Ooooh. A worthy topic, will enjoy following this.
In the world of science fiction TV, Babylon 5 is generally considered the first of the modern* story-arc series. Itâ€™s a genuine departure from the â€œWagon Train to the Starsâ€ paradigm that Old Trek created. I donâ€™t think weâ€™d have had Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the Battlestar Galactica reboot without it and Deep Space Nine to convince the studios that genre audiences had long attention spans and an appetite for moral complexity.
For me personally, Bab 5 was the the TV series of my mid-twenties. I watched it as I settled into married life and into the strange rhythms of being an expat. I watched it as my professional life and a good deal of my interior life fell apart. I watched it as I built both back up and started to become who I am now.
And then I never watched it again.
But I realized this past November that I wanted to go back through the whole series, to see how it looks to a 40 year old. Iâ€™ve grown up enough, and seen enough of the real world, to more deeply appreciate the themes of failure and redemption that run through it. And Iâ€™ve become more aware of the technical side of storytelling; another thing Iâ€™m doing right now is reading Learn Writing with Uncle Jim. Straczynski planned the series as a novel-length story, and Iâ€™m interested to see the techniques he used to tell it.
Or perhaps it will be pyrite: foolâ€™s gold. Perhaps the Suck Fairy will have visited it in the 16 years since it first aired.
It also strikes me that it might be amusing to blog this process. Iâ€™m not planning on going episode by episode, but rather tackling it in somewhat larger chunks of plot. I donâ€™t know how many people on Making Light are fans, or have seen it, and might be interested in discussing it. But I canâ€™t think of a more interesting community to try such a thing with.