The Gathering – Babylon 5 Pilot
First of all, I have to tell you that I am not sure I’ve ever seen the original version of this one. I came to the show after it was done, sometime in the early 2000s, so this revised one is all I’ve ever seen. I can see where things were added to help the continuity at a later date.
The first shock for me in The Gathering was, of course, Delenn. She is quite ugly in this version and upon reading about it, I found that she was supposed to be a male character to begin with and that they decided in the end to keep her female. I am not sure they told the makeup and prosthetics department as she looks quite manly with her oh so square jaw.
The gist of the story is that someone tries to kill Kosh as son as he lands on the station and Sinclair is blamed. He, of course, didn’t do it and we see the investigation play out through the movie. Along the way, we meet several good characters that we never see again: Dr. Kyle and Lauren Takashima. We also meet the characters who make the show what it was: Lyta, G’kar, Londo, Delenn, Garibaldi and Sinclair. In the end, the culprit is found and the day is saved and we are ready for events a year later as the series begins.
It is interesting to compare G’kar and Londo in this one and at the end of the series. While we think the series was about Babylon 5 and its various denizens, I think what it really was about was G’kar and Londo and what they became over the course of the series. They began as a strutting peacock with a bad temper and a clown from a people who have fallen from their glory days. They end as men who give their all for their people, for better or worse.
As for Sinclair, I always liked him but I do find him a bit stiff in my rewatches. He seems the least stiff to me in this pilot episode. His good looks were also quite the draw. Knowing now what we do know about Michael O’Hare, I think we all watch Sinclair with a different vision. It is amazing that he could turn in such a performance in light of all his problems. I ma never sure that he was that stiff in Season 1 or if the episodes were conducive to that stiffness. There are many quite interesting standalone episodes this season and many that were just - bad.
Some questions I have for you all:
1. What do think of Delenn here?
2. Does Lyta seem to be the same as she is when she comes back after Talia?
3. What hints do you see of things to come?
4. Did you actually like G’kar or Londo? Why or why not?
5. Not knowing anything else about the show, would you watch on the strength of this pilot (or did you, if you’re an original series watcher)?
Bonus: Did you catch an actor from much later in a different role here?
My aim here is not to recap the episode scene by scene since I shall assume that you are watching it along with me. My aim is to point out this and that were of interest to me and might be to you, to find out your favorite and least favorite parts and to talk about the wonderful characters we’ve all taken into our hearts from this show.
These are my sources other than the movie itself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_5:_The_Gatheringhttp://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/000.htmlhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106336/
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