Saturday, August 03, 2013

And so it begins...and ends

I recently finished watching all five seasons of Babylon 5 (plus the pilot "The Gathering" from the Movie Collection.)

Watching the entire thing, several episodes a night—once I watched all four on a DVD because I got so caught up—gives a sense of the entire arc of the work.

And what an arc! The fight to find the path between Order and Chaos, the destinations we arrive at because of the paths we choose, the price exacted when we do what is right—and when we do what is wrong.

It's impossible, for me, to recall any other series that managed to mix King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail—in separate and unrelated episodes—or Gregorian Chant and Christian Monks—also in separate and unrelated episodes—with armageddon and venal politics and just what are we going to do about the telepaths, anyway?

But the Great Maker (J. Michael Straczynski) did just that. And there were assembled a cast of actors that took their characters and put flesh, muscle, bone on them—and took you along on a dance across a huge canvas that, nonetheless, hit home on a personal and human (notwithstanding the fact that half the main characters were not human) level.

I cannot say enough about this Science Fiction series. Storytelling, and story portrayal, at the Advanced Level, well deserving of the Hugo Awards it won.

Yes, there will be other series, on TV or in books or on the Big Screen. But some stories stand alone, for what they say and for how they say it.

Babylon 5 is one such.


  1. Oh it's so long ago I watched this serial - I think watching serials in one go does give a better sense of continuity - I'm doing that with Rome at the moment - watching several episodes together at one time. ^_^

    1. I agree with you, Helen. You get a good sense of the flow of the series watching it in a compressed amount of time. Even if the series is episodic, you see the characters develop - or at least how the actors grow into them.

      Rome is terrific. I've begun, on your prompting, to watch it also.