Babylon 5: Rewatching Season 5

Brian G Turner

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So we've started Season 5 - I haven't watched this since it originally aired.

So far it's started strong enough, though Lockley feels like Ivanova under another name. It also feels a lot more like Season 2 - it's punchy, and retains stronger character - but it's completely missing the undertones of tension and menace we had previously.

If B5 had begun with Season 5, it would still be a good show - but after the incredible highs of Season 3, it feels somewhat of an anti-climax. It feels somewhat like a different show so I wonder if it was a mistake to name this B5 and whether a different series title and arc would have been better?

Still, I've just finished episode 3 and I still love the characters and writing. Even though it's something of a different book, it's difficult to tire of Sheridan, Delenn, Londo, and G'Kar.
 

Brian G Turner

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Another downbeat comment about Season 5 - there's a significant loosening of character tensions. G'Kar and Londo are almost on friendly terms again. And there's no tension between Sheridan and Garibaldi after what happened last season - I would have expected Garibaldi to have been beating himself up over that.

Speaking of Garibaldi, he was always distrustful of telepaths to the point of aggression. After last season, you'd expect him to be violently so. And yet, it's him who suggests to Sheridan that it might be a good idea to work with their own telepaths. That doesn't sit right at all.

Again, I do enjoy the characters, and their spirit is there - it's just the lack of conflict that had defined them through previous series.
 

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It's been while since I watched B5; but I think you need to pay attention to what is going on with Garibaldi, because it's another new arc of its own.
Speaking of Garibaldi, he was always distrustful of telepaths to the point of aggression. After last season, you'd expect him to be violently so. And yet, it's him who suggests to Sheridan that it might be a good idea to work with their own telepaths. That doesn't sit right at all.
Garibaldi is on a downward spiral. And that's as far as I'll take it if you really haven't watched season five.
 

Rodders

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Season 5 is often maligned, but I thought that there were some excellent episodes. Day of the Dead comes immediately to mind.

Throughout the series, I couldn't bring myself to like Byron, though.
 

Brian G Turner

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Am finding Season 5 difficult to enjoy - there's not much happening so far, and we're back to filler episodes.

Worse is that the main characters we've followed before have pretty much slipped into the background - secondary characters in their own story - and have no major concerns/conflicts or drives.

While I appreciate JMS was setting up the telepath war, I would have thought Sheridan would be kept busy politically, and that Garibaldi would have more on his mind than just wondering what Lockley's record was.

Just finished episode 7, which got back to the story - Byron has immediately changed from a space buddha to a Sith Lord, and it feels far too sudden.

However, next episode is Rebo and Zooty, which I don't remember fondly.
 
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Bagpuss

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I think part of the problem with season 5 is that the beginning of the season suffers as a result of the planned cancellation of the series at the end of season 4 and the last-minute renewal for season 5. Had the series been renewed earlier, then the season 4 finale would have been the conclusion of what is now episode 17 of season 4. The start of season 5 would then have had 8 episodes to go through the events that are now compressed into episodes 18-21 of season 4. Under this plan, Byron would have had much less of a presence in season 5 - only a three-episode arc over episodes 9-11.

However, the original plan had to be scrapped and JMS had to come up with 8 new episodes for the start of season 5. As a result, there's a certain lack of dramatic tension in the opening episodes and a general feeling that the characters are treading water. Once you get to episode 9, however, the series gets more back onto the original plan and from episode 11 onwards the series is back onto its original plan and, as I remember (it's been a while since I re-watched it), it picks up on the dramatic side as well.
 

Brian G Turner

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Watched episodes 9 & 10 and it's definitely getting better - finally, story happening, main characters back at the fore, and Byron in the background. :)
 

Brian G Turner

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Once you get to episode 9, however, the series gets more back onto the original plan and from episode 11 onwards the series is back onto its original plan and, as I remember (it's been a while since I re-watched it), it picks up on the dramatic side as well.
Definitely agree - I struggled to enjoy the first 8 episodes, and especially the telepath storyline, but the Centauri storyline has been great.

And last night I finished episode 18, The Fall of Centauri Prime - Londo was so noble, dignified ... and tragic ... in his inevitable ascension. Fantastic episode.
 
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