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Old July 6 2009, 03:04 PM   #1
Alex1939
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New to Babylon 5

Hello. I've recently gone in with a friend and purchased the movie set and full 5 seasons of Babylon 5.

Does this sound like a correct viewing order? (taken from an Amazon.com review)

"1. Watch the B5 movie "The Gathering"
The Babylon 5 pilot movie The Gathering was originally broadcast in 1993 a full year ahead of the regular show.
2. Season 1
3. Season 2
4. Season 3
5. Watch Season 4 up to episode "The illusion of truth"
6. Watch the B5 movie "Thirdspace"
7. Season 4: continue with episodes 9-22
8. Watch Season 5 up to episode "Objects at Rest"
9. Watch the B5 movie "River of Souls"
10. Watch the B5 movie "In the Beginning"
This is a prelude set 10 years before Babylon 5. Against the logic of the title, I would strongly recommend seeing it at this stage. Should one see it before Season 1, much of the suspense in the main series would be ruined.
11. Watch the B5 movie "A Call to Arms"
This movie lays the groundwork for the spin-off TV series "Crusade".
12. Season 5: watch final episode "Sleeping in light"
13. Watch Crusade Series "


So far I've watched "The Gathering" and the first disk of season 1. The Gathering had me very worried I was going to hate this show. I liked the concept, but some of the actors were HORRIBLE. and I never liked early CGI, so unfortunately I'm not going to get much out of the effects, but that's ok if the story is interesting.

Luckily for me, and smart move by the producers, much of the cast changed from The Gathering to the First Season. I enjoyed 3 of the 4 episodes on disk one. Episode 4 I thought was terrible.

I seem to like the guest actors as much as many of the main characters. My 2 biggest complaints from season 1 so far would be that the (sorry I forget actual race name)... the reptilian evil-species is too over the top stupid and comes off cheesy. They are the dumb evil race, ya know.

That and I'm not a big fan of the captain's acting, although it's much better than in The Gathering.
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Old July 6 2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: New to Babylon 5

After the Gathering, I would just watch the series straight through, and not worry about the TV movies. Most...actually, none,...are necessary for the viewing of the show.

They are good additions.
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Old July 6 2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: New to Babylon 5

infection is a very ridiculous episode, but there's a little tidbit that pays off.
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Old July 6 2009, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Meh, the most simple and perhaps most logical viewing order is still the production/original airing order (although it isn't always chronological).

Although the story is set there, you don't have to watch Thirdspace in the middle of Season 4. And I would also adivse against watching anything between "Objects at Rest" and "Sleeping in Light". Despite the fact that a lot of episodes and movies are taking place in the 19-year-gap between those two episodes, "Sleeping in Light" is still a direct sequel to "Objects at Rest" story-wise and you're supposed to watch it then. And in any case DO NOT WATCH "IN THE BEGINNING" PRIOR TO SEASON 4.


The production/original airing order:

The Gathering
Seasons 1-4
In the Beginning & Thirdspace (although you could watch it after Season 5 just as well)
Season 5
The River of Souls
A Call to Arms
Crusade
The Legend of the Rangers
The Lost Tales

Quality-wise, Babylon 5 certainly hit its peak during Seasons 3 and 4.



Alex1939 wrote: View Post
My 2 biggest complaints from season 1 so far would be that the (sorry I forget actual race name)... the reptilian evil-species is too over the top stupid and comes off cheesy. They are the dumb evil race, ya know.
You mean the Narn? Well, then you're certainly in for a big surprise here.


Alex1939 wrote: View Post
That and I'm not a big fan of the captain's acting, although it's much better than in The Gathering.
You won't have to worry about that very long either.

Last edited by Ensign_Redshirt; July 6 2009 at 04:34 PM.
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Old July 6 2009, 04:01 PM   #5
The Evil Dead
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Re: New to Babylon 5

I wouldn't watch River of Souls and Call to Arms before Sleeping in Light, the series finale. Sleeping in Light works best when watched on the heels of Objects in Motion/Objects at Rest. I feel like waiting would dilute a bit of the dramatic strength of the episode. Watch it, then go back and treat everything else as a bonus.

Watch Thirdspace after Illusion of Truth, or wait until after you've seen it all, it doesn't matter. Thirdspace is a fun diversion, it adds nothing to the overall story but is entertaining all the same. In the Beginning, I'd watch after season 4 personally.
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Old July 6 2009, 04:01 PM   #6
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Listen to Ensign Redshirt. And contain your expectations, effects-wise. While cutting edge back then, it looks a little cheesy now. The first season is necessary for over all plot, but Season 2 is where it really takes off. As for the Narn, oh, boy, are you in for a surprise along the way. Andreas Kastulas turns in a performance for the ages. The key to B5 is to pay attention to details.Stuff that doesn't seem important now becomes major plotlines as the series advances. Oh, and have fun!
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Old July 6 2009, 04:28 PM   #7
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Thanks for all the advice

From time to time I'll give my thoughts on the show as a whole. I've found myself to be a big fan of space science-fiction. As far as TV shows, NUbsg and Firefly are by far my favorites in the genre, followed by TNG, DS9, ToS.

My most optimistic expectations for Babylon 5 are to rival DS9 for overall enjoyment in a series. I'm looking forward to watching season 1, disc 2 later tonight.

I'm also glad to hear the "Narn" become more serious and less clownlike in the future.
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Old July 6 2009, 04:34 PM   #8
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
After the Gathering, I would just watch the series straight through, and not worry about the TV movies. Most...actually, none,...are necessary for the viewing of the show.

They are good additions.
Correct.

After the pilot movie, the other movies can wait until you've watched the end of the series. They're mostly "treats" and added fun, a way of looking at more adventures with the cast and crew of the station. They're all side trips and such.

When you come back again and watch the series a second time (and, you will), then you can put them in chronological order. Which, in one case, involves stopping an episode after the beginning teaser, watching a movie, and then going back to the stopped episode.

Take the easy way the first time.
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Old July 6 2009, 04:40 PM   #9
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Alex1939 wrote: View Post
Thanks for all the advice

From time to time I'll give my thoughts on the show as a whole. I've found myself to be a big fan of space science-fiction. As far as TV shows, NUbsg and Firefly are by far my favorites in the genre, followed by TNG, DS9, ToS.

My most optimistic expectations for Babylon 5 are to rival DS9 for overall enjoyment in a series. I'm looking forward to watching season 1, disc 2 later tonight.
Well, you could perhaps describe it as somewhat similar to DS9 and nuBSG. Overall, it's less bleak than nuBSG and more arc-driven than DS9.

The fact that its story arcs (which start to fully dominate the show later on) were largely pre-planned several seasons in advance can be cited as B5's most characteristic feature. This means they already knew what they're gonna do in Season 3 etc. when they were producing Season 1.
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Old July 6 2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Alex1939 wrote: View Post
I'm also glad to hear the "Narn" become more serious and less clownlike in the future.
I'm going to try to say this as best I can, without giving away big spoilers, so bear with me.

In an episode early in the first season, G'Kar is talking with a Human female, and says "No one here is exactly what they appear."

It's true. No one there is exactly what they appear on the surface. They also don't stay the same. Not a one of them. Every single person has their own individual character arc. They grow, they evolve, they change. The person who appears to be a throwaway clown in the beginning becomes something much greater. The person who seems the most warrior-militaristic becomes the most spiritual. The one who seems the most cold and distant becomes ... in a way, the comedian.

Things change. Often. And even in crap episodes like Infection, there are things that tie in to what happens later. There is not a single throwaway episode of the 110. Now, there are times I wish I could cut out about half of an episode and splice it together with half of another episode, and have one really great one, and one I could toss out an airlock (TKO, anyone?), but even then, the stories are about the characters.
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Old July 6 2009, 05:23 PM   #11
Triskelion
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Re: New to Babylon 5

I love watching the evolution of this show.

And without a doubt the anchor of this series has got to be the actor's performances through their character's changes - and of course the writing. The effects are irrelevant to this story. Don't sweat them.
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Old July 6 2009, 05:52 PM   #12
Jan
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Alex1939 wrote: View Post
From time to time I'll give my thoughts on the show as a whole.
Yes, please! It's fun for those of us who've seen the show many times to see others experiencing it for the first time.

I don't generally get involved in the 'what order' discussions except for one thing. I strongly feel that you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you were to break up the last three episodes of Season 5 with anything else in between. The complicated order can wait until the second or third viewing.

Enjoy!

Jan
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Old July 6 2009, 06:53 PM   #13
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Mistral wrote: View Post
Listen to Ensign Redshirt. And contain your expectations, effects-wise. While cutting edge back then, it looks a little cheesy now.
Actually, it looked like crap back then too
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Old July 6 2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is the greatest TV show ever made. The first season is definitely a work in progress though. Things get MUCH better in Season 2. And Season 3 is amazing.
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Old July 6 2009, 07:14 PM   #15
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Re: New to Babylon 5

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Babylon 5 is the greatest TV show ever made. The first season is definitely a work in progress though. Things get MUCH better in Season 2. And Season 3 is amazing.
I don't know if I'd go that far.

Season 3 is definitely one of the best season in TV (and certainly Sci-Fi) history, but much of the rest of the show ranges from simply mediocre to down right dreadful.
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