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Old November 1st 12, 13:54   #1
Wulf
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Season 1 hump....

To start off, I loved B5 back in the day. I still do love it, but lately I've been trying to rewatch it. I even tried to get my fiance into it.

Has anybody else had trouble slogging through Season 1 to get to the rest?

My fiance couldn't even make it through to episode 2, and I can't really say as I blame her.

I have all these memories of how great this show is, and all through episode 1 I kept thinking "hey, that off-hand comment pays off later, neat", but the episode itself was just boring. Without the foreknowledge of how all these references are interesting it's just not fun to watch.

Sinclair has all the charisma of a sponge, and I don't really remember him getting better. Sheridan isn't without his flaws, but at least somebody would notice if his scenes were replaced by Ben Stein lectures from the Wonder Years.

What are your thoughts on the starting season/episodes? Is it me that's lost something, or is season one really just the price one must pay to get to the Babylonian goodness?

Are there any standalone episodes/arcs any of you would recommend that could get my fiance hooked enough to start from the beginning? I'd think I only get one more chance at it before she thinks my shoes are too tight and I don't know how to dance.
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Old November 1st 12, 17:04   #2
JoeD80
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Re: Season 1 hump....

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Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Without the foreknowledge of how all these references are interesting it's just not fun to watch.
Certainly wasn't my experience. But there are definitely better episodes in season one than "Midnight on the Firing Line."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Sinclair has all the charisma of a sponge, and I don't really remember him getting better.
Don't agree with that assessment at all. He's playing a character with massive survivor's guilt and being haunted by his past; watch "And the Sky Full of Stars."

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Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
What are your thoughts on the starting season/episodes? Is it me that's lost something, or is season one really just the price one must pay to get to the Babylonian goodness?
My opinion is that season one is quite good. Certainly improvements were made going into season two though.

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Are there any standalone episodes/arcs any of you would recommend that could get my fiance hooked enough to start from the beginning?
Depends what kind of stories your fiance is looking for I guess. I think "Infection" is a fun action story; most people hate that one. "Signs and Portents" certainly connects to the arc quite a bit; "Babylon Squared" and "A Voice in the Wilderness" I think both have a good blend of story, drama, and comedy ("fasten or zip?")

Also season one is where one gets to know the characters, so you can understand their shifting motivations in season two.
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Old November 2nd 12, 11:39   #3
Ninja_Squirrel
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Re: Season 1 hump....

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My opinion is that season one is quite good. Certainly improvements were made going into season two though.
Agreed. Season 1 is a bit rough around the edges, isn't nearly as good as the middle three seasons, and contains 3 of my 6 least favorite episodes (Soul Hunter, Infection, Believers). But it's still got a lot of important parts and redeeming qualities too.

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Depends what kind of stories your fiance is looking for I guess. I think "Infection" is a fun action story; most people hate that one. "Signs and Portents" certainly connects to the arc quite a bit; "Babylon Squared" and "A Voice in the Wilderness" I think both have a good blend of story, drama, and comedy ("fasten or zip?")
"Infection" is not only a predominately hated episode, but it's also the very first episode produced (much of season 1 was filmed out of order). So, it's the roughest episode in every way. Its still marginally important for its first mentions of ISN, IPX, organic technology, and alien hate groups back home. But, it's still mostly skippable with the exception of Sinclair's great monologue at the end about humanity needing to go to the stars, which I think is on YouTube.

The most important episodes as far as arc would be: Mind War, And the Sky Full of Stars, Signs and Portents, A Voice in the Wilderness - Parts 1 & 2, Babylon Squared, and Chrysalis. And, for the sake of time, Voice 1 & 2 are kind of skippable too.

But, my two favorite episodes of the season are two really enjoyable stand-alones: "Deathwalker" and "The Quality of Mercy." I love the twist ending in "Deathwalker." And, "The Quality of Mercy" is a nice Star Trek-like morality play with some comic relief and even some minor arc importance. It's the season 1 episode that feels the most like season 2. Wulf, maybe skipping ahead to these episodes might help get your fiance into the show better.

But, if you're *really* desperate to turn someone on to B5, and they just can't handle season 1 *at all* , one option is to skip it altogether. One of the hosts of the Tuning Into Sci-Fi TV podcast convinced his two co-hosts to watch & review B5 episodes during the summer TV slumps. He had seen all of B5, but the other two were new to it. Rather than watching season 1, he created a video that quickly summarized it, and they all started at season 2, reviewing one season per summer 2010 through 2012 so far. The two co-hosts who are seeing B5 for the first time seem to be following the story just fine having only seen the summary of season 1. Here's the link to that summary video.
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Old November 2nd 12, 15:05   #4
vorlonlovechild
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Re: Season 1 hump....

you don't like believers?

''The Avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote''

Love it myself - and it has one of the most memorable 'wtf??' moments in sci-fi.

Still can't believe they ****** *** *** (oooops spoilers)
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Old November 2nd 12, 17:59   #5
KoshN
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Re: Season 1 hump....

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you don't like believers?

''The Avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote''

Love it myself - and it has one of the most memorable 'wtf??' moments in sci-fi.

Still can't believe they ****** *** *** (oooops spoilers)
Gawd, no! Believers is the worst, most daytime-soap-operatic episode of Babylon 5. Ack! Ptui!
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Old November 2nd 12, 20:40   #6
Sindatur
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Re: Season 1 hump....

Yea, like JoeD80, I enjoy most of S1 myself, and don't understand why it's so hard for people to get through, or why they don't understand that Sinclair isn't bad acting, it's the character (with a hole in his mind) and the Survivor's Guilt. Having said that, yea, many people do find S1 tough to watch.

Surprised to hear a dislike for Midnight on the Firing Line, usually that's one people do like, and then have issues up until And the Sky Full of Stars
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Old November 7th 12, 18:59   #7
Ninja_Squirrel
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Re: Season 1 hump....

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Originally Posted by vorlonlovechild View Post
you don't like believers?

''The Avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote''
"Believers" has always been one of my least favorite episodes, though I admit that on my last season 1 re-watch it went from 1st- or 2nd-least favorite to only my 4th-least favorite episode. And, I do love Kosh's avalanche quote. I just wish it were in a better episode.

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Love it myself - and it has one of the most memorable 'wtf??' moments in sci-fi.

Still can't believe they ****** *** *** (oooops spoilers)
That's one of the reasons I disliked it a little less this last time around. The fact that they ****** *** *** is pretty daring and unconventional, especially compared to other shows of its time. I also focused a little more this time on Sinclair's no-win dilemma. As hard as it was, I think he was actually "right," and Franklin was actually "wrong."

But, that stupid gloppit egg scene... Ugghhhh. That was the most wrong thing of all.
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Old November 7th 12, 20:08   #8
vacantlook
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Re: Season 1 hump....

The idea behind the story of "Believers" is good, and there are a couple of worthwhile moments, but the alien's culture is just so silly it really drags down what's good about the story.

And in case anyone might want to use it, the spoiler code for the board is:

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Whatever you type between the = and the ] following it will show what your spoilers are about, and you have to include the = even if you do not include any info between it and the ]. For example:

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Old November 8th 12, 21:12   #9
Wulf
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Re: Season 1 hump....

Spoiler for :


...Sorry.

Anyway, when I first started watching B5 'back in the day' it was sometime after season 1 so Sheridan was my first impression, not this Sinclair guy =]

It's possible I'm still biased against him from that. I still intend to rewatch Season 1 but haven't found the time/motivation.
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Old November 9th 12, 06:02   #10
JonFrain
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Re: Season 1 hump....

Season 1 is really tough for most sci-fi fans to get through. I think Sinclair had more substance to him than Sheridan and I really missed him when he left.

The only required Season 1 episodes in my mind are:

"And the Sky Full of Stars"
"Signs and Portents"
"A Voice in the Wilderness"
"Babylon Squared"
"Chrysalis"

I can see a justification for starting new people with Chrysalis and letting them go back to season 1 later if they get hooked. I think it's better to get them hooked than risk them giving up because of the poor production values of Season 1. Most B5 fans probably wouldn't agree with me, but as the years go by it's harder to get people to accept B5. It's frustrating, but I try not to get my hopes up in converting people these days.

Last edited by JonFrain; November 9th 12 at 06:04.
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