Babylon 5

Jeroen Steenbeeke  
Posted
One of the greatest Science Fiction series of my teenage years was Babylon 5, which aired during the second half of the 90s. I spent quite a bit of my free time watching Science Fiction in those days, though I was somewhat limited by both homework and parents who didn't want me to spend all my free time watching TV (not a bad thing).

The result of this is that while I did see quite a few Babylon 5 episodes, I missed at least a third of them. I remembered the story being quite complex, with engaging characters, and I thought it was a shame that I didn't know the full story. So I decided to rewatch the entire series.

Worth every second


I absolutely loved watching this again.

The thing about Babylon 5 is that the entire multi-season story arc was planned in advance. It had backup plans in case actors would no longer be available, and the level of foreshadowing is off the charts.

In addition to that, it had convincing complex characters that evolved throughout the series. The characters Londo Mollari and G'Kar alone are reason enough to watch the entire series, their story arcs among the most impressive I have ever seen in a television series.

One thing I do want to do after seeing the whole series is to rewatch the episode "Signs and portents", from the first season, to see if there was anything about Morden's first appearance that I might have missed with the knowledge I have now.

Rushed


My main complaint with Babylon 5 as a series is that the fourth season felt kind of rushed, and that the fifth season felt "tacked on". I understand this was due to expected cancellation after the fourth season, which meant they had to compress both the end of the Shadow War as well as the fallout from that into a single season. Still, season five has many good parts, most notably in my opinion the episode "The Fall of Centauri Prime", which ties with the third season episode "War without end".

The movies


Are best left alone, aside from the pilot movie "the gathering". I think "In the beginning" was sort of okay, but it has a lot of spoilers so you shouldn't watch it until after season 4. You can pretty much forget about the rest in my opinion.

Crusade


You can pretty much skip the entire series. It never got to the point where it was interesting, due to its premature cancelation (it got the Firefly treatment essentially, including being aired out of order). Its primary premise was never resolved, and all other Babylon 5 movies/episodes that take place after it gloss over or full out ignore what happened in it.

Interested?


Check out the recommended viewing order on StackExchange.