Babylon 5: Should I invest my money and time? ANSWER IN POST #500

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. cole_b

    cole_b Agent

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    I tried to get into B5, but it bored me. I wouldn't plunk down cash for any season sets until you get a chance to at least see the pilot.
     
  2. cole_b

    cole_b Agent

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    I tried to get into B5, but it bored me. I wouldn't plunk down cash for any season sets until you get a chance to at least see the pilot.
     
  3. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    Aboslutely 100% yes!

    You should probably just rent The Gathering since The Movie Collection set is coming out later this with with commentaries from JMS on all of them. [​IMG]

    I, personally, love all 110 episodes (with the exception of A View From the Gallery) and the series finale is definitely one of the best series finales that I've ever seen.
    I'm also trying to get my future brother-in-law hooked on it too. I think I'm succeeding. I just wish he'd have more time to watch it.
     
  4. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    Aboslutely 100% yes!

    You should probably just rent The Gathering since The Movie Collection set is coming out later this with with commentaries from JMS on all of them. [​IMG]

    I, personally, love all 110 episodes (with the exception of A View From the Gallery) and the series finale is definitely one of the best series finales that I've ever seen.
    I'm also trying to get my future brother-in-law hooked on it too. I think I'm succeeding. I just wish he'd have more time to watch it.
     
  5. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Ron,

    There were times when this was first on I wopuld stand up in my seat and say "BEST SCI-FI SHOW, EVER!"

    Yes the dialog can be a little clunky at times. While I think that the creator, JMS, was excellent at telling a large sweeping story, sometimes the characters felt a little awkward. It probably also has something to do with the fact that he wrote 95% of the shows, and I imagine that can take its toll on a weekly series.

    On a big screen the video is very "rough" at times. This has to do with the producers shooting it for eventual widescreen, but not rendering the SFX that way. As a matter of fact, everytime they go to or from a dissolve the picture degrades noticably.

    But as others have said... It's the story that will hold you. Season one may seem like a bunch of unconnected one shots, but down the road, many of those episodes will hole new resonance.

    Anyway, when you do dive into this, please let us know what you think.

    Ric
     
  6. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Ron,

    There were times when this was first on I wopuld stand up in my seat and say "BEST SCI-FI SHOW, EVER!"

    Yes the dialog can be a little clunky at times. While I think that the creator, JMS, was excellent at telling a large sweeping story, sometimes the characters felt a little awkward. It probably also has something to do with the fact that he wrote 95% of the shows, and I imagine that can take its toll on a weekly series.

    On a big screen the video is very "rough" at times. This has to do with the producers shooting it for eventual widescreen, but not rendering the SFX that way. As a matter of fact, everytime they go to or from a dissolve the picture degrades noticably.

    But as others have said... It's the story that will hold you. Season one may seem like a bunch of unconnected one shots, but down the road, many of those episodes will hole new resonance.

    Anyway, when you do dive into this, please let us know what you think.

    Ric
     
  7. Michael Sliger

    Michael Sliger Second Unit

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    I highly recommend Babylon 5 to anyone who enjoys long-form epic storytelling. The series is unsurpassed in that characteristic, IMHO. Ron, since you enjoyed The X-Files, I have to think that you will adore this show as well. JMS' plotlines make Chris Carter's alien conspiracy look like a young adult novel series. A few points to address though:

    1) Borrow a copy of "The Gathering". The commentary track for this TV-movie that will appear in the upcoming Movies set should make the original release rather pointless to own. There are some major arc points in story which make it a crucial story, so don't skip it. Don't be shocked when the alien makeup work changes radically for the main series. I don't see a problem with watching "In The Beginning" before the main series either (I did that myself), but there is a huge Season 1 plot point that is spoiled.

    2) Be aware that Season 1 is good, but not anywhere as mindblowing as the middle three seasons. I do recommend rewatching this season shortly after you finish Season 5 since there are loads of hints about the big arc that you will not notice during the initial viewing.

    3) Skip the introduction clips and the commentary tracks on these disks until you have watched the full series. JMS spoils major plot points in his talks.
     
  8. Michael Sliger

    Michael Sliger Second Unit

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    I highly recommend Babylon 5 to anyone who enjoys long-form epic storytelling. The series is unsurpassed in that characteristic, IMHO. Ron, since you enjoyed The X-Files, I have to think that you will adore this show as well. JMS' plotlines make Chris Carter's alien conspiracy look like a young adult novel series. A few points to address though:

    1) Borrow a copy of "The Gathering". The commentary track for this TV-movie that will appear in the upcoming Movies set should make the original release rather pointless to own. There are some major arc points in story which make it a crucial story, so don't skip it. Don't be shocked when the alien makeup work changes radically for the main series. I don't see a problem with watching "In The Beginning" before the main series either (I did that myself), but there is a huge Season 1 plot point that is spoiled.

    2) Be aware that Season 1 is good, but not anywhere as mindblowing as the middle three seasons. I do recommend rewatching this season shortly after you finish Season 5 since there are loads of hints about the big arc that you will not notice during the initial viewing.

    3) Skip the introduction clips and the commentary tracks on these disks until you have watched the full series. JMS spoils major plot points in his talks.
     
  9. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Oh yeah, I heartily agree with that one! I'm also in the camp that you should wait at least until the end of season 3 (possibly even season 4) to watch the "In the Beginning" TV movie.

    The big joy of B5 was the development and growth of its main characters (along with that big booming story. As much as I loved Star Trek:TNG, my major complaint was that there was very little character growth. With the exception of Worf's storyline, you could basically watch the show in any order. BTW, B5 ran concurrently with Star Trek: DS9 and there were quite a few similarities. But DS9 did not really pump up their major arc action until B5 had basically run thru its first four seasons (They always did have some nice character growth though).

    Ric
     
  10. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Oh yeah, I heartily agree with that one! I'm also in the camp that you should wait at least until the end of season 3 (possibly even season 4) to watch the "In the Beginning" TV movie.

    The big joy of B5 was the development and growth of its main characters (along with that big booming story. As much as I loved Star Trek:TNG, my major complaint was that there was very little character growth. With the exception of Worf's storyline, you could basically watch the show in any order. BTW, B5 ran concurrently with Star Trek: DS9 and there were quite a few similarities. But DS9 did not really pump up their major arc action until B5 had basically run thru its first four seasons (They always did have some nice character growth though).

    Ric
     
  11. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Absolutely get this series! Speaking as one who was originally so bored by 'The Gathering' that I blew off the entire series during its original run.....I can tell you that I regret the rashness of my decision all those years ago. After watching the whole series for the first time on DVD over the past five months, I can honestly say that it is now one of my favorite shows - period.

    I must note that it starts off slow and begins to pick up toward the end of the first season....and when you finally get to the second season, get ready for the best part of the ride to begin- by the time I got to the third season, I was a Babylon 5 junkie....I couldn't get enough of it- I would finish one disc and go right to the next one. Once season 5 comes, things start to wind down toward a very emotional series finale....one of the best I have ever watched IMHO.

    So enjoy it Ron.....you are in for one hell of a ride!

    As for me, I'm waiting for the upcoming B5 Movies boxset in August.....I'm looking very forward to it. [​IMG]
     
  12. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Absolutely get this series! Speaking as one who was originally so bored by 'The Gathering' that I blew off the entire series during its original run.....I can tell you that I regret the rashness of my decision all those years ago. After watching the whole series for the first time on DVD over the past five months, I can honestly say that it is now one of my favorite shows - period.

    I must note that it starts off slow and begins to pick up toward the end of the first season....and when you finally get to the second season, get ready for the best part of the ride to begin- by the time I got to the third season, I was a Babylon 5 junkie....I couldn't get enough of it- I would finish one disc and go right to the next one. Once season 5 comes, things start to wind down toward a very emotional series finale....one of the best I have ever watched IMHO.

    So enjoy it Ron.....you are in for one hell of a ride!

    As for me, I'm waiting for the upcoming B5 Movies boxset in August.....I'm looking very forward to it. [​IMG]
     
  13. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    100% agreed. Not everyone likes this style of storytelling. Not everyone likes ongoing stories. But if you do, B5 is quality. B5 is one of the few shows that comes across more as a good series of novels than a show.

    If you're looking for more personal radar on it, I watched and enjoyed many years of Star Trek TNG when I was younger, watched the first few seasons of Deep Space Nine, and loved X-files. I've been slowly watching X-files on DVD via greencine (I think I'm on season 3). I like the conspiracy eps but sometimes get bored by the monster-of-the-week eps.



    I originally watched B5 on TV, but lost track of it after season 2 - it kept getting booted to crazy time slots like 2 AM on my local Fox station. Hard when you're in high school. And then I went to college.


    I rented B5 Season 1 on DVD from greencine a while after it came out, remembering how much I liked it when I was younger. I liked it even more now than I did then. I was surprised how great it was. I promptly bought S2.



    The show is great for a couple of reasons.


    1)Character Development - flawed, generally realistic characters who change as the story unfolds, as a result of their own actions, and others' actions.

    2) A planned out story arc

    3) Some excellent performances by some of the actors


    The CGI is rough (especially season 1!), looks even worse on a big display because of the stretching (CGI sources not saved by Warner, long story). It's the characters and the story that make it a good show. If you liked X-files, and Star Trek, it's somewhere in between.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    100% agreed. Not everyone likes this style of storytelling. Not everyone likes ongoing stories. But if you do, B5 is quality. B5 is one of the few shows that comes across more as a good series of novels than a show.

    If you're looking for more personal radar on it, I watched and enjoyed many years of Star Trek TNG when I was younger, watched the first few seasons of Deep Space Nine, and loved X-files. I've been slowly watching X-files on DVD via greencine (I think I'm on season 3). I like the conspiracy eps but sometimes get bored by the monster-of-the-week eps.



    I originally watched B5 on TV, but lost track of it after season 2 - it kept getting booted to crazy time slots like 2 AM on my local Fox station. Hard when you're in high school. And then I went to college.


    I rented B5 Season 1 on DVD from greencine a while after it came out, remembering how much I liked it when I was younger. I liked it even more now than I did then. I was surprised how great it was. I promptly bought S2.



    The show is great for a couple of reasons.


    1)Character Development - flawed, generally realistic characters who change as the story unfolds, as a result of their own actions, and others' actions.

    2) A planned out story arc

    3) Some excellent performances by some of the actors


    The CGI is rough (especially season 1!), looks even worse on a big display because of the stretching (CGI sources not saved by Warner, long story). It's the characters and the story that make it a good show. If you liked X-files, and Star Trek, it's somewhere in between.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/lurker.html

    The above link is for the lurkers guide. Check it out. There is a great deal of useful information. Just don't be tempted to read ahead and spoil the fun.

    I watched B5 durring its first TV run and was hooked by the storyline. Even my wife liked it, and she is not a sci-fi fan. (Wanna watch "Pretty Woman" again? >sigh
     
  16. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/lurker.html

    The above link is for the lurkers guide. Check it out. There is a great deal of useful information. Just don't be tempted to read ahead and spoil the fun.

    I watched B5 durring its first TV run and was hooked by the storyline. Even my wife liked it, and she is not a sci-fi fan. (Wanna watch "Pretty Woman" again? >sigh
     
  17. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I am in the middle of a borrowed season two.

    I agree with much of what has been said. Great storytelling, but with sometimes clunky dialog. Production is obviously of the shoestring variety. Effects don't do much for me at all. The video quality is sub-par.

    But: great storytelling.

    This gets compared with Deep Space Nine frequently, and I have to say that I prefer DS9... but B5 is very good. I may well like it better as I progress through the series.

    The series isn't on my "buy" list at the retail prices... but the CH deal sounds interesting for the first two seasons.

    -Scott
     
  18. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I am in the middle of a borrowed season two.

    I agree with much of what has been said. Great storytelling, but with sometimes clunky dialog. Production is obviously of the shoestring variety. Effects don't do much for me at all. The video quality is sub-par.

    But: great storytelling.

    This gets compared with Deep Space Nine frequently, and I have to say that I prefer DS9... but B5 is very good. I may well like it better as I progress through the series.

    The series isn't on my "buy" list at the retail prices... but the CH deal sounds interesting for the first two seasons.

    -Scott
     
  19. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    The corralary to the Sopranos is Apt in that B5 is a quality Sci Fi Epic. It takes attention to get into since things that seem trivial in one episode comes back to affect the plot later down the road. Season 1 takes some to get into , the acting in spots is wooden as the actors are getting used to their characters, Season 2 blasts foraward and theres no turning back. But seriously Ron why not Netflix it and see if you like it. You can always buy the remaining sets and find a deal on season 1
     
  20. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    The corralary to the Sopranos is Apt in that B5 is a quality Sci Fi Epic. It takes attention to get into since things that seem trivial in one episode comes back to affect the plot later down the road. Season 1 takes some to get into , the acting in spots is wooden as the actors are getting used to their characters, Season 2 blasts foraward and theres no turning back. But seriously Ron why not Netflix it and see if you like it. You can always buy the remaining sets and find a deal on season 1
     

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