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Babylon 5: from the beginning?

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1 Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:13 am

I'm thinking of watching Babylon 5. I watched Star Trek Enterprise from an episode Arch recommended starting from to the end, and I was wondering if he or any of you had similar recommendations. Or is it something best experienced watching from start to finish?

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2 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:07 am

You should really watch it from the beginning. Even if the start may feel a bit slow to you, and even if some of the earlier episodes are a bit weaker, there's a reason why the show is best watched as a whole.

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3 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:52 am

Just as ZGoten posted, Babylon 5 was made with a beginning, middle and ending from the very start (it got extended after it was 'finished' tho). The first season is slow, but there's a good reason for that: it is highly character-driven, and presents you with all the big players, their origins, their way of thinking, their strengths, weaknesses...

Yup, keep watching it and when you see the bad (like the CGI, bad even for the time), remind yourself the payoff will be big later.

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4 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:09 pm

Best to watch from the beginning while there is only a few really important episodes in season 1 the show is best to take in as a whole, I'll warn you tho season 1 is rather bad compared to the rest of the show at least that is my opinion of it.

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5 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:45 am

(imo) Season 1 is a grab bag (setting building, character establishment, some threads for the rest of the series are set up, etc.) all while having the "finding the footing" any Season 1 show would have. Also, it get's overshadowed by Seasons 2 through 4, but it is still pretty damn good overall (and I find there are lots of awesome moments and scenes). So, I agree, watch it from Season 1 Episode 1 (personally, I started with the Pilot, The Gathering).

Regarding the CG:
One look at some shots (one thing in Grail and another in The Geometry of Shadows immediately springs to mind) screams 1990s CG. I personally don't have problems with B5's CG, so *shrug*. (Now, if they redid it, so it looked like in The Lost Tales (2007). oh hell yes!)

One objectively bad thing with the CG (not merely, it's dated) is it was done in 4:3, while B5 was filmed 16:9. If you watch B5 in widescreen, you're seeing native 16:9 non CG shots, but when it cuts to CG it's using, 4:3 cropped to 16:9 and then upsampled, so it's really blurry (and can feel claustrophobic).

Regarding (it got extended after it was 'finished' tho):
B5 was always supposed to have 5 years, but only got one season at a time. The network they were airing on, PTEN, was shut down before they got a 5th season, and they were given notice to wrap it up, so JMS did. He directed what became the season 5 finale when TNT picked them up for their 5th season.

Season 4 Episode 18 Intersections in Real Time, think of that being the season 4 finale (if PTEN had lasted on more season), and having to wait 3 months for S5E1 Laughing

All that said, here's a shot with some CG, and a great (non-spoiler) scene from Babylon 5 Season 1, to have a taste:

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6 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:59 am

I finished watching Gathering yesterday, and I liked it. CG was glaringly obvious, but I made it through. Starting from beginning. Thanks for the input, peeps.

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7 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:32 am

You will know Pain. You will know Fear. And then you will die.

Have a wonderful flight.

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8 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:40 pm

Hbh128 wrote:You will know Pain. You will know Fear. And then you will die.

Have a wonderful flight.
Are you Ambassador G'Kar?

This is Ambassador G'Kar's quarters. This is Ambassador G'Kar's table. This is Ambassador G'Kar's dinner. Which part of this progression escapes you?


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9 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:43 am

Up to episode 11 so far, Susan likes to remind us that she's Russian. It's literally "Russian this," "Russian that". She really only needed to say it the first time, on top of that, her last name is Ivanova! I'm pretty sure I could commit her nationality to memory with just that, but you had to be sure, didn't you, whoever-wrote-these-bits? I really hope it becomes important - "how we view the world" and "we have a saying" don't count, not by a long shot. Pick any other large nationality and there is a saying and a way of looking at things that means the same thing, I guarantee it. I just can't think of them or I don't know them because now I'm as fixated on Russian as whoever wrote her character.

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10 Re: Babylon 5: from the beginning? on Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:38 am

Again a Babylon 5 thread necro. I've watch B5 from the start many times, and I agree with above, from the very start is the only way to go. What is interesting about subsequent watch throughs is there is always a subtle detail that I may have missed maybe an expression a way a line is delivered or an intentional easter egg planted by JMS.

JMS himself is a self admitted people watcher and has made clear that subtle elements about the actors he hired were woven into later elements. This took him in character development arcs that he never could have intended and it really fleshed out the B5 universe 'big' structure he wrote. This has the added benefit of in some ways writing the story for him at least as the colour and vibrancy of the setting and its intersting to look back to earlier seasons to see if there are hints JMS wove in later.

anyways ...I could procrastinate more ... I am ducking work right now, but I hope this pops up in the inbox of those wanting to discuss B5

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