I finally got my Babylon 5 DVD's!

Black Friday discount! :smiley:

We totally need a B5 thread. This is one of the best sci-fi series I’ve ever seen, especially season 2-3, and parts of 4.

Having been a Star Trek fan for a long time, I was initially wary of the series. “Oh, another rip-off space series? Set phasers on Yawn!” But the more I watched it, the more I came to appreciate the conspiracies, drama, and shades of gray inherent in that show that was not present in Star Trek.

I like the realism of the characters. They weren’t all perfect like the Star Trek people with their replicators and utopian planets where nobody has to work but somehow waiters and stuff still existed. These people had issues, some were drug addicts, some had crazed pasts, and they make mistakes, and not the “Oh, the variance for the K plasma conduit must be attuned to the INVERSE frequency of the shield modulators!” kind, but actual moral failings. It was like Deep Space 9 except worse, because while Sisko was more of a real character than Picard the wunderkid, Sinclair and later Sheridan went through all kinds of crap and not every one of their decisions were admirable.

I think also that I enjoyed the space battles a lot more. The Enterprise, while cool, didn’t perform must like a lithe combat flagship like the White Star or even teh Defiant. Battles were usually against hopeless outgunned aliens, or the Klingons or someone who basically sat there and traded shots. Two big ships firing at each other with hardly any movement is nothing compared to the oddly mesmerizing Earth Fleet ships with their rotating hulls vs. some Centari warship or tiny Narn cruiser. Plus, I like the nebulas in the background.

While the series kind of lost me in the last season with all the psychic war stuff, those middle seasons are pure sci-fi gold. I don’t know if it was really true when J. Michael Strazinski said he was in the shower and sudden had an epiphany and the whole series came to him, but its a good reason to write your stuff ahead of time so you can foreshadow more than a few episodes prior.

Any show that gave us both Ivanova and G’Kar must be placed in the Pantheon of Awesomeness.

I’ve been slowly making my way through these. (Not slowly due to quality, but slowly due to opportunity to sit and watch them. ) Also introducing my brother-in-law to them for the first time. We’re about 1/3 of the way into season 2, a.k.a. when the you-know-what is about to hit the fan. I missed several episodes in early season 3 when it aired, and ended up getting hopelessly lost and giving up. Now that I have the luxury of DVD, I’m eagerly looking forward to finishing it out and watching all the spinoffs and movies and such.

Really a great show, though watching it now, more than the CGI is a bit dated. (A “ViCkeR?” really?) And I’d forgotten just how much of an improvement Sheridan was over Sinclair. Man, was some of season 1 painful, but I’m loving catching all the foreshadowing now that I know some of what happens. Can’t wait to watch it all again once I’ve finished and pick up even more…

Such a great show. It really is hard to follow if you miss episodes though, makes watching it on DVD vastly superior to watching it as it was broadcast. It’s one of only three sci fi series i recommend to people (others being firefly and DS9). Also, in comparison to firefly, which was short, and DS9, which had a lot of truly regrettable episodes, B5 was remarkably solid for the first 4 seasons and only really hit a low in the beginning of the 5th.

What are the two really bad episodes? Grey 17 is Missing was one (worth skipping one of the plot threads in that episode entirely, though it’s important to follow the other). Can’t recall the other. If you can, we should probably use spoiler boxes if we talk content.

“TKO.” But it was worth it for the B-plot with Theodore Bikel.


“And just one more thing. On your trip back I’d like you to take the time to learn the Babylon 5 Mantra: ‘Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out.’ Babylon Control out…Civilians! [Looks up] I was just kidding about the God part…no offense.”

One of many great Ivanova quotes.

Another favorite, from Delenn:

Why not? Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else.

Ahh. I am in the middle of a rewatch; I’m three eps into the fourth season (and shame on me I don’t remember every episode title off the top of my head). Even knowing what’s coming…damn. Late second through fourth season is a hell of a ride.

“It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the
history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the
promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the
mistakes of the past.”


I loved that character and I love that show. :slight_smile:

Personally, I never understood how Sinclair ever got cast. He was SUCH a terrible actor. Really, it’s amazing that B5 survived his tenure to make it to a second season.


There was a first season episode on the telly earlier and jesus you’re absolutely right. He was atrocious. I met him at a convention one time though, seemed like a nice man.

Sigh. I try to stay out of these threads - I hate to threadshit. But I always feel compelled to state that I found that show absolutely horrible. And with that I’ll exit and leave you all to it.

I always loved the quote from Londo Mollariin the “In the beginning” TV movie: “Arrogance and stupidity in one package, how convenient!”

I was bonkers for it when it aired, and I own a good chunk of what’s been released, but with the exception of maybe a couple dozen shows (I love the fun Garibaldi and Sheridan have on Mars) I realize that Babylon 5 is a far better story than TV show.

But it’s such a wonderful story.

Memorable Ivanova quips

“you will resist I hope”

“I should have boffed him”

“to go where everyman has gone before”


Yeah when are they gonna come out with the zillion dollar “reboot”?

Honestly, I could almost be for that. Preferably not too soon, of course.

Still, while B5 had some great actors in there (Jurasik and Katsulas particularly), there was room for improvement.

I can only imagine how cool it would have been, overall, if they’d had a decent budget.


Without Katsulas, any reboot would be doomed.

Besides, I thought they got it pretty right the first time. Yeah, Season One was rough. Same goes for most shows. The good far outweighs the bad, even including Season Five.

It’s a pity that the network pulled the “we’re going to cancel it a year early, oh wait no we’re not” shtick which gave the five-year story arc a bad case of whiplash, as I think some of the problems with the last season might not have occurred. But there are so many pure gems of television moments throughout the series that I can easily forgive the bit about the Xarg.

I may be the only one on the planet who feels this way, but I liked Lochley too. It gave a new set of tensions to the Command interactions. (It also made “Sleeping In Light” all the more special, with the return of Ivanova.)

I still use “Passing Through Gethsemane” as both an intro to the show and as an example of how great SF can be.

I didn’t mind Lochley…not that I loved her, but I didn’t mind her.

It’s just the whole Telepath thing was handled SO badly. Couple that with silliness like some military operation going wrong because Garibaldi was drunk and slept through a distress call (or something like that)…I mean, come on, let’s have at least a backup guy checking the voice mail every once in a while, you know?

The worst was definitely the telepaths, though. They should have been a bunch of people showing WHY everyone was afraid of telepaths. Instead, what you get is a bunch of Vidal Sassoon models following around all the alien delegates (and I’m talking like 5 feet behind - who’s going to notice THAT?!?!) and then trying to blackmail them.

The original refugee telepaths in the second or third season were scruffy and ugly. The new ones looked liked goth models. Bester was scary. These guys were bad knockoffs of Richmond. Even though they preceeded him by a good 15 years or so.