BABYLON 5 - First time watching series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dream, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    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. :lol:
     
  2. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    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.
     
  3. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    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.
     
  6. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I survived the first two seasons of TNG and all seven seasons of VOY.;)
     
  7. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    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.
     
  8. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  9. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    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.

    "My god man, we've become a tourist attraction! Come see the great Centauri Republic! Open nine to five....Earth time."
     
  11. crookeddy

    crookeddy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How are you watching it? Is it out on DVD?
     
  12. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    It's been out on DVD for years.
     
  13. Aeon

    Aeon Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  14. Chris_Johnston

    Chris_Johnston Captain Captain

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    I'll only watch "The Gathering" if it's the original version with the Stewart Copeland score...
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc9KM9YQ-WQ[/yt]
    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!
     
  15. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  16. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^
    QFT.

    I also recommend not skipping The Gathering. Try to see both versions of The Gathering if you haver the chance to. I actually prefer the original verison, myself. It has a less slick, kinda funky vibe that appeals to me.
     
  17. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Parliament of Dreams is my favorite episode in the first half of Season One, it's just really well written and lots of fun and turns G'Kar into a great comedic character rather than the one dimensional bad guy we'd seen prior to that. It was the first episode that JMS wrote after production began, so he had a chance to see the sets and actors and how it was all working out and adjust accordingly.
     
  18. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Episode 6: Mind War
    A rogue telepath with powerful abilities arrive on the station, and two PSI Cops are after him.

    Great episode. This episode really expands the universe of Babylon 5, when learn about the Psi Corps and Psi-Cops. They seem to be a shadowy part of the government like Section 31 from DS9, and not nice people at all. The fugitive telepath Jason is on the run and we find out from him about the "experiments" about creating weaponized telepaths and perhaps the Psi Corps taking over the Earth government, which I'm assuming is completely true and will be followed on in future episodes. Some of Talia's background is covered along with her connection with Jason.

    Babylon 5 is already doing a MUCH better job with its telepaths than Trek ever did with its barely developed Betazoid race and Troi. I like how the telepath are used more as weapons and tools, instead of being on the bridge and always telling the commander how distrustful the alien of the week is. They also have their own "rules".

    I love how Talia is so professional and doesn't need to wear stupid catsuits to look sexy. I have say all the coin moving reminded me of "Looper" which I watched recently!

    Also special guest star, Walter Koenig! Nice seeing him again. Were Trek fans upset about him being on a rival Sci Fi franchise at the same time as the later Trek shows were on?

    Episode 7: The War Prayer
    A racist group is terrorizing aliens on Babylon 5.

    The moment Susan's former boyfriend appeared, I already pegged him as a member of the racist humans. My villain radar went off so fast it wasn't funny. It was strange seeing racist humans, since I've been so used to the humans of Trek.

    The "plot" to eliminate all the major alien leaders didn't appear be thought out very well. Killing all four major ambassadors on the station, and everywhere else on Earth seems too large scale. Way too many things could have gone wrong.

    It was nice to finally get confirmation about all the major alien representatives on the station though: G'Kar, Londo, Delenn, and wild card Kosh? Kosh's armor/suit looks awesome, and it is great how secretive they are making the Vorlon race right now.

    There were a couple of lines referring to "the incident" involving Kosh being poisoned through the hand in the past. I'm assuming this event was covered in "The Gathering"?

    The B plot about the two Centauri teens running away together to get away from an arranged marriage was pretty meh, but I guess it was connected well enough to the A plot. I guess it was also there to show that Londo is a decent guy since he helped them.

    Episode 8: And the Sky Full of Stars
    Sinclair is kidnapped and forced to relive painful memories that he had thought he had lost.

    BIG MYTHOLOGY EPISODE?! I'm assuming this episode will become huge in the near future.

    The plot to kidnap Sinclair and the VR interrogation was by the numbers, even reusing sets from station (reminded me of the Bashir running around in an empty DS9 station in his head episode).

    What REALLY interested me was the memories he had apparently forgotten near the end of the war. Apparently the Minbari (I just now realize it was Delenn's race) was going to destroy Earth in a war, except when they finally surrender for no reason. The scene with him surrounded by the cloak figures was pretty creepy. Sinclair looks to have been involved somehow.

    I'm very surprised we haven't seeing more hostility/resentment between the humans and Minbari after that kind of war. You just can't expect people to let that go even after 10 years.

    The episode ends on an ominous note with a Minbari stranger appearing in Delenn's quarters telling Delenn that she must kill Sinclair if he ever remembers the truth. My theory is that the Minbari were interrupted from destroying Earth by a more powerful race. I don't know why something like that would need to be kept a secret though.

    Episode 9: Deathwalker
    A war criminal is discovered on the station, who may have the means to create an immortality drug.

    Okay episode, after the previous three good episodes. The "dilemma" never worked for me. I always thought the Deathwalker should be punished for her crimes of genocide, especially since she was so damn smug about it. The immortally drug felt too good to every work or last, the trope/cliche about the Fountain of Youth never being being found or be allowed to be kept around was present here (it was what doomed Star Trek: Insurrection), so I was so expecting the Deathwalker to get shanked before the episode ended.

    Kosh saves this episode at the end by ordering one of his ships to blow the criminal up, and shrugs at the silly aliens around him. He should have done that the moment they discovered who she was!

    Episode 10: Believers
    An alien couple wants to allow their son to die instead of getting a life saving surgery from Dr. Franklin.

    A good filler episode. As a doctor, Franklin obviously wants to save the boy. The entire argument is about whether the boy should be saved or allowed to die because of the parents' religion. Each side had a point.

    The B plot with Susan saving the families felt a bit like a time waster, and only there to end the episode on a more positive note.
     
  19. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    @Dream: 'Welcome to the club'.

    I personally don't find The Gathering to be all that critically essential, but 'to each their own'.
     
  20. Aeon

    Aeon Commander Red Shirt

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    Mind War is a great episode and G'Kar really gets a chance to shine and show a different, perhaps a bit more compassionate side.

    "Let me pass on to you the one thing I've learned about this place. No one here is exactly what he appears. Not Mollari, not Delenn, not Sinclair... and not me."

    So true. And that thing about ants... cool stuff!
     

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