Sunday, June 05, 2011

Babylon 5

This one has been a long time coming. I don’t even remember when I started watching this series, but it’s been at least a few months. This whole working full time business isn’t lending itself well to longer term projects like this. And I wanted to include the standalone one-shot series, but Netflix did not have them for instant streaming, so that slowed me down as well.

The show started out really slowly for me. It took me a long time to get used to the general atmosphere of the station. A lot of the conflicts were political without a lot of physical action, which took a while to get used to. I think my problem in the beginning was that I wasn’t used to my science fiction having such a big cast in such a small space. This felt a bit claustrophobic because there were so many characters to keep track of in the same space and the space itself rarely changed, so I couldn’t associate certain characters with certain areas or situations.

And I think Captain what’s-his-name and Delenn were a bit stand-offish, which didn’t immediately draw me in to the show. The viewer is sort of introduced to the world of B5 via their impressions of the place, but they didn’t seem that interesting at the start. I was much more interested in Londo and Vier and G’Kar and Lenieer, but they didn’t have really big roles in the beginning.

I really got into it in the second season when Sheridan came aboard. His chemistry with the crew, especially Ivanova and Garibaldi, lent itself easily to teasing banter and self-deprecation, which almost always makes a character more likeable. And I liked relearning the station through his inexperience, which is how I think the show should have started in the first place. It’s easier to have no idea what’s going on at the station when the captain of the station also has no idea what’s going on.

Also, it makes explanatory dialogue make more sense in context.

I really liked the build in this series, as well. Up until the end of season five, the show did a great job of increasing the level of danger and looping everything into this great puzzling knot of evil and confusion. I was eager to keep watching to see what would become uncovered next. This made season 6 a bit of a let down because the greatest enemy had been defeated and we were brought back down a notch in the danger meter. It was still compelling, but not as urgent as the previous two seasons. However, it did have some good timey-wimey-ness, which I always appreciate.

But overall, this was a series that I really liked watching. During the process of watching it, I also managed to get my youngest brother hooked on it as well. So I suppose that could also speak to its awesomeness. I’d recommend it, if you need a sci-fi series to sink your teeth into.

No comments: