Babylon 5

August 25, 2003

[Babylon 5]The first two seasons of Babylon 5 are out on DVD. I borrowed the season one box set from a buddy, and Kay & I started watching.

Wow. I had forgotten how amazing this show is. It’s even better on DVD because they filmed the whole thing in widescreen (even though it would never be seen on TV that way) and remastered the soundtrack for 5.1 speaker systems. Besides these new niceties, though, the show has the following qualities I had forgotten:

  • Complex characters: each has strengths, flaws, and a terrible secret
  • Wonderful writing, with witty dialog
  • Great costumes
  • Special effects that don’t look shabby even by today’s standards. This was the first show to demonstrate that broadcast-quality effects could be done on personal computers. Ah, the Amiga days.
  • A 5-year story arc, planned from the beginning.
  • Dark premonitions and strange hints of the overall story sprinkled in regular episodes. Occasionally, the threads are brought together in a “wham!” episode.
  • Top-notch music by the synth wizard behind Tangerine Dream.
  • Surprise for people used to Star Trek: The no-name assistant does not always die.
  • Bigger surprise: Sometimes an important character dies.
  • A show that is not afraid to explore conflicting views of spirituality.

What’s not to like?

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

6 responses to Babylon 5

  1. oh yes, I keep posting on this. It is by far the best tv series ever written. Lots of wonderful spiritual themes running through.

  2. I too loved Babylon Five. Unreal to see a TV series that literally had a beginning and end, planned from the very beginning. How cool and how rare.

  3. Babylon 5 is the best show to ever appear on telivision

  4. This is a fabulous show – the best feature was the coherent story line. Also thought provoking ideas. Good to see other Bab5 followers still out there!

  5. Believe it or not, I had never heard of this series but I will check it out immediately. It’s not even in the list of contenders on‘s ranking for “Best TV series ever”.

  6. Mike, if you try watching this series, my advice is give it time to grow on you. The first episodes lull you into thinking, “OK, this is just another soap opera set in space.” Wait until you start seeing hints of something larger, hidden, and ominous.