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Old August 15 2013, 02:27 PM   #1
Dream
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BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

PLEASE NO FUTURE SPOILERS

I've decided to start watching this series. I've heard many great things about the show. I already know that it starts slow but gets better as it goes along.

Season 1: Signs and Portents


Episode 1: Midnight on the Firing Line
It begins with several ships attacking a colony. We immediately jump into the story quickly with Londo demanding answers from Commander Sinclair. The rivalry between Londo and G'Kar is introduced. G'Kar denies any involvement.

That was a good start. The first thing I quickly noticed was how much more alien races were on the station compared to any Trek series. Several of the leading cast are alien ambassadors, so I'm expecting to learn much more about their races in upcoming episodes.

Episode 2: Soul Hunter
A Soul Hunter visits the station.

This seemed like a horror episode. Weird alien visits the station, to cause murders. We get into discussion about souls, which was something I didn't expect. The most important part of this episode was that we are introduced to the medical chief of staff Dr Franklin.


Episode 3: Born to the Purple
Londo is in trouble when a dancer steals important files from him.

I couldn't help but think how ridiculous the plot was. Someone that is such an important position like Londo gets himself drugged and his computer so quickly hacked. Adira turns out to be a nice girl in trouble, and Londo saves her. Good for her I guess. I did like Londo and G'Kar's interaction as always.

The B plot involves Ivanova contacting her father. Some nice character development.

Episode 4: Infection
A scientist brings a deadly weapon aboard that threatens the lives on the station.

A typical evil alien episode. The weakest one yet. The alien program turns out to have predictably wiped out his own race. Sinclair must pick up a big gun and save the day. In the end a shadowy government group takes the technology.

Episode 5: The Parliament of Dreams
G'Kar's live is in danger when an old rival of his arranges to have him assassinated. Watching G'Kar living on the edge while looking over his shoulder at every moment for the assassin was fun. He starts to suspect everyone around him, at first his new female aid and then starts getting a black flower placed by his pillow as a warnng. Unwilling to ask for help from Sinclair, he decides to handle it on his own.

The B plot is pretty forgettable with Sinclair meeting up with an old flame.

Pretty good comedy episode. G'Kar is quickly starting to become my favorite character. My favorite scenes are G'Kar going to the alien Praying Mantis to hire some muscle, only to find the tough looking bodyguard already dead at his quarters later on.
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Old August 15 2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

You missed the pilot, The Gathering. That's probably okay, it's not the most relevant telemovie ever, and enough of the cast is different to make it a bit odd going back to it now. Still, it does introduce a few mysteries that play out down the road.
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Old August 15 2013, 03:50 PM   #3
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

It sounds like you're reasonably enjoying S1 so far, so I won't make some of the encouraging comments I'd make to those who consider it a bit of a slog.

I will say it's the only season I don't have at home.
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Old August 15 2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Lindley wrote: View Post
You missed the pilot, The Gathering. That's probably okay, it's not the most relevant telemovie ever, and enough of the cast is different to make it a bit odd going back to it now. Still, it does introduce a few mysteries that play out down the road.
That wasn't on the season 1 dvd set. Weird.

I'll check that out after I finish the series. I'll treat it as a flashback episode.
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Old August 15 2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Dream wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
You missed the pilot, The Gathering. That's probably okay, it's not the most relevant telemovie ever, and enough of the cast is different to make it a bit odd going back to it now. Still, it does introduce a few mysteries that play out down the road.
That wasn't on the season 1 dvd set. Weird.

I'll check that out after I finish the series. I'll treat it as a flashback episode.
It isn't packaged with season 1 because it wasn't shot with it. In Region 1, it has been sold in a 2-pack with the movie In The Beginning (which really *is* a flashback, and a stronger movie overall), and also in the B5: The Movies box set.

It's also available on various streaming services, but watch out----the DVD versions are the superior "Special Edition", but some of the streaming services have the original cut which is a bit weirder.
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Old August 15 2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

DonIago wrote: View Post
It sounds like you're reasonably enjoying S1 so far, so I won't make some of the encouraging comments I'd make to those who consider it a bit of a slog.
I survived the first two seasons of TNG and all seven seasons of VOY.
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Old August 15 2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Dream wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
You missed the pilot, The Gathering. That's probably okay, it's not the most relevant telemovie ever, and enough of the cast is different to make it a bit odd going back to it now. Still, it does introduce a few mysteries that play out down the road.
That wasn't on the season 1 dvd set. Weird.

I'll check that out after I finish the series. I'll treat it as a flashback episode.
I actually find that The Gathering (and all of Season 1, really) works better if you watch it at the end of the series anyway. It's insane how much stuff they were setting up for future stories that you really don't realize until after the fact.
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Old August 15 2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Dream wrote: View Post
DonIago wrote: View Post
It sounds like you're reasonably enjoying S1 so far, so I won't make some of the encouraging comments I'd make to those who consider it a bit of a slog.
I survived the first two seasons of TNG and all seven seasons of VOY.
IMHO, Infection, is as bad as Babylon 5 gets. There's another episode later on which is pretty bad too, but, it has an excellent (and meaningful to the overall arc) B-Story to it.

So, having survived Infection, take comfort knowing that there's only one other episode with an A Story that bad, and it's got a fantastic B-Story. There's another S1 story (Babylon 5's version of "The Boxing Episode") which isn't that great if you're someone who hated BSG's Boxing Episode or Voyager's Ultimate Fighting Episode, but, again, the BStory is great character development for Ivanova
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Old August 15 2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
You missed the pilot, The Gathering. That's probably okay, it's not the most relevant telemovie ever, and enough of the cast is different to make it a bit odd going back to it now. Still, it does introduce a few mysteries that play out down the road.
That wasn't on the season 1 dvd set. Weird.

I'll check that out after I finish the series. I'll treat it as a flashback episode.
I actually find that The Gathering (and all of Season 1, really) works better if you watch it at the end of the series anyway. It's insane how much stuff they were setting up for future stories that you really don't realize until after the fact.
Yea, if you're one who doesn't appreciate S1 first time through, it is definitely easier to appreciate on a rewatch. I wouldn't reccomend skipping it until after S5, though. That's the best thing about the show, is the rewatchability of it. Many find new things they never noticed even after 4 or 5 rewatches.
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Old August 15 2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Most of The Gathering isn't important, but you may see flashbacks to it from time to time. Also, it contains a few very good lines.

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Old August 15 2013, 05:34 PM   #11
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Dream wrote: View Post
PLEASE NO FUTURE SPOILERS

I've decided to start watching this series. I've heard many great things about the show. I already know that it starts slow but gets better as it goes along.

Season 1: Signs and Portents


Episode 1: Midnight on the Firing Line
It begins with several ships attacking a colony. We immediately jump into the story quickly with Londo demanding answers from Commander Sinclair. The rivalry between Londo and G'Kar is introduced. G'Kar denies any involvement.

That was a good start. The first thing I quickly noticed was how much more alien races were on the station compared to any Trek series. Several of the leading cast are alien ambassadors, so I'm expecting to learn much more about their races in upcoming episodes.

Episode 2: Soul Hunter
A Soul Hunter visits the station.

This seemed like a horror episode. Weird alien visits the station, to cause murders. We get into discussion about souls, which was something I didn't expect. The most important part of this episode was that we are introduced to the medical chief of staff Dr Franklin.


Episode 3: Born to the Purple
Londo is in trouble when a dancer steals important files from him.

I couldn't help but think how ridiculous the plot was. Someone that is such an important position like Londo gets himself drugged and his computer so quickly hacked. Adira turns out to be a nice girl in trouble, and Londo saves her. Good for her I guess. I did like Londo and G'Kar's interaction as always.

The B plot involves Ivanova contacting her father. Some nice character development.

Episode 4: Infection
A scientist brings a deadly weapon aboard that threatens the lives on the station.

A typical evil alien episode. The weakest one yet. The alien program turns out to have predictably wiped out his own race. Sinclair must pick up a big gun and save the day. In the end a shadowy government group takes the technology.

Episode 5: The Parliament of Dreams
G'Kar's live is in danger when an old rival of his arranges to have him assassinated. Watching G'Kar living on the edge while looking over his shoulder at every moment for the assassin was fun. He starts to suspect everyone around him, at first his new female aid and then starts getting a black flower placed by his pillow as a warnng. Unwilling to ask for help from Sinclair, he decides to handle it on his own.

The B plot is pretty forgettable with Sinclair meeting up with an old flame.

Pretty good comedy episode. G'Kar is quickly starting to become my favorite character. My favorite scenes are G'Kar going to the alien Praying Mantis to hire some muscle, only to find the tough looking bodyguard already dead at his quarters later on.
How are you watching it? Is it out on DVD?
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Old August 15 2013, 05:55 PM   #12
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

It's been out on DVD for years.
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Old August 15 2013, 06:12 PM   #13
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Sindatur wrote: View Post
IMHO, Infection, is as bad as Babylon 5 gets. There's another episode later on which is pretty bad too, but, it has an excellent (and meaningful to the overall arc) B-Story to it.
For some odd reason I've never viewed Infection as one of those really, really bad episodes. Maybe it's just nostalgia because it was the first episode I saw, but other than the clunky and obvious rubber suit, it's not that bad. And at least it introduces Franklin and shows clearly that Sinclair has a bad habit of putting his life in danger.
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Old August 15 2013, 10:01 PM   #14
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

I'll only watch "The Gathering" if it's the original version with the Stewart Copeland score...

That's what made me come back for the series, after watching the pilot movie on 2/22/93, since I'm a big fan of Copeland's work on The Equalizer (stopped watching that show when he stopped doing the music!).

The other reason to watch "The Gathering" is the meeting between Lyta & G'Kar, where he wonders about her "pleasure threshold", which she doesn't answer until almost the last episode of the series... five years later!
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Old August 15 2013, 10:04 PM   #15
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Re: BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

The greatest live-action sci-fi show ever made. Don't listen to the haters, Season 1 is terrific and has many strong episodes. Certainly much better than TNG S1 and S2.

I strongly recommend not skipping The Gathering.
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