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(02-15-2019, 06:40 PM)ArtisDead Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-28-2019, 08:30 PM)jrWHAG42 Wrote: [ -> ]Your descriptions of The Expanse and Babylon 5 make me want to watch them.

I agree. I was never interested in them. Now I am. Keep in mind that he has the original Battlestar Galactica on a tandem level with Star Wars...

No, I said it's my Star Wars
Not that it was on the same level of Star Wars.  Though if push came to shove. I could probably argue seaon one of BSG is as good as A New Hope.

I like Star Wars.  It is my generation.  I was in the movie seat in 77 when it all began.  I have a deep affection for the original trilogy but I do not love it the way many other fans do.  It was never magic for me.  But Battlestar was my pure magic moment of discovery.  The perfect storm of classical mythology, ancient astronaut theory and epic space opera.  I can not truly put into words why I love it so.... Sure, as an adult I can recongize some of the dated, cheesier elements but on the whole, it is a series that still stands up incredibilly well imo.

Is it on the same level as The Expanse or Babylon 5?  Of course not.  But neither is Star Wars.  Television is a completely different medium, and can tell long, rich complex stories in a way movies never can.

But at the same time, we can all love something as our favourite while still acknowledging it is not the best.  :P
So, from what I've gathered (in general, not just from this thread), anything past the original season of Battlestar isn't great. If I were to check out Babylon 5, are there any sequels, spinoffs, remakes, or whatever else that I should watch out for?
Also, I totally also want to check out Battlestar sometime.
If you are speaking of the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica, it only had one season due to its high budget (it was the most expensive series of its time) and modest ratings.   Only after it went off the air did ABC realize it was a bigger hit than they realized.
They convinced Glen Larson to bring the series back two years later as GALACTICA 1980.
It is pretty much unwatchable.  None of the original producers, cast or writers returned and ABC programed it for the family time slot meaning no violence and it had to be educational.   It is some of the worst tv ever made. lol

However, fan editor David Kerin made an amazing fan edit called THE PROMISED LAND out of G80.

BABYLON 5 is five seasons.
Seasons 1-4 were made for syndication.  
Season 5 was picked up by TNT and they commissioned several tie-in tv movies, as they intended to expand the franchise.
These include a re-edit of the pilot movie THE GATHERING, IN THE BEGINNING (a prequel to the series proper), THIRD SPACE, RIVER OF SOULS and A CALL TO ARMS (a set up for a new sequel series)
CRUSADE, a direct sequel series to B5, but was cancelled after only a dozen episodes due to creative conflict between the network and series creator JMS.
LEGEND OF THE RANGERS was another attempt to relaunch the franchise as a pilot movie for Sci-Fi Channel,
And finally there was a direct to dvd release called LOST TALES, it was planned to be a series, but the direct dvd market imploded.

Finally, there are three book trilogies, all supposedly canon since they are based on JMS outlines.
I'm aware of all that you mentioned in regards to Battlestar, solely from reading about David Kerin's edits. When I said original season, in my head I just sorta group 1980 in as a second season rather than a second series.

As far as Babylon, I've yet to do much research, so that is very insightful. Are any of the tie in movies worth checking out, if I were to get into the series?
(02-16-2019, 07:20 AM)jrWHAG42 Wrote: [ -> ]As far as Babylon, I've yet to do much research, so that is very insightful. Are any of the tie in movies worth checking out, if I were to get into the series?

All the TNT movies are enjoyable, but only three are directly tied to the greater novel arc of the series.

The viewing order sort of goes like this....

IN THE BEGINNING-- absolutely fantastic!  Best of the bunch.  It is a prequel, set 10 years before Babylon 5.  But it was filmed between seasons 4 and 5.   So you could watch this one first, but then it would SPOIL some major plot points from season 1, 2 and 3.   It is probably better to watch at the end of the series, so you can enjoy the connect the dots moments.  But it is your choice.

THE GATHERING -- this is the original pilot movie that was re-edited, some new scenes added, some deleted, new score and FX.   A must watch before B5.

A CALL TO ARMS -- This is essentially the pilot movie for the new series CRUSADE, so you can watch or skip.

It should be noted, some people find B5 a bit jarring to watch.... it was a lower budget show, so its production values are much lower to similar time period shows like TNG or DS9.  Also the CGI is much more simplistic than most modern audiences are used to.   But the biggest issue for many, the live action stuff was shot for HD but the FX was created SD, so the picture quality really fluctuates from sharp to soft continually through an episode.  At least that is how I remember it...?   is probably the resident expert when it comes to B5 Wink

Also, as I have said, season one is a very slow burn... tons of world building and seemingly unconnected episodic stories.  But if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with a truly powerful epic pulpy space opera.
(02-16-2019, 09:50 AM)bionicbob Wrote: [ -> ]   is probably the resident expert when it comes to B5 Wink

I don't know about "expert" but I do think Seasons 2-3 of B5 is the best TV show ever (or at least the best Sci-Fi show). J. Michael Straczynski wrote the vast majority of episodes himself and wrote every episode of S3&4, which has got to be some kind unique feat of sustained TV creativity. Several massive interstellar wars take place over the show's run with lots of great space combat in the RotJ/BSG 'huge capital ships broadsiding each other and launching fighters' style.

However, there are some problems with getting into it:

For the DVD release they did a botched conversion to 16:9. All the live action shots have extra stuff on the sides you weren't meant to see, so those look bad/cheap because the actors are often standing in the center surrounded by empty set. For the CGI shots (which are about 50% of the footage) they are cropped down to 16:9, halving the amount of awesome battle action you see and halving the resolution. So they all look badly composed and soft. This is why I've got the show on VHS in 4:3. The one DVD release that has an episode in 4:3 looks amazing, the FX shots are so sharp and detailed. Why won't they release it all like that. Why god why!?! Big Grin

The other off putting thing is that the first season is arguably the weakest and the pilot movie is weaker still. But you absolutely have to watch them because they setup everything that will come home to roost in the other seasons. Straczynski planned out the whole thing, so if somebody has a future-vision in Ep-1, it'll probably come true in Ep-73 Big Grin . So if you want to watch B5 you have to stick with it.

The TV movies 'In the Beginning' and 'A Call to Arms' are fantastic but the former would spoil a lot of the mysteries in the main episodes and the latter would probably not make sense out of context.
Damn, so the vhs release is the only way to watch it properly? That's really disheartening. Does any streaming service feature the series in its proper quality? Are the DVD releases really all that bad?
Alternatively, does anyone know of anywhere online that sells cheap vhs tapes?
(02-21-2019, 12:11 AM)jrWHAG42 Wrote: [ -> ]Does any streaming service feature the series in its proper quality?

VUDU is the only place  that has the original 4:3 versions but it's a US-only service. I've often considered moving to the US just to watch B5 Big Grin .

(02-21-2019, 12:11 AM)jrWHAG42 Wrote: [ -> ]Are the DVD releases really all that bad?

The DVD looks better than the VHS in terms of quality so it's a trade off. According to the whole thing is free to stream on Amazon-Prime (in 16:9). So sign up for a free 30-day trial and then watch at least 3-4 hours a day to get the whole 99-hrs in before the trial expires Big Grin .

(02-21-2019, 12:11 AM)jrWHAG42 Wrote: [ -> ]Alternatively, does anyone know of anywhere online that sells cheap vhs tapes?

Ebay is the place to go. The postage will probably cost more than the tapes.
Before I posted here, I read about the Amazon Prime release, because I have an account, but apparently it's especially terrible quality. I might watch it there anyways though.
Thankfully I'm in the US, so I'll see what I can do about the Vudu release.

As far as Ebay, I already checked there as well. I found one offer for 88 episodes spread across a bunch of tapes for 30 something dollars. I know that's not all the episodes. Other than that, I couldn't find enough listings that would make up the entire series, or even a quarter of it. Maybe I'm not looking at the right thing.

Thank you very much for your help.
The Prime version looks identical to the poor 16:9 treatment of the DVDs to me.
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