Thank goodness for the DVD's!! What made Babylon 5 unique was that the human race still had issues. We weren't perfect, we hadn't solved all the problems of the universe, & we still screwed up. We drank, we gambled, we picked on people bigger than us. Instead of flying around in a pristine space ship, we lived on a space station with crooked street vendors, con men, gambling halls, & even a lovely little place called Down Below that housed the riff raff of the universe. We were arrogant & self-centered at times. But when push came to shove, we did what we had to do to survive. We protected the little people & we fought for their freedom when they couldn't. We tried to learn from our mistakes & we made plenty of them. Babylon 5 was a reflection of our current times as well as a glimpse into the future. What our future holds, no one knows. But no other sci-fi has more accurately predicated what the future could hold for the human race than Babylon 5.
Babylon 5 was a very interesting concept that ended up being a decent Sci-fi shows that introduces very interesting computer generated effects.
Babylon 5 was planned to be developed during five seasons. For surprise in today’s television, it did make it to season 5, although in the last two/three season there were problems with decaying audience levels. Nevertheless, the authors of the show had an opportunity to tell the show in much the way they originally planned.
This show was a very interesting sci-fi show, with a storyline that actually had start, middle and end point to it. They were able to deliver the show this story with reasonable acting (although I would call it exceptional), but most of all great sets and very interesting computer generated graphics all the Babylon space scenes and several of the indoors as well.
All and all, Babylon 5 was a good sci-fi show, which is/was worth seeing.
One of the most ambitious projects to grace the genre, Babylon 5 demonstrated that a long-term story arc could work in science fiction the same way that it drew armies of supporters to night-time dramas.
Most science fiction series don't last five years. J. Michael Straczynski proposed that the story itself take that long. Networks were skeptical enough to pass on the idea completely, so Babylon 5 made its debut and first four seasons to viewers by syndication. It debuted at a time when many production houses were experimenting with using syndication as an alternate outlet, a path originally blazed by another hit sci-fi series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Some of Babylon 5's contemporaries, such as Hercules and its spinoff, Xena, enjoyed at least as much fame through this route. Unlike most of its peers, though, Babylon 5 wasn't there because it was a B-grade production searching for sympathetic eyes. It was ahead of its time, in more ways than one, and looking for a fighting chance to show what it had in store.
From the all-electronic score by former Tangerine Dream synthesist Christopher Franke, to its all CGI special effects, to its Emmy-award winning makeup, Babylon 5 did a huge amount with very little. While other television producers were busy squashing rogue web sites, Straczynski openly encouraged it, and at its peak Babylon 5 was serviced by literally hundreds of web sites promoting the series for him.
Season one was totally cast with unknowns, with some hits and some misses. As the lead aliens, veteran character actors Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas (Centauri ambassador Londo Molari and Narn ambassador G'Kar, respectively) largely carried the first season, playing counterparts from two sides of a recent conflict -- the Centauri oppressors of the recently liberated Narn. Across five years, Londo and G'Kar become more like an old married couple than anything else, not friends but inextricably intertwined in their fates.
Another pivotal role in the first season that grew more significant over the show's run was that of Serbian actress Mira Furlan, playing the comely and somewhat zen-like Minbari ambassador Delenn. Former child actor Bill Mumy brilliantly portrayed Delenn's diminutive but fiercely loyal aide Lennier with understated grace, which made his occasional bursts of force that much more unexpected (especially in a third season episode where he lifts the much larger ranger Marcus off the floor one-handed for a dressing down). Furlan's accent was initially distracting, but eventually you could never imagine her any other way. Delenn was arguably the most important character from the point of view of the series' plot, as she unifies the story from beginning to end as illustrated in flashbacks to the Earth-Minbari war, and occasional forward flashes into the future.
Tragically, one of the real weak points in the cast initially was the lead actor. Michael O'Hare was marginally effective enough as Commander Sinclair, and likeable enough, but terribly wooden with little body language and limited acting range. Still, his role is pivotal: the Earth-Minbari war ended because of him 10 years previous in a highly unexpected fashion. His cameo appearance in season three is, incredibly, even more wooden than before, and it truly detracted from a critically important set of episodes.
The most dramatic, and dangerous, change came with the second season, when O'Hare was sacked in favor of Bruce Boxleitner, at that time already well known to American audiences through his starring turns in the TV series The Scarecrow and Mrs. King and the 1982 Disney movie Tron. As Captain Sheridan, Boxleitner was the missing piece that put Babylon 5 over the top. He made every actor around him better, and brought a depth to the role that was beyond O'Hare's grasp. As the leader of the cast for the remaining four seasons, Boxleitner elevated the program from syndicated oddity to science fiction classic.
The next level of cast down represent some of the most popular of the show's characters. Fan favorite roles brought fame to Claudia Christian (Cmdr. Susan Ivanova) and Jerry Doyle (Security chief Michael Garibaldi). While Doyle became an immediate favorite as the station's sardonic top cop, Christian was butt-kicking eye candy to start with, and took a bit more time to grow into her role, not really hitting her stride as an actress until the second season. She became much more interesting when we got past her tough-girl portrayal and got a glimpse at the underlying conflict that made that facade necessary. Richard Biggs aptly portrayed Dr. Stephen Franklin, whose odd spiritual ambiguity and existential angst nearly gets him killed before the end of the series.
Some cast members had to wait awhile to enjoy the spotlight. Jeff Conaway went from bit part to cast member over a couple of seasons as Garibaldi's earthy second in command Zack Allan. Somewhat orphaned in the proceedings is Tracy Scoggins as Captain Lockley, who runs the station after Sheridan's elevation to president. Initially there were rumblings that she may have been miscast, as her model-quality attractiveness seemed an ill fit for the role of a military commander. But Scoggins poked and prodded the role into something doable, and molded herself to the role, meeting it nicely halfway. Not bad for a last-minute replacement (it was rumored she was cast after Claudia Christian's abrupt exit after season 4).
The show's broad ensemble cast was filled with gems of talent who got less screen time than the stars but carried their roles aptly. Andrea Thompson, as the psychic consultant turned mole Talia Winters; Patricia Tallman as the renegade psychic Lyta Alexander; Steven Furst as Londo's naive and perpetually harried aide Vir Cotto; and Mumy's turn as Lennier. All of them have roles to fill and do so in near perfect fashion.
This series cast really spans beyond the credited roles, as the contribution of semi-regulars and guest stars put critical pieces of the puzzle in place. Most brilliant of them was Walter Koenig, whose depiction of the soulless Psy-cop Alfred Bester immediately had fans saying "Checkov who?" Bester is the series' most effective anti-hero, but also memorable in limited roles are Tim Choate's portrayal of the odd time savant Zathras, Wayne Alexander as Lorien, the "first one" (i.e. first sentient being in the galaxy), and Ephrem Zimbalist Jr. as Martian billionaire William Edgars, who is married to Denise Gentile as Garibaldi's ex-wife Lise Hampton.
The uber-alien races, the benevolent but manipulative Vorlons and the sinister, destructive Shadows, dominate the middle of the story arc. While Ed Wasser is the most visible representative of the Shadows, playing the mysterious envoy Morden with creepy perfection, Ardwight Chamberlain spends his limited time onscreen in an imposing Vorlon costume and imparting mysterious advice in zen-master tones. All of the alien races have their consistent semi-regulars. The Centauri have William Forward as Londo's nemesis Lord Refa, and Wortham Krimmer is delightful as the Caligula-esque Emperor Cartagia. Mary Kay Adams and Julie Caitlin Brown are oddly and persistently popular as G'Kar's aide Na'Toth, in spite of being nearly indistinguishable from each other under the makeup. Additionally, the series is peppered with curious and oddly trendy guest stars, featuring at one time or another Melissa Gilbert (Boxleitner's real-life wife playing Sheridan's dead wife), Robert Englund, June Lockhart, Harlan Ellison, and Adrienne Barbeau.
The plot is epic, almost mythical, in scope. That Stryzinski was able to cobble it together in spite of repeated threats of cancellation and cast changes makes his accomplishment that much more impressive. Some revelations define the story arc, such as the tie between the humans and Minbari and the mysterious end of their war 10 years before, Londo's Faustian deal with the Shadows, and the tangled fates of Londo and G'Kar in the Centauri Republic's last days. Others are more personal, such as Garibaldi's plunge into alcoholism, and Lyta Alexander's struggle to come to terms with the physical alterations the Vorlons made to her, especially after the Vorlons leave the galaxy, as well as her continued strained relationship with the Psy Corp and Bester. Still others are both, such as Sheridan's return from death -- for a price -- and Lennier's struggle with jealousy over the relationship between Sheridan and Delenn.
Everyone and everything evolves in the five years of Babylon 5's run. The actors, of course, grow into their roles, fine tune them, and then create havoc when they leave. The core of the series is in seasons two through four. They're the most developed, the best acted, and the most cohesive. Season one lays the groundwork but feels at times as stiff as O'Hare's portrayal of Sinclair. Season five seems tacked on, as if it was looking for something important to do after the dramatic events of season four and subsequent loss of cast. Evolving also was the cutting-edge CGI special effects. Depictions of space in season one seem painfully superficial compared to the later seasons, and the Shadows went from tacked-on green screen Colorforms to fully integrated, and righteously creepy, actors. And Babylon 5 is one of the few series to boast a new theme song for each season, the fifth season theme being a recall of the previous themes followed by its own voice, not unlike -- and it feels bizarre to make the comparison -- Beethoven's 9th symphony. Christopher Franke did a wonderful job scoring the series and did a much better job of avoiding repeating himself than, for example, Jerry Goldsmith did in scoring Star Trek: The Next Generation. Like that series, Franke started out a bit more bombastic than was necessary at the beginning of the series, becoming more subtle and savvy in the score over the years. I still occasionally hear the themes played as a suite on classical music radio stations, a tribute to Franke's compositions.
After nearly 1500 words, what can we ultimately say about Babylon 5? It is the perfect example of a television series that is influential well beyond its popularity. It may be easy to dismiss it as a cult hit, but that would be giving short shrift to the quality of acting and production here. At the very least, Babylon 5 deserves to be placed in the top 5 science fiction series of all time, and consideration for broader recognition for its story and scope. Ultimately it is like all great science fiction, less creature feature and more about us, speaking more authoritatively on the human than the alien. You will find it in science fiction "Top 10" and television "Top 100" lists for the foreseeable future.
Complicated plots and long-running threads - classic TV SciFi! Villains who turn out to have some heart, heroes who are not always heroic, exotic clothes, hairstyles and accents. The UN (united planets?) in outer space but with more power, physical and psychic. Grand themes of time and space travelling, galactic betrayal and redemption, mass destruction and rebuilding. These themes were wrapped around numerous sub-plots reflecting hopes and fears of diverse human and alien individuals. Mostly humanoid types up against some non-human and often hostile intelligences. The Babylon space station was the focus of much of the action and dialogue, but with episodes often set elsewhere. Very imaginative and habit-forming like all the best TV programmes.
Babylon 5 has found a place deep in my heart. I have always been dissatisfied with "Star Trek" style TV shows which ALWAYS involve a (barely feasible) problem, a small amount of futile character development (futile as, at the end of every episode everything starts from scratch...), a scene where either the shields go down, the ship gets boarded or an energy being holds everyone to ransom. And of course who could forget the ends of the episodes? The only solution ever proposed is a new technology/combat maneuver/alien which sorts everything till next week (at which point, like everything else, it is forgotten like everything else that happened that week). Babylon 5 is different. In Babylon 5 everything has consequence. In Babylon 5 the story lines and technology are very believable. In Babylon 5 the characters do not come from a biscuit mold, they are unique, beautiful and deserving of respect. A couple of "trekkies" reading this review may be insulted and might consider some comments made here slanderous , but you have to admit, the points made here have a basis in fact. Bury your prejudice, watch Babylon 5 and embrace pure TV joy!
Ten years before the show begins there was a misunderstanding leading to a major war between the humans and Minbari. The Minbari almost wiped out the humans but last minute they surrendered for no apparent reason. To make sure that nothing like this would happen again Earth constructed a diplomatic space station: Babylon 5.
The first season of the show is fairly slow but by the second season the main plot starts to get going. The plot is very interesting and continues through the whole show. The characters are also very realistic with realistic problems and relationships. And they even have some normal problems you wouldnt expect to see in sci fi. Such as Dr Franklin's drug addiction (a major plotline in season 3).
Babylon 5 is a great show and even after all these years I still miss it.
This show have a good premise, but it just doesn't have that same flare that can be found from a Star Trek show or any other space shows like Battlestar Galactica or Stargate SG-1. This show is a hit show, no doubt about it. I'm just not so interested in the show, because it's so weird. It could have been a good show, the effects are eye poppy, I feel the way the stories are told make this show like a DS9 clone. They could have made this show a lot better, this one just didn't cut it. I don't like it.
i do not want to bash this show. i could just never get into it. it had great special effects and i know it was very popular, but i always felt it was written for someone much more intelligent than me. i guess if i had a chance to catch it from the beginning i might think more of it.
Oh well, where to begin? I feel, with English not being my mother tongue and my therefore limited writing skills, I can't even describe the greatness of this show. But I'll try..
This show sets the standard for all other sci-fi shows, at least for me.
To my knowledge, it was the first show to use mainly computer-generated images whereas Star Trek was still using models. Granted the special effects are quite laughable by nowadays standards, but concerning the budget for B5 and the time it was made, they are outstanding. And it was a big risk for them to make it that way.
But special effects are not what keeps me interested in a show, sure they are nice and dandy, but what takes B5 on a whole other level than most of the other shows are two things: the 5-year pre-planned story arc and the great characters.
Setting up an ever evolving story arc with characters constantly changing instead of setting everything back to normal at the end of the episode was quite unconventional at that time, it's a concept that was picked up by many shows, including DS9, B5's "direct opponent".
Sure the story-arc got changed quite a bit due to actor's demanding more screen time, JMS not knowing wether the show would continue after it's 4th season and so on. But nevermind, it was still a fantastic, epic, moving, sensational story he told.
There are little clues, portents, signs in the first season that set up much bigger event later in the show. This adds a whole new level of fun to rewatching the show.
When watching season 1 and 2 you get the feeling that every episode builds to something greater till it finally hits you full-slam with seasons 3 and 4. In these two seasons there are virtually any of the dreaded filler episodes, it's one rousing spectactle, character revelation, major event after another.
The pace settled down a bit in the first half of season 5 due to the aforementioned doubts wether the show would be renewed, but it picks up speed again in the second half of the last season, concluding with a few last episodes that are among the most moving in TV history.
There are so many great characters on the show, that I can't even begin to list and describe them. I can only remember a few supporting characters who where less-than-well written (Byron comes to mind and Lieutenant Keffer), but other than these selected few every character was compelling to watch.
Among my favourites are Delenn, Ivanova (it was so sad to see her going after the 4th season), G'Kar, Londo..oh I could go on and on.
Thanks JMS and everyone involved for this wonderful show! It ranks among the best TV ever made, at least for me. I wished there would be more shows like this.
Without a doubt Babylon 5 is my all-time favourite tv show.
Sure, it had it's ups and downs (the downs being season 1 and most of season 5), but in my opinion the good far outweighed the bad.
The characterisation was brilliant; each member of the cast complementing and enhancing the next. personal favourites were G'Kar, Delenn and Marcus, though there were very few characters I didn't like. (Most notably Byron...)
The show had something many others lack; continuity. As well as each episode carrying it's own story, the show followed a continuous arc, revealing a complex and gripping story.
My only complaint about Babylon 5 is that they cancelled it before we got to see the telepath war!
Series 1 to 4 of Babylon 5 were fantastic, It was obvious that he had writen the base story for these series before he created it. Series 5 and the spin off shows were bad but this was becuase J. Michael Straczynski didnt take the time to write it like he did with the first 4 series and IMO rushed it.
But the first 4 series were great one of the things that attracted me to this over Star Trek was the fact The Human race was one of the worse races and not the all wonderful, self righteous federation. Also their space combat was way better than anything in Star Trek till 1/2 way through DS-9.
Even when babylon 5 did those BS episodes every sci-fi does that doesn\'t involve the main plot they would still find time to have something plot related in the episode even if you don\'t realise its related until series later.
Plus they have ships called Planet Killers! Kick ass!
Babylon 5 was and even is one of the most brilliant sci-fi shows. All is almost perfect, the plot, the characters, the effects and the actors. If you take a look to the script you’ll see a little touch of esoteric images.
Babylon 5 was and even is one of the most brilliant sci-fi shows. All is almost perfect, the plot, the characters, the effects and the actors. If you take a look to the script you’ll see a little touch of esoteric images. How much can I say, the orthographic review tell me no errors and my english’s very poor and I must write one hundred words, you are making this very difficult to me. By the way, I love Babylon five but I don´t want to pointed with 10 because nothing is perfect in this world even in other worlds.
If you want to see what a true story-arc looks like from one of the best Sci-Fi minds of our time...feel free to lose yourself in what is easily one of the best epics ever.
I was lucky and caught the entire series the first time around and spent time converting those who had not caught the show from it\\\'s early stages. It was and is the best series depicting the space opera. Great graphics for it\\\'s time that will still stand up in today\\\'s digital age. Give the show a chance...the character development is one of the best anywhere...period! You won\'t be dissappointed.
Babylon 5 is a revolutionary piece of Sci-Fi entertainment! It's the best think since Star Trek and although I have always been a Trekkie, I think that Babylon 5 is nearly as good. This is , as you would say, a good read. The actors are finally chosen, especially Andreas Katsulas and Peter Jurasic, just perfect. But, although most of the aliens are of a humanoid shape, they never stops amazing me!
Babylon 5 is better than a good V evil battle. It will show you why they are bad. Sometimes the badness comes from withing the characters growing complexity. But it's captivating and exiting and I love it!
It is an epic story of legends in a world that is believable interpretation of the future two and a half centuries from now. It is set in a world where humans are now a space faring race, capable of crossing the galaxy in months using a technology called a Jumpgate. The people of Earth have at this point come together in corporation to form a world government known as EarthGov. The humans aren't alone; they occupy the universe with mysterious races like the Vorlons, Shadows, and Minbarie. The leading heroes, Jeffery Sinclair and John Sheridan are captains in EarthForce, but they soon prove to be much more. I dare not enter into the plot since it is redundant on account of it being available at this site and elsewhere. All I will say about the plot is that over its five years, it is an extremely wealthy arc of sadness, joy, comedy, and horror! It is also not without substance, full of philosophy about life, existence, war, and hope. Each episode represents a coherent story, but incomplete since each builds upon the rest. The series is essentially an extended mini-series. Like Star Trek before it, most if not all episodes are constructed with a moral or lesson attached to it. Each episode also addresses some aspect of real human experience. The quest for power, revenge, love, and corporate power to mention a few. I believe that the episodes "Z'HA'DUM", "War Without End 1 & 2", "Whatever Happened To Mr. Garibaldi?", and "Endgame" are some of the best of the series. It is also the only television series that I am aware of that was made better than most Hollywood movies!
What can one say about Babylon 5 that hasn't been heard before? This is one great show that has everything: romance, drama, comedy, action, action, action, plot, plot, plot, I mean it's filled to the brim with substance. We care about these characters, a death on this show is like a death in our own family.
Well...okay, BUT ALMOST!!
B5 has a quirky sense of humor that is just so charming and sincere... when that adorable but brave smart-ass Security Chief Garibaldi says "Anyone wanna hold hands and sing Kum-ba-ya?" I swear my mother and I roared for five straight minutes. And being an avid Londo fan, you have to love how the man cracks a joke even when his heart is broken and his mind is chronically worried. Peter Jurasik definitely deserved all those acting awards he got :)
I think it says a lot that a few years ago, before I even thought about buying ANY of my favorite sci-fi shows' box sets, I already had B5's first season DVDs on my shelf. I like The X-Files and The Star Treks as much as I like B5...but face it, there's something about B5 that just totally wakes you up and keeps you tuned in. Such a good story. All hail "The Creator" a.k.a. "The One" J. Michael Straczynski. You did good, man. Real good.
This show was great when it was initially on the air. Now that I have a chance to watch them all over again in series, it rocks! The plot line of the show is great. The acting is sometimes less than perfect but gets really good later on. The graffics are also very good for it's time.
Now I'm a fan of alot of Sci-fi's, Star Trek, Stargate, Andromeda etc. but this just blows them out the water. This show is truely a Classic. The storyline starts abit slowly during the 1st season but nearing the end and approaching season 2 it just goes to lightspeed. I've never seen such a riveting and thoroughly engaging story in a Sci-fi drama before in my life! Every episode ties in with future and past events, twists and turns behind every corner! The characters are all marvelously acted and all instantly memorable. Though it ended before it's time, if you haven't already watched this gem of a show I recommend it enormously.
(I know the scores out of ten but...)
A Babylon 5 out of 5 :)
The overall story is one that could be told in any time and in any style. An ultamite struggle between good and evil, with the influential people caught inbetween. A show more about people, society, and ideals than about science, mindless violence, or special effects. A show that could have been made thirty years ago, or even ten or fifteen years from now.
When this series started, it debuted with the start of Star Trek Deep Space Nine; same time frame and same Mid-Season Replacement. But that wasn’t all. As both shows progressed I started to see similarities that made me think that there were going to be issues, especially about stories and plotlines. I was pleasantly mistaken.
As Babylon 5 progressed, I saw the series starting to drag down. It became much like DS9, a Sci-Fi version of the series Hotel. It dragged, it was tedious and the stories had little to do with their “future-space environment”. But half way into season two, after what I believe to be the longest introduction of a series character I have ever seen, things began to pickup and never stopped.
Babylon 5 is great sci-fi, no question. The series itself was good and entertaining. The sequels were a bit more…well…they weren’t well done. Even Jerry Doyle states that the series was better left where it was at series end. But most fans tend to disagree. I for one, remain mixed. It’s still a good watch.
This series is available on DVD, but is very high priced.
I lived to this show to come on weekly. I was sad to see it go, But, it was true to its story bible and that coupled with excellent writing, superlative characters, and a wonderful well done setting, created in my opinion an instant classic and one of the best shows of its time. I would love to see SFI-FI network bring it back in order from start to end.
Four AMAZING seasons, and one filler. The final season can be largely ignored, as the planned 5 season story arc was finished in Season 4 under the belief that the show wasn\'t coming back for Season 5. As with all great sci-fi shows, the gadgets, techno-babble and strange alien races do NOT add to the shows greatness. It\'s about the CHARACTERS and what is done with them. Babylon 5, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica (the new one) all have this in common.
J. Michael Straczynski recounted Babylon 5's epic tale in a manner that is basically unheard-of in the television industry. He came to the table with an idea for a science fiction series that was not simply a strong foundation for exciting story arcs and character development, but rather an entire story arc to be played out over the course of five seasons.
Straczynski (JMS) introduced G'Kar in Episode 1, Season 1, as a bull-headed reactionary, committed to liberating his homeworld through victory in a very nasty interplanetary race-war. He was filled with victimization and commensurate rage against his oppressors, the Centauri. The brilliance of Babylon 5 lies in the fact that from the moment G'Kar stepped onto the screen in Episode 1, JMS knew exactly where this character was going -- how in five years time, he would become a heroic prophet and peacemaker.
Changes to the story were made through the show's run, of course, and Babylon 5 was not without its flaws and troughs, but when it comes down to brass tacks, JMS did something incredible here. He endured enormous adversity, managing to keep getting his powerfully emotional tale renewed, season after season. And he told the entire story, beginning to end. This shouldn't have happened. But it did. It gives one hope.
"What is built endures. What is loved endures."
- Babylon 5
With television we feel cheated by the end of the show because the writers all of a sudden realize the show is not going on for another season and quickly write an ending. When the whole plan is known, the result an outstanding show as this one is.
The theme and hero are classic. We have a hero that is pure out to save the universe. We have evil forces who want to take over control of the universe. This show takes those elements a step further. It was not wander from season to season with interesting episodes there was a five year plan with the show. The show develops like a novel over a five year period. From the beginning the writers knew the full plot. When this show ends, you are sad that it is the last episode but you are satisfied and feel completed. The characters are well developed through out the series. There are limited loss ends or questions when the show ends. We have seen few shows that are written in this manner. I wish we would see more shows that have a full plan of how the show will progress and how the show will end. Too often in television we feel cheated by the end of the show because the writers all of a sudden realize the show is not going on for another season and quickly write an ending. When the whole plan is known, the result an outstanding show as this one is.
Babylon 5 was a great science fiction show that came out a year after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They both had a different take on the classic "starship-and-crew" format of science fiction in the sense that instead of a ship, they used a space station. It took me a few months to realize this shows potential, as I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and was obviously far more familar and drawn to ST series. I would argue strongly that the middle seasons (2-4) were certainly the best of the series. The beginning of Season 1 was a little sluggish at first and Season 5 definately seemed out of place amongst the first 4.
Babylon 5 was a unique mold-breaking vision set forth by its creator. The series was planned, from beginning to end by its creator. He has a story to tell, with well-written characters and points to make. In B5, characters weren't eliminated because they were unpopular or the actors wanted out, but instead every major character elimination (such as the death of Marcus Cole, the departure of Commander Sinclair, or the elimination of Vorlon Ambassador Kosh) served the overall plot of the show and you could sense that it had some importance. The series, in fact, was so well planned that points and events that were brought up in the first season weren't truely explained or understood until Season 4. Everything in the series had a purpose and a function to the greater story, and this makes B5 not just a great piece of science fiction, but a great piece of art as well.
One of the things I loved about B5 was the continuity of that overall plot from episode to episode. Unlike most previous sci-fi series each episode connected to each other. B5 wasn't a series where each episode completely stood alone, as you saw with Star Trek's original series, Next Generation and early parts of DS9 and Voyager, but instead this was like a 4 or 5 year novel being played out before your eyes. I firmly believe that DS9 took lessons from B5 as we saw some of that connectivity between episode in the later seasons of DS9. B5 paved the way for the creators modern sci-fi sagas, like Sci-Fi Channel's Battlestar Galactica for example, to realize that you could write great sci-fi in that fashion and still have it be successful.
If you love great sci-fi (whether you prefer classic or more progressive sci-fi), B5 is definately worth checking out. When it was on TV, it was often hard to keep up with the plot and follow the episodes if you missed a week or two at certain key points, but its a worthwhile show to get or rent on DVD, since obviously you won't have that problem.
The BEST! This was deep and philosophical while avoiding the peachiness and techno-babble of Star Trek. The characters were flawed, imperfect people doing the best they can in a flawed and imperfect world (universe). This is a brilliant show that was (and is) far ahead it's time. It is a shame that this program has been quickly forgotten in a sea of second rate and substandard "sci-fi" fodder. I give this show a perfect score and my highest recommendations!!
The only complaint that I have about the show is the DVD price for the series. IT'S OBSCENE!!! Most DVD box sets are $30-$50 per season. I have seen Babylon 5 for almost twice that. However, shopping online should alleviate that for the most part.
Babylon 5 is a turning point in the approach to good, well written sci-fi shows; a show with a purpose; with 5-year arc that leads you safely - and surprisingly - to it's destination.
That's the way to build a show that would last the teeth of time.
Sure, the special effects looks now old fashioned and cartoony, but who cares? The story line was so captivating, emotive and interesting you had to watch the next episode to see what happened to it's stars. And you cared about the too; The casting for the show was fantastic (compare to the very poor casting of 'Crusade'!!).
It was an excellent show of it's time - best of the 90's for sure.
Well done to the writer of the show for bringing us a true masterpiece.
A tough fight, but Micheal J. got his whole vision to us. Great characters, great plots, everything that dangled early paid off eventually. That is very rare, and maybe it was later season 1 or season 5, but things paid off. This spoiled me forever.
I believe Micheal J. wrote every episode, except one done by some british hack (just kidding), which gives this show a totality, almost all others lack. If you marathon all the episodes it is like the longest, best movie.
I have to say this is one of the few shows I don't want back. The entire story was told us over five seasons. That is plenty.
I couldn't give it a full 10 because there were rare weak moments, especially in the last season. I couldn't care about the telepaths. The leader was way too boody.
I am one of the rare people who like both Star Trek (especially Deep Space Nine) and Babylon 5. Babylon 5 had great amount of planning applied to it so the series was pretty coherent for at least the first 3 seasons. Then the series was accelerated to pick up the pace because it was believed that it may get canceled in season 4. This cause some confusion as the pace is very fast in season 4. Season 5 was a wind down closing a bunch of loops. The movies were a mixed bag with the rangers spin off being a bit weak. Overall, Babylon 5 is a great sci-fi series that I regularly re-watch.
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