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in the beginning there was In The Beginning

Also the scene in ITB where Sheridan is captured by the Minbari and encounters Delenn is a hell of a lot more interesting when you already know their future.
Shadow War won by Sheridan, Sheridan and Delenn end up together with a son, Shadow servants on Centauri Prime, Londo's keeper.

Nobody in ItB says anything about winning the Shadow War, or Shadow servants on Centauri Prime.

As for Sheridan and Delenn - G'Kar says the movie is lacking because we don't know how they end up, you say it is a spoiler because we do. :)

Here's what JMS had about this sort of thing in the context of Crusade, the Drakh plague and the fact that people knew in advance that the plague had been cured:

There you make my point for me. That's the frustration aspect: you know if
they get home, the show's over. So they will never get home, the viewer knows
that, and gets frustrated.

Here, you know that eventually, somehow, humanity will be saved. So there's no
frustration knowing it ain't ever gonna happen. Instead, you can sit back and
see how it happens, and who is affected by what happens.

This is something very common to what I've done with B5's story telling.
Starting at episode 1 of season 1, we learn that G'Kar and Londo will die
strangling one another. I put those cards right on the table, face-up. Did
that ruin anything for anybody? Much to the contrary, as we learned the
process that led up to, and following, that incident. If anything, knowing
that in advance added a whole new layer and subtext to the show.

I've always looked for ways to experiment and turn viewers preconceptions
upside down and back on themselves. Crusade will let me take this a step

Bottom line...I didn't turn suddenly stupid. I know exactly what I'm doing
with this.

He didn't suddenly turn stupid when he wrote ItB as an alternate intro to the series, either.

And in ItB we don't learn the context of those events. The framing sequence in ItB ends before Sheridan is summoned to Londo's throne room. (People often misremember things that happen in "WWE" as being shown in ItB and criticize the film based on "spoilers" it doesn't even contain - because their own minds tend to "fill in the blanks" while watching it.)


I said it in the other thread,if you want a action packed intro go for Thirdspace.It gives away nothing really and is good.ITB should be watched after series 4 and you should if possible start with The Gathering and then the series in order.As somebody pointed out you can watch the show in differant ways but you can only watch it in the way intended once.Do it that way ;)
Thirdspace (and River of Souls) is is BORING.

If you wanna intro the show to someone and are worried about the weaknesses of The Gathering, then hit 'em with Midnight On the Firing Line. It's a real solid first ep.
My sister recently tried to get a friend of hers hooked on B5. She made her watch Midnight on the Firing Line .. and it utterly bored her. She thought Londo was annoying and G'Kar unappealing, and it was all too political for her.

My sister was then wondering about if it maybe wasn't the right episode for trying to get someone hooked on the show. I actually think it quite was .. just that if she doesn't like G'Kar, Londo, and politics on TV, B5 isn't her thing.

But then, Gilmore Girls is already her thing ... :eek:
and it was all too political for her.
The whole series is *very* political. If that was her reaction to MotFL, then that is probably pretty representative of what her reaction to the series in general would be.
and it was all too political for her

But then, Gilmore Girls is already her thing

No, B5 is definitely not her thing.

That's what I've been trying to tell my sister ...

Instead, she wants to try to hook her with Parliament of Dreams, as that was "funny". Alas .. if she has nothing better to do with her time ...

Hey! Gilmore Girls and Babylon 5 are not mutually exclusive. A person can like both. And even own them both on DVD. Or so I've heard.



I'm sure it's possible. Just not very probable :D
Of course, I also have the Stewie Griffin DVD. :)

And I just ordered Gilmore Girls season 6, which is on sale at the moment.



I still laugh everytime I see her in the movie "Bad Santa" going "F#$k me Santa! F#$k me Santa!" to Billy Bob Thornton.
I've always said the same thing about this. Which is better, to experience B5 with a few season 1 spoilers, or to not experience B5 at all?

The show starts off very slow, and as Joe said the Gathering is very rough. If it's someone that's taken a lot of work to convince just to sit down and watch a couple episodes I don't think they're going to last past the pilot and the first couple episodes.

"In the Beginning" will hook them under the promise that by the time the show hits its stride every episode is that good.
Just throwing in something on the In The Beginning, in the beginning or not debate.

I'm really ambivalent on the issue. Season 1 is not as good as later seasons (a few brilliant eps leter in the series aside), and the mystery of the hole in Sinclair's mind was a great thread to keep you hooked long enough for the series to find it's feet. But, The Gathering (or even the first few eps of the series) could easily scare someone off that wasn't sure, whereas anyone that doesn't like In The Beginning is surely never going to like B5. I think it depends on how willing the person is to give B5 a fair shake: if they're patient and trust you when you say how good it is, go chronologically (production-wise) and have ItB after season 4 (I did this with a friend of mine, we're currently wading through the horrible Byron-centric early season 5 eps trying to get to the awesome Londo/Centauri Prime eps and SiL), but if you're worried they're not going to get on board without a great opening, show the ItB. Better to have a spoiled experince of B5 than none at all.

Here's my unique perspective on the whole situation, which may amuse. I was about 11 when B5 started airing, and very sporadically saw occasional eps recorded on VHS by my cousin (it was probably on after my bed-time! :D ) throughout the next few years. There was very little I remembered with any clarity when at the urging of a friend two years ago we sat down to watch from the Gathering. One was the scene of Londo and G'Kar trapped in the lift in the season 3 ep Convictions with the mad bomber, and their great antipathy. Another was Morden's Shadow overseers being shot by Londo's guards in Into the Fire in season 4. I definitely remembered having seen ItB, but the only bit of it I remembered clearly was the bungled first contact between Minbari and humans, the gun-port misunderstanding, Dukhat's death, and most clearly of all, Delenn screaming about killing the humans, and thus starting the war. Now when I was watching season 1 a decade later, a lot of this was very hazy, half-remembered, and just strange feelings of deja-vu when seeing certain things in the series I'd seen before. But every time Delenn spoke about the war, or the Minbari surrender, or was asked what she did in the war and went over all coy, my friends were disturbed and bemused by me bellowing at the screen: "It was YOU! You did it! I KNOW you did it! You started the war you bitch! TELL THEM! Tell them what you did!". When asked what I was raving about, I'd subside into confused mumblings about my half-remembrances, and shut up. :D
But every time Delenn spoke about the war, or the Minbari surrender, or was asked what she did in the war and went over all coy, my friends were disturbed and bemused by me bellowing at the screen: "It was YOU! You did it! I KNOW you did it! You started the war you bitch! TELL THEM! Tell them what you did!".


That's funny! I love it!

"In the Beginning" will hook them under the promise that by the time the show hits its stride every episode is that good.

Does anyone have any experience with anyone that was hooked just because of "In the Beginning"? I don't think it was *that* good to be honest - not as a single epic at least. It was a great addition to the arc, but on its own, it isn't exactly the Godfather.

I liked it quite a bit, but then, I was a fan of many years by the time I watched it. Getting to see what actually happened back then, something that was built upon for the entire series, was a major squee factor.

People that aren't fans yet ... why would they care about any of this? It had some good "epic battle" scenes, yes .. but epic battles wasn't what B5 was all about IMHO.

... plus, it had the single worst visual effect in the history of everything ever on B5 in it. :p (the earthdome shots in the beginning.)
I don't think anybody in this thread said that ItB was an epic in and of itself. Rather it, more than any other single episode or telefilm, suggests the epic scope of the series. From the "contemporary" talking heads intro (including the transformed Delenn) to the framing story in 2278, to the extended flashback to the war itself, the film gives a new viewer a sense of the complexity of the show and plants many questions in his/her mind - which work just as effectively as "mysteries" as Sinclair's missing 24 hours or the Minbari surrender. (How, when and why does Delenn's appearance change? How does Londo become emperor? When do Delenn and Sheridan meet and marry, and why are they on Centauri Prime in 2278.) People who have already seen the show really have a tough time understanding what ItB looks like to one with little or no knowledge of the show, which I think is the main reason for the "no it spols too much" argument. People think a newbie is going to "recognize" a moment - either while watching the film or whiile watching later episodes - that will, in fact, blow right past him or her.


if they're patient and trust you when you say how good it is, go chronologically

Yep, that's where I'm coming from.

I think people know that season 1 of any show is rarely as good as what comes next. Chances are, you're recommending the show to a sci-fi fan, and they've seen Trek TNG, and they know sometimes it takes a while to kick in.

And besides, the first bunch of B5 season 1 eps are actually pretty solid. It kind of slumps in the middle, and then gets kickin' in the end.