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A New Princess Chapter Three: Sidekick Garden
blanket, Linus
All Princesses seem to have sidekicks. In this chapter of A New Princess Red meets the other Princesses sidekicks and is reunited with her own. Read on after the cut for the fun.

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A New Princess Chapter Two: Meeting the Students
blanket, Linus
In the second chapter of A New Princess, the new arrival meets her fellow students. Read on after the cut if you want to find out what happens next.

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A New Princess Chapter One: Arriving at The Academy
blanket, Linus
In the first actual chapter of A New Princess we see The Academy through the eyes of a newcomer. Read on after the cut to see what it's all about.

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A New Princess Prologue: Cinderella Ponders
blanket, Linus
I spoke yesterday about this Disney Princesses fanfic I've been working on. Here's the opening that introduces the concept, a couple of main characters and briefly the new Princess. I hope people enjoy it. It's after the cut.

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blanket, Linus
At the start of this year I embarked on a visual journey. I'd always wanted to watch all the Disney animated features. There were a few exceptions with the whole canon. I didn't include Fantasia because I don't see that as a single narrative the way most of the others are. I also couldn't watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, because while I have seen the film and I do regard it as a definite Disney film, I don't have a copy of it and it hasn't been rereleased from the vault again. So I did from Pinocchio to Frozen (yes, Frozen isn't out on DVD, yet, but I have seen it twice at the cinema).

I watched them all and I blogged it at http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com.au/ I became quite interested in the concept of the Disney Princess and the idea that as far as I'm concerned they all know about each other and live in the same world.

That idea made me write down the story of a new Princess entering The Academy to learn how to be a Princess from those that have come before her. I started posting installments at the blog last week and I'm going to start putting them here as well.

Hopefully the Prologue should appear here tomorrow.

Babylon 5 Episode 5 Season 4
Falling Towards Apotheosis was a pretty hard act to follow, but I think they did it with The Long Night.

The story that has interested me most in Season 4 so far is the one that is taking place on Centauri Prime, so that's what I'll focus on here. The Emperor's court ( his name is Cartagia) has moved to Narn. This has happened in order to G'Kar to be publicly executed in front of his own people. The idea is that it will further drive home to the Narn that their chances of regaining independence from the Centauri Empire are next to nil. Of course Cartagia also thinks long, drawn out executions are a lot of fun.

G'Kar is in a pretty bad way, having had one of his eyes torn out and not really trusting that Londo can find a way out for him. He does agree to trust his former enemy, though.

Londo has a plan to kill the Emperor by means of a poisoned needle. Strangely enough one of the funniest scenes in this episode concern Vir and Londo talking about the needle and the assassination. It's a testimony to Stephen Furst's acting talents that he can actually make this subject seem genuinely amusing.

The execution doesn't take place, because Londo has arranged for G'Kar's bonds to be breakable. Seeing G'Kar fight his guards once he gets loose, and keep in mind he's been mistreated and probably not fed well as well as sleep deprived, is rather impressive. It makes me wonder how they managed to capture him in the first place. The other Narn are no slouches when it comes to fighting. Obviously only Centauri's better weaponry and large population were how they defeated the Narn.

The assassination is botched, because the Emperor manages to resist Londo and may have possibly killed him if not for Vir. It is in fact Vir who stabs the Emperor with the poisoned needle and kills him. Taking another life, even one as twisted as Cartagia's affects a gentle soul like Vir very badly. It is sad when he tells Londo all he ever wanted was a decent job, a small title and holdings and someone he loved who loved him back. Vir shouldn't be in this situation and it hurts to see him thrown into it.

The remaining court elect Londo as Prime Minister, and with the Emperor having no heir, the scheming former ambassador is closer to realising his dream of becoming Emperor.

The Narn offer to make G'Kar their ruler, but he wants no part of that and he also wants nothing to do with any plan of revenge the Narn plan against Centauri.

While this is going on the crew of Babylon 5 are wrestling with the Shadow Vorlon conflict and Sheridan comes up with a plan to force the two mighty forces to face each other without continuing to rack up innocents in their war of mutually assured destruction. It's a good plan, but someone has to die to carry it out and they do, but this weighs further on Sheridan's conscience.

For some reason Bruce Boxleitner looks both younger and healthier in this season. I'm wondering if he went on some sort of weight loss fitness program between seasons, or if this is a subtle way of emphasising that his near death experience did change him somehow.

I'm going to start a Marcus watch. I like Marcus and he's been absent for a couple of episodes now. So no Marcus in The Long Night. I am hoping that he will accompany Ivanova on her mission to find the First Ones. Despite her own competence Susan does need someone to watch her back and who better than the suave Ranger Marcus?

Babylon 5 Episode 4 Season 4
Falling Towards Apotheosis, what does that even mean? I had to look it up, as soon as I had done so it made total sense, and on more than one front. If you haven't ever been minded to look up the word apotheosis, this is how it is defined: the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of god.

At the beginning of the episode things are in chaos and at crisis point which is pretty much normal for Babylon 5. They used Ivanova in an odd fashion. Mostly she was seen through the Babcom system (I still don't like that name) giving updates on the situation. The chaos this time comes from an odd source: the Vorlons.

Ivanova and Marcus had discovered at the end of Summoning that the Vorlons in an act of supreme paranoia had for once in their long existence gone on the offensive against the Shadows and were wiping them out wherever they could find them. This even if it meant destroying an otherwise peaceful planet. This has understandably thrown everyone else into a flat panic. Why does it really matter for us the viewers, though? I mean our area of interest is Earth or related planets. It doesn't really bother us if the Drazi or some other unnamed non aligned race ends up being wiped out by the Vorlons, especially if it means the end of the Shadow menace. That would probably work if the Centauri's insane Emperor hadn't given the Shadows sanctuary on Centauri Prime.

That still doesn't explain the title though. It became apparent to me in the opening scene. Because of what Ivanova is saying to the station everyone is running around like a chook with it's head cut off. A lady is trying to find her husband and is knocked to the ground, she could very possibly have been trampled before Security could get to her. Then the crowds suddenly part, everyone murmurs in reverence as Captain Sheridan strides through Lorien a pace behind. He helps the lady up and delivers her to Zack. He is being treated as a godlike figure because everyone believes he died at Z'ha'dum and somehow returned from the dead.

Everyone, but Garibaldi, accepts Lorien. I'm on Garibaldi's side, there's something not right about Lorien. Of course this could be just because I really like the character of Michael Garibaldi. The Chief Security Officer's suspicions about Sheridan's 'new best friend' are treated with a lot of suspicion because of the mystery surrounding his disappearance and reappearance after being presumably in Shadow custody. Maybe like the Vorlon the Shadows can too leave part of themselves in someone, and therefore without really knowing it Garibaldi is a Shadow, the way Sheridan is currently part Vorlon.

Londo's prophecy keeps coming true on Centauri Prime. The Emperor refuses to cut the Shadows loose because while he has no intention of using his own forces to defend them if the Vorlon's come calling as they believe he will, he will continue to harbour them because of their promise to elevate him to godhood. He does trust Londo though, even showing him his collection of heads, who he relies on for advice and counsel. Yep, completely round the twist, but with supreme power. I'd always wondered how Centauri Prime was devastated in Londo's vision of the future, now I think I know. To make matters worse the Emperor orders G'Kar's eye been torn out at the end of the episode and it's always a one eyed G'Kar that kills Emperor Londo in the Centauri's vision.

As the Vorlon situation on Babylon 5 worsens Sheridan makes the call to expel the Vorlon ambassador. He first sends Garibaldi and a team to do it. The ambassador predictably reacts badly and the security team are nearly wiped out. The first plan having failed, Sheridan puts plan b into action, He lures the Vorlon into a spot where he has him at a disadvantage and then confronts him. When the ambassador leaves his encounter suit and appears as a big glowing cuttlefish (he actually looks like one of their ships, as the ships are living things it makes me wonder if they're really just another kind of Vorlon), Lorien unlocks Kosh in Sheridan and Kosh does battle with the evil Vorlon, managing to expel him from Babylon 5.

They were balanced on a knife's edge when the episode started, I think they just tipped off it.

Babylon 5 Episode 3 Season 4
Summoning has a few parts to it. 

A minor theme is return. Both Sheridan and Garibaldi come back to Babylon 5. Garibaldi is collected by Zach. I'm not entirely sure he's right. I think it is Garibaldi, but they find him on his ship, not that prison he was in and he only has indistinct memories of that. He acts normal after he recovers, but maybe he's been implanted with something.

Delenn is trying to convince the non aligned races that they need to attack the Shadows before they themselves are attacked. One of the Drazi is trying to talk against her and doing a good job of it, but he's blown out of the water by the reappearance of Sheridan with Lorien in tow.

Sheridan gives the rest of his inner circle the truth about the Shadows and the Vorlonn. They were both put there to look after the universe by the First Ones. Somehow they believed that the diametric opposite views would keep the status quo.

There's been hints via Kosh (I swear this new one is the originals evil twin, he's abusing Lyta) that the Vorlonn position is altering. Ivanova and Marcus (who work really well together. The revelation that he's still a virgin is priceless) confirm this when they go on a mission and find that a Vorlonn warship has completely obliterated a world to get rid of Shadow influence. This could also have ramifications for Centauri Prime too, but no one knows about that yet. I do wonder about Lorien. We don't know what he is and Garibaldi hates him. Wonder if he's a First One? 

The final story involves G'Kar. He's being tortured. The demented Centauri Emperor wants to break him and hear him scream. G'Kar being G'Kar refuses to give him the satisfaction. Londo comes to G'Kar and tries to convince him to give the Emperor what he wants, because a dead martyr is of no use to Narn. The Emperor has tired of G'Kar's stoicism and determines to use an electro whip on him. The pain will cause anyone, even a Narn to die at 40 strokes. Vir and Londo have to watch. Watch and pray that G'Kar won't let his pride kill him. G'Kar cries out at the 39th stroke. I don't know how Londo will topple the Emperor, but he will and Vir hates the man.

Babylon 5 Episode 2 Season 4
It looked like I was going to get my wish from Episode 1 in Episode 2 because it was called Whatever Happened to Mr Garibaldi? That was a question I kept asking throughout the first episode.

G'Kar decides to go looking for answers. He leaves the ship and winds up on some place where it's in a big thunderstorm. I initially thought he'd gone to the depths of Babylon 5 and the storm was an effect in the bar, but then I realised it was a thunderstorm, and as there are no thunderstorms in space, he had to be off the station.

Asking questions about Garibaldi, which is very reminiscent of Garibaldi's occasional forays into the world of noir fiction, soon gets the Narn into trouble and his fat is pulled out of the fire by none other than Marcus. Marcus just showing up like this isn't really questioned by anyone, because it's just the sort of thing the Ranger tends to do. I want one of his Minbari pikes. What a great weapon! You press a button and it extends. Marcus accuses G'Kar of 'pikel envy'. I'm not sure about G'Kar, but I do have it.

Unfortunately Marcus can't be there all the time and wherever G'Kar is seems to be controlled by the Centauri. The Narn is ambushed by some Centauri soldiers and given a decent kicking before being taken prisoner.

We do get a look at Garibaldi. He's being held somewhere and he's desperate to get out. He doesn't know where he is or why he's being held. He doesn't even know who is captors are. I'm going to take a wild stab here. The Centauris weren't too keen on G'Kar asking questions and it wasn't just because he's a Narn. Via their mad Emperor they're in bed with the Shadows. I'm guessing that's who has Garibaldi and he's being held on the island the Emperor has given them.

Sheridan is still alive, sort of, and he's still in the caves. He's getting all sorts of vague pronouncements from a shadowy old character who only gives his name as Lorien, well that's what we call him, but it may not actually be his name. Lorien did come out with the statement that part of Kosh (that's the Kosh we knew, not the new one) is in Sheridan, that's a Vorlonn thing. I wish Lorien had just told us that and gone away. I found most of the sequence fairly tedious. Surely Sheridan got enough philosophy and cryptic clues from Kosh.

Delenn is still convinced that Sheridan is alive in Z'ha'dum and gets Franklin onboard, she calls a large force of Rangers, Marcus seemed to be absent, and determines to lead them to Z'ha'dum and make war on the Shadows. Not all of the Rangers were totally down with that plan to judge by the expressions on many of the faces.

The final part of this story concerned Londo. A captured and beaten G'Kar is presented to him as a gift to do with what he wants. I presume that only applies if Londo wants to torture and kill G'Kar.

Londo visits G'Kar in his cell and tries to enlist him into a plan of his own. It will involve pain for the Narn, but it will let him live and it may even give the Narn back their planet. I assume the end game involves Londo becoming Emperor. I found Londo's talk of the behaviour of his people interesting. Their outwardly civilised behaviour is really a thin veneer for their inward barbarity. Not dissimilar to the Earth civilisations on which the Centauri are based.

Babylon 5 Episode 1 Season 4
Hello! Yes, I'm back! We went away on holiday to New Zealand and the plan was to get back to Babylon 5 when we got back home, but you know what they say about mice and men and plans, so it's taken until now.

The first episode is titled The Hour of the Wolf, it's a rather ominous title, especially as there are no wolves in space, not that I know of. Given that wolves are often associated with Russia you'd have to think it's an Ivanova reference, which it kind of was in a way.

The start is totally different. It's not narrated by any one cast member as has been the case in previous seasons, there are a number of them with lines to use. It's very effective and thoughts of peace are now totally out the window.

Understandably this one deals with what happened at the end of season 3 and it's aftermath as well as the effect that's had on the various people aboard Babylon 5. I'll try and cover this by crew member or delegate as best I can.

G'Kar seems to have a genuine position as an actual Narn emissary now. He is concerned about Sheridan's fate, but the disappearance of Garibaldi bothers him more. I actually thought that it was a little sad that the only two people who really seemed to care about Garibaldi, at least they were the only two who showed it, were G'Kar and Zach. There is a rather amusing exchange between the two when Zach finds G'Kar in Garibaldi's room wearing the fedora Garibaldi donned when he wanted to go incognito. The hat looks really funny on G'Kar, because it's too small for his head.

I was pleased to see that the Daffy Duck picture is still above Garibaldi's bed, a nice bit of continuity. G'Kar asks Zach if it's some sort of God. Zach nearly answers that it's Daffy Duck, then realises that he couldn't explain Daffy Duck to G'Kar and agrees that it is a kind of personal God for Garibaldi. In a way maybe it is, after all watching old Daffy Duck cartoons is Michael Garibaldi's second favourite thing in the universe to do.

Sheridan's disappearance/death has hit people harder. Ivanova blames herself for it, and spends the nights drinking herself into oblivion. That's where the title came from. Ivanova's father used to have a large slug of vodka before bed every evening, he called it keeping the wolf from the door, he also took 3 shot glasses with him, they were for the cubs. Ivanova seems to be getting through more than that, it's not good for her.

Delenn, who was in love with Sheridan, has taken it very hard, and she's doing a great impression of the nope octopus in simply refusing to even entertain the fact that Sheridan could be dead.

Londo? Londo got what he'd always wanted. He was posted to Centauri Prime as an important official and had access to the Emperor. Vir assumes Londo's position as ambassador aboard Babylon 5.

Lyta has been added to the regular cast. I knew they needed another telepath. What makes her particularly important is the fact that she is to a large extent the mouthpiece by which the Vorlonn ambassador, also named Kosh, communicates to the station. I have to say at this juncture that I do not like the new Kosh. He doesn't treat Lyta very nicely and he's also reluctant to help in the struggle against the Shadows.

The other aligned races no longer want to fight the Shadows, they think what happened at the end of season 3 spelled the end. G'Kar, Ivanova and Delenn know differently.

They do actually mount a mission to Z'ha'dum to see if they can find Sheridan, but have to abort and it's only Lennier's quick thinking that gets them out of it alive. Sheridan is shown at the end of the episode. He's in a network of caves and he encounters an old looking character. He looks kind of like a Narn, but he's not. He's one of these wise old sage types that will have to become important later on.

My favourite storyline as is so often the case involved Londo. I really like the depiction of the Centauri's. I always have. I find their combination of classical Rome and 18th century European empire interesting. I found out that their standing up hairstyle is actually referred to as a crest, so it's not simply an affected style, it's obviously how their hair grows.

Londo knew that the Emperor was young, vain and hedonistic, he didn't realise that he was completely insane. He kills anyone he perceives as a threat or an enemy, keeps the heads and talks to them. Shades of Idi Amin there. The Ugandan dictator didn't talk to the heads of people he'd had killed, but he was reported to have kept the heads in a freezer. Even worse he's invited the Shadows to take up residence on an island. As Londo sees their spiderlike ships overhead his future visions haunt him again. He determines that he needs to kill the Emperor and brings Vir to Centauri Prime to help him. Unfortunately Morden wasn't killed, he was however horribly injured and scarred, but he's still manipulating things.

There was no Marcus or Franklin in this episode. I didn't miss Franklin, he's never done a lot for me as a character, but I would have liked to see what Marcus was up to. They're both in the opening credits, so they'll be around I am sure.