Babylon 5 or Lexx?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by FIDONZ, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. FIDONZ

    FIDONZ Cadet Newbie

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    Hi, I just found this forum while searching for discussions on Babylon 5 and Lexx. I read a few threads and noticed that many forum members share my appreciation for all things sci-fi, so I signed up. After all, who better to help me out with my dilemma than like-minded sci-fi fans?

    This is the decision I have to make; I have enough cash to spare to buy an entire series. There are several I have never seen before (I tend to avoid good sci-fi until I can catch a series from the start so as not to spoil the plot) and I have whittled it down to two; should I buy Babylon 5 or Lexx?

    Please, no spoilers, but which of the two would you recommend and why?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Since Lexx has been rereleased you can get the entire series pretty cheaply, but it's a wild ride and you don't know much about the show you're going to be a shocked by some of it. B5 will cost you a bit more and it's a more sedate series.
     
  3. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    (I can't comment on Lexx).

    Recently I picked up the five seasons of Babylon 5 on dvd.

    In the past, I've only seen some random episodes of B5. (Never seen the entire series sequentially). Previously, I didn't really think too much about the episodes or the show in general.

    After watching the first several episodes of season 1 on dvd, I like what I've seen so far.

    Part of the reason why I initially dismissed Babylon 5 (B5), is that I watched Crusade (a B5 spinoff) before watching any episodes of B5.

    Crusade seemed like a bunch of disjointed episodes, without much of a storyline. Subsequently watching some random B5 episodes out of sequence, seemed to reinforce this viewpoint.

    I wrongly thought B5 was just like another disjointed Crusade type show.


    (Recently I picked up all five seasons of B5 on dvd as an impulse buy, when I saw them for less than $10 each per season).

    Much to my surprise, B5 has an ongoing coherent storyline. Sorta like an ongoing soap opera on a space station.

    The visual style of B5 is what I like in a sci-fi type show. I didn't realize what I was missing out on, over all these years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2012
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    That's because it was, but only because of TNT network's overpowering interference. Half of the first 13 episodes were in the can already when TNT demanded massive changes. The producer made those changes under protest, and shot the next half of the episodes. Then TNT demanded they show the episodes with the changes first, and because Straczynski always has a linear plot arc in mind, any sense of order went all the hell. The big story arc wasn't going to start until late first season or season 2, so we never even got a hint at what was going to happen.

    Crusade is best watched AFTER Babylon 5, and with the network screw-job kept in mind.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    As to which to watch, B5 or Lexx - well, they're two very, VERY different shows!

    B5 is a 5-season-long novel, pitting humans against godlike forces for control of the galaxy, with many wonderful stories of personal and interpersonal struggle along the way, and epic, galaxy-shattering events. Plus, ya know, lotsa cool space battles. Keep in mind, at the beginning, that the CGI is some of the very first CGI special effects ever used on TV, so it starts out a bit crude. By season 3 it's state-of-the-art for the times. Also, season 1 is almost all set-up, like the early chapters of a book. Some people think it's kinda dull, but each episode has a little plot arc clue that may pay off several seasons later. It picks up the pace in Season 2, then everything explodes in S3 and the ride gets wild.

    Lexx? well, I started watching it when it came out, thought it was insane over-the-top softcore porn, and gave up on it.
     
  6. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    Definitely.

    I was given the Crusade dvd set as an xmas gift many years ago. Didn't know much (nor cared) about Crusade or Babylon 5 at the time. But I watched the Crusade dvds anyways, when I was bored on a long weekend.
     
  7. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's more to Lexx than that (although that's definitely part of it). It's best episodes are bizarre surreal farces - a character playing a game of chess with a Death-like antagonist, the cast being compelled to sing in a musical about the undead character's living days. At it's worst, Lexx is the worst TV show I've willingly sat through, but in its better hours, it was pretty fun.

    But to answer the OP's question, Babylon 5 is a better purchase. Lexx has it's moments, but it's wildly uneven and it's probably too weird and/or too filthy or too often terrible for most viewers. And even then, when it comes to outre space opera, Farscape is by far the better series.

    Babylon 5 has it's own share of problems - the first season is of decidedly mixed quality - but it when it gets going, it has some of the most satisfying arced narratives in sci-fi TV, and in Londo Mollari, one of the genre's best characters.

    I hope this helped.
     
  8. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    As has been stated Lexx and B5 are two completely different animals.

    I can't speak to an arc in Lexx, I never paid enough attention to get an arc out of it, but, what I did see, definitely seemed to have little more of a storytelling goal in mind, then the characters going from place to place trying to get laid.

    Babylon 5 took itself very seriously (some think a little too seriously) and is my all time favorite series (behind it are ST: DS9 and Farscape).
     
  9. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    All four seasons of Lexx have clear arcs, complete with typically bizarre payoffs. Season three is the most densely arced, so it generally does benefit from being watched in order.
     
  10. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Babylon 5 is the second greatest thing that ever happened to science fiction. It would be first, but there's this little universe called "Star Trek".

    As for Lexx. I've never seen it, so can't comment either for or against. But I can't imagine it's better than Babylon 5.

    Although, you might, so who knows?
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Babylon 5 is one of the greatest sci-fi series ever created. Just overlook the effects and (sometimes) the acting and focus on the story.

    Lexx I could not get into at all. I tried a few times and just gave up, it seemed awful.
     
  12. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lexx has one redeeming feature - the Brunnen-G anthem - well, two redeeming features if you include Eva Habermann, but she only appeared in the first season and maybe a couple of S2 episodes. Other than that, it had some stunning conceptual ideas that weren't realised in its execution. Rent, don't buy, in my opinion.

    Babylon 5 all the way...
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    LEXX always frustrated me. It always sounded interesting and appealing and boldly offbeat on paper, but the show itself was never as funny or sexy or interesting as I wanted it to be . . . .

    I'd go with B-5.
     
  14. FIDONZ

    FIDONZ Cadet Newbie

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    I've read a lot of opinions on Babylon 5 being one of the all time best sci-fi series. So I've decided to buy that over Lexx.

    Thank you to everyone for sharing their thoughts.
     
  15. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I would have gone with paint drying.
     
  16. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Babylon 5 hands down..

    Lexx is just too weird and out there to keep my interest but B5 has an amazing storyline and some of SF's best character arcs ever.

    Just don't get bogged down by the lesser first season which still lays the foundations of some story elements that pay off later and try not to get too critical about its special effects.. it's a show from the 90s after all and it shows sometimes.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Always keep in mind that B5 blazed the trail for TV CGI effects, and helped develop the LightWave program, then on the Amiga/Video Toaster platform. They showed that a TV sci fi show could do affordable special effects on a grand scale. Don't look down on them if the still-developing effects don't look perfect yet, rather thank them for showing us the way. :)
     
  18. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There were some B5 episodes that I did enjoy. It often got long-windedly speechifying, but there were arcs (such as the Babylon 4 saga) that I honestly liked.

    I don't think I've ever seen a full episode of Lexx, although I did see some previews and it did look like porn to me. (I just looked it up on Wiki and now it *really* looks like porn.) So I can't say I miss it.
     
  19. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh, yes, the Sheridan speech to Vorlon/Shadows was so AWESOMERZ! that it ended a million year old war. Totally believable.

    It needed more Londo too.
     
  20. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sheridan: "Now get the hell out of our galaxy!"

    Borg: "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."
    <ZAP>

    Sheridan: "I am Locutus of Borg"