Babylon 5 is far from the most pivotal sci-fi show of all tie

With Star Trek on the table, how can one claim Babylon 5 is more pivotal?

William Shatner gives an interview at the Kentucky State Fair on Thursday, August 23, 2023
William Shatner gives an interview at the Kentucky State Fair on Thursday, August 23, 2023 / Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal / USA
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Babylon 5 is the most pivotal show in science fiction history. Bold statement, but is there any merit to such a claim? Well, if you're Inverse, you certainly think so, hence an entire article around the topic was written, where in the author puts over how monumental the show was. Before, of course, saying Star Trek tried to kill it.

Ironic, isn't it? The proclaimed "most pivotal show" getting knocked on its butt by the actual most pivotal show in science fiction history. Let's be very clear here, without Star Trek, Babylon 5 doesn't exist. It only got the run it did because it borrowed a lot of ideas from Star Trek. The military-inspired uniforms, the harmony or attempts at harmony with aliens, territories in dispute, and space politics; we all saw it before and often done better on Star Trek.

Yet, people like to claim Deep Space Nine ripped off Babylon 5 because of their respective series taking place on a space station. Everything else that Babylon 5 had, they took from Star Trek's original series or its eventual spinoff; The Next Generation.

So when we talk about the pivotal show in science fiction, it's not Babylon 5, Firefly, or anything else; it's Star Trek.

After all, what does pivotal mean?

"of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else.
"

Oxford Dictionary

Babylon 5 was a fine show and warranted its own run that fans thoroughly enjoyed. But just because it was the first major science fiction show to move to a serialized standard, doesn't mean it surpasses the original Star Trek. For those not sure what serialized means, it's that each episode would lean on events from prior episodes, making it a must to watch every week to keep up with the story.

This is an idea that Enterprise did to some degree in 2003 or so, and one that Discovery did a lot of. It didn't go over well, however, as many fans wanted the series to be episodic; meaning that each show was largely independent from one another. Allowing fans to jump in and out of the show without missing too much.

And yes, Babylon 5 did help usher in that concept, but without Star Trek in the 1960s, there'd be no reason to worry about that concept because science fiction television likely wouldn't exist to the degree it did in the 90s and even still to this day.

The Top 100 episodes in Star Trek franchise history according to metrics. The Top 100 episodes in Star Trek franchise history according to metrics. dark. Next