I asked this on another forum, and the advice given was thus: Babylon 5 - In the beginning, followed by Seasons 1-4 (although some say 2-4, season 1 being quite hard going, apparently). And that's it: that is all you need. All else being superfluous and of noticeably lower quality. With that advice (that I was given), I have bought the suggested movie and seasons 1-4.
In The Beginning [MOVIE] The Gathering (1998 Special Edition - Region 1 USA Import only) [PILOT MOVIE] B5 season 1 (I actually watched this when first broadcast on Channel 4 in the '90s it is pretty good) B5 Seasons 2+3 plus 4 eps 01-08 Thirdspace - [MOVIE] set AFTER B5 Season 4 ep 08 The Illusion of Truth B5 Season 4 eps 09-22 B5 Season 5 eps 01-21 River of Souls [MOVIE] Legend of The Rangers [MOVIE] B5 Season 5 ep 22 A Call to Arms [MOVIE - backdoor pilot for Crusade] B5 Spin-off Crusade (13 episodes) B5 The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark [MOVIE]
B5 Spin-off CRUSADE has three different episode chronologies/running orders.
Two of which were creator approved but the broadcast order at imdb should be ignored.
Chronological Order - J. Michael Straczynski approved (current in-universe filmed episodes) 1.War Zone (108) 2.The Long Road (107) 3.Ruling From the Tomb (111) 4.Appearances and Other Deceits (113) 5.The Memory of War (102) 6.The Needs of Earth (101) 7.Racing the Night (103) 8.Visitors From Down the Street (104) 9.Each Night I Dream of Home (105) 10.The Path of Sorrows (109) 11.Patterns of the Soul (110) 12.The Well of Forever (106) 13.The Rules of the Game (112)
2001 Sci-Fi Channel Re-Broadcast - J. Michael Straczynski approved (ignoring the uniform change) 1.Racing the Night (103) 2.The Needs of Earth (101) 3.The Memory of War (102) 4.The Long Road (107) 5.Visitors from Down the Street (104) 6.The Well of Forever (106) 7.Each Night I Dream of Home (105) 8.Patterns of the Soul (110) 9.The Path of Sorrows (109) 10.Ruling from the Tomb (111) 11.The Rules of the Game (112) 12.War Zone (108) 13.Appearances and Other Deceits (113)
1999 Original TNT Broadcast Order (DVD) 1.War Zone (108) 2.The Long Road (107) 3.The Well of Forever (106) 4.The Path of Sorrows (109) 5.Patterns of the Soul (110) 6.Ruling from the Tomb (111) 7.The Rules of the Game (112) 8.Appearances and Other Deceits (113) 9.Racing the Night (103) 10.The Memory of War (102) 11.The Needs of Earth (101) 12.Visitors from Down the Street (104) 13.Each Night I Dream of Home (105)
NOTE: B5 season 5 (the TNT season) feels forced. It's like they concluded the story a year early, moved to a new network then began flogging a dead horse! Legend of The Rangers and Voices in the Dark are also below par and pretty pointless as these are failed attempts to reboot the franchise. I actually loved Crusade and was sad to see it gone so soon!
Hi Stark, thanks very much for your advice, I have bought them all, finished collecting about six months ago, we haven't actually watched any yet, not knowing which order too watch them in, so thanks again, and thanks for taking the time too write all this imformation down for me,
I actually bought the collection after seeing Babylon 5: The Gathering - Special Edition on FX UK back in '09. Knowing this was not on Region 2 DVD, I recorded this via Sky to DVD.
It is a shame this wasn't on the UK DVD of the pilot movie. It included the original 1993 version which although interesting is inconsistant with all that follows.
I may not be able to track down the version of the pilot I'd like as it would appear the B5 Movie Collection (US Import) has 5.1 sound and the one I ordered is 2.0, once I have the technical specifications I will post them here. But dvdcompare lists the entire set as being R1-4 in keeping with the regional coding practices from Warner Home Video between 2002-2011.
Do you have the Region 1 Special Edition??
Are your players Multi-region?
I have just ordered the older double-sided DVD to complete my collection.
When it arrives I'll confirm the region coding on the disc (being a 2001 release I'd expect it to be Region 1).
Just a quick message. Since you haven't watched any discs yet perhaps it is unwise to watch In the Begining first.
The cool part is the setting is LAST in the chronology but Londo's story recounts the back-story. It is simultaneously a Prequel & a Sequel. FIRST or LAST, your choice.
For a first time viewer start with the 1998 Special Edition of the Gathering.
If you have the UK Sets/DVDs ignore the 1993 version completely and start at Season 1 (new characters/cast). If you become a fan along the way you can watch this as a curiosity or for completions sake.
Watching In the Begining FIRST ruins the first season and also reveals Commander Sinclair's connection to the Minbari too soon and the fate of Babylon 4.