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turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


Baloogan posted:

make a B5 thread!

EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

The really great things about B5 transcend the foibles of the era in which it was made. Not only that, I maintain you couldn't make a show like B5 today. Sure, you could make a show with good, well-written characters and even a coherent overarching plot. There may even be some shows like that, although the more or less single author's complete pre-planned five-year format may still be unique.

No, what I'm talking about is the spirit of the show. It took its time setting up all the pieces, which would get it slaughtered in today's market. And it intelligently and respectfully meandered around philosophy and religion without having an axe to grind.

It's like the wonder and heart of the ten best TOS episodes, a NASA library, The Lord of the Rings, and a classic Russian novel got mixed up together and made into a stage play that was filmed with a visual style inspired by the TOS movies.

There's my informative effortpost, now let's see if we can talk about anything more than whether or not season 1 is worth watching (it is).

How about this eulogy on Jerry Doyle from JMS. Choice quote: "There is a line in Babylon 5 where his character, Michael Garibaldi, suggests that the way to deal with crime is to go from electric chairs to electric bleachers. That line is quintessential Jerry Doyle. I say this with confidence because I overheard him saying it at lunch then stole it for the show."

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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000



future scoopin'...


I was considering making this thread with a big effort post about the setting and all the characters and whatnot in the grand TVIV tradition when people in the Trek thread started calling for it. Babylon 5 is one of the foundational works of art and science fiction that shaped virtually all of my tastes, and I freaking love it. The fact that its one of the only shows of my childhood I can't stream at will is a source of constant angst for me because barely a day goes by where I don't think that I want to watch it. If I had the money I'd go buy the DVDs right now because just making this post makes me crave it.

We are all made of Star Stuff, B5 thread.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


You should've spoken up then, now we're stuck with this. You could always write up a big ol' effortpost and either pm me to insert it into the OP, or start your own thread and request this one get gassed, if you want, and if you think it's needed. I figured probably anyone posting in a B5 thread in 2016 is going to have seen it 8 times at this point so why bother with the intro. I just don't have it in me to do that anymore; you're lucky to get even a couple of paragraphs out of me.

Airspace
Nov 5, 2010


Last(?) thread actually had one or two people watching through it for the first time.

Measly Twerp
Nov 5, 2009



I was one of the people who watched it for the first time because of the last thread. I didn't watch any science fiction as a kid in the 90s, except for Stargate on occasion, I just don't remember it being on TV in Australia. So since about 2011 I've watched all of the Star Trek series (except most of Voyager), a bit more Stargate and Babylon 5.

Star Trek always seems to miss the mark for me, it occasionally hits on the profound but mostly it's a few bad episodes and a whole bunch of mediocre episodes. Not that Babylon 5 was flawless, there are a whole bunch of really bad episodes I never want to see again, but on the whole the picture it painted was far superior. Star Trek by comparison just feels void of character, you knew that the impossible situation would be resolved, and nobody important would get hurt, or even have their character react to the horror they just experienced.

Basically, Lando and G'Kar stuck in an elevator makes Babylon 5 the better series. Even if it is cheesy.

Angry Lobster
May 16, 2011

Served with honor
and some clarified butter.


Oh great, a new B5 thread, now I want to watch this show again, I love it so much.

Maera Sior
Jan 5, 2012



"Measly Twerp" posted:

Basically, Lando and G'Kar stuck in an elevator makes Babylon 5 the better series. Even if it is cheesy.
I had forgotten about that scene. It's such a great encapsulation of their relationship at the beginning.

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe

Babylon 5 is easily one of my favorite TV shows.
Thx for making the thread.
I'm watching season 3 ATM and I had forgotten how good b5 is when it's good.
Also the lesbian relationship took me by surprise! Forgot that happened

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Angry Lobster posted:

Oh great, a new B5 thread, now I want to watch this show again, I love it so much.

I was one of those people and then I got a friend to watch through it too.

I think the show had a lot going for it but I have a powerful dislike for all of the Lord of the Ring elves and rangers stuff.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


Anyone who advocates skipping Season 1 is a dumb dumb, just wanted to get that out of the way.

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe

Kibayasu posted:

Anyone who advocates skipping Season 1 is a dumb dumb, just wanted to get that out of the way.

season 1 is so slow

Delsaber
Oct 1, 2013



I wouldn't skip the entirety of Season 1, but you can definitely cherry-pick it more than the rest of the series.

You can totally skip the pilot though. Jesus.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Season 1 is cool because it sort of establishes B5 as a place where terrible things happen constantly but people just trying to do their job well save the day more than amazing heroes

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


Forcing it into the mold of a modern show where it has to have its hook up front and throw everything at you at once just isn't going to let you appreciate it. Yes, season 1 is a slow simmer at first, and the acting is rough sometimes outside of the core characters (and admittedly, at first, sometimes only G'Kar and Londo carry it), and the CGI is primitive. But the characters are there, fully realized on day 1.

I've likened it before to a stage play. Especially on the DVDs and, Lord willing, eventually remastered for HD , you have to look past the plywood elevator walls and the CRT monitors. Or it's sort of like those magic eye illusions. "Listen to the music, not the song." - Kosh

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


Honestly I never really thought much of G'Kar's character until after the shift to political leader - which was, of course, the entire point - but when I first watched B5 seriously I distinctly remember wondering when this painfully bad pastiche of a character would vacate the series forever. Luckily he did, they just didn't change the actor, or the name of the character.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


They just rereleased the show -- and Crusade -- on DVD here in Australia. Picked up Season 2, which I'd been missing for a long time. Tempted to also grab Crusade, which had a hanful of episodes I remember liking. Mostly the Lochley ones, though.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


Kibayasu posted:

Honestly I never really thought much of G'Kar's character until after the shift to political leader - which was, of course, the entire point - but when I first watched B5 seriously I distinctly remember wondering when this painfully bad pastiche of a character would vacate the series forever. Luckily he did, they just didn't change the actor, or the name of the character.


Well of course, the characters have arcs that really mean something and change them; I didn't mean to say anything other than that JMS had everybody exactly where they were supposed to be at the time. And Andreas Katsulas is always a joy to watch even before G'Kar breaks out of himself.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

Well of course, the characters have arcs that really mean something and change them; I didn't mean to say anything other than that JMS had everybody exactly where they were supposed to be at the time. And Andreas Katsulas is always a joy to watch even before G'Kar breaks out of himself.

I just don't think anyone could have played G'Kar at the start well, though obviously Katsulas was the right choice given later material. G'Kar was such a bad Saturday morning cartoon villain, stomping off at the end of the episode, impotently shaking his fist at those darn kids the plucky heroes. A lot of what I remember was played for laughs and, well, humour was something Babylon 5 rarely got right. But getting back to my original point this is still a reason to actually watch the first season because as awkward as (I think) G'Kar is then there's no impact to his change without it. It's like watching War Without End without watching Babylon Squared.

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe

i do groan a bit when aragorn shows up
he has 0.0 chemistry with ivanova

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BrpEMLUlxI

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbOD7MMRFpQ
(yes its desynced sue me)

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYuH5fKUn_0


this is partially why i'm not supporting trump
he quotes b5

evobatman
Jul 30, 2006

it means nothing, but says everything!

In Norway we only had one TV channel, owned by the government and mostly running wholesome and cultural programming, until 1992 when the second COMMERCIAL broadcaster went on air (some lucky assholes had satellite TV)! When B5 started airing on that channel every Sunday at 2:30pm it was unlike anything we had ever seen before. The feeling of sitting with my whole family in the living room on Sundays watching Sinclair, Ivanova, the aliens and the CGI is still with me, because it was unlike anything we had ever seen on TV before. When B5 started coming out on DVD in the early 2000s I paid like $120 per season on Amazon to import them from the US, and I bought a DVD drive and MPEG decoder card for my computer to view them.

It's incredibly sad how many of the cast have died over the years, and even hearing of the challenges many of them faced while filming (drugs, alcohol, mental illness, hearing loss, right wing loon etc) has made an impact on me. I believe JMS saud he picked many of these people because nobody else would give them a job.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

B5's lost more cast than the original Star Trek.

I'm going to rewatch. Everything. Including the pilot, tonight. I have prepared with whiskey.

Angry Lobster
May 16, 2011

Served with honor
and some clarified butter.


Grand Fromage posted:

B5's lost more cast than the original Star Trek.

I'm going to rewatch. Everything. Including the pilot, tonight. I have prepared with whiskey.

All of it? You will need a ton of whiskey, then.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

I forgot how male they had Delenn's makeup for the pilot.

E: Londo is the best from the first words out of his mouth.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


We just watched The Gathering the other night. Aside from Takashima's unfortunate acting and Dr. Kyle's propensity for the thousand-yard stare (granted, he saw a Vorlon), it's fine.

Every time I watch B5 I like it more. Even the so-called bad parts. Once you cross the threshold and can see its flawed earnestness as a feature rather than a bug; as part of its charm, as the scrappy underdog much like many of the cast members - which was semi-purposeful as to the feel they were going for - it becomes amazing.

I'm not saying the bad parts are bad intentionally, but the struggle was real.

TheShadowAvatar
Nov 25, 2004

Ain't Nothing But A Family Thing



Grand Fromage posted:

I forgot how male they had Delenn's makeup for the pilot.

E: Londo is the best from the first words out of his mouth.

A clerical error!

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

I, too, have lost a Kingdom.


EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

Especially on the DVDs and, Lord willing, eventually remastered for HD ,

I join you in this prayer but it is a slim, slim hope. I think we basically have to hope that some insane B5 fan manages to blackmail a Warner Bros executive.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


Can we convince Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos to fund it?

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

The first season is not anywhere near as bad as I always remember it being. The main characters are all good, the writing isn't really any different. The CGI is a lot worse than later, some of the minor actors are rough even by B5's standards.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


That's the spirit. There's no fixing the minor character acting, but this is where a nice HD remaster would help the most. Musk and Bezos like space stuff, it'd be a perfect fit as a (comparatively) cheap vanity project for one of them.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

I, too, have lost a Kingdom.


EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

Can we convince Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos to fund it?

I mean, that'd be nice too, if a super-rich fan just basically threw a shitload of cash at WB and said "here, it's loving free money for you, loving do it now."


Of course I wouldn't be surprised if WB was spiteful enough to say "wellllllll that's nice, but we just can't do it because of... reasons..."

Unkempt
May 24, 2003

Sexual Air Supply



I vaguely recall hearing they lost all the CGI models and whatnot so they'd have to make them all again from scratch. Shouldn't be too hard though and they probably would have had to do that anyway for HD.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


Unkempt posted:

I vaguely recall hearing they lost all the CGI models and whatnot so they'd have to make them all again from scratch. Shouldn't be too hard though and they probably would have had to do that anyway for HD.

That's why the sfx on the DVDs already look like crap - for all the effects shots they had to use the NTSC broadcast masters, which were 4:3 on video, and upscale/crop them to 16:9. The actual filmed portions are fine, but every single shot with any kind of effect would need the effect recreated from scratch and recomposited. And it probably has way more effects than TNG, which, as a more popular show already proved... unfulfilling from a monetary investment standpoint.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

I, too, have lost a Kingdom.


EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

That's why the sfx on the DVDs already look like crap - for all the effects shots they had to use the NTSC broadcast masters, which were 4:3 on video, and upscale/crop them to 16:9. The actual filmed portions are fine, but every single shot with any kind of effect would need the effect recreated from scratch and recomposited. And it probably has way more effects than TNG, which, as a more popular show already proved... unfulfilling from a monetary investment standpoint.

CBS really hosed up that release. When those Blurays were coming out I kept seeing my friends posting variations on "watching TNG on Netflix, still love this show". From a capitalist perspective, CBS should have yanked all streaming and broadcast rights while the Blurays came out so that the only way to watch TNG was either previously-bought DVDs or buying BD sets.

Dirty
Apr 8, 2003

Let's get our doughnut on

Unkempt posted:

I vaguely recall hearing they lost all the CGI models and whatnot so they'd have to make them all again from scratch. Shouldn't be too hard though and they probably would have had to do that anyway for HD.

I've heard that too. Whether true or not, I'm pretty drat sure they could find them if they wanted. All those artists who worked on it will have copies. It might take some assembling, and there's probably a bit of a legal grey area around people having those copies. And also, as you say, many just wouldn't hold up to HD.

But it would still be nice to get the original scene files and update the models, so that all the motion etc is identical.

I've considered redoing all the FX shots in an episode myself, but it's a big job with no real payoff. I doubt it would convince WB to do anything. Didn't stop me building most of a station, though!

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Don't want the usual merchandise
recycled in a new disguise


What we need is about 110 fans like you. Some out there will be dedicated and talented enough to make really nice new models, and if we split the scene work up enough ways it wouldn't be such a behemoth project for one person.

Keep a guideline of sticking pretty much to the same look and exact duration of a shot so it stays unified. It's the ultimate goon project and I'm SURE it will succeed.

Baloogan
Dec 5, 2004



Fun Shoe

just do it all in KSP plz

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

TKO is one of the episodes I see people complain about a lot. The boxing storyline isn't anything special whatever, but the Ivanova one is good. And the little watch your back at the end is great.

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