Babylon 5

(ended 1999)





Babylon 5 Fan Reviews page 5 of 5

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out of 10
3,258 votes
  • top-drawer storytelling

    In olden days, storytellers were the great entertainers. The telling of a story -- giving enough detail to make the audience feel they were *there* when the events told were happening; spinning the tale out over time, seeing characters come and go, great deeds done, good triumphant, evil overcome -- these were "sagas". Joe S. came up with such a tale, where characters transform, good and evil are overcome; a story that took years to tell, and was told in years. (The wonder of it, really, is that the various powers that be in TV let him tell it.)

    Anyway, this is storytelling at its best, alternatively tragic, comedic, and heroic. Every major character (and some minor ones too) evolves, in measured, believable ways (even the changing of the central character after season one is handled and used to excellent effect.) The actors are thoroughly believable, the music grand, the special effects groundbreaking.

    This is not just a great science-fiction show, it is a great story well told. It may take some time to grab you, but give it a try -- you'll be well rewarded.
  • Babylon 5 a great science fiction show that had great storylines, interesting characters and was hardly ever boring. I enjoyed watching it.

    What can I say about Babylon 5?

    After watching the first season I was hooked, each season seemed to get better and better. Although Commander Sinclair, a great character left after season one Captain Sheridan, who came in at the beginning of season 2 was good too.

    The relationship between Ambassador G'Kar (Narn Ambassador) and Ambassador Londo Mollari (Centauri Republic Ambassador) waa great to watch over the five years of the show.

    The Shadow War was one of the best story arcs in the show, it was exciting and once the actual fighting was over with; the only thing left to do was clean up the mess afterwards. This included going to Earth and put President Clark under arrest, as he had collaborated with the Shadows and had turned earth literally into a police state. Also the shadows allies the Drakh had to be dealt with, we slowly learn of their plans and what they involve as we go beyond the shadow war.

    Also another great point in the series is where Sheridan has to declare independence from Earth; due to the orders of President Clark and his regime back on Earth. We see the difficulties of this move and having to find funding to keep the station running, from other legitimate sources.

    The Telepath war was also another interesting point in the series, and the relationship Lyta Alexander with Byron and his group of rogue telepaths. The Psi Corps and espcecially Psi Cop Bester are always interesting villains to see; their conflict with Lyta, Byron and the rogue telepaths was also another good point in the series.

    The characters were all interesting including Captain Sheridan, Michael Garibaldi, Susan Ivanova, Delenn, G'Kar, Londo, Lennier and Vir Cotto. I enjoyed learning more about the Mimbari, Narn and Centauri as the series continued.

    The series had an exciting final year that did not disappoint, in the final episode it was great to see an appearance of one of my favourite characters Ivanova. It was great to see the story of sheridan and his crew told to completion. I look back on the five years of babylon 5 and it will remain one of my favourite science fiction series.

  • Babylon 5 is beyond cutting edge!!!

    Face the facts: Babylon 5 has set a level that other shows are struggling to meet.

    a lot of the c.g.i. now common in a lot of shows was first done one Babylon 5. what is commonplace now was invented and master by the crew on Babylon 5. look at the special effects of ST: Next Generation vs. the effects of Babylon 5. Next Generation was still using models. Babylon 5 was the first show to seamlessly blend live action with computer animation.

    but the special effects is just a minor point of Babylon 5. the true strength of this show was the writing. to truely enjoy and feel the magnitude of Babylon, you have to start to watch it from the beginning. elements introduced in the first episode is carried on and developed through out the entire series. Babylon 5 blew away the episodic story-telling of Star Trek and modernized story-arc story-telling. with collected boxed sets, it is now easy to watch Babylon 5 in it's true glory.

    it may have been years since Babylon 5 has been on the air but it's still cutting edge and way ahead of the time.
  • Best SciFi series EVER!

    I grew up a trekie, and I can't believe how well written this story is. I love the way they tie in things from previous episodes. The special effects were great. The characters were well written. The whole 5 season story had a beginning and an end. The only series I own on DVD.
  • Perhaps one of the single greatest spacefearing shows of all time. Superb graphics, perfect casting, great storyarc with a good plotlines each episode. A true must for all Sci-Fi fans.

    I originally watched this show as it came out, and loved it at the time. But I could never fully enjoy it having not seen all the episodes.

    Once the DVDs came out, I bought all 5 seasons, and the movies. I must say watching the whole series in order gives it a spectacular feel that is unparalleled in the world of non-Trek Sci-Fi. The whole of the show is worth watching, but I recommend watching the Prequel movie first: "In the Beginning" it really gives a great look into the workings of the characters, especially Delenn and Sinclair.

    The whole of the cast seems absolutely perfect. There is not a single casting choice I would question. In particular, Captain Sheridan is possibly the best Captain of all the Sci-Fi serieses I have seen. He has the personality and presence that really mark the show. Marcus Cole, Londo Molari, Vir Cotto, G’kar, Garibaldi, Commander Susan Ivanova, are all unforgettable, and I defy you to forget the Vorlons. Morden makes a fantastic evil character, working for the Shadows, his performance is unbelievable. All the alien races fit beautifully into the world of Bab 5. The Minbari, Centauri, Narn, Vorlon... and all the others. They are probably the most recognizable SciFi species outside of Trek, and for good reason, they are all memorable and unique, probably more so than all the Trek Races.

    I don't really want to spoil any storyline for those who haven't seen the series, but the whole of the story, especially the season-long story arcs are great. The first few seasons most notably are fantastic in regards to their story line, with Season 5 being somewhat less spectacular. The Shadows in particular, are a favorite of mine, and that war has some stunning graphics, way ahead of the 1995 baseline. The ships are all beautiful and I would love to pilot a Whitestar. Given the weaponry and the space battles, Bab 5 probably has more pound for pound beauty than other shows in the genre.

    Of course once again, the fate of the universe lies in the ability of humanity to pull together the races of the galaxy.

    This was J. Michael Straczynski's biggest and best work. The writing in this show, mostly due to JMS was a true literary work.

    I think given the chance, Babylon 5 will fit firmly in your heart as a staple of the genre.
  • Art with a capital A

    Few US television shows have ever come close to the quality of "Babylon 5", and those that have were anthology shows, such as "The Twilight Zone". Brilliantly written and brilliantly acted, thrilling, sometimes broadly comic, and at the same time capable of impressing the eighty-something retired organist at my church as "the most moral show on television" -- this despite the fact that the creator, J. Michael Straczynski, who also wrote over 90% of the episodes, is a self-avowed atheist.

    The entire effect is completely unlike anything you have ever seen, except, perhaps, "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (and the score to "Babylon 5" often feels like Wagner reconceived for the 20th century), because the outline of the plot for the entire five years of the series was written before the pilot was shot -- which means that the entire series must be watched at least twice. You'll be amazed how often a clue is left out in plain sight, years before the payoff.

    The entire cast is good, but the three main aliens are stunning: Peter Jurasik as "Londo Mollari" and Andreas Katsulas as "G'Kar" execute a formal tragedy, a decades-long dance of death (not without comic moments); Mira Furlan as "Delenn" has one of the most spectacular roles ever written for an actress in any medium; we see her as a shy young political intern, a freshman politician, a vengeful warrior queen, a diplomat, a kingmaker, a flirt, a wife, a mother, and a crone.

    "Babylon 5" is a tale of war and diplomacy, love and hate, fate and personal responsibility, and the two sides of prejudice.

    And if you give me $1,000,000 and the cast of "Babylon 5", I'll give you a Shakespeare Festival.
  • The DVD's have made this show more accessible, and it's well worth watching. The drama of this show will compensate for those who are wary of sci-fi.

    Although this show is traditionally thought of as a sci-fi show, I believe that the writing is so good that people who normally find this sort of fiction to be over-the-top would be drawn into the intense drama that the writing of this show provides -- written mostly by Joe Michael Straczynski (jms), however there are some notable exceptions.

    Make no mistake, this is a character driven show, not a techno-babble driven show. Things don't happen merely because the ingenuity of the objects present demand it, but because the characters are making the events happen.

    Rarely have I seen a television show that can generate such a range of emotions in the viewer. I must say that the music is probably some of the best music made for a television show ever, in that the mood set is always just on the mark (music by Christopher Franke).

    Now to be fair, some people probably rate this show a bit lower than a 10 because of the last season. Although I admit that season 5 is not as good as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons (which are the best), it is not really the fault of the writer. There was a good chance that the show was going to be cancelled at the end of season 4, and it was only renewed at the last minute. So season 5 was flung together, with most of the source material used up in season 4. For that reason, I do not detract from the rating of the core of the show (seasons 2-4).

    Likewise, season 1, is viewed by many to be a bit slower than seasons 2,3, & 4. But so many TV shows are finding their feet in season 1, I tend not to let that detract from my rating either.

    What can you expect sitting down to watch this show for the first time? An amazing story whose continuity is simply amazing, stories of characters who change deeply throughout the seasons, and visually stunning effects that hold up today, especially amazing given the budget and time when this show was made.

    The character acting in this show is simply unparalleled in television. I don't know how jms managed to get so many fine actors at one time in one show. But you will notice how good they are once they really get rolling in their parts.

    This show is simply a piece of artwork, and is well worth experiencing - especially given this age of "NetFlix".

    I would not be surprised if a resurfacing of this show happens some decade in the future, as I think it's popularity will continue to grow over time.
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