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View Full Version : What episodes from Season One of Babylon 5 should we watch?


Mahaloth
05-21-2009, 08:06 PM
My wife and I are rewatching B5, which we have both seen before.

Anyway, it's been five years and one thing we both agreed on is that we don't want to watch a lot of the crappy first season.

We're watching the the pilot now, which is essential, we are wondering what other ones we should watch. We are looking for two kinds of episodes:

1. The essential/important storyline episodes.

2. The other ones that don't suck.

Which ones should we watch?

Miller
05-21-2009, 08:29 PM
Here's my guide.

B5 Episode guide - Season 1

Ep 1 - Midnight on the firing line REQUIRED

Ep 2 - The Soul Hunter SKIP

Ep 3 - Born to the Purple WATCH

Ep 4 - Infection SKIP

Ep 5 - The Parliament of Dreams WATCH

Ep 6 - Mind War MAYBE (introduces Psi-Cops, really bad acting)

Ep 7 - The War Prayer SKIP

Ep 8 - And the Sky Full of Stars MAYBE (Hints at Sinclair's past. Features ACTING!)

Ep 9 - Deathwalker SKIP

Ep 10 - Believers WATCH

Ep 11 - Survivors SKIP

Ep 12 - By Any Means Necessary MAYBE

Ep 13 - Signs and Portents REQUIRED

Ep 14 - TKO OH MY GOD SKIP!

Ep 15 - Grail SKIP

Ep 16 - Eyes SKIP

Ep 17 - Legacies - SKIP

Ep 18 - A Voice in the Wilderness REQUIRED

Ep 19 - A Voice in the Wilderness 2 REQUIRED

Ep 20 - Babylon Squared REQUIRED

Ep 21 - The Quality of Mercy MAYBE

Ep 22 - Chrysalis REQUIRED

ultrafilter
05-21-2009, 08:31 PM
If you want to catch up on the important plot points, you need to watch at least these episodes:

Midnight on the Firing Line
Mind War
And the Sky Full of Stars
Signs and Portents
Legacies
Babylon Squared
Chrysalis

There are bits and pieces of characterization and setting things up in the other episodes, but I don't believe you'll miss anything important by skipping them. On the other hand, it's been some time since I've watched the first season, so you should seek a second opinion.

whiterabbit
05-21-2009, 09:00 PM
When I started watching I came in a few episodes from the end of the first season (back when it was being rerun daily on SciFi) and when I later saw the first season, there were tons of bits and pieces that paid off later (years later, as it first aired!) but I certainly didn't feel like I'd missed anything crucial.

It's been long enough I'd need to go back and look at the eps to put together my own short list, but I wouldn't worry too much about the specifics. You can go back over the season with a fine-toothed comb later. ultrafilter's list is fine to get you started.

bouv
05-21-2009, 10:21 PM
I would say Quality of mercy is required because it brings in something that is used in other episodes, and you'd be like "what the Hell?" without seeing it.

The alien healing/torture machine.

Fenris
05-22-2009, 07:17 AM
Here's my guide.

B5 Episode guide - Season 1
Ep 14 - TKO OH MY GOD SKIP!


Strongly disagree--don't skip the episode, but learn where your fast-forward button is and use it liberally.

Any scene* with Garibaldi and the fighter, I agree with Miller--fast forward through them--his "OH MY GOD SKIP!" is dead-on. (Although "Grey 17 Is Missing" is still a far worse episode. You really can't lose an entire floor of a space station. You just...can't. Alien boxers are boring. Grey 17 is an idiot plot that's so bad that it makes the entire show worse for it's existance. If the characters are so fucking stoopid that no-one has ever looked at a schematic of the station and noticed an entire level is inaccessible, then it calls into question every other decision they ever made. )

But the Ivanova/Rabbi sub-plot is A) wonderful and B) critical to understanding her character--you learn a ton about her background and motivation there--and whoever the Rabbi is, he's a good actor.


*Except the very last scene with them together. After the fight. The boxer gets off one line that has a killer pay-off about 7 episodes later. Something like "You never did learn to watch your back Michael. That's gonna be the death of you someday".

LurkMeister
05-22-2009, 11:30 AM
But the Ivanova/Rabbi sub-plot is A) wonderful and B) critical to understanding her character--you learn a ton about her background and motivation there--and whoever the Rabbi is, he's a good actor.


Theodore Bikel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000942/), who also played Worf's foster-father on ST:TNG. "Good actor" barely scratches the surface of his talent, as you can see from his list of credits.

I love the story Ivanova tells about her father in this episode.

Chronos
05-22-2009, 12:57 PM
The thing is, though, that that bit of characterization for Ivanova is the only connection whatsoever that "TKO" has with the rest of the series. Most episodes will have something about the Narn-Centauri war, or the Vorlons and Shadows, or the Psi-Corps, or some other ongoing story line, but "TKO" has none of that.

billfish678
05-22-2009, 01:10 PM
IMO

If your going to watch most of em, might as well watch ALL of them. How many hours are you going to save by skipping the few lemons ?

The other thing is, virtually any episode some little tidbit that matters later.

Another thing is the growth/changing of the characters/actors. Some of it is actual plot, but much of it is the actors finding the groove so to speak.

Virtually all series I've ever watched, I've gotten into late and eventually I see the earlier episodes. Its often rather jarring to see how different they are from episodes seperated in time.

And then, invariably, there is always the episode that is universally agreed to suck, yet there is one little part you'll think is cool and you'll miss it if you dont watch.

Or in other words, sucky episodes may not be required to be watched more than once, but there ARE good reasons to suffer through them at least once. If nothing else you can join all the others in complaining about how much they sucked!

Just suck it up and see the actors and characters grow.

Irishman
05-22-2009, 03:39 PM
billfish678 said:
Or in other words, sucky episodes may not be required to be watched more than once, but there ARE good reasons to suffer through them at least once.

Mahaloth said:
My wife and I are rewatching B5, which we have both seen before.


I think your point has been addressed.

billfish678
05-22-2009, 03:43 PM
billfish678 said:


Mahaloth said:



I think your point has been addressed.


If they can't remember which episodes suck or exactly why, then maybe they need to watch them again for all the reasons I mentioned?

Ever think about that?

Irishman
05-23-2009, 11:54 PM
What you said was that sucky episodes need to be watched at least once. Well, they have watched them at least once.

Furthermore, they seem confident that there are sucky episodes, they just want help in identifying which episodes are which - which ones had which story lines, and if they are forgetting something majorly important to the overall story arc. This is not an unreasonable request - exactly the kind of thing you would like a bunch of geek fans* to help you identify.

Nothing in your post has anything to do with "you need to see them because you don't remember them". Everything in your post is addressing the person who has never seen the shows at all. You mention having to see the early shows to watch the actors develop their character portrayals. If they've already seen that, and purposely are setting out to avoid sucky episodes, there is no reason to re-watch them. You mention watching sucky episodes so they can later join in the common revulsion of said episodes. Again, that's been covered.

The only parts directly addressing the issue as stated were the line about there potentially being tiny tidbits buried in every episode, and the line about there being non-sucky bits in the suckiest episodes. But since the OP already stated they weren't interested in rewatching whole sucky episodes, those two points are moot.

So your rebuttal comment is that if they don't remember exactly which episodes (by name, because that's typically what you have to go by) are sucky enough to avoid, then they should be forced to rewatch them so they know why they are sucky. But if the internet is good for anything, it should be identifying the specifics of sucky things so you don't have to repeat them and don't have to memorize them.
-----
*My geekiness is insufficient.

billfish678
05-24-2009, 07:03 AM
So your rebuttal comment is that if they don't remember exactly which episodes (by name, because that's typically what you have to go by) are sucky enough to avoid, then they should be forced to rewatch them so they know why they are sucky. But if the internet is good for anything, it should be identifying the specifics of sucky things so you don't have to repeat them and don't have to memorize them.
-----
*My geekiness is insufficient.


Its also good for unsolicited geeky diatribes and getting said geeks to waste valuable time typing them out :)

Mahaloth
05-24-2009, 11:05 AM
Yes, we have seen all the episodes once. I have seen every episode twice, except for the "strike" episode in Season One....the one where the dockers or something go on strike.

Anyway, I'm more or less using your guys advice for the viewing.

We just watched "Born to the Purple"

Does that "hot" Centauri girl become one of Londo's wives in the future? I can't remember.

Chronos
05-24-2009, 01:04 PM
Does that "hot" Centauri girl become one of Londo's wives in the future? I can't remember.If it's the same hot Centauri girl I'm thinking of, I think he was already briefly married to her before the series started, but was forced into a divorce by political pressures. She's still his one true love, though.

Mahaloth
05-24-2009, 01:30 PM
If it's the same hot Centauri girl I'm thinking of, I think he was already briefly married to her before the series started, but was forced into a divorce by political pressures. She's still his one true love, though.

The girl I'm thinking of is actually the one he ends up choosing as hit only wife, in the 5th(I think) season episode where he is required to choose only one of his wives to remain his.

Chronos
05-24-2009, 10:46 PM
The girl I'm thinking of is actually the one he ends up choosing as hit only wife, in the 5th(I think) season episode where he is required to choose only one of his wives to remain his.No, that was the one who he couldn't stand, and who publicly put on a show of not being able to stand him either, because at least with her, he knew where he stood. But that was a 2nd season episode, I think, certainly not 5th-- The divorces from the others were a favor from the old Emperor, the one before CalligulaCartagia.

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