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Babylon 5 - Page 5

post #201 of 251

Damn, Jurasik is only 4 years older than Furst. I would have had him pegged decades older.

post #202 of 251

It'll be odd next time I rewatch this show, it's barely exaggerating to say that half the cast have died since I last went through it.

 

RIP - Vir was a great character, one of the hearts of the show really, and Furst really embodied the role.

post #203 of 251
I met Furst twenty years ago. He was an underrated character actor, and a hell of a nice guy.
post #204 of 251
I've only seen "The Gathering" many years back when the show was on Netflix. I just revisited it before moving onto the proper show. I understand a lot changes after this, so it seems kinda pointless to point out all the bad acting by those who do not make it to the regular series... except its lead. I really like and am intrigued by the concept of Sinclair, I just wish it was played by a charismatic actor. Maybe he gets better as the season plays before departing. Another thing I'm reminded of this era of filmmaking is the use of smoke on sets. I get that lots of DPs loved to use it for "atmosphere". The original DP for TNG also wanted to use smoke on set too but was overruled.

All that aside, I found it enjoyable for 90s space opera. I'll await the disc Netflix sends me. Haven't done that for a TV show in almost a decade, but since no streaming platform has this show available I'm left with little options and I've been waiting for so many years.
post #205 of 251

O'Hare never quite settled into his role during Season 1. He did make a guest appearance later on and that performance felt more relaxed.

post #206 of 251
So the version I watched was the 1993 original that Anazon had for $2. Apparently there's a "special edition" that not only conforms it to fit better with the series proper but also has tighter editing and more characterization. Is it worth giving it a watch before delving into the show?
post #207 of 251
Pretty sure the special edition added a new score from the regular composer as well. It’s better but with this series I wouldn’t spend longer on the Sinclair era stuff than necessary.
post #208 of 251
It really did feel like a "test pilot" in so many ways beyond just knowing most of the cast didn't make it. I reeeeeeally did not like that score I heard in "The Gathering", so replacing that is a step up. I just need to find a way to watch it.
post #209 of 251
The regular music on the show is good, especially if you have a taste for synths at all (it’s by a member of Tangerine Dream).

I was thinking the composer was dead, but turns out he is in fact alive, which is always a pleasant surprise when it comes to people involved in this show.
post #210 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

The regular music on the show is good, especially if you have a taste for synths at all (it’s by a member of Tangerine Dream).

I was thinking the composer was dead, but turns out he is in fact alive, which is always a pleasant surprise when it comes to people involved in this show.

post #211 of 251

Overlord has all the best gifs.

post #212 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post
 

Overlord has all the best gifs.

post #213 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

 

I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

 

post #214 of 251

Enough talk.

 

post #215 of 251

Back on topic: Stewart Copeland's tuneless noodling definitely hurts "The Gathering, " but I agree you should just forge ahead. The sooner you meet Ivanova the better.

post #216 of 251

post #217 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

Back on topic: Stewart Copeland's tuneless noodling definitely hurts "The Gathering, " but I agree you should just forge ahead. The sooner you meet Ivanova the better.

 

I wasn't too fond of the re-edited "Gathering"  I'd say press on through Season 1.  Sinclair does improve, and the show itself turns into one of the All Time Greats.

post #218 of 251
I always found it amazing just how many little story threads get dropped in the first season...many of which don't get addressed until the second or third season. Brilliant, brilliant planning on JMS's part.
post #219 of 251
We will never get another science fiction epic like B5 on TV again. THE EXPANSE is pretty much the only show that has come close to it.
post #220 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headless Fett View Post

We will never get another science fiction epic like B5 on TV again. THE EXPANSE is pretty much the only show that has come close to it.


No love for the BSG reboot? 

 

It flailed a bit at the end, but B5 also had that super-mediocre fifth season capped off with a great finale.

post #221 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headless Fett View Post

We will never get another science fiction epic like B5 on TV again. THE EXPANSE is pretty much the only show that has come close to it.

 

Well ... both Battlestar Galactica and Farscape aired after it, and both were significantly better, IMHO.  Expanse also has the potential to be superior, in every way.

post #222 of 251

Farscape was good for what it was. A decently written sci-fi show with Muppets.

 

NuBSG was an "edgy" reboot that bored me to tears in the first season and I quickly tuned out after that.

 

B5's worldbuilding and scale hasn't been touched since and probably never will be.

post #223 of 251
I loved nuBSG. I've tried many times to watch the original 70s show but it's just so dull and confused about itself.

*this show is about the holocaust of humanity, now watch Starbucks get into some wacky hijinks!*
post #224 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

 

Well ... both Battlestar Galactica and Farscape aired after it, and both were significantly better, IMHO.  Expanse also has the potential to be superior, in every way.

 

Significantly?   They all have their pros and cons for me, but I'd still put B5 at the top of the shelf.

 

BSG peaked with the exodus from New Caprica, and really fumbled around the reveal of the last four cyclons and Starbuck's death/return.  The writers should have had a plan.

On the plus side, it consistently looked great, and the acting was aces. 

 

Farscape couldn't help being too goofy, frequently poorly written, and not really nailing the dramatic bits.  I also think it faffed around for the last season.

But it was always gorgeous and charming.

 

Babylon 5 was as low budget as you can get (count the staples holding the sets together!) and the last season was a disaster.

But it told a cohesive, grand story with solid characters.  The effects haven't held up, but they were a miracle for their day.

post #225 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

 

Babylon 5 was as low budget as you can get (count the staples holding the sets together!) and the last season was a disaster.

But it told a cohesive, grand story with solid characters.  The effects haven't held up, but they were a miracle for their day.

 

For some reason, attacking Babylon 5 never goes over well, but here goes:

 

1.)The first season is muddled and the lead is really problematic.  The second season was probably my fave and that might have been simply cause he was written out!

 

2.)Took me forever to get through the seemingly redundant 5th season.  Other than the finale, is there any reason that the entire season exists?

 

3.)The FX were not "a miracle for their day."  They are really not impressive, even for the time, and look even worse on HD.  But how about the production/art design?  Many scenes were terribly lit.  Huge empty shopping mall looking areas.  Really strange creative choices in regards to where scenes occurred.

 

4.)Dodgy acting from many (although, in later seasons, I actually thought this was more of a symptom of a rushed production).  

 

The strength of Babylon 5 was the writing in seasons 2-4.   It was a grand, cohesive story.  There clearly was a plan from day one.  It's a show that, to me, was let down by production elements and some really inexplicable casting decisions (the lead in season one being a major problem).   

post #226 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

 

For some reason, attacking Babylon 5 never goes over well, but here goes:

 

1.)The first season is muddled and the lead is really problematic.  The second season was probably my fave and that might have been simply cause he was written out!

 

2.)Took me forever to get through the seemingly redundant 5th season.  Other than the finale, is there any reason that the entire season exists?

 

3.)The FX were not "a miracle for their day."  They are really not impressive, even if for the time, and look even worse on HD.  But how about the production/art design?  Many scenes were terribly lit.  Huge empty shopping mall looking areas.  Really strange creative choices in regards to where scenes occurred.

 

4.)Dodgy acting from many (although, in later seasons, I actually thought this was more of a symptom of a rushed production).  

 

The strength of Babylon 5 was the writing in seasons 2-4.   It was a grand, cohesive story.  There clearly was a plan from day one.  It's a show that, to me, was let down by production elements and some really inexplicable casting decisions (the lead in season one being a major problem).   

 

I think it's the zero-budget, syndicated nature of the beast.  It's like punching a guy with two broken legs.

 

I don't really disagree with any of what you said, other than I'll still go to bat for the VFX.  They did a ton of heavy lifting for a fraction of the cost of other shows.

 

Just looked up Robin Atkins-Downes, AKA Byron, AKA "Oh please get off my screen"  ...

 

He was in Suicide Squad?

 

And The Strain?

 

AND HE'S THE VOICE OF TEAM FORTRESS 2's MEDIC?!  I've had Byron in my ear all these years?!

post #227 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

I think it's the zero-budget, syndicated nature of the beast.  It's like punching a guy with two broken legs.

I don't really disagree with any of what you said, other than I'll still go to bat for the VFX.  They did a ton of heavy lifting for a fraction of the cost of other shows.

Just looked up Robin Atkins-Downes, AKA Byron, AKA "Oh please get off my screen"  ...

He was in Suicide Squad?

And The Strain?

AND HE'S THE VOICE OF TEAM FORTRESS 2's MEDIC?!  I've had Byron in my ear all these years?!
Yeah, he does a lot of voice actor work.
post #228 of 251

The FX would look so much better if the commercial releases wereen't re-formatted for widescreen.

post #229 of 251

The thing is that WB will never do anything with B5 due to JMS taking them to court for unpaid royalties. That's why they did nothing for the anniversary a few years back and won't put out any remastered B5 DVD sets.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post
 

Babylon 5 was as low budget as you can get (count the staples holding the sets together!) and the last season was a disaster.

But it told a cohesive, grand story with solid characters.  The effects haven't held up, but they were a miracle for their day.

 

As dated as the effects are now (and they do get better as the series progresses) they really do a great job of giving life and realism to all the different ships and alien cultures that populate the B5 galaxy. I know they didn't have the budget of a Trek show but in a lot of ways they were doing things that outdid Trek at the time.

post #230 of 251
The FX aren’t important if you’re invested in the story. And B5 had a great story.

(Except for “T.K.O.” That episode was dog shit.)
post #231 of 251

AV Club did an excellent rewatch some time back, with notes about which early episodes matter and which ones don't:

 

https://tv.avclub.com/babylon-5-the-gathering-1798173012

 

ETA: And I forgot this, but the comments are worth following, whether or not the poster named "J. Michael Straczynski" is who he says he is.


Edited by Hammerhead - 11/17/17 at 11:05am
post #232 of 251
Watched the first episode of the series proper. More world building, while trying to reestablish itself. Londo and Garabaldi are turning out to be the characters that stand out. O'Hare comes off a lot better here, though that may be because he's not treated as a focal character this time so he works better playing administrator just trying to work things out.

ALERT: I'm about to bring up DS9...

Not gonna compare the concept of the two shows but rather the execution. I'm feeling that the two actually compliment each other in how they handle their immediate episode after the pilot. B5 of course needs to do more world building to really get you into the state of affairs and it's background, while DS9 already had 27 years of Trek world building but still had to establish its own thing from the previous shows so to stand on its own. B5 may not have the production values of DS9 but it has the same conviction, which really warms me to it.

I've got three discs from Netflix to mine, but I'm going at a leisurely pace so I can let it grow on me rather than plow through a binge watch.
post #233 of 251
This thread is like a celebrity’s name trending on Twitter. Every time I see a new post, my heart seizes and I go, ‘Oh god, who is it now?’ Pleasantly happy that was not the case.
post #234 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

 

2.)Took me forever to get through the seemingly redundant 5th season.  Other than the finale, is there any reason that the entire season exists?

 

They didn't know they were getting a fifth season until they'd already shot most of the fourth season thinking it would be the last, and so had wrapped up almost all the storylines.  Then, surprise!  You've been renewed!  So the fifth season was never part of the overall plan save for that final episode, which would have been the last of Season 4 had they not been renewed.

post #235 of 251
Nonetheless, the fifth season renewal could have been used more effectively (i.e., wrapping up dangling threads and unresolved storylines rather than going nowhere for half a season, and then introducing new plots that would never see resolution).

The whole thing felt like a segue into a new series rather than a payoff.
post #236 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

...

The whole thing felt like a segue into a new series rather than a payoff.

 

It was, though, wasn't it? A segue into Crusade? Which I have to admit, even being a big fan of B5, I have never watched.

post #237 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post

It was, though, wasn't it? A segue into Crusade? Which I have to admit, even being a big fan of B5, I have never watched.
Crusade mostly spun out of one of the “movies.” Though some of the concepts from it were introduced in Season 5.
post #238 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacq1 View Post


Crusade mostly spun out of one of the “movies.” Though some of the concepts from it were introduced in Season 5.

 

Ah, there you go. I assumed it spun out of the series. I don't think I've seen any of the movies.

post #239 of 251
jhp, you absolutely owe it to yourself to watch In the Beginning, which tells the history of the Earth-Minbari war. Londo has a speech that never fails to being me to tears.
post #240 of 251

For me it's the President's speech.

post #241 of 251

I have a feeling the discs for some of the movies are lying around unripped somewhere, so I will see if that is one of them. I had a completist urge when re-watching the show a few years ago, but I think it wore off before I got round to actually watching anything other than the main seasons. Still the best sci-fi TV show I've seen to date, even if BSG, bits of DS9, and The Expanse run it close.

post #242 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post

It was, though, wasn't it? A segue into Crusade? Which I have to admit, even being a big fan of B5, I have never watched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacq1 View Post

Crusade mostly spun out of one of the “movies.” Though some of the concepts from it were introduced in Season 5.

I would say Season 5 went out of its way to set up the Drakh as adversaries for CRUSADE.
post #243 of 251

Y'know, I came to a realization about the finale that is just one of those "Wait a second, this doesn't make a goddamn bit of sense" moments that while it doesn't really damage the overall quality it nags at my brain:

 

So hundreds of years in the future with the technology of a dozen+ races working together, they're just going to blow up the space station that was the most important place in recent Galactic History because it's old?

 

I mean...you can't just turn it into a giant museum?

post #244 of 251

If I remember correctly, in the original plan, the war wiht the Shadows was supposed to wrap up at the end of season 4 and the war to re-take Earth was to conclude season 5.  All the weak-assed 'A' plots from the aired season 5 (Telepath War and The Shadow Servants) were originally supposed to be lesser 'B' plots during those seasons.  Instead, thinking they were going to be cancelled after 4 seasons, JMS had to compress the major plots into season 4 and when they were renewed for a fifth season, all he had left was the 'filler' stuff that was floating around....and was supposed to be setup for 'Crusades'.

post #245 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andronicus View Post
 

If I remember correctly, in the original plan, the war wiht the Shadows was supposed to wrap up at the end of season 4 and the war to re-take Earth was to conclude season 5.  All the weak-assed 'A' plots from the aired season 5 (Telepath War and The Shadow Servants) were originally supposed to be lesser 'B' plots during those seasons.  Instead, thinking they were going to be cancelled after 4 seasons, JMS had to compress the major plots into season 4 and when they were renewed for a fifth season, all he had left was the 'filler' stuff that was floating around....and was supposed to be setup for 'Crusades'.

 

I wonder whether that was how we ended up with a somewhat accelerated conclusion to the war against the Shadows. I mean, I liked the resolution, but even on a re-watch it felt hurried. 

post #246 of 251
I think the story beats were the same it was just compressed by half a season but, yes, it did seem very rushed. Stupid PETN Network. That's also why the fourth season finale is kinda weird. The filmed the episode that ended up being the fifth season finale but when the made the deal for the extra season, they hurried a new fourth season finale through so that they could use 'Sleeping in Light' as the series finale. That whole swap to TNT was so last minute that it really screwed everything up.
post #247 of 251
Yes, it was incredibly compressed.

I followed it religiously during its original run and I was genuinely shocked when the Shadow War ended when it did. I was like: “Wait, what???”
post #248 of 251

At the time I assumed the series had been cancelled and they were ending it with a miniseries, like sometimes happens. I was actually a little surprised when it carried on.

 

Not having the proper luxury of time is a shame, but there is something slightly exhilarating about the abundance of plot in season 4 IMO.

 

Season 5 had its moments (I do love seeing the loop finally close on Lando's storyline) but even given the situation, it's almost like they went out of their way to make it underwhelming. At the very least they could've done the telepath war properly.

post #249 of 251
There was also some issue with a whole bunch of scripts that were lost when housekeeping threw out a bunch of stuff from JMS's room, just prior to season 5 going into production, if I recall. That and the feud that broke out between him and Christian really kina threw the season into chaos.
post #250 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

Yes, it was incredibly compressed.

I followed it religiously during its original run and I was genuinely shocked when the Shadow War ended when it did. I was like: “Wait, what???”

 

I assumed that they just didn't have the budget to properly tell and portray the story.

 

I was underwhelmed by the Shadow War they'd been building to for such a length of time.  The show's writing demonstrated a really grand vision, but the actual production just wasn't there.  It's a pity that the show will never get any type of decent support cause it'd be ripe for a BSG style reboot in a few years.  

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