Babylon 5 – is it really that long?

This year it will be 20 years since Babylon 5 appeared  on Australian tv screens.

Although the pilot movie, was shown in the USA in 1993, it didn’t appear here until November 1994. When the pilot was shown it appeared on our tv screens just before season one started – that was a bit confusing as some of the cast changed for the series.

Babylon 5 comes with a whole bunch of viewing memories that can’t be separated from the memories of the show, at least not for me. It had a continuous backstory that needed to be seen in order, except the local station didn’t always show it in order. Luckily the fledgling internet was able to tell us the viewing order.

From season two onwards it was supposed to be on at a particular time but the sports show before it often ran 30 minutes or more over time. That overrun led to my favourite Canberra tv anecdote. The local power company reported that there was a power drain every Thursday around 10.30pm and they were investigating it. They identified it as a mysterious domestic power usage. A local radio station asked for people to phone in and say what they were doing at 10.30pm on Thursdays and they soon got the answer… recording Babylon 5 on their VCRs.

For some reason a tv show full politics, ambassadors and twisty plots popular in Canberra.

So what did you like, or dislike, about B5? The characters? The stories? The spaceships? The SF references? Or something else?

One of my favourite quotes – Susan Ivanova: Confirmed Survey 1. Upon arrival you will report for debriefing. And just one more thing, on your trip back I want you to take the time to learn the Babylon 5 mantra. Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out! Babylon control out.

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One thought on “Babylon 5 – is it really that long?

  1. Chris August 2, 2014 / 22:40

    I remember getting the box sets (of VHS tapes!) and watching those, not knowing it was on TV. At one point we finished a tape late on a Thursday night and stopped the tape only to see an episode of B5 already in progress!

    Going back and watching it now it does look rather dated, and there is plenty of dialogue that is rather poor, but there are so many good moments that it still fires the blood.

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