I believe that above all it was the quality of the writing, in addition to the ability of the actors to pull off these very unconventional parts that finally won me over. Like most viewers finding Babylon 5 initially was almost impossible, as it would pop up between football games or at odd times on local stations. This made watching 3 episodes in a row almost impossible.

Finally a local station started carrying it every Saturday night as part of a Sci-fi block of shows at the same time and by season 2; I was hooked. I began to realize how complex this show's writing was. Plots, within plots, within plots within plots...with sometimes the two or three small stories in each episode linking into larger multiplex dramas, linking into still larger season long and series long plots. I was also amazed at the very hard thought that had gone into the special effects with the ships actually acting like spaceships instead of airplanes in space.

JSM's aliens were also amazing in how different they were from earlier alien 'stereotypes'. From the Vorlon to the Shadows, we began to realize that perhaps aliens would not just look different but think differently also. ôWho are youö and ôWhat do you want?ö became more than simple phrases as they defined the races who asked those questions and their view of the universe. Overall, Babylon 5 was, I believe THE BEST Sci-fi series ever produced for television. Though some early æTwilight ZoneÆ and æOuter LimitÆ episodes can give it a run for itÆs money in writing quality, overall Babylon 5 is a shining star and example of what sci-fi shows æshould beÆ but hardly ever are.

It asked deeper questions than many realized, not just about the series but about our world as well. And unlike certain other sci-fi shows Babylon 5 didnÆt try to depend on T&A for audience appeal. Babylon 5 did have some very adult themes but unlike seeing how little the women could wear or how tight it could make the costume it based itÆs sexual discussions on a more æadultÆ level. Like IvanovaÆs ænaked on the bridgeÆ dream, her comment to Sheridan about ægoing where every man has been beforeÆ or Londo MollariÆs card game several æadultÆ themes and jokes were going on, but like everything else were so well written they didnÆt tend to come across as vulgar, obscene or just plain dumb.

Even the æinÆ sci-fi jokes tended to be subtle, like the fact the æCentauriÆ race had come from an idea from an old æOuter LimitsÆ episode where the soldiers used cats as scouts. (Okàvery obscure). Overall Babylon 5 is what more sci-fi should be about, excellent writing, good actors, and truly æalienÆ aliens. One hopes that JSM can produce more of this type of world class entertainment in a world where studio executives seem intent on only providing shows that appeal to 13 y/oÆs. Not every sci-fi fan is a drooling adolescent; women, professions, and many other adult demographic groups also enjoy this medium of entertainment. Till studio executives stop stereotyping sci-fi fans into this category, they will continue to let really good shows, shows that could potentially make them LOTS of money, slip away in favor of the other æstuffÆ that will make marginal profits, at best. Any other opinions on this folks ?