realism in star trek vs. realism in babylon 5

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realism in star trek vs. realism in babylon 5

Postby TerraFrost » Sun Aug 03, 2003 12:59 am

me and shahmask have a sorta ongoing never ending debate (hehe) on which one is more realistic - babylon 5, or star trek. personally, i think B5 is more realistic - atleast relative to star trek. now, i'm not saying B5 is the most realistic show, but... i do think it has many realistic aspects to it, whereas many of star trek's aspects are rather unrealistic.

star trek's prudishness and idealism may be nice, but they sure don't make for a realistic series. instead of rock and roll, we see classical cliches, or... if they have a wild streak to them, jazz (ie. riker). instead of the latest dime novels by authors that have yet to be born, or even the news paper, we see shakespeare and sir author conan doyle. instead of messes, we see picture perfect rooms that look like they've never been lived in, and the only person who is ever *really* over worked is deanna troi, who can make all her problems go away with a nice big bowl of chocolates. beverly crusher can cure entire planets of illnesses in the blink of an eye, and doesn't even have a scratch to show for it. i don't know about you, but none of that seems very realistic to me, heh.

now, contrast this to Babylon 5, where people, in their free time, watch one of the many TV stations (although the only one we see is ISN News and whatever channel daffy duck is on) the station picks up, where people read newspapers, or where people play with holographic projections of captain elizabeth lochely (this was done in the B5 movie "River of Souls"). just about every quarter is a mess, and... we really do see over worked characters. take the doctor, for instance. durring the centauri war against the narn, there are so many injurred comming in, that Babylon 5 isn't even big enough to handle them, so they have to be moved to the planet B5 orbits - Epsilon 3. sufficide to say, that's a lot of people, and a lot of man hours that are going to be required. now consider the fact that half of them are going to be to badly injurred to help. all you do is work, and all you see is death. so, the doctor takes stim packs to stay awake, and he then develops an addiction to them. it's almost remiscent of the more serious aspect of MASH - in particular, episodes in which hawk eye has nervious breakdowns because of all the death he sees. so, given the situation, B5 seems very realistic to me.

so... anyways, that's my reason for saying that B5 is more realistic then star trek :)
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Postby shahmask » Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:37 am

terra, you do make some good points.

first, we know there is the federation news service(newspaper) that they can read on st. they also go to ten forward/promanade/mess hall/quarks to socialize. they go to the holodecks/holosuites/gymnasium/racketball courts/quarks(darts) for recreation. we know they talk a lot. we know they play parices squares. we know they gamble. we know they drink(be it alcohol or cynthahal or coffee:)). they do research on things they're interested in(ie pickard and archeology). they cook(cmdr.s riker and sisko). and a lot of times, they have to do paperwork(padwork:)) in their spare times. data and pickard paint. councelor troi eats chocolate. they perform and attend performances(data and poetry, data and violin, the dr. and his speeches, crusher and barkley in the play), kira and other bajoreans do relgious things. is this not enough to do to take up your spare time?

second, we've seen dr. crusher, dr. bashir, and the dr. swamped with wounded. we've also seen them having to come up with cures to disasterous diseases. as for being as swamped as stephen, on star trek, almost all ships have medical facilities with enough staff. also, refugees don't come to pour into ds9. i honestly don't know where the hell so many narn refugees can come from.

third, these are professionals that depend on their abilities to get promoted. how the hell do you get one of these ppl getting addicted to something and it take so long before it's ever found out? that's unrealistic. afterall, that's why companies now and the military have drug testging.

you wanna talk about unrealistic. how about a city in space that has slums. one that has ppl in extreme poverty. ppl that don't have any money. bums. to me, this is completely unrealistic. what a waste of resources. you have to supply life support for all those bums. wouldn't it be more feasable to send them to some m class planet?
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Postby TerraFrost » Sun Aug 03, 2003 4:43 pm

first, we know there is the federation news service(newspaper) that they can read on st.


eh? i don't think i remember this episode...

they go to the holodecks/holosuites/gymnasium/racketball courts/quarks(darts) for recreation. we know they talk a lot. we know they play parices squares. we know they gamble. we know they drink(be it alcohol or cynthahal or coffee:)). they do research on things they're interested in(ie pickard and archeology). they cook(cmdr.s riker and sisko).


i don't see those as anymore realistic then reading shakespeare or listening to classic music. i mean, when you're board, do you work on your ultimate science project? and what happens when you don't have friends to play sports with or performances to attend? and while people can watch TV 24/7, how many people do you know who cook 24/7?

second, we've seen dr. crusher, dr. bashir, and the dr. swamped with wounded. we've also seen them having to come up with cures to disasterous diseases. as for being as swamped as stephen, on star trek, almost all ships have medical facilities with enough staff. also, refugees don't come to pour into ds9. i honestly don't know where the hell so many narn refugees can come from.


that's another problem i have with it. they *do* come up with cures to disasterious diseases. they never really have to deal with failure, because they never fail. they can fix everything, and they do, usually, save for a few rare individuals, but in those cases, they don't have to blame themselves. they can blame armus, skin of evil (in the case of tasha yar), or kai winn (in the case of bariel). but you're not always going to have something or someone to blame for you not being able to save someone's life, or something. sometimes, the only one you have to blame is yourself, and your own limitations. but i've never seen that on star trek, which just makes it that much more unrealistic, imho.

also, just how much is enough? banks, as you may know, don't have all the money people deposite with them, on hand. they lend that money out, and they charge interest on it. that's how they make money. but, they do need to have enough money to allow for a reasonable amount or reasonable withdraws. this is usually around 2%. if a lot of people take out a lot of money, the bank has pretty much failed in its purpose.

sickbay should be like the banks. they should only have a reasonable amount of medical personel. when you have people sitting on their hands doing nothing (well, save for socializing, cooking, and researching for fun) something is wrong. you're just not using your resources effeciently. 10 medical staff and 10 people doing nothing just doesn't look as good to me as 10 medical staff and 10 security staff, for example (assuming that security staff actually do do stuff).

finally, all these narn refugees come from the war ;)

other worlds won't help them because they don't want to align themselves with the narn, and perhapes incur the wrath of the centauri, so... they really don't have many other places to go ;)

third, these are professionals that depend on their abilities to get promoted. how the hell do you get one of these ppl getting addicted to something and it take so long before it's ever found out? that's unrealistic. afterall, that's why companies now and the military have drug testging.


i don't think i provided you with enough background info on stims - they they can be used, legally, as long as they are prescribed in moderation (ref). in the episodes you've seen, the doctor isn't really addicted to them yet, but later, he does get addicted (in the fourth season, i think), and when this happens, he almost lost his job / career. instead, he took a few weeks off, to find himself, sorta, and... when he came back, he was stim free, for good. now, as for how he got the addiction... i don't see drug abuse as unrealistic at all when you face the kind of death and failure that dr. franklin faces every day. it's kinda like on MASH (and i believe MASH to be a *lot* more realistic then star trek, heh) - on MASH, there are some doctors who begin to develop mental problems as a result of all the death and failure they face. hawkeye, for instance. he sometimes goes for days without being able to operate because of psychological problems. of course, he comes back, but they have no way of knowing that he will while it's happening. this is in contrast to stephen franklin who has never given anyone any sense of doubt.

further, some of the best doctors from seol are reduced to nothing more then spectators at MASH units, because they can't handle the stress of it. dr. franklin *is* handling the stress of it, no matter how you cut it, and... i really do believe they would be hard pressed to find someone to take on his responsibilities. now, one could retort by saying that his medical staff doesn't experience any problems, but... we don't know that, and... they also just don't have as many responsibilities as dr. franklin. the truth is, dr. franklin gets the job done - and it's a mighty terrible job. i don't think most people care how the job gets done just as long as it's done. they would rather blind themselves to the truth just because the truth is to horrible.

you wanna talk about unrealistic. how about a city in space that has slums. one that has ppl in extreme poverty. ppl that don't have any money. bums. to me, this is completely unrealistic. what a waste of resources. you have to supply life support for all those bums. wouldn't it be more feasable to send them to some m class planet?


you mean kinda like it would be more feasable for the US to send off it's homeless, who just hang out on streets, steal food, or do petty crimes, and can very potentially cost businesses money because of their loitering around them?

also, i don't believe the homeless population really is all that big a drain on resources on B5. B5 probably produces a ton of oxygen. it's going to be produced whether or not they're used, so... what's wrong with them using it? not that i'm saying that B5 tries to get homeless people, but... just as with the US... i don't see that there's a whole lot they can do about them.

personally, i think that downbelow (where all the homeless people live) make B5 that much more realistic - on B5, you see failure every day. everyone in down below is a failure. on Star Trek, where's the failure? now, granted, if everyone on B5 were a failure, it would be just as unrealistic as star trek, but... not everyone on B5 is a failure. the people in down below failed once, and never got a second chance. sheridan sure doesn't seem a failure.
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Postby lorien1 » Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:02 pm

:8 I think B5 was more realistic than Star Trek.The technolgy seemed to be
more likely than Trek.The people were also more down to earth.The politics
i think were realy well potrayed,more races,more differences, more realistic!!I have watched Trek since the start,but i find B5 more realistic. Colin.<*>.
Image"Hope Is All We Have.Do You Have Something Worth Living For"
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