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Brief Introduction :

Babylon 5 : A space station (set in the 23rd Century), featuring aliens and humans living side by side, with the usual conflict, wars and buggered idiots messing around with everyone else.

The Psi Corps : An organisation formed (about 100 years before Babylon 5 came around) by Earth to keep all telepaths under tabs.

Psi Rating : Telepath ratings, ranging rom P1 (weakest) to P12 or higher.

Psi Cops : Consisting only of P12 telepaths, the dudes basically in the highest (or one of the higher) hierarchy ladders of the Psi Corps.

Mr. Alfred Bester : A nasty P12 Psi Cop bugger, who pays regular visits to Babylon 5 to mess around with peopleís lives and generally gloat about his achievements.

Brief Rambling of the Moment : Besterfication

Just for the record, I didnít start watching Babylon 5 of my own accord. Somebody (i.e. my very persuasive friend Nina) kept pestering me to watch the series until I finally succumbed and started watching. Not that the show is terrible or anything (itís bloody terrific!) but I can get obsessed with only so many things before I tip over the edge and fall into the pit of insanity. (I think Iím still teetering over the brink, hanging by a very thin and frail piece of rope.)

Luckily for me, I was able to withstand the temptation to get obsessed with B5, mostly because Nina got obsessed first, and so the quota of obsessed-with-B5 chicks among my friends had been satisfied. What I really feel for Babylon 5 is somewhere between Fascination and Massive Interest, but itís a safe distance away from Obsession.

Malaysian tv is really slow when it comes to actually airing Babylon 5, but theyíre considerate enough to keep the episodes in order, and to show one season immediately after another. Right now weíre in the middle of Season 4, and while Nina is Queen of Spoilers (and also Queen of Useless Information, with me as a neat second), I remain blissfully ignorant about whatís going to happen next.

But (oh, thereís always a but now, isnít there) I have developed a somewhat Mild Obsession with one of the regular B5 guest characters, a dude named Mr. Bester. And since Nina canít stand the guy, I am left with the obligation of becoming a Bester groupie (or Besterette, however extremely gross a term that may be), and I am perfectly happy with that position.

I honestly cannot sat why Iím fascinated with Bester so much. Heís a really nasty bugger. All the good guys (Sheridan, Garibaldi, Ivanova etc) hate him. He looks down on non-telepaths. Heís an egoistical snot with nothing better to do than screw up with other peopleís lives (and minds). He is (in Ninaís own words) : "a lecherous smarmy cheeky bastard". And I heartily agree.

Then why him of all people?? My reply would be... why not??? Despite all this, I really and truly do not understand why people can not like him. In a strange way I find him extremely adorable, although my brain keeps insisting that Iím supposed to hate the guy. And for the life of me I cannot figure out why the good guys on B5 hate him so much. Well, other than he likes to screw up their lives, of course.

The first time I saw Bester was somewhere in Season 2. My immediate reaction was to get visions of Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi, and while Nina told me Walter K[eonig] who plays Bester was also Chekov of the Original Star Trek, I didnít really care because I never paid attention to the original Star Trek, anyway. Itís hard to pinpoint exactly where Besterfication became a part of my obessions, but it has happened, and it successfully grosses out everyone I know (who has watched B5), especially when I start announcing how cute Bester is. (Well, he is!)

His dialogue (esp with Garibaldi, and just about everyone who hates him) are so tremendously cheeky, you either want to slap him or laugh with him. I settle for giggling. (For people who don't know me, I'm a chronic giggler.) I've even got what I now call a Bester Scar on my right knee, obtained when I fell off the coffee table in the middle of the B5 episode "Epiphanies" when I was leaning too close to the tv screen (because of a particularly lovely Bester scene) and neatly toppled over. Nina calls him a randy old man. I call him a lonely misundestood sod.

Itís not Besterís fault heís such a bugger. Heís really an old softie (like Greebo of Terry Pratchettís Discworld books) who just has some issues about his life and the people around him. He doesnít know how to be anything else other than a quintessential villain, and he does his job perfectly. I mean, if it werenít for him causing havoc around B5, the heroes wouldnít appreciate what they have, right? (RIGHT?) And he isn't as nasty as Clarke, who stoops far too low (actually Bester really does stoop quite low, but at least he gloats about it so people know it was him that did it the first place).

And - and - and heís not that short. Amidst the cast of B5 Walter K looks really vertically challenged, but heís four inches taller than me (and five inches taller than Nina), which says a lot. (And it says that I'm short. Well, so what?)

And ~ since I am now a Bester groupie, I have gone around looking for stuff on Chekov, Walter K's other famous character, who has piqued my interest. I have to say, looking back at Walter Kís work in the Star Trek (the original series) days, itís just plain freaky to see how his features evolved over the years. (Isnít that amazing?!) Walter K is really such a terrific actorÖ Come on, Walter Kís such a sweetheart in real life, as Chekov heís just a really sad dude who doesnít do much other than hanging around and looking young, and as Bester heís a "lecherous smarmy cheeky bastard". How amazing is that?

Just wondering about the most useless things can really stimulate the imagination. I was just wondering what I would be like if I were a Bester groupie in the B5 world (Nina tells me that a Bester groupie will make an appearance somewhere in Season 5), and how I would react if I were to meet the dude in person. I have absolutely no idea. I might start gurggling and ask for his autograph. If I were lucky I might become his lackey or something... if I wasn't lucky (eg I caught him on a bad day when Sheridan and gang were giving him a particularly bad time) I'd probably be mind-wiped or something. Well.... that's Bester for you. (ooooo, isn't he adorable!) And I think that limp left hand of his is extremely sexy. (heeheehee ^_^)

So what if he's a baddie? So what if he's 70 years old (and Walter K is 63 this year)? So what if all the good guys on B5 hate him? That doesn't make him any less a cutie than he is. (Feel free to disagree. Evryone I've met has.)

Sites with stuff on Mr. Bester (and the Psi Corps): 

Psi Corps Headquarters 
Alfred Bester Picture Site 
The Psi Corps Homepage 
The Psi Corps and You 
Psi Corps 
PsiCorps Central Database 
Psi Corps Site 

Sites with stuff on Walter K[oenig]:
Walter Koenig's Official Site ~ Just as it says... The Official Site. Has the usual biography, stuff on his book and some interesting pics. 
Walter's Neurotic Universe ~ A nice and comfortably large Walter K page, with stuff on his book Warped Factors, Chekov and Bester and some lovely ramblings. 
Kult of Koenig ~ The obsessiveness of this site's webmistress might freak out other people, but she's a kindred spirit (do you know how few freakily obsessive people there are in this world?). I especially like one of the lines in the opening paragraph: "..he is most beloved for his menacing and strangely captivating Alfred Bester of Babylon 5." Heehee. 
The Official Walter Koenig Fan Club ~ If Walter K didn't have a fan club, then something is seriously wrong with the world. 

Sites with stuff on Chekov : 
Teegar Taylor's Mr. Chekov Page ~ The most fun Chekov page I've seen so far, even though I haven't actually seen Chekov in action. I got to know him better via reading "nerdishly obsessive" stuff about him at this site, though. ^_^ 
Chekov's Log ~ A site done from Chekov's point of view, also very cute. 
Rhea's World of Star Trek : TOS 
Russian Inventions : An Ensign Chekov Page 
Good Things Come in Small (and rarely updated) Packages : A Pav Page