Babylon 5

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Gassner, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Tom Gassner

    Tom Gassner Auditioning

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    I've never seen Babylon 5 and I was wondering if I need to purchase the pilot and the first season to start the series correctly or is the pilot part of the first season set. If anyone can answer I would appreciate it. Thanks.
     
  2. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    Purchase the pilot first, and then the first season
    The pilot is a bit weak compared to the rest of the series IMO, but there are many important points brought up which are explored in future episodes, and it serves as a useful intro to most of the main characters, including some who disappear for 2 seasons.

    The pilot is "The Gathering", and is sold separately from the first season. I personally would not purchase "In The Beginning" which is also available, but which will give away many of the plot points and twists of the first three seasons, and one major plot point which doesn't come up until the last season. Wait until you have seen the whole series before watching In The Beginning, even though it is set before the pilot
     
  3. millercv

    millercv Second Unit

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    Actually both "The Gathering" and "In The Beginning" are on one DVD (dual sided). Go ahead and buy it and watch the gathering and hold off on In The Beginning.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Listen to MillerCV!
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    millercv is right. To watch everything in order, get The Gathering / In The Beginning (one DVD) and just watch The Gathering. In the Beginning takes place before everything else but will spoil the first couple of season of the series.

    Then, watch season 1 (which comes out November), and seasons 2 - 4 (if they ever come out). After season 4, you can watch In the Beginning safely without spoiling anything as that is when it came out originally.

    Also note that the first episode of season 1, Midnight on the Firing Line, also introduces the characters and B5 universe- it was originally aired about a year after The Gathering, so they felt they had to re-introduce everything. It is a much tighter and stronger episode. So, even if you don't watch The Gathering, you won't miss much.

    If you do watch The Gathering, don't be surprised when you see three of the major characters not returning for season 1.
     
  6. Brian_Anderson

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    I'm in agreement with the folks above, but do watch The Gathering. There is this creepy guy in it that pretty much got me to watch the series (even though he dies) because he says, "There is a hole... in your mind." Picture it done in a spooky ominus way, and damnit you want to know what that damn whole is and what can be done about it.
     
  7. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Yeah, there are a couple of important plot points for the series in The Gathering, so it is good to watch it first, even though it is very different from the series in many respects. (The costumes, make-ups and weapons were all redesigned during the long wait for the series green-light, and several story elements were dropped or altered along with many of the cast members and their characters.)
    Besides, for around $15.00 (including the Minbari War prequel film In the Beginning) the disc is a very good deal. Probably best to avoid watching ItB until after you've seen at least the 3rd season, or maybe the whole series. The main story is set in the 2240s (the series begins in 2258 and each season is one calendar year) but it gives away secrets about the war that the characters try to uncover during the series. It also has a framing story in which one of the regulars is telling the story of the war to three other people in the year 2278 - so it gives away certain things about the future as well.
    BTW, The Gathering has one other scene that becomes very interesting after you've seen the entire series. It is a conversation between two characters. At the very end of the fifth season these same characters pick up this conversation more-or-less where they left off - but under very different circumstances. [​IMG]
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  9. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

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    Hehe joe i just saw that episode yesterday. I was rewinding a bunch of tapes i had and i happened to press play and that scene was on . Priceless

    capt
     
  10. Tom Gassner

    Tom Gassner Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the replies. I already ordered the single disk. I will wait to order the series after I see how I like it .
     
  11. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Tom Don't base whether you get the series on the pilot. I hated the pilot and relutantly gave the series a watch and I loved it. I found an appreciation for the Pilot after the series
     
  12. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Tom:
    Dave is right. The pilot is so different from the series that it would be a mistake to make your buying decision based on that alone. Far better, at that point, to risk the spoilers and watch In the Beginning, which has much more of the spirit of the series about it. Or drop $15 bucks on the VHS tape with the first two regular episodes on it. The Gathering is valuable for the couple of plot points mentioned and because the producers made the decision to keep the events of the pilot part of the history of the series. (So when actors were replaced their parts weren't recast - new characters were created and the people from the pilot are referred to later as being transferred off the station. One of them later returns in a second season episode, and becomes a regular beginning in season three.)
    But really the only way to understand what is "goin on" with the series is to watch at least four or five episodes in a row. That's when you can really see the kind of story telling that emerges from show to show. Actually, you might just want to watch (or tape) the first couple of weeks of the season one reruns on The Sci-Fi Channel.
    The series cycles back around to S1 beginning on either October 22nd or 23rd at 5 PM ET/PT. (There is some question about the exact date.) Sci-Fi has actually edited The Gathering into two one-hour episodes and airs it as part of season one (which was never done before the move to Sci-Fi.) To make it fit with the rest of the episodes they matted it to 1.78:1, despite the fact that the pilot is the only B5 project that wasn't shot in Super35 and composed for 1.78:1. (The DVD correctly presents The Gathering at 1.33:1 and In the Beginning at 1.78:1.) So the actual first episode, "Midnight on the Firing Line" will air on October 24th or 28th (the show airs Monday through Thursday.) That means you can watch five or six episodes in order before the release date for the first DVD set.
    Personally, when checking out a series I haven't seen, but am interested in, I prefer to take a chance and just buy the first season. Being able to watch the episodes in batches, at my own convenience, is much more appealing to me that even catching daily reruns. I did this with both The X-Files and The Sopranos[/i] and got hooked on both.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  13. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Supporting Actor

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  14. Tom Gassner

    Tom Gassner Auditioning

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    Okay, Okay! I probably would buy the season even if the pilot sucked. At least I will feel better feeding my addiction for completeness knowing that the series is really cool. Thanks everyone I will post my opinions on the series once I get it.
     
  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    By the way, if anyone would like to see what the actual discs are going to look like, here's a link to the press release for the U.K. version.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    And here are small screen shots of the S1 main menu and the chapter index for "Midnight on the Firing Line":
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  17. DeVario

    DeVario Agent

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    Beautiful! I'll be picking this up the first day.
     
  18. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  19. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Theo:

    Late in S5, and the exact episode escapes me at the moment, Lyta approaches G'Kar about the Narn need for telepath DNA. The offer leads to G'Kar's invitation to Lyta to accompany him into exile for two years, and the deal they make helps finance the ships, homeworld search and underground Army that Garibaldi will be organizing for her in the interim. It is interesting to think that the scene in The Gathering, which seems like a throw-away intended to show what a schemer G'Kar is, was already pointing towards this scene. It is also interesting that, as far as I can recall, G'Kar doesn't have a single scene with Lyta - or Talia for that matter - in the entire five years between TG and the end of S5. (I think it was "Objects in Motion".)

    Regards,

    Joe
     

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