So you can read my books

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for BABYLON 5

BABYLON 5 is the only TV show I know that started out with a definitive Beginning, Middle, and Ending.

The plot-threads were carefully interwoven through the episodes, lending depth and realism to the entire epic.

What GAME OF THRONES is to Fantasy, BABYLON 5 was to Science Fiction.

The Big Questions of Existence were studied through character studies of the various characters. 

Each major character had his own arc.

G'Kar who started out a buffoon, ended up a sensitive, wise prophet of his People.

Londo who started out a friend of Earth found himself a prisoner of his ambitions -- become emperor, he ended up a slave of those he thought his pawns.

Creator J. Michael Straczynski wrote the bulk of Babylon 5, a science-fiction epic set onboard a space station.

Just think:

one writer, producing most of the episodes of a 5 year long series!

Mr. Straczynski shopped his series around long before Paramount hatched DEEP SPACE NINE, though that series got off the ground first.

In fact, he presented it to Paramount, who passed on it and then "created" DS9! 


Unlike Star Trek and other sf series,

Babylon 5’s characters often shifted their allegiances and outlook, many changing and even completely reversing their original position over the course of the series.

Like GAME OF THRONES, B5 had characters with flaws whose mistakes had life-long consequences.

 Doctor Franklin battled addiction to “stims”, little shots of stimulants he used to get himself through his too-busy days (sound familiar?)

while the chief of security was a recovering alcoholic and

Sheridan’s second in command hid a deep, dark secret of her own.

Even the aliens were far from friends.

Then there are the ones who wait in the shadows and say nothing, watching, observing, calculating,

and who are quite happy to see thousands, even millions die to achieve their mysterious ends.

B5 praised the LITTLE GUYS:

A good example of this is season five’s “A view from the gallery”,

where the story takes place from the viewpoint of two  maintenance workers who go about their normal day

as the people we have come to know as the stars of the show run back and forth dealing with crises.


Over and over, major characters died, letting the viewer know that no one was sacred -- that in real battles not every hero returns.

What is your favorite Science Fiction TV show?


  1. Sounds like a lot of thought went into this series. My favorite sci-fi series was the Star Trek with Patrick Stewart.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

  2. I admit I never got into the series. Was devoted to Star Trek series though.

  3. I tried to watch this... it didn't draw me into it, not that it wasn't good...

  4. Barbara:
    Most people prefer ST:TNG. I enjoyed Babylon's connected storylines tha went from one episode to the next. :-)

    Star Trek expanded the universe for us. I can see why most prefer it to a static space station.

    I fell in love Delann -- call me a romantic. :-)

  5. I never watched Babylon 5, but now you've made me want to catch at least the first few episodes. It does indeed sound like a complex, realistic story, and having tried my hands at screenplays I am in awe that one man wrote most of the episodes.

  6. Almost anything scifi that isn't hokey will capture my interest. Loved the scifi movies (time travel, species interactions, and civilizations in upheaval) Don't care much for the scifi monster versions except for DUNE.

  7. I enjoy reading Sci-Fi but hate watching it. My mind has it's own idea of translating the characters I guess. Nice to see you doing the A to Z.

  8. I sadly missed this series when it was on. Maybe one day Netflix will carry it, so I can catch up. :)

  9. Like Intangible Hearts I am a reader rather than a watcher. The pictures/voices in my head are very different ot those on screen.

  10. How about Fringe? It had a beginning, middle, and - sadly - end.

  11. It sounds like a cool series. I like that the characters have secrets and none of the main characters are safe from death. My favorite Sci-fi show right now, I guess the only one I am watching is Orphan Black

  12. Helena:
    Start with Season 2 when Capt, Sheridan arrives at Babylon 5 -- as he is introduced to the station, you are too. Amazon Instant Prime has the first episode for only $1.99 Try it out:

    I enjoyed the Monster Sci Fi film: ALIEN for excellent way it was played out in suspense and crew interaction.

    Intangible Heart:
    I understand. Yet THE LAST SHIP which I talk about later is much better in TV form than the book which gave birth to it.

    Here is the link to Amazon Instant Video where you can try out the first episode of Season 1 or 2 for $1.99:

    Elephant's Child:
    We all have our favorite ways to enjoy the tales which entertain us. :-)

    Babylon 5 started with its basic story start, middle, and ending already written in detail. FRINGE's seasons evolved according to changing writers, dropping ratings, and studio demands -- no careful laying out of bread crumbs so to speak. :-)

  13. Melissa:
    I've started watching Orphan Black 1st season because of the mystery of it all. Sorry for the delay in writing -- I had another 400 mile day at work! Whew!

  14. I have and continue to be a B5 fan, for many of the reasons mentioned.

    I also enjoyed Stargate SG1, which had an overall story arc, the battle against the Goa'uld.