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Babylon 5


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53 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:23 AM

Clearly one of the best space-based SciFi series ever made. Described by the author as a novel for television.

Anybody heard of any plans to re-air it?
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#2 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 06:19 AM

It previously aired on TNT and SciFi Channel. Best to get the DVDs.
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#3 OFFLINE   LarryFlowers

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 06:33 AM

Not currently in circulation on U.S. TV, probably in a "rest" cycle. Showing overseas though.
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#4 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:06 AM

It was nice to see a series that allowed the writer to come up with a multi year timeline/story line and we actually got to see all of it. Besides the Sporano's it's the only TV series that I purchased all the DVD's of.

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#5 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:15 AM

TNT seriously damaged JMS's 5-year plan by threatening to cancel after season 4, so JMS had to compress his season 5 plot points into season 4 and then when TNT renewed for season 5, he had to go back to the drawing board. Still one of the greatest Sci Fi series ever, though.

#6 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 12:53 PM

TNT seriously damaged JMS's 5-year plan by threatening to cancel after season 4, so JMS had to compress his season 5 plot points into season 4 and then when TNT renewed for season 5, he had to go back to the drawing board. Still one of the greatest Sci Fi series ever, though.


I thought it was PTN (Prime Time Network) that screwed things up with not renewing past season 4 and it was TNT that came to the rescue with season 5.

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#7 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:09 PM

Some of the seasons are available on Hulu as well.

#8 OFFLINE   V'ger

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:31 PM

I thought it was PTN (Prime Time Network) that screwed things up with not renewing past season 4 and it was TNT that came to the rescue with season 5.


There will be some die hards here to argue, but this is what I understood (with fairness to all involved).

First, one correction: TNT was not involved in production, broadcast, or distribution of B5 until the fifth season. It later rebroadcast all five seasons in reruns.

PTN was a company either wholly or partially owned by Warner Brothers and it distributed, by syndication, the Kung Fu remake and B5. KF was cancelled, but PTN couldn't continue with just one property to distribute. PTN was dissolved as a distribution company. So JMS had to assume the worst, that there wouldn't be a fifth season as no one at WB would make a commitment before JMS had to write and film the end of season 4. He compressed the story arc to finish by the end of the season.

TNT stepped in at the last second and saved the show's fifth season (they aren't the villian here), but damage was done. First, cable pays lower than syndicated TV (who'd have thought that?) and the actors had to accept a significant pay cut. There are conflicting stories as to who did what, but a casualty of the late renewal was the loss of Claudia Christian (Ivanova), who was replaced by Tracy Scoggins. Some production people had also accepted jobs with other shows. Issues between CC and JMS were well documented at the time as both parties went public with their versions of what happened. As to what the truth was, I leave that for your search/judgement.

Production values dropped, new sets looked cheaper, the lighting was too bright (a lack of detail in set design was revealed by the bright lighting) and the overall cinematography looked different. Only a few of the stories were of the quality of the prior seasons and season five ended with the last episode filmed in the fourth season ("Sleeping in Light"), which was a standalone episode based 20 years in the future that more or less wrapped things up.

Seasons 1 though 4 were dark and had blue tint to the lighting. Season 5 looked more video-like and had a red tint. Some speculated that a different film stock was used, but I talked to a director at Agamemcon III and he said that wasn't so. I also heard a rumor that between season 4 and 5 the lighting was changed.

In any case, Seasons 1 to 4 are, to me, the best SciFi ever produced for TV. Season 5, B5 was at best just average.

Edited by V'ger, 01 August 2009 - 04:45 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   V'ger

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:03 PM

I know there was a couple of direct to video releases of B5 done a few years ago (I liked them).

One unexplained plot hole that you could drive the space station through is what happened to Draal? He was only used as a communication device once B4 was sent back 1000 years to help the Minbari in their fight. I'm not sure there was an appearance in season 5.

Although JMS blew up B5, It is plausible in the B5 universe that Draal had the power to open a rift in time (ala B4) and move the station. How about him moving B5 and projecting a holographic explosion? So the station still exists at a place/time ready for return.

Zathras would like that very much!

Anyway that would be a lot better than "Spock's Brain".

#10 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:10 PM

^^^ Interesting.


Libidos aside, your favorite character(s)?

I always got a kick out of Zathrus (however it's spelled).
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#11 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:18 PM

Libidos aside, your favorite character(s)?



G'Kar, the longer the series went on the better I liked him.

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#12 OFFLINE   Christopher Gould

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 07:17 PM

It was nice to see a series that allowed the writer to come up with a multi year timeline/story line and we actually got to see all of it. Besides the Sporano's it's the only TV series that I purchased all the DVD's of.


how do they look on a large HDTV. i've been watching the first couple of seasons of the x-files on a 60" sony a300 using a ps3 and i must say it does not look to good. amazon has all 5 season for $119.99. i don't know if its worth it.

#13 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:14 PM

how do they look on a large HDTV. i've been watching the first couple of seasons of the x-files on a 60" sony a300 using a ps3 and i must say it does not look to good. amazon has all 5 season for $119.99. i don't know if its worth it.


I pulled out season 3 disc 3 and watched a couple episodes since I didn't remember, using PS3 and 73" Mits 1080p DLP RP picture was very grainy.

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#14 OFFLINE   frederic1943

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:41 PM

Even though it ran in the 1990s Straczynski was looking ahead. In anticipation of future HDTV broadcasts and Laserdisc releases, rather than the usual 4:3 format, the series was shot in 16:9, with the image cropped to 4:3 for initial television transmissions.

Edited by frederic1943, 01 August 2009 - 10:48 PM.

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#15 OFFLINE   rebkell

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:23 PM

Even though it ran in the 1990s Straczynski was looking ahead. In anticipation of future HDTV broadcasts and Laserdisc releases, rather than the usual 4:3 format, the series was shot in 16:9, with the image cropped to 4:3 for initial television transmissions.


I mentioned that a while back on avsforums and was told that it would cost a fortune to get B5 to HD, because all the effects were very low resolution and that about the only thing that resembled HD quality was the 16:9 resolution.

My favorites were Londo and G'kar, especially when they were bickering :) I also liked Lyta, those eyes were wicked. Garibaldi was a trip, Bester, I loved that show.

#16 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:39 PM

I'm not sure I remember Lyta ( a blonde? ). Bester gave me the creeps.

Funny though how when you mention 'lurkers' and 'the down below', nobody knows what you're talking about.
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#17 OFFLINE   rebkell

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:50 PM

I'm not sure I remember Lyta ( a blonde? ). Bester gave me the creeps.

Funny though how when you mention 'lurkers' and 'the down below', nobody knows what you're talking about.


Lyta Alexander was played by Patricia Tallman, she was Kosh's personal psychic, she was on the original pilot, she was off for a year or so. I liked the way some characters would be off the show and then show up again, like Sinclair.

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#18 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 12:05 AM

Yeah, I remember her now. Brain fart.
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#19 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:27 AM

One of the biggest problems with B5 was that (especially during the first four seasons, but probably throughout) the CGI effects were "cutting edge" for the time, but that basically was a no-man's-land (between less sophisticated special effects prior, and higher resolution CGI effects after) whereby the effects were such that they didn't translate well, in terms of production values, into the future (i.e., today). The end result is that there is no way to display the CGI effects on today's big screens, without them looking utterly crappy. There just weren't enough bits in the original production to be able to do anything to make the CGI effects look good on a 65" screen. Otherwise, the series was absolutely excellent.

#20 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:37 AM

I thought it was PTN (Prime Time Network) that screwed things up with not renewing past season 4 and it was TNT that came to the rescue with season 5.

You're correct ... It's been a long time and I was working from faulty memory.




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