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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

J. Michael Straczynski on Reading People's Minds Part 2

Gray Dalek says:
Give Mr. Garibaldi a chance, Talia.
He likes you.

In J. Michael Straczynski's TV series Babylon 5, we meet a beautiful blonde telepath, Talia Winters, when she reaches the space station. She uses her abilities to oversee business transactions, question criminals, and help others. Her PsiCorps training allows her to selectively shut out all the voices of nearby "normals," nontelepaths who can't help but broadcast their thoughts and emotions. Had she not learned this crucial ability, the constant assault of these radiated thoughts and feelings would have driven her mad. Even with her training, she finds it difficult to enter into any sort of relationship with a nontelepath. Even loving another telepath is problematic and worrying. So she clings to the memory of a psychic she had loved long ago, knowing how the toll of entering into a romantic relationship with another psychic--lowering all her mental defenses, and experiencing all her partner's feelings and emotions--requires a higher than she is willing to pay.

Then an agent from PsiCorps visited Babylon 5, and used his psychic abilities to rip aside all of Talia's defenses. Suddenly Talia Winters hates all the friends she's made on the space station, and despises all nontelepaths. She had always been someone else, it seemed: researchers in PsiCorps had implanted an imaginary consciousness in her mind. The Talia they knew had only been a veneer, an actor playing the role of the ultimate spy, someone who utterly believed her new identity and did not suspect that a darker personality hid behind her, watching and waiting for the right time to cast aside this mental mask and regain mastery of their body.

Superhero movie fans are already looking forward to the release of "Captain America 3: Civil War" in 2016. Comic book fans have often wondered how Tony Stark could side with the government and order all mutants and those with superhuman powers to register with the government. J. Michael Straczynski, who has long written for Marvel Comics, is under no illusions about the dangers of blindly trusting others to right by its citizens. He knows the dangers of blindly trusting others. But then, he constantly had to fight the networks to keep his show on the air. If only he could have read the network executives' minds. Then he would have better known how to appease their desires, and Babylon 5 sequel series and spinoffs might still be on TV.

Oh, and if you've got latent psychic abilities, don't tell me about them. After all, I already know your secrets. 


Dragon Dave

Related Dragon Cache entries
Talia Winters' Plight

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