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->''Humans and aliens wrapped in two million, five hundred thousand tonnes of spinning metal, all alone in the night. It can be a dangerous place, but it's our last, best hope for peace. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5.''
-->-- '''Season 1 Opening'''

''Babylon 5'', a [[TheNineties Nineties]] SpaceOpera created by Creator/JMichaelStraczynski, ran from 1994-1998 (a two-hour pilot, "The Gathering", had aired in 1993). It was syndicated as a part of the Creator/{{PTEN}} network package for its first four seasons, and was shown on TNT in its fifth.

The story takes place on Babylon 5, a giant [[http://www.nss.org/settlement/space/oneillcylinder.htm O'Neill cylinder]] and sort of [[TheFederation United Nations in space]]. It's not all roses, however, as Earth's military is woefully outmatched by those of the other delegates, resulting in what can be generously described as a tentative peace. It's up to Cdr. Jeffrey Sinclair -- and later Captain John Sheridan -- to throw cold water on old rivalries and keep these various factions from devouring one another; a task made difficult by [[VichyEarth an increasingly-reactionary and despotic Earth command]].

''Babylon 5'' took the use of {{Story Arc}}s to new heights, and introduced the concept of the WhamEpisode, with probably over half of its episodes contributing to one major series-long arc (a MythArc). JMS had plotted out much of the arc before the series began, and occasionally referred to it as a five-year long MiniSeries. (The fourth and fifth seasons had to be telescoped into one when the show was going to be [[CutShort prematurely ended]]. Then it was UnCancelled and picked up by TNT, and they had to scramble to create [[PostScriptSeason a fifth season]], which was not as well-liked by most fans.)

While the series is often given as an early example of a [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness hard science fiction]] show, it does have HumanoidAliens and RubberForeheadAliens (with human-like {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s) making up the majority of its non-human cast, aliens and machines with [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens powers verging on magic]], and humans with PsychicPowers. Still, [[HollywoodScience by TV standards]], it's fairly crispy sci-fi. Likewise, while the show is often seen as being more toward the cynical end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, at times almost edging into BlackAndGrayMorality, it also has some shining moments of idealism as well. One could say that the overarching {{Aesop}} of the series is "the [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids pragmatic]] survive, and the [[TheDeterminator determined]] thrive, but [[EarnYourHappyEnding Faith Manages]]."

It spun off the short-lived series ''Series/{{Crusade}}'', which ran for 13 episodes in 1999, telling the story of the spaceship ''Excalibur'' and the search for a counteragent to/cure for a slow-acting biological weapon that had been successfully deployed against the Earth by hostile aliens. The series had serious trouble: superficial resemblance to the plot of ''[[UchuuSenkanYamato Star Blazers]]'' was cited, and creators commented on the ridiculous amounts of ExecutiveMeddling that they had to fight against. This trend for intervention was attacked more than once in the ''Crusade'' scripts themselves. Opinions on the quality of the episodes were divided: to some, the series showed considerable promise before its [[ScrewedByTheNetwork premature death]]; to others, markedly less.

There were several associated B5 MadeForTVMovie''''''s:
* ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveS01E00TheGathering The Gathering]]'' -- 1993 PilotMovie, with certain differences from the series
* ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveFilm01InTheBeginning In the Beginning]]'' -- 1998, a prequel to the series
* ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveFilm02Thirdspace Thirdspace]]'' -- 1998, takes place during the fourth season of the series, after [[spoiler: the heroes win the Shadow War and all the First Ones leave the galaxy]], but before [[spoiler:the beginning of the war to liberate Earth]].
* ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveFilm03TheRiverOfSouls The River of Souls]]'' -- 1998, takes place shortly after the end of series (excluding its DistantFinale). Features Martin Sheen.
* ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveFilm04ACallToArms A Call to Arms]]'' -- 1999, takes place about five years after the end of the series (excluding its DistantFinale). Serves as a lead-in to ''Crusade''.
* ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveFilm05LegendOfTheRangers The Legend of the Rangers: To Live and Die in Starlight]]'' -- 2002 MadeForTVMovie telling the story of a Ranger ship. This was actually intended to lead into a third B5 series, but it didn't pan out due to the movie airing at the same time as the [=NFL=] Divisional Championship.
* ''[[Babylon5TheLostTales The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark]]'' -- 2007 DirectToVideo {{interquel}} which was intended to be the first of a series of new DTV stories. It didn't pan out either despite some degree of commercial success.

It is available via Netflix, on disc only. [[http://www.thewb.com/shows/babylon-5 The WB]] has also put up Season 1 and cycling episodes (think Hulu "view X episodes at a time") of season 2 for online watching. The first season does not include the tenth episode, "Believers."

Has an [[Recap/BabylonFive in-progress Recap page]].

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!!''Babylon 5'' subpages:

[[index]]
* BabylonFive/TropesAToH
* BabylonFive/TropesIToP
* BabylonFive/TropesQToZ
[[/index]]
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