"Babylon 5" from the beginning

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joseph DeMartino, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    If you've been curious about Babylon 5, but have been hesitant about coming into a continuing story "in the middle", this Thursday is your chance to start watching the show from the very beginning.
    The Sci-Fi Channel is restarting B5 Thursday night, August 23rd at 7 PM (ET/PT - but check local listings. Not all West Coast cable providers are using the Sci-Fi Channel's West Coast Feed.)
    The series is kicking off with the original pilot film The Gathering, which Sci-Fi had edited into a two part episode. Sci-Fi also had the originally 1.33:1 TV frame matted down to 1.77:1 to match the widescreen series episodes, but this is less distracting than it sounds. (The pilot film was shot on standard 35mm. When the series went into production the better part of a year after the pilot was completed the producers switched to Super35 and began composing the shots for both 1.33:1 and 1.77:1. Sci-Fi has been the first U.S. outlet to air the widescreen version of the show.)
    During the long gap between the production of the pilot and the start of work on the series a number of changes were made to the look and feel of the show (as well as several cast changes), but "The Gathering Parts 1 & 2" does serve to set-up the initial background of the series, and introduces plot elements and themes that carry over for the rest of the series. (One scene in the pilot involves two characters who will not appear on-screen together again until the last three episodes of the fifth season, at which point they will continue a conversation that begins here.)
    Sci-Fi is currently running B5 Monday through Friday at 7 PM, but there are indications that they are going to add an early evening movie to their original programming block on Fridays, which would change the show to Monday through Thursday. Again, check local listings for the latest information.
    The show is well worth investing the time to "get into." It is one of the most ambitious adult SF projects ever undertaken, an attempt to do a TV series on the scale of Asimov's Foundation series or "Doc" Smith's Lensman books (although without the comicbook space opera elements of the latter.) If you like the mix of stand alone adventure and a continuing storyline that shows like X-Files (up to a point), Buffy and Angel use, this may be another show you can sink your teeth into (as it were. [​IMG])
    (And unlike X-Files, the writer producer actually had a definite ending in mind for the show, and shaped the episodes to get there. [​IMG])
    Regards,
    Joe
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  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I agree, if you enjoy sci-fi/politics/warfare, B5 is the show for you. The characterizations of the major characters are strong, and the storylines are engaging. If you haven't gotten into B5, what are you waiting for? It's time well spent in front of the TV.
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  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I don't usually do "bumps", but I did want to keep this topic visible until Thursday, when the show starts again.
    Joe
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  4. Mark Wolverton

    Mark Wolverton Stunt Coordinator

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    I have watched Babylon 5 since its original airing. I missed a few episodes here and there so, SCI-FI's continued showing of the series in order has been great.
    First timers should definately give this one a view. Excellent TV!
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    Mark W
    "I like to watch."
    Chauncy Gardner - Being There -
     
  5. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I'm a huge B5 fan, and have bought them all on tape.
    Boy would I love to see them appear on DVD in widescreen and with plenty of extras mmmmmm!
     
  6. Marshall Brewton

    Marshall Brewton Auditioning

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    As an avid fan of the series, I must note that the pilot and first series comprise but a glimpse at the quality of the entire series.
    I'm unsure as to how to put this, but here goes:
    Having seen the majority of the series, I can fully appreciate the pilot and first season. However, I'm afraid that -- for those who are largely unfamiliar with the series -- the viewing of a first-season episode or two might result in it being shunned altogether.
    To those who might do just that, I beg of you: please don't!
    It was a new show with new actors and, therefore, lacked the finesse that the following seasons exuded. I can, however, assure those of you who might fit into this category that the vast majority of the material found within the first season is very relevant.
    This is the best SCI-FI show... ever!
    And, please: No "Sinclair vs. Sheridan" debates! [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Marshall Brewton on August 22, 2001 at 10:09 PM]
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Yes, folks new to the show, especially those whose expectations have been formed by years of watching other SF material on TV, should definitely not make snap judgments. I intially dismissed the series as a "poor man's Trek" and stopped watching early in the first season. Only when a friend of mine convinced me to watch it for four or five weeks straight when it went into re-runs did I "get" it, and become a fan. So by all means, plan on watching the pilot tomorrow and Friday, then all of the episodes next week. By then I think you'll begin to see the outlines of the larger story, and appreciate the B5 universe for the unique place it is.
    Regards,
    Joe
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  8. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    "And so it begins..."
     
  9. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I have taped all the episodes since they first aired on the PTEN(?) network. I have vowed not to watch them again until I can watch it on perfect picture, good sounding, no station logo DVD. December 4th cannot come quick enough. Hopefully, we will hear about regular episodes soon.
     

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