Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Rewatching Babylon 5

     Amazon's Prime Video released the entire run (around a hundred episodes) of Babylon 5 to subscribers not too long ago and I have been watching it ever since, one episode every day or so.

     At that rate, the rate of improvement in sets and acting is impressive.  The early effects don't hold up as well, in part for technical reasons (they were shot in 4:3 and then enlarged and cropped for the extant 16:9 footage, while the live-action was shot in 16:9 originally; there's a huge mismatch in resolution even before you get to the odd textures of early CGI) but if you overlook that, it's pretty slick by the third season and still improving.  Even the effects improve and by the fourth and fifth season, they're at least not jarring.

     As one of the first long-form SF series (it could be argued that Men In Space and the film and TV serials were the very first), Babylon 5 showed that it was not only possible to have very long story arcs, but that the genre was well-suited to them.

7 comments:

Ratus said...

I didn't know that it was available.

Thanks, I'll have to start watching them.

Mike V said...

Ive been rewatching as well. I was a really well done show.

Zendo Deb said...

That's the 2nd Babylon 5 reference I've seen today.... Must be a sign or something.

D.W. Drang said...

Stepped into the break room the other night/morning, and there was an ad that one of the nostalgia stations ("All reruns, all the time!") was running B5.

"Whatever happened to Mr. Garibaldi?"

Ed Bonderenka said...

Mr. Garibaldi hosted a radio show until his death a couple years ago.

Antibubba said...

I always had to explain it to my Trek friends thusly:

Star Trek is the idealized space future you want.
Babylon 5 is the dirty complicated space future you should probably expect.

Plus, the Pak'ma'ra are way more interesting than Romulans.

Kevin said...

I actually binge-watched the first season, and have been slowly working my way through season two. I believe your observation to be absolutely accurate. It did continuously get better. And the fact that it had a defined beginning, middle and end was pretty unique in the television industry. Of course they did make multiple standalone movies to take advantage of the popularity of the series, but the job of Hollyweird is to make money after all.