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Did anyone actually watch/like Babylon 5?

- Mon, 14 May 2018 12:13:30 EST NSyoVkIK No.64546
File: 1526314410794.png -(159203B / 155.47KB, 500x374) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Did anyone actually watch/like Babylon 5?
I know this is a Star Trek board. But I see this series brought up often here and I did myself try to watch it. I'm not one of those "durr only Star Trek" people- I like a good *story.* Wherever is comes from.

More to the point- did anyone actually watch Babylon 5? I seriously tried to but the acting is so bad. And the production value and CGI so terrible that it was at times for me unwatchable. The story that I've read in the past on the various Wiki entries and what not make the Shadow Conflict thing seem interesting! But watching it appears to be such a god dam slog that I cannot bring myself to watch all of it...
Spock - Mon, 14 May 2018 13:50:47 EST pekGfeeU No.64547 Reply
you are me
i tried it multiple times and dropped it multiple times for the same reasons
Jaro Essa - Mon, 14 May 2018 18:19:10 EST l5TvN503 No.64556 Reply
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Early on, the production values and acting (??) may bother but before long the excellent writing and dialogue totally make you look past the flaws and they even become endearing. It obviously hasn't aged well in terms of production value but besides that it's timeless. It's a perfectly written show. No other show, let alone a sci fi show, has had that depth on so many levels and been so perfectly executed story wise.
Deanna Troi - Mon, 14 May 2018 18:41:58 EST +gPRLRG+ No.64557 Reply
It was on par with Trek with me when I was a kid, but kid's are stupid. Haven't really watched it since.
Leonard McCoy - Mon, 14 May 2018 19:25:43 EST DStF7Vev No.64559 Reply
I've seen it at least a dozen times. Make sure you watch the JMS viewing order. The first film and season are slow but important and it really build from there. Every season gets better and better until the end of S4 but there is still some good stuff in S5. The other films and spin-offs are decent, nothing great but they are good world building and often continue the story.
Guinan - Mon, 14 May 2018 20:13:30 EST b048m/L8 No.64561 Reply
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I can't find the watch list I had.. but basically there's a really streamlined way to watch it and cut out the filler episodes. My pic is semirelated but don't ever watch crusade or call to arms, ever. So bad.
Hoshi Sato - Tue, 15 May 2018 13:10:34 EST HeFO2p/X No.64571 Reply
Yes man everyone has a hard time getting started with it but you just need to nut up and do it. You will never be a true fan of TV sci-fi unless you can speak authoritatively about how you feel about B5. Just get over yourself and watch it, start with S2 and stop at S4, that's only 3 seasons. If you can watch 3 seasons of a Trek before it gets good, you can watch this. You'll wonder why you waited so long.
Corporal Chang - Wed, 16 May 2018 00:05:55 EST ZR416Pa+ No.64577 Reply
so op here-

you're the second person to say that in this thread can I ask why? The first season is what I couldn't get past in seriousness. And why the last season as well? I know about the different viewing order. is it that or something else?
Admiral Owen Paris - Wed, 16 May 2018 01:08:33 EST 4WVh8sFm No.64578 Reply
how could I ever speak authoritatively on B5 when my opinion is just "ehhhh, it was aight"?
General Martok - Wed, 16 May 2018 16:48:45 EST j4ERvPYe No.64583 Reply
First season is almost completely out of continuity with the rest of the show.

Just like S1 of DS9 didn't establish the main story of Sisko and Dukat being an allegory of a predestined battle between Good vs Evil. This setup is presented in S2.

Also main protagonist shifts to Sheridan.

Last season is an epilogue to the series, as they expected to get cancelled in S4... so lots of side quests, another shift of the main protagonist, and dealing with life after your destiny is fulfilled.

Would of got to see that in DS9, but they decided to let viewers wonder instead of answering our fears.
Leskit - Wed, 16 May 2018 19:02:25 EST DStF7Vev No.64585 Reply
The first season is in no way out of continuity with the rest of the show. S1 is actually very important to the overall story and sets up a lot.
Seska - Wed, 16 May 2018 21:31:19 EST SfiMcBo4 No.64589 Reply
S1 doesn't hurt, but if you want to get grabbed by the balls and go "oh shit Babylon 5 is cool" I think S2 does a sharper job of it.
Third of Five - Wed, 16 May 2018 23:43:23 EST HeFO2p/X No.64593 Reply
It's like everyone is saying, S1 is ok but it has more filler episodes than any other season. Yes, there is stuff there that is picked up later but you don't absolutely NEED anything in the whole season so if it's putting you off just skip it. Once you're hooked you can come back later if you want.
5 is more useless though. Explaining why it is so irrelevant is kind of spoilers but suffice it to say everything you really care about is over by the end of season 4 and you only stick around for 5 if you are really interested in the characters and setting.
Gul Evek - Thu, 17 May 2018 16:29:30 EST 38Rd3CpY No.64598 Reply
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I liked it. Didn't finish it though. The jokes and the nonessential conversations are poorly acted throughout, but you can kind of learn to ignore it. Acting gets better on the part of the main characters as the show progresses, though, especially with all of the ambassadors and their assistant dudes.

Like everyone else said it really picks up during season 2 but a lot of season 1 has to be watched for exposition and some stuff from season 1 ends up resurfacing later on. The plot gets pretty deep on a lot of different fronts. The whole shadow thing is a little formulaic but there's a cool tweest at the end that makes it worth it.

Also human Delenn is best waifu
Badar N'D'D - Thu, 17 May 2018 21:27:52 EST pekGfeeU No.64601 Reply
i'm trying to watch the gathering for the 4th time now and god how its awful
i'm not gonna bother listing everything i find shit about it but damn

189IQ writing they said
Guinan - Thu, 17 May 2018 21:31:52 EST b048m/L8 No.64602 Reply
You can totally skip that one.. it only introduces characters and the setting, really

It was also where Paramount got the idea for Odo
T'Pau - Thu, 17 May 2018 23:16:20 EST FgLloLjB No.64603 Reply
The movies, in general are horrible TV movie trash. In the Beginning bookends the series whether you've seen all of it or none of it.
Thirdspace is a long episode. River of Souls: lol Martin Sheen is an alien. Rangers is Starship troopers without the satire, or the troopers. And A Call to Arms while I know I've seen it. I couldn't tell you a single thing about it. And that's a bad review in my book.

>Babylon 5: The Lost Tales was intended to be an anthology show set in the Babylon 5 universe.
lol like those Discovery rumors.
>The project consists of one direct-to-DVD production containing two stories.
Protip: Don't make an anthology movie with two stories. You need three. Then on the DVD you can release extended cuts of each of them as not-quite-feature-length movies in their own right like Sin City.

I didn't know this existed. I'll probably watch it later.
Guinan - Fri, 18 May 2018 01:48:00 EST r99xqWCw No.64605 Reply
One is good.. or at least okay.. one is trash, just fyi
EMH MARK 2 - Fri, 18 May 2018 10:52:02 EST VYIAkxPv No.64608 Reply
Is this shit seriously about exorcising a goddamn demon with magic powers in space
Katogh - Fri, 18 May 2018 12:13:48 EST HeFO2p/X No.64611 Reply
>> The whole shadow thing is a little formulaic
B5 is literally Lord of the Rings in space. JMS has said as much. It's why he was able to come up with the whole arc of the show in one flash of shower inspiration, his brain just copied over the narrative of LOTR to a knock-off Trek universe (he originally pitched the show as a Trek show to Paramount, btw, they rejected him and used his idea a year later to make DS9, he retooled and made his show after spending a lot more time begging for funding.)
Guinan - Mon, 21 May 2018 01:28:05 EST b048m/L8 No.64649 Reply
It is for me.. last rewatch I just stopped after the conclusion of the Shadow War and watched only the s4 finale and the last 2 episodes of s5 after that

I think that's how it goes
Hoshi Sato - Wed, 23 May 2018 14:20:39 EST yU9mPOdm No.64682 Reply
>High School Physics says NOTHING HAS TO STOP IT (Newton's First Law).
Wut? It also says they can't stop for no reason, which is exactly what they do.

Videogames actually do need a physics model though. None of them were accurate at the time and almost all of them still aren't now, but they are a set of rules that govern movement consistently in a way that Babylon 5 lacked.

You don't need any technology they didn't have to do a drastically better job. Stock footage of the Blue Angels/Red Arrows maneuvering in formation would have been a good frame-by-frame reference.
But so would playing with toy models with a top and side view. The four-pronged shape of starfuries is actually perfect for doing this.
Jannar - Wed, 23 May 2018 23:49:49 EST yU9mPOdm No.64691 Reply
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I'd count it. It was all individual effects, compositing and digital matte paintings before then. But almost entirely in films, not really in Television.

VeggieTales does not fucking count. Cartoons in general don't count, at least not until ReBoot Insektors if you're a frenchy french fuck. That's an objective fact.
Sarah Sisko - Sat, 26 May 2018 16:46:30 EST kYb6aaGt No.64731 Reply
>B5 is literally Lord of the Rings in space.
The ancient space-elf is named Lorien lol.
Dr. Mizan - Sun, 17 Jun 2018 16:18:31 EST l5TvN503 No.64936 Reply
All trek has some level of cheese. Even STD though they tried not to.
Ikat'ika - Sat, 30 Jun 2018 09:28:15 EST chOkTgWk No.65065 Reply
This is a weird depth of nitpicking about how space works for a Trek board. To this day Trek still has ships always meeting on a plane at close distance like they're boats.
Vice Admiral Nakamura - Sat, 30 Jun 2018 10:52:04 EST NmJ0Aupw No.65066 Reply
Well to be fair, if Discovery proved anything with its big zoomy traveling shot eventually revealing the Enterprise it's that camera perspective is pretty limited and we have almost no idea how close they actually approach.

Unless of course the camera moves around fast, which classic trek would never do because the camera is real and it would smash the models.
Guinan - Sat, 30 Jun 2018 14:03:45 EST A7VCaQlc No.65068 Reply
It always bothered me that ships orbit planets without the dorsal portion of the ship facing downward towards the planet, or even the ventral part of the ship facing the planet, they're always orbiting with the the broadside of the ship facing the planet. This is annoying because it would make adjustments to orbit really awkward since your perspective is all sideways and shit. If you understand what I'm saying, you will never be able to unsee it.
Kira Nerys - Sat, 30 Jun 2018 17:29:55 EST HeFO2p/X No.65071 Reply
>>Trek still has ships always meeting on a plane at close distance like they're boats.
>>ships orbit planets without the dorsal portion of the ship facing downward towards the planet
Guize, it's a TV show. They were trying to communicate the idea of space travel to troglodytic 1960's suburbia through a 17 inch cathode ray screen; the best frame of reference they could have to help people understand was naval action.

You wanna see the ship oriented correctly to the viewer, and humans have no natural understanding of 'three dimensional thinking', so seeing the planet above or below the ship naturally makes one think the ship is at one of the planet's poles. Obviously nerds like us understand that this is just for simplicity's sake, but if they didn't do it, every episode they would have to explain it or people would be confused

if you think they wouldn't be confused, consider how many key plot moments thought up by the writers and greenlit by the producers throughout the shows rely on a totally faulty understanding of the 3dness of space.
Dr. Denara Pel - Tue, 03 Jul 2018 21:56:43 EST jmSOtBOw No.65106 Reply
There's a point where shit becomes inescapably dumb. I'm fine with ships being close enough together to bump hulls, because it's easier in terms of storytelling to have them on screen at the same time. Even The Expanse did it on at least one occasion, even if it didn't make a ton of sense. I have more of an issue with writers not staying consistent with ranges between episodes, so you have the Enterprise practically running into something before detecting it, but the next episode it can detect things on the other side of the star system. But it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to notice inconsistencies.

Stuff like >>65072 is completely retarded, though. Not only because spaceships aren't cars, but also because it ignores physics to do stuff that isn't very exciting, and is very cheap. And that's the risk of ignoring one part of the equation: If you get the other part wrong, too, there's nothing left to look at.

Trek was very often retarded with its physics. But it also almost always used its physics in order to set up that core of true Trek: Character interaction. For instance, in Hollow Pursuits Barclay has to solve some technobabble anomaly thing. But it's not about his investigation at all. Instead it's about his strained relationship with his crewmates, which comes to light due to the more difficult than average assignment. But when you say "these dudes are fighting on a falling spaceship" you're making that setting paramount to the scene. So if you fail at creating the appropriate setting, there goes your entire scene.
Chell - Fri, 17 May 2019 23:33:49 EST Pa0YLefx No.67556 Reply
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Well since JMS himself seems to recommend it, I suppose I will stick with that viewing order. Thank you for the link.
I just finished Deathwalker and so far I'm really enjoying season 1.
I'm not exactly sure if I understand the criticisms about s1 mentioned in this thread. The acting and jokes are apparently bad but I don't see a problem with them. The CGI is apparently too cheesy for people to take seriously but I enjoy it. The CGI reminds me of Starcraft and you can tell what they were trying to convey in relation to the scene.
As another user said, the cheese factor can be quite endearing but never too distracting either. The feel and aesthetic of the show is exactly what I've been looking for because it reminds me so much of Trek.
If you can watch TOS for what it is, then you'd think people would accept season 1 of B5 for what it is. Honestly the criticisms here seem pretty knit-picky. I'm new to the series so I can't speak at great lengths about the show yet, and I'm not saying it's flawless, but people should cut season 1 some slack. It's enjoyable and exactly the kind of show I need to fill the Trek void.
Guinan - Sat, 18 May 2019 00:53:08 EST b048m/L8 No.67558 Reply
If you like s1 you will fucking LOVE s2-4. S5 is uneven and shitty but I feel like it had a few gems nonetheless.
Ikat'ika - Sat, 18 May 2019 04:33:47 EST 60zgf9Xq No.67562 Reply
oh boy just wait until you get to the movies and Crusade...

...shits bad yo
Phlox - Sat, 18 May 2019 22:52:58 EST 8Tu6WKEq No.67563 Reply
I've held off from watching any sci-fi that isn't Trek ever since I discovered it. I think I might finally take the plunge into B5 though. I just have to find a good way to watch it. Is it on Netflix or HBO?
Guinan - Sun, 19 May 2019 02:36:41 EST b048m/L8 No.67564 Reply
Babylon 5 is a great show, it has a very trek vibe to its overarching themes and yet it has it's own unique aesthetic. The unfortunate thing about it is that it is completely unavailable on any streaming service. I mean the paid ones that is. The best and easiest place to find it would be through torrents or pirate streams laden with pop up ads. Its worth the struggle.
Lt. Joseph Carey - Sun, 19 May 2019 02:40:38 EST 5SVJcPG+ No.67566 Reply
They aren't amazing but they aren't absolute trash. If you like B5 then they are 100% worth watching for the lore and certainly watchable. The books and comics are good too.
Dr. Mora Pol - Sun, 19 May 2019 04:59:00 EST +2Tbsh8G No.67569 Reply
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I'm just using watch-series. Use duckduckgo or whatever to find it if you don't know what I'm talking about. It's not like it was mastered in anything above 480p anyway so hopefully that's not too inconvenient for you. On the contrary, watch-series is a damn good site.
Nevala - Mon, 20 May 2019 01:34:34 EST HeFO2p/X No.67581 Reply
Crusade is like if all the Dominion War was was the episode where Quark is trying to get tulaberry wine from the BDSM space clowns. Galen is cool though, they should have just had a show about him.
Ga'Kar - Thu, 23 May 2019 01:07:46 EST MahoacCW No.67609 Reply
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Holy shit those seasons ( 1-4 ) were AWESOOOOOOOOOOOOME
DaiMon Tarr - Tue, 04 Jun 2019 20:32:18 EST HeFO2p/X No.67724 Reply
>>dude stop whiteknighting Babylon 5's CGI.
Wtf does that even mean? I like Babylon 5, and I think complaining about its CGI is on an intellectual par with complaining about the matte effects in TOS or complaining that Metropolis is in black and white. Does that mean I think Metropolis looks better than Avengers: Endgame? No, but I also wouldn't hope to be looked at anything other than a pitiable retard if I said Avengers: Endgame was superior as science fiction to Metropolis because it doesn't look like shit.
>>The worst part is when they reverse-composite flat footage into CGI windows.
They do the exact same thing in "What You Leave Behind" and it looks balls awful. I never thought to complain about it because I knew it was the best technology they had at the time and hella expensive as it was. It doesn't have a bearing on the impact of the narrative for me.
>>They'd cut before the lack of depth became discernible.
But they had to do that because of other technical limitations, namely that TNG used models and you can only zoom the camera in so far before it becomes obvious you're looking at a small painted acrylic model.
Prinadora - Wed, 05 Jun 2019 12:02:42 EST BIw1HvBc No.67731 Reply
Babylon 5's CGI is so fucking bad. It's worse than bad miniatures. Blake's 7 holds up better than Babylon 5 visually. It's really distracting.

It's also really annoying because I absolutely love the design on the show.
Once in a while they do a REALLY good job of hiding a CGI set with proper lighting and camera tricks. There were a bunch of bridge scenes on Narn cruisers that hold up really well.

>They do the exact same thing in "What You Leave Behind" and it looks balls awful.
lol that's true. What you actually need to do to pull off that effect with normal video footage is that fake postprocess 3D thing they do for movies like Alice in Wonderland. It looks god-awful with 3D glasses on but if you want to render it to 2D for a zoom-in effect it would probably hold up.
If they wanted to do it properly though it's still a practical effect. They'd need to layer the scene for parallaxing. It wasn't something CGI could just pull off and nobody realized that at the time.
>and you can only zoom the camera in so far before it becomes obvious you're looking at a small painted acrylic model.
By all accounts the Enterprise D model was just as good as the one in TMP and they went absolutely batshit crazy with that one. The silhouettes in the conference room window actually look good enough to push a lot further than they did I think. But it was wise to leave a safety margin, because what holds up on TV doesn't necessarily hold up on pre-remaster DVDs, and despite their best efforts might not have held up post-remaster either.
Prinadora - Wed, 05 Jun 2019 13:02:39 EST BIw1HvBc No.67735 Reply
>I'm not sure if you're taking into context that B5 was the FIRST television show in history to rely on CGI for effects at all. The first. The fucking first.

I'm not criticizing the Wright brothers. I'm criticizing Leonardo DaVinci. B5 jumped the gun by about 6 years.

It's not what they discovered. It's what they persistently never discovered.

Like that with limited CGI, you have to make the scene first and then match your studio lighting and environment around it.
The stunning thing is JUST HOW MANY productions still haven't learned to even attempt to do this. The work flow is this: make the scene, pre-render it with quick and dirty shading, fully render stills with at least a majority of your prominent assets done.

This on top of the principles of layering practical effects, live-action and partial sets on top of the CGI, which is exactly what Star Trek did. What the Warcraft movie did, what half of the regular shows do with background streets and buildings so they can shoot in Vancouver where it's cheap, what the Star Wars prequels or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them fail to do by having NOTHING in the way of sets to bridge the illusion between the composited backgrounds.
Note that it doesn't even matter that so many of the prequel backgrounds were practical miniatures, and not CGI. Just because of how clumsily they were composited.

At some point someone who apparently worked in CG effects at the time called me an ignorant bastard because ST and B5 both used the same Lightwave graphics, which is true. But they didn't use them in remotely the same way. That's what's most important. At the end of the day the editor has the most power over a film, and the compositing director has the ultimate power over effects.
Now if they'd given the compositing guy some matte painting shots instead of raw green screen footage, it would have been a whole lot more effective. But B5 just didn't have the money for that.
Jimmy - Sat, 08 Jun 2019 05:47:21 EST 4xG8xdJJ No.67757 Reply
>You don't notice the best CGI. The best CGI is also the most mundane shit you could imagine.
So true, plus with the advent of physically based rendering and deep learning in production software it will be so ambitious that not even a soap opera played in a suburban settings will have cgi, because it's simply cheaper and indistinguishable to have a virtual street with houses in a green screen setting than to rent a real one.
Sarek - Sat, 08 Jun 2019 11:01:49 EST mw1AnnTr No.67759 Reply
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dis nikka thinking car ads are taken from Gran Turismo completely invalidates his other point

almost like he's never seen an episode of Top Gear>>67753
Lorian - Sat, 08 Jun 2019 13:57:28 EST CzoP/iRU No.67761 Reply
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There's also this variable wheelbase buggy that can match most cars measurements and record motion information.

They make a whole bunch of car ads before the cars come out y'know.
Sarek - Sat, 08 Jun 2019 18:11:20 EST mw1AnnTr No.67763 Reply
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Yea, they also have pre-production versions before retail. You know, the ones to pass emission and safety requirements?

It's what the Top Gear guys review, the same cars from the commercials available months before retail.
Grimp - Sun, 09 Jun 2019 04:48:02 EST CzoP/iRU No.67768 Reply
>any car commercial you see without the "*Professional driver on a closed course*" disclaimer

Okay my bad, this is actually just not a very common disclaimer anymore. But all in all that's a good thing because it means they've stopped covering their asses over regular-ass driving.
Throughout the 90's and 00's that disclaimer was on EVERYTHING regardless of whether the ad included stunt driving or not.
Lt. JG Ayala - Mon, 24 Jun 2019 11:38:45 EST bOlOhkyn No.67856 Reply
>wasn't any worse than Season 5
that's up there with "Better at MMA than CM Punk"
Jake Sisko - Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:14:57 EST eZqQqz6F No.67865 Reply
Joe Rogan on mushrooms is better at MMA than CM Punk lol
Kasidy Yates-Sisko - Wed, 26 Jun 2019 04:56:39 EST qMhwBmdn No.67872 Reply
Shit I bet toe Rogan wouldn't be able to hold back and channel the spirit of Bruce Lee but it's actually David Carradine.
Guinan - Thu, 27 Jun 2019 12:41:28 EST b048m/L8 No.67875 Reply
Joe Rogan on mushrooms would just hug everyone and talk to them about weird esoteric shit, but you're right since he's a big guy and gives big hugs
Furel - Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:58:17 EST EDJ6wn0M No.67912 Reply
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Jesus christ, I've been working on my Babylon 5 model for months and then I was googling for references and the motherfucking professional-ass professional they contracted for the 2007 movie uploaded hi-res shots to his website.

And this made me realize that I have not 1 more detail pass to go, but at least 3.

Since this isn't the kind of thing I get to fudge with particle systems or Houdini, there's no way around it. Hopefully I can crack some procedural materials that look half-decent.

On the plus side my hull textures look basically identical to his, but actually better thanks to PBR materials decidedly being not a thing in 2006.
Also his height maps are WAYYYYY TOO FUCKING HOT, but probably exactly what they needed to be to pop at straight-to-DVD resolution.
Still, Babylon 5 is 8 kilometers long, a circumference of over 1300 meters. At this scale, the implication of heightmaps this extreme are several feet of height difference between different hull plates.

My hull materials have heights that are comparable to the close-up bump maps of the original show (in later seasons, when bump mapping actually became a thing) I put that same detail mainly into a roughness map that is a lot more subtle. The panels don't pop out nearly as much, but glint beautifully in the light. It looks amazing on the cylindrical sections.

My main issues holding me up are the extreme low quality of the original references. Interpreting what the hell I'm looking at is a feat of serious mental gymnastics. And only once I finally get the basic shapes and details from the original model can I start being creative with additional details.

I'll probably have something original to post in a few weeks.
Furel - Thu, 04 Jul 2019 14:23:00 EST EDJ6wn0M No.67915 Reply
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Also I was doing some math.

Assuming Babylon 5 rotates at 12 RPM, the upper decks of Green sector where the garden is have ~.8 Gs of centripital gravity.
The people living in down below have 1.6 Gs.

Also C&C is on a non-rotating section of the station.
The bridge of this sucker is a big fat lie. It could have centripital gravity generated by counter-rotation, except the outer hull is not counterweighted, and would wobble the hell out of the station so nobody would be able to dock. It's also just incredibly obvious from every single effects shot ever that there is no counter rotation.
Same with the bridge on every Earthforce battleship.

It's a goddamn Minbari conspiracy I tell ya. Or literally any other race since everyone but humans seem to have artificial gravity.
It would be the easiest thing to handwave away, but not once is it ever addressed.

Pic related if anyone didn't believe me that the heightmaps were too damn hot.
Emperor Sompek - Fri, 05 Jul 2019 05:07:51 EST 60zgf9Xq No.67917 Reply
>heightmaps to hot

I don't even know wtf that means
Burt Ryan - Fri, 05 Jul 2019 18:48:32 EST CzoP/iRU No.67920 Reply
Too hot is when the volume knob stops making the music sound better.

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