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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)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The abrupt way the Sinclair-to-Sheridan transfer was handled, however, always did make me a little irked. Couldn't they have gotten O'Hare to film one or two scenes for "Moments of Transition"?
I'm at episode 8. I am used to Sheridan now. I just hope Sinclair's B4 story won't disappear. (There was even a flashforward of garibaldi getting sinclair out of B5, i can't really see that happening now.)
About the main story, i think lando is doomed. He can't stay in his position much longer, he will have to chose between the shadows and his friends on the station. I can see him becoming a main antagonism in future seasons.
(BTW i switched to pal dvd for season 2 and it's funny to see it's the exact opposite. Live action scene are 100% fluids while cgi have lots of saccads. That must mean that live action scenes are at 24fps, while cgi is at 30 and you can't have both "right" at the same time. I'll continue with PAL since live action scene are imo more important than CGI.)
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I am now in early season 4 and it's incredible how much things have changed.
In the end, the vorlon were even worse than the shadow.
One thing i still have a problem with is lando. He was going straight to hell in seasons 2/3 to the point he said "the universe can burn. i no longer care". He just seems to have made a u-turn following that.
Sudenlly, he works with Gkar, and seems to agree with vir. It's like if season 1 lando just came back from nowhere.
I just hope Sinclair's B4 story won't disappear. (There was even a flashforward of garibaldi getting sinclair out of B5, i can't really see that happening now.)
About the main story, i think lando is doomed. He can't stay in his position much longer, he will have to chose between the shadows and his friends on the station..........................
That's almost it, i've just wached "objects at rest". I'll think i'll watch the movies and crusade before sleeping in light since it seems to happen at the very end.
I had totally forgotten about lennier betrayal and didn't see it coming at all :D .
That's the second time he surprised me. The first time was when he grabbed marcus in season 3 i think.
About the whole serie, it was great, better than most scifi shows i have seen. I just had two problems in the whole serie. First, there is talia's whole arc. She became able to do telekinesis, she had strange encounters with kosh and nothing, she leaves. The second thing is the whole B4 time travel thing which makes no sense to me.
Either everything is written in advance, either you can change the future by going into the past. Since sinclair receives a letter from himself, everything is written in advance and you can't change the past.
In the B² episose, we see B5's destruction in the future, which would be caused by not taking B4 into the past. This future didn't happen so you can change the future.
This flash-forward is the only one which is avoided for no logical reason. From the way time seems to work in every other case, it should have happened.
But i can live with it, it isn't such a big deel.
About the seasons, i liked 3 the best and 4 the less.
3 for the whole independence from earth arc which was great.
Season 4 bored me for some unknown reason. For every other season, i couldn't wait to see the next episode, but for season 4, after the end of the shadow war, i didn't like the mars-arc exept for the very last episode (i didn't like the whole garabaldi mind control either, it took way too long, they sowed us that he was mind-controlled very early in the season yet almost nothing happened with it for 10 episodes) .
That's it for now, i'll watch the movies and crusade in the next days.
To be fair, the Talia arc came to naught because Andrea Thompson wanted off the show to do other things. We have no idea how much of what Lyta did in seasons 3, 4 and 5 might have fallen in her lap if she had stayed, but I would wager that quite a bit would have.
I've just seen call to arms, it seems so wrong that crusade was cancelled after a few episode because there seem there is yet much to tell.
I'm afraid there won't be any closure now.
Another question i still have. Is the keeper in the urn situation resolved in the last episode ?
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Nope, that keeper story is dealt with in the Legions of Fire novel trilogy. Those books are good but not great, maybe because they tell the story of what happens on Centauri Prime as if it's in a bubble, and very little of it has to do with the rest of the galaxy. For a big B5 story, I found that an odd way to do it. They were purposely avoiding giving away details from elsewhere, namely the Crusade story, and I guess that annoyed me because I love Crusade. Peter David's a good writer, though. I keep forgetting to read the other novel trilogies, but the Psi Corps series got off to an excellent start.

Glad you enjoyed the series, flobo! It really is amazing how much it changes by the end. Telling a story about galactic change and upheaval is a sure way to keep the ideas and energy coming.

Raw Shark
I finished crusade. I liked half of the episode. The earth/B5/ship-centered ones.
I didn't like the episode in which much of the action takes place on a planet.
Still, i would have liked to see more.

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