Babylon 5

sukik

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Title: Babylon 5

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

First aired: 1994-01-26

Creator: J. Michael Straczynski

Cast: Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, Stephen Furst, Bill Mumy, Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik, Jeff Conaway, Patricia Tallman, Bruce Boxleitner, Tracy Scoggins

Overview: 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, Minbari Federation, Centauri 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 travelers, traders, businessmen, criminals, and Rangers.
 

sukik

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#2
[SERIES][TVPOSTER]
[/TVPOSTER][SERIESWRAP][EPISODENAME]Babylon 5[/EPISODENAME]

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

First Aired:

Overview: 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, Minbari Federation, Centauri 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 travelers, traders, businessmen, criminals, and Rangers.[/SERIESWRAP][/SERIES]

I was surprised I couldn't find a B5 post in this thread so I'll create one.

I see B5 pop up in sci-fi threads in this forum and it usually ends up like the infographic below
nsfl/nsfw)


I don't really understand why because I personally enjoyed both TV shows. A word of advice to anyone who has tried to get into the show and not succeeded:Struggle through the first season because seasons two through four are better.Like DS9 or any other successful long running TV show there are some bad episodes, and a lot of them are in season one. But season one also contains enough necessary information story-wise I can't advise skipping it or you'll be lost in season 2.

Why should you watch Babylon 5?
Because it's a good scifi TV show and most new ones suck. Modern scifi TV shows try to appeal to the whole family and end up sucking because of it. They take the following stereotypes, crank them up to 11 and try to cram them into 45 minutes: Exploding shit and large boobs for dad, adult romance for mom, teen romance/drama for the children and maybe some JarJar inspired stupid for little Timmy. In all that there's no room for an actual story to be told and it's no surprise that they turn out to be steaming piles of shit. But I digress. Babylon 5 was planned from beginning to end, has large story arcs and compelling characters that have lots of entertaining dialogue. Three things that are pretty much gone from modern sci-fi TV.

Why are Babylon 5 and Deep Space 9 so similar?
There's a full description in the link below but I'll paraphrase. J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) shopped the concept of the show around Hollywood in 1987 and specifically Paramount in 1989 before it was picked up by Warner Bros in 1991. It's not clear whether producers who were tasked with making DS9 were aware of the source material so there are lot of similarities early on, but the shows ended up in very different places. JMS later denies that DS9 is a direct ripoff and accepted it as "inspired by" in sever of his quotes relating to the similarities.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Babylon_5

Regardless some executive somewhere new what was up and tried to push DS9 out first. I think it's a tried and true Hollywood practice to try and crank some stuff similar out if you see your competition doing something that might be successful. The result of this competition was two great scifi TV shows.

Characters and Themes

I'm not going to into detail but the best I can summarize it: The show is set in the future and deals with the political, militaristic and cultural clash of alien empires in one space station run by humans. The show has an ensemble cast that gets occasionally mixed up as the show progresses. The shows themes include order vs chaos, religion, war/peace and addiction(From Wikipedia). My three personal favorite characters are Londo, G'Kar and Garabaldi. Who for me represent the politician, the philosopher and the layman. If I get really bored one day I'll try to do a breakdown of episodes by characters.

I ran along this quote earlier this year and it got me to watch the show again. Mined from wikipedia which mined it from an old news group.

If you look at the long history of human society, religion ? whether you describe that as organized, disorganized, or the various degrees of accepted superstition ? has always been present. And it will be present 200 years from now? To totally ignore that part of the human equation would be as false and wrong-headed as ignoring the fact that people get mad, or passionate, or strive for better lives.
?J. Michael Straczynski, , 1993[39]
 

faille

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I'm actually a big fan of season one simply because it does a great job of dropping the hints about what is building up. The little scenes and snippets at the end of the episodes, or the various news reports. It is a little more campy though, so I can see how some of the episodes might turn people off.
 

Chanur

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#4
Considering DS9 essentially copied the Babylon 5 story and hired its effects guys after it ended I don't see why anyone would like one but not the other.
 

Jait

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#5
Considering DS9 essentially copied the Babylon 5 story and hired its effects guys after it ended I don't see why anyone would like one but not the other.
Harlan Ellison's touches on the B5 characters and aliens made all the difference to me. I really could not get into DS9. I consider B5 1-4 to be the best Space Opera of all time.
 

spronk

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#6
Londo and G'Kar's stories are phenomenal and the two actors, who are both dead now I think?, really played it beautifully. I hope after the current superhero craze crashes, there is a big return to scifi/space opera in TV.
 

pysek

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JMS also knew from Episode one what he wanted to do with the show and the threads are there that carry all the way through to the end. It's a much stronger narrative than most other sci fi shows, even DS9.
 

Abefroman

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#8
Babylon 5 imo did the most awesome time travel storyline arc. Showed what you can do in a show when you plan it out in advance and don't keep pulling ideas out of your ass.(hello lost)
 

tower

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#9
This show was so good. Too bad all the spinoffs sucked.
 

Goatface

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#10
i enjoyed every part of it, until season 5. Byron still annoys me. crusade was so bad. i wanted a G'kar spinoff.
only read a few of the novels, Legions of Fire series was pretty good. always thought about picking up the Psi Corps Trilogy but never have.

don't know if it posted here or another place, but didn't read about Michael O'Hare mental issues till recently. Pretty sad.
Londo (Peter Jurasik) is still alive, 64 now.
think 4 of the main cast have passed away, O'Hare, Richard Biggs (Dr. Frankin), Jeff Conaway (Zack), Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar)

this was posted a few months ago


anyone read the behind the scenes books?

wonder how much the plans had to be changed with O'Hare and Andrea Thompson (Talia) leaving. read that Talia and Ivanova were going to have a full on relationship is she had stayed.

Claudia Christian posted a couple of pix, fanfic crowd must have went wild
spoiler'd for size

 
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#11
I wish they would release B5 on Blueray. Ive yet to see the series, but I'm not going back to DVDs....
 

pysek

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I'd love to see updated CG ala TOS and TNG. That could help introduce the series to a whole new generation of viewers.
 
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#15
JMS also knew from Episode one what he wanted to do with the show and the threads are there that carry all the way through to the end. It's a much stronger narrative than most other sci fi shows, even DS9.
This is what really did it for me I think. He had a 5 season plan plotted out pretty well, though it kinda messed up in late 4 due to threats of cancellation I guess? Also the aliens were well designed and interesting, as well as really mattered.

In a lot of ways, it was just a great "how to make a TV show" I think.

Anyways, great show. One of the few I remember going out of my way to watch every week.
 

Xadion

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B5 had the main and submain story written from the beginning- and that helps a lot. They DID have to change stuff up because of life, such as Talia, Sinclair etc. but they manage to keep on track- S5 while good, and not best- is that way because they honestly did not know that S5 was going to happen so they finished it up in s4 rather than s5.

The story is of Lano and G'kar - there is a reason they are always the last two in order of the credits, it really is THEM as the main characters - re watching it in that view is awesome- the human stuff is great but really it is their story- Landos specifically hell the entire thing is him telling it (well until the humans are light beings watching and old DVD episode lol)
 

sukik

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#18
I'm actually a big fan of season one simply because it does a great job of dropping the hints about what is building up. The little scenes and snippets at the end of the episodes, or the various news reports. It is a little more campy though, so I can see how some of the episodes might turn people off.
Yea, this is why I think it's important to watch season one.
 

sukik

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#19
The story is of Lano and G'kar - there is a reason they are always the last two in order of the credits, it really is THEM as the main characters - re watching it in that view is awesome- the human stuff is great but really it is their story- Landos specifically hell the entire thing is him telling it (well until the humans are light beings watching and old DVD episode lol)
I view G'kar and Londo the same way, they're probably my favorite two characters from any TV show.
 

Aaron

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#20
Agree with a lot of people here.

Babylon 5 is the only show I've watched in its entirety twice through. Its also the show that got my Sci-Fi hating mother to fall in love with Sci-Fi. The Londo-G'kar story and characters, pure gold. Pure gold! They were the only two characters (and actors for that matter) that were not replaceable. Susana Ivanova is also fantastic, so many good quotes. Then there was Garibaldi and his drinking problem and love of Daffy Duck, and Walter Koenig as the Psy Corp police guy. And Morden, the guy you loved to hate.

But what made the show as not just the acting and the characters, but also the 5 year plan. If only other shows would follow this, instead of the endless pull it out of our ass approach then we'd see more quality I think.

As for the Talia-Ivanova arc that was lost... that makes my penis a sad puppy!
 
TV show information provided by The Movie Database