Monday, March 3, 2008

B5 S1 Ep 5-8: The Parliament Of Dreams, Mind War, The War Prayer & And The Sky Full Of Stars

As of this writing I'm happy to report Babylon 5 is beginning to win me over. I have cleared the first eight episodes of Season One: Signs & Portents. Episodes 5-8 have been most promising indeed.
I'm actually at a point where I'm looking forward to each new episode. Here is a great example why.

Episode 5, The Parliament Of Dreams, really proved to me that maybe J. Michael Straczynski had something here. At first, I felt the writing was mostly serviceable with an ocassional glimpse of something special. Episode 5 proved to me things were really coming together. His dialogue seemed sharper and more real tot he ear. Further, the humor is beginning to shine via the likes of Security Chief Michael Garibaldi [Jeffrey Doyle], Ambassador G'Kar [Andreas Katsulas] and Ambassador Londo Mollari [Peter Jurasik] [this place is crawling with ambassadors not to mention space scum as well]. These actors are thoroughly engaging in their performances. The hysterical Londo, as I mentioned earlier, is proof in the pudding you can never judge a book by its cover. He is a dignitary and a dog. He is the ultimate ladies' man. How could you not have noticed that handsome devil and his alluring peacock head?
Londo: Clearly, an alien's alien! What a guy!
I am still having trouble with Michael O'Hare. He is too wooden, too stiff and it's too bad. Still, he does have his moments. So, the improved writing with stellar performances all around is making for an out of this world sci-fi experience. There is still room to grow. Finally, I am starting to get the races and characters down.

I must admit the computer animated design of the Babylon 5 Project or Space Station isn't all that impressive and even a bit dull. I might've sent the builders straight out the airlock.

I leave you with Episode 8, And The Sky Full Of Stars, probably the most ambitious Babylon 5 installment to this point. It is an O'Hare-centric episode and while I am getting accustomed to his style, I can't help but feel he was miscast for the show. I keep thinking actors like Nathan Fillion [Firefly] in the role and how much more I would have enjoyed the character. And man, how about them eyebrows? Them there are the biggest, bushiest eyebrows I've ever seen in need of a trim. Why, they're almost alien. I digress. The thematic material is heavy here and it is astounding how closely it mirrors today's political climate and the illegal immigrant conundrum. Without trying it really did foreshadow a great many socio-political challenges that certainly dog our planet. There are also some terrific character twists here concerning Delenn.

All in all major "signs" of hope.

The Parliament Of Dreams: B-

Mind War: C+ [Walter Koenig [Star Trek] guests as a telepathic agent of Psi-Corp.]

The War Prayer: C+ [Australia's Tristan Rogers [General Hospital 'Scorpio' fame- I'm sorry and ashamed I know that] guests. You'll also spot the actress who played 'Winnie' in The Wonder Years here, but bald. This one is also written by D.C Fontana of Star Trek acclaim.]

And The Sky Full Of Stars: B-

I have to admit I am a bit baffled as to how a show like this can struggle, survive, get the greenlight and go forward while the Fireflys of the world fade away. A strange business to be certain.


Blakey UK said...

Knew you'd like it :-)


The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Yeah, thanks for your thoughts Andy. The show is really coming along. Stay tuned for more thoughts and observations on B5 as seen through the eyes of a newbie. : )

TFKoP said...

Babylon 5 is such a great series. Once I got past the "hair as status" of the Centauri. Oh, and later on you have to wrestle your way through the lame acting of Jeff Conaway (as Zack Allen). But the story overcomes all of those minor issues. Seasons 3 and 4 are just absolutely fantastic, by G'Quan.

PS I'll be across the street from you Friday, March 28th for a visit.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Great to hear! I'm looking forward to the proceedings in Babylon 5. The characterizations are fascinating.