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Babylon 5 from the Beginning: Points of Departure

There are a lot of changes that happen over the course of Babylon 5. Characters come and go – some are planned, others not so much so. It is the writer’s job to take these curveballs and make them fit the scheme of the series in such a way that the story still stands alone, despite departure, death, or network interference. I’ve already discussed how some of the departures affect the overall... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: Chrysalis

”And so, it begins… Here we are. The end of the first season. “Chrysalis” is more than just an awesome season finale, however. It’s the episode that sold me on Babylon 5. It’s the episode that showed me there was something worth tuning into on a regular basis instead of the sporadic basis I had been watching the show originally. In short, it’s awesome. I’ve spent a lot of the past few... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: The Quality of Mercy

You know how I’ve been going ga-ga over the past few episodes and their references to classic sci-fi? I have to take a moment and applaud the title of this episode. “The Quality of Mercy” is taken from Shakespeare, more specifically The Merchant of Venice. You know, one of the Bard’s not-so-widely-read plays. It happens to be one of my favorite speeches, about the power of forgiveness and mercy.... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: Babylon Squared

While I may not have been crazy about “Voice in the Wilderness,” I will admit the two-part episode marks a rise in the stakes of the show. The series suddenly has a much more epic feel and that’s certainly visible in “Babylon Squared,” one of the fan-favorite episodes of the first season. The history of the Babylon stations was covered in a previous episode, but I don’t think anyone thought... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II

As I said last time, “A Voice in the Wilderness” attempts to ramp things up for Babylon 5. The first half of the episode does a pretty good job of setting a higher pace, however the second episode is where things start to fall apart. The promise of the first half of the episode isn’t quite lived up to with the second half, beginning with the revelation of what Garabaldi sees coming through the... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: A Voice in the Wilderness Part 1

With only five episodes left in the season, it’s time for the show to ramp things up. “A Voice in the Wilderness” is a nice attempt to do so, although I propose that it’s one of the weakest scripts to come from series creator J. Michael Straczynski, with huge neon signs instead of subtle foreshadowing, some really bad character motivation, and one of the worst cliffhangers in the history of... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: Legacies

If there’s a supporting character of equal value to Bester, it’s Neroon, the Minbari warrior introduced in this first season episode. Neroon is a fantastic foil to Delenn. While the ambassador has been showing the Minbari’s spiritual side for the bulk of the season, all it takes is one episode of Neroon to show the audience that not everyone in the Minbari federation is as touchy/feely as we’ve... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: Grail

It’s obvious that Babylon 5 is inspired by epic stories of the past. Captain Sheridan carries himself as Odysseus, refusing to concede to outside forces, including death, until the time is right (and, of course, there are the constant references to Tennyson’s “Ulysses”). The Rangers (among other things) add a feeling of Lord of the Rings inspiration. And, more than once, we get references to... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: TKO

How do you follow up an episode like “Signs and Portents” with an episode like “TKO”? No, seriously, how do you do that to a viewer? As an audience, we shift from one of the richest episodes when it comes to moving the story forward to an episode about an intergalactic fight club. Even if this was a fantastic episode, you’d have to feel a little disappointed. The problem is, it isn’t even... 

Babylon 5 from the Beginning: Signs and Portents

Alright ladies and gentlemen, buckle in. This is going to be a long ride. For many people, “Signs and Portents” is the start of the major story arc in Babylon 5. It’s my hope that, over the course of this series so far, I’ve shown that some story elements go all the way back to the first episode (“Midnight on the Firing Line”). This is definitely a game changer, however, with so much story... 
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