B5TV.COM. Babylon 5 forums Babylon 5 message for the fans from Claudia Christian Babylon 5
Old February 10th 21, 21:24   #1
Springer
Telepath
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 554
Season 1 retrospective

So, I've been reading people's reactions on Twitter to watching B5 for the first time on HBOMax, or people re-watching it for the first time in ages, or recommending it to others who haven't seen it, and I'm seeing a lot of chatter along the lines of "the first season's really rough", "it's a slog to get through season 1 but it's worth it once season 2 begins", and "season 1's bad, just start watching with season 2".

So, um, when exactly did the narrative around the show become that season 1 was bad? Sure, it's not as good as seasons 2, 3 and 4, and there's the element of the show taking time to find its feet, but season 1 is what made me fall in love with B5. I remember people at the time saying what a breathe of fresh air season 1 was, compared to Star Trek, and that B5 was the best new sf show in a long time.

At one point did that change? Are people forgetting how good season 1 is because they're being blinded the quality of later seasons? Is it the current vogue of saying anything that isn't perfect must be rubbish? Are people just parroting what other people are saying?

Season 1 had some excellent episodes: Soul Hunter, The Parliament of Dreams, Mind War, And the Sky Full of Stars, Signs and Portents, A Voice in the Wilderness, Babylon Squared, and Chrysalis (the latter two I'd put against anything from later seasons). Then there's smaller episodes such as Believers, Deathwalker, By Any Means Necessary, and Legacies, which have real depth and thought put into them. I even like Infection, as a simple, straight-forward action show with an underlying message that hints at some unsettling things. Sure there's some clunkers, but only a handful episodes that I'd not recommend to a first time watcher.

Even things like the style of the music, which changed as the show went on, and the lighting and cinematography (the colour palette of the show also changed with the seasons), were major highlights for me in season 1.

So, when did season 1 get this bad reputation, and do you think it is preventing newcomers from getting into the show and judging the series fairly?
Springer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th 21, 22:00   #2
Jan
Psi Cop
 
Jan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,002
Re: Season 1 retrospective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Springer View Post
So, when did season 1 get this bad reputation, and do you think it is preventing newcomers from getting into the show and judging the series fairly?
Caution - slightly harsh opinions ahead!

The only ones who say shit like that don't seem to have the...well, insert word of choice...to watch episodes that don't have space battles and fistfights every couple of minutes. They seem incapable of realizing what needed to be accomplished to set the show apart from all of the Treks.

JMS and B5 paid the audience the compliment of assuming they were smart enough to pay attention and let the story develop. I think most were. Adrenaline junkies were the occasional exception.
__________________
"You know, I used to think that life was terribly unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair? If all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." ~~Marcus Cole
Jan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th 21, 06:13   #3
Karajorma
Commander
 
Karajorma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 145
Re: Season 1 retrospective

Speaking as someone who only got into the show at Season 3 - I would have been completely lost if I hadn't watched it with a friend who could help me with the details I'd missed. I can't recommend skipping Season 1 at all. There are so many callbacks and mysteries from S1 that mean nothing if you skip it. It's not like TNG where you could probably skip the entire first season and pick up almost everything important within a season.



Season 1 is definitely worse than 2,3 or 4. I doubt you'll find a B5 fan who won't say that. But it definitely also has some great episodes.
Karajorma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th 21, 14:35   #4
Springer
Telepath
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 554
Re: Season 1 retrospective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Springer View Post
So, when did season 1 get this bad reputation, and do you think it is preventing newcomers from getting into the show and judging the series fairly?
Caution - slightly harsh opinions ahead!

The only ones who say shit like that don't seem to have the...well, insert word of choice...to watch episodes that don't have space battles and fistfights every couple of minutes. They seem incapable of realizing what needed to be accomplished to set the show apart from all of the Treks.
.
I'm not sure how true that is. Season 1 had just as many fist fights (in fact I think it had more!) and space battles as season 2. And 1990s Star Trek had hardly any of either!

Maybe those who are disparaging of season 1 came to the show later on so didn't 'live through it'. Most modern serialised TV puts the viewer straight into the over-arcing story without time to breath, whereas as you say, B5 introduced it slowly through world-building, a strategy probably partly influenced by the fact that the concept was new for TV at the time. If people are expecting modern pacing, they might be disappointed with season 1?

It just seems to be at odds with the sentiment of viewers who were watching season 1 back in 1993, that B5 was a breath of fresh air.
Springer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th 21, 01:00   #5
Karajorma
Commander
 
Karajorma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 145
Re: Season 1 retrospective

I do think it would be incredibly ironic if people were complaining at B5 for lack of use of a technique that they pioneered.
Karajorma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th 21, 10:30   #6
GaribaldisHair
First One
 
GaribaldisHair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Hull, England
Posts: 1,273
Re: Season 1 retrospective

Just rewatched S1 for the first time in several years ... just appeared on Amazon Prime in its non-widescreen glory of course ... and was pleasantly surprised by how well it still holds up. Yes CGI tech has moved on massively, but the characters and story hold up every bit as well as they did originally and, as noted above, S1 was where many of us fell in love with the show in the first place.

It has a few rough edges, but even "weaker" episodes like Infection and Grail have things to recommend them ... Davids McCallum and Warner are always worth watching for one thing (or is that two things?).
__________________
DaveC

Cake or death?
GaribaldisHair is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 23:30.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2001 - 2018 B5TV.COM