Babylon 5

(ended 1999)





Babylon 5 Fan Reviews (127)

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out of 10
3,258 votes
  • Don't watch this, it's absolute *crap*

    I love sci-fi, so I bought the entire DVD box set unseen. What a mistake that was! Everyone raves about this show, but I can't see why. Juvenile plots, asinine dialog, terrible special effects (in fact the worst I've seen in modern science fiction, bad acting, and this big so-called story arc shot full of holes. There are SO many things left unanswered and the 5 movie set that does absolutely nothing to further the story or answer any of the several questions that are brought up and left to die during the regular season. I'll certainly be on the lookout for anything with J. Michael Straczynski's name attached... I'll avoid it like the plague :(

    My DVDs now for sale... anyone?
  • This is my highest rated sci fi shows

    .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................why was this made. Who invented this genre of shows. What the hell were they thinking when they made this. There are many unanswered questions to these types of shows, but one sticks out to me most : Why. Why did they dicide to make a type of show that would hypnotis nerds world wide to watch them.
  • Like a Star Trek show from a Wal-Mart store.

    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.
  • Not much of a plot and is very very confusing.

    Well I'm sorry I thought this show was stupid. Thats just my personal opinion Im just glad that some people like it. Again this is just my personal opinion I didn\'t think this show had much of a point, and lost my intrest and got me confuesed. Once again this is just my opinion
  • B5 ended after 3.5 seasons then limped to a second ending after another 1.5 seasons!

    B5 took a whole season to get to the point of the show. Then after another season and a half it ended. Well it should have. But for some reason it started up again and pointlessly limped along for another one and a half seasons to a pathetic conclusion. B5 had too many filler episodes and not enough meat on the arc episodes. It had poor scripts and wooden acting. I dont know why I bothered to watch every episode as it was very tedious. Star Trek was so much better.
  • Hmmmphhh... more space scifi, and this one doesn't even do anything great.

    This has to be one of the least liked shows on my favorites list. I don't exactly hate it, but I like it the least of them all, you follow me? I stopped watching this right after the first few episodes of the first season... some people have told me repeatedly that the show gets better after that, but to be honest I cant sit through Babylon 5 for that long just to enjoy something mediocre. The acting, right from the start, of the aliens and the humans was so "similar" and over the top that you'd thing the same hyperactive guy was playing them all. They could've done a whole lot better.
  • never could get into 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.
  • I wanted it - wished it - to be monumental. But mostly it was wishful thinking and hot air.

    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!
  • meet the crew of babylon 5 with murder and mystries and war on a space station.

    this is my favourite show. i have it on video and dvd.. bablyon 5 is a space station that houses aliens and humans who work and live together.. what i love about this show is the story lines and the cast. it has a start and a middle and a ending.. gkar and londo are amasing together. the can steal a scene. garabadi is head of security and my favourite character. i never get sick of watching this show. it has a lot of laughs and some tears. with great character this is one show worth watching. the special effects are ground breaking. watch it once and you get hooked..
  • Babylon 5 is one of the best tv shows of all time. It has humour, realistic charcters, and a great storyline.

    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.
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  • 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.
  • Grand space opera.

    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.
  • Some stunning CGI in this SciFi space opera - set the pace for graphics in other shows which came after.

    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.
  • great scifi show

    "Babylon 5" is a tale of war and diplomacy, love and hate, fate and personal responsibility, and the two sides of prejudice.
    my favourite characters were Captain Sheridan, Michael Garibaldi, Susan Ivanova, Delenn, G'Kar, Londo, Lennier and Vir Cotto.
    I watched a babylon 5 made for tv movie and i wanted to find out more about the characters ans i was hooked.
    The whole of the cast is absolutely perfect. Captain Sheridan is possibly the best Captain of all the Sci-Fi series 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.
  • Very decent Sci-fi series with good special effects.

    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 Best Sci-Fi Shows Ever!

    An excellent series, Babylon 5 introduced excellent characters, effects, and stories that wove together in a wonderful story arc. The various races were unique, their technology was varied and quite "alien", and the intrigue and politicking was very engaging.

    If I had a complaint about the show, it's the very poor 5th season. After the exodus of the major opponent at the end of Season 4, the show returned suddenly adrift (as well as without one of the show's most beloved characters, replacing her with another character that was 2-dimensional and bland). Season 1 was them getting their feet wet. Seasons 2-4 were wondrous and amazing. Season 5 was drek.
  • I liked the show in fact i have all series and movies in DVD, the scripts were very good The carathers were awsome and played by te cast but it lacked coenrecy in special efects specially in the space battles to much digital and less real.

    I liked the show in fact i have all series and movies in DVD, the scripts were very good The carathers were awsome and played by te cast but it lacked coenrecy in special efects specially in the space battles to much digital and less real.
    Everything went well until the shadow wars terminated after that it become a little bit boring it lost interested because it didn´t had the major purpose that before the shadow wars, the carathers suffered to many changes like Mollari becaming an emperor and so on. In the end it became a personal favorite
  • Babylon 5 (Series 1 to 4) is a fantastic story with really good space combat. If you can just get past the terrible sets (especially in first season) you will find a deep plot thats really good

    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!

  • It Had A Slow Start

    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.
  • A classic space-opera that had romance, adventure, and morals. Aliens, space ships, and war...what more could you ask for? Follow the lives of humans and aliens as they try to live in peace together on a space station.

    B5 was ahead of its' time. A definite story-line that stayed true to itself. The characters were multi-layered and you became engrossed in their lives as they played out week-to-week. Watching as the Mimbari proved to be the humans best allies and the Centauri prove to be traitors, the human government become corrupt and then purge itself, and the Narn become a model for endurance--there was a race or character that everyone could see a part of themselves. For all the political and social overtones, the show was basically a love for mankind, space, and between Delen and Sheridan.
  • One of the most imaginative sci fi shows around

    Babylon 5 was a ground breaker of a sci fi show. And you knew exactly where you stood with it. From the start you knew it would only be on for 5 seasons. So you knew there would be a beginning a middle and an end. It was always going to be fresh because of this. It didn't outlast it's welcome on tv and you knew it was never going to be one of those shows that after so many seasons on tv, would be desperately searching for new ideas. If only more tv shows would be bold enough to have a plan like this!

  • One of the greats!

    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.
  • Babylon 5, Earth's last and best hope for peace...

    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!
  • Mindblowingly good sci-fi. You're not truly a fan of science fiction TV until you've seen this show.

    Babylon 5 was a show I got into long after its original run when it was running in reruns on the Space channel. I was lucky enough to start watching it very near the beginning of the show, so I was able to see it in order. For a lot of science fiction shows, that wouldn’t be important, but Babylon 5 isn’t your average show. The story arc of the entire series was set out before the first episode was even made. There are lots of foreshadowing, hints, and references to previous episodes sprinkled through the series, but not so much that one absolutely needs to see every episode to understand what’s happening. The acting is usually well done with the notable exception of some guest stars. The 5th season was also rather weak, but hey, nobody’s perfect. B5 is a must-see for all sci-fi fans, but steer clear of the semi-spin off Crusade.
  • The Babylon stations finally shopped disappering nd became a place fo peace

    I think Babylon 5 was the first sci fi show, that I watched that wasn't a show all about fluff. It wasn't a dark show, not as dark as it could be, but for the times it was a revolutionary thing. I didn't start wathing until the second season, got hooked and patiently waited to see them all.
  • A scifi show that put the scifi back in scifi. A future look at space travel, living, and alien acceptance.

    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.
  • 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.
  • Awesome! This is and was a great show!

    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.
  • Unbelievable story, great characters, generally fantastic!

    From the pilot Babylon 5 showed a lot of promise; although the first season was generally weaker than the rest the series it had an intriguing back story and the characters were outstandng form the outset. I think the show really kicked off when Captain Sheridan arrived and the story about the "Shadows" took a firm hold of the series; with the addition of Marcus, the Rangers, Nightwatch and the Whitestar this became probably one of the best Sci-Fi shows of all time.
    I loved the character relationships (especially Londo and G'Kar) and the fact that for the first time in Sci-Fi history - at least of what I know about - Earth was the enemy. The five year story arc is without a doubt what made this show so great; if the network hadnt told the producers it was cancelled after season 4 the story would have been completed properly instead of being compressed, and then (when the network changed its mind and renewed it for season 5) season 5 wouldnt have been "tacked" on the end as what felt like and afterthought. What I also liked about this show, the thing that set it apart from Star Trek, was the "rough and ragged" feel; the doors were hydraulic, the station had to spin to achieve gravity, the crew wore proper uniforms, the guns were practical, etc, etc.. I think this was a trendsetter, the new "Battlestar Galactica" and "Space Above And Beyond" both came after and seem to have embraced this approach which makes all of the shows more believable and easier to relate to. Basically, this is an awesome series and certainly one that you have to see every episode of to fully understand; everyone should own it on DVD.
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