I have never been a Sci-Fi fan until I came across Babylon 5 years ago. This lead me to all the other genre shows I am watching today.
Babylon 5 is a monumental show, its idea envision and executed with brilliance by its creator JMS.
Its story arc spans all five seasons and it was more or less executed the way it was intended to.
The first season is the weakest of it, very cheesy and sometimes hard to get through (especially if you have never seen it before), but nonetheless has some important hints and foreshadowing of what is to come in later seasons. Nothing is a coincidence.
The cast is mostly great, the best being Peter Jurassik and Andreas Katsulas. But I also like Mira Furlan's Delenn.
Today the special effects may look cheesy and oudated, but when the show was first shown it was new to use this kind of CGI.
Anyone who likes Sci-Fi should have seen this show.
Like I said in my summary, this is the best Science Fiction show ever next to Star Trek. It revolutionized science fiction television with magnificent story lines, writing, acting and visuals. As a viewer, you genuinely grow an affection for the members of the cast, and that is something that just does not happen all that much in the television world of science fiction. Many shows fail where this one succeeded - too many science fiction shows do not have the charisma that this show always had. If you have never seen this show, all 5 Seasons are available on DVD and are well worth the price. A wonderful show.
Despite my fanboy wish for Straczinsky to deliver a monumental masterpiece, Babylon 5 will in my mind mostly be remembered for some bad choices in casting, some worse choices in dialogue and scenes which make you wail.
First, the good: Straczinsky was one of the few people (ever?) on television to envision 5 seasons and execute no more and no less. That means the script could remain tight and stories unblemished. The basic premise was monumental indeed - galactic wars, the change of the galactic guard, the alliance... All this is truly deserving of a very high place in the pantheon of SF. And filler episodes, most often despised, were right on the money, sometimes even excellent; and when the main story kicked in the high gear - I got goosebumps. It was a satisfying 5-season movie which logically ran to its conclusion. So what was the problem, you ask? To begin with, the main cast. I thought O'Hare (Sinclair) was bland until Boxleitner's (Sheridan) 'spunk' came along - then I wished O'Hare was back. Doyle (Garibaldi) didn't really get into his character until he shaved his head (strangely enough), while Christian (Ivanova) was simply miscast as a tough Russian. Yeah, right. And then there was Furlan (Delenn). Oh my. Let me say first that I'm Croatian (former Yugoslavia) and have watched this incredible actress kick the hell out of difficult character roles like very few actresses in the world could. In Babylon 5, and I say this with no exaggeration, there was hardly a scene where my inner voice wasn't shreaking "STOP OVERACTING"!!! It was uncanny how she managed to do that for 5 complete seasons. This was overshadowed only by worse acting when Sheridan and Delenn had joint happy scenes. My God. The first couple of seasons supporting actors shone and for me, it saved the show: first Katsulas (G'Kar) and Jurasik (Londo), then Furst (Koto), Mumy (Lenier), Conaway (Allan) and Carter (Marcus). In fact, character-wise, the greatest stories on B5 werte those of Lando's rise and fall and G'Kar's transformation from a warrior to a space Homer/Buddha-like character.
I will admit it must have been difficult to get the tension/emotion in SF settings, but BSG does it with ease in so many ways, while B5 resorted to few cliches which kept on repeating. For example, try counting the number of times anyone leaving the room would ever leave it cleanly. Not a chance. There was always a turn before leaving, right on cue. In fact, the best name for it would be "SF emotions for dummies". As all TV shows, this one too suffers from "overhumanizing" the galaxy, like no matter how bad we are, we still end up being far superior to just about every darn race that ever existed - from the first being in the universe to the present day. Hogwash, but I guess we'll always have to live with it.
The thing it does well is juggle alien races and goals. For example, the Vorlons and the Shadows both bring to the table valid points of expanding and weeding out the universe - even though they start out as plain "good and evil". The same can be said for Centari-Narn and, in the end, humans-Membari. Still, I would REALLY like someone envisioning that some races might just have an edge over the human spirit. This ego trip must end some day -I hope.
So, in the end, a good, valiant try of a well-rounded, capital story with wobbly execution. Rest in peace, you deserved it B5!
To me Babylon 5 is a multi-faceted series that leaves me with mixed emotions from the first time I've watched the pilot up to the final series denouement.
Now first the redeeming qualities: The production value of this show is adequate which makes heavy use of CGI generated outer-space scenes with 3D modeled spacecraft versus traditional models and miniatures. With most of the effects work done on relatively low-cost workstations at Foundation Imaging and later inhouse by Netter Digital Imaging, run by Douglas Netter one of the show's producers, there is an obvious attention to detail. The 3D generated models take full advantage of breathtaking lighting effects, expertly done integration into space battles and exterior shots of the Babylon 5 station. The only weak point is the sometimes poor keying of live action with CGI during the first few seasons, but subsequently improved in latter seasons, probably thanks to the acquisition of Flint workstations by Netter. Otherwise their team of animators have obviously done well, earning the show an Emmy award for Special Visual Effects for the pilot movie "The Gathering". Another great accomplishment is the makeup by Optic Nerve Studios in Los Angeles which has a long list of well known shows and movies to its credit as makeup prosthetics, props, animatronics and effects designers which has helped the show win another Emmy award for Makeup for the episode "The Parliament of Dreams".
Set production is mixed, with adequate construction of station backdrops and props. Budget constraints are obvious in other sets. For example the excessive use of drapes to cover up the walls of the Centauri imperial chamber denotes scenes whose preparation seemed rushed into production. You just don't get a sense of the elaborate flourish and gawdy detail you would expect from the seat of the Centauri Empire and the white drape-covered walls has persisted in being the standard look for the throne room throughout the series. However there is never too much of a sense of cheapness in the sets and shouldn't really detract from the experience. It is overall quite acceptable.
Costume designs achieve their task of conveying the individual styles of the races and for the most part are rather well done.
The music score is to say the least, interesting. Much as the special effects, the music is almost completely synthesized and despite this it does well to convey the symphonic grandeur of the themes and the incidental emotions of the moment. I wasn't expecting John Willliams, but I was far from disappointed from the result of Chris Franke's efforts, even if I do think he has sort of a thumb cymbal fetish.
I have some problems with sound editing. Very often you find scenes on the station where there would be a crowd, and all you hear are the actors talking and the shuffling of feet from people walking on set. Background noises of people talking and arguing, rattling of equipment and goods being carried, public vidcoms and music, the humming of power generators or other machinery, all of that is completely forgotten. You would expect at least the Zocalo to be noisy, but it's not.
The other thing that bugs me is lighting in the first two seasons: everything was generally too bright and spotlights were used too often for effect.
As one would expect, the episodic stories range from mildly entertaining to exceptional. Where Babylon 5 shines is the longer story arc of an epic tale of interstellar wars, political scheming and grandiose revelations of ancient races whose battles millenias past still have dramatic repercussions on the newer races who have to unite in order to fight for their survival. This story arc which starts as soon as the first few hints of one of these ancient races, the Shadows, appear well into the first season is what helps get the viewer hooked into the series and continue on until the end of the fifth season, as I did.
The premise for the show is a bit weak in my opinion. The idea of the human race expending a huge amount of resources in building up to five space stations whose goal is "to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully", after the first four were lost or destroyed, seems way up there on the contrivance scale. Without getting too technical into why it would be more feasable to create a planetary base versus two-million five-hundred-thousand tons of metal spinning in space in the middle of nowhere (multiplied by five) and the staggering logistics involved, I am still willing to believe in it since this is after all, science-fiction. And there no doubt would be plenty of nerdy technical justifications discussed on internet forums as to why a space station would be more worthwhile an endeavour than finding some moon or planet to build a base on. It seems that, in this future, building ships incapable of atmospheric flight is all the rage.
And then... there's the acting. Some of it is great and some of it is absolutely atrocious. Quite often I had to wince at some of the pathetic performances of the regular cast and some guest appearances. I admit to having been surprised when I heard that Martin Sheen would make an appearance as a Soul Hunter in the made for TV Babylon 5 movie "The River of Souls" but wasn't all that impressed with the role he was given which I consider a horrible waste of the man's talent. What really gets to me is the uneven performances of Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi) and Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova) which varied from appalling line delivery which seemed like artificial recitations, to some rare and almost believable poignant and emotional scenes. In all fairness, it took a bit of time for them to grow into their roles and put a bit more emotion and believability into their lines. I have to say that I was never particularly fond of the performance by Michael O'Hare (Jeffrey Sinclair) and had some serious doubts at first about a show that has Bruce Boxleitner (John Sheridan) as its main character even though he didn't turn out as bad as I had expected. On this front, what really saves the day are the stellar performances of Peter Jurasik (Londo Mollari) and the late Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar). Those two really made the series go up a few notches in my esteem and I always enjoyed watching them.
To summarize, Babylon 5 is an enjoyable science-fiction series with good writing, decent character development and special effects with fair acting overall. I will always enjoy re-watching this show and let myself slip into some otherworldly escapism when time permits.
B5 is about so much, change, consequences, and taking reponsibility for your actions. JMS has created such art with this show, and I grew to love it. It had such incredible acting, by the late great Andreas Katsulas and Peter Jurasik, who should have won Emmy's. It has a lot of meaning in todays world, Clark being Bush incarnate. It put me on a journey I have yet to conclude. Thank you JMS,, you really made a masterpiece with this series, and I am so glad we got the 5 years. I got to meet JMS and all the principle actors and it was so special to me. B5 is just so deep and rich. One of the only problems with the show is introducing it to a novice, because it takes much extra attention and it needs to build itself. Most people won't take the time. I started with Gropos, a 2nd season show and each show just blew my mind and impressed me and when I got to Severed Dreams, Wow, I cried when my station was attacked and I knew I loved this show so much. I shall never forget it for many reasons. It is just a masterpiece.
what can I say? Babylon 5 blew me away. after finishing the series, I immediately began re-watching it from the beginning. truth be told, I was a little wary at first. the CGI were not up to standard (especially when compared to Star Trek: DS9) and year 1 isn't exactly what I would describe as "good television" but in the end, sitting through it payed off.
Babylon 5 is an example of a story arc done right. I'm just floored by the attention to detail and consistencies in the plot. This is some of the best writing I have seen on television to date and I'll be damn if I ever find anything that'll top it.
While 'Babylon 5' had a lot in common with some of its science fiction predecessors, it also struck out in a new way into the realm of 'human' characterizations. I say that because the writing was so good, you felt as if you knew these people--even when they were aliens, not people-- and you might act the same way, given the circumstances. The show wasn't as dense as 'Stargate' and not as smarmy as 'Red Dwarf.' It was down the middle, just right. If you had missed an episode or two, you weren't necessarily lost at sea, as you might have been with some other ensemble cast dramas.
This show is widely available in reruns and on DVD. Give it a try-- you'll find it has the pull of a good novel.
This was probably the show that brought science fiction to the next level of television. Many shows in science fiction depended upon continual exploring new places and encountering something new each and every episode. However, Babylon 5 was entirely stationary. This show made no attempt to hide the fact that this show was in it for the long haul. It was superb the way that the writers were able to introduce the characters and continually keep the tension between them (and their races) for the duration of the show.
Admittedly, there were problems with the acting, sets, and CGI. It was pushing farther than anyone had before which shows. However, the writing was what drove this show to the level of superb.
I honestly could write forever about Babylon 5, It is truely the best Sci-Fi show ever, and I have seen a LOT! If we forgot the more groundbreaking elements of the series, such as introducing more arc-based stories to Sci-Fi, the wonderfully unique CGI and it's struggle to find ground in a world dominated by Star Trek at the time... This is simply a damn-good Science Fiction story.
Season One is considered slow by many - but in my opinion it's a classic in it's own right. It's hardly the drama-a-minute the show became in it's later years - but it's an intelligent and original season, perhaps marred slightly by some hokey acting from lead Michael O'Hare, who does improve with repeated viewing. Highlights for me from the first season are "Soul Hunter" - an underrated gem, featuring a great performance from W Morgan Sheppard. "Mind War" - the introduction to Bester, featuring a superb score from Christopher Franke. "Deathwalker" - featuring a classic ending. "Signs and Portents" - really the first Arc episode of Babylon 5. "Babylon Squared" - a truely magnificent episode laying foundations that would be fully paid off in later seasons and "Chrysalis", a jam-packed action 45 minutes where literally "Nothing's the same anymore"...
Season Two is probably my least favourite season, due to it's rather poor standalone episodes, "The Long Dark", "A Distant Star", "Soul Mates", "Hunter Prey", "There all the honor lies" & "Knives" could easily have been culled, or merged to give room for some better episodes. But there are still some great moments in Season Two, and perhaps the first signs of the show punching above it's weight. With Boxleitner now as the lead, Delenn half-human and Na'Toth sadly recast, Season 2 features many other dramatic changes, most significant of all are the Narn/Centauri War and the Shadow awakening stories. Some of my favourite moments are "The Coming of Shadows" - one of SF's best ever episodes and a Hugo award winner, "Divided Loyalties" the unmasking of a traitor, "Comes the Inquisitor" - a superb performance by Alexander, Furlan and Boxleitner, "The Long, Twilight Struggle" as Londo watches his deal with Morden take fruition and "GROPOS" a quiet military episode with a poignant punch. Still a great year, but it's perhaps a bit hit and miss - but it's hits are very high thankfully...
Season 3 is just pure brilliance from start to finish. Focusing on the Shadow War, and Babylon 5's breakaway from Earth. Excluding moments of "Convictions", "A Day in the Strife", "Sic Transit Vir" and half of "Grey 17 is missing", there isn't a dull moment in this season. "Matters of Honor" is a great start to the season, introducing Marcus Cole, who would end up being a great character. The trio of episodes "Messages from Earth"/"Point of No Return"/"Severed Dreams" make for great watching together. The tremendous "War without End" two parter demonstrates just how fantastic Babylon 5 was, "Walkabout" is a great quiet episode, and the final three episodes are brilliant, with "And the rock cried out..." being a personal favourite of mine. Easil B5's second best season and a year that very few other Sci-Fi shows have come to improve upon.
Season 4 is for me, the best "whole" season of a Sci-Fi show EVER. Only "Conflicts of Interest" and "Rumours Bargains and Lies" have duller moments. The first six provide a worthy conclusion to the Shadow-arc storyline, even if the actual last few moments could be considered a cop-out, things kick straight back into gear with the war against Earth, the Minbari Civil War and the wonderful Garibaldi arc. Highlights for me would be "The Long Night", just loved watching Vir put pay to Cartagia, "Into the Fire" again, Vir waving at Morden's head is a great payoff to earlier episodes and I love the final shot, "Atonement", a great Delenn flashback episode providing info on the Minbari/Earth war, "No Surrender, No Retreat", a great battle episode, "Between the Darkness and the Light", love watching Ivanova's "I am death" speech - and there is terrible scene with Lyta on Mars that I just love to hate, "Endgame", perhaps my favourite ever B5 episode which has almost everything - and "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" - a clever episode that provides loads of answers to the viewers, some which are never fully answered.
Season 5 is a mixed bag, much like Season 2, clearly suffering from it's last minute pick-up - the Telepath arc that begins the year is extremely weak, and there are a few pointless fillers such as "Learning Curve", Ivanova is gone and Lochley is introduced, who in my opinion, did a good job having to fill the shows of Ivanova - "No Compromises" is a competent opener, and "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" and "Day of the Dead" are tremendous stand-alone episodes. Things kick back into gear big time though in the second half of the season, with a great Psi Corps stand-alone, and the trio of episodes "And all my dreams", "Movements of Fire and Shadows" and "The Fall of Centauri Prime" proving that Babylon 5 could stick kick arse when it wanted too. The final few episodes feel like closing a chapter of a book, it's slightly long, but stands up well on repeated viewings. "Sleeping in Light" continues to be one of only a handful of episode that bring a tear to my eye.
The movies are perhaps the weakest element of Babylon 5, "In the beginning" is fantastic, but all the other's suffer from something. "Thirdspace" is a competent SF movie, but not what you'd come to expect from Babylon 5. "The River of Souls" has a welcome return to the Soul Hunters, but is marred by a terrible holo-brothel B-Story, "A Call to Arms" is a great movie, with a horrendous Evan Chen soundtrack, "The Legend of the Rangers" is pretty poor, with some cheesy dialogue and performances. "The Lost Tales" is a real oddity, with some good moments, but proving that Babylon 5's time has come and gone in my opinion.
Well, if you're still reading this, hopefully this has re-awakened some great moments from your TV viewing history, or maybe encouraged you to pick up this gem at your local DVD store. It's a MUST-HAVE - don't give up if you're not totally enamoured with Season 1, as this is a show that really pays off sitting through it's duller episodes. You won't be disappointed!
I've always loved science fiction, and could never get enough, whether it was TV, movies, or books.
I grew up watching the obvious sci-fi shows (Star Trek, Lost in Space) and some not so obvious ones (Wild Wild West, Speed Racer). Then Star Wars happened, and it wasn't so stigmatizing to be a nerd.
For a show to be so consistently true to its own internal logic and integrity, and to be so entertaining at the same time is phenomenal. I was hooked from the pilot (which does seem a little cheesy now), and watched every minute I could find (including the disappointing 'Lost Tales'). I've got them queued up in Netflix for the third time, and can't wait for them to come around; I'm finishing Andromeda (I had missed most of Seasons 3 and 4) and Stargate SG-1 (recommended by my brother, and a fantastic show as well). Granted, Season 5 was a little weak, but that was due to outside forces threatening the cancellation of the show, not due to a drop-off in the quality of the writing, acting, or production.
On rare occasions, I finish watching something (movie or TV episode) and say "Wow! That was one of the best shows I've ever seen!" It's happened with one movie (Star Wars, of course), and maybe a dozen individual episodes with TV. One is from Stargate (the one with the replicators on the Russian submarine), one is the new Dr. Who ep with the weeping angels (watched it 3 times). Most of the rest are B5 episodes; not only does the show stand up as a whole, it has numerous single show examples of excellent storytelling. Signs and Portents, Severed Dreams, Confessions and Lamentations, and even A Late Delivery from Avalon (which apparently only I liked...) are fantastic capsules of the overall story that leave you stunned by the impact (well, maybe not Avalon).
Creator and main writer J. Michael Strazynski created a vast universe in which to tell compelling stories within a very well conceived five year arc. The genre is SciFi, but it could just as well have been set in another time and place.
The first time I saw images of Babylon 5, I took one look at Londo's hair and changed the channel. Fortunately for me friends convinced me to give the show another try.
I became entranced by the characters, the actors chosen to play those characters, and the developing storyline. Soon I realized it was not the typical fast food variety of TC show. This was great storytelling on a scale never before done on American television. Instead of the usual idiotic sit-com with wretched laugh track, Babylon 5 told a story which required the viewer to THINK! The show's own history was a main theme. The lore and legends of Babylon 5 were dramatic elements in many episodes.
Soon I very much enjoyed to interaction between characters. Londo and G'Kar were the perfect "odd couple" in this show. In reality, the actors were close friends. Delenn added a most compelling strong feminin side to the otherwise warrior-like Minbari.
The complete story is a novel for television at the very least.
The news of deaths of some beloved actors from this show hit many of us fans hard. First to pass was Richard Biggs aka Doctor Franklin. I think the next was Tim Choate who created the fantastic character "Zathras." Another guest actor of great reputation and a distinguished career was Paul Winfield who portrayed General Frankin, father of Doctor Franklin, passed away next. The most difficult real life death for me was Andreas Katsulas, our beloved G'Kar. G'Kar was the true moral voice of Babylon 5. Few actors have had the opportunity to speak with such eloquence in a TV program.
The deaths of these actors is a reminder to many of how precious life is and how we ought to express our true feelings to our loved ones sooner rather than later.
It seems that every so often a show comes along that can change everything about it and still remain a hugely popular show; Babylon 5 is the contender for all time most perfect example of this. Not only did we watch as Capt Sherridian left after one season, but new faces kept springing up and sometimes taking quite a detour to explain their presence. Meanwhile, the Plot although generally straight forward must take time to develop 5 major Races of alien, which each has their own culture and history to convey. What turns out in the finished product is a masterpiece of Television history.
Babylon 5 is one of the all time greats and makes for an excellent escape into an alternate universe.
There are no words I could say about this show. It is just the BEST I have ever seen.
I am so happy for that one night when I got tv program, saw that show there and decided to watch. They aired it here in midnight, so my recorder became my best friend and I have no second thoughts - the thing that I started to watch that show was the best I could do! (+ I learned English by that show.. before that I rarely understand nothing, after that... I spoke like I had knew it all my life)
What is so great in this serie? - the story. I think this is the first Sci-fi serie what started to have one storyline from episode to episode not like most what had problem, at the end of the episode, they solved it.. and next time all over again. And the story is not only continues but attractive, striking, emotional, thoughtful. There are so many dilemmas, so many thoughts, questions, so much philosophy, moral... It is all so big that I cannot express myself.
Another great plus of this serie - characters. Most of them are alien but they are so "humane". They are colorful, difficulty, with great back stories, challenging, changing. There cannot be better example than Londo Mollari - I just adore the back look at the end of the serie to his life.
And after all those great things, this serie has all needed for great sci-fi serie - adventure, action, shooting and still has drama, tragic..
This is ground breaking science fiction. This is undebateable. If it should have ended on UPN or TNT, that is another story.
Babylon 5 set the standard for well thought out science fiction. The writing is legendary. The cast was perfect. The netwoorks .... well that was always a limiting factor.
This show showed authors and writers how a number of reoccurring subplots could thread through an episode of forty two minutes and the episodes plot still make sense to a novice viewer. It is the richness of the writing that made Babylon 5 a legend.
This show is a personal favorite. Try it yourself.
Babylon 5 set a new standard for science fiction. The show is over a decade old as I write this, and it appears cutting edge.
B5 was a unique occurrence in television. A writer, JMS, was also the producer. Most episodes were written by JMS who conceived the show. He has essentially the freedom to create his preconceived world and tale. The budget was large compared to present standards. It is unlikely this confluence of factors will ever again be present to create another show such as this.
The detailed character development and intricate running story lines give the show depth. The scenes can involve large space with many extras and detail enhancing the illusion of a city in space. The computer generated images (CGI) are ground breaking. None of this is likely to occur again.
The follow-up series, Crusade, is evidence to the effect tighter studio control, smaller budgets, casting restraints, studio script changes, and more can do to a brilliant series.
Babylon 5 is a great achievement and well worth watching.
There are so few sci-fi shows that have the guts to stand by an epic principle. This show was an arc, with several sub-stories and strands, but ultimatly a one arc show - and proud of it.
The first four years of this show were on a well laid and well thought out plan. Battles of good and evil were fought out, there was romance, transformation, betrayal, desperation and hope!
The first four seasons were wonderful - tied up in a detaiiled arc that encompassed all manner of good and evil. There were all the classic elements of sci fi, time travel, dimension hopping, and of course, politics. More than that, the finale of season four remains one of the most moving tv hours I've ever seen...
The fifth was a bit weaker - tied up loose ends, but without it's leads, it felt like the lone gunmen...
This was one of my all time favorite shows. I didn't get into it until i was deployed to Iraq from 04-05 when i saw the first season on the movie rack at the Px. Now i have all the seasons but not the movies yet. I've seen all the episodes at least a few times and loved all of them. This was and still is an awesome show. The special effects were always great and the stories were awesome too.
This show has a deep development within its universe. It is called Bablyon 5. It is about a space station lies on a neutral space. It contains aliens and human interact with each other and deals with interplantary problem. The storyline does not involve the Babylon 5 present time, but also the past, future and distant future.
The characters have a colorful background with twist and turn. J. Michael Straczynski has worked out the whole 5 season on paper before they go on production. Most other shows use the hiatus to plan the next season stories. Within the budget J. Michael Straczynski realise his vision on 5 season.
the first i don't know few seasons i loved i couldn't get enough of it...great writing, storyline had me hooked, but the network in my area kept moving it around so after the first few seasons i got lost, i couldn't catch up but before that i thought it was a really great and awesome show, we talked about it at work, it was really a great show, im not even sure how it ended but tracey scroggins? really? well, i just don't see her in this type of show, but that's just my humble opinion, thanks for the memories babylon 5 the first seasons anyway....
Babylon 5 is one of the best character driven sci-fi epics I've ever had the pleasure of watching. It has action, romance, drama, humor, and plots that make you think. The story and characters evolve with each episode, keeping your interest and imagination constantly engaged.
The romantic relationship between Delenn and Sheridan is a delight to watch. A Sci Fi channel web poll placed them among the five best couples in sci-fi history.
The war between the Vorlons and the Shadows is much more than a battle between good and evil. Both aliens pull the strings from one episode to the next as they try to make the galaxy choose one side or the other like parents going through a bad divorce.
If you liked Blake's 7, Star Trek and ST incarnations, you'll probably like Babylon 5.
When you look at Babylon 5 you might not be impressed at first. First season starts very shaky , characters are not over charismatic , sets and CGI are very low quality at first. But.... Even with these first mediocre episodes you can recognize a few facts if you look past beyond these negative points. First this is a series which was throught over about its universe , characters and stories with various details. The characters are not over heroic , undeveloped or always same type personalities. The acting performance is worth praise. In middle of of Season 1 you realize some clues that points out Babylon 5 is different from other most sci-fi series. Its strongest point ( pre-planned storyline arc ) began to give itself away with in some aspects. Most of the episodes have a meaning and contribution to greater storyline althrough some of them are stand alones so you don't realize that at first. There are results of the decisions or acts which were taken...And they have to live with that. I loved this approach. Towards to ending of Season 1 you realize it is worth watching to the end despite some of its weak aspects. Season 2 is a vast improvement and something else entirely. You realize that Season 1 was just an introduction ( a very necessary one I might add , it should be watched to understand whole concept ). In Season 2 at various ways , from CGI effects to leading actor , lots of things change and in a good ways. From ending of Season 1 to finale of series main storyline ( which was written by Joe Michael Straczysky magnificently long time ago ) picks you up and never let you go. Season 3 and Season 4 are just amazing. I don't think I can describe them. They should be watched. Both seasons bring a whole new dimension to sci-fi concepts. Season 5 itself , whole season is a huge finale. While first 10-12 episodes are a huge letdown ( except maybe first two ) the rest of season brings the magnificent Babylon 5 story back. After that I should mention about Babylon 5 TV movies. Althrough some of them are quite good ( like "In the Beginning" , "Thirdspace" , "A Call to Arms"-that one is pilot of short lived "Crusade" spin off series ) and tied to whole Babylon 5 storyline excellently unfortunetly there are also some quite mediocre or meaningless movies also ( "Gathering" , "River of Souls" , "Legend of Rangers" ) To summrize of all if you like creative , throught provoking sci-fi which has a huge five year storyline ( a novel concept indeed ) you should watch Babylon 5 immediately. I have all of it proudly at top of my sci-fi list with "Farscape"
Though I didnt care for alot of the character development episodes and the slow plodding Sinclair all that much, the series really took off in Season 2 and never looked back. Season 1 did lay the foundations for later years so there were some good episodes. Adding Bruce Boxleitner as the no-nonsense Sheridan in Season 2 was one of the best moves they ever made. Some critics called B5 a "low rent Deep Space 9", in reference to Star Trek Deep Space 9 which also took place on space station, but B5 did it better. DS9 was a great series in its own right, but I would have to choose B5 over DS9.
This series had everything: Mystery, treachery, romance, complex plots, excellent SFX for the day, memorable characters and even a sense of humor at times. Havent seen it since it went off the air but I can visualize almost every episode; its just something that sticks in your mind like glue. One of my favorite episode was the last one of Season 4 when they thought Season 5 would never happen - it showed the Earth would be devastated by civil war, the Rangers would slowly guide Earths rebuilding and return to prominence, then it showed the future out to 1,000,000 years later as the Earth is destroyed as the Sun explodes and humanity, now much like the Vorlons, leave the nest for the last time on their way to New Earth. But, against all odds, Season 5 happened and the series went out with a very satifying conclusion.
The series ended on a strong note over the course of 2 episodes that tied up loose ends and provided a conclusion that, some day, could lead to a revival of the series. The ill-fated Crusade sequel series, however, is best forgotten.
Babylon 5 tells the story of a space station located in neutral space, where various alien races (humans included), try to resolve their diferences peacefully... I consider Babylon 5 to be the best sci-fi series I have ever seen.
Created by J.M. Straczynski, The Babylon 5 television series consists essentially of a well-crafted five year story arc. It's set in the mid 23rd century and the main plot revolves around the characters that find themselves aboard the Babylon 5 station, located in neutral space. With a tone that easily shifts from humor, to drama and action, it manages to portray the subtle nuances of the human nature. Throughout political maneuvers, shifting alliances, conspiracies, wars and various turning points, each character's development is a path of its own. The decisions they make affect, not only their own lives, but their worlds, and even their galaxy. Among the various alien races present on the station, four stand out: the Minbari, the Vorlon, the Centauri, and the Narn. The Narn and the Centauri are the first to bring forth issues of hatred between entire races, being former slaves and conquerors, respectively. The Minbari, one of the older races, nearly wiped out the entire human race, stopping short of devastating the Earth. They are now one of Earth's greatest allies. And the most mysterious of all; the Vorlon. They are never seen out of their encounter suites, therefore their true form is unknown; their words enigmatic; and their objectives unspoken. And of course, the web of intrigue wouldn't be complete without an ancient race, and equally ancient enemy, about to return, intent on bringing war and destruction throughtout the galaxy. Babylon 5's peculiar format allows each episode to be an individual story while still being simply another piece in the much larger puzzle. Showing how the assembled picture can be seen as different truths from different perspectives, it leads the viewers on an amazing journey through time and space, leading to a breathtaking finale.
A fantastic show with an equally fabulous ensemble cast. Gritty characters enhance this story-driven show about a space station in deep space far from Earth. How its inhabitants work through its many problems is unique and refreshing and very dramatic. Each show is able to stand alone, but it helps to see as many episodes as possible to get the whole picture as the first pilot movie is equally as important as the finale. Great writing, great mix of characters and plot and action, this series is a treasure of American television that surpasses even Star Trek on many levels.
Since UFO we had not seen a scifi show that wasn't written for younger audience. Gimicks and hot chics. Now this show brought sexiness with style and sofistication. Good story plots to get you to watch every week. The trek series got lost somewhere. This was interesting again. Spies, alliances, and old greviances to be paid. I liked it. The shadow aliens plotting against the earth to take the universe into dark times, great stuff. The chief dealing with all the different factions on board the space station. I remember one episode where the captain goes down in the bowery of the station and there is these singing monks. Cool stuff. The psi corp like nazis. It ran its course but what a great run. A very good scifi show I was impressed with it.
From the beginning, every episode adds to the total. And that total is something never achieved before. You must have patience to understand and appreciate the way the series illustrates the struggles and joys of man as he reaches for the "Stars"
A series that won't neatly answer every question or solve all problems by the end of each episode. I would call the show a 112 multi-part episode, and would include in the sequnce to watch two of the TV movies; "The Gathering" (To be seen first) and "In The Beginning" (To be seen after episode #61, War Without End, Pt. 2).
A quote, and scientific fact, from the first regular season episode produced, "Infection", puts in a nutshell the basis for alot of Space/Sci-Fi shows.
At the end of this episode a reporter inquires to the station commander; "After all that you've just gone through, I have to ask you the same question a lot of people back home are asking about space these days. Is it worth it? Should we just pull back, forget the whole thing as a bad idea, and take care of our own problems, at home?"
Sinclair: "No. We have to stay here, and there's a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics - and you'll get ten different answers. But there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on: whether it happens in a hundred years, or a thousand years, or a million years, eventually our sun will grow cold, and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us, it'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-tsu, Einstein, Maruputo, Buddy Holly, Aristophanes - all of this. All of this was for nothing, unless we go to the stars."
One of the best sci-fi shows ever! I only recently started watching Babylon 5. I downloaded the pilot on iTunes and immediately went out and bought the entire series on DVD.
Babylon 5 is one of the few shows I have seen that started out strong and got better and better by the season. This is one of the most original sci-fi shows I have ever seen. How many sci-fi shows have had ten or more series regulars at one time and still managed to fit everyone in, giving each character his or her own storylines? -Only a couple. There have also been few sci-fi shows that managed to keep the show interesting after four or five seasons. Babylon 5 excelled at these.
Babylon 5 introduced sci-fi fans to many new and interesting alien races, like the Minbari, Narn, Centauri, and Vorlons. Each of these races had vastly different cultures, and Babylon 5 was a place where they could work out those differences peacefully, kind of like a sci-fi United Nations. Along with the show\'s great story arcs and extremely talented cast, Babylon 5 is one of the best sci-fi shows ever made.
B5 was more than just another sci-fi show. It helped prove that sci-fi had not lost its ability to truly make us think. They never just handed us the easy answers, always making us question our preconceptions. The clown in the beginning turned out to be the most tragic figure of all. The aggressive militant became the philosophical leader, the philosopher became a great war leader, and all with true, realistic character development. And it showed us that a sci-fi or action show could make you think. Characters weren't always perfect. They made mistakes, they paid for thier mistakes, and they went on with thier lives with those mistakes following them. And they managed it while also clearly showing us that you can respect another's beliefs without giving up your own, that the actions of each person can make all the difference, and that compassion and respect can get you through a lot. I do hope that someday JMS will have the interest and opportunity to revisit this universe without the handicaps his previous attempts have laboured under. It won't be Babylon 5, but it will keep us thinking. And few shows can receive that kind of accolade.
Babylon 5 is a five-mile long space station located in neutral space. Built by the Earth Alliance in the 2250s, it's goal is to maintain peace among the various alien races by providing a sanctuary where grievances and negotiations can be worked out among duly appointed ambassadors. A council made up of representatives from the five major space-faring civilizations - the Earth Alliance, Mimbari Federation, Centarui Republic, Narn Regime, and Vorlon Empire - work with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to keep interstellar relations under control. Aside from its diplomatic function, Babylon 5 also serves as a military post for Earth and a port of call for travellers, traders, businessmen, criminals, and Rangers. Babylon 5 has problems in abundance. Its senior staff of Earth Alliance officers - along with the most prominent members of the diplomatic community - deal with personal problems, cultural differences, threats to station security, and interstellar crises on a regular basis. Old prejudices and unresolved issues leftover from the Earth-Mimbari War and the Centauri occupation of Narn lead to unexpected developments. Pro-Human groups and a corrupt government make the Earth of the future far from paradise. Telepaths seek refuge from the militant Psi Corps while the Mars colony desires support in its bid for independence. Fate has decreed that Babylon 5 be crucial to deciding the outcome of all of these conflicts.
I think that people that don't like scifi should watch this series, it is like star trek without the euthopia, as the universe could be WITH burocracy, nothing is ideal, you just make the best of it, watch it and enjoy. You will discover that a story can be told in a lot of different maners, scifi is one of them
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