Thursday, December 29, 2011

What We're Watching Now: Babylon 5

Last week, we began watching season one of Babylon 5 on DVD (the remastered version). Though I watched the series when it first aired, this is Jeremy's first time watching it. I've been chatting up the series with him the past 15 years (Jeremy will be 21 in March!), but he's never really been interested until now. He's always been a Star Wars fan, and recently a Star Trek fan (we had been watching Deep Space 9 until last week, stopping in the middle of season four. I kept telling him how DS9 was a poor ripoff of B5.)

I haven't seen these Babylon 5 episodes since they first aired and then rerun during the same season, waiting for the next season to begin. Plus, there were episodes in season one that I have missed, until now. Tonight, we just finished watching the episode "And The Sky Full of Stars," which I missed back in 1994. Wow. It's amazing how each episode has little clues (sometimes major clues) about the storyline/plot! Great foreshadowing as well. I try my best not to divulge anything to Jeremy while watching, but it sure is hard. I keep making little comments and sounds when something important is said or happens.

He's enjoying the series, though he's not as impressed with the Mimbari ships as I am. Oh well. Plus, the cheapness of the medlab's set bugs him, like it has always bugged me. As he puts it, the lab looks "so random," like a lot of the show's sets. But he's quick to mention that story is key, not glamorous sets, especially when the show's budget was a lot less than Star Trek. The lack of Star Trek Tech Babble is also nice.

Gaming: Late to the Show
Ironically, he's now interested in B5 but all the B5 miniatures and games are hard to come by. I still have my 2nd Edition of Babylon 5 Wars box set (never played) and the Babylon 5 revised boxed version of A Call to Arms ship game (played once). Sadly, no miniatures to go with them. I really wanted to get the Fleet Action ships back in the day. I was disappointed to hear that Mongoose went with the larger ships, and that their quality was spotty as I remember it. At least, ACTA has the paper counters. Looks like ebay will have to be my friend for B5 gaming.

A Spot of Luck!
Jeremy bought Season 1 on Amazon with his own money, paying $14 for it new. On Monday, he and I went out doing some shopping on the other side of the county, with the plan to hit Cool Stuff on the way home to pick up some new games, which we did. (More on that in another post.) On the way back, we decided, after much hemming and hawing, to stop by a Goodwill thrift store, one which we hadn't been to in a long time because we usually find nothing there. Well, just as we were leaving the store empty handed again, I saw a small rack of DVDs we had missed. There sat Season 2 through 5 of Babylon 5! No Season 1, but we owned that anyway. And the price? $9 each, in nearly new shape! So I plunked down my money. (Funny how I wind up buying all the other season sets???) We now have the entire series on DVD for only $50.

Taking a Slow Boat to Babylon 5
We tend to watch one episode an evening at around 10pm if there is no hot football or basketball game on. (Jeremy is a basketball freak,while I don't get the game.) I'd like to watch more episodes an evening, but he likes one a night. Hey, as long as he in enjoying quality sci-fi, who am I to complain?

3 comments:

  1. I've never seen B5 either, I did want to watch it when it first aired but never did, I'll check out ebay, see how much it's going for.

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  2. Great show. Are there any changes in the Remastered version? Updated effects or just a new transfer?

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  3. Jason, the shows were digitally remastered and redone for Dolby 5.1. Plus brief scenes that had been deleted for extra commercial time were put back in from what I understand. Lots of extras as well. Better packaging. If buying the DVDs for the first time, then this is the way to go instead of the older DVD sets.

    I was reading that JMS has said a B5 blu-ray will be next to impossible to do. A good discussion of the problems of a B5 high-def release is at this website:
    http://babylon5.sqpn.com/2011/10/29/will-babylon5-come-blu-ray/

    Looks like this DVD release will be what we will have for B5 for a long time, unless Warner is convinced otherwise. (I don't own an HD TV yet, so I can't comment on how it looks played on such a set.)

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