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Sunday, February 07, 2021

The second coming of Babylon 5

Hey, do you have HBO Max?  Because if you haven't heard already, all the cool kids are binging on Babylon 5.


Yes, THAT Babylon 5.  The Nineties-era science-fiction television epic.  The story of that five mile long space station and the people inhabiting it, "all alone in the night."  Some have argued that it might be the single greatest television series of its time.  It was certainly ahead of that time.  Had it not been for Babylon 5 breaking the path ahead, a lot of series might not have seen the light of day.  It set out to tell a story spanning the length of five seasons, and it pulled it off magnificently.

And it has received a remaster of sorts.  The video has been cleaned up and its legendary CGI effects (which I think still hold up even today) have been sharpened a bit.  All five seasons plus the two-hour pilot movie "The Gathering" are now on HBO Max.  And it has become a raging success on that platform.

Having been a fan of Babylon 5 since first hearing about it in the pages of Starlog, I am having a hoot watching the reaction of others who are just now discovering this series.  It's definitely binge-worthy, indeed it seems tailor-made for binging.  You'll want to "watch just one more" every step of the way, especially when things crank up around the mid-point of season two (if your jaw doesn't drop during "The Coming of Shadows", you need dental work).  Actually, I envy the new fans.  They don't have to spend long months waiting for the next batch of episodes to drop.  I still remember well agonizing for "The Fall of Night" and its promised reveal of a major character.  Good times, those were!

If you don't have HBO Max, the remastered series is up on iTunes also.  I bought "Midnight on the Firing Line" - the first episode of season one - and it definitely looks much better compared to the DVD (I own all five seasons plus the TV movies collection and "The Lost Tales").  Who knows, I may spring for the entire series on iTunes eventually.

So if you've a hankering for solid television that will make you think, laugh, cry, and everything in between, you can't go wrong with Babylon 5.  And if you want to delve even further into the series, the legendary Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 is still online, looking just as it did when it appeared in 1994.  Well worth visiting its episode guide as you progress through the show, especially for the notes and commentary by series creator J. Michael Straczynski.


Mark said...

I'm going to start watching tonight.