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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Babylon 5: Season 1 - Signs and Portents Review

Alright today on Sci-Fi Adventures it's Babylon 5's turn to get a season review, meaning that I've finally finished one whole season from each of the three series I started writing about in 2016!

The trouble with TV seasons, especially for older series, is that they're really bloody long. When they were airing once a week I didn't notice, I was more bothered by the huge gaps in between, but now that I'm looking back 22 episodes suddenly seems like a lot. That's like 15 hours of content! You could get through 4 Lord of the Rings movies in that time! But they're not sci-fi, so I won't.

I was thinking about writing a 'first season battle' article at some point, where I put the series I've been watching against each other to see which was luckiest not to get cancelled in the first year, but now I've spotted the flaw in that plan: it'll take so long to watch them that I won't remember them well enough to compare them. I mean it took me a year to get through B5 season 1 and I'm already struggling to hold all that data in my brain.

So this season review may contain SPOILERS for episodes like Midnight on the Firing Line, Chrysalis and everything in between, or it may not, depending on how much of it's still in my mind. I may even throw in some for the pilot film The Gathering, though I won't say a word about what happens after season 1.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Babylon 5 1-22: Chrysalis

Episode:22|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:03-Oct-1994

This is it. When I wrote about Babylon 5's pilot movie The Gathering back in April last year I also committed to rewatching all 22 episodes from season one along with it, but this is the last of them. Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm watching Babylon 5's first season finale, Chrysalis!

That's the same establishing shot of the station that Midnight on the Firing Line used under its title as well by the way, which kind of works as they bookend the season. Speaking of titles, this seems to be the only episode of Babylon 5 that shares a title with a Deep Space Nine episode (though B5's Between the Darkness and the Light and DS9's The Darkness and the Light come really close). B5's Chrysalis came first if you're wondering.

I'll be recapping the story and sharing my thoughts as I go so this'll have SPOILERS for Chrysalis and likely other first season episodes too, but I'll spoil nothing about what comes after so this'll be safe if you're on your first viewing. Though I wouldn't recommend listening to the DVD commentary on your first time through.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 1 Review

No episode here today on Sci-Fi Adventures, instead I'm going to write about the whole of Deep Space Nine's difficult first season, all 19 episodes of it, and I really hope I can remember something about them otherwise this is going to be a bit of a struggle.

Uh... Q getting punched, Rumpelstiltskin, allamaraine count to four, Sisko's insanity clock, computer dog, Troi's mother, jumja sticks... if I think hard enough some of it's coming back to me.

As this is a season review it's likely to contain some SPOILERS for everything from Emissary to In the Hands of the Prophets and possibly earlier Trek episodes too, so proceed with caution. I've already spoiled that Q gets punched, imagine what else I could end up ruining for you!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-20: In the Hands of the Prophets

Episode:20|Writer:Robert Hewitt Wolfe|Air Date:20-06-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm going to go through the final episode of Deep Space Nine's first season and write words underneath my screencaps. This is it, the end's in sight, I just have to clear these last 40 minutes or so and I'll have fulfilled the promise I made all the way back in my Emissary review to write about every episode in season one!

In the Hands of the Prophets is the first Deep Space Nine episode with 'Prophets' in the title. I wish I could say something like "when the word 'Prophet' appears in the title you know something huge is about to go down", but to be honest it only appears in three episodes titles throughout the entire seven year run, and one of them is a Ferengi episode. The writers resisted the prophet/profit pun for two and a half years, but in the end they were only human.

Plus this is the first Trek season since The Best of Both Worlds to not end on with part one of a two-parter. Voyager would later carry on Next Gen's tradition of making people suffer for months with a cliffhanger, but DS9 preferred to leave viewers with a feeling that next year shit's going to get even more real.

Alright I'm going to go through the whole damn episode and write anything that jumps into my mind along the way, so there will be SPOILERS for this story and other Trek episodes that came before it. I'll not spoil later seasons though.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Babylon 5 1-17: Legacies

Episode:17|Writer:D. C. Fontana|Air Date:20-Jul-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm recapping and reviewing episode 17 of Babylon 5's first season, Legacies! I should be up to episode 21, but I already watched that one a while back because the internet told me to. The Lurker's Guide Master List page to be specific.

So this is where I'm at:
20 - Babylon Squared
21 - The Quality of Mercy
14 - TKO
17 - Legacies
22 - Chrysalis
I'm telling you this because I'll likely be throwing out SPOILERS for the earlier episodes as well, and when you move an episode right to the end of a season, everything becomes an earlier episode. But I'll not spoil a thing about the season finale Chrysalis or anything that comes after it, no matter how much I want to.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1-19: Duet

Episode:19|Writer:Peter Allan Fields|Air Date:13-Jun-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm up to the penultimate episode of DS9 season one!

Duet is the third episode of the season with Peter Allan Fields' name on it, following Dax and Progress, and it's got yet another one-word title! What is this, Voyager? Out of curiosity I checked his season two episodes and noticed that they all had two-word titles... until he ruined his streak with Crossover. And then he retired from his staff position as a producer, so no three-word titles for the third season.

I'm going to go through the whole episode, writing comments under screencaps, so you probably don't want to read any further unless you've already seen it. The episode's all about a mystery, so my SPOILERS could really do some damage to your enjoyment. I may also spoil events from earlier Star Trek episodes, but nothing that happens later.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Babylon 5 1-14: TKO

Episode:14|Writer:Larry DiTillio|Air Date:25-May-1994

They've finally chosen something more interesting than a stock space station shot to show the title over!

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm watching TKO, which is either the 14th or the 20th episode of Babylon 5's first season, depending on whether you're going off the US airing/DVD order or the Master List order found on the Lurker's Guide website.

Or you could follow the original UK airing order I suppose. TKO was considered to be too violent for Channel 4's usual 6pm slot, so it was delayed until 10.30pm... three months after the season finale. It aired so late that it was basically leading into season 2, as a trial to make sure only the truly faithful would stick around to witness B5's ascent to greatness.

Personally I've been following the Master List, which jumbles up the episode numbers like so:
20 - Babylon Squared
21 - The Quality of Mercy
14 - TKO
17 - Legacies
22 - Chrysalis
You might be wondering why you should care, considering that you can read my posts in any order you feel like. Well, when I recap and review an episode I don't just spoil the hell out of it, I also throw in SPOILERS for the episodes that came before it. If an episode gets pushed forward that means there's more behind it to potentially get spoiled.