jump to navigation

Joss Whedon’s been busy… meanwhile… J. Michael Straczynski reaches Cannes… or it’s a long way from Babylon 5… May 27, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
trackback

Hat tip to Harpymarx for some cheering information. The incomparable Joss Whedon is in production of a new TV series entitled Dollhouse. For more go to Harpymarx for links and stuff to trailers…

And briefly it was also heartening for all us old Babylon 5 fans to see that J. Michael Straczynski was the writer of the historical thriller Changeling which garnered many plaudits at Cannes. He’s a figure of some significance these days, but then he cut his teeth on Murder She Caused… I mean, of course… Murder She Wrote (like, did no one notice just how high the homicide rate went up every time Jessica Fletcher came to town?). Changeling stars Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich and was directed by Clint Eastwood.

Nice to see some good people get some breaks. And worth noting that Wheedon’s feminism is equalled by Straczynski’s leftism. Although as for the latter he’s made a few mis-steps

About these ads

Comments»

1. harpymarx - May 27, 2008

Hey, thanks for that WbS…

Oh good, another Babylon 5 fan. I really liked that series (“our last best hope”). The film you mention, Changeling, is based on a true story, does sound interesting and probably will check it out when it opens in London (early 2009…probably the same time we get to check out Dollhouse…ah, patience is a virtue and all that malarky)

And, sad to admit, I have been known to watch the chewing gum crime fiction of Murder She Wrote on daytime telly (though I do have a penchant for Diagnosis Murder…. the great Dick Van Dyke).

Like

2. Garibaldy - May 27, 2008

Fuck Babylon 5.

Like

3. harpymarx - May 27, 2008

Oh, yeah, Whedon does indeed create strong independent women and seems supportive of feminism.

Like

4. WorldbyStorm - May 27, 2008

No worries harpymarx… Dick Van Dyke. Still alive?

Why Garibaldy? It depicts a fight against a fascist Earthgov. It’s explicitly political and anti-Nazi. It deals with aspects of secession, free speech, anti-speciest, etc. Concepts of good and evil. And… and! The cast were appalled to discover that some of the Bush White House staffers were fans.

Granted, on the down side the effects were ropy, the sets cardboard, the acting variable and it had a tendency towards suds… but even so.

Like

5. harpymarx - May 27, 2008

Dick Van Dyke is very much alive…..

I agree, Babylon 5 did have ropy sets etc. but there was some sumat about the programme.

Like

6. WorldbyStorm - May 27, 2008

Yeah, for all the mock heroics, I think one of the most significant aspects was the way JMS resisted the studios demands for a fist-fight in every episode. That said, would you agree that Joss W went a different route by having said fist-fights but ensuring that they made a very political point indeed…

Like

7. Garibaldy - May 27, 2008

I found it boring.

Like

8. Starkadder - May 27, 2008

Caught a few episodes of Babylon 5. Thought it was okay, and
unlike the X-Files, JMS did have a plan to end it coherently.

What about Tim Kring’s politics in “Heroes”? We have a sinister
“Company” that manipulates and brainwashes people, tries
to nuke New York to help a candidate take control of the US, and was founded
by a villain who believe progress is a myth. (“Four hundred
years and nothing’s changed.”).
I also thought the bit with the kid fixing the election
machines in NY was a dig at the 2000 election.

Like

9. harpymarx - May 27, 2008

“That said, would you agree that Joss W went a different route by having said fist-fights but ensuring that they made a very political point indeed…”

Yeah, there wasn’t the usual macho posturing or testosterone fuelled fights. There was a balletic quality about the fight scenes (more stylistic issue there) yet for me is that it was a woman at the forefront, kicking ass as opposed to acting as the “damsel in distress” in need of rescuing by the bloke.

Tough strong independent woman, and that’s one political feminist statement. I really can’t think of another example of a Buffyesque character before Buffy ( I did like Emma Peel from The Avengers..it was the mid-1960s and a start).

And to a certain extent, Ripley from Alien. Buffy, I suppose, is a cross-over of genres, horror and sci-fi.

Like

10. Pete Baker - May 27, 2008

WbS

Babylon 5’s strength was always evident in the episodes in which the broader historical narrative was explored.

Personally, I had always attributed that particular strength to the involvement of Harlan Ellison as the series’ creative consultant.

But perhaps I should re-attribute the responsibility for that strength.

Like

11. Pete Baker - May 27, 2008

WbS

[this may or may not appear as a re-post]

Babylon 5’s strength was always evident in the episodes in which the broader historical narrative was explored.

I had previously attributed that particular strength to the involvement of Harlan Ellison as the series’ creative consultant.

But I may have to re-assess the attributing of that strength.

Like

12. WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2008

Hmmm… I can sort of understand that Garibaldy. I was very put off initially by what I thought was a concentration on the militaristic, until I realised that it actually subverted that at every turn.

Starkadder, that’s interesting about Heroes, I lasted for season one. Haven’t carried over into Season Two.

Emma Peel, yeah, an oddity. Sort of kind of, but not quite… In a way wasn’t it the ability of Buffy to operate across those genres that kept it fresh. So the sci-fi elements could integrate with the more fantasy/horror ones… and of course the late teen soapy elements which worked much better than one might expect. Indeed I think the way it treated bereavement was head and shoulders above any other show I can think of, and there are two examples that spring to mind.

I’d completely agree Pete. Ellison seems to have been fairly pivotal, but more at the start than towards the end. Mind you his name was on the titles. In a way its always been an oddity to me about his role, since he always struck me as being more interested in horror than harder SF.

Like

13. harpymarx - May 28, 2008

I think what I was trying to say is that tough strong women in action-adventure/sci-fi/horror and included Emma Peel cos she did in a way go against the “damsel in distress” idea. She wasn’t perfect but hey, mid 60s, she and Honor Blackman (early Avengers) it was modern. And went against the perceived acceptable notions of how women should behave. And also that was why I included Ripley from Alien (who was originally meant to be a bloke until Ridley Scott changed his mind and turned the character into a woman).

I agree with what you say about Buffy re freshness and being able to cross genres. And yeah, issues about bereavement, sexuality and sex were incorporated very well in storylines and in a revealing insightful realistic way than your average teen staple. I think that was why it was so popular cos it was fresh, imaginative, creative, clever and it dealt with everyday life intertwined with fighting demons and other assorted badies.

That’s my tuppence h’alfpenny :)

Like

14. Dan Sullivan - May 28, 2008

I have some concerns about the outline concept of Dollhouse but there again I had them about Serenity and look how that turned out.

The BuffyVerse had some great writing and genuine love for its audience and also gave good advice too. People aren’t ignoring your problems because they don’t care, they’re ignoring them because they have problems of their own. Reflection is good but don’t over do it, sometimes you need to spank your inner moppet, move on and look outside yourself for help.

I do wonder about the commissioning model for US tv though, not everything is going to be a massive hit from the word go. Take journeyman for example, it took a while to feed its feet but had a really interesting working of the Quantum Leap idea but it would seem because the leads weren’t teens the series didn’t fly enough.

Like

15. Claire - May 28, 2008

“did no one notice just how high the homicide rate went up every time Jessica Fletcher came to town?”

Ha!

Love Whedon. But while we we’re on the subject of feminist sci-fi, I can’t believe noone’s mentioned Battlestar Galactica yet! Last night’s episode was great.

Like

16. WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2008

Claire, I had good reasons for fading out from it in Season Two, but it is cracking. I’ll wait for DVDs…

Like

17. Garibaldy - May 28, 2008

The end of last night’s episode was thoroughly annoying I thought. Too much.

Like

18. WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2008

Didn’t see it, what happened? :)

Nah, don’t spoil it for me when I get around to it in 2012…

Like

19. Rosie - June 6, 2008

“Tough strong independent woman, and that’s one political feminist statement. I really can’t think of another example of a Buffyesque character before Buffy ( I did like Emma Peel from The Avengers..it was the mid-1960s and a start).”

Try watching BABYLON 5 and VOYAGER. Those two shows had plenty of them.

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,346 other followers

%d bloggers like this: