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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Do You Have To Be A Fan of Science Fiction To Enjoy Babylon 5?

    I'm interested in checking this show out due to only being familiar with J. Michael Straczynski's comics.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Yes. If you don't like ScFi shows like Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, you won't like B 5.
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  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    I agree. This isn't just a drama that happens to take place in space or something. This show is chock full of science fiction elements.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    I'm interested in checking this show out due to only being familiar with J. Michael Straczynski's comics.
    No, but I wouldn't recommend it tbh. Mostly because the plot is a little complicated (from what I recall) and being a sci-fi fan would help you get past it. More an issue with the depth of the lore, rather than its genre.

    But if you are okay with it being on a space station and being about aliens, I don't really see why not.

    But if you're like not okay with it being on a space station and being about aliens, then yeah, pass.

  5. #5
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    It helps, especially now. IMO, part of its power lay in Star Trek, with its rosy new of human destiny, owning so much of of the space-future-history turf. B5 seemed like the first one to come along that let future humans, even heroic space soldiers, be people. That's no longer so unique a thing.

    Also, if you try it, you really have to hang in there for the first 2/3 of S1. Some of the writing was a bit tedious, but they were laying important plot groundwork and it does begin to pick up speed.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    B5 might be a better viewing experience now that you can burn through the whole thing at once and not have to remember some obscure detail from season one that pops up again in season 4 or something...

  7. #7

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    Not necessarily. I don't like it when robots develop sentience of their own or turn against humans, but I love the first two Terminator movies.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Frobisher's Avatar
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    Yes, and probably a bit of fantasy too as it "borrows" a few elements from Lord Of The Rings.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    It helps, especially now. IMO, part of its power lay in Star Trek, with its rosy new of human destiny, owning so much of of the space-future-history turf. B5 seemed like the first one to come along that let future humans, even heroic space soldiers, be people. That's no longer so unique a thing.

    Also, if you try it, you really have to hang in there for the first 2/3 of S1. Some of the writing was a bit tedious, but they were laying important plot groundwork and it does begin to pick up speed.
    Like a lot of shows that have a long term story they do spend a lot of the first season doing world building, and those episodes can be a drag, but it does all pay off in seasons 2-4.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    The show sounds interesting. Does the space station serve the same purpose as the Starship Enterprise to explore new planets? Also does B5 follow the same format as Star Trek with mostly self contained episodes?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobisher View Post
    Yes, and probably a bit of fantasy too as it "borrows" a few elements from Lord Of The Rings.
    Yeah, that's a diplomatic way of putting it ( speaking as a fan of JMS and B5 both).

    That might be a plus for the O.P., however.

    If you think of Babylon 5 as LoToR in space, he might like it better, if Fantasy is his thing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    The show sounds interesting. Does the space station serve the same purpose as the Starship Enterprise to explore new planets? Also does B5 follow the same format as Star Trek with mostly self contained episodes?
    No. It's a diplomatic station. Not exploration.

    And sort of. The episodes each tell a complete story, for the most part. But they are NOT standalone. B5 is heavily serialized. Throw away stuff will come back seasons later and be hugely important.

  13. #13
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Its really more of a political show than one about space and exploration. Its basically the UN in space, with alien races instead of different nations. Which sounds incredibly boring, but there are wars, intrigue, assassinations, and wildly variable power levels among the different participants in this UN.

    Dunno. I liked it a lot. Earth is a bit fascist, in many ways, especially in the way they deal with telepaths (earth forcibly employs them as government agents). But the show itself is very character-focused.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    The show sounds interesting. Does the space station serve the same purpose as the Starship Enterprise to explore new planets? Also does B5 follow the same format as Star Trek with mostly self contained episodes?
    No to both. The station is basically a United Nations, created in the aftermath of a war in hopes of preventing another. There are stand-alone episodes, but the series was designed with an over-arching story (that got modified along the way). It has a defined beginning, middle, and end. Most of the episodes are scenes in one of the three acts. However, there are a few that are out there on their own (and that's where most of the hardcore scifi happens).

    To your OP, if you can deal with Lord of the Rings, you'll probably be okay with B5. Just remember, what JMS intended at the beginning is not quite what got filmed. Life happened to actors, and JMS had other ideas as the show progressed.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    The show sounds interesting. Does the space station serve the same purpose as the Starship Enterprise to explore new planets?
    Nope, it's basically a port city, were the UN in space meet, ships from all over the place pass through. etc. It's more about the struggles of the various civilizations in a time of crises.


    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    Also does B5 follow the same format as Star Trek with mostly self contained episodes?
    No, it was very serialized, with episodes building on each other all the way through (B5 was one of the pioneers of serialized TV that's become the norm now). There are some episodes that have self-contained plots, but the usually are building off of pre-existing content and will be setting up future episodes. There were a few TV movies, most of which I understand were one-offs.

    Granted, it is way more episodic than Star Trek got with PIC, but that's an outlier. (The level of serialization vs. self-contained in B5 was, IMHO more comparable to that of the Star Trek shows DS9 and DSC, although I would note that its tone is very different than either of them.)
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