asher553: (Default)
[personal profile] asher553
Last night started binge-watching two of my favorite SF shows in tandem: Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica.

Babylon 5 aired from 1994 to 1998. The creation of J. Michael Straczynski, it was groundbreaking in its time and I think it stands up very well today. The show featured the most advanced and extensive CGI effects to date, and set a whole new standard for CGI production. It also marked a departure from the procedural format common in TV series - in which each episode is a self-contained story, and the episodes may be watched interchangeably in any order - toward a serial format, in which an extended story arc is developed from one episode to the next over the length of a season or even the series. The premise of B5 is a space station located in deep space, and hosting visitors and diplomats from various spacefaring races. A similar concept was used in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' and Straczynski maintains that the Star Trek franchise stole his idea, although he declined to pursue legal action. B5 was notable for its dramatic sophistication and strong character development.

Battlestar Galactica, which aired a decade later, was Ronald D. Moore's 're-imagined' production of a 1978 TV series of the same title. In the pilot mini-series, the human race (an Earth-like, spacefaring civilization spanning twelve planetary 'Colonies') is wiped out following a war with robots of its own creation, called Cylons. Only about 50,000 humans survive aboard the spaceship of the series title. This show too set a new standard for CGI effects and for dramatic production. The scenes have a gritty, lifelike feel which Moore said was part of a conscious effort to differentiate the series from the 'Star Trek' model. Much of the tension comes from internal conflicts among the protagonists, sometimes overshadowing the external threat from the Cylons.

So I've started watching both shows from the beginning, more or less alternating by episodes. Vorlons to the left of me, Cylons to the right! This is gonna be fun.

Date: 2017-07-21 20:34 (UTC)
veritas_poet: (B5 - cats)
From: [personal profile] veritas_poet




Vorlons to the left of me, Cylons to the right! This is gonna be fun.

Ha ha!

Oh, that would be really something, to watch these two shows that way! They are two of my favorites and yet are so different in style despite both being sci-fi.

I really have no idea how I missed B5 when it actually aired. Back in the Dinosaur Ages before internet and even cable, you knew what shows were, even if you didn't watch them. I don't think I ever watched the original BSG. But I knew about it, knew who Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Green were, knew basically what it was about, etc.

I don't remember even hearing about B5 until I got online years later. It's fans were... shall we say, enthusiastic? (Cult-like sounds so negative, LOL!) They were missionary in their zeal, and I don't use the comparison lightly. They really wanted to convert you to watching it. Even as a person steeped in fandom, I thought it was a little over the top. And then I watched it and learned why.

BSG was I think the first show I ever binge watched. I'd feel like I'd been run over by a truck, and yet I couldn't stop. I am still not quite over the finale. I hate that I have no well formed opinion on it. It was all so gut wrenching.

I've watched all of B5 I think three times now. I would like to do the same with BSG some day. B5 has stood up to several viewings. I am not sure if BSG will do quite as well. But they are each fantastic shows in their own right.

“Brothers of Man”

Date: 2017-07-23 15:58 (UTC)
nodrog: T Dalton as Philip in Lion in Winter, saying “What If is a Game for Scholars” (Alternate History)
From: [personal profile] nodrog


The original BSG was amusing, but I cannot imagine why this Saturday morning kid's show aired on prime time.  But then, so did Logan's Run (1977), and it was widely acknowledged to be a kid's show, even by the producers:

http://flashbak.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/logans-run-TV-4.jpg

Even at the time, I felt that Glen Larson was wasting an unbelievable opportunity; if I'd had creative control, I could have crafted something that would have ruled 1970s SF.  As is, well…  It's amusing.

[But then, I could have done something interesting with The Starlost also - starting with firing everyone but the caterer.]


- The collected DVD of Galactica is nice, not least because of the “director's commentary” feature, which in this case was simply R Hatch, D Benedict and H Jefferson just sitting, watching the show and nattering away, tossing reminiscences back and forth (“Oh, there's…  What was her name?  Everyone had such a crush on that girl…” 

“Oh Gawd, those helmets…”

“And the 'brass cartridges' on our belts were spray-painted Sharpies.  Jean-Pierre [Dorléac] said if we ran out of ammo we could write nasty notes to the Cylons…”

“Ah hah, remember when the stage lights caught that set on fire?” 

It was like you had them as neighbors, come over for beer and video.

Re: “Brothers of Man”

Date: 2017-07-23 19:25 (UTC)
veritas_poet: (V - We are of peace always)
From: [personal profile] veritas_poet
Ha! I love DVD commentaries like that.

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