo)? (And why, because of the stupid, stupid technomages. (Insert my usual “hate them, hate Galen most of all” rant here.) Even leaving aside my Londo and G’Kar bias, any “best of B5” list which does not have The Coming of Shadows on it is just wrong. And Great Maker, why no In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum, aka the one which first fleshes out Sheridan as a character, one of the few where he’s depicted as wrong by the narrative in how he acts?

As for season 3, are you kidding me, Voices of Authority? Because of the lame “Sheridan has to fence off sexual advances?” subplot? Instead of such episodes as Dust to Dust (superb and important in all its storylines – G’Kar hits rock bottom and has an epiphany here, and it’s the first Bester episode that breaks with the “Bester comes to the Station, is foiled in evil plan” formula and uses him as a wild card instead)?

Season 4: No argument about Into the Fire, but at the very least one more of the six episodes early on that conclude the Shadow War - my choice would be either Falling Towards Apotheosis (for the intense Londo and G’Kar on Centauri Prime scenes and Sheridan moving against Kosh II on the station) or The Long Night (VIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRR! Seriously, though, one of the best Centauri episodes ever).

As for the second half of the season, while Between the Darkness and the Light and Endgame are good episodes to wrap up the Earth Civil War storyline, I’d go with Face of the Enemy above either, for the way it brings the Telepath storyline to a head, answers the season long “what happened to Mr. Garibaldi?” question and delivers arguably Jerry Doyle’s best performance on the show, and in an entirely silent (for him) sequence, too. (Oh, yeah, and something important happens to Sheridan, too, she says evilly.) Lastly, why none of the Minbari episodes? I’d pick Moments of Transition for the powerful ending of the Minbari Civil War and Neroon’s story, plus that one also has the great Bester and Lyta subplot.

Season 5: No, no, no. You do not pick only Objects at Rest and Sleeping in Light. I mean, again, Sleeping in Light is a given, but Objects at Rest isn’t even that good, it’s merely okay; the Lennier stuff is done clumsily. Whereas The Fall of Centauri Prime is painful perfection, and again, any “Best of B5” list which doesn’t have it on it is just plain wrong. And you could do worse than list Day of the Dead (aka the Neil Gaiman one, for my money the best non-JMS written one of the show, though I also have a huge soft spot for season 2’s Soul Mates because of Timov), which manages to be funny and poignant at the same time, brings back the past and also fleshes out a character in the present (Lochley). Also, I’d include The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father as the one episode which successfully attempts to depict station events from an antagonist pov; the s2 journalist episode tried this but suffers from “but how can you be mean to Delenn?” syndrome, and of course the s3 journalist episode has them as evil propagandists.
selenak: (LondoGkar)
Obviously more of them in days past when I was less genre wise, starting with the granddaddy of pop culture plot twists, so to speak: when I was a wee [personal profile] selenak sitting in the cinema and hearing Darth Vader say "Obi-Wan never told you the truth about your father, did he?", I had no idea. I also thought that was a fantastic twist and never doubted it for a second. Only a few years ago did I learn some viewers thought Vader was lying until Return of the Jedi was released, because Obi-Wan = hero and Vader = villain. That never occurred to me. Once I heard it, it suddenly made so much sense, put a whole new light on everything and galvanized my interest into the whole Star Wars saga to no end. The equation for young me was simple. Hero avenges dead father whom the audience has never met and hence doesn't care for on villain in their eventual showdown which of course the hero will win = predictable and boring. Dead father is not dead but villain himself? Previously ultra good dead mentor a liar about a key fact? INTERESTING.

Of course, that particular plot twist was so often repeated in other media and is now so well known that new watchers can't ever experienc e it in the same way. (It's good to have been born in 1969, sometimes.) Let's talk about some lesser known twists which still surprised somewhat older (but unspoiled) me in a good way.

Twisty spoilers for Alias, Farscape, Babylon 5 and The Sixth Sense )

The other days
selenak: (Jimmy and Kim)
1. Your main fandom of the year?

I remain a multifandom woman. This year I said goodbye to some of my favourite shows, found several news ones , and maintained old attachments. Perhaps The Americans was one where I joined in the most discussions?

2. Your favourite film watched this year?

Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer ("The People vs Fritz Bauer"), about an amazing rl person, Fritz Bauer, German-Jewish, Social Democrat, gay, tries to get justice done against Nazis in 1950s and 1960s Germany where everyone is still in denial mode, and being gay is still illegal. Burkhart Klaußner is amazing in the title role. (And the movie is gutsy enough to open with a tv clip showing the real Fritz Bauer before we get introduced to Klaußner in the role, and there's no suspension of disbelief necessary.

3. Your favourite book read this year?

I did a lot of rereading of old favourites this year, but leaving those aside, probably Wind Raker, the fourth volume in the "Order of the Air" series by Jo Graham and Melissa Scott. This time, our heroes tackle archaeology, mystical dark forces and real life politics in Hawaii.

4. Your favourite TV show of the year?

Difficult to choose. The one which most surprised me by how much I fell in love with it was Better Call Saul. Because I had started to watch it solely because of the earned trust in the creative team from Breaking Bad; I didn't exactly burn with curiosity about Saul Goodman's origin story, Saul Goodman having been an amusing comic relief character in BB about whom I had no strong feelings one way or the other. But lo and behold, did I ever develop strong feelings for Jimmy McGill. Who is still funny (they'd never waste Bob Odenkirk's comedic talents), but also absolutely heartbreaking and incredibly endearing. And I like the ensemble, and the various complex relationships - Jimmy and Chuck, Jimmy and Kim (LOVE Kim, especially), Jimmy and Howard Hamlin, and, as a work in progress, Jimmy and Mike.

Now both Agent Carter and Jessica Jones I had hoped and expected to love (both the shows and the title characters), and so I did, so there wasn't the same element of surprise involved. The Americans had a painfully good third season and continues to feed my rage and award juries which ignore it. Bates Motel: ditto. Elementary gave me a great third season and while I'm not yet feeling the same level in the fourth, it still provides me with enough so I continue to love it. Doctor Who, after a lull in my fannish investment during the Eleventh Doctor era, made me fall for the Twelth Doctor, Clara Oswald and friends (and foes) all over again.

But really, in terms of "When did fondness become love? I must convert more people to watch this show, let me write that manifesto!", there can be only one choice: Black Sails. Dammit, pirates, how could I fall for you so hard!

5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?

[community profile] theamericans, which I've shamefully neglected in recent months due to various matters. Must become better again when the new season starts!

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Black Sails I started last year, and Agent Carter and Jessica Jones weren't exactly new discoveries because I knew some of the characters of the former already via the MCU, and was familiar with the source material of the later. Better Call Saul was a spin-off from a show I was familiar with. So I shall look to one of my oldest fandoms, historical novels, and nominate [profile] sonetka's wonderful website with its witty and thorough overview of novels starring Anne Boleyn, The head that launched a thousand books.

7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Once upon a Time, season 4, rivals with The Good Wife, season 6, for the title; The Good Wife wins, barely. I drew the consequences and quit both shows.

8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?

There are about a million reasons why dating Saul Goodman would be a bad idea, but Jimmy McGill, post-Slippin Jimmy, pre-Saul days? In a heartbeat. He's a movie buff, he's funny, he's kind, and he'd even into providing free pedicure for the work stressed woman.

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?

Peggy Carter. Me and a million other people. But: Peggy! She's ultra competent, she's loyal, she has the art of sarcasm down to a t, she can love deeply without becoming all about one person, instead valuing other relationships as well, and she's gorgeous.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?

Norma Bates invites family and friends for supper in 3.07, ominously titled The Last Supper. But in fact it's as fluffy as any scene on this show could get... considering that two characters at the table have deeply traumatic rape history (with each other), another character is a budding serial killer, another is a corrupt cop, one is a profession drug smuggler with gigantic mommy issues, one is Norma Bates who is, well, Norma, and the only nonviolent, non-traumatized, non-trauma causing, nice and normal person on the table, Emma, has an illness which condems her to die in her 20s. And yet this manages to be an absolutely heartwarming, squee worthy moment. This show, I tell you.

11. The most missed of your old fandoms?

The Babylon 5 community has started a series review, but I just don't have the time right now. The recent silly (nothing wrong with that, but it was) trailer for the next Star Trek Reboot movie also made me nostalgic for my Trek, and for ye olde days of discussing DS9 episodes and themes at [profile] ds9agogo.

12. The fandom you haven’t tried yet, but want to?

I'm currently eying How to get away with Murder. Maybe I'll also dare the Hamilton juggernaut.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?

Bryan Fuller's version of American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman's novel (which I love). Season 2 of Agent Carter, season 4 of The Americans, season 3 of Black Sails, season 4 of Bates Motel (definitely); season 2 of Better Call Saul (hopefully).
selenak: (LondoGkar)
Babylon 5:

A Good Death: G'Kar and Londo, after. It reminds me how much I love the two of them in the best way. (Time shall not wither, etc.; just because I don't talk much about B5 these days doesn't mean I adore it and its characters any less.)


Wolf Like Me: Natasha character vid using all her appearances in the MCU to draw a fantastic portrait.

And to finish this round of links with something hilarious:

The Hunger Games:

The Hunger Games Trilogy if Percy Jackson had named the chapters: you don't have to be familiar with the Percy Jackson series (I wasn't) to find this a riot. (Hunger Games movie only people, otoh, should probably stay away from the last third of chapter titles, since even in their parodied form, they contain spoilers.)
selenak: (The Doctor by Principiah Oh)
Day 27 - What would you cross over with Star Trek?

Somewhat late, because I was away from any internet yesterday until late at night, but here we go. Well, considering I've already written the crossovers in question, obviously I would cross over Star Trek with Torchwood and Doctor Who, just Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars.

The advantage with Doctor Who especially is that between all the various Doctors and companions on the one hand, and all the various incarnations of Star Trek on the other, you have such a rich, infinite variety of combinations for encounters to choose from, so the two DW crossovers certainly won't be my last. It's also the crossover that's currently do-able on screen, technically (if the BBC and whoever owns Paramount now - Sony? - could ever come to licence terms), and I dimly seem to recall that there was a fannish rumor in the RTD era that a plan for such a crossover existed.

But an on screen encounter would probably not include the character interaction I'm interested in, so never mind that, and let's stay hypothetical and fanfiction minded entirely. Since time travel exists in the Star Trek universe, you can even cross it over with historical fandoms. (Fandoms with immortal characters can bring these into the ST future, of course.) So basically there's no fandom I wouldn't cross over with Star Trek. Infinite variety in infinite combinations, after all.

The other days )
selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
First world problems: no Good Wife or Agent Carter yet for me (come through, Itunes, come through!). Also Darth Real Life keeps me really busy these days. Still, I have had an unexpected attack of Vir (from Babylon 5) feelings. He really is one of the most endearing characters ever, and one of the few where the balance between loyalty/friendship and individual conscience works just perfectly for me. Vir's affection for Londo at no point means he accepts Londo's rationalizations for wrongness. And he doesn't just have scruples, he does something about this (as in: actively helping, see Abramo Lincolni). Conversely, he never gives up on Londo, and imo that's a big part of why many a viewer doesn't, either. And lastly, the fact that it's Vir who makes Londo finally turn around and face himself/his deeds/G'Kar in The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari is possibly my favourite part in my favourite dream episode: "I'd miss you." "And I suppose I would miss you", and he turns around; still one of my favourite examples of two characters saying "I love you" without using these words.

In another fandom entirely: Neat article by Russell T. Davies and Aidan Gillen on the creation of QUEER AS FOLK.
selenak: (Ellen by Nyuszi)
With the disclaimer that this is prone to change depending on mood except for the first two, and is in no particular order:

1) Scooby Road by [personal profile] luminosity. Still the most awesome vid of them all, not only if you're a fan of BtVS and of the Beatles, and I am both. My detailed ravings on it are here.

2.) Ophelia, a Babylon 5 vid. I'll forever be glad to have lured [personal profile] andraste into B5, and not just because she makes fabulous vids, but this vid - about the dead women and the way they return on the show - is definitely a part of why.

3.) Blank Space: a more recent favourite, to my mind, the best Doctor/Master vid to date, encompassing both Old and New Who.

4.) Savages: a magnificent vid that beautifully captures all I loved about The Borgias. (Not so coincidentally based on the first two seasons.)

5.) Virgin: it's Vorenus/Antony, yes, and I do have a soft spot for that pairing, but better than that, it's about Rome and Rome, and captures the essence of both.

6.) On your wings: Doctor Who again, this time a vid portraying one of my all time favourite companions, Ace. And beautifully so.

7.) The Unforgiven Ones: Battlestar Galactica, Ellen and Cavil, the Five and the Seven; a short vid that packs an incredible punch.

8.) We didn't start the fire: still BSG, this time on the hilarious side. I love this to bits, and the identifications (Lee as the Cather in the Rye! Laura Roslin as Richard Nixon! Athena as Lawrence of Arabia!) reliably crack me up every time.

9.) Half Acre: incredibly beautiful Six Feet Under vid that uses Claire's art to frame the entire show.

10.) Runner: aka the Connor from Angel character study which made me go "here I wrote lengthy posts about him and the vid makes all my points much better, and then some"!

December Talking Meme: The Other Days
selenak: (Shadows - Saava)
Disclaimer: I love Babylon 5. It's one of my two adored space station shows, it was my first non-Trek sci fi tv fandom, it contains some of my most beloved characters in any fandom of all time, and I think it still holds up as one of the most amazing things pulled off on tv. With all this in mind....

...yes, absolutely, of course it has weaknesses. Tiny ones and big ones. One of them is also one of its strengths: JMS deciding to write all the episodes from mid season 2 onwards. On the plus side, this makes for a consistent vision and even more consistent character voices. If you look at some of the s1 episodes, say, D.C. Fontana's, they're perfectly satifactorly sci fi tv by themselves, but they could take place in any 'verse, the aliens are, that one scene between Londo and Vir in the garden (which was inserted by JMS) aside, pretty generic. Whereas even a weak episode in later seasons couldn't take place anywhere else but B5. However, if you have solely one scriptwriter for three and a half full tv scenes, not only does this cause stuff like Grey 17 is missing, which he later admitted he doesn't even have clear memories of writing in sickness and exhaustion, but, more seriously (because every show, no many how writers are employed, has the occasional weak episode), it means that there are no other "voices", so to speak, to balance issues the main writer has which are not beneficial to the story he's trying to tell.

(Sidenote: it also means JMS' flair for metaphorical speechifying is given full reign, which also can be a virtue and a flaw at the same time. At its best, you get G'Kar. At its worst, you get Byron.)

In Babylon 5's case: JMS' fondness of the Great Man view of history. Which definitely isn't solely to be found in the season 4 finale, though it's spelled out most clearly and textually there. Now from a storytelling pov, I favour extraordinary individuals as well, and remember some history lessons made very dull indeed for teenagers with all the insistence on market forces. (Sorry, Marx.) But it's more than that in the JMS case, and the reason why this becomes increasingly a problem with the human and Minbari storylines is that he's simultanously trying to tell a modern story and a Tolkien-esque epic. If he'd gone for the purely Tolkien approach, it wouldn't be a problem. It would be a very conservative story, but that doesn't say anything about strength or weakness. When Aragon becomes King in Return of the King, the novel, this is not a problem for anyone (except Denethor, and Denethor is about to go mad anyway and certainly not representative of the people). There is never any question will be Aragon would be a good king, a mediocre king or a bad king, whether the people of Gondor would agree with his decisions - he's the heir of Isildur who has proven himself in hardship, exile and battle, he's restoring the realm, it's a happy ending for both Aragon and Gondor. Which fits the type of novel we're in. (For the film versions, Jackson, Boyens and Walsh changed this somewhat because their Aragon has an ongoing learning process about kingship, whether he wants it, whether he'll be worthy of it, what the long term consequences are as demonstrated by the rulers he meets like Theoden, etc, which is a reflection of a different narrative approach in a different time.) But Babylon 5 can't simply let Sheridan become king and Delenn queen. Not a story which in its first three seasons shows a democratic human society turning fascist and positions its heroes against this development, which is a story very much born out of the experience of the 20th century. Sheridan isn't anyone's heir. He's a military officer who at some point decides he can't in good conscience continue to serve an increasingly unjust regime, and also can't simply stay apart, but has to act actively against it. Which is a good story to tell. But unfortunately, it doesn't demand Sheridan-as-ruler-of-the-realm at the end of it. This is still where JMS wants to go, though, so Sheridan becomes President, only without the messy bother of campaigns, debates, compromises and elections that go with the democratic process; he becomes President with an offstage sleight of hand.

Then, because season 4 and season 5 have the problem of being written first with the fear there would not be a fifth season in the case of the former and then with the need to produce fillers to stretch out what was originally planend to fill only half a season in the case of the later, we actually get to see him being President. And he's not a good one, which would be less of a problem if the narrative didn't claim he was. Now, rebels are always easier to write as sympathetic than people in power, which probably is why Sheridan wasn't originally planned to get the presidential job until mid season 5. But leaving the s4/s5 network caused writing problem aside, he was always supposed to be President, and a good one; the closest thing to the fantasy ending of the hero becoming king and restoring the realm. Except any head of a democratic government has to put up with opposition, arguing and the need for compromises. And this is where JMS' fondness for the great man theory of history becomes problematic. Anyone criticial to Sheridan-as-President is written as just plain wrong, egotastic or unworthy, like the historians in The Deconstruction of Falling Stars. Why? Because "John Sheridan was a good man" and a great one, as an aged Delenn says. Yes, but what has that to do with him being a good President, or not? Sorry, but history is full of people with personal virtues who really sucked at governning. And the thing is, Sheridan doesn't come across as an effective politician at all during the year the show has where it has to show him in office. His decision to offer Byron's telepaths sanctuary backfires badly, and he's telling Lochley to fix it without offering any solutions himself. He's unable to keep the Alliance from going after the Centauri after the succesful Drakh framing. (He's also mysteriously unable what he learned from his trip into the future re: Londo and Centauri Prime, but that's a plot hole which has nothing to do with him as President.) The rueful observation he makes about war and peace in late s5 lampshades this a bit ("fight evil space dictators" simply is a far easier narrative to sell than "attempt to keep the peace"), but that doesn't help the basic problem of Sheridan being an uneffective leader while the narrative insists he's a great one, and has him being fanboyed in the worst tell not show way.

This, mind you, did not come out of nowhere. It's simply more glaringly obvious because Sheridan can no longer claim underdog/rebel status. The s2 episode where ISN (still the democratic ISN, not the Clark controlled one of later season 3) does a special on Babylon 5 is a case in point, because we're clearly meant to sympathize with Delenn crying and not with the reporter making her cry who dares to ask whether Delenn had considered that her turning half human could be perceived as an insult by a humanity who very nearly got wiped out in the Earth/Minbari war. Why? Because Delenn is a Great Woman Of History, the way Sheridan is a Great Man. We the audience know Delenn meant her physical alteration to act as a bridge between two enemies (and we later learn also about the atonment aspect there, given her culpability in the war), we know she keeps working for peace because we've seen her do it. But the reporter hasn't, and her question is absolutely valid. If you were a human and had lost people in the war, why would you perceive one of your former enemies becoming physically like you as something that "acts as a bridge"? Wouldn't it look rather patronizing at best? (As it implies becoming human is a sacrifice.) Insulting at worst? (As a perpetrator, claiming belonging to who you very nearly genocided is... leaving real life examples aside because I so do not want to go there, well, just imagine how G'Kar would have taken it with Londo for some reason had decided to dress up as a Narn.) And yet the reporter is positioned as ignorant and insulting here, while Delenn is the Wronged Heroine.

Now, there are several narrative alternatives I could think of to fix this, but they all involve ditching the idea of Sheridan as a peacetime leader altogether, and definitely ditching the idea of him and Delenn alternating as Presidents and leader of the Rangers in the twenty years following Objects at Rest and before Sleeping in Light. (This works in dressed up current day dictatorships, not democracies.) . The most radical would be to leave him dead after Z'ha'dum - as I've mentioned before, this is where his personal development stops anyway, and Delenn and Ivanova could have divided his narrative functions between them for the reminder of the show. But alternate suggestions isn't what the prompt is really about.

Because Babylon 5 is an ensemble story, a rich tapestry woven of several storylines, it doesn't stand or fall on the success of the Sheridan tale. (As mentioned many a time before, I'm a Centauri and Narn fangirl here, though I do like most of the other storylines as well.) But it is telling that while a part of B5 online fandom made Bush/President Clark comparisons during the Dubya years, JMS was stunned to learn that Bush himself was supposedly a Babylon 5 fan. Identifying himself with of course not with Clark, but with Sheridan. A great man's gotta do what a great man's gotta do, and if some idiots can't see it... Well.

December Talking Meme: The Other Days
selenak: (Shadows - Saava)
Babylon 5 movie reboot?? My first instinctive reaction was a massive DO NOT WANT. Not because I can envision the roles only played by the original actors, btw. I mean, right now I can't imagine anyone matching Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas and Stephen Furst as Londo, G'Kar and Vir, but do I know every actor ever? No, I don't. And I've often been pleasantly surprised by actors rising to occasions and alternate interpretations, etc.

However, and this is crucial: I really don't think the B5 concept is suitable for a movie. At all. Star Trek movies are tricky enough and rarely succeed because the movies all insist on a conventional "let's defeat the big bad" plot which was never what anyone watched the tv shows for. But what made B5 so innovative back in the day and what really remains key to its greatness was that it really was a five years novel developing on screen. Long before shows like The Wire did it. B5 was the arc show to end all arc shows. And you were expected to keep up. When, in season 3, a two parter like War Without End revealed some key plot points, you were expected to remember the episode Babylon Squared from season 1 where these were first set up as well as all the other developments since then that had taken place. There was no "last time on Babylon 5" to help you out. What made B5 great was the character developing over years; what made it unique were the Londo and G'Kar arcs. And you can't do those in two hours. You just can't. Sheridan? Sure. Delenn? You'd probably lose the changing relationship to Neroon and the entirety of Lennier beyond "loyal sidekick", but you could do Delenn in two hours, too. You could simplify the Shadow War into: "Earth officer, veteran from war, rebels against Earth going fascist and teams up with ambassador from former enemy to fight against creepy spider aliens". But that was never what B5 was about to me. (And loses the "Vorlons and Shadows are both rotten" that distinguishes the Shadow War storyline from its obvious LotR precedent and just about every good versus evil fantasy war ever.)

I know I'm a hopeless Centauriphile, but surely you don't have to be to regard Londo's arc as the absolute key to the show? And again: Londo and G'Kar going from arch enemies to friends in a subplot (because a movie is bound to focus on the human characters) in two hours just can't be done with anything like the same emotional weight, let alone G'Kar going from crafty ruthless ambassador/former guerilla fighter to enlightened sage, Londo going from comic relief with melancholic moments to villain to anti hero to hero. And Vir! A movie probably would end up giving him only a sentence or two, and thus there would not be the heartbreaking loveable everyman (everyCentauri?) hero whose conscience and loyalty are so important.

Also: the B5 tv movies aren't exactly confidence inspiring when it comes to JMS and B5 film scripts. (Otoh, JMS can write a standalone movie script per se - I liked the one for Angelina Jolie as a mother who is given a child not her son.) They're not as bad as some fans would have it, but they certainly, none of them, reach the level of the show at its best. An episode like The Coming of Shadows justly won the Hugo. Even the best of the B5 tv movies, In the Beginning, wouldn't have had a shot. (Not least because In the Beginning really relies on you knowing the show for the emotional pay off.)

In conclusion: DO NOT WANT. Would rather JMS writes something not B5, something new, to amaze and astonish.
selenak: (Shadows - Saava)
Easter holidays with the family have been lovely so far, lots of sunshine except for Friday, hence also lots of hiking through the Franconian scenery. However, the APs are having computer troubles, which means my only internet connection is via my trusty Ipad, which means certain tv will have to wait until I'm back in Munich (which I will be tonight). (Except for Orphan Black, which is now up at Itunes and hence accessible to yours truly. Will be reporting anon.)

This also means I don't dare to go on twitter or facebook for their horrible spoileriness and only very carefully on lj. Once upon a Time especially is something I want to watch sans spoiler. However, there is always fanfic from closed canons, like this wonderful Londo (& G'Kar, Vir, Delenn, Timov) Babylon 5 story. Among many other things, it illustrates why I'm glad B5 didn't end with s4 plus Sleeping in Light, not despite but because Londo is my favourite character. Yes, Londo is in an apparantly good place at the end of s4. But it's one of denial. He hasn't confronted what he did yet, not really. This story bridges the time between Rising Star and The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari in s5, and builds up to the confrontation of his past and responsibility that starts there.

My Graceless Heart (5775 words) by Amatara
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Londo Mollari, G'Kar, Vir Cotto, Timov, Delenn
Additional Tags: Angst, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Heart Attacks, Guilt, Destiny

Five conversations Londo had in the days before his heart attack, without seeing the warning signs.


selenak: (Default)

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