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Archive for the ‘Babylon 5’ Category

I finished season 2 over the weekend (and yes, I went out in the snowstorm to rent season 3). There were a series of ‘meh’ episodes in the middle of the season. A notable exception was GROPOS, which I still love. It’s another of those good stand-alone episodes; fun, good pace, and excellent day players. Dodger in particular was an excellent character, and I was very pleased when she came back for a visit in season 5. (more…)

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Once again, I’ve watched the first dozen episodes, and Babylon 5 season 2 is actually better than season 1. Do you have any idea how loathe I am to admit that after all my ranting? Although, to be fair, the season didn’t start out that way. Three of the first four episodes were just painful. Jammed full of Sheridan, who was at his most cringe-inducing goofiness. Trying, in the space of three episodes, to give him the exact same backstory that Sinclair had. Except, you know, different. (more…)

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Once upon a time, and it must be about sixteen years ago, now, Babylon Squared was the episode that got me hooked on Babylon 5. I saw it and was so confused I remember rushing home from somewhere to catch its second airing later in the week, convinced I had missed something. I had been watching, sort of on and off, from the beginning, but Babylon Squared was the episode that really caught my attention.

Having just rewatched it, I can see why I loved it so much way back when. (more…)

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I recently spent a couple of nights at a friend’s house. With us both being scifi geeks, the conversation turned at one point to Babylon 5. For the life of me I can’t remember what brought it up. I was so enormously disillusioned with that show by the time it finally ground itself into the dirt that I haven’t watched it, at all, in the ten-odd years since it went off the air. My friend happened to have a couple of episodes PVRed, so we threw them on and… wow. I giggled through the ENTIRE thing. Well, a little bit of snark, but mostly? Giggling. The wooden acting, the Olympic-level scenery chewing, the bad alien make-up, the clunky exposition, the nonsensical Kosh lines, and oh my god does JMS *love* to hear himself write. All this combined with a lingering fondness, the memory of how much I used to love this show.

So, as soon as I got home, I rented season 1, and I’ve been watching it between bouts of ruthlessly decorating my mother’s house for Christmas. (I got back from my travels to hear that we weren’t having a tree, and that the family would just be doing a secret santa. We now have not one, but three trees up and decorated (only one real one, though, don’t panic) and will be doing our Christmas wish lists tomorrow. But I digress.)

I’m a dozen episodes in at the moment, and have mostly gotten over the giggling. Mostly. The show is dated, but not as much as I’d feared. Some of the CGI still holds up, but the rest of it looks a lot like cut scenes from Lego Star Wars. None of the acting is stellar, I have to say. G’Kar is the worst offender in the scenery-chewing department, although Londo is running a close second. And even Delenn has her moments. The thread of tragedy that always underlaid Londo and G’Kar still holds up, though, and Londo in particular has moments in every episode where he just knocks it out of the park, despite the goofy accent. G’Kar’s moments are fewer and further between, and most of the time I find myself wishing he would just. stop. yelling. That said, I remember their combined storyline as a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions, and I find that I actually want to watch the series through to the end to see if it holds up. I think it actually might. As for the humans, Commander Sinclair is less wooden than I remember, Garibaldi is more so, and I still woship at the feet of Ivanova. She is one of those, like Amanda from Highlander, who is better in theory than in practice, but still. I love her snark, her one-liners, and even the stick up her ass. First season Ivanova was always my favourite.

And, of course, it’s interesting to watch the dominoes being set up for later. The beginnings of the relationship between Talia and Ivanova, the nature of the Vorlons, the Home Guard, the Narn and the Centauri, Delenn’s change, and so on. Even more interesting to see the dominoes that never got knocked down – the plot as it would have gone had they not replaced Sinclair with Sheridan. Catherine Sakai would have died at Z’ha’dum. Delenn would have fallen in love with Sinclair. The seeds of that were all neatly planted. Delenn and Sinclair were married, after all, within the first few episodes.

As I said, I’m only halfway through the season, and seem to be mired in a spate of stand-alones. For the most part I find I care less about these ones than the arc episodes. Although, Believers is still a good episode, if a little too in love with its own social relevance. And By Any Means Necessary was actually delightful to watch. (It was, notably, NOT written by JMS, and thus suffered far less from the pacing issues that have afflicted other episodes.) I’m dearly looking forward to Babylon Squared. I have high hopes that it will make far more sense now than it did when I first watched it.

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