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  • Viewing Order ?

    I just obtained what appears to be the entire Babylon 5 series. It includes:

    Season 1
    Season 2
    Season 3
    Season 4
    Season 5
    -plus-
    The Gathering
    Third Space
    River Of Souls
    Legend Of The Rangers
    A Call To Arms
    The Lost Tales
    In The Beginning
    -plus-
    Crusade

    There seems to be a lot of discussion as to the correct viewing order, and no two opions seem quite the same. I've seen differences in both the order of the episodes as well as when to watch the movies.

    I am wondering if there is an "official" or "JMS sanctioned" order in which to view these? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    TexasOldDog

  • #2
    The first time through, make it easy on yourself. Don't break anything up. Watch them in this order:

    movie - The Gathering
    Babylon 5 season 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 - in the order presented on the disks.
    movie - ThirdSpace
    movie - In the Beginning
    movie - River of Souls
    movie - A Call to Arms
    series - Crusade
    movie - Legend of the Rangers
    movie - The Lost Tales

    Some of the movies take place during the seasons, between episodes and such, but don't really add anything when watched in that order. The first time you watch, do NOT break up the last three episodes of the series. Just trust me on this.

    When you're done, come on back and we'll give you other possible viewing orders.
    "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

    The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with OmahaStar. There are other orders and there might be some small improvement but for a first viewing, it's not worth worrying about. Instead, just concentrate on the characters and the stories as presented. The second (third, fourth...) viewings are plenty of time to get obsessive about your favorite order.

      And welcome, TexasOldDog. Enjoy your first experience and do please post your thoughts as you go along.

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TexasOldDog View Post
        I am wondering if there is an "official" or "JMS sanctioned" order in which to view these? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
        Pretty much jms was in charge of the air date order. Sometimes PTEN screwed up, but then he would change other things down the line. Sometimes CGI would get behind, and he'd switch episodes. So basically, the air-date order is the jms sanctioned order.

        I agree with above; the movies are kind of like side-stories that are separate from the main 5-year arc. Just stick to The Gathering and the five seasons, and watch the other stuff after.

        Comment


        • #5
          Which episodes were shuffled around? I'm thinking it was season 2. I know there was a thread that discussed it, but search is not being my friend today.
          What a wonderful world you live in. -
          Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here's a list that somebody put together for the Lurker's Guide. I've never bothered to watch in any order except the DVD order so I don't know if it makes any difference at all.

            The only thing I may try to shuffle the order of someday might be Crusade.

            Jan
            Last edited by Jan; 04-14-2009, 08:51 AM.
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jan View Post
              Here's a list that somebody put together for the Lurker's Guide. I've never bothered to watch in any order except the DVD order so I don't know if it makes any difference at all.

              The only thing I may try to shuffle the order of someday might be Crusade.

              Jan
              Uhh Jan? Could you repost the link, it didn't make it through.
              What a wonderful world you live in. -
              Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

              Comment


              • #8
                Fixed now. Sorry 'bout that, chief.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post
                  The only thing I may try to shuffle the order of someday might be Crusade.
                  That way lies madness.
                  Mac Breck (KoshN)
                  ------------------
                  Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                  JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                  Babylon 5 is the football.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The jms approved Crusade order works much better for me.
                    What a wonderful world you live in. -
                    Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a rather elaborate viewing order that I've concocted over the last several years that I find quite enjoyable. It also has the benefit of highlighting certain plot points by compressing their appearances into shorter form. I'll be happy to post it if there's any interest, though I wouldn't want a new viewer to be spoiled by any discussion of said ordering.

                      I've never really liked the original airing order, particularly season one, which never seemed to build correctly for me.

                      As to Crusade, that's a whole different can of spoo...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ^
                        Season one is indeed off, but you have to realize what Joe was contending with --

                        1) He held on to the Richard Compton directed episodes longer because they didn't turn out as well as the other directors' episodes, so The War Prayer, Grail, and Believers all got pushed. When filming was first under way he announced the order of the first episodes as "Midnight, Soul Hunter, Born to the Purple, Believers, Infection"

                        2) This was the first show to use 95% CGI so it was a learning curve, and episodes had to be held for CGI to get done (so Grail got pushed even further down the line).

                        3) The network wanted certain episodes to go earlier (Mind War) because they enjoyed them more.

                        4) The network splits episodes in to blocks of 6 or 7 or 8 episodes, and Joe had to arrange the blocks so that each one would start with an introductory episode and end on a high note, so a lot of character interactions get swapped around to where they don't make complete sense.

                        5) Sometimes the network just screwed up, such as giving "TKO" to TV Guide instead of "The Quality of Mercy". After this happened, it was Joe who moved Quality to the end of the run and Legacies earlier in the line-up.

                        Some things I've noticed:

                        Highlight for first season spoilers:
                        Londo is buddy-buddy with Delenn in "Voice in the Wilderness" but the Centauri Senator tells him to make friends with the Minbari in "Quality of Mercy." It seems like Quality has to go first.

                        Lennier tells Londo in "Quality" that he hasn't done anything but study, and then in "Eyes" Lennier is helping Garibaldi build his motorcycle. It seems like Lennier's experiences in Quality led him to help Garibaldi in Eyes.

                        The Chrysalis device is not as complete in Legacies as it is in Signs and Portents -- why would Delenn unbuild her Chrysalis? Seems more likey that Legacies was originally going to go before S&P until Joe thought of another reason to move the episode past Babylon Squared (was it the triluminary?). Of course, now you can go Babylon Squared -> Legacies -> Signs and Portents, except then the pilot who died in Babylon Squared is alive in Signs and Portents.

                        Delenn is announced as being off-station in Deathwalker, Quality, and Eyes, so perhaps those were to be set as a block?


                        I wrote a thread quite awhile ago with a new season 1 order which generated some interest, but I think even now I have some more thoughts on switching the order that I posted.

                        Originally posted by glindros View Post
                        Which episodes were shuffled around? I'm thinking it was season 2. I know there was a thread that discussed it, but search is not being my friend today.
                        That might have been my thread. Originally it was only about season 1 but then people asked about the others.
                        Highlight for more spoilers:
                        In season 2 there's just a couple of little things really, such as Knives being before In The Shadow of Z'ha'dum because you are reminded of Anna in Knives, and then you have a payoff in Shadow of Z'ha'dum. Originally A Race through Dark Places would have been before Soul Mates, but this one was held for CGI too. In season 3 Voices of Authority would have been before Gethsemane, but that got flipped due to CGI as well. Exogenesis was going to go before Dust to Dust, becuase again the reminder about Dust is in Exogenesis, and then you have the payoff in Dust to Dust. Season 4 was production order / air order exactly the same so there were no issues. In season 5, Day of the Dead was originally going to go after The Ragged Edge. The main thing is Londo & G'Kar are both on station in Dead, but they leave in Strange Relations and don't come back until The Ragged Edge, after the telepaths are dead, but Garibaldi worries the Telepaths are messing with him in the episode. Maybe he's talking about teeps in general.


                        EDIT: Thanks, Jan, forgot about the spoilers oops!
                        Last edited by JoeD80; 04-14-2009, 02:47 PM. Reason: Added spoiler tags for possible new viewer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          JoeD80 -- Believe me, I know what Joe was contending with in organizing season one. As Jan will doubtless back up, I know WAY too much about these matters.

                          Thank you, though, for bringing to my attention one fact that I'd not previously noted -- the pilot from "Babylon Squared." I must investigate further...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JasonDavis View Post
                            Thank you, though, for bringing to my attention one fact that I'd not previously noted -- the pilot from "Babylon Squared."
                            I'm very good at little details. Something I picked up from trying to re-organize the entirety of 65 episodes of season 3 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Not that they actually used my order, but at least it gave me good training for sorting out little details that people might overlook. Of course the pilot is Delta Seven early on and Alpha Seven later, so you could argue he was a different character.

                            Would love to discuss your order for the show at some point. I've just started watching season 1 again! We could start a new spoilers included thread.
                            Last edited by JoeD80; 04-14-2009, 04:57 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                              Would love to discuss your order for the show at some point. I've just started watching season 1 again! We could start a new spoilers included thread.
                              Ooh, this should be fun! <pulls up the comfy chair and gets a snack> Do go on!

                              I was just being overly cautious in case TexasOldDog is spoiler-phobic. Hope you don't mind.

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

                              Comment

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