Farscape or Babylon 5?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by kirk55555, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Babylon 5 no doubt about it in my mind, Farscape is too uneven among other things.
     
  2. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Greg, I get what you are saying, I just don't understand how you could find FS "emotionally gripping" based on what (admittedly little) I saw of it. It just didn't click with me.

    On the other hand, I can name at least half a dozen emotionally gripping moments from B5 without even thinking about it.
     
  3. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    I find both shows emotionally gripping, but you need to catch the right episodes, and you need to have been watching from the beginning. There are still moments in Farscape that still give me chills, and I've re-watched the show at least a dozen times (and I'm doing it again right now!). B5 is also fantastic; the first time I watched it, I did what the OP is doing. I bought the first season on a whim and blew through it in a week. I have re-watched B5 about 4 or 5 times, and I still think it's excellent. They're just very different animals, and I find myself fortunate that I am able to love them both.

    Farscape, however, is my favorite show of all time.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Well, for one thing, the love story between Aeryn and Crichton is probably one of the great romances in genre tv history. Plus, you have Crais's painful transition from heavy to tragic hero, Scorpius's ambiguous agendas, lots of heartache and betrayal, a few tragic deaths (which I'm reluctant to reveal too much about), etc. Heck, even the ship had a stormy relationship with her son!

    Just look at episodes like "The Way We Weren't" or "Die Die Dichotomy." ("Taking the Stone," on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs.)

    As with most serialized dramas, I suspect you have to get to know the characters to really appreciate the ongoing story arcs. Would any of Londo's big moments have any impact if you'd only seen a handful of episodes and didn't really grasp his tragic fall?

    "So, some dude with wacky hair was arguing with some big lizard guy about shadows and Vorlons and stuff. I didn't get what the big deal was."
     
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    ^Agreed 100%. Context is so important.
     
  6. zakkrusz

    zakkrusz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    United States
    BOTH, definitely both! Awesome series which I own, myself.
     
  7. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Yep.

    I'll add that the first episode of Farscape really doesn't sell itself very well, IMO, except for one line which becomes retrospectively amazing. John telling Aeryn, "you can be so much more", is really powerful once you're more familiar with how great the show becomes. On its own, though, I'd hesitate to call the pilot episode -- or the second episode, for that matter, which is even worse -- a good sign of things to come.

    It's a shame, because I love a strong beginning as much as the next fan, but frankly, it's forgivable. Viewer response to Farscape's premiere, somewhat unimaginatively named "Premiere", is going to be as mixed as anything -- I know people who say they were hooked from the start. In fact, I think someone said that in this very thread. But oftentimes, pilots have entirely too many growing pains. It's important to try to keep going a little bit before giving up, but if something offends you so badly, as in the case of Ian, well, so be it!

    Good example -- I really didn't care for the two-hour pilot episode for Fringe. I watched it live in September 2008 and shrugged it off, despite admiring John Noble's acting in particular. The rest was kind of a mess to me. A couple of years later, my girlfriend managed to get me to watch a couple of later episodes with an open mind, and I decided that the pilot was just a poor example. I knew it was possible at the time, when I watched in '08, but it left such a sour impression on me that I didn't bother to keep going.

    Sometimes watching an episode often lauded as strong -- preferably one with minimal long-ranging spoilers if possible -- is the best way to go in cases where legions of sci-fi fans insist you're missing out, but you watched the first hour and couldn't even get through it.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    To be honest, I gave up on The X-Files after the pilot, and only gave it a second chance after it became a worldwide phenomenon. And, as I recall, the pilot for B5 struck me as one endless expository lump.

    But you're forgetting the very best line in the FS premiere: the bit where Crichton steals an alien blaster and threatens to fill with the bad guys with "er, little glowy balls of light!"

    Which was not only a funny bit, but also conveyed the show's breezy, irreverent tone, while getting across the fact that Crichton was very definitely a fish out of water!

    By contrast, the B5 pilot struck me as much clunkier and more ponderous--or so I recall. I admit I haven't seen it since it first aired.

    Then again, even TNG didn't really get good until Season Two . . . .
     
  9. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Huh, I'm having a hard time believing I forgot to mention that line, but sure enough, facts are facts. I actually paraphrased that line at Ben Browder once during a convention. I was working with the Save Farscape campaign, and had a few opportunities to speak with Browder and several other cast members for a short while. A few hours into the event, he asked me if I wanted anything signed or something. I was holding a Star Trek snowglobe in my hand at the time, so I decided to be a bit meta for a moment and ordered that he sign my snowglobe, or I'd cover him in, er, little white sprinkles of pseudo-snow.

    Thankfully, he got the joke. Which is... really impressive, actually.

    B5's pilot was definitely more of a clunker; I just think several of the performances in the Farscape pilot are very underwhelming. One thing that sticks out to me is the D'Argo/Zhaan scene shortly after the ship's escape; it just feels really weak, although I can feel Simcoe and Hey doing their best with the material.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Okay, I gotta share my Ben Browder story. The night before the first FS convention, I was introduced to the cast at a party thrown by the Henson people. The actors weren't quite sure what they were in for the next day so Browder asked me, "Is this going to be anything like Galaxy Quest?"

    "It's going to be EXACTLY like Galaxy Quest," I told him.

    The next day Browder bounded onto the stage and said boldly, "Never give up! Never surrender!"

    Needless to say, the crowd went wild.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  11. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Oh my god.

    That's amazing. And so Browder.
     
  12. ElimParra

    ElimParra Invader Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    I would say Farscape. It's my favourite science fiction outside of the Trek universe. It's just awesome. Babylon 5 is good, but I prefer Farscape more.

    Also, with I'm reminded of something I use to have in my signature when Ben was here for a convention two years ago - and how channel 9 treated the show. Plus it's very different to any other science fiction show.
     
  13. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    Not to be Mr. Farscape Know-It-All, but the line is actually "little yellow bolts of light." ;)
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    You know, I knew I should've looked that up . . . .
     
  15. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Randyland
    Agreed, except that as I said before, of the two, I prefer Babylon 5.

    Farscape though, is one of those shows that I would call "pure fun". Babylon 5 takes itself a little more seriously.

    But both work for me.
     
  16. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    I really enjoyed the Ben Browder stories shared above guys. He really does seem like a cool dude, someone you could have a drink with or something. That Galaxy Quest story was awesome. :lol:
     
  17. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Yeah, he's really cool. Pretty much the entire Farscape cast is, really. They all strike me as wonderful, chill, crazy-in-all-the-right-ways kinds of folks.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    He's actually well-versed in sf as well, reads Vernor Vinge, Larry Niven, and other hard sf authors, etc. You could tell he was genuinely familiar with the literature and wasn't just mouthing platitudes about loving sci-fi. He knew what he was talking about.

    I once sent him a care package of Tor books, back when we were publishing the FS novels, and got a nice thank-you note from him in response.
     
  19. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    There is so much love for these shows. My next purchase when I can afford it is definately going to be Farscape season 1. They both seem to have a lot to offer. B5 won out this time over Farscape just because I think the pilot (well, I guess it wouldn't be the pilot because The Gathering was the pilot, its probably more accurate to just saw the first episode) drew me in more, along with the general mood of the show. I've watched farscape's pilot as well awhile ago. I liked it, but something about B5's first episode gave it a slight edge. By the end of the episode, I really wanted to learn more about the characters, universe, etc. One thing that was interesting was that my first impressions of a few characters ended up being wrong. I thought Lando was kind of goofy in the beginning, but by the end he turned out to be more than I expected. I can't wait to watch all of the first season.
     
  20. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Location:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Londo, with an o.
     

Share This Page