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Babylon 5/Farscape comparison question

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Babylon 5/Farscape comparison question

Old 05-08-03, 02:23 PM
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Babylon 5/Farscape comparison question

Okay, now that you guys have gotten me hooked on B5, I was wondering: is Farscape as good? I hear people praise it, but it doesn't seem to get the same - what's the word - "reverence" that B5 gets.

I've never seen an episode of Farscape. Do I have to buy the DVDs? Give me your thoughts.
Old 05-08-03, 02:39 PM
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How many times must I say this : Star Trek defined science fiction on television, Babylon 5 re-defined it, and Farscape turned it on its ear and shook the bejesus out of it.

Just as Babylon 5 is unlike anything you've probably seen before, so is Farscape. To compare them would be futile. I think Babylon 5 has the more compelling story (and if torture enough would admit to prefering it), but Farscape takes more chances. Farscape is completely unique to the television landscape, and not unlike Buffy, the cast and crew are not afriad to try the most outrageous of concepts (e.g., they had started writing a musical, but had to can it when 'Once More, With Feeling' aired). It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's incredible. Also, not unlike Buffy, the show is replete with pop culture references and a very colorful brand of humor.

From a stylistic perspective, it's the most incredible looking show I've ever seen. The sets and art direction are simply awe-inspiring, and the creatures JHC created are amazing.

Farscape is unique and compelling ... sometimes funny, sometimes gut-wrenching, sometimes kooky, and sometimes downright brilliant, it is always entertaining. You (and anyone else who claims to enjoy the medium of television) would be doing yourself a disservice not to check it out. The DVDs are pretty damn good, so that's not a bad place to start.

das
Old 05-08-03, 02:43 PM
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Thanks, das.

I still have absolutely no idea what it's about, but it seems interesting.
Old 05-08-03, 02:53 PM
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Quoth Bandoman <HR SIZE=1>Thanks, das.

I still have absolutely no idea what it's about, but it seems interesting.
<HR SIZE=1>


No problem.

It's set in the very near future (i.e. humanity still considers itself the center of the Universe), where an astronaut (John Crichton) in the Farscape program unwillingly gets hit by a radiation wave, sucked into a wormhole and dropped off in some distant part of the Universe. His arrival on the scene causes something important to happen that pisses off a major character and establishes Crichton as the subject of a certain vendetta. Lost and confused, he randomly hooks up with a group of recently-escaped prisoners, and together they are bonded in the common goal of getting the hell out of Dodge. What happens after that is much much more than just the wacky misadventures of some kooky aliens, but you'll find all that out when you start watching.

das
Old 05-08-03, 02:54 PM
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Are there season box sets? If not, are the DVDs clearly marked so I can get them in the right order? Is the whole series out on DVD yet?
Old 05-08-03, 02:58 PM
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Quoth Bandoman <HR SIZE=1>Are there season box sets? If not, are the DVDs clearly marked so I can get them in the right order? Is the whole series out on DVD yet? <HR SIZE=1>


There is a Season 1 boxset, that's just a box with all the cases in it (they were originally released 2 eps at a time). Season 2 is out in 5 2-disc volumes, and Season 3 is working its way out in similar fashion right now. It's undetermined whether there will be complete season sets made for Seasons 2-4.

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Old 05-08-03, 03:00 PM
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Oh, there's also a "best of" Season 1 DVD you may be able to find at Lackluster Video or somewhere else ... you know ... if you don't trust me.

das
Old 05-08-03, 03:02 PM
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I trust you, das. You were so dead-on right about B5.

I know the show was cancelled and that it upset a lot of people. Are there a lot of unanswered questions and unfinished plot lines, or did the writers get to tie things up? I'd hate to invest time/money in a whole series only to be left guessing.

Last edited by Bandoman; 05-08-03 at 03:10 PM.
Old 05-08-03, 03:07 PM
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Quoth Bandoman <HR SIZE=1>I trust you, das. You were so dead-on right about B5.

I know the show was cancelled and that it upset a lot of people. Are ther a lot of unanswered questions and unfinished plot lines, or did the writers get to tie things up? I'd hate to invest time/money in a whole series only to be left guessing.
<HR SIZE=1>


The show is currently "To Be Continued ..."

There's a pretty solid commitment to resolve anything that wasn't resolved in the 4th season finale in one form or another. If it's not as a 5th season, it will likely be a telefilm or mini-series or, worst-case, a comic book. The buzz around this show is too large for it not to be resolved, and DK and Rockne and the cast have all expressed complete commitment to making it happen.

The show was cancelled long before they edited the 4th season finale to say, "To Be Continued ..." which should give you some insight into their mindset on this.

das
Old 05-08-03, 07:03 PM
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I want to be the third person on this thread!!!

Farscape is a lot of FUN. Like das said, it has a sort of "Buffy" sensibility to it. The characters are all great and you end up caring for them all in different ways. The special effects are the best I've ever seen in a tv show. The dvds' have a great video transfer and a really kick-ass 5.1 surround track with some great surround usage - the surround sound on these discs rival those of most major motion picuture dvds. They also have more exras than your average tv-show dvd.

Deep discount has a good deal on them.
Old 05-08-03, 08:29 PM
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Yeah, the Farscape DVDs are slightly more expensive than most other TV shows (similar in price to Star Trek:TNG/DS9 or X-Files), but for the level of quality you get... it's worth the price.

Go to DDD, plunk down your $89 for Season 1, and prepare to be hooked.


I'm a pretty huge B5 fan, but under torture, I'd probably have to admit to preferring Farscape. It's that good. (And, like B5, this is a show that starts off slowly and just gets better and better...)
Old 05-08-03, 09:16 PM
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Damn. I was afraid of this. My wallet will not be happy.
Old 05-08-03, 09:55 PM
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Before plunking down the big $$$ on a whole season.

You might want to rent a few of the first season eps.
I believe BB has a best of 1st series to rent.
As a HUGE B5 fan. I find about 1/3 of farscapes episodes
rather dull. I agree that most of the characters, sets
and props are top rate. I find the storylines at times
struggling to keep my interest. Also without spoiling
anything. Certain character developement was not
what I would have expected or desired.

On the other hand. Some of the eps & story arcs are
excellent. This maybe one series. That buying just the
eps you like are best. And thankfully...One can buy
a whole season or a few eps at a time.
Old 05-08-03, 10:58 PM
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I was hooked after season one, and I thought season one was the weakest season. By the time I got done watching through the middle of season 2 I was devouring episodes as fast as I could watch them. I think I watched all 88 within a 2 or 3 month timespan.
Old 05-09-03, 12:16 AM
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watched all 88 within a 2 or 3 month timespan.

Thats too much of any tv series in 90 days.

Thats another problem with box sets today.
Something is lost when viewed like an
all you can eat salad bar.

Still buy that before jumping in & buying a
whole season. Use the opportunity to try it 1st.
Farscape is not for everyones sci-fi's tastes.
Old 05-09-03, 02:28 AM
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I watched Farscape up to the beginning of season 4 in just a couple of weeks. People thought I was crazy, but honestly, I got so into it that I was watching it every hour I was home into the wee hours.

B5 and Farscape are my two favorite shows. If I had to say, I think B5 is better, but barely (and I might just have loyalty to the show--it saved me from dying of boredom on a bed rest pregnancy. I waited every day for it to come on and rescue me from the rest of the dreck on tv.)

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Old 05-09-03, 04:47 AM
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I love Sci Fi TV but for some reason I have never seen B5... it always looked to Star Treky to me. I really don't like Trek (except the Original series and movies) I think it's bad sci fi. Im coming close to breaking down and tring B5.

Anyway, yes, Farscape is great! I would desribe it as Buck Rogers meets Blakes 7 with the humor of Buffy. I bought the Vol 1 DVD a year ago at a pawn shop and have been hooked.

Season 1 can be bought in 11 single 2 episode DVDs or the full season box set. You might want to get the single Vol 1 to try it out. Season 2 is in 5 double DVD sets with 4 or 5 episodes in each set, same with Season 3... Season 3 Vol 1 is out now and Vol 2 of Season 3 comes out this summer.

Also... it's a show where you really need to watch the episodes in order, because the story keeps changing and characters come and go.

oh... and if you like sci fi TV... get some Doctor Who stories "Tomb of the Cybermen" (the original borg) and "Robots of Death" are 2 of the best ones on DVD now. <--- shameless plug for my favorite show!
Old 05-09-03, 09:38 AM
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Re: watched all 88 within a 2 or 3 month timespan.

Originally posted by btlives
Thats another problem with box sets today.
Something is lost when viewed like an
all you can eat salad bar.
I agree - I'm trying to take some time between episodes of B5 season 2 so that I can digest what has occurred before I move on. This is proving to be difficult - I want to watch them all in one sitting.


turborobb - as a recent Babylon 5 convert, I can assure you that B5 is very different from Start Trek and it is storytelling at its very best. Try it, you won't regret it.
Old 05-09-03, 10:36 AM
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Babylon 5 and Farscape spoiled me. I cannot even watch Star trek anymore before getting sick to my stomach and bored.
Old 05-09-03, 02:01 PM
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I glanced over my earlier post and I think it reads too much like a rabid fan-boy. I must temper it with some objective criticism:

While I really enjoy Farscape it does tend to have a sort of "lost-in-space" motif to it (though nowhere near as bad as Voyager). Instead of a carefully constructed story arc, many episodes have a "freak of the week" theme to them - there are big story arcs - but they are not nearly as far-reaching as Babylon 5's. Many episodes have to do with something going "wrong" on their ship as they try to find their way through the galaxy. These episodes are far more self-contained than Babylon 5's, or even Buffy's. Some are very, very creative - but they are still self-contained and do not serve a "greater purpose".

There's nothing wrong with that - you should just know this before going in, just so you don't expect some big huge continuous story.
Old 05-09-03, 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by btlives
Before plunking down the big $$$ on a whole season.

You might want to rent a few of the first season eps.
I believe BB has a best of 1st series to rent.
As a HUGE B5 fan. I find about 1/3 of farscapes episodes
rather dull. I agree that most of the characters, sets
and props are top rate. I find the storylines at times
struggling to keep my interest. Also without spoiling
anything. Certain character developement was not
what I would have expected or desired.

On the other hand. Some of the eps & story arcs are
excellent. This maybe one series. That buying just the
eps you like are best. And thankfully...One can buy
a whole season or a few eps at a time.
I agree about renting the Best of Season 1 DVD set. It's six episodes that cover the major points of series one and when those episodes have won you over (as I'm sure they will) you'll know whether you must have more Farscape.

You're 1/3 of the way through season 1, I would just say stick with it.....the first 12-15 can be tedious, but they're incredibly important as the season progresses and in the large arc of the series.

I stuck with the series through Season one and it doesn't get truly addicting till about episode 15/16...and by episode 18, you're hooked..and you haven't even gotten to Scorpius yet.

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