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I've also been reading JMS's comments on the episodes, when originally made on usenet, which can be found here: Lurker's Guide: Episode List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