Babylon 5 vs Farscape

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Elemental, Nov 7, 2010.


Which series is best overall?

  1. Babylon 5

  2. Farscape

  1. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    They are, but that's like comparing "Ally McBeal" to "Law & Order." Sure, they're both lawyer shows, but that's about all they have in common.
  2. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

    Jul 18, 2005
    I like both shows equally. They are both space opera, but very different and complimentary in nature. It would be glorious to see a show that mixed the best aspects of these two show.

    1. best characters - Tie
    2. best storyline/plot - B5 (Farscape is more of a journey/character show)
    3. best setting - Farscape (some really far out settings, and a wide variety)
    4. best themes - B5
    5. best acting - Farscape (but a very close one - Thanks to Andreas katsulas and Peter Jurasik)
    6. best music - B5
    7. best special effects - Farscape (mostly due to being a later production)
    8. best ending/finale - B5
    9. best overall (see poll) - A TIE
  3. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    I hope it never happens because then I will know that no TV show will ever be as good.
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Farscape is a wildly imaginative, novel series with intriguing characters, great performances and humor that works a great deal of the time.

    B5 had none of those qualities.
  5. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    Babylon 5 has a better ensemble cast overall and some excellent character writing and story writing, able to juggle both arc material and standalone sci-fi stories in a way Babylon 5 wasn't quite as adept at.

    It was hardly as arc intensive as Babylon 5 and lacked Babylon 5's dependence on arc payoffs, of course, and Babylon 5 made a much greater effort at having a stable, immersive space opera world (rather then the chaotic, endlessly weird pernumbrations of Farscape) because instead of one story progressing gradually over seasons Farscape's arc was more of an unending cat and mouse, but I'd still say the series overall had a much stronger standing.

    And at the last, there isn't the smug JMS sneer. JMS was the best guy around for patting himself on the back for his own cleverness, and this entitlement occasionally creeped into his scripts. Farscape could be pretty weird and terrible but I rarely felt like I was being looked down on.

    I'd actually see Farscape's writing as more even... in the sense that there was pretty strong writing in all four seasons and from reasonably early on. There are definitely some quite bad episodes but nothing quite as dire as the opening stretch of Babylon 5's first season.
  6. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    At least when Farscape was being terrible, it was because it was trying to do weird and creative things. They just didn't always work very well.

    It's my favorite show of all time, but I admit there are certain episodes that I will never watch ever again.
  7. Caliburn24

    Caliburn24 Commodore Commodore

    Apr 23, 2005
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    Watched and enjoyed both shows, but I gotta go with Babylon 5.

    Farscape was fun but all over the place, and sometimes just too stylistic for its own good.

    Babylon 5 was pre-planned, intricately plotted and I just could not help but be amazed at well it all hung together and played out.
  8. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 9, 2009
    Thestral - Carmichael Industries
    When Farscape worked (which was often) it was absolutely fantastic. When it didn't, it was dreadful.

    B5 was more dependable and intricately plotted, but never really reached Farscape's heights.
  9. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2000
    New Zealand
    I would answer everything to Babylon 5 in the poll except for the acting, which for the exception of a few actors on B5, it was pretty dire.

    As much as I loved Ivanova, Claudia wasn't that great.
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 1999
    This is one of those polls where I don't know how to vote. Objectively, B5 is the better series - both shows are imaginative, exciting, have great ongoing plot threads, and terrific actors playing emotionally engaging characters. Farscape is zanier and more creative but also often much stupider - two sides of the same coin. B5 has more interesting underlying ideas, but Farscape does much better with humor and sexiness. B5 is the superego and Farscape is the id.

    So I voted for the one I just like better for reasons I cannot explain other than that I have to give the edge to the one that has Ben Browder. :drool:
  11. OdoWanKenobi

    OdoWanKenobi Admiral Admiral

    Jan 2, 2003
    There truly is no comparison between the two. You really couldn't find two shows within the genre that are more dissimilar. Both are among my favorite television shows ever. If pressed, I may have to give the slight edge to Farscape. It had an element of fun that could sometimes be lacking from the deathly serious Babylon 5. The cast was also more consistent in quality (though Katsulas and Jurasik are both brilliant actors.)

    Farscape's biggest strength could also be it's biggest weakness at times. It could sometimes go so completely off the wall, that it could make the viewer tune out. When Farscape was bad, it was very very bad. When it was good, though, it was some of the finest television ever made.
  12. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

    Oct 31, 2000
    On my ship the Rocinante
    LOL! Superb analogy!
  13. ElimParra

    ElimParra Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Like others have said it's like comparing apples and oranges. Both shows are great, but it's Farscape that got me hooked first off - and back in the day when when B5 was on, I wasn't really that interested. But sometime last year, watched the whole series of B5 (seen a few times now), but still prefer Farscape (as is my second favourite scifi series after DS9).
  14. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 19, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    1. best characters -FS
    2. best storyline/plot -B5
    3. best setting -FS
    4. best themes -B5
    5. best acting -FS
    6. best music -B5
    7. best special effects -FS
    8. best ending/finale -B5
    9. best overall (see poll) TIE
  15. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    I guess I should answer the questions, even though I've already voted and posted here:

    1. best characters: Farscape
    2. best storyline/plot: Babylon 5
    3. best setting: Farscape (It was an entirely different universe)
    4. best themes: Babylon 5
    5. best acting: Farscape
    6. best music: Babylon 5
    7. best special effects: Farscape
    8. best ending/finale: Farscape
    9. best overall (see poll): Farscape

    I wanted to address number 8. I absolutely loved Sleeping in Light. It was a great way to end the series, but Farscape wins out because I actually found it more emotional. I didn't choke up during Sleeping in Light, even though there were emotional moments, but Farscape had
    the death of D'argo, and the birth of D'argo Jr. The actual birth scene is something I see on youtube quite a bit, and the end with the family was just a perfect way to end it
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    I prefer B5 overall, although it suffered because of the battle JMS had to make the suits realise that he was doing something ground-breaking and because of the adjustments he had to make with the actresses (losing Takinawa, then Talia, then Ivanova ahead of schedule, and the problems Julie Caitlin Brown (and other actresses had with the prosthetics). B5 also failed to capitalise on several interesting female characters (Sakai and Timov spring to mind). Season 5 definitely suffered because the Earth War finale had to be crammed into Season 4.

    While it was often a tad too manic (thank goodness for Aeryn Sun to keep things a bit muted), Farscape took more chances with its characters, including the inspired idea of splitting them onto two different ships at one point. I also loved that Farscape was so visually striking, had a lot of really good roles for women, and put more effort into making aliens more alien (although I absolutely love the Vorlons and Shadows).
  17. Sean_McCormick

    Sean_McCormick Captain Captain

    Aug 28, 2007
    I never understood that particular complaint. Use of puppets in Sci-Fi is not new or specific to Farscape. Yoda is brought to life with exactly the same technique in the original trilogy, yet i have never heard someone dismiss Star Wars as just "Muppets in Space".
  18. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 22, 2001
    Farscape is my favourite of the two, though if this poll came up 6 months ago I would have voted for B5, despite only finding it merely "okay". Watching Farscape from start to finish in a short period of time completely changed my opinion of it from what I watched it when it was on TV. Now it is one of my favourite shows.
    Lt. LaForge likes this.
  19. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Captain Captain

    Sep 21, 2005
    A planet of outlaws...
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  20. label

    label Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 7, 2000
    Count me as one of the many who believe the two shows are so completely opposite to the other as to be incomparable to each other. I didn't vote as I would never give up either. I suppose if someone held a gun to my head, I'd say Bab 5 has an extremely slight edge from the perspective that story is king in my book and Bab 5's overall arc is slightly more epic and planned out.

    1. best characters: Londo and Gkar put Bab5 slightly ahead of John and Aeryn.
    2. best storyline/plot: Babylon 5
    3. best setting: Farscape
    4. best themes: Babylon 5
    5. best acting: Farscape
    6. best music: Babylon 5
    7. best special effects: Farscape
    8. best ending/finale: Farscape
    9. best overall (see poll): Babylon 5