This is to Ted McCoy...I have to take *factual* issue with your post,
primarily on the grounds that you are comparing 7 years of TNG character
development to 14 episodes of B5 character development. I'd ask you to
put yourself back in episode 14 season 1 of TNG and ask yourself how
much you really knew about the characters. Not much, I'd venture.
To the factual side...you say that the Ivanova scene about her
mother was tossed in once, and then forgotten. Incorrect. It comes up
again and again and again; it's *crucial* to her character. It pops up
slightly in Mind War, bigtime in TKO, even more important in Legacies and
a couple of other episodes this season. (It particularly receives major
play in Legacies.) I think you should see at least one season before
deciding that something is mentioned once and never again.
You say some of the ambassadors are villainous one moment, less so
in another episode. Quite correct. That's varying their characters so
they're not one-dimensional. We all have good days, and bad days. So do
our characters. If things are going well for him, Londo is a happy kind
of fellow, out for a good time. If things aren't...he can be a very
dangerous person. I don't see that as an inconsistency, nor is his
character somehow being "violated" by those different elements being
shown. They are *all* who he is.
As far as the pre-planned story arc, you say the "characters are
set," and thus unlikely to grow. Given that you describe this as a
negative, then you must not like novels, since their arc is preplanned
from page one. The characters in B5 aren't *set* in the sense that this
is it. Each one has his or her personal journey, and story arc, that
they must make, and each one will end up *substantially* different at the
end because of that journey. The Londo you see at the end of five years
is a very, *very* different Londo than the one you see now.
In any event, again, it's more than a little unfair to say, "Well,
we've had more character development in series X, which has been on the
air for seven years, than we've had in 14 episodes of series Y." I would
recommend at least giving it until the end of the first season. You don't
and can't dump characterization out all at once; you have to layer it out
slowly, gradually. That process consumes time.