Babylon 5

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Babylon 5, a Nineties Space Opera created by J. Michael Straczynski, ran from 1994-1998 (a two-hour pilot, "The Gathering", had aired in 1993). It was syndicated as a part of the PTEN network package for its first four seasons, and was shown on TNT in its fifth.

Babylon 5 took the use of Story Arcs to new heights, and introduced the concept of the Wham! Episode, with probably over half of its episodes contributing to one major series-long arc (a Myth Arc). JMS had plotted out much of the arc before the series began, and occasionally referred to it as a five-year long Miniseries. (The fourth and fifth seasons had to be telescoped into one when the show was going to be prematurely ended. Then it was Uncancelled and picked up by TNT, and they had to scramble to create a fifth season, which was not as well-liked by most fans.)

While the series is often given as an early example of a hard science fiction show, it does have aliens with powers verging on magic and humans with Psychic Powers. Still, by TV standards, it's fairly crispy sci-fi. Likewise, while the show is often seen as being more toward the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, at times almost edging into Black and Grey Morality, it also has some shining moments of idealism as well. One could say that the overarching Aesop of the series is "the pragmatic survive, and the determined thrive, but Faith Manages."

There were several associated B5 Made for TV Movies:

It is available via Netflix, on disc only. The WB has also put up Season 1 and the first few of season 2 for online watching.

Has an in-progress Recap page.

It spun off the short-lived series Crusade, which ran for 13 episodes in 1999, telling the story of the spaceship Excalibur and the search for a counteragent to/cure for a slow-acting biological weapon that had been successfully deployed against the Earth by agents of the Shadows. The series had serious trouble: superficial resemblance to the plot of Star Blazers was cited, and creators commented on the ridiculous amounts of Executive Meddling that they had to fight against. This trend for intervention was attacked more than once in the Crusade scripts themselves. Opinions on the quality of the episodes were divided: to some, the series showed considerable promise before its premature death; to others, markedly less.

Other official and unofficial works set in Babylon 5 'verse include:

In late September 2021, it was announced by Variety that JMS was producing a Continuity Reboot of Babylon 5 for broadcast on The CW.

Babylon 5 is the Trope Namer for:

... and the former Trope Namer for:

Babylon 5 is the Trope Maker for:

Tropes used in Babylon 5 include:
  1. published by Mongoose Publishing, 1st edition 1997. 2nd edition 2006
  2. published by Chameleon Eclectic Entertainment, 1997)