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Blindeye
Sep 22, 2006

I can't believe I kissed you!




SPOILERS AHEAD, IF YOU ARE NEW TO B5 MAKE IT VERY CLEAR SO WE DON'T RUIN IT FOR YOU

Babylon 5 is a science-fiction television show by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) that was one of the few bright points of mid-90s scifi. It is probably known most for being a massive 5 season story arc as opposed to individual episodes, and about 90% of the episodes were written solely by the show's creator, so it feels a lot more tight-knit. Unfortunately the writing experience left it's creator a bit frazzled:



There is a recommended viewing order; the pilot, "The Gathering" actually is pretty weak, and should be watched after the series, generally speaking. The other B5 "movies" have spoilers and will need to be watched at the proper time. The recommended viewing order is as follows:

  • Seasons 1-4
  • Thirdspace
  • In the Beginning
  • Season 5
  • River of Souls
  • A Call to Arms
  • The Gathering (Pilot)
  • The Lost Tales (2 30 minute episodes with a few B5 castmembers)

If you want to venture farther, after that is Crusade (horrific, A Call to Arms technically leads into it but the show was butchered by TNT and JMS killed it), and Legend of the Rangers, which will just make you vomit.

Mojo1701a has made reviews of his journey watching B5 for the first time, it converted him to a full-fledged fan like a few of my friends did. Below are the links to all his review posts for those interested (spoilers inside them, obviously).

mojo1701a posted:

Direct Review Links:

Reviews start here
In-depth reviews start here
SEASON 1 FINAL THOUGHTS ARE HERE!
SEASON 2 EPISODE REVIEWS START HERE!
SEASON 2 FINAL THOUGHTS ARE HERE!
SEASON 3 EPISODE REVIEWS START HERE!
SEASON 3 FINAL THOUGHTS ARE HERE!

MOVIE 1: "In The Beginning" REVIEW HERE

SEASON 4 EPISODE REVIEWS START HERE!
SEASON 4 FINAL THOUGHTS ARE HERE!

MOVIE 2: "Thirdspace" REVIEW HERE

SEASON 5 EPISODE REVIEWS START HERE!
SEASON 5 FINAL THOUGHTS ARE HERE!

MOVIE 3: "The River of Souls" REVIEW HERE!

MOVIE 4: "A Call to Arms" REVIEW HERE!

CRUSADE EPISODE REVIEWS START HERE!
CRUSADE FINAL THOUGHTS ARE HERE!

MOVIE 5: "The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark" REVIEW HERE!

MOVIE 6: "Legend of the Rangers - To Live and Die in Starlight" REVIEW HERE!

FULL SERIES REVIEW (Seasons 1-5) AND FULL PANTHEON REVIEW HERE!


As with any good show there's plenty of pewpew:



It can make fun of itself too:



One day though we all hope and pray for the B5 remaster because


Click here for the full 1920x1080 image.

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Aatrek
Jul 19, 2004

by Fistgrrl


Season Three had the best credits.

(In before "Season Five had the best credits.")

spe
Aug 28, 2007

All Stocked Up

I stopped watching after the Vorlons and Shadows got kicked out in the middle of s4, the earth stuff didn't do anything for me. Am I missing much?

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007



spe posted:

I stopped watching after the Vorlons and Shadows got kicked out in the middle of s4, the earth stuff didn't do anything for me. Am I missing much?

The earth stuff was my favorite.

Pooned
Dec 28, 2005

Eye contact counters everything


Ehm. Yes! Nothing can beat the shadow war but retaking earth is a close second for sure.

spe
Aug 28, 2007

All Stocked Up

I recall an awesome episode where they intercepted a shadow on its way to Earth but thats about all I remember liking with tat particular story. I had more investment in the disk haired guys (e:centauri)planet than I did Earth. It just seemed too detached from the setting of the show to have any meaning.

Pooned
Dec 28, 2005

Eye contact counters everything


The ending of season 2/beginning of season 3 with breaking away from the earth alliance really builds up the tension and drama when they finally decide to "take back earth". You should definitely re watch it and see how you like it now. It's brilliant!

spe
Aug 28, 2007

All Stocked Up

I liked it when the commander got pissed off and delivered furious war speeches from the heart and made everyone wanna beat the poo poo out of the enemy. That ruled.

Habibi
Dec 8, 2004

Hockey is a game of love, man.


Edit: ^^^^ There's a whole ton of that in Season 4, and from Ivanova, too.

spe posted:

I stopped watching after the Vorlons and Shadows got kicked out in the middle of s4, the earth stuff didn't do anything for me. Am I missing much?

I'm with Fishmanpet - I enjoyed the Earth civil war stuff more than the Shadow War stuff. Not by much, but just enough. Also, in terms of personal storylines I think Season 4 is superior to 3, and if you don't watch 4 you miss Whitestars vs. Omega X battle, which is IMO the best one of the series.

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

spe posted:

I stopped watching after the Vorlons and Shadows got kicked out in the middle of s4, the earth stuff didn't do anything for me. Am I missing much?

Whaaaaaa? YES. The Earth War is in some ways cooler than the Shadow war.

The teep poo poo is annoying, although it has a nice payoff.

Aatrek
Jul 19, 2004

by Fistgrrl


Sheridan getting beaten up in that nightclub is the best scene.

General Emergency
Apr 2, 2009

Can we talk?

Blindeye posted:


No. This is the best scene.

Lycus
Aug 5, 2008

Half the posters in this forum have been made up. This website is a goddamn ghost town.

The protagonists fighting a war against Earth is just something you never see in sci-fi shows and I love it for that.

spe posted:

I had more investment in the disk haired guys (e:centauri)planet than I did Earth.
Also, Season 5 has more Centauri stuff, but you need to watch the latter part of Season 4 for the setup.

Lycus fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2010 around 00:29

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007



Lycus posted:

The protagonists fighting a war against Earth is just something you never see in sci-fi shows and I love it for that.

Even more so wanting them to win that war against Earth.

EX-GAIJIN AT LAST
Feb 12, 2002

Is it that he has a genius for leadership, or merely that you have a genius for being led?

Lycus posted:

Also, Season 5 has more Centauri stuff, but you need to watch the latter part of Season 4 for the setup.

Was just gonna post this. If you like the Centauri, the latter half of season 5 is something you need to watch; also it functions as an extended denouement leading up to the best TV finale ever.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007




Does anyone have the list of "essential S1 episodes" handy? I'm starting a rewatch and I want to cut the fat.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


FISHMANPET posted:

The earth stuff was my favorite.

I agree. Season 3 actually kinda bothered me because there was so much stuff Delenn was making everyone do on faith, when Sheridan and the rest of the Earth crew were at that point pretty loving jaded about the 'god' subject. The whole "THERE IS A COMING DARKNESS QUICK MAKE A WAR ROOM WITHOUT ANY PROOF" stuff seemed pretty out of place. The Earth stuff, though, was downright chilling. The only parts I didn't like was when it was revealed that Earth was working at least in part with the Shadows. I was more moved by the idea of Earth being corrupted on a galactic scale entirely from within. The ISN and Sheridan Torture plot arcs absolutely blew me away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r1nxl86RXY

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2010 around 08:37

Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

You think you're the center of the universe?


The Season 4 episodes where Sheridan is in custody, dealing with his interrogator and the one where ISN visits the station are great. The way the latter ends, with Sheridan just glaring out across the garden is very well done.

I think the main problem of B5 is the not great acting combined with a low budget and a story that takes a while to 'get moving' means it's hard to get people to really sit down and watch it. You only really need to compare the first few episodes of B5 with, say, the first few episodes of Battlestar Galactica.



that and people think it's a rip off of ds9

gg
Jul 3, 2003



Is this a good show to watch for someone who liked DS9? I know some people draw a lot of comparisons between them and they were competing against each other back in the 90's.

Be Depressive
Jul 8, 2006

I AM GAY
I AM GAY
CHING CHONG
WING WONG
I AM GAY


JMS has even claimed DS9 was at least partially a rip-off of B5, because he shopped the series to Paramount and not too long after they started development on DS9. But the stories are very different, and DS9 didn't get episodic until much later.

Anyway Babylon 5 is one of the best series ever on TV, sci-fi or otherwise. You have to sit through some bad stuff to get to the good stuff, but overall the storyline is fantastic and more tightly-plotted than any series since.

Lord Tomungus
Jul 5, 2007
The Ayatollah of rock and roll-ah

DS9 tried to take on larger story arcs and have more in depth politiking, but it couldn't quite pull it off. Bab5 had the advantage of one of the strongest continuous story lines in any tv show (not just sci-fi).

My wife and I watched the whole thing, S1-S5 one summer (2002, I think) and it felt a little dated in places but the space scenes still blew us away.

It is still worth watching.

Just Another Lurker
May 1, 2009


If you took DS9 and removed the Prime Directive and added facisitc controlling governments and aliens that would give Changelings nightmares you might.... if you are lucky get something like Babylon 5.

I think the DS9 episode that would be closest to B5 in feeling would be the season six episode: "In the Pale Moonlight".

I used to be an anti DS9 person but now see it as similar to B5 on several levels, but on a seperate playing field.

Viivac
Jan 5, 2005

I need a cheaper hobby

Just Another Lurker posted:

If you took DS9 and removed the Prime Directive and added facisitc controlling governments and aliens that would give Changelings nightmares you might.... if you are lucky get something like Babylon 5.

I think the DS9 episode that would be closest to B5 in feeling would be the season six episode: "In the Pale Moonlight".

I used to be an anti DS9 person but now see it as similar to B5 on several levels, but on a seperate playing field.
I've never seen DS9, or rather just snippets of episodes. Is it worth watching? At least if I try to imagine it like you say; it's on a different playing field than B5?

Just Another Lurker
May 1, 2009


Viivac posted:

I've never seen DS9, or rather just snippets of episodes. Is it worth watching? At least if I try to imagine it like you say; it's on a different playing field than B5?

I ended up watching it because ther was nothing else on, i would not go out and buy the show but if Hulu or similar online site is showing you could have a look at it.

After watching B5 i found it quite tame and dare i say it "fluffy" but that appears to be my take on the whole ST universe.

Appologies for the slight derail into ST.



If there is one reason to watch Babylon 5 all the way through it is to see the Londo & G`Kar story arc, simply some of the best emotional rollercoster epicness in any scifi show.

Jose Mengelez
Sep 11, 2001

~the boi from brazil~


I started serial bombing this show recently I'm just up to the three parter in season 3. First season had its slow parts and the pilot was downright hilarious (delenn's chin lol)

The special effects have aged a little but anyone who played PC games in the 90's with FULL MOTION VIDEO!!! will probably get a nostalgia kick from the space scenes.

I pooped a little when I realized Delenn (mira furlan) was Rousseau from lost.

General Emergency
Apr 2, 2009

Can we talk?

DS9 and B5 are some of the best TV scifi you can watch. Besides the basic premise of taking place on a space station and mixing in some mysticism in the form of hyper advanced aliens, they don't have that much in common (Except maybe both having a lovely first season ). I'd say if you liked one you'll like other.

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007




Oh hey, sweet YouTube videos?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFvk...feature=related
Not going to bother to spoiler a YouTube link, because, c'mon.

Muppetjedi
Mar 17, 2010


Aatrek posted:

Season Three had the best credits.

(In before "Season Five had the best credits.")

Season 3 had the best opening credit music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPPySgzHUtY 0:40 onwards

Edit: Has anyone played the Babylon project? (Freespace 2 total conversion) http://babylon.hard-light.net/

Muppetjedi fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2010 around 15:30

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

FISHMANPET posted:

Oh hey, sweet YouTube videos?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFvk...feature=related
Not going to bother to spoiler a YouTube link, because, c'mon.

I can't decide if that's my favorite scene or if this is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-5S9PTOhZ8

(Season 5 spoilers)

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007



Muppetjedi posted:

Season 3 had the best opening credit music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPPySgzHUtY 0:40 onwards

Edit: Has anyone played the Babylon project? (Freespace 2 total conversion) http://babylon.hard-light.net/

Our last best hope for victory

That is a pretty good one.

keiran_helcyan
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeNBJ5o-b7s

From the In the Beginning movie, the only B5 movie that was actually good.

kazmeyer
Jul 26, 2001

'Cause we're the good guys.



I remember my favorite thing about watching this show was going onto USENET or the Lurker's Guide webpage to catch up on all the little wheels-within-wheels details that I missed on first viewing. The plotting on this show was just so amazingly intricate, it was awe-inspiring at times.

The Big One
Aug 22, 2007

climb aboard the murder train

Haraksha posted:

Does anyone have the list of "essential S1 episodes" handy? I'm starting a rewatch and I want to cut the fat.

Depends on what you mean by essential. For purely story arc, I would go with: 1, 8, 13, 18, 19, 20, and 22.

Characters that are introduced come up in 3 (Adira), 5 (Catherine Sakai and Lennier), and 6 (Bester). Franklin comes in on episode 2 but I wouldn't wish Soul Hunter on anyone. 7 has some backstory on Londo and his wives, and other Centauri things. 21 introduces that alien energy transfer machine that comes up a few times later.


I've been introducing a friend to the series with my own fan edit of season 1, and it seems to be going well so far. The only real complaint so far is that there's no real resolution to Catherine Sakai's story, or the "secret marriage" between Delenn and Sinclair.

It's also frustrating to watch Babylon Squared with someone who knows you know the answers to all the questions. What a mindfuck that one is for newbies.

e: I've seen season 1 far more times than anyone ever should

The Big One fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2010 around 18:32

Jose Mengelez
Sep 11, 2001

~the boi from brazil~


Muppetjedi posted:

Has anyone played the Babylon project? (Freespace 2 total conversion) http://babylon.hard-light.net/

There's another freeware babylon 5 sim called I've found her

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY0dh57GNYc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qno9IsAAEKk

It's hard as nails though and I'm being utterly crushed and demoralized by raiders on the first proper mission (after barely scraping through the training).

So I suppose it's a pretty accurate simulation after all.

Viivac
Jan 5, 2005

I need a cheaper hobby

The Big One posted:

e: I've seen season 1 far more times than anyone ever should
I quite enjoy season 1. Perhaps I'm weird.

Axiem
Oct 19, 2005

I want to leave my mind blank, but I'm terrified of what will happen if I do


The Big One posted:

I've been introducing a friend to the series with my own fan edit of season 1, and it seems to be going well so far. The only real complaint so far is that there's no real resolution to ... the "secret marriage" between Delenn and Sinclair.

Somewhere JMS is recorded as saying that was a red herring, and the ceremony really was just a rebirth ceremony or whatever. Nothing special.

Lycus
Aug 5, 2008

Half the posters in this forum have been made up. This website is a goddamn ghost town.

It's been a long time since I've seen Season 1, but in retrospect, I figured that that was some early setup for a Delenn/Sinclair relationship that ultimately became the Delenn/Sheridan relationship.

The Big One
Aug 22, 2007

climb aboard the murder train

Viivac posted:

I quite enjoy season 1. Perhaps I'm weird.

I don't hate it; there's some really great early Londo and G'Kar moments, and Signs and Portents and Chrysalis are great too. I've just seen S1 far more often than I've seen the later S4 kick-rear end moments, unfortunately. But yeah, basically most reviews I've ever read of S1 admit that it's the weakest season.

Axiem posted:

Somewhere JMS is recorded as saying that was a red herring, and the ceremony really was just a rebirth ceremony or whatever. Nothing special.

Didn't stop friends from being confused about whether or not two of the main characters were suddenly married! The reaction is pretty much "if they're not actually married, why put it in at all?" Especially since getting married to a Minbari is actually insanely complicated, as we learn later.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


FISHMANPET posted:

Oh hey, sweet YouTube videos?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFvk...feature=related
Not going to bother to spoiler a YouTube link, because, c'mon.

I spoiler'd it because I enjoyed going through the show not knowing really anything about it, not knowing whether they were going to go ahead and make Earth out-and-out bad guys. I wouldn't even want the video you just posted spoiled for me, despite it being one of the most amazing loving scenes ever.

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General Emergency
Apr 2, 2009

Can we talk?

The Big One posted:

I don't hate it; there's some really great early Londo and G'Kar moments, and Signs and Portents and Chrysalis are great too. I've just seen S1 far more often than I've seen the later S4 kick-rear end moments, unfortunately. But yeah, basically most reviews I've ever read of S1 admit that it's the weakest season.


Didn't stop friends from being confused about whether or not two of the main characters were suddenly married! The reaction is pretty much "if they're not actually married, why put it in at all?" Especially since getting married to a Minbari is actually insanely complicated, as we learn later.

I thought that was just some Minbari marriage ceremony where someone, not particularly Sinclair and Delenn, got married. Sort of a humble wedding where the couple isn't given any more attention than anyone else. That sort of a wedding would actually fit the Minbari culture.

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