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TOPIC: B5 - What does it mean to you?

B5 - What does it mean to you? 1 year, 11 months ago #11004

  • Ubik
Being relatively new here, I figured I’d throw out a bit of a general B5 related question. I posted this same thread over on JMS News last week and it generated some good discussion. Plus, it’s a nice way to get to know you all a bit better.

So, if you’ll indulge me...

What’s your earliest memory of B5?

What was the tipping point? What got you into the series?


What does it mean to you on a personal level?

Myself, my earliest memory of B5 was seeing a trailer for ‘The Gathering’ when my friend and I rented Stargate (on VHS no less). We were both in our early teens, you know, back in the days when you still went to a video rental store to get your films. We were both big Star Trek TNG fans at the time, and were totally blown away by the effects and the look of the show. We’d always wanted more action and big space battles from Trek. However, in spite of the impression the trailer made, I don’t think either of us really picked up on the show till later on. It wasn’t readily available to us at the time.

For me, the tipping point was seeing the episode Z'Ha'Dum and being totally blown away by the epic nature of it. I think I’d loosely followed the series up until that point. I remember randomly catching the occasional episode on Dutch TV, when I was maybe 14 or 15. I lived out in Holland during my teens as my parents moved out there for work. When I graduated from high school I headed back to the UK for University. Channel 4 were showing B5 in the graveyard slot (perhaps somewhere around midnight). I got all my housemates into the show and we’d always watch it together with a few beers. One of them went from ‘I don’t like Sci-fi’ to being a massive B5 fan. A few years later I ended up buying the whole lot on DVD and re-watched it with my (then) girlfriend. And that was that. The show had become a big part of my life.

What the show means to me?

B5 cemented many long and cherished friendships, just through the act of watching it in company. It also helped me through some hard times and gave me something to focus on when my family was coming apart at the seams. I ended up stuck somewhere I didn’t want to be, mostly out of a sense of duty to others, dealing with problems that in retrospect called for serious professional help. B5 helped keep me sane. Thankfully times have moved on and my life is on a far more even keel. Having re-watched the series just last month, it still seems as relevant as ever. I think it’s one of the few SF show that has actually grown with me as I get older.

Re: B5 - What does it mean to you? 1 year, 10 months ago #11087

What's your earliest memory of Babylon 5?

I'm a second generation fangirl and inherited my mother's habit of checking out all the new sci-fi shows that come along. I watched the pilot for B5 when it originally aired and thought it was all right, though, at the time, I was much more keen on Deep Space Nine for some reason. I missed most of the first season of B5 because I was studying abroad when it first aired, but, when I got back, my lovely mother showed me a few of the shows she had taped. I gradually got more and more into it and, by the time "A Race Through Dark Places" aired, I was recording it most of the time.

What was the tipping point? What got you into the series?

The real tipping point that turned me from a sometime fan into a raving Babyloniac was "The Coming of Shadows." That episode really struck a chord with me. It was epic and Shakespearean and just so gobsmackingly good that I couldn't get it out of my mind. Part of what made it resonate was the fact that there was no reset button at the end. Other shows (okay, mostly just Trek) had made me so sick of the episodic format whereby life-changing events would occur for one of the main characters, but their lives didn't really change and the events were never mentioned again. With B5, that simply does not happen. Plus, the characters were so fascinating and the storyline seemed to be exploring much deeper themes than one typically sees on television (particularly American television which is mostly tripe.)

After "The Coming of Shadows", I was recording every episode, usually watching it a second time right after it aired, hanging out on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5 and other online forums, telling everyone I knew that they should watch it, and buying every piece of merchandising I could get my hands on. (Remember the bubble blowers and that silly handheld game where you move the station around to dodge raiders? Yup, I have those. What can I say, I was hardcore.) I was the 69th member of the official fan club (still have the card, though it's not valid on Z'Ha'Dum) and I distinctly recall how annoying it was that those of us in the US always had to wait several months to see the last four episodes of Seasons 2-4 because of some stupid sports thing while our friends across the pond were busily spoiling them for us on the forums. B5 night was party night at my place, with friends and family and pizza.

What does it mean to you on a personal level?

It's almost impossible to describe. It made me consider so many things in a different light than I otherwise might have. It stimulated me into explore and research all kinds of different topics to better understand the world around me. It helped me form friendships and, as with Ubik, it has also helped me get through some of the rougher patches in my life.

Re: B5 - What does it mean to you? 1 year, 10 months ago #11089

  • PieMan70
  • OFFLINE
  • SPECTRE
  • A man who likes Pie
  • Posts: 148
What's your earliest memory of Babylon 5?

There was a group in Glasgow that put on day long star trek cons, showed new episodes from the states, showed classic eps and had a dealers hall. Just the level of con I could afford at 14. One of the things they did to "Spice up" their lineup was to show episodes of other series that featured Star Trek actors. One of the first was an episode of a new SF series called Babylon 5, the episode was "Mind War"

I found the episode ok, nothing special at that point (Have I stated that 14yo me was a crushing idiot) but was not nearly as negative as some of my friends who just took it as a DS9 rip-off. Anyway, some time later Channel 4 in the UK started showing B5 and it filled an empty space on a Monday teatime. However, while some friends dropped off I stuck with it and was rewarded, come Season 2 it was the must watch show for my local group of geeks.

What was the tipping point? What got you into the series?

It had merely occupied a lot of "Some SF on telly" for a good few weeks, but the episode that hooked me was "Signs an Portents" basically up until that point I'd been treating this like a standard Episodic drama, but suddenly it clicked, this series referred back to past episodes, and was building up to something.



What does it mean to you on a personal level?

Aside from a big "I was right?" it drew me in, not just that I liked the episodes, I wanted to see where the story was going on. Frankly if this is what people get from soap opera no wonder they're hooked.

It was much watch TV and I was desperate not to miss an episode. I remember leaving a party at my house (Wasn't the only host) because "Severed Dreams" was showing and I could not wait until the next day to see it. It was one of the first TV series to have me in big manly tears (They're manly I tells ya) for its finale. I love trek with every fibre of my being but B5 got under my skin in a way few shows have done since.

Re: B5 - What does it mean to you? 1 year, 7 months ago #11144

What’s your earliest memory of B5?
Watching the original TV version of the Gathering with my parents.

What was the tipping point? What got you into the series?
I was hooked from the "What's in the suit" mystery from the Gathering; however the real kicker when I started recording it was right from the start of season 2.

What does it mean to you on a personal level?

Best show of all time and one that got me into writing. I actually have a roughly written novel that was in part inspired by Babylon 5.
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