I introduced a couple of friends to Babylon 5 recently, and I have been watching the show alongside them. I didn't realise that this was fairly wide-spread; evidently, the 20th anniversary has brought about a resurgence of interest!
We've covered Season 2, and are in the middle of S3 thus far. Some thoughts, with the benefit of hindsight:
1) I used to draw hearts around Delenn and Sheridan, then went through a phase of having absolutely no interest in them. I've come back around to being very interested in them again, primarily because of the utter respect on both their parts for the other. They are very different, and yet they respect those differences and try to accommodate them. I don't know whether it is a case of television moving towards bombastic, dramatic relationships and away from quiet build-ups, or whether this was always somewhat rare to see, but it strikes me as something I no longer see on screen. Even on shows where there is ostensibly a slow-build, it feels more like a will-they/won't-they dynamic, rather than a gradual growing together. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I do like it.
2) I'm more and more convinced that there was an intention to do something with Talia's arc rather than just leave it hanging. Did we ever see this resolved in a novel? I know that Bester references her later on in Dust to Dust
but I feel that his comment is more designed to provoke.
3) I really, really appreciate the creation of the different races. Yes, we have the main players, but we also get to see the other races fleshed out until you can spot them. OK, maybe I never learned the name of the fishpeople, but I remember Ambassador FishPerson being concerned with Homeguard terrorism. I can spot the unfortunate Markab, the garrulous Drazi, the curiously identical-looking Brakiri. (I think it's established that the Drazi don't have any females - or that they reproduce in a non-binary way, anyway - but is it ever explained about the Brakiri? Or have I selectively not noticed any female Brakiri?) And the Hyach (Hyatt? No, that's a hotel chain) and the Pak'Ma'Ra and so forth. Even if they are not one of the main
races, from very early on they have a coherent look which helps the station to feel real.
4) I've discovered the Babylon 5 audio guide podcasts
and they are excellent! Great discussion for each episode, and suitable for both new viewers and those doing a re-watch. (They have a loud noise to indicate the start of spoilers.)
5) You can now find a whole bunch of convention videos online! The 20th anniversary con panels are mostly on YouTube (here, here
... and here
) but here are also some 1990s clips
. I haven't watched them so I can't swear as to the quality, but it's nice to see them!
6) I feel like more than a couple of governments have watched this show and thought, "yes, the Earth Alliance approach to things is actually pretty great, we should totally implement that at home." Some of it is even worse. I'm fairly certain that Donald Trump's speeches map word for word against Londo's most bombastic, aggressive declarations. He is, after all, going to make the Centauri Republic great again.
7) Julie Musante would have been hired by David Cameron's team in seconds.
8) I really like how we see representatives of the Earth Alliance and they're not all American? There are people from all across the Alliance.
9) ... I miss Andreas.