From The Gathering to The Lost Tales...

Urban Roy

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Hello everyone. Last week my complete Babylon 5 Collection arrived. I am just starting it and, bizarrely, no-one I know wants to watch 100+ hours of a 16 year old sci-fi show with me. So, thank goodness for the internet, which, in my trawling of various places that I could discuss my new toy threw up this corner.

I didn't see anywhere that had an episode by episode discussion so, if no-one minds, as I watch I'll post up my ongoing thoughts to see if they resonate with you all.

Seeing as it's the pilot I've kicked off with The Gathering and will post my thoughts shortly.
 

Urban Roy

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So, as promised here are my musings on The Gathering. Given the numerous detailed episode descriptions on the web I won't attempt to summarise the plot here. Given the ardent following of the show I think that I went into this with very high expectations, which were unfair for what was a pilot show.

The set up was great with the five races jostling for position, and there were some great character driven moments (Londo's musings on the fall of his people for example), and plot hooks (all the Grey Council bits from Delenn). However this was outweighed by some really poor acting (Laurel, for example) and the need to trim about 15 minutes from the show.

So, for me, it was an inauspicious start and I'm hoping it's going to get better. Am I being too critical?
 

Urien

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It does get better. They tighten up from the pilot. I have the same collection, I watch it when I have spare time and my wife is out (not a fan). For me it's the only SF show that matches a novel or series of novels. For that reason I am less keen on the stand alone episodes (of which there are many in series 1). For me the momentum really picks up in seasons 2-4.

I'm also a big fan of the movie "In the Beginning" that tells the tale of the Earth-Minbari war. The courageous but hopeless efforts of Earth always get to me.
 

chopper

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argh - was it really 16 years ago? cripes. now i feel old.
standalones or no, the first 4 seasons of B5 can do no wrong for me - even the pilot, with the continuity errors it presents (esp. re Kosh). at the time it felt a lot edgier than ST:TNG, even though (as was being discussed in the pub tonight) it really looks quite tame in hindsight.
well worth following the progression of the various arcs, believe me.

(or were we talking about DS9? i can't quite remember).
 

Urban Roy

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It does get better. They tighten up from the pilot. I have the same collection, I watch it when I have spare time and my wife is out (not a fan).

I thought it would, I've heard such good things that I would be surprised if it was all of the same standard as the pilot. My partner has a similar attitude to your wife, but there is something slightly wrong about having to watch it on the sly...I quite like it.

argh - was it really 16 years ago? cripes. now i feel old.

According to someone on another forum where I'm also discussing the series, The Gathering came out in 1993 and Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge) agrees. We're all getting older, and there is still so much TV to watch...
 

Urban Roy

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Midnight on the Firing Line

I've now watched Episode 1 of the first series and thought it a huge step forward from the pilot. Better cast and better acting peaking with a moving, and beautifully acted, scene near the end with Winters and Ivanova.

I felt that the plotting still needed some work with the resolution of the main plot line about Ragesh 3 needing the coincidental capture of a Narn prisoner from the sub-plot. Surely that could have been worked in more neatly?

Lots of "noise" in the episode that was not directly related to the specific story (the elections spring to mind) but if what I have read about the series is correct some of those chickens will come home to roost later...
 

ktabic

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I thought it would, I've heard such good things that I would be surprised if it was all of the same standard as the pilot.

It's notable that Channel 4 decided to broadcast the B5 pilot after they had finished season 1 of B5. This is the way I would recommend it as well. It also helps make the pilot more intriguing - spotting the foreshadowing :)
 

thepaladin

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B5 was (and I suppose is) a fantastic series. By the way they were shafted by TV execs. also. It was supposed to be a 5 year series, but they were told at the end of season 3 that the forth season would be the last one. So, the rewrote everything to tie up the main plot in saeson 4, only to be told after all that..."hey your ratings are great...give us a season 5!"

Don't you love having people who "look down on scifi and fantasy" being in control of these programs....Firefly or The Dresden Files come to mind.
 

Rodders

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I really envy you being able to watch this epic story from Star to finish for the first time. You are in for such a treat. 16 years old and still one of the greatest and most ambitious programs ever to be seen on the television.
 

Rodders

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UR, where are you with watching this back to back?
 

Rodders

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I think that i may actually join you. I haven't been getting into anything recently and i've been meaning to watch this from start to finish again.
 

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