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(io9)   Today marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the greatest science fiction program ever to grace the American airwaves   (io9.com) divider line 369
    More: Spiffy, J. Michael Straczynski, police drama, Bruce Boxleitner, Melissa Gilbert, story lines, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, sci-fi  
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12538 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 22 Feb 2013 at 9:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-22 10:19:12 AM
I'm still mad nobody got pictures of my cosplaying a female Centaurii at a gamer con. :( Swim cap + makeup + veil = bald chick.
 
2013-02-22 10:19:32 AM
tillerman35
Also the weird transylvanian accents that those space-vampire looking dudes had were pretty annoying.

MEEstah GariBALdi.

(Actually there was no standard Centari accent. Londo seemed to be only one... as far as I can remember... who had the Dracula-wannabe accent. Vir certainly didn't, and neither did the Mad Emperor or any of Londo's wives. Hang on, Lord Reefa had that accent. But aside from that. That's actually one of the things I liked; after all, it's not like there is a single Human accent.)
 
2013-02-22 10:20:34 AM
Babylon 5 started off slow, but the second, third, and fourth seasons was consistently about as good as anything you'll see on television.
 
2013-02-22 10:21:09 AM

Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.


Uh, I watched that show as a kid.. I remember no story arcs, nothing carrying over from one episode to another.
 
2013-02-22 10:26:01 AM

Alphax: Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.

Uh, I watched that show as a kid.. I remember no story arcs, nothing carrying over from one episode to another.


Disagrees:
tvmedia.ign.com
 
2013-02-22 10:29:34 AM

ConConHead: I'm still mad nobody got pictures of my cosplaying a female Centaurii at a gamer con. :( Swim cap + makeup + veil = bald chick.


You didn't get pictures yourself?
 
2013-02-22 10:34:27 AM

PIP_the_TROLL: I'll back  you a long way on B5 - it was a really good show. I think DS9 just edges it out though.

Besides, everybody knows what the best scifi show of all time is:

[i192.photobucket.com image 640x480]


soopey: Farscape is 20 years old? Who knew...


I see you guys have this covered...

/DS9>B5
 
2013-02-22 10:35:31 AM
Babylon 5 had its flaws, but it fundamently changed TV sci-fi for the better. It made complicated, long term plots the norm for the genre.
 
2013-02-22 10:35:52 AM
Hard to claim with a straight face that DS9 wasn't a copy of B5 when you even had characters with the same names showing up on DS9.  Duhkat was Delenn's mentor and leader of the Minbari.  Gul Dukat was a leader of the Cardassians.  For just one example.
 
2013-02-22 10:37:31 AM

JosephFinn: Funny, Deep Space Nine premiered in January of 1993.


And didn't engage into seasonal arc-stories until well after B5 gained popularity.  It was like the previous Treks; an anthology series with the occasional recurring element.  B5 nudged it into truly getting into the story arcs after about three or four years.
 
2013-02-22 10:37:45 AM

GungFu: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 704x576]

Beedeebeedee!


I came here to say that Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was more than 20 years ago.
I see you've got that covered.
 
2013-02-22 10:38:44 AM

Teufelaffe: Alphax: Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.

Uh, I watched that show as a kid.. I remember no story arcs, nothing carrying over from one episode to another.

Disagrees:
[tvmedia.ign.com image 460x345]



That wasn't a story arc. Bruce comes to town, Hulk appears, Mr. McGee appears, Bruce moves on. It was the same thing every week.
 
2013-02-22 10:42:02 AM

tboucher: This still has my favorite series finale ever of any genre.


True; it was appropriate that the series went out on that note.
 
2013-02-22 10:44:19 AM

Mugato: Computer graphic FX courtesy of Commodore Vic 20.


They used Lightwave for everything.  I remember hearing that the render time for a single episode was something like a month which they reduced by using several DEC Alphas.

Incidentally, ST Voyager also used Lightwave (not exclusively) but by that time particle and lighting and shading effects has improved quite a bit.  Babylon 5 did quite a good job with what they had.
 
2013-02-22 10:44:35 AM
i.imgur.com

Now hang your head in shame and slowly walk away subby.
 
2013-02-22 10:44:56 AM

Mugato: Computer graphic FX courtesy of Commodore Vic 20.


I remember being pretty amazed at what was being done with the Amiga 4s on the show (reputedly).  That said, this is one of those really odd posts . . . cool because of the commodore reference?  Troll because the reference the Vic-20? or sort of a quasi-amusing in joke?

I just don't know.

All science fiction relies on previous successes.  I guess as far as this thread goes, I'm an Agsfse.

\\ Agreatestsciencefictionshowever.
\ doesn't roll off the tongue.
 
2013-02-22 10:45:04 AM
B5 was far, far better than *any* Star Trek, and to this day I refuse to trust anyone but JMS for writing multi-season plot arcs.
 
2013-02-22 10:46:50 AM

inert: [i.imgur.com image 320x240]

Now hang your head in shame and slowly walk away subby.


Not American.  (not subby, but I like the link)
 
2013-02-22 10:47:09 AM
I've watched the entire series before, but it was on Netflix for about a month and I got to rewatch S1, then it got dropped and hasn't reappeared.
 
2013-02-22 10:51:23 AM

Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: clkeagle: B5 is what brought the simple concepts of story arcs and character development to genre television.

Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.  And that's just American TV.  I'd be willing to bet that the Brits have something even older that uses story arcs and character development.


Hell, Dynasty and Dallas did the same kinds of things way back when and before that there were soap operas and radio program serials and comic books that had long story arcs and character development.  It's not a new concept at all.
 
2013-02-22 10:51:55 AM
Ahem.

Babylon 5's a big pile of shiate!
blogs.e-rockford.com
/hot
 
2013-02-22 10:52:24 AM

Teufelaffe: Alphax: Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.

Uh, I watched that show as a kid.. I remember no story arcs, nothing carrying over from one episode to another.

Disagrees:
[tvmedia.ign.com image 460x345]


Piss off
 
2013-02-22 10:53:07 AM
Red Dwarf is alot older than that.
 
2013-02-22 10:54:04 AM

KatjaMouse: I honestly hated Babylon 5. I watched the entire first season last year and could not bring myself to watch the rest. I kept hoping "Maybe it'll get better with the next episode..." and it never did. So I didn't get the appeal for the show, unfortunately.


Typical methodology to watch Babylon 5:

- Slog through Season 1. Duration: Months.
- Watch Season 2. Duration: A few weeks.
- Watch Season 3. Duration: 18 hours.
Note -- may be longer if you borrowed the set and the person doesn't answer the door at 3 AM in the morning.
- Watch Season 4. Duration: 18 hours.Take a day to recoup.
- Watch the original TNT movies. Duration: a day.
- Watch Season 5. Duration: a few days. May skip over the Telepath Arc. Be sure to buy Kleenex in bulk.
- Rewatch Season 1 to pick out the foreshadowing.

/
 
2013-02-22 10:54:17 AM

kumanoki: Red Dwarf is alot older than that.


I'd call it a sitcom.. though I usually can't stand those anymore.
 
2013-02-22 10:54:44 AM
www.oocities.org

woot!
 
2013-02-22 10:54:48 AM

macadamnut: Teufelaffe: Alphax: Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.

Uh, I watched that show as a kid.. I remember no story arcs, nothing carrying over from one episode to another.

Disagrees:
[tvmedia.ign.com image 460x345]


That wasn't a story arc. Bruce comes to town, Hulk appears, Mr. McGee appears, Bruce moves on. It was the same thing every week.


If McGee stayed the same throughout the series, I'd agree.  But, his character definitely changed over the course of the show based on events from multiple episodes, thereby checking both the "story arc" and "character development" boxes.  Whether one likes B5 or not doesn't change the fact that it wasn't the first "genre TV" show to do those things.  Hell, Doctor Who pre-dates B5 by 20 years, and you'd have to be insane to try and claim that show didn't have story arcs.
 
2013-02-22 10:57:00 AM

GameSprocket: [www.oocities.org image 320x320]

woot!


I remember that show. It was on for ... two seconds before it was cancelled?
 
2013-02-22 10:59:22 AM

Persnickety: Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: clkeagle: B5 is what brought the simple concepts of story arcs and character development to genre television.

Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.  And that's just American TV.  I'd be willing to bet that the Brits have something even older that uses story arcs and character development.

Hell, Dynasty and Dallas did the same kinds of things way back when and before that there were soap operas and radio program serials and comic books that had long story arcs and character development.  It's not a new concept at all.


I don't think those count as "genre television".  But if we're going to just say all television, I Love Lucy had a pregnancy story arc, and that was 30 years before B5.
 
2013-02-22 11:00:22 AM

Persnickety: Dynasty and Dallas did the same kinds of things way back when and before that there were soap operas


Dynasty and Dallas  were soap operas. They were attempts to move the format of the soap opera into prime time with prime time production values. All of the examples you list, however, don't map to B5 for one simple reason: B5 had a determined end-date.

American television, as a rule, produces episodes with one goal in mind: to sell enough ads to justify producing more episodes. Telling a compact story with a determined ending is not in the cards for pretty much any series, and that's true even today. For every B5 and "Breaking Bad", you have six meandering "Lost"s.

The key to being a sellable TV show, from a network perspective, is being  open ended, not closed. If a show takes off, the network wants to be able to keep that show on the air until public interest wanes. If they can keep an audience for ten seasons, then by god, they're going to keep that show running.
 
2013-02-22 11:01:22 AM

Mentat: Reading this thread, I feel like I'm being nibbled to death by ducks.


Londo: But this - this, this, this is like being nibbled to death by... what are those Earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet, go "quack"?
Vir: ... Cats!
Londo: Cats. Being nibbled to death by cats.

/just watched that episode the other day
 
2013-02-22 11:05:32 AM

Teufelaffe: macadamnut: Teufelaffe: Alphax: Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.

Uh, I watched that show as a kid.. I remember no story arcs, nothing carrying over from one episode to another.

Disagrees:
[tvmedia.ign.com image 460x345]


That wasn't a story arc. Bruce comes to town, Hulk appears, Mr. McGee appears, Bruce moves on. It was the same thing every week.

If McGee stayed the same throughout the series, I'd agree.  But, his character definitely changed over the course of the show based on events from multiple episodes, thereby checking both the "story arc" and "character development" boxes.  Whether one likes B5 or not doesn't change the fact that it wasn't the first "genre TV" show to do those things.  Hell, Doctor Who pre-dates B5 by 20 years, and you'd have to be insane to try and claim that show didn't have story arcs.


Key To Time... one 26 episode season based on finding and assembling the Key To Time.

It was either 1978 or 1979.

And that's just the most obvious example. You could go back to Jon Pertwee's tenure and say that the whole "Doctor stranded on Earth" thing was a three season long story-arc.

/and you could probably go back to Hartnell or Troughton's time, but why rub it in?
 
2013-02-22 11:07:10 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-02-22 11:08:01 AM

StopLurkListen: GameSprocket: [www.oocities.org image 320x320]

woot!

I remember that show. It was on for ... two seconds before it was cancelled?


Nah, it was with the old syndication model that nobody does anymore, IIRC it was packaged with Total Recall The Series, and those two were always on right after Xena and Hercules.
 
2013-02-22 11:09:19 AM
Since Quark has been mentioned... I present to you this...

www.vampirerave.com
 
2013-02-22 11:09:49 AM

Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: clkeagle: B5 is what brought the simple concepts of story arcs and character development to genre television.

Sorry, but The Incredible Hulk used the "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" and pre-dates B5 by 15+ years.  And that's just American TV.  I'd be willing to bet that the Brits have something even older that uses story arcs and character development.

/I love the B5 fans who try to make it out to be some innovative show that broke new ground...it was a farking re-write of the Lord of the Rings, ffs.


I would think "simple concepts of story arcs and character development" by Brits can be seen in shows like Doctor Who. The Doctor's regeneration, for example, can be a character development. Who will he become next and how will he act. They did have many story arcs that went on for episodes at a time. Even as a seasonal story arc some times.
 
2013-02-22 11:10:19 AM

Cyno01: StopLurkListen: GameSprocket: [www.oocities.org image 320x320]

woot!

I remember that show. It was on for ... two seconds before it was cancelled?

Nah, it was with the old syndication model that nobody does anymore, IIRC it was packaged with Total Recall The Series, and those two were always on right after Xena and Hercules.


It was part of the Back to Back Action Hour (or whatever they called it) along with Jack of All Trades, I think.  At least that's what I remember from the ads.
 
2013-02-22 11:11:10 AM

GameSprocket: [www.oocities.org image 320x320]

woot!


Cleopatra 2525?
 
2013-02-22 11:11:59 AM

Surly U. Jest: [upload.wikimedia.org image 500x280]


I think B5 predates SG.  And B5 had a far, far overall plot arc, though I I really did enjoy the actors in SG.
 
2013-02-22 11:12:33 AM

Teufelaffe: Cyno01: StopLurkListen: GameSprocket: [www.oocities.org image 320x320]

woot!

I remember that show. It was on for ... two seconds before it was cancelled?

Nah, it was with the old syndication model that nobody does anymore, IIRC it was packaged with Total Recall The Series, and those two were always on right after Xena and Hercules.

It was part of the Back to Back Action Hour (or whatever they called it) along with Jack of All Trades, I think.  At least that's what I remember from the ads.


Jack of all trades, Joxter the Mighty and Cleopatra 2525. Those three shows were awesome when I was kid.
 
2013-02-22 11:12:50 AM

OtherLittleGuy: KatjaMouse: I honestly hated Babylon 5. I watched the entire first season last year and could not bring myself to watch the rest. I kept hoping "Maybe it'll get better with the next episode..." and it never did. So I didn't get the appeal for the show, unfortunately.

Typical methodology to watch Babylon 5:

- Slog through Season 1. Duration: Months.
- Watch Season 2. Duration: A few weeks.
- Watch Season 3. Duration: 18 hours.
Note -- may be longer if you borrowed the set and the person doesn't answer the door at 3 AM in the morning.
- Watch Season 4. Duration: 18 hours.Take a day to recoup.
- Watch the original TNT movies. Duration: a day.
- Watch Season 5. Duration: a few days. May skip over the Telepath Arc. Be sure to buy Kleenex in bulk.
- Rewatch Season 1 to pick out the foreshadowing.

/


- Ignore the last Direct-to-DVD movie that completely destroyed the Emperor Londo storyline.
 
2013-02-22 11:13:42 AM
Firefly isn't that old
 
2013-02-22 11:14:40 AM

Petey4335: KatjaMouse: I honestly hated Babylon 5. I watched the entire first season last year and could not bring myself to watch the rest. I kept hoping "Maybe it'll get better with the next episode..." and it never did. So I didn't get the appeal for the show, unfortunately.

It got better after replacing Cardboard Cutout Man with Tron.


i1135.photobucket.com

Don't remember him making an appearance.
 
2013-02-22 11:16:09 AM
I defy anyone to name a sci-fi series finale that can top the finale of Babylon 5. "Sleeping in Light" is still one of the greatest final episodes of all time. Say what you will about the series, it knew how to end with a bang. Lost? Battlestar Galactica? They don't even come close, and I suppose B5 ruined me on final episodes because after that one, every one since has been found lacking.
 
2013-02-22 11:16:12 AM
Funny, Didn't think Space Above and Beyond was that old.
 
2013-02-22 11:17:17 AM
I thought this may have been about SG:1. Great show, though they did kind of botch the last few seasons with the Ori thing.... though I do love that they got Morena Baccarin to be in it. That woman is stunning, moreso in person from what I hear.
 
2013-02-22 11:18:51 AM

Teufelaffe: Cyno01: StopLurkListen: GameSprocket: [www.oocities.org image 320x320]

woot!

I remember that show. It was on for ... two seconds before it was cancelled?

Nah, it was with the old syndication model that nobody does anymore, IIRC it was packaged with Total Recall The Series, and those two were always on right after Xena and Hercules.

It was part of the Back to Back Action Hour (or whatever they called it) along with Jack of All Trades, I think.  At least that's what I remember from the ads.


How the fark did i forget Jack of All Trades? Love that show so much.
 
2013-02-22 11:19:25 AM
I love the idea of people arguing that "The Incredible Hulk" was groundbreaking television just so they don't have to say anything nice about B5.

As someone who was watching it as it aired, it was a refreshing break from "Boring Moving Hilton in Space" that ST:TNG was becoming and DS9 started off as.
 
2013-02-22 11:19:39 AM
Automan is older than 20 years last I knew.
 
2013-02-22 11:19:39 AM
Quantum Leap?
 
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