Pacino86845 wrote:I have seen most episodes of Next Generation, grew up with the show really and consider myself to be a fan of the series even today.
Only watched the first couple of seasons of DS9 before losing interest, when apparently the show became arguably the best spin-off Star Trek series.
Have only seen the first five or so episodes of Babylon 5.
So now a question to fellow sci fi fans more versed in Babylon 5 and DS9 than I am.
I found a decent deal for the full series of DS9 on DVD, and from my understanding, much like Babylon 5, you need to watch the entire series to really appreciate DS9... so should I go for it or just buy Babylon 5 instead?
With Babylon 5 you need to watch it from start to finish (the final fifth season is arguably not essential for various reasons). The quote "it was a novel made for television" is fairly apt, as missing an episode is pretty much like skipping a chapter of a book (I'm tempted to use The Wire as a more mainstream example...but I think that may draw some criticism). The first season can be quite difficult to get through and featured far more standalone episodes, to the point where there are lists of "key" episodes that allow to you pass over the crap without fearing consequence. Season 3 is considered by some to the definitive televisual science fiction story. I preferred Season 4. Some of the acting can be a bit too hokey, as can some of production as a whole. It was always being threatened by cancellation, so occasionally the pacing gets ramped up for no reason.
Some (JMS) reckon that Babylon 5 was shopped to Paramount in the late 80s and they turned it down...only to copy it and develop Deep Space Nine.
And at the start they are quite similar.
The first two seasons of DS9 don't particularly matter in the grand scheme of things. Some of it was based on strands from TNG while at the same time it was trying to be a bit different. It wasn't until the latter part of season 3 that things started to get going (I seem to think TNG had the same problem). Season 4 onwards really hit the spot. Imagine Star Trek with complex storylines and developed characters (difficult I know) and that's DS9 gives you. There is long-running continuity, multiple plot arcs and all kind of cool shit going on (see avatar for more information). A good rule of thumb with DS9 is that from the time Captain Sisko gets a goatee, there are few bad episodes.
I used to really like Babylon 5, but over time I've grown to find some of it really irritating (I have the boxsets, but would only really think of watching particular episodes now). Where as Deep Space Nine now holds my attention and I'm quite enthusiastic for it.
Personal recommendation - DS9.
If you're curious, and it's cheap - Babylon 5. If it hooks you, you'll be pleased.