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View Poll Results: Babylon 5: What Single Episode Should You Show Someone?
THE GATHERING (1993) 3 42.86%
MIDNIGHT ON THE FIRING LINE 1.1 (1994) 1 14.29%
DEATHWALKER 1.9 (1994) 0 0%
SIGNS AND PORTENTS 1.13 (1994) 1 14.29%
EYES 1.16 (1994) 0 0%
THE GEOMETRY OF SHADOWS 2.3 (1994) 1 14.29%
THE COMING OF SHADOWS 2.9 (1995) 0 0%
AND NOW FOR A WORD 2.15 (1995) 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 28th 19, 14:44   #1
Looney
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Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

I've been giving this question a lot of thought recently. A YouTube-R I watch is Allison Pregler. Her current channel is Movie Nights. She recently did a video in which she watched her first and only episode of GAME OF THRONES. The episode was chosen by someone she knew and I HIGHLY recommend this never happen again, but that is for another thread. She watched the chosen episode and showed nothing but disdain for it, so she'll certainly never watch another episode. This took me back to the age old question . . . . . .

WHAT SINGLE EPISODE SHOULD YOU SHOW SOMEONE?

I know everyone can see the obvious choices while others are very puzzling, but there is method to my madness. My first criteria to avoid any really huge specific arc spoilers, which is why I didn't choose anything beyond the middle of Season 2. My second objective was to choose some episodes that got the job done, but were also not obvious choices.

DEATHWALKER 1.9 - I think this is an obvious choice, but others might disagree. It sets up sooooo many different aspects of the show. There is history and lore of the Universe as well as the social and political dynamics of life on the Station. I think there is soooo much in this episode that would make a new viewer curious to see more.

EYES 1.16: - I know this one isn't a fan favorite, but I definitely believe it has the intrigue to get a viewer interested. Firstly, it has Jeffrey Combs. Many people recognize his face. Second it doesn't have a lot of overly the top Sci-Fi Fantasy. It is a to the point episode that shows some of the inner workings of what the story is as well as raising a lot of questions about what is going on and what has gone on to that point.

THE GEOMETRY OF SHADOWS 2.3 - Okay this one IS obvious, but I wanted to point it out anyway. Who wouldn't love this episode?! It has Purple / Green and Technomages. Definitely a BIG hook.

AND NOW FOR A WORD 2.15 - I don't know how many of you are familiar with the series TRUE BLOOD, but personally I know they really screwed up with that show. Anyway, I originally got interested in it because they did an AWESOME teaser for it. I believe it was about half an hour long and it was very similar to AND NOW FOR A WORD, 2.15, except I don't believe there were any main cast members from what would eventually become the series. It was a fake documentary news story about the establishment, history, and inner-workings of Vampires into everyday society and how this True Blood serum made that possible. It was an amazing introduction that ultimately was nothing like the Soap Opera Porn the series ended up being. I was VERY disappointed. The teaser was so interesting and the series was nothing like it. Vampires are openly part of the world now so lets focus on how that effects a small backwater in Louisiana where everyone is having sex with each other. What a waste - - - - Sorry for the sidetrack. Anyway, AND NOW FOR A WORD, 2.15, could have the same effect as that TRUE BLOOD Teaser. It shows the insanity and reality of what life on the Station is like and teases just enough of the arc to be very interesting. The only big spoiler would be that new viewers would know if they started the series that the Narn and Centauri would eventually end up in a war. The other stuff, like the reveals about the Earth Minbari War would just make people want to know more.

Please VOTE and tell me what other episodes you think would work in selling the series to someone who has never seen it before.

Last edited by Looney; August 28th 19 at 14:53.
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Old August 28th 19, 19:41   #2
Springer
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

Definitely And Now for a Word. It works so well as an introduction partly because the episode itself is an introduction to B5 for the fictional ISN viewers. We get the Narn and Centauri conflict, the Earth politics, a mysterious glimpse of Kosh, a vague reference to the Shadows by G'Kar, some action and special effects, background on the major characters, and a general view of what the station is like. Then if people like the episode, it sets them up to begin watching from the beginning with only minor spoilers (Delenn's change, the Narn and Centauri at war).

Edit - I looked up which episode of GoT that YouTube reviewer watched, it was a bit of a strange choice? I mean, I really like the episode (though logic does go out the window at times, I admit) but it's really not representative of the series as a whole. And GoT is so serialised it's hard to pick just one episode - you really have to start at the beginning don't you? That's where B5 has a big advantage - it doesn't really become truly serialised until later seasons, so as you've done here you can pick out individual episodes in the first few seasons and not be too lost watching it. It also shows how important the choice of first episode that the viewer watches can be – even the best episodes can be too complex or bogged down in continuity to put off newcomers. I imagine someone watching Babylon Squared as their first episode would be thoroughly lost. However, the first episodes is also where B5 has a bit of a disadvantage, as it's probably fair to say that the first few episodes haven't found their rhythm yet, and we often hear of people who tried watching The Gathering or Midnight... and can't get through it. Which is why we might suggest a later episode instead. I'd be much more confident showing someone And Now for a Word instead of The Gathering. Compare that to modern TV series, which often hit the ground running - the YouTube reviewer would probably have enjoyed the GoT pilot much more. I think back in the old days we were a little more patient and allowed shows to find their feet!

Last edited by Springer; August 28th 19 at 19:56.
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Old August 29th 19, 03:18   #3
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

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Originally Posted by Springer View Post
Definitely And Now for a Word. It works so well as an introduction partly because the episode itself is an introduction to B5 for the fictional ISN viewers. We get the Narn and Centauri conflict, the Earth politics, a mysterious glimpse of Kosh, a vague reference to the Shadows by G'Kar, some action and special effects, background on the major characters, and a general view of what the station is like. Then if people like the episode, it sets them up to begin watching from the beginning with only minor spoilers (Delenn's change, the Narn and Centauri at war).

Edit - I looked up which episode of GoT that YouTube reviewer watched, it was a bit of a strange choice? I mean, I really like the episode (though logic does go out the window at times, I admit) but it's really not representative of the series as a whole. And GoT is so serialised it's hard to pick just one episode - you really have to start at the beginning don't you? That's where B5 has a big advantage - it doesn't really become truly serialised until later seasons, so as you've done here you can pick out individual episodes in the first few seasons and not be too lost watching it. It also shows how important the choice of first episode that the viewer watches can be even the best episodes can be too complex or bogged down in continuity to put off newcomers. I imagine someone watching Babylon Squared as their first episode would be thoroughly lost. However, the first episodes is also where B5 has a bit of a disadvantage, as it's probably fair to say that the first few episodes haven't found their rhythm yet, and we often hear of people who tried watching The Gathering or Midnight... and can't get through it. Which is why we might suggest a later episode instead. I'd be much more confident showing someone And Now for a Word instead of The Gathering. Compare that to modern TV series, which often hit the ground running - the YouTube reviewer would probably have enjoyed the GoT pilot much more. I think back in the old days we were a little more patient and allowed shows to find their feet!
See I also think it works for the Delenn reveal because more it would make them wonder who they saw when they watch Season One. When they realize it was her they'll wonder how she went for here to there and be pleasantly surprised that there is an explanation.

And as far as GOT goes I am going to respond in the GOT thread because I have more to say.
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Old August 29th 19, 13:01   #4
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

I've often seen Passing Through Gethsemane suggested and I can see why. For people who don't usually watch sci-fi it's a pretty good introduction and the sci-fi elements like telepaths take a back seat to interesting moral questions that would make for a good episode of something like Black Mirror.


I think the suggestions above might work better for a Trek fan you were trying to convince though.
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Old August 31st 19, 16:50   #5
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

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I've often seen Passing Through Gethsemane suggested and I can see why. For people who don't usually watch sci-fi it's a pretty good introduction and the sci-fi elements like telepaths take a back seat to interesting moral questions that would make for a good episode of something like Black Mirror.


I think the suggestions above might work better for a Trek fan you were trying to convince though.
Very good point. The only thing I don't like about PASSING THROUGH GETHSEMANE is the when they have trouble finding out there was something sprayed on the wall. It was way too much of a gimmick to move the plot. Maybe should have used it closer to the solution. (Just a comment.)

WOW! Only 3 votes?!?!?!?!?! (I use that emoji, but I am not surprised because people are just not coming around here anymore now that Looney has frightened them away.)
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Old September 2nd 19, 15:32   #6
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

Oooooooooooooooo THE GEOMETRY OF SHADOWS 2.3 got one. I was wondering how long that would take.
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Old September 3rd 19, 19:50   #7
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

What about A Voice in the Wilderness? It was made as a two-parter because WB wanted a feature-length episode to release on video in overseas territories (I have a vague recollection of seeing it in a video rental shop, but I might be misremembering that) so presumably it would have been marketed as an introduction to the show. Only downside is it didn't feature G'Kar!
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Old September 5th 19, 15:12   #8
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

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What about A Voice in the Wilderness? It was made as a two-parter because WB wanted a feature-length episode to release on video in overseas territories (I have a vague recollection of seeing it in a video rental shop, but I might be misremembering that) so presumably it would have been marketed as an introduction to the show. Only downside is it didn't feature G'Kar!
This is quite odd. I know I replied to this yesterday, but it is not here?! Anyway I agree that A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS is a good option. The good thing about not featuring G'Kar is that the new viewer gets a bonus later. The only minor issue I can think of is that I've always enjoyed Londo's part in this because it brings back his "humanity". At this stage we know Londo has made some decisions that might have bad repercussions and this episode kind of brought out the compassion again. Seeing this episode first would rob a new viewer of that, but it is such a minor spoiler that it doesn't matter.

I definitely think A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS would be a good choice, BUT do you show both parts?
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Old September 10th 19, 15:07   #9
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

WOW! Only 5 votes. I figured even if people didn't post they would vote.

Do you think I made the title too close to the original thread? Do you think people are seeing my name too often as the last person to post? I thoroughly cleaned out ISNNEWS forum with that method. The more I posted the less people responded. I might just be a jinx.
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Old September 11th 19, 20:22   #10
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Re: Babylon 5: What Should One Watch?- PART 2

I picked "The Gathering" (1993) but "Shadow Dancing" worked for me. As a Trek fan (TOS and TNG, but NOT DS9 or VOY) in Oct. 1996, "Shadow Dancing" hooked me. It was a close enough look that it didn't really spoil anything but it was visually appealing and made current Trek look really bad to me.
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