Rewatching Babylon 5 - yet again!

Brian G Turner

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My kids had asked to rewatch Babylon 5 again at some point, after enjoying it a couple of years ago, and lack of agreement on what to watch next meant I put it on again.

We should really have watched the very first episode, but instead I just put on the last episode of Season 1, then started with Season 2 from the beginning. The main reason for this is that there are continuity issues between Season 1 and the seasons that followed, and I didn't want that spoiling the story.

Anyway, it's still great! Season 2 starts with a bang, then addresses the Season 1 cliffhangers - and within a few episodes we have the episode The Coming of the Shadows which is absolutely fantastic.

I've also been reading JMS's comments on the episodes, when originally made on usenet, which can be found here: Lurker's Guide: Episode List

It was really interesting to read his comments on that episode:

Your feelings about the war starting are exactly what they should be, and what I wanted to achieve with "Shadows." In SF TV, very often, as you state, it's "Yeah, let's get a war on! Blow stuff up!" But to hear of a *real* war...it's very, very sobering. When we hear that Gulf troops were being sent into the Mideast, when we heard of soviet troops sent into Prague...your heart stops for a moment. When Kennedy put American ships in a Cuban blockade and the world held its breath ...THAT is what it feels like to step into possible or real war. All you can think of is, "How the HELL did we get into this, and how the hell do we get OUT of it?" And that was at the emotional core of "Shadows."

Anyway, according to the forums I last rewatched this over 2016/2017 with all my kids, 2012 with just the eldest, and then in 2006 with just my wife and myself (oh, and apparently Season 3 at least in 2004). And it is still just as enjoyable as ever. Some people can re-read LOTR over and over again, and it never gets stale for them. Babylon 5 is that for me - it is just such a superior piece of storytelling, with story arcs engaging in war, politics, spirituality, in addition to stunning character arcs, all within an amazing overall story arc. No one's ever come close to surpassing it yet. :)
 
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thaddeus6th

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I saw Babylon 5 for the first time (run through the entire show) a couple of years ago when Pick aired the whole thing.

Got to say, I'm somewhat glad I saw it as an adult, though it'd be interesting to know what a younger Thaddeus would've made of certain aspects. There are some very good moments. One thing that stands out is the chilling bureaucratic assertion that sedition comes in little packets as well as large ones (sedition or treason, I forget).

And Londo's character transformation is quite something. I liked Bester a lot too, because you never quite knew if he or the crew would end up winning an encounter.
 

Sinful Cyndi

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I have a boxset of this somewhere, I'm going to dig it out and re-watch it too. One of my fav shows, and I agree, the storyline was always good.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Watching it for the first time, mainly because it is free, and happens to be on at an hour I can watch it. I find the shows quite easy to watch and I don't have to see them in order to enjoy them, no problem skipping episodes.
 

Pyan

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I'm with you here - just watched S2, E3 and E4 last night...(y)
 

Vladd67

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After discovering a podcast discussing rewatching the episodes I got out the DVDs and have started watching again. I have nearly reached the end of season 2 and what surprised me is how quickly things are moving on. There are scenes that I thought came later and it is interesting to see what’s happening with the knowledge of what is to come.
 

Matteo

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Damn it.

I don't have much time as it is and now I need to watch this again...
 

Montero

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We re-watch about every other year, from start to finish. :) Did that last year, so this year is not the year.......well, probably not.....:)
 

Brian G Turner

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And... up for another run. :)

My youngest (now 17) has been asking to watch this again all year, but we did a run of ST:TNG first and began DS:9. However, as the middle one is off to uni now we're pausing that and rewatching B5 again.

It's so interesting rewatching the first episode, when you know everything that will follow and reference it. Great plotting. :)
 

Montero

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Last time we skipped the spin off series - the one with the Techno-Mage and also the one with the trainee rangers. Doesn't quite live up to expectations.
 

Brian G Turner

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Never watched those and don't plan to - just stick with B5. We don't always watch all of Season 1, and one time previously we stopped in the middle of Season 4, at the conclusion of the Shadow arc - it seemed a really good place to stop. This time, I think we'll try for all 5 seasons. :)
 

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