In my opinion, this is the best science fiction - type TV show there is. There is very little emphasis on the science. The show deals mostly with the happenings of an interstallar "world", using the gadgets only to further that story. If you watch the Star Treks regularly, you'd know that usually the story revolves around some silly prop such as an unexplaned subspace phenomena, where B5 is involved with conspiracies, strife, romances, politics, war and peace and how they affect individuals. I will admit that the show isn't perfect, and before you sent hate e-mail, please be advised that I DO watch the Star Treks whenever I can, but if forced to decide, Paramount's overkill is pushed aside.
My reasons for liking Babylon 5:
- five year story arc, with a definite beginning and definite end.
- gives clues for viewers speculate what eventually happens several episodes down the line.
- There are no cute kids, like Wesley Crusher.
- Excellent computer generated imagery (CGI) by Foundation Imaging.
- in battles, all weapons are fired. The U.S.S. Enterprise has 9 phaser banks, but on the TV show, only two of them are ever used.
- profound statements, quotes.
- There are no families aboard the warships (they are NOT cruise ships!) - There is a reason to have a control center on the outside (for docking procedures). - In most space scenes, the only sound effects heard are background music and "radio" transmisions.
- The "good" and "bad" sides are not immediatly obvious in any situation. A "bad" person can look good, a good person can look bad. Also, neither side of any conflict is purely good and purely evil. "It is as you say, a matter of perspective" - Delenn
- Good background music.
- less technobabble. Star Trek can put me off when they try to say the problem is involving magnetic capacitors near the O.D.N. junction, located next to the pulsed plasma conduits, and the last person trying to fix it had a total senaptic neural failure.
- and the number one reason: SHADOWS! Their ships are "spiders big as hell and twice as ugly" and "a cross between a spider and your worst nightmare", colored "a black so deep your eyes slide off it". Once they target you they chase and follow you until you are destroyed. They can destroy entire fleets of ships with half a dozen ships and a few hours. They also cloak or fade in and out of vision to travel and attack. These guys make the Borg, the Empire and its Death Stars look like a petty power like the Girl Scouts, yet so little is known about them.
- Occationally the acting is a bit cheesy, translucent.
- the stars don't rotate in C&C. JMS says the CGI would cost too much.
As for religion, this B5 is a very rares show that doesn't portray people that believe as freaks or fanatics. As Brother Theo said in "Convictions", there are engineers, scientists and programmers in the Order because "they also believe". In most TV and movies, the main actors are usually irreligious, occationally going up against religious extremists.
If you want to conclude that the Star Treks are better because they are more popular, make sure you know that Star Trek didn't have anywhere near the fans it has now when the show started. The original series' run ended in the middle of the third season because of a ratings fiasco. Babylon 5 is now filming its fourth season. JMS didn't design B5 to be Star Trek. Neither has anything to do with each other, and each are different in many orders of magnitude. JMS is giving an alternative future universe.
If B5 Fans are to have a name, as Star Trek fans have "Trekkie" or "Trekker", I suggest "Babylonians", mainly because the production company is Babylon Productions, naturally from Babylon 5. B5 fans on the 'net are called "lurkers", named after the homeless inhabitants of "down below", areas of the station that aren't finished.
My favorite episode: Severed Dreams. Why? Firefights! CGI! And the Minbari alliance comes in and says to the Earth Force attacking B5: "If you want to live, be somewhere else!" He, He!
Favorite Captain: John Sheridan, station commander. Who else has the White Star?
Favorite Woman: Susan Ivanova, second in command. "If I survive this assignment, it would be a miracle of biblical proportions!" response? "There goes my faith in the almighty."
Favorite Alien: Kosh, Vorlon Ambasidor. "Understanding is a three-edged sword."
Favorite Wiseguy: Mike Garibaldi, security chief. "Wanna see my second most favorite thing in the universe?" It turns out to to be Daffy Duck, showing a clip of "Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 century!
If you want to check Babylon 5 out, go to Warner Brother's Web Page and look for listings of stations that carry it in your area.
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This page was last updated 2000.