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Old November 25 2009, 12:10 AM   #1
Lazarus
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Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

I've begun watching Babylon 5's first season, got it series linked on my Sky plus and I'm currently up to episode 9

Gotta say I'm quite enjoying it so far, I used to watch a few of the later episodes many years ago but never saw the early ones.

Some of the acting IS a little dubious, Michael O'Hare seems to be trying his best but I feel he lacks the charisma for the leading role in the series - he seems a little wooden most of the time. Same goes for Claudia Christian. She isn't convincing somehow, just looks like an actress reading lines if you know what I mean. Andrea Thompson is pretty abysmal most of the time.

That said, Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas seem to have been born for the roles they play. Jerry Doyle is convincing as well, as is Richard Biggs.

A lot of the dialog sounds extremely forced when delivered by the actors.

The sad fact is that you need more money to make a high-concept show like this - to build the sets, create the spaceships and special effects, and to higher 'better' actors to play the roles.

With more money thrown at it these first episodes would have been phenomenal I'm sure.
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Old November 25 2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Lazarus wrote: View Post
I've begun watching Babylon 5's first season, got it series linked on my Sky plus and I'm currently up to episode 9
So am I (though I've seen the series before). I've been bloviating about it on this thread, and have been careful to avoid spoilers for episodes later than the ones already aired. I've fallen a trifle behind, but I've got it Sky Plussed so more ramblings soon.


The sad fact is that you need more money to make a high-concept show like this - to build the sets, create the spaceships and special effects, and to higher 'better' actors to play the roles.

With more money thrown at it these first episodes would have been phenomenal I'm sure.
With a bigger budget B5 might have been better, but trust me, it really does become something in time. Or so my memory tells me. Stick around, anyhow - and yes, I'd pretty much agree exactly with the rest of your post.
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Old November 25 2009, 12:19 AM   #3
Lazarus
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Kegg wrote: View Post
So am I (though I've seen the series before). I've been bloviating about it on this thread, and have been careful to avoid spoilers for episodes later than the ones already aired. I've fallen a trifle behind, but I've got it Sky Plussed so more ramblings soon.
Ha ha this'll probably get closed soon then so I think I'll come and chat about it over there!
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Old November 25 2009, 04:21 AM   #4
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

I think it comes down to the little things that make your jaw drop or make you go 'that was cool'. The planning of the arc is really the show's biggest winner.
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Old November 25 2009, 05:05 AM   #5
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Michael O'Hare goes back and forth between bemused/ethereal and earnest/determined. It works for the character, especially when you find out more about him.
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Old November 25 2009, 04:53 PM   #6
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

I get the feeling Claudia was directed to be "a serious Russian" or some nonsense like that in the beginning. But her own personality is so goofy that I think they let her put more of herself into her character as they got to know her, and midway thru season one she becomes an absolute delight to watch. In later seasons she has some of the best comic lines.

I'm afraid Andrea never gets any better, though.
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Old November 25 2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Lazarus wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
So am I (though I've seen the series before). I've been bloviating about it on this thread, and have been careful to avoid spoilers for episodes later than the ones already aired. I've fallen a trifle behind, but I've got it Sky Plussed so more ramblings soon.
Ha ha this'll probably get closed soon then so I think I'll come and chat about it over there!
Probably not. There is always room for more Babylon 5.

As for Andrea, no, she never gets any better. I actually think she's worse the more that goes on. But do stick with it, she's only a minor part of the show.

Forbin - JMS denies it, but I agree with you. Claudia seems to be doing a silly/bad Russian impression in the beginning, at least for the first half of season one. She loosens up a bit and drops the accent (again, some say there isn't one, but it is there).

About Michael O'Hare - The first time through, I thought he was such a wooden character, I couldn't stand him. By the time I watched it the second time, I had an understanding of the character. That's the way the character was written. Maybe he was written to be wooden, I dunno. But every once in awhile, Sinclair does something that isn't just standing around talking, he does a bit of action, and the woodenness is gone, if briefly.

Lazarus - There are many websites and episode guides and such devoted to the series. Don't visit any of them. They are spoiler-filled, and during your first run through the series, you shouldn't know what's coming. It takes away some of the magic. There is a lot of greatness that comes, especially during the third and fourth seasons, but the groundwork for it is set now. If you know what comes, you'll start looking for it, and you may miss out on the bigger story by trying to find the little bits. Just go with it, and please do let us know what you think.
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Old November 25 2009, 09:53 PM   #8
Candlefright
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
About Michael O'Hare - The first time through, I thought he was such a wooden character, I couldn't stand him. By the time I watched it the second time, I had an understanding of the character. That's the way the character was written. Maybe he was written to be wooden, I dunno.
JMS has said time and again that Michael's acting style was like that. Fans often thought he wasn't good but that was how he did his stuff. I agree, first time round he was hard to watch, but I've grown to like his portrayal.
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Old November 25 2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Candlelight wrote: View Post
OmahaStar wrote: View Post
About Michael O'Hare - The first time through, I thought he was such a wooden character, I couldn't stand him. By the time I watched it the second time, I had an understanding of the character. That's the way the character was written. Maybe he was written to be wooden, I dunno.
JMS has said time and again that Michael's acting style was like that. Fans often thought he wasn't good but that was how he did his stuff. I agree, first time round he was hard to watch, but I've grown to like his portrayal.
The one thing I noticed about Michael O'Hare was he seemed to breath heavily a lot. I noticed it mainly in Babylon Squared, but it was a bit amusing.

Also, I too rewatched the series (first time in 10 years so it was like watching the first time) and reviewed all the episodes in this thread even thought it's gotten very long. I still have it subscribed but havn't really needed to bring it back because I just got Farscape and kinda put B5 to the side for now. Will get back to it in time though.
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Old November 26 2009, 02:33 AM   #10
BillJ
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Picked up the first season today ($19.99 - Wal-Mart). Never watched it before, hope it's good.
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Old November 26 2009, 02:36 AM   #11
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

^ It's the greatest show ever made, but give it a chance! Season One is a rough trick.
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Old November 26 2009, 09:03 PM   #12
JoeD80
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

Forbin wrote: View Post
I get the feeling Claudia was directed to be "a serious Russian" or some nonsense like that in the beginning. But her own personality is so goofy that I think they let her put more of herself into her character as they got to know her
OmahaStar wrote: View Post
JMS denies it, but I agree with you. Claudia seems to be doing a silly/bad Russian impression in the beginning, at least for the first half of season one.
The character was meant to start out stiff and loosen up over time and Joe said as much.

jms wrote:
Suddenly she doesn't have ... to be a certain way, and she has to start finding her *own* identity, and it ain't easy.

Last edited by JoeD80; November 26 2009 at 09:13 PM.
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Old November 27 2009, 06:16 AM   #13
D Man
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

I have to chuckle every time I watch the season 1 intro at the way O'Hare says "...and wanderers." It's both incredibly cheesy and really awesome at the same time, which is kind of how I'd describe the way he portrays Sinclair in general. I liked his sad little smiles and his easy-going relationship with Garibaldi.
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Old November 27 2009, 06:22 AM   #14
Hyperspace05
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

I liked Sinclair from the beginning... I found him a very interesting character. I liked Sheridan as well, but he always wore his emotions on his sleeves. Quite a different character. I would have liked to see B5 continue with Sinclair, but it was not to be...
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Old November 27 2009, 07:45 AM   #15
Anthony Sabre
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Re: Watching Babylon 5 from the start.

I did this a year and a half ago. You're in for a treat. I hadn't watched a single episode of B5 before I bought the entire series. I intended to just watch an episode a day over a few months. Instead I got so engrossed in the series that I was watching 3-4 episodes a day. Finished the entire show in about 5 weeks I think.

I loved Sinclair and missed him for the remainder of the series. I gradually came to respect Sheridan by season four, but he still paled in comparison.
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