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The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5! 
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So, I am on the final episode(s) of Season 1 of Babylon 5, and I'm here to outline three things with this review:

1. Growth of the show and writing over the season

2. Ease of getting into the show: concepts, characters, and connecting the dots

3. Is this show right for me


Ok, so I started watching this on Amazon Prime, and like TOS it has a pilot with a very limited budget and effects range, however again like TOS the pilot contains pivotal information for the rest of the series. The long and short of it is, B5 is a starbase for ambassadors from all the alien words to gather and have interaction, in hope for galactic peace, in the pilot we see the last ambassador arrive and be attacked, and the mystery of who did this and how they can save the ambassadors life before an intergalactic war breaks out is on!

Now jumping from the Pilot to Episode 1 it looks almost like going from TOS to TNG, the show gets an entire overhaul in costume and set design, looks really sharp. The writing from what I have seen across every episode is pretty decent Sci Fi, but operating without the "vision" or "restrictions" of Gene Roddenberry's utopia that we have come to love and enjoy. But anyway, the sci fi writing is top notch and helped me get through the entire season with ease. Another thing of note is the creator had the entire series mapped out from the get go, so all 5 seasons revolve around one central plot point, so there arent any of those pesky "BSG Black Market" episodes lingering around. iconawe

Now, getting into the show and its concepts was easy for me, mainly because this is pretty close to the universe of Mass Effect, even down to the various alien races and their use of jump gates to travel in space. Also the characters closly represent those we know from Mass Effect, so that's an easy gap to jump, if you liked those games or at least the concepts of those games, you will find all of that here. Granted some 90s Sci Fi cheeseness is left laying around, but its all taken in stride, and when the show does double down and get serious, it makes things that much more interesting!

Starting off in S1, the humans on the station are sort of just... there. Its not until we get into the later half of S1 that they start getting some depth as the show launches and wants us to get up to speed about the 3 main alien races we interact with the most often, the Minbari, the Centauri, and the Narn.

So, is this show right for you? As I already mentioned if you are hungry for more Mass Effect like stories and action, that's a big yes. If you prefer a more alien encounter of the week set sort of like DS9 had, thats another yes. IF you prefer your Sci Fi serious with no humor, then this might not be for you, as the comedy happens at least once an episode, but I feel like that helps the show really catch you up when things get tense.

So overall, there you have it, ill be moving onto S2 this weekend!

Oh, also the dialogue is written really well, I had 1 or 2 lines from this season I really enjoyed:

"Everyone lies, Michael. The innocent lie because they don't want to be blamed for something they didn't do and the guilty lie because they don't have any other choice."
-- Sinclair to Garibaldi in Babylon 5:"And the Sky Full of Stars"

"'Sure' is for people with nothing on the line. You and me, we just get on with it."
-- Garibaldi to Sinclair in "Believers"

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Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:10 am
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Tried watching it, but simply haven't been able to get into it.

Probably need the actual time to pile through a series in short order which I seem to be lacking at this point in time.


Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:39 am
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How coincidental! I just recommended B5 to a coworker last week. He's a couple episodes in and he says it's right up his alley - I'm excited to hear what you both think as you move on!

I love Babylon 5 - so much so that I want to rewatch it (but I binged on it last year so I need to wait a little longer). I can't believe you hadn't seen it before, tbh. It definitely set the standard for writing (though unfortunately the CGI doesn't age well at all).

Speaking more generally, I would like to see a trend in the industry to make movies and TV shows using standardized file formats for CGI and standardized file storage practices, so when a show like this comes around, then 20 years later they can go back with ease and redo the CGI. None of this "Oooh we lost the files" nonsense.

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Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:42 am
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So, I am now into Season 3, and let me tell you, by the Great Maker this show hits the Jump Gate and NEVER slows down!

Looking back now in S1 and S2, both are really laying the ground work for the next level of the show. 1/3rd through S2 a major event happens on the eve of Peace, and this causes the next 6 or 7 episodes in succession to sort of daisy chain into revealing the larger stage that the series will play out on. Best I can put it into Trek terms is imagine of Voyager went half into Year of Hell, but didn't undo the changes, they had to roll with them and just keep on trucking.

In fact S2's Season Finale literally had a moment that made my jaw drop, and a few episodes before that was a major reveal that I had to re-wind 4 times to understand I was grasping what was being told to me, all very much Mass Effect "there are things in the universe older than you can comprehend" style.

Fantastic show, what also amazes me, as a Sci Fi fan, going into the series I instantly judged the 3 races by their appearance, but now its completely flipped up over on end, the Narn are the respectful race you root for, the Centuri are vile and ruthless, and the Minbari now are more decidedly in the middle of everything, its incredibly interesting to watch it all unfold and develop.

Also Sheridan is equal parts badass and iconic, he is a great Captain across the history of Sci Fi. And really all of the main cast is great because each one of them has a major vice or rough area that comes into the conflict, so the characters are decidedly more human, vs watching people who come from a Utopia with no want or greed.

Anyway, ill check in again after I finish S3!

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Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:10 am
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If I could "like" your post, I would a hundred times. I'm living vicariously through you, lol

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Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:46 pm
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MAN, did S3 TURN.IT.UP!!

I wasn't as flabbergasted by the big 2 Parter reveal, but man some aspects of it were amazing. Makes me wonder if they didn't have the lead cast change how the story would have unfolded differently...?

Also nice to see the good guys get a win, it had been a long time coming!

In Valen's name I Trek on into S4!

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Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:53 pm
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Are you talking about "War Without End"? Or are you talking about "Z'Ha'Dum"? Either way....yes.

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Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:54 pm
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SPOILERS AHOY!!

Spoiler:
So, I thought War without End was a FANTASTIC conclusion for the Sinclair arc, and what a TWIST! He becomes the fabled savior of the Minbari and uses Babylon 4 to defeat the Shadows!!! Man, what an epic trip, so many well delivered twists and turns!

Now the season finale hit me from left field, I figured the person they were hinting at was Delenn from the future, but MAN having it be Sheridans wife, WHO IS ALIVE AND WORKING FOR THE SHADOWS?!?!?!?!?!?!!?

And what an epic season finale, Sheridan dive bombing the heart of the Shadow city with two nukes, just freaking epic as hell!

Man this show is phenomenal.

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:42 am
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This is amazing. Your reactions are amazing. Everything is amazing. I wish more people were as amazing as you watching Babylon 5 and talking about it on USTLF is!

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Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:37 am
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Spoiler:
OH MY GLOB

Season 4 I REALLY had to slow down my watching, because each episode is SO heavy! The new Emperor is INSANE, at first hes painted as an idiot, but then the idiot gets really dark and things get NUTTY, he keeps decapitated heads on his desk and drinks with them? He is going to agree to the genocide of his own race to become a god? And the torture? Oh man the torture...

OH! and then freaking Vir STABS HIM IN THE BLOODY CHEST!!!?!?! Good lord this show.

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Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:32 am
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Babylon 5, a five season explanation of mnhei'sahe!

I re-watch this saga every few years, never gets old!

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Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:50 pm
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So now with the Shadow War concluded, and what a finale it was (!), B5 sets its eyes back on Earth and President Clark!

Geribaldi has... something weird going on with him, but they haven't revealed what that is just yet, and the Regent left in charge of Centari Homeworld has a growth on his shoulder. Pretty interesting twists and turns!

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:00 am
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Keep the updates coming!

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Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:31 am
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Indeed, keep them coming, unless you have been abducted by the Psi Corps!

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Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:52 pm
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Sure! So I just breached into Season 5, and I gotta say the war to take back Earth was pretty crazy!!

And, as a DS9 hard core fan, I gotta say some of the war aspects were written way better by Straczynski and the other writers.

The last real great laugh I had was when Sheridan keeps trying to be sworn in as president of the alliance, and the assassins keep making attempts on his life, which leads to this great exchange:

[A second attempt on Sheridan's life has been foiled.]

G'Kar:
Do you want to be President?

John Sheridan:
Yes.

G'Kar:
Put your hand on the book and say "I do."

Sheridan:
I do.

G'Kar:
Good. Done. Let's eat.

The comedy and interaction of the characters in this show, just magnificent, utterly magnificent.

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Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:54 am
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Babylon 5 was really lightning in a bottle. The show was so excellent but every attempt at a spin-off has failed. Crusade was a solid 'meh' while Legacy of the Rangers was just cringe.

I'm going through B5 again myself right now and I'm about halfway through S3.

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Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:16 pm
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Am I the only one waiting for a meme with "If you could make a spin off of B5 that didn't suck THAT'D BE GREAT!"

S*D

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Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:57 am
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So I'm stuck about 1/3rd through Season 5, there were just too many semi-uninteresting stories about Psychic people with 80's synth band haircuts.

I'll finish the series soon, but I think those could have been spaced out better.

Also, Garibaldi was one of my favorite charters, but in sort of a "Sol on BSG" kind of way they've made him into a largely unlikable bellend... which is sort of a bummer.

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Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:14 am
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Season 5 wasn't as good as it could have been because they didn't know there was going to be a Season 5, so most of the good material happened in 4.

Keep going though...

Yours in Bitter Plasma,
Star*Dagger

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Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:02 am
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Surlaw, what's the word my dude? Did you ever finish it up? Like S*D (and most rational people) say, Season 5 is by far one of the worst, but they end it on a great note for what it's worth.

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Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:41 pm
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