on the End of Babylon 5
The last episode of Babylon 5 was aired on November 25, 1998.
Reading posts on the Internet and discussions with some friends there was
a feeling of sadness connected with the event. I felt differently.
To me it felt like a great victory. To explain why I have to give
I first heard about Babylon 5 from an article in Starlog. The
article had consisted of Joe Michael Straczynski describing the series
with some art (this early Babylon 5 art can be found at www.public.usit.
net/f-shysa). It was Straczynski’s involvement, which interested
me since I was fan of his work on The Real Ghostbusters and
The Twilight Zone. I saw the pilot in the spring of
1993 and was impressed by its characterization and design. Four months
later at Confrancisco, the 1993 Worldcon, I attended a Babylon 5
presentation with Straczynski and Harlan Ellison. It was there I
first heard that Babylon 5 was going to be a five-year mini
series with a definite beginning, middle and end. The thought
astounded me. To end a show a predetermined time rather than
to milk it completely dry, which is what I felt was happening to Trek at
the time. To have a story that was going somewhere rather than
just a new adventure every week. I was hoping it would succeed.
I knew full well that even good SF and fantasy shows were lucky to get
a second season much less go on for five years.
The show succeeded. Babylon 5 flourished despite bad timeslots while
it was syndicated and early mixed reviews. During its run Babylon
5 won 2 Hugos, winning over big budget films like Apollo 13
and Independence Day. It won the respect
of both SF fans and pros. It ended Trek’s domination of SF TV.
Most important they got to tell the whole story. This is why
at the end I felt a sensation of victory. It was triumph the
fans could share with Joe, since he had kept a dialogue with fans over
the Internet during the show’s run. It would have been sad if they
were cut short. Now we can look forward to the new spin-off
Crusade and new quality SF series that will hopefully blossom
as a result of Babylon 5’s victory.