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Old January 2 2013, 08:32 PM   #1
bigdaddy
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I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

I have been waiting for the DVDs to become really really cheap, like $10 a season cheap and it just hasn't happened yet. However the first 26 episodes of B5 are on thewb.com so I started watching.

I'm really enjoying it. The last episode I watched was "Mind War" and I'm so glad Sinclair hit the telepath bastard.

My sister used to be a big fan of the show, so I have seen parts of it when it was first on TV. So I know some minor things like Sinclair isn't in command in the later season. If you go to Za'hadum you will die (No clue what that means), that seasons 2-4 deal with the Shadows War, B4 disappeared in time, and that the last season is almost a spinoff in a way because everything closed up in the end of season 4. Season 5 is what I remember most, which is funny because I know it's the weakest season.

I also know there is somewhat a curse of the actors of the show dying rather young, like the doctor and Sinclair and a few others.

But this is my first time watching the show in somewhat of an order. So far I'm enjoying it and can sense there are little things being built up to for the later seasons.
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Old January 2 2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Lucky you to be seeing it in full for the first time. Enjoy. And not everything ended in the fourth season, but enough that it took Season 5 a while to pick up the momentum people were used to.

Have fun!

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Old January 2 2013, 08:52 PM   #3
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Welcome to Babylon 5, it's my absolute favorite show (just in front of DS9 and Farscape)

Many new viewers find S1 a bit tough to slog through, so, it's good to hear you're up to Mind War and enjoying it, it only gets better as it goes along, and yea, one reason why S1 is tough for some folks is because there is so much "Universe Building" and laying out the foundation of he arc, so stuff that seems like it should be followed up, is left lying dormant, sometimes for several seasons, but, almost every door opened by the Arc is followed up on, there's only a couple of times where Real Life caused something to go nowhere. For the most part though, JMS' rule was "If someone uses a Gun in Act 3, you need to show it on the wall in Act 1, and if you show it on the Wall, it needs to be used" (Paraphrased, not necessarily exact quote)
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Old January 2 2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Yay more Babylon 5 fans! Glad you are enjoying it. FYI for some reason the first season episode "Believers" is not available on that web-site. (That one goes between Deathwalker and Survivors in the original run).

(oh also, apparently amazon Canada has the sets for $10 canadian, so start ordering!)

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
So I know some minor things like Sinclair isn't in command in the later season.
Sinclair does appear a couple more times.

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
If you go to Za'hadum you will die (No clue what that means)
That will be explained.

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
that seasons 2-4 deal with the Shadows War
There're a lot of other plots going on there in the middle seasons. Also the shadows are set up in season one, and the fallout of the whole war is still felt in season five.

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
the last season is almost a spinoff in a way because everything closed up in the end of season 4.
The fifth season is definitely about the same characters and there are threads that aren't wrapped up until that season; particularly there is quite a bit in the final stretch of about nine episodes.
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Old January 2 2013, 09:34 PM   #5
Neroon
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

It will be interesting to see your reactions as the series unfolds. The first season does take a bit of time to get going but mostly due to setting up character backgrounds and so on. As you work your way through it all, you can go back and see where subtle details are used to construct that atmosphere.

A good resource site is The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. It's organized primarily by episode, so you can look into details as you watch each one, without fear of being spoiled - if that happens to be a concern of yours. Above all... post your honest opinion about what works and what doesn't, what's well-done, what sucks and what could stand a little more polish, etc

One addendum on the actors' deaths ...
  • - Richard Biggs (Stephen Franklin, the doctor for most of the series) was the youngest at age 44.
  • - Tim Choate (a favorite recurring character "Zathras")
  • - Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar and you may have seen him in TNG a few times), Jeff Conaway (Zach Allen also was in Taxi, Grease), and
  • - Michael O'Hare were all in their 60's
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Last edited by Neroon; January 2 2013 at 09:45 PM.
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Old January 2 2013, 10:51 PM   #6
bigdaddy
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

[QUOTE=JoeD80;7478341]Yay more Babylon 5 fans! Glad you are enjoying it. FYI for some reason the first season episode "Believers" is not available on that web-site. (That one goes between Deathwalker and Survivors in the original run)./QUOTE]

This is very good info to know. Thanks.

Do I need to watch "The Gathering"? I figured I was missing something when jumping right into year two of the space station, but it made enough sense to me.

The show is nice because it's clearly a 90s sci-fi show, which is great. The 90s had some fun sci-fi. It kind of reminds me of TNG meets Red Dwarf (The sets have a familiar feel) meets DS9. Not to start that debate but the two have very similar structure, a common space for the aliens to meet and shop, a wormhole / hyperdrive entrance.
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Old January 2 2013, 11:20 PM   #7
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
Do I need to watch "The Gathering"? I figured I was missing something when jumping right into year two of the space station, but it made enough sense to me.
The show more or less starts over with its first season one episode because so much of the cast changes. However, something someone says to Sinclair at the end of The Gathering will be important later in season one.
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Old January 3 2013, 12:10 AM   #8
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

I would recommend that you watch "The Gathering First", or if you want to go chronologically (but this will spoil some plot points later on), "In The Beginning", "The Gathering" and then Season 1.

But for when you reach "Into The Light" (the very last episode of Season 5), make sure that you watch "River Of Souls", "Call To Arms", "The Legend Of The Rangers", "Crusade" (series) and "Lost Tales" first, since RS, CA, and LR take place before Crusade ("Call To Arms" is actually the pilot for Crusade), and occur over the following two years, and the LT takes place 10 years after the fifth season while "Into The Light" takes place 20 years after Season 4.
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Old January 3 2013, 12:16 AM   #9
JoeD80
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Neroon wrote: View Post
One addendum on the actors' deaths
Tim Choate was 49 and Andreas was 59.

tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
RS, CA, and LR take place before Crusade ("Call To Arms" is actually the pilot for Crusade), and occur over the following two years, and the LT takes place 10 years after the fifth season while "Into The Light" takes place 20 years after Season 4.
In a strict chronological sense the spinoffs do go before the final episode of the show; but a lot of it doesn't touch on the same story. "Sleeping in Light" is very specific to the characters in the main 'Babylon 5' show also touching back to several earlier episodes and should be watched directly after "Objects at Rest" IMO.
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Old January 3 2013, 12:17 AM   #10
bigdaddy
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

One step at a time people.
I have to ask my sister for the DVDs. I have bought so many recently (Hundreds of dollars worth) that I need to cut back being I'm moving somewhere this year and don't need all that junk.

I will probably not watch Lost Tales. I have seem clips, it looks incredibly cheap. That and Crusade I'm not worried about yet. Those were made after the rest of B5 so I see no need to watch them during if everyone back in the 90s had to watch them after.
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Old January 3 2013, 01:10 AM   #11
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
One step at a time people.
I have to ask my sister for the DVDs. I have bought so many recently (Hundreds of dollars worth) that I need to cut back being I'm moving somewhere this year and don't need all that junk.

I will probably not watch Lost Tales. I have seem clips, it looks incredibly cheap. That and Crusade I'm not worried about yet. Those were made after the rest of B5 so I see no need to watch them during if everyone back in the 90s had to watch them after.
Lost Tales is fun for seeing some of the series characters again, but they don't make you miss out on anything from the series. They're small budget, to be sure, but are enjoyable. No loss to the main story told in B5 should you skip them, though.
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Old January 3 2013, 01:14 AM   #12
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

It's certainly a rewarding series. Always good to see it getting some new viewers.
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Old January 3 2013, 02:05 AM   #13
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Honestly I was skeptical about B5 when I started buying the sets a few years back. The rivalry between B5 fans and Niners was kind of off putting but... After watching the series in it's entirety I kicked myself. That show was on for five years and I never really gave it a chance. I watched an episode or two but otherwise I missed out. More than that... As much as I loved DS9 I loved B5 that much more. The story was richer, the characters a little fuller and that ending...

What You Leave Behind was a decent series finale but Sleeping in Light... hurt. There was such poignancy and poetry, such soul...

I better stop. I'm rendering myself incomprehensible. Let's just say that B5 was a thing of beauty and leave it that.
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Old January 3 2013, 06:05 AM   #14
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Glad to see another fan onboard.

And for the record, some of us love both B5 and DS9...
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Old January 3 2013, 06:11 AM   #15
Neroon
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
Neroon wrote: View Post
One addendum on the actors' deaths
Tim Choate was 49 and Andreas was 59.
Yeah, I was just doing a quick check from memory, but thanks for providing the corrections.


bigdaddy wrote: View Post
One step at a time people.
- sorry about that. It's always a cool thing to see new folks experience the show, that sometimes we get a little "enthusiastic".


I will probably not watch Lost Tales. I have seem clips, it looks incredibly cheap. That and Crusade I'm not worried about yet. Those were made after the rest of B5 so I see no need to watch them during if everyone back in the 90s had to watch them after.
That is perhaps a good approach to take for now. Focus on the central show and what stories it tells. Eventually, you should watch "Lost Tales" as well as "Crusade", just to have a more complete picture. But for now.. stick to B5 itself.
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