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prometheus

Babylon 5

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Here in the UK, FX are showing Babylon 5 from Episode 1. An early episode is on right now in the background called "Eyes" guest starring Jeffrey Combes aka DS9's Weyone and Enterprise's Shraan. I never really loved DS9 - I preferred the thoroughbred Star Fleet character of TNG and Voyager. Only recently have I started to Series Link the series on the Sky Planner and watch them over again with a new appreciation. Perhaps it's just nostalgia? Whatever it is I now like DS9. At the same time, I am now re-watching Babylon 5, a series which I did like the first time round. It is very clever, sharp, edgey with a common thread woven through it, mystery and intrigue. Some web-sites have compared the two series, saying that elements of DS9 had been pinched from the Babylon 5 premise, but I am not so sure. Yes there are similarities and yes, I suppose that DS9 had a continuing thread and mystery from the Wormhole aliens. But, despite being a die hard Star Trek fan, I do feel that Babylon 5 was better. If anything, it is like a cross between DS9 and Enterprise.

 

Do you like Babylon 5 and do you think it is better than DS9?

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First of all DS9 is the best of all Star Trek series. I even prefer it over TNG and I love TNG.

 

Babylon 5 is better than DS9.

 

 

 

 

 

For three seasons. Then in the forth season B5 takes a turn for the worse.

 

 

 

I've been trying to figure out why and how this happened. I know that for financial reasons the producers of B5 felt compelled to compress Season 4 and Season 5 into one season, and so Season 4 has a lot things going on. This could infact have been a good thing, except they changed a whole lot of things for Season 4.

 

The most obvious result of the compression is the rushed resolution of the Shadow-Vorlon conflict. This resolution is not only pretty dumb in concepts (let's just all go away) but also forces through a much too quick re-evaluation of the Vorlons. Up unitl the end of Season 3 the Vorlons had always been treated as a race different from the Shadows not only in philosophy but also in act, and they had been (mostly through Kosh) set up to be what we would consider angelic beeings.

 

Nothing of this remains in Season 4 and to me that was a great loss for the show. It may be that this change to the Vorlons could have worked, but it should have required more time and build-up. As it stand now We get forced down our throats. You thought we were good? No way dude, we're bigger pricks than the Shades!. Talk about ripping diversity straight out of the heart of the show, with a loss of important hope and optimism as a consequense. And a shame too for the writers and directors had proven that they could handle the good Vorlons in a compelling way given the chance.

 

Another feature of Season 4 is that the format of the show changes. Before all episodes were more or less self contained, or part of a double. Holes between episode were allowed granting a certain freedom to writers and directors. In Season 4 B5 turned soap. Episodes usually followed each other with cliffhangers, and each episode dealt with all storylines at once. The best episodes in Season 4 do not have the punch that the better episodes in the first three Seasons had. To me it seems obvious that the constraints the new format placed in writers and directors hampered their ideas.

 

There were still glimpses of what could have been. That image of the Vorlon planetkiller blocking out the sun over Alpha Centauri for instance, how I wish that would have been set up better, to really feel the emotional kick of that moment. They managed such things in the first three seasons. The new format didn't work that way though and the show lost its edge. It is interesting to note that DS9 suffered from the same problem in its last ten episodes of Season 7 which is also DS9:s weakest season (Though there are some real gems like Chimera). The best episode of B5 Season 4 is probably the one where Sheridan has to go up against his own fellow EA Officers, and even that idea was done better in Season 3 with Point of no return and Severed dreams. In the eventually produced fifth season they returned to the one story per show format, but now it was to late. There were no more stories to tell.

 

I read somewhere that the original plan for B5 was that the Shadows would defeat the Vorlons and that the station Babylon 5 would be destroyed by the Mimbari warrior cast with the crew leaving to carry on the fight (Perhaps from Earth). That would have been a much better path to follow IMO, but perhaps it was made impossible by the compression of Seasons 4 and 5.

 

Even so like I said for Season 1-3 Babylon 5 is probably the best space themed Sci-Fi show ever produced. Certainly much better and optimistic than the dull Battlestar Galactica. So is TOS, TNG, DS9 and damnit even VOY too by the way. I notice though that Prometheus mentions Enterprise in his post and it needs to be said that Star Trek Enterprise was an uninspired show and to even mention it in the same company as B5 and DS9 is icky. In any event Enterprise came long after B5 and B5 probably ows a lot more to the old Blakes Seven show.

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Well... boobies said most of it for me. :giggle:

 

To me, Babylon 5 would have been better if Sinclair had stayed. I never liked Sheridan. But as far as characters go, I liked a lot more of the main characters in B5 than I did in DS9. And some of the stories in B5 had me just hanging. But in the end, it seemed incomplete for me. I did not at all like the direction they took with Garibaldi. I really wish I could have seen what happened with Londo and Centauri Prime and how they dealt with/got out of that mess. And there was something brewing with the telepaths that we never got to see, either. And where the hell were Ivanova and Lennier, anyway? I loved those two and they just dropped off the face of the planet. So when the show ended, I felt very unfulfilled.

 

Whereas DS9 had a pretty satisfying ending. No, we're not quite sure if Sisko is alive, but it's better to end with the hope than to know for sure that he's dead.

 

B5 was a very good show and the first three seasons might well have been better than DS9. But the way they compressed the fourth season and then made up some crazy fifth season just didn't gibe, and I think that makes DS9 better as a whole.

 

Of course this is all highly subjective.

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I watched both series, too...though I have seen more of DS by comparison than B5. My mother, who loved StarWars, and whom unfortunately I never got into Trek(But she knew who Kirk, or Spock or a certain Ocampa were by moi!) liked B5 quite a bit, as did I. I actually liked Sheridan in a way more than Sinclair...it was neat though when they brought him back that time. My knowledge of B5 isn't as in-depth, but then, I got away from DS after it ended, and I tend to lean towards...well. my handle says it all. Hmm...a preference....my Trek loyalty tells me to go with DS, as all things trek pretty much trump other SF, but I do like other things.Both series had colorful and interesting characters IMO.The Shadows were a terrific villain, and poor Londo and his Faustian bargain...shudder. I think he really tried to make amends with G'Kar, right? But then it what, fell apart...it's been a long time since I saw any of that. B5 was a complex world, but then DS had its Bajoran angles, the Dominion, and Cardassia...I think DS was a broader-palette trek than the others.As said, I tend to identify more with the other series, however, it was well-written, and I would gladly watch it all again if I were able to on regular tv.As I would B5.

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To me, Babylon 5 would have been better if Sinclair had stayed. I never liked Sheridan.

 

I also liked Sinclair and initially had a difficult time warming up to Sheridan who seemed much more stereotyped. But I have to admit Bruce Boxleitner proved he can act, and the devil be damned aspect of his character really payed off in the final episode of Season 3. Sinclair would have done the same but I think with him that moment would have been more stilted.

 

But on the whole B5 succeeded better in replacing Sinclair with Sheridan than DS9 did with replacing Jadzia with Ezri. It's not a fair comparison though since Ezri had only one Season to work on, but I never warmed up to her.

 

I did not at all like the direction they took with Garibaldi.

 

What i didn't like with the Garibaldi thing is that his betrayal was played as a mystery thing. The ucertainty meant he had no character development throughout the entire season. They sacrificed his character for the suspense, and eventually wrote is away as completely engineered by PSI-corps. There is a certain falseness in that kind of writing that shines through. If Garibaldi were to betray someone I'd rather they connect it with his alcoholism and personal problems, but I also beleive the original plan for the Garibaldi character was very different.

 

Then I also felt that the plotline involving Edgar industries was poorly executed for a sci-fi show. A lot of the scenes took place in regular apartment environment that could have been lifted from anywhere in the world of the 1990:s. This to me enhanced the feeling that the show turned soap in the fourth season. I would blame the low budget for this, though the show had proved with the station setting that it could emulate a certain futuristic feel even with limited budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also want to say I admire the acting skills of Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas in B5. Look at the confrontation in the Counsil room in the Episode The Long Twilight Struggle. To wear those ridiculous costumes and still get that kind of gravitas emoted is impressive, though they were well adied by the music.

 

Good acting was also a bit of a trademark of DS9.

Edited by Hooray for boobies

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I also want to say I admire the acting skills of Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas in B5.

 

 

Here, here! Londo and G'kar were my favorite characters, and I know it was because of how they were acted.

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I am a big fan of B5 as well as DS9. I have always tried to avoid comparing the two series since the only thing that they really have in common is taking place on a space station. I believe that the two shows have a very different feel to them and to me it is like comparing apples and oranges.

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... comparing apples and oranges.
Well, since this has now been brought up I must say that I dislike both apples and oranges. I have an allergy to apples and oranges always give me canker sores....

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... comparing apples and oranges.
Well, since this has now been brought up I must say that I dislike both apples and oranges. I have an allergy to apples and oranges always give me canker sores....

 

lol, well then we will say comparing Bananas and Pineapples.

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... comparing apples and oranges.
Well, since this has now been brought up I must say that I dislike both apples and oranges. I have an allergy to apples and oranges always give me canker sores....

lol, well then we will say comparing Bananas and Pineapples.
Pineapple?

 

BDK_AT5812.jpg

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I didn't mention this previously but I've never actually seen an episode of Babylon 5. Maybe I'll check it out one day when I have time.

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