The late 1990s syndicated series Babylon 5 may not be as remembered as, say, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or the other Trek spinoffs, but it is a worthwhile investment to watch the series. And it will easier than ever before to watch it as Babylon 5 is slated to join the Amazon Prime stable of classic series next month, according to series creator J. Michael Straczynski.
Sonuvagun…all five seasons of Babylon 5 will begin streaming on Amazon Prime next month. At last it’s someplace where people can actually see the freaking thing and newcomers can find it while browsing. https://t.co/On3fAh8dNz
— J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) May 16, 2018
The program, which ran in syndication from 1994-1997 and on TNT in 1998, has been unavailable as part of a streaming subscription since it left Netflix in 2011.
Babylon 5, which starred Bruce Boxleitner for most of its run, tells the tale of the last of the Babylon space stations, a human/alien co-venture intended to promote diplomacy and commerce among the various space-faring species of the galaxy. Established in 2257, the station eventually becomes the staging ground for an interstellar war against an ancient enemy and the liberation of Earth after that enemy helps install a fascist government. It also become the birthplace of an galactic alliance.
From the get-go, Straczynski intended the series as a novel for television with a five-year storyline envisioned in his mind. Events which would not occur for years are teased in early episodes, giving it a sense of direction unseen on television at the time. Sadly, realities of production, the illness of key cast member, and the certainty that the show would be cancelled at the end of its fourth season meant the show changed significantly from Straczynski’s original outline, but even in its 85% form — which still included a fifth year after TNT picked up the show at the last minute — it is a very strong example of late-90s sci-fi.
Just ignore “Grey 17 is Missing,” one of its worst hours.
Unfortunately, it appears the five television movies made to support the series (and its abbreviated sequel Crusade) will not be available, but that will not prevent newcomers from discovering the series as the films are more supplements than essential parts of Straczynski’s novel concept.
Babylon 5 comes to Amazon Prime in June.