I started watching B-5 recently and some of the special effects seem really dated. Do they get better as the series progress? Is this series worth watching now or has it aged poorly?

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    This question is highly subjective, please review the FAQ for more details on why this was closed. – DampeS8N Jan 30 '12 at 14:16
  • The special effects were dated when the series was new; B5 never really had the budget of DS9 (a contemporary). This is kind of like asking if ST:TOS has aged well; the special effects (and a lot of other things in the series) are typical 70's vintage requiring significant SOD, and it only aired 3 seasons and was cancelled for ratings reasons. Yet today it remains essential to Trekkies everywhere, and is syndicated regularly on several different networks. Even the first few seasons of TNG look cheesy; they didn't get good until Paramount was sure it would do better than TOS (hey, 11 seasons). – KeithS Apr 3 '12 at 23:09
  • Even the late seasons of TNG sometimes look old compared to the slick, pure CG effects of DS9 or Voyager. – KeithS Apr 3 '12 at 23:10
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    I've watched a few episodes since I asked this. The effects are dated, but they've kind of grown on me, almost Retro if special effects can be said to be retro!! – AidanO Apr 4 '12 at 7:13
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    If you watch TV for the special effects, then you probably shouldn't watch B5, or Star Trek, the original Battlestar, or any other classic sci-fi that was released more than 10 years ago. – Flimzy Jun 23 '13 at 19:41

What's wrong with B5 effects? Other than the pilot movie The Gathering which was probably produced with a quite smaller budget, I thought of the effects as quite fine. Especially, if you take into account that it is a TV series, not a film - TV series usually work with a lot smaller budget than most films.

One thing that does drastically improve is the quality of makeup and costumes. The best examples is probably G'Kar, who at the start of the series look like a plastic doll and later has a much more convincing look. Also, the uniforms are much better later.

Babylon 5 is most famous for its superb epic story arcs. Also, many of the cliches introduced by older works (most notably Star Trek) were brutally broken apart. And that's why I liked it quite a lot.

So, if you are tired of reset shows, I think you'll like Babylon 5 and after some time even stop noticing that the effects are a bit older. Also, since in those days they relied on CGI less, you may even find the use of some physical models more realistic. But again, even if you don't, story arcs are the main reason to watch B5.

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    +1. The B5 digital effects are still obviously effects, but are pretty darned good. – aramis Feb 15 '12 at 0:35
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    To follow up on @aramis 's point, a lot of TNG and DS9 effects are obviously effects as well (and let's not even look too closely at TOS!), and that doesn't detract from the quality of the writing. – Allen Gould Jun 11 '12 at 16:51
  • Personally, as long as there's a good story, bad effects have never made me shy away from a series / movie. – methuseus Jun 22 '17 at 9:00

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