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. Listener4

    Listener4 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 2, 2010
    I definitely prefer Babylon 5 over Farscape, but the shows are so different they are hard to compare.
  2. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Agreed. Both have points of interest-but those points barely intersect at all.
    Still 2 of the 4 best scifi series I've seen in my life.
  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Just curious, what are the other two:

    For me, my top 4 Sci fi series:

    Babylon 5

    (Doctor Who would be up there two, if I was doing top 5)
  4. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007

    Of the two, I think Babylon 5 is the better show, and will always be my second favorite sci-fi universe behind the various Star Treks, but Farscape is fun and enjoyable too.

    I guess if you were going to compare them (and that's really not necessary, but I will anyhow), Baylon 5 is political intrigue and mythology, while Farscape is one long space adventure.

    In short, both are valid forms of storytelling.
  5. caisson2delta

    caisson2delta Captain Captain

    Apr 6, 2009
    The South of Florida
    I liked both and there isn't much I can say that hasn't already been mentioned, numerous times. I would only suggest, to the OP, watch Farscape and see what you think about it. I'm sure you'd find something of value out of it.
  6. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    This thread has put me into a Farscape watching mood lately and because I watched the Premiere episode maybe a month ago, last week I started with I, ET and finished disc one last night with Throne for a Loss.

    Maybe I'm a bit biased, but many people have said that the early episodes left something to be desired, but I've enjoyed all of them so far except for the one I never enjoy, which was I, ET. Loved Exodus and Throne for Loss is an episode where I think the actors started to get more comfortable in the roles, especially Black and Simcoe. Also, that last episode introduced the Tavloids (Tavleks) and that whole thing was funny.
  7. Meredith

    Meredith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 8, 2001
    Abh Space
    Love 'em both.
  8. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2000
    San Diego
    1. best characters - Farscape. Lots of great characters. B5 was Londo, G'Kar, and then a bunch of crap. Sinclair, Delenn, Garibaldi, Ivanova, the kid from Lost in Space.... I didn't really care for any of them.

    2. best storyline/plot - Farscape I guess. B5 had a lot of epic going to for it, but the resolution to the main storyline was a bit underwhelming. Farscape had a great story that kept building up.

    3. best setting -Farscape, Moya was more interesting than the B5 station, the uncharted territories and the galaxy in general were more interesting than the B5 universe.

    4. best themes - Ehh... who cares? I guess Farscape

    5. best acting - Farscape. There were some really bad actors on B5.. yeah they had a couple of great ones... but Ben Browder was the best in his role across both series.

    6. best music - Kind of a tie, Farscape was cooler, but B5 had some catchy classic sci-fi theme kind of stuff going on.

    7. best special effects - Farscape, Babylon 5 looked like shit, especially in the first season. Props for the forward thinking widescreen, but then again they didn't bother to render the effects for widescreen. Also the effects on DVD have some awful artifacts... Farscape's computer generated stuff wasn't utterly fantastic either, but Jim Henson muppets for the win.

    8. best ending/finale - I think the B5 finale was probably better than the Farscape wrapup.

    9. best overall - Farscape, B5 was great and all, but when you pit 'em head to head Farscape wins on almost every level for me.
  9. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 20, 1999
    Ontario, Canada
    I much, much prefer B5.
  10. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

    Mar 14, 2000
    Along with Blakes 7, Babylon 5 and Farscape are my favourite TV SF series ever. There's no possible way to choose one over the other for me. Comparing them is equally impossible - they're so different there are no real bases for comparison. All you can legitimately say is that they're both SF shows. I will say that while no show ever made appeals to everyone, Farscape isn't for everyone - it's really like nothing else and can be too "out there" for a lot of people. If you get to the end of the first season and aren't completely hooked, it probably isn't for you.

    Oh, and ignore references to "Muppets in space". It's an absolutely ludicrous comment / criticism, to put it as politely as possible.

    As for the questions:

    1. best characters - Farscape (just)
    2. best storyline/plot - Babylon 5
    3. best setting - tie. Both universes are fabulous.
    4. best themes - Babylon 5
    5. best acting - Farscape (just - IMO the acting in B5 is nowhere near as bad as a lot of people make it out to be, and Andreas Katsulas is - was - by far the best actor in either series)
    6. best music - tie
    7. best special effects - I don't care about SFX so no vote
    8. best ending/finale - Babylon 5. "Sleeping in Light" is magnificent.
    9. best overall - no vote. Along with B7, they rule. :bolian:
  11. Can

    Can Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 20, 2006
    Istanbul , Turkey
    I am a huge fan of both series. Both Farscape and Babylon 5 are testiments of what science fiction can achieve on tv medium if it is directed and written properly with a vision , direction , idea.

    Both series have strengths and weaknesses. Farscape is more like science/fiction/fantasy. It has the strongest character arcs I have ever seen in this genre on television. Relations and interactions between Moya's crew and their adventures are usually lively , witty and often very tense and unpredictable. Most of these characters on Moya ( except main protogonist human astronout John Crichton ) are long serving prisoners , escaping at their first chance. They are survivors , trying to stay alive. And to do that sometimes they do commit acts which usual alturistic , optimist and one dimensional sci-fi characters can never consider. Every episode change the characters and their outlook to their enviroment. They usually bicker and argue about what to do. They remain likable but flawed. At the other hand drama , melodrama of this series sometimes balanced out with amazing humour....Really humour factor sometimes take Farscape audience to heavens but drama and serious air never let you go...Dark tones in story became effective in its last seasons. As for the production values they are first class. CGI is high quality even holds up in todays standarts. Concepts , creative writing and fictional universe is amazing. Puppet work is excellent ( no doubt Henson Studios is highly experienced about that ) so is make up , costumes etc for aliens.

    Did I mention it also has the best romance story I have ever watched in science fiction ? And best antagonist character in this genre ? And a very sucessful ( although not perfect ) finale in Farscape : The Peacekeeper Wars mini series ?

    Babylon 5 is somewhat different....Its strength is over reaching five year story arc ( in Farscape there are several highly effective character arcs )....It is pre planned with every detail... ( Farscape is not but it is usually consistent ) Characters sometimes might become stereotypes with their conversations and dialogues but real star of Babylon 5 is story itself...Just like Farscape it has epic storytelling...There is also political area in Babylon 5 which has its roots in actual Earth history ( xenaphopia , fear , causes of wars , rise of dictatorships , bias of media etc ) which I liked very much. At first it appears like standart sci-fi space opera set in space for "last best hope for peace." But then it becomes something much better....

    In all I love both Farscape and Babylon 5. With Battlestar Galactica these three series are best and highest quality of space opera productions I have ever seen on television...And I do not think they would be surpassed for a long long time....
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  12. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 19, 2009
    Between the candle and the star
    I can't vote on this, since I haven't seen all of Farscape yet (I'm working on it), but I absolutely love both shows. As space opera on television goes, I think they're about as good as it gets. Both have their weaknesses (for instance, they both took a while to find their groove in the first season) but the good points more than compensate.

    I love B5 for the dramatic storylines, political intrigue, mythology and down to earth vision of the future. I love Farscape for the fantastic, evolving relationships between the characters, the humour and the delightfully screwed up storytelling. And I love both series for their characters.
  13. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999
    NJ, USA
    I didnt like Farscape at all, much too silly and didn't like the actors.

    1. best characters-B5
    2. best storyline/plot-B5
    3. best setting-B5
    4. best themes-B5
    5. best acting-B5
    6. best music-B5
    7. best special effects-Farscape
    8. best ending/finale-B5
    9. best overall (see poll)-B5
  14. Scotty

    Scotty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 26, 2000
    The Netherlands, Les Pays Bas, Holland
    These shows are in a way comparable to Star Wars.

    Farscape is the OT. Original, unique, groundbreaking, magical, unlike anything you've seen before and totally captivating.

    Babylon 5 is the PT. Talky, wooden, dull, overly concerned with story instead of storytelling, but still has moments of sheer brilliance (mostly during seasons 3 and 4).

    It is indeed like comparing apples and oranges. You can't really compare the two shows. But if you haven't seen either one, I'd recommend you start with Farscape.
  15. Joe Washington

    Joe Washington Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2009
    Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    I wonder what it would have been like Farscape had more of B5's pre-planning when it comes to story? Or if Babylon 5 had more of Farscape's effective character development?

    And to answer your question, Elemental: I choose Farscape over Babylon 5 because though I love B5's story and some of its characters, I felt more of an emotional attachment to Farscape's characters and their trials and tribulations. The deaths of certain major Farscape characters which I won't mention for the sake of those who haven't seen the show moved me more than the character deaths that occured on B5. The writing was better than B5's with its natural dialogue and witty non-chessy humor, and the special effects were better and a bit more advanced than B5's. I love B5's series finale Sleeping in Light but love Farscape's Peacekeeper Wars more as an ending that excites, delights, and saddens me and leaves me with peace of mind. Hell, I even love John and Aeryn's relationship more than John and Delenn's relationship because of the passion and love these two characters have for each other that can elevate them as well as burn them within an inch of their lives if they're not careful. I never really felt that with John and Delenn though I do like them as a couple.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  16. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    I think we can all agree that Babyscape 5 was the best space opera that never was (pity about the name, though).
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 1999
    What moments of sheer brilliance did the PT have? I must have gone for more popcorn then.

    And you're being too kind to the OT. Hey I love it, but it's hardly unique - it's a cobbling together of a lot of pre-existing stuff: Arthurian legend, cowboy movies, WWII movies, coming-of-age stories, and lots of elements swiped from Marvel Comics (mutant superpowers, Doctor Doom). The Jedi are a mashup of the Bene Gesserit from Dune and Lensmen.

    The characters were like people you'd meet at the mall, which made the movies very accessible, but the one element I think the PT is much better at, is creating a sense that we're dealing with an alien culture, that has many elements very similar to our own society, but in other ways is exotic and strange. Where the PT falls short is in taking those exotic characters and making them accessible anyway. The Clone Wars TV series is finally getting the balance between exoticism and accessibility right.

    You just made me visualize Crichton, Aeryn, G'kar, Londo and the rest as Muppet Babies. :D
  18. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 2, 2001
    The words 'brilliant' and 'prequel trilogy' generally aren't something that should show up in the same sentence.
  19. Scotty

    Scotty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 26, 2000
    The Netherlands, Les Pays Bas, Holland
    I think you'll agree that the closing credits of epIII were brilliant.

    You forgot the Kurosawa films. Then again very little is truely unique. Back in the day, when I wasn't as taken with Farscape as I am now, I pointed out the similarities between D'Argo and Worf, Zhaan and Spock, Aeryn and Seven of Nine, Rygel and Quark. The concept of Farscape was basically taken from Lost in Space. Farscape even took elements from Star Wars. The Peacekeepers were essentially FS's answer to The Empire and John and Aeryn were Han Solo and Princess Leia. ;)

    You could say that the cobbling together of those elements is what made the Star Wars movies and Farscape unique.
  20. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    You're forgetting Buck Rogers - and for that matter, Farscape has a surprising similarity to Lexx conceptually. Almost as if someone saw one of Lexx's pilot movies and decided he could do a better job.

    Of course the thing is about Star Wars is it's a direct mashup. It quotes dialogue from old war movies. As a creator Lucas has always been big on nostalgia (aside from Indiana Jones, his homage to the serials of his youth, there's American Graffiti, homage to his youth directly, and even the arty THX begins by comparing its overmedicated protagonist to Buck Rogers...)