27 April 2012

And So It Begins... Watching Babylon 5 (for the third time)

Many of you will know me as a huge fan of Star Trek but what most probably wouldn't realise is that the sci-fi show that had the biggest influence over me through the 90's wasn't from the Star Trek universe at all. It was Babylon 5.

Babylon 5 Logo 

I remember the adverts for the new show about to air, showcasing the state-of-the-art special effects for the time. It was different. Scheduling on TV in Australia is a lottery at the best of times so I lost track very early in the first season - they even played that season out of order. The show was then sold to another network and put into a late time slot and it wasn't until mid-Season Three that I would revisit it and wonder what had I missed out on.

Season Three was a great season to come back to and fortunately I came back at the episode 'Exogenesis', meaning that the excitement was just beginning. As the story (I don't want to spoil too much) unfolded, I soon realised how great this show was. Unlike myself, my Dad had managed to stay across what was happening and helped fill in the blanks as episodes referred back to previous seasons and the story continued to develop to a climax and cliffhanger I couldn't believe. Note - I hadn't seen Star Trek TNG's 'The Best of Both Worlds' at this point, so my all time favourite cliffhanger came at the end of Babylon 5's episode 'Z'Ha'Dum'.

Eventually we purchased the VHS tapes and I became acquainted with the entire series filling in the gaps myself. Discovering what I had missed out on in Season's One and Two, all laying the foundations for what happened in Season's Three and Four.

Part of the appeal was obviously the special effects and the action packed battle scenes throughout the series. There was a lot of conflict between the alien races depicted in the show. I think the other appeal apart from ships going boom came from the relationships and interactions between the characters. There was a great realness about it and it depicted a believable future for the human race where things aren't as squeaky clean as shown in the 'other' sci-fi series.

The multi-story arc was a new concept at the time and the changing soundtrack from episode to episode was appreciated compared with the more predictable scores of Star Trek episodes of the same era.

I managed to watch through the entire series, movies and the spin-offs one more time when they were released on DVD in the 2000's and after moving to a new place with my fiance and now wife, I had planned to restart the adventure with her at my side.

Earlier in the week we fired up 'The Gathering' and so the adventure begins... again.

The Year is 2012.
The name of the place is Babylon 5.

1 comment:

Zoltan said...

I had five complete runs. Broadcast, re-broadcast, and thrice on DVDs with some episodes watched several times.

Oh gosh ...