Friday, May 27, 2022

Babylon 5 (1993) Retrospective/Review - Part 1

Babylon 5 is military science fiction with an incredibly complex story intended to last five years.  Facing possible cancelation, seasons 4 and 5 were compressed into season 4, but then the TNT Network picked the show up for a 5th season, which turned out to be a weaker afterthought with new stories.  Unfortunately, season 1 was also weaker, with the series hitting its stride in season 2.

This long video does a great job of explaining why I love the show so much, giving away most of the story.  I recently finished watching the series for the 4th time.

Science fiction shows with continuous stories are like epic soap operas.  Most shows live or die by the strength of their characters, and Babylon 5 has some great characters, although not as good as Star Trek The Next Generation or Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  Where the show shines is the complexity and epic nature of its story.

The series had about half the budget of Star Trek and this lower budget sometimes shows, but they saved money by using desktop workstations to generate the special effects.  Since the show was intended for standard definition broadcast television, the lower resolution is noticeable, but I think that the special effects still stand up.  The crude special effects of the original Star Trek show were remade in the late 90s to look more modern.  It would be nice if someone made a higher resolution update to Babylon 5.

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