On Sunday, November 21, 1999 5:39 PM Jim Fehlinger email@example.com wrote:
> > I suspect
> > the master will be a major influence on sci-fi and fantasy literature
> > forever.
> I suppose. Marion Zimmer Bradley does it too. There are two ways of
> looking at this: 1) as an homage to "the master"; 2) as a conspicuous
> lack of
> originality on the part of the influencee. Of course, if the reader (or
> viewer) is altogether unfamiliar with J.R.R.T., it won't matter
> to ver at all; otherwise, I suspect that many, maybe even most, would
> find it as jarring as I do.
Another way of looking at it is if one is revulsed by Tolkien -- but perhaps not by really good fantasy, such as the works of Peter S. Beagle or Lord Dunsany -- that 1 & 2 above as one and the same.:)
But seriously, others have pointed to a Lovecraft influence on "Babylon 5" too. The thing is TV and film often does that. Look at Sam Raimi's films and his television series. All of them rip off what they can shamelessly from other stories, and that is part of the fun of them -- even when they are lacking in other merits. And the other art forms do it too. None of this stuff is made in a vacuum.
However, one thing that I do find boring is that most TV borrowings are so easy to pick out. In other art forms, the creative recycling of past material is often buried and more varied. TV tends to skim only whatever is close to the surface of the collective unconscious -- so to speak.
One thing in favor of "Babylon 5": at least it wasn't "Star Trek.":)