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  • Season 5 - Was It Needed?

    Don't mistake me I did enjoy the fifth season and it contained a few great episodes to stand with the best of what came before but just how much was season 5(sans SiL) needed to complete the story for you?

    The comparason I see used most often is with the Scouring of the Shire in Lord of the Rings but honiestly I'd say that fits the earth civil war much better than it does season 5.

    In terms of actual events the drahk story does make clear exactly how the situation we see in War Without End arrised but personally I think it was quite easy to guess the baics given the clues we had in season 4. The episode that strikes me as the most important is actually The Long Night of Londo Mollari since it spends longer adressing Londo's actions of the previous 4 seasons.
    Who are you?
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  • #2
    Originally posted by moreorless View Post
    Don't mistake me I did enjoy the fifth season and it contained a few great episodes to stand with the best of what came before but just how much was season 5(sans SiL) needed to complete the story for you?

    The comparason I see used most often is with the Scouring of the Shire in Lord of the Rings but honiestly I'd say that fits the earth civil war much better than it does season 5.

    In terms of actual events the drahk story does make clear exactly how the situation we see in War Without End arrised but personally I think it was quite easy to guess the baics given the clues we had in season 4. The episode that strikes me as the most important is actually The Long Night of Londo Mollari since it spends longer adressing Londo's actions of the previous 4 seasons.
    One thing that you need to remember is that at the end of season 4 they were not expecting to have a season 5 at all and JMS pulled a lot of the elements that would be in season 5 and put them into the end of season 4. IIRC JMS indicated that if he knew that there would be a season 5 that things would have not been so rushed and may have been better.
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    • #3
      Well, I suppose there are two schools of thought on this one ...

      One would be that S5 was an unnecessary adjunct to the story because all the main threads came to a conclusion by the end of S4, ending with the Earth Civil War.

      The other would be that the story goes on after the end of all the action to show the aftermath, the consequences, the way everything comes back together after it has finished going to hell.

      JMS has long been quoted as saying that, for him, S5 was absolutely necessary because it was important to show that rebuilding process, the way things developed in the aftermath of the wars, and the consequences of the Shadow War, the Earth Civil War, the situation on Centauri Prime etc. for the characters.

      I have seen some people criticise it for being an anticlimactic extended epilogue but, whilst the condensing of the show into 4 seasons certainly harmed it (e.g. the main action at the end of the Earth civil war was supposed to take place in S5) I am with JMS on that one.

      I think I would have found it a much less satisfying conclusion if the story had gone straight to SiL after Rising Star, without having much idea of what had become of the characters in between. For one thing, the flashforward of Sheridan and Delenn in the Centauri palace from WWE takes on a much more substantial feeling after witnessing Londo's ascension to the throne in S5, seeing what the keeper is, what its purpose is and who put it there.
      Last edited by Garibaldi's Hair; 01-21-2007, 08:23 AM.
      The Optimist: The glass is half full
      The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
      The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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      • #4
        sleeping in light, Objects in Motion, The Fall of Centauri Prime, A View from the Gallery.

        ...yes.
        Million-year old transcendent civilisations debating the fate of the galaxy use phrases like 'screw both of 'em?'

        I said is was an analogy. According to the organic memory cells found on the Trieste Derelict in 10,033AZ, what they actually said was 'Zog both of them.'

        I think the solar flares are affecting you again.

        Less than four hours until Sol goes Zog!

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        • #5
          Well, plotwise it brought the Londo / G'kar, Narn / Centauri story full circle, which wouldn't otherwise have happened. As Crusade was already mooted at the time, it also deliberately set up threads such as the telepath arc, the Drakh arc for future spin-offs, which we haven't had payoff on yet but may in future (at which point those aspects of S5 will start to look a bit less redundant - just as much as S1 would look redundant if the show had been cancelled then). It allowed some space to explore previously unseen aspects of the universe like the Drazi homeworld, the Alliance's birth pains, psi-corps headquarters, ranger training, Brakiri Day of the Dead, Rebo and Zooty, as well as giving as a glimpse of the next million years of history. Best of all, for the last four or five episodes, you have the proper, protracted parting of ways - we learn where all the characters went and why, which heightens the impact of Sleeping in Light.

          From another point of view, it was a more accessible season partly designed to hook new viewers when the show moved to TNT, who would then go back and catch up on what they missed. I think it's more like the Appendices of Lord of the Rings than the Scouring of the Shire chapter.. otherwise you can view it as the first season of whatever came and will come next.

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          • #6
            It was always part of the Joe Plan to show the aftermath of the main events of the story.

            Yeah, you could have left it on a big victory cheer with the liberation of Earth and the formation of the Alliance - and after all the heartache to get there, how fake would that have felt?

            Lennier, Londo, G'kar, Lyta, and damnit, especially Garibaldi, they all had places to go after that. You never would have seen where. You never would have known.

            Screw that.
            Radhil Trebors
            Persona Under Construction

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            • #7
              Yes, utterly necessary. It was never JMS's style to end his stories after the victory, he always showed the aftermath of that victory, even if it brought the audience back down with a thump. Because that's what's real and Babylon 5 was a slice of history. History doesn't end at the end of the battle.

              Jan
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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              • #8
                I think the Londo stuff alone makes Season 5 worth it from a plot perspective. I just can't imagine the story without that stuff, especially considering how many times jms has said B5 in many ways is the story of Londo.

                But story aside, Season 5 did more to build the fan base then anything else. Most people I meet in r/l who are B5 fans started watching it when Season 5 hit on TNT, some catching up with reruns and then going into it, others just diving in.

                That boost of fans alone makes the whole thing worth it, even if from a plot perspective you think it's unnessecary... which, to be honest, I've never really understood... I don't know how you can watch those last 4 episodes before SiL and still think that the story could have been complete without them.

                I'll be honest, I was never really big on the nets until after the show was finished, and one of the biggest shockers for me was so many people having issues with Season 5... I had just thought it was fantastic and never even imagined people thinking it unnessecary. Really a big surprise for me, and in a lot of ways, still is.
                Last edited by Kevin; 01-21-2007, 12:24 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thebaron View Post
                  One thing that you need to remember is that at the end of season 4 they were not expecting to have a season 5 at all and JMS pulled a lot of the elements that would be in season 5 and put them into the end of season 4. IIRC JMS indicated that if he knew that there would be a season 5 that things would have not been so rushed and may have been better.
                  Indeed, I could certainly see the original version of season 5 being very nesserary, not only would it have contained the end of the civil war but I'd guess the start of the allience would have been much more protracted.

                  Well, I suppose there are two schools of thought on this one ...

                  One would be that S5 was an unnecessary adjunct to the story because all the main threads came to a conclusion by the end of S4, ending with the Earth Civil War.

                  The other would be that the story goes on after the end of all the action to show the aftermath, the consequences, the way everything comes back together after it has finished going to hell.

                  JMS has long been quoted as saying that, for him, S5 was absolutely necessary because it was important to show that rebuilding process, the way things developed in the aftermath of the wars, and the consequences of the Shadow War, the Earth Civil War, the situation on Centauri Prime etc. for the characters.

                  I have seen some people criticise it for being an anticlimactic extended epilogue but, whilst the condensing of the show into 4 seasons certainly harmed it (e.g. the main action at the end of the Earth civil war was supposed to take place in S5) I am with JMS on that one.

                  I think I would have found it a much less satisfying conclusion if the story had gone straight to SiL after Rising Star, without having much idea of what had become of the characters in between. For one thing, the flashforward of Sheridan and Delenn in the Centauri palace from WWE takes on a much more substantial feeling after witnessing Londo's ascension to the throne in S5, seeing what the keeper is, what its purpose is and who put it there.
                  I actually think SiL works slightly better as a follow up to Rising Star, as has been mentioned the end of season 5 felt more like the setup to a new story than the end of one which led to a bit of a shift in tone plus Ivanova's character(the main focus of the episode after Sheridan/Delenn IMHO) is alot fresher in the mind. Not that I think JMS had much choice as SiL would have been hard to refilm without Christian. Plus I'd say the season as a whole benefited from the extra drive the starting up of the new stories created even if we havent got to see many of them followed though on, with season 4's wrapup there just wasnt enough tension to carry 22 episodes purely on ending things IMHO.

                  I'd guess part of my feelings are due to not having any idea their would be a fifth season until C4 started showing it. When you think you've seen one ending you tend to get used to it and things like the mystery of exactly how Londo got into his position and miss it when its gone. I never really had any desire to see the starwars prequals for example, Obi Wan's quick explation of how Anakin became Vader was enough for me.
                  Last edited by moreorless; 01-21-2007, 12:29 PM.
                  Who are you?
                  What do you want?
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                  • #10
                    When I first watched B5 from beginning to end I thought it was a bit odd with the Season Four finale and then Season Five starts anew. It didn't bother me because I just love the show. I didn't learn of the cancellation of Season Four 'till about a year ago, then everything made sense. Personally I think JMS was completely brilliant the way he continued it in Season Five.

                    I didn't like the opening credits for Season Five, I would've preferred they stayed with the traditional style like the previous seasons. This is without a doubt the only bad thing I have to say about Babylon 5.
                    Ranger Code

                    We walk in the places no others will enter.
                    We do not break away from combat.
                    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass.
                    We do not retreat whatever the reason.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by moreorless View Post
                      I actually think SiL works slightly better as a follow up to Rising Star, as has been mentioned the end of season 5 felt more like the setup to a new story than the end of one which led to a bit of a shift in tone plus Ivanova's character(the main focus of the episode after Sheridan/Delenn IMHO) is alot fresher in the mind. Not that I think JMS had much choice as SiL would have been hard to refilm without Christian. Plus I'd say the season as a whole benefited from the extra drive the starting up of the new stories created even if we havent got to see many of them followed though on, with season 4's wrapup there just wasnt enough tension to carry 22 episodes purely on ending things IMHO.
                      You definitely can't judge it without factoring in all the real-world stuff that was going on, because god knows there were enough mitigating factors floating around with cast and crew leaving, new network, the shooting schedule cut, storylines curtailed, JMS having to write more scripts than he'd intended etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.. Perhaps S5 disappointed me at the time, but in the end I'm happier it (and Crusade and LOTR) exists than I would be without.

                      Besides, if you don't want to watch the 22 episodes from Deconstruction to Objects at Rest, you don't have to!

                      But I do love the way that Sheridan goes to bed at the end of Objects at Rest and wakes up in exactly the same bed 20 years later at the start of Sleeping in Light.. It's a nice link, and seems to say something profound about the way time can seem to slip sometimes..

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                      • #12
                        I do like season 5
                        I mean come on
                        view from the gallery
                        The corps is mother the corps is father
                        The evolution (and resolution) of the Londo/G'Kar arc?
                        Season 1 is prologue
                        Season'#s two three and 4 are build-up action and resolution
                        Season 5 si epligue.
                        IT ties the stories up and also serts up Crusade (cruelly killed) nicely.
                        so yes, S5 was definitely worht it.
                        Phaze
                        on the "couldn't imagine B5 with only 88 episdoes" ID
                        "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RMcD View Post
                          You definitely can't judge it without factoring in all the real-world stuff that was going on, because god knows there were enough mitigating factors floating around with cast and crew leaving, new network, the shooting schedule cut, storylines curtailed, JMS having to write more scripts than he'd intended etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.. Perhaps S5 disappointed me at the time, but in the end I'm happier it (and Crusade and LOTR) exists than I would be without.

                          Besides, if you don't want to watch the 22 episodes from Deconstruction to Objects at Rest, you don't have to!

                          But I do love the way that Sheridan goes to bed at the end of Objects at Rest and wakes up in exactly the same bed 20 years later at the start of Sleeping in Light.. It's a nice link, and seems to say something profound about the way time can seem to slip sometimes..
                          Yeah I certainly preffer the season 5 we got to nothing. I actually think the biggest problem JMS must have had was not that the stories had been resolved early but that the characters had.
                          Last edited by moreorless; 01-21-2007, 04:44 PM.
                          Who are you?
                          What do you want?
                          What is the average inflight speed of an unladened swallow?

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                          • #14
                            I'm halfway through Season 4 and I'm pondering that question myself. In my opinion, even the oft-touted better episodes from the second half of Season 5 still pale in comparison to those of the previous seasons, both in terms of plot and pacing. From Rising Star it was easy to project forward 20 years to Sleeping in Light, with Delenn's voiceover highlighting most of the major historical points in the timeline. At the time of its completion, it was fully expected that it would be the second to last episode since Season 5 was negotiated at the 11th and 3/4 hour.

                            I'll probably sit my ass down in good faith with the intent to watch the entire season, only to find myself skipping entire disks in a mad rush to see Sleeping in Light.

                            What I really want to see is.....

                            THE.
                            TELEPATH.
                            WAR.
                            Last edited by B5_Obsessed; 01-21-2007, 05:14 PM.
                            Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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                            • #15
                              Four words. Day. Of. The. Dead.

                              Absolutely, it was needed.
                              "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

                              The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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