Hello, everyone! I have been home recuperating since early Monday evening, from my surgery on Monday afternoon. Everything went very well. My knee hasn't swollen up too badly, and most importantly, it can bear my weight, so I don't have to use my crutches around the house. The surgery went as well as it could, and the torn cartilage was removed without any problem. Already I can feel a difference in my knee, in spite of the pain from the stitches and bone and flesh healing.
I had planned to write every day here, but I'm on morphine as that is one of the few painkillers I am allowed to take (kidney weakness). This makes me unable to be coherent for an extended period of time - I feel great, whee! however constructing careful deep thoughts about anything just doesn't happen while under this medication.
I am able to read sometimes, near the end of each dose, and have managed to read half of Among Others, although much of this was at the hospital in the waiting room before my surgery. I was lucky, I got to keep my book with me and read right up until they wheeled me to outside the operating room.
I haven't been able to read since, until late yesterday evening, and I'm finding the same thing already this morning.
So, I have been watching tv. I have been in the mood for Babylon 5 every since Becky reviewed this book last week on her blog. I watched Babylon 5 religiously when it was on in the 1990's. My eldest son Duncan and I (I was a single parent at the time) would watch this every week. He was 5 when the show began, and we watched all 5 seasons together. There was a spin-off in 1999 when the show ended, but at the time I was going through many changes in my life, and I didn't follow the spin-off in the same way as I followed the original series. The book Becky reviewed is about the shadows, and Z'ha'dum, which is one of my favourite parts of the series. I only own Season 1 at this time (something I realized to my horror yesterday when looking for it to watch), though luckily this included one of the best Babylon 5 episodes, "Signs and Portents". So, for my first official Sci-fi experience this year, I watched "Signs and Portents" yesterday afternoon.
In this epidode, we are treated the the mysterious arrival of Mr Morden, who goes around asking the various ambassadors 'what they want'. This question really intrigued me when I first heard it 19 years ago (oh my, it can't be 19 years ago that this aired, can it????) and ended up helping me with my own writing. I thought it was a powerful question in general, one that people in real life have problems answering, and here on this tv episode, the reactions of the various ambassadors lay the ground-work for the following 4 seasons and the eventual war with the Shadows to come. Now, the shadows are slowly revealed to the viewer over the next season, as many-legged dark creatures that resemble huge spiders, minus the eyes. They are creepy and sinister and horrifying, just as they are to the peoples of Babylon 5's world. In this episode, though, they are only referred to by the seer and by Delenn as "the shadows are come".
The seer also fortells the fall of Babylon 5, although she cannot say when, just that it is in the future. She tells Commander Sinclair (commander of the station) that it is not written in stone, that the future is always changing depending on the actions today. It is a possible future, she says. And that's how the episode ends.
There is also the ongoing rivalry between two of the ambassadors (which eventually becomes key to the series), the revelation that the Minbari chose Sinclair to be commander of the station, and that Delenn herself is more than she seems.
Babylon 5 is about power, and hope, about life in space, the ordinary people who work on it as well as the heroes and villains who come through. I've always thought it was well-written, well-directed, and even though a few of the sets seem a bit sparse in comparison to what we can do now visually on sets, the story holds up as well as it did then.
Because of Babylon 5, I have always wanted to write my own space station story, and the show introduced me to space opera, the kind of science fiction story I most enjoy - people exploring space.
I love looking at the stars, and wondering what life is out there. I like imagining voyaging among the stars, and the many wonders and beauties out there. As well as danger, and the unknown. Babylon 5 hangs out there in space, close enough to be monitored by earth, but far enough away that it is the last outpost between civilized space and the unknown. To me, any story could be told on a station like that, and Babylon 5 manages to tell many different ones. It was a fascinating show that explored all the ways it is to be human, and how we could recognize ourselves in strangers (aliens) if we let ourselves be open and honest. I love the psi corps, the group of psychics that are harnessed by the government on earth to ferret out secrets and make sure various contracts and meetings and councils are on the up and up. Of course there is a secret agenda behind the psi corps....this is the role that Walter Koenig also became known as, Bester the twisted psi corps cop, who had an agenda all his own. He was great in his role, sinister and bad, though he is revealed to have his own reasons for his darkness.
I can't do justice to the many layers of storytelling on Babylon 5, to the wonder of Michael York guest-starring as a man tortured by his past, who caused the war between the Minbari and Humans (which ended 10 years before Babylon 5 starts), and how he seeks forgiveness. It's haunting, and beautiful, and involves a sword and a lady.
I could go on and on. I think it's the morphine in me too! I'm going to go put my leg up, and watch some more until I can read again. If you've ever watched Babylon 5, you will know how good it was. If you haven't, then I hope one day you give it a try. It's science fiction, and it's fun, and it's good.