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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old October 1 2013, 04:43 AM   #1
BruntFCA
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B5-Best of season 1?

A while back I started watching Babylon 5 for the first time and only finished the first season before having to quit watching for various reasons but now I plan to finish the series. TBH I found the first season to be pretty hard to get through and have no desire to re-watch the whole thing but I would like to refresh my self with the best and most important episodes.

So what should I re-watch? Thanks for the help.
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Old October 1 2013, 10:00 AM   #2
Robert Comsol
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

To say which are the best is a question of taste, but I'd like to highlight the two important ones, that will be significant for the yet-to-unfold story arc, which are
  • Signs and Portents
  • Chrysalis
Both "A Voice in the Wilderness" and "Babylon Squared" share a connection that will not unfold until "War Without End" in Season Three.

I can understand that you do not want to rewatch the whole first season but since you've made it that far already I'm confident you will really enjoy the second and the outstanding third season (if you have not become a die-hard B-Fiver by the end of Season Three you won't for the rest ).

Babylon 5 is one of these series, IMHO, that gets better with each subsequent season. Just bear in mind that Season Five was essentially an add-on that wasn't really part of JMS original master plan.

Bob
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Old October 1 2013, 11:14 AM   #3
shivkala
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

Just to put it out there: every episode has relevance to the overall story line. I understand you've watched them before, but I do want to caution others who might be coming to this thread without having watched any B5 that they really should watch all of the episodes to make their own judgments or, at least, see how everything fits together.

That being said, I'd argue that you should re-watch:
  • "Midnight on the Firing Line" --which does a good job re-introducing elements from the pilot, while also introducing new characters like Ivanova.
  • "Soul Hunter" --maybe not the best, but it does bring up important themes for the rest of the season/show.
  • "The Parliament of Dreams" --A very important episode for Sinclair's private life. It also does a nice job of explaining the different races through their beliefs.
  • "Mind War" --Introduces Bester.
  • "And the Sky Full of Stars" --Advances Sinclair's story and gives some background to the Earth/Minbari War's end.
  • "Signs and Portents" --Each season had a theme that shared a name with an episode. Season One's theme was "Signs on Portents." This officially introduces a new race that has a major impact on the rest of the series.
  • "A Voice in the Wilderness" --This episode sets up a very important plot point for the future.
  • "Babylon Squared" --This one got me hooked on the show. It involves the mystery behind Babylon 4's disappearance and sets up things for the future in a major way.
  • "Chrysalis" --While Season 4's last episode is great and does have importance for the rest of the series at that point, seasons 1-3 all share a great season finale that propels the story forward while taking plot points sprinkled throughout the season and joining them together in interesting ways.
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Old October 1 2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

It really depends how long it's been since you stopped watching. If it wasn't that long ago and you still have a fairly good memory of events then I would just re-watch 'Chrysalis' and maybe 'Signs & Portents'. If it's been a while and you're struggling to remember plot, characters etc. then perhaps also check out 'The Parliament of Dreams', 'Mind War', 'A Voice in the Wilderness part 1 & 2' & 'Babylon Squared'.

As shivkala said though, season 1 has a lot more foreshadowing than you might think. Just about every episode has something--be it the main plot, a particular character, the b-story or even a single line of dialogue--that will have significance later on down the line. In some instances they don't even pay off until season 4!

One of the few things most B5 fans agree on is that the second complete watch-through is in some ways better than the first since you suddenly see all the little references and tie-ins that went right over your head the first time.
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Old October 1 2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

It's rarely mentioned as a favorite, but I always liked the themes of Deathwalker. While it doesn't appear to tie into much in the future of the series, it is one of the earliest examples of the Vorlon making decisions for the younger races.

Kosh - "You are not ready for immortality."
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Old October 1 2013, 06:37 PM   #6
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

I think everyone above me is correct. Season One is important in many ways, has moments you don't really even understand until you see the rest of B5, and it actually has some charming character building along the way.
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Old October 1 2013, 10:56 PM   #7
3chordboy
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

BruntFCA wrote: View Post
A while back I started watching Babylon 5 for the first time and only finished the first season before having to quit watching for various reasons but now I plan to finish the series. TBH I found the first season to be pretty hard to get through and have no desire to re-watch the whole thing but I would like to refresh my self with the best and most important episodes.

So what should I re-watch? Thanks for the help.
you shouldn't bother with the series at all. you need to re-watch the first season. if not, don't bother.
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Old October 2 2013, 03:55 PM   #8
Robert Comsol
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

^^ I disagree, when Babylon 5 aired on TV those of us who saw it then and didn't record it didn't have the chance to revisit the first season.

I also can't shake the impression that many of us are making suggestions based on the fact that we already did see the entire series and found it worthwhile to rewatch it and then notice all the little hints and giveaways (which made it clear that JMS was continously working towards the revelations we later saw).

I'd say the first season efficiently established for BruntFCA the mood and tone of the Babylon 5 universe.
IMHO, he should worry less about details he might miss and get on with the Season Two and the good stuff and be equally surprised and amazed as our protagonists about the shocking events that are going to unfold in front of them.

Bob
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Old October 2 2013, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: B5-Best of season 1?

As a side note, Midnight on the Firing Line, while not one of the greatest episodes of the season is actually important in that it sets the stage for the plot that will dominate Season 2. Plus the relationships on display in this episode are at the core of the series.
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