Babylon 5: The Gathering/In the Beginning

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by BruntFCA, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And, if you want Chekhov himself to be there as a gun is ung, you have to watch "Mind War." :cool:


    Though I don't picture Crusher in Franklin's spot. I could, conceivably see Pulaski being there. However, I could also see some deus ex machina somehow taking the story in a different direction than B5 went in.
     
  2. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, the A plot device is mentioned in season 2, and is given enough explanation that no one i know had a hard time with it. Of course, it later used in a gut punch in 4.

    But that as close as i am going to walk to spoilers.
     
  3. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    You might rewatch Ethics then beacause there's no way I could see that being a scene on TNG.
     
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^The premise may have been very TNG-esq, but the resolution is something else altogether. I can't see TNG ever going down that road.

    ...DS9 maybe, but not TNG.
     
  5. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure it's really that important and there's no way I'd compare B5 to DS9, the rules of Star Trek post the Prime Directive pretty much guides DS9, Voyager and TNG.

    Still though on topic, TNT audiences saw In The Beginning before seeing the rest of the series and it really didn't matter all that much to them.

    And I've always thought the way movie moves from Sheridan to Sinclair to be alttle odd. For us long time fans we know who they are and what their roles in the storyline is but Sinclear really doesn't get a proper introduction in the movie nor does the movie tell the viewer what happened to Sheridan.
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    **SPOILERS**

    In the Beginning suffers from the Same problem Revenge of the Sith. Instead of laying extra clues so that it's possible to watch them in chronological order without spoiling anything. Lucas in particular wasted half an hour of air time tying up loose ends that simply did not need tying up. Leave Anakin burning and presumed dead on the edge of the volcano, don't use the V word,don't show the birth of the children, DON'T KILL PADME FOR NO REASON EFFECTIVELY CONTRADICTING DIALOGUE FROM RETURN OF THE JEDI and don't underscore in fluorescent pink both the names of the children and where they end up.

    The could have shown what happened on the Minbari ship without spelling things out I think.
     
  7. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    I never understood the "skip episodes in season one or even the whole season to get to the good stuff in season 2." 90% of television series are going to be better in their second season. Doesn't mean they were bad in the first.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    While that is probably true, it doesn't stop a lot of the first season from being lousy.
     
  9. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    Right. Look at Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example. Most of its first season is dogshit, outside of a handful of episodes, and the second season still had some major growing pains.
     
  10. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know, right? To me a show's first season being generally the weakest is a *good* thing. It means it got better as it went along and didn't deteriorate with each subsequent season. Indeed, there are a number of notably mediocre/bad shows that pretty much fit that description. 'Earth: Final Conflict', 'Andromeda' and 'Sliders' leap to mind.
     
  11. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Honestly I was recommended by B5 fans to watch In the Beginning first, and while it spoiled me, it also basically gave me a reason to keep watching through the first year. So there is something to just watching that (or a selective viewing of the first season boiled down the 'essential' episodes, which is the approach that the AV Club's recent Babylon 5 reviews have suggested).

    Relatively, sure. But that a show gets better can be reason to stick with it during a rocky first year that doesn't excuse the first year from being in many respects really terrible.

    You want a show to get better, but you'd prefer it (ideally) to also not get really bad. TNG's been mentioned, and I love that show too, and that show had a pretty dreadful first year, and just because the series really put itself back together in its third year on TV doesn't mean it had to be as bad as it started out as.
     
  12. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    Heroes

    I definitely think with Babylon 5 it was a result of JMS writing a novel for television. While the first few chapters of a novel do have to hook you, how many people say, "Oh, that's a great book, I loved the first few chapters."
     
  13. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    I ranted about that suggestion at the time too. Season one is what hooked me on to the show. I don't buy the assertion that it's not a good season. Of course I like "Infection" so what do I know. But I managed to hook two of my friends on B5 with the first six or so episodes.
     
  14. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Dune :p
     
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^The exception that proves the rule? ;)
    Oh I agree, but it's a bit of an 'apples & oranges' comparison. First off: B5's first season wasn't *anywhere* near as dire as either of TNG's first two years. I mean those were legitimately horrible overall.
    Secondly, the reason B5's first season was weak by comparison to the later ones wasn't a result of the same total lack of direction and oversight that plagued early TNG. It was mostly down to what I'd call an acceptable degree of growing pains coupled with a rather unfortunate BTS squabble.

    Really, there are only two, perhaps three genuinely *bad* episodes in the entirety of B5's first season, a bunch of so-so and some downright excellent ones. With TNG I honestly can't name a single season one episode that I enjoyed. Indeed most were either pretty awful or utterly forgettable.

    So, while yes, B5 made a few missteps very early on, the writing was by-and-large consistently good and I think, most importantly, the characters were consistently written. In TNG, characterisation was all over the map and it only got better when someone finally took a firm grasp of the reigns behind the scenes.
     
  16. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I still find complaints about TNG's first season rather strange, the ratings were high and they won a Peabody Award for The Big Goodbye. If anything their problems seem to come from trying to make an emsemble series and the series worked better after they lost Tasha Yar. The first season of TNG also suffered from a ravolving door of writers.

    Still just I'd stated in the Stargate forum even B5 needed more than one season to really get started.

    Staying on topic though In The Beginning can stand by itself, it was after all the movie of the week so to speak and plenty of people saw it without prior knowledge of the series. It works better in conjuction with the series but for the most part it works just fine on it's own.
     
  17. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On my recent re-watch of Babylon 5, I did hold off on "In the Beginning," for one, because I couldn't find my VHS tape of it and for another, I personally like watching it later on in the run. I personally don't agree with JMS as I think some things, such as the parts with Sheridan only work later in the series. Otherwise, you "meet" him and he becomes a focal point of the movie, but never appears again until Season 2.

    Then there's the big mystery of Season 1, what happened to Sinclair on the Battle of the Line. "In the Beginning" spoils that.

    I can see the argument for watching "In the Beginning" first on a re-watch. However, I don't think it's something you should watch before starting the series.
     
  18. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Babylon 5 is not as bad as some make it out to be, as it had to start from scratch. Now TNG did have some quality episodes in its first season (The Big Goodbye, Conspiracy , and The Neutral Zone are three off the top of my head that are of high quality) and there is a core of decent episodes in season 1 (along with painfully bad episodes) Actually both series are kinda the same in having a lukewarm season one, then a strong run, (though TNG strong run starts at season 3) then the last season is lukewarm.
     
  19. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    off-topic - did you ever finish season 5? I recall your review thread stopping in the middle of it. There's quite a chunk of story missing if you haven't yet watched the run from "Meditations on the Abyss" onwards.
     
  20. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's way more than two or three 'bad' episodes in the first season of Babylon 5. From my last run-through I still have the impression that most episodes are mediocre or worse, so the comparison to TNG's first two years is not made lightly. There's nothing quite as bad as say "Code of Honor" or "Up the Long Ladder" but nothing quite as good as "The Measure of a Man", so that balances out.
    It is a season that begins pretty dreadfully, "The Gathering" is also pretty bad, it's mostly seriously subpar and quite frankly if I went into Babylon 5 just starting with the first season there's a very good chance I would have simply dropped it (as indeed many have).

    And the AV Club reviewer provides his recommendation of essential episodes in acknowledgement of the fact that many people have tried to watch the first season, found it crap and gave up... nor is he actually physically stopping anyone from watching the show however they like.

    So it's a position that makes absolute sense. What worked for you doesn't work for everyone and vice versa.