Babylon 5

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Mind War” (Season 1, Episode 6)

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After last week’s high water mark for the series thus far, we once again find the tide is going out. But it doesn’t go out all the way, and it’s not so low that we can see the mud. Between the coda of this episode, and the coda of the previous one, the show is showing a sudden and impressive penchant for the whole “sense of wonder and awe” thing that Star Trek had lost all interest in by this point.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Parliament of Dreams” (Season 1, Episode 5)

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And just like that - bang - Babylon 5 is firing on all cylinders! After a mediocre start and two significant fumbles, suddenly we get a strong sense of what the show wants to be and what it’s capable of.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Born to the Purple” (Season 1, Episode 3)

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I remembered this one as being kind of weak, with a couple particularly terrible scenes, but it was actually rather weaker than I remembered. As usual, there’s some interesting stuff in here, but you’ve got to run a lot of water through your sperm whale to catch this low level of plankton.

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If The U.S. Air Force Ran Starfleet...

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Just humor me on this one, it‘s total epic wankery:

I know you, like everyone else, assume that space SHIPS will eventually be just like Navy SHIPS because they’ve got SHIP in the name, even though airSHIPS had the exact same logic behind them, and that turned out to be ludicrous and led to their demise. By the same coin, I think SPACE ships will not be like WATER ships because they’re in SPACE. It seems self-evident to me that they’ll follow some kind of Air Force structure, since they fly. I come from an Air Force family. (Though one of my uncles was brown shoe navy)

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Soul Hunter” (Season 1, Episode 2)

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This episode is more linear than the previous one, and doesn’t feel quite as ‘in the middle of a busy world’ as the previous one did. It’s still pretty good, though the lack of a subplot makes it feel a bit more like “The entire world came to a stop while we were doing this” than they intended. Still, there’s some neat bits hid in the cracks, and some seeds that’ll germinate later on.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Midnight on the Firing Line” (Season 1, Episode 1)

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Babylon 5 was intended to go into production immediately after the pilot wrapped in 1993, but financing fell apart, and the whole thing lingered in limboland until January of ‘94 when the series itself was launched. As with any series, there are a lot of obvious changes between the pilot and the series proper, but here we have more than most. Not only was there the long delay, but much of the cast was fired, and the entire production was moved to a new studio across town, with many sets being redesigned, abandoned, or trashed in the process.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “The Gathering” (Pilot 1993)

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Babylon 5 was, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the best American SF show since the original Star Trek, and the most influential. Though never amazingly popular here in the states, pretty much every genre program since has owed at least an indirect debt to ground plowed and made fallow by it.

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FAN FILM FRIDAY: "Crusade Wars"

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As I said last week, I've long lamented the lack of B5 fanfilms. Technically speaking, this isn't one, it's a Crusade fanfilm, oddly enough. This is a neat little piece that didn't get nearly the credit or attention it deserved, and there's something charming about it being done entirely in oldschool stop motion.

A couple of the people connected with last week's "Babylon Park" series went off on their own and made this one, hence my 'vaguely related not-quite spinoff' comment last Friday.

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