Babylon 5 Reprise

I’m lying here on my bed crying at the end of a fantastic voyage. It’s been a while since I’ve been this moved by fiction.

I’ve been stuck in bed now for almost two weeks due to a back injury that might be a slipped disk. Other than one outing to San Antonio to see Nine Inch Nails, I’ve been stranded in my bed nearly all the time. I’ve been in enough pain or on enough drugs or just generally depressed enough to make doing anything productive nearly impossible. It hasn’t been agony so much as persistent, niggling pain and worry. It’s about the most physically disabled I’ve ever been since I got chicken pox at age 17. The two things I’ve done more than anything else is watch Babylon 5 and play XCOM.

I’ve watched Babylon 5 before, but previously the inconsistent quality of the acting and dissonance over Walter Koenig’s character made it hard for me to fully engage. This time through, though, I’m floored at how good the show is. I’ve been a life-long Star Trek fan, and Deep Space Nine was always my favorite series. There seems to be some evidence that both shows started in the same design team before one network split into two. If that’s true, the consonance between the shows is no accident. Previously I had been convinced that DS9 was better, but now I’m not so sure. The acting on DS9 is certainly better, and its less campy, higher-production-value gloss makes it easier to take seriously. But the elements that make B5 a bit rougher around the edges actually have a very Joss Whedon feel to them. There’s more Firefly in B5 than there is in DS9.

So, in the past twelve days or so, I watched *all* of it. All 5 seasons, 110 episodes, and 85+ hours of it.

Wow. What a ride! Congratulations and thank you to everyone who worked on the show, it’s one of the most important works of science fiction television, or, really, television of any kind, to ever be produced.

Bravo.

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