Babylon 5 Resources
Dr. Sovryn's Recommended Babylon 5 Viewing Order
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--MOVIE: "The Gathering"
*This is where I started. This is where we all started. This is where you start. Watching the TV movie "In the Beginning" at this stage as some suggest--while chronologically preceding the story in "The Gathering"--I think gives away too much of the mystery laid out from this pilot movie onward, leading to less powerful reveals later on. Again, start here.
*It's argued that since Zack doesn't get his 'new' black uniform until Episode 9 of Season 4, "Thirdspace" must take place after Episode 9 because in this movie, Zack is wearing the black uniform also. But there is an old argument to be made that in Episode 9, Zack is getting his black uniform merely repaired after the fistfights in "Thirdspace."
--MOVIE: "In the Beginning"
*This TV movie opens with Delenn and G'Kar talking to the camera. It's important to note that G'Kar has one blue eye in this opening sequence (placing it between mid-Season 4 and mid-Season 5). While JMS has stated that this is chronologically after Episode 22 of Season 4, watching it after Episode 9 of Season 4 gives Delenn's experience in that episode much more context and emotional punch. Also, having both "In the Beginning" and "Thirdspace" interspersed throughout Season 4 gives the season much more breathing room from the multitude of wars that are occurring during it which can feel like they move at a breakneck pace.
*As Episode 22 takes place in 2281, almost 20 years after Episode 21 of Season 5 (in 2262), it's best to be watched after all other Babylon 5 material is exhausted, as it serves as the perfect coda to what you experience onscreen.
--MOVIE: "The River of Souls"
*This movie takes place in 2263. Chronologically it should be watched here, taking place 6 months after the events of Episode 21 of Season 5.
--MOVIE: "Legend of the Rangers"
*This movie takes place in 2265. As largely a side-story meant to be a pilot for a spin-off series, it could really be watched at any time as it has little bearing on the overarching story, but certain fates of major "Babylon 5" characters are discussed here, and it makes sense to have that knowledge before getting into the "Crusade" series.
--MOVIE: "A Call To Arms"
*This movie takes place in 2266, and sets up the series "Crusade" as the "Babylon 5" spin-off it was meant to be. You can't really grok what's happening in "Crusade" without watching this. I will admit there's a part of me that thinks "Crusade" could be completely re-done (if JMS wanted to) or re-told, but this movie would still powerfully stand as is (and the Victory-class White Star destroyer is awesome). So while I wouldn't mind if one day JMS said he was going to dump "Crusade"..."A Call To Arms" should still stand as canon and as intro to that storyline.
--SPIN-OFF SERIES: "Crusade"
*The below episode order is based on a final revision that JMS laid out chronologically. It is not the order in which the show originally aired on TNT. There are at least four different orders which you can watch "Crusade" (including a different one that JMS also approved when it was replayed on The Sci-Fi Channel), but this episode order is the final word from JMS, and I think it ultimately makes the most sense.
01. "War Zone" (Disc 1)
02. "The Long Road" (Disc 1)
03. "Appearances and Other Deceits" (Disc 2)
04. "The Memory of War" (Disc 3)
05. "The Needs of Earth" (Disc 3)
06. "Racing the Night" (Disc 3)
07. "Visitors from Down the Street" (Disc 3)
08. "Each Night I Dream of Home" (Disc 4)
09. "The Path of Sorrows" (Disc 1)
10. "Ruling from the Tomb" (Disc 2)
11. "Patterns of the Soul" (Disc 2)
12. "The Well of Forever" (Disc 1)
13. "The Rules of the Game" (Disc 2)
--MOVIE: "The Lost Tales"
*This is technically the last Babylon 5 story ever produced, but it takes place in 2271, 10 years before the "Babylon 5" series finale. With that in mind, it's recommended to watch it here.
--SEASON 5, Episode 22: "Sleeping In Light"
*Outside of some canon short stories and parts of Episode 22 of Season 4, this is the furthest into the Babylon 5 timeline that we see, and due to the brief half-season that "Crusade" exists as, it's not like you spend five seasons forgetting all the characters you know and love from the original "Babylon 5" series. Point being, you can watch this perfect last episode as the poignant ending to a massive storyline even after watching "Crusade" and the other movies. Some fans recommend watching Episode 22 of Season 4 after this, but I think you lose a lot of important Season 5 foreshadowing when you take that episode out of order. Enjoy this one. You've earned it!