Must be Monday. New podcast! Just click on the fancy logo below.
The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace; It failed. But, in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope for victory.Babylon 5, a Nineties Space Opera created by J Michael Straczynski, ran from 1994-1998 (a two-hour pilot, "The Gathering", had aired in 1993). It was syndicated as a part of the PTEN network package for its first four seasons, and was shown on TNT in its fifth.The story takes place on the titular Babylon 5, a giant O'Neill cylinder and sort of 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 Cdr. John Sheridan — to throw cold water on old rivalries and keep these various factions from devouring one another; a task made difficult by an increasingly-reactionary and despotic Earth command.Babylon 5 took the use of Story Arcs to new heights, and introduced the concept of the Wham Episode, with probably over half of its episodes contributing to one major series-long arc (a Myth Arc). JMS had plotted out much of the arc before the series began, and occasionally referred to it as a five-year long Mini Series. (The fourth and fifth seasons had to be telescoped into one when the show was going to be prematurely ended. Then it was Un-Cancelled and picked up by TNT, and they had to scramble to create a fifth season, which was not as well-liked by most fans.)While the series is often given as an early example of a hard science fiction show, it does have aliens with powers verging on magic and humans with Psychic Powers. Still, 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 Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, at times almost edging into Black and Gray Morality, it also has some shining moments of idealism as well. One could say that the overarching Aesop of the series is "the pragmatic survive, and the determined thrive, but Faith Manages."It spun off the short-lived 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 Star Blazers was cited, and creators commented on the ridiculous amounts of Executive Meddling 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 premature death; to others, markedly less.There were several associated B5 Made-for-TV Movies:
Babylon 5 subpages: