While perusing around SlashControl tonight, I nearly stopped breathing when I came across Babylon 5. Not just a few episodes or even one or two seasons. All five seasons, 99 episodes total.
My sci-fi-loving mom taped the entire series on VHS, and I have the first few seasons on DVD. But what a thrill to find it on SlashControl. If you're not familiar with J. Michael Straczynski's groundbreaking show, it takes place in the year 2258, ten years after an Earth-Minbari War. Commander Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O'Hare) takes command of a giant five-mile-long cylindrical space station, orbiting a planet in neutral space.
(S04E04) What are you doing with your life? Are you happy with what you do every day, 40 or more hours a week? If not, then you're not truly living your life, you're living someone else's. Only when you realize that this life is a gift and it's so much shorter than any of us can possibly realize, can you truly start to live for yourself. Take a risk. Do what you want. Do what makes you happy.
That's pretty heady stuff, but it was apparently on the Heroes writers' minds tonight, because that's exactly what this episode was about. And it turned out pretty well. There were moments of true growth for several of our characters, some good and some probably not so good.
(S02E09) This season we've met Sarah's high school nemesis, who turned out to be a rogue spy, Chuck's ex-girlfriend, who turned out to be a rogue spy, and we had a return of Bryce, who was a spy from an opposing agency. This week, we met John Casey's former sensei, who is now a rogue spy. This brings me to a few conclusions...
First, the CIA really has a horrible retention program for its employees (most likely due to the pudding cups being eliminated from the cafeteria). Second, other than Chuck, his immediate family, and the employees at Buy More, everyone else is a rogue agent. Therefore, this little trio of agents will be eliminating the bad seeds from California for the next 22 seasons. Well, at least there's the job security.
During our Buffy the Vampire Slayer Retro Squad week, I put out a call for an episode of Buffy a newbie could watch to get a feel for the show. And you guys came through in a big way. Most insisted it was a show that needed to be watched from the beginning, but at the same time warned that there was some cheese-factor in those early episodes. Your votes pushed me to "Hush," which I found to be incredibly enjoyable and a perfect introduction to the cleverness and tone of the show. Even better, it made me that much more eager to go back and watch the entire run of the show.
In the comments to that piece Doug Nelson asked if someone could do something similar for Babylon 5. That got me thinking about other serialized shows of this nature like The X-Files, The West Wing and to an extent Doctor Who and Quantum Leap. We're a community of TV-lovers here, so we should help each other out. Thus, the TVS Starter Kits. And for Doug Nelson, it starts with Babylon 5.
Now that production has begun, it appears that one of the three stories will be cut. Cinema Blend has a rundown of Straczynski's latest postings on the subject. Apparently the Garibaldi story was the most complicated one to make, so it has been postponed for a possible later release. I assume that depends on how well Lost Tales sells. It's also worth noting that JMS mentions Battlestar Galactica when talking about how he wants to re-imagine the look of B5 using the latest technology.
I'll be interested to see how this all turns out. Not just for the new Babylon 5 stories, but also because the idea of a straight to DVD/download series is one that has been kicked around for some time now. A successful launch for Lost Tales could be another step in that direction.
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