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Babylon 5 rewatch April 9, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’ve been rewatching Babylon 5 for some time now, and enjoying it ever more as it sweeps into Season 5. It still, near enough a quarter of a century later, holds up remarkably well across a range of areas, but most obviously as clever science fiction. Granted some of the performances and lines are ropey. But in terms of focusing on a single history it is probably exceptional. At least so far. Of course Season 5 was a curious one for a variety of reasons.

Anyhow, paralleling my viewing I’ve been listening to this series of podcasts on the programme, which are quite entertaining. And here, for those interested is a nice graphic of ships from the show and it’s less than stellar successor Crusade.


1. Dermot O Connor - April 9, 2017

I only got around to watching the show a couple of years ago, and I loved it. You can forgive the clunky CGI, and often wooden dialog, the show had a real vision; one of the first (if not the first) show to do a long-form season(s) wide story arc.

I did bail on the show first time around halfway through season 1, which was a shame, as it was the second season that really lifts off. So anyone watching now might want to bear in mind that much of S1 is a slog; bear with it.

I have very fond memories of the show for another reason: on my ultimate trip to the US in 93, having won a Morrison Green card, my aer lingus flight failed to make the connection to LA, so I was put up in a hotel near Boston airport. First show that was on was B5, and I just had a feeling that all the chips would fall into place (and they did).

I read a ‘making of’ interview with the head of CGI on the pilot. They used Amiga 1000s, which ran from floppies (no hard drives!). No single amiga had the juice to render the entire shot, so one would animate the stars, another the ships, another the clouds, another the explosions, another the textures, and all would be composited together on a video toaster.

The guy described it as ‘hell’, and I well believe it. Bear that in mind when watching the CGI – a smartphone today or a tablet has more processing power than those amigas.

Anyway, B5 is a bit like Tolkien, crossed with Lovecraft, in space.

The show has also suffered an astonishing degree of bad luck. From the warehouse containing the original data files burning down, to the premature deaths of so many cast members. Those cast reunions that Trek was able to pull off for years won’t be happening for B5.


WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2017

Great overview Dermot, I think you’re spot on.


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