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Old May 27th 08, 19:53   #1
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14
Timeline of B5

Hi everyone,
I just began watching babylon 5 (i'm at episode 16).
I had to watch the pilot in two parts because i wasn't interested at all .
But i forced myself to finish it and the whole last battle of the war mysterie made me want to continue.
I'd like to read the comic/novels alongside the tv episodes but i can't find a timeline that explains when they take place. Does anyone know one ?
(I did find this http://chronology.org/noframes/b-five/chron-usa.html but it's so big i'm afraid i'm gonna get massive spoilers if i look too much into it.)

(BTW this is the worse DVD set i've ever seen, with hardcoded 3:2pulldown :s . It's perfect everytime it's CGI but as soon as it's filmed material, fluidity is lost and it looks terrible. Too bad because the story seems great)
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Old May 28th 08, 01:09   #2
Raw Shark
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 162
Re: Timeline of B5

Welcome to B5!

My B5 Timeline
(probably not perfect, all just from memory)

The Gathering pilot movie (good call on muddling through this, it’s clunky and experimental, but has important elements. Everything improves vastly after this)

Season 1
Comics 1-4
Seasons 2-3
Comics 5-8 (a storyline mentioned briefly in Season 1 episode ‘Infection’ and again in Season 3 episode ‘Messages From Earth’)

Season 4
In the Beginning movie
Thirdspace movie (optional)
Comics 9-11 (optional)
In Valen’s Name comics 1-3
Season 5

River of Souls movie (optional)
A Call To Arms movie (leads directly into Crusade)
Crusade series

Legend of the Rangers movie (optional)

Legions of Fire novel trilogy
Psi Corps novel trilogy
Technomage novel trilogy

The Lost Tales movie

As for the novels (okay, these I had to look up) – Most of these are stand-alone stories, but 7 and 9 are considered ‘canon’/official story, but not necessary to follow the TV series. I’ve only read a few, but 2, 7 and 9 I really enjoyed. I think none of the comics are canon, except maybe 5-8.

Novel 1 – Voices
Novel 2 – Accusations
Novel 3 – Blood Oath
Novel 4 – Clark’s Law
Novel 5 – The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name
Novel 6 – Betrayals
Novel 7 – The Shadow Within – read after Season 3
Novel 8 – Personal Agendas
Novel 9 – To Dream In the City of Sorrows – read after Season 3

The novels and comics are generally extras, not essential to the TV series, but some of them flesh out storylines that take place off-screen in the series. The biggest problem: good luck finding them! If you go after them, I hope you are well-funded.

There are some short stories too, they all take place after Season 5, and are pretty cool, especially The Nautilus Coil.

Does anyone care to dispute my timeline? Begin!

Enjoy B5, I know I really did, and still do.

Raw Shark
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Old May 28th 08, 02:58   #3
Soul Hunter
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Re: Timeline of B5

There's some debate over where "In the Beginning" should fall, but since you started with the pilot and the first season, flobo, I suggest you keep on with Raw Shark's timeline.

And then don't come back to this forum -- until you're finished! At least don't come back to B5.world. There are spoilers in every thread, and B5 is too good to be spoiled, especially if you like the show's mysteries. You're welcome to hang out in the off-topic forums until you're done, of course.
Know what you do.

The Generous Grasp
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Old May 28th 08, 04:56   #4
Raw Shark
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 162
Re: Timeline of B5

I agree, B5's too good to ruin with spoilers, don't risk it. These story arcs changed the way tv shows are written, really revolutionary. In the Beginning is sort of a prequel, but gives away far too much. It's a lousy place to start. But it's totally worth the wait, it's a fantastic movie.

And if you want to know how the show was made and how it evolved, there's an in-depth page for every episode here:


Interesting things in there, very instructive in how to make a sci-fi show and tell a story, and how the industry works. This is the first example of this, as far as I'm aware anyway.

Raw Shark
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Old May 28th 08, 11:51   #5
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14
Re: Timeline of B5

Thanks a lot for the timeline, i'll watch it this way.
About novels and timeline, maybe i'll skip them because if they are hard to find in the us, they must be even more rare in europe.
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Old May 28th 08, 14:58   #6
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Re: Timeline of B5

Good luck and enjoy watching!

I'm wondering what DVDs you have. I have the complete universe and everything is in widescreen format. Not the re-cut version either because there doesn't seem to be anything missing from the top and bottom of the screen.
"Summoned, I come. In Valen's name I take the place that has been prepared for me. I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light."
- Delenn in Grey Council: "Babylon Squared"
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Old May 28th 08, 15:40   #7
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Re: Timeline of B5

It's not a widescreen problem, it's that i play all my dvd via my computer to a HDTV.
Movies are filmed at 24 fps.
For a strange reason, i can get the B5 dvd to output at 24fps, they will only output at 30fps so there's a big loss of fluidity.
But it isn't such a big deal, i can still enjoy the show.
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Old May 28th 08, 18:54   #8
Mike G
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Re: Timeline of B5

Flobo, regarding the quality, you have to remember that B5 is pretty old, and was not filmed in the same quality as movies or even other TV shows of that time.

The good news is that the rest of the seasons are much better quality. I remember even watching them on TV that season 1 was noticeably "older" looking, which went away by season 2 and 3.
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Old May 28th 08, 20:11   #9
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14
Re: Timeline of B5

I didn't mean quality, i just meant the way it's compressed on the DVD.
I'm at 2x01. I found it disappointing. I was expecting more from the "end of war" mysterie.
Another problem i had was with sinclair. What the hell was that ?
One episode he is there, and now, he is just gone from the show without any transition :s .
I really liked the actor in the first season and because of that, i can't apreciate the new captain.
It feels like he "stole" the place. But i think i'll like it more after a few episodes.
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Old May 28th 08, 20:26   #10
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Re: Timeline of B5

The problem regarding the quality of the picture on the DVDs comes out of Warner Brothers having lost ALL of the CGI files. When the Sci Fi Channel got the rights to show the show in reruns and in preparation for releasing the show on DVD, the episodes were to be remastered into widescreen. They were originally broadcast in fullscreen even though all the live footage was filmed in widescreen. So they went to recomposit everything and found that WB had lost the CGI files, which made it thusly impossible to do. So they had to go and take the CGI from the NTSC broadcast versions, I think, and use those whenever there was a shot that included CGI, which made it only when there's no CGI at all in a shot the only times they could use the originally-filmed widescreen footage of the actors. This is why some shots look plenty clear and then it cuts to a shot that's grainy.

Regarding Sinclair, both jms and Michael O'Hare jointly agreed with his leaving the show. O'Hare never came to feel comfortable in the role; it's my understanding that it was particularly in dealing with the fast pace at which the show was filmed for television. jms came to feel that events to come in the story would have been too overwelming to all be tied to a single character and decided he would have to bring in another character to give some of that connection to. With jms and O'Hare feeling the way they did, they eventually concluded in moving Sinclair's character offscreen and bringing in a new lead character.
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