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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. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    For years I have watched HTF members push
    Warner to release Babylon 5 in season sets.

    For years I have heard people talk about how
    great this show is.

    Today I had a long conversation with a friend
    who just submersed himself into Babylon 5.

    He tells me he is hooked on this show. In fact,
    in just a few short months he has gone through the
    first three seasons.

    He says it is by far the best Sci-Fi show ever
    made. He says it is equivalent to THE SOPRANOS
    but in a different genre.

    I'm ready to invest.....but I want to be sure.

    I have very little time on my hands. I still have
    many TV shows to catch up on. Is Babylon 5
    the one I should invest my utmost priority in?

    I have also been told I should first watch the
    DVD, The Gathering before watching the very
    first episode.

    Any insight you can give on these sets would be
    greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Real Name:
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    For years I have watched HTF members push
    Warner to release Babylon 5 in season sets.

    For years I have heard people talk about how
    great this show is.

    Today I had a long conversation with a friend
    who just submersed himself into Babylon 5.

    He tells me he is hooked on this show. In fact,
    in just a few short months he has gone through the
    first three seasons.

    He says it is by far the best Sci-Fi show ever
    made. He says it is equivalent to THE SOPRANOS
    but in a different genre.

    I'm ready to invest.....but I want to be sure.

    I have very little time on my hands. I still have
    many TV shows to catch up on. Is Babylon 5
    the one I should invest my utmost priority in?

    I have also been told I should first watch the
    DVD, The Gathering before watching the very
    first episode.

    Any insight you can give on these sets would be
    greatly appreciated.
     
  3. Michael_EC

    Michael_EC Well-Known Member

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    I've also been very tempted to check out this series lately, but I've heard really bad things about the packaging...that the discs will not stay on the hubs and are prone to scratching. Are they really that bad?
     
  4. Michael_EC

    Michael_EC Well-Known Member

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    I've also been very tempted to check out this series lately, but I've heard really bad things about the packaging...that the discs will not stay on the hubs and are prone to scratching. Are they really that bad?
     
  5. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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    While I've had some loose discs, I've suffered no major damage to them, and they play just fine.

    Jason
     
  6. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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    While I've had some loose discs, I've suffered no major damage to them, and they play just fine.

    Jason
     
  7. todd s

    todd s Well-Known Member

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    Absolutley, I got my friend into it. Now, he is constantly calling me up to get the next episodes. But, be patient. The show really doesn't start to click until season 2.
     
  8. todd s

    todd s Well-Known Member

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    Absolutley, I got my friend into it. Now, he is constantly calling me up to get the next episodes. But, be patient. The show really doesn't start to click until season 2.
     
  9. Britton

    Britton Well-Known Member

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    The beauty of the show is its rewatchability, especially in the case of Season 1. Once you've finished the series, you will realize just how many seeds were planted from the start. I cannot recommend this series enough.
     
  10. Britton

    Britton Well-Known Member

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    The beauty of the show is its rewatchability, especially in the case of Season 1. Once you've finished the series, you will realize just how many seeds were planted from the start. I cannot recommend this series enough.
     
  11. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Well-Known Member

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    What a question!

    First of all it is one of the smartest SF series on TV. While the production values are not the greatest the stories and performances are what matters. Yes there are a few dog episodes and the fifth season seems a bit tacked on since it the main story arc was forced to a conclusion in the fourth season but it all holds together. I don't see it as a traditional TV series but but as a mini-series due to the very tight story arc.

    Buy it and enjoy. You will not be disappointed.
     
  12. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Well-Known Member

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    What a question!

    First of all it is one of the smartest SF series on TV. While the production values are not the greatest the stories and performances are what matters. Yes there are a few dog episodes and the fifth season seems a bit tacked on since it the main story arc was forced to a conclusion in the fourth season but it all holds together. I don't see it as a traditional TV series but but as a mini-series due to the very tight story arc.

    Buy it and enjoy. You will not be disappointed.
     
  13. James D

    James D Well-Known Member

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    Ron,
    I just recently started to watch B5 and am enjoying it. If you decide to invest in the show, you might want to consider joining Columbia House's TV Club. They have the first three seasons available for enrollment. They give you 2 boxed sets for $9.95 with free shipping and all that you have to do is buy two DVDs $19.95(it doesn't have to be a boxed set) or higher in the next year. The code to put in the box is HDL .
    http://go.columbiahouse.com/cache/pr...he=true&&v=263
    I don't want to sound like I'm pushing CH, but I find this to be a great deal to pick up box sets.[​IMG]
     
  14. James D

    James D Well-Known Member

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    Ron,
    I just recently started to watch B5 and am enjoying it. If you decide to invest in the show, you might want to consider joining Columbia House's TV Club. They have the first three seasons available for enrollment. They give you 2 boxed sets for $9.95 with free shipping and all that you have to do is buy two DVDs $19.95(it doesn't have to be a boxed set) or higher in the next year. The code to put in the box is HDL .
    http://go.columbiahouse.com/cache/pr...he=true&&v=263
    I don't want to sound like I'm pushing CH, but I find this to be a great deal to pick up box sets.[​IMG]
     
  15. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    Ron, I feel the need to inject some a bit of a different perspective here, as I know you are very particular (especially after reading you walked out of the latest "Harry Potter" movie [​IMG] ).

    I think B5 is a great series. However, it is far from perfect, and I consider it something of an acquired taste.
    I'm going to partially disagree with this particular statement. I know you're a huge fan of "The Sopranos", and if you go into B5 thinking it's "equivalent", your expectations will be WAY too high. I think B5 is a brilliantly plotted epic series, and on that level, yeah, it's the "Sopranos" of SF. But I have to say the acting and production values on "The Sopranos" are in an entirely different league from B5.

    This is not to trash B5. The budget was MUCH lower. The series originally aired on some kind of syndicated conglomarate and was battling to survive pretty much every second of its existence. I think it's a huge testament to B5 creator & primary writer J. Michael Strazynski that he got this thing on the air and all the way through its 5-year run with his original vision largely intact. But the lower budget shows on screen, and with all due respect to his cast, they are simply acted off the screen by the "Sopranos" ensemble.

    To be fair, part of the problem here is that JMS is not a good dialogue writer. He often gave his characters some very awkward things to say. And some of the actors were really good - Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) & Peter Jurasik (Londo) in particular were always splendid.

    All of the above is simply to level-set your expectations realistically. If you can give the show some time, look past the cheap sets, dated SFX, and sometimes awkward acting, you will find a gem of a series.

    I do recommend you start with "The Gathering". The original single disc release of this pilot paired with "In The Beginning" should be available pretty cheaply, especially since a lot of fans are probably dumping theirs now that the big B5 movie box is coming shortly (heck, you can have mine if you want - e-mail or PM me). Although it's a bit slow at times, and the final cast is not in place, it is a good introduction to the B5 universe and the races that inhabit it. If you are even mildly intrigued by "The Gathering", you should then move on to Season 1.

    The usual recommendation is NOT to watch "In The Beginning" right away if you plan to continue on with the rest of the series. It is IMO the best of the B5 TV movies, but contains some spoilers for the rest of the series and usually should be saved until the Season 3/4 timeframe. But, if you're still a little unsure after "The Gathering", go ahead and watch ItB - it may well push you off the fence.

    Anyway, that's my two cents, which I'm sure some will disagree with... [​IMG]

    Edit - this was written before James' CH deal post. Yeah, that's kind of a no-brainer, isn't it??
     
  16. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    Ron, I feel the need to inject some a bit of a different perspective here, as I know you are very particular (especially after reading you walked out of the latest "Harry Potter" movie [​IMG] ).

    I think B5 is a great series. However, it is far from perfect, and I consider it something of an acquired taste.
    I'm going to partially disagree with this particular statement. I know you're a huge fan of "The Sopranos", and if you go into B5 thinking it's "equivalent", your expectations will be WAY too high. I think B5 is a brilliantly plotted epic series, and on that level, yeah, it's the "Sopranos" of SF. But I have to say the acting and production values on "The Sopranos" are in an entirely different league from B5.

    This is not to trash B5. The budget was MUCH lower. The series originally aired on some kind of syndicated conglomarate and was battling to survive pretty much every second of its existence. I think it's a huge testament to B5 creator & primary writer J. Michael Strazynski that he got this thing on the air and all the way through its 5-year run with his original vision largely intact. But the lower budget shows on screen, and with all due respect to his cast, they are simply acted off the screen by the "Sopranos" ensemble.

    To be fair, part of the problem here is that JMS is not a good dialogue writer. He often gave his characters some very awkward things to say. And some of the actors were really good - Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) & Peter Jurasik (Londo) in particular were always splendid.

    All of the above is simply to level-set your expectations realistically. If you can give the show some time, look past the cheap sets, dated SFX, and sometimes awkward acting, you will find a gem of a series.

    I do recommend you start with "The Gathering". The original single disc release of this pilot paired with "In The Beginning" should be available pretty cheaply, especially since a lot of fans are probably dumping theirs now that the big B5 movie box is coming shortly (heck, you can have mine if you want - e-mail or PM me). Although it's a bit slow at times, and the final cast is not in place, it is a good introduction to the B5 universe and the races that inhabit it. If you are even mildly intrigued by "The Gathering", you should then move on to Season 1.

    The usual recommendation is NOT to watch "In The Beginning" right away if you plan to continue on with the rest of the series. It is IMO the best of the B5 TV movies, but contains some spoilers for the rest of the series and usually should be saved until the Season 3/4 timeframe. But, if you're still a little unsure after "The Gathering", go ahead and watch ItB - it may well push you off the fence.

    Anyway, that's my two cents, which I'm sure some will disagree with... [​IMG]

    Edit - this was written before James' CH deal post. Yeah, that's kind of a no-brainer, isn't it??
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    James,

    Holy cow!

    Just signed up for the Columbia House club
    as you suggested.

    Season ONE and TWO for a total of $9.95? Plus Free
    Shipping! How can I go wrong?

    Thank You so much for that recommendation.
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    James,

    Holy cow!

    Just signed up for the Columbia House club
    as you suggested.

    Season ONE and TWO for a total of $9.95? Plus Free
    Shipping! How can I go wrong?

    Thank You so much for that recommendation.
     
  19. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Well-Known Member

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    My friend got me into B5 while it was running on scifi and i cant believe i didnt watch this when it was on during its run. Start off with The Gathering, as it was the pilot and it does give you background information which will be brought up during the series. The first time you watch season 1 there are some very good episodes, and a few slower ones, but you must watch them all.Once you watch the entire series, and then watch S1 again you will notice that small things mentioned in S1 come up again in every single season. Season 2 starts to pick up and there is no turning back. Excellent series and i highly recommend you watch it. Go in this order when watching

    The Gathering(pilot)
    S1
    S2
    S3
    S4
    Thirdspace(movie takes place Mid Season 4)
    In the Beginning(movie which is a prequal but has spoilers so watch after season 4)
    S5
    A Call to Arms
    Crusade
    Legend of the Rangers

    And River of Souls is horrible and i wouldnt watch it :)
     
  20. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Well-Known Member

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    My friend got me into B5 while it was running on scifi and i cant believe i didnt watch this when it was on during its run. Start off with The Gathering, as it was the pilot and it does give you background information which will be brought up during the series. The first time you watch season 1 there are some very good episodes, and a few slower ones, but you must watch them all.Once you watch the entire series, and then watch S1 again you will notice that small things mentioned in S1 come up again in every single season. Season 2 starts to pick up and there is no turning back. Excellent series and i highly recommend you watch it. Go in this order when watching

    The Gathering(pilot)
    S1
    S2
    S3
    S4
    Thirdspace(movie takes place Mid Season 4)
    In the Beginning(movie which is a prequal but has spoilers so watch after season 4)
    S5
    A Call to Arms
    Crusade
    Legend of the Rangers

    And River of Souls is horrible and i wouldnt watch it :)
     

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