When the histories of this golden age of television are written, they will likely begin with The Sopranos. But that would be a mistake because the template a lot of modern-day TV copies was instead created by Babylon 5. A decade before The Wire would be hailed as a “novel for television,” B5 was a hyper-serialized grand story that was conceived as a single five-year epic.
Now that the series has made its way to Amazon Prime, it is ripe for a whole new generation of fans to discover it. Except that, if they do, they may find that the picture quality is highly variable, and some sequences are quite hard to watch. Now, it’s fair to say that the show is so good that it’s worth persisting with nevertheless. But how it ended up in this state is a tale of folks trying to plan for its future, only to be defeated by executive neglect
“All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925
This thread inspired me to binge watch the show for the first time in ten years. I gots all the DVDs so I watched those instead of what’s on Amazon Prime. The story holds up, of course. The CGI is dated and looks, generally, what you would see on Halo or most games on your XBox or Playstation system. Even if WB coughed up the dough for an HD upgrade to the CGI, it would still look dated, IMHO. I’m not complaining, I’d still rather watch the original Star Trek WITHOUT the CGI they added later.