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[personal profile] rdphantom
I recently started watching the TV show Babylon 5 on DVD, after much poking and prodding for the last 2 years!  I have to say that I really love it, maybe even more than Battlestar Galactica.  It took me a little while to form an emotional connection to it, almost halfway through the first season, but once I did I couldn't get enough of it.

The absolute best thing about the series is that it has a wonderful and very complex story arch.  It's kept up an intense pace full of change, with new characters every so often to keep things fresh.  I'm almost through the 3rd season and it's been so exciting to see the way so many tiny details have come together to create this very rich storyline and universe of characters.  Each plot twist and development builds on the previous season, explaining mysteries that were set up a year or two before and setting up new ones.  It's almost as if every detail about each and every character and activity is used at a later date, building a vibrant and changing story.  And the story has changed over the last three seasons, it has evolved tremendously.  The very purpose of the station and the goals of the characters have changed, though I won't say anymore for risk of spoiling something.  But most of all I appreciate the way the story is progressing logically.  Battlestar Galactica has disappointed me because it's plot developments often make no sense and don't really further the story .  However I continue to be really delighted by Babylon 5's plot.

The writing for the show is excellent, very much like an exciting novel has been revealed onscreen.  The show covers a wide range of topics, like social control, economics, war, governmental corruption, social psychology, personal choice and spirituality.  It is full of philosophy about life, existence, war, and hope in the face of darkness.  Each major alien race is fully evolved, with it's own religion, social structure, government, appearance and personality.  It's been very interesting to see them interact together, for better and for worse.  And the future Earth has evolved too, for better or worse.  The dialog is strong, funny, poignant and believable overall.

B5 is full of wonderful and unique characters of all kinds, from amusing to serious.  The acting is top-notch and each character is brought to life in a way that is convincing.  All of them do a really wonderful job.  I love Delenn for her wisdom, integrity, compassion and strength.  I like Susan Ivanova as a strong female presence in the command staff, plus she makes me laugh.  I'm growing to love Vir Cotto for his budding independence and character.  I have loved watching Jeffrey Sinclair's destiny be revealed, that was a superb bit of writing.

I have to admit that the computer graphics for the show aren't as good as today's viewer is used to, and that put me off for a little bit.  After getting used to the beautiful world of Battlestar Galactica, B5 looked very basic.  But B5 was made in the early 90's, and was actually on the cutting edge for it's time.  The wonderful plot and characters more than make up for the visual appearance of the show, so don't let it prevent you from watching.

The only fan fic I have seen for the show is a House/Babylon 5 crossover called Hand More Instrumental by aris_tgd.  It's well written, she puts House and his team into the B5 medlab quite successfully.  The only fan vid I have seen is Not Ready To Make Nice by jedi_of_urth, abut Susan Ivanova.  The song is a good one for her and the editing is ok, worth watching.   It's puzzling that there are so few fan works for B5.  A show of this caliber should have a strong following, but I haven't seen it.  Perhaps some will pop up on the Archive of Our Own.


Date: 2009-02-06 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] owlrigh.livejournal.com
There were fanworks for B5 -- pre-internet. A lot of vids and fic were offline only; I know of at least one Media Cannibals vid (Susan/Talia). I used to be a member of a fanclub of B5 in the city I lived which were very prolific filk writers and shared a few stories around. There were a few zines, too. I don't know what happened to all the content, all the vids and things, if people have copies still. Hopefully they'll make their way online someday!

Date: 2009-02-07 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rdphantom.livejournal.com
That's good to hear that there are works out there; the show deserves no less. Maybe the Open Doors section of the Archive will one day bring those works online like it's done for some old Trek zines. Filk are songs, right? I've never actually heard any.

Date: 2009-02-08 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] owlrigh.livejournal.com
Filk are songs, yeah; you get an existing song and then use the tune but put your own words to it. "Parody songs" are what some people call them, but it's not really the same thing. At times they're completely original, but not usually.

I do hope stuff makes its way online; some writers have put their old stuff on the web, but most people leave fandom and put their works in a drawer and that's that. Some fandoms (e.g. Professionals) have people typing up old fanzines and putting them on the web, slowly but surely. Maybe someone could organise that for B5!

Date: 2009-02-08 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rdphantom.livejournal.com
I checked out the filk page over at fanlore.org and they had a good explanation as well as some links to specific songs. http://fanlore.org/wiki/Filk I saw a couple of vids made to "Banned From Argo" that were funny; I really liked the Trek version, since the lyrics were obviously made for it. http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/2008/09/banned-from-argo-music-videos.html It was interesting to learn about another fannish activity that I have had no contact with.

It would be neat to integrate those works into the archive before everyone chucks their old copies! Of course that would take time and effort on someone's part, and I just don't have the time right now. Plus I don't know anyone with the copies!

Date: 2009-05-09 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aris-tgd.livejournal.com
Thanks for the rec! I hope you've managed to find more of the B5 fanworks out there on the internet. There's actually a rewatch community active now, [livejournal.com profile] b5_revisited, if you'd like to check out the show again!

Date: 2009-05-10 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rdphantom.livejournal.com
You're welcome about the rec. I'm sorry if I didn't feedback to tell you I liked it, I meant to. Thanks for the link to b5 revisited, I'll have to check it out. I wish I knew about it months ago, I don't think I have time to rewatch now!

I've recently found a few more fic's, but I haven't had time to read them.

Sins of the Father, Sins of the Mother by Fanficreader_143: http://thezone.slashcity.org/Sins%20of%20the%20Father.htm
A pregnant Delenn has to find the courage to explain her part in the Earth/Minbari war to John Sheridan.

Missing by Eye_of_a_cat: http://eye-of-a-cat.livejournal.com/116494.html


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