Thursday, June 20, 2024

90s Sci-Fi Series That Re-Invented The Genre Deserves Your Attention Today

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The most direct and obvious influence Babylon 5 had on sci-fi TV is the creation of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. According to some accounts, Paramount straight-up stole the concept of Babylon 5 for DS9. But even if we generously give the studio the benefit of the doubt, the similarities between the two series are undeniable.

Both series leaned into serialization, both took place chiefly on a space station at the center of a complex and volatile political situation. The main heroes of both shows become the subjects of ancient alien prophecy, and both feature a slow-burning plot about a mysterious and apparently unbeatable enemy, with things exploding into a grand, full scale interstellar war.

More than anything you can see the influence of Babylon 5 on DS9 in the premise and how the Trek creators put more faith in their audience. For example, the premises of the first three Star Trek series (including The Animated Series) were relatively simple — explorers travel through the galaxy and encounter dangers.

The premise of DS9? Man assumes command of a space station in the hopes of helping a freshly liberated people recover and join the Federation, while at the same time becoming an important figure in that civilization’s religion and discovering a portal to a different part of the galaxy where new dangers await.

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