Unflattering photo of the panelists

Extra: “The Whovian Guide to Babylon 5” from Long Island Who

From the Long Island Who convention on, well, Long Island: here’s the audio of Chip and Erika’s panel, “The Whovian Guide to Babylon 5.” Mild spoilers for the series are ahead as a roomful of Doctor Who and B5 fans compare and contrast the two series and look back on a beloved moment in time when new B5 episodes aired on random independent TV channels.

Please note that we have no explanation for why Chip and Erika look like Grumpy Cats in the above photo.

3 thoughts on “Extra: “The Whovian Guide to Babylon 5” from Long Island Who”

  1. Listening to people talk about B5 shifting stations and everything I am so glad that at least in the Sac, CA area it was at least always on a consistent station (for the first four seasons at least) even if we did sometimes have to find a new time slot and deal with basketball pre-emption. I still don’t like watching basketball because of this, despite my wife’s enjoyment of the sport.

  2. I only just recently stumbled upon the Audio Guide to B5, and I’ve been listening to it a lot at work. (I’m a graphic designer, and I get to wear headphones a lot. Podcasts and soundtracks and Big Finish get listened to, and woe betide anyone who requires me to remove the earbuds.) Babylon 5 was my favorite show in the ’90s, and as much as I’ve enjoyed that long-game, arc-based TV has become the new normal, it remains my favorite example of that stylistic tool to this day. It still holds up as so elegantly constructed that shows like Lost and Battlestar Galactica v2.0 end up feeling thrown together by comparison.

    But it was also work! During B5’s entire syndication run, I was working in the promotions department at one station or another (KPBI in my home town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and then at my next gig at WACY in Green Bay), B5 was on the schedule, and I tried *really* hard to push the show like it was the Next Big Thing, often against management’s express wishes. (The general manager of the KPBI couldn’t hide his disdain for B5 enough; he only signed on with Warner’s PTEN syndication package because of the Wild West miniseries that ran alongside The Gathering, but ironically was also produced by Doug Netter.) I went out of my way (and far beyond the scope of my job) to liaise with local fan groups and with fans on computer bulletin board systems (remember those?) in both cities, letting them know that the show was about to move to a different night/time (would you believe…Tuesdays at one in the morning?). At Green Bay, I had to fight like hell to get the final episodes of season four to be scheduled somewhere other than the graveyard shift, and despite being new, I actually won that fight, and went to the wall to make sure that local fandom knew: we’re not screwing you over. We’re showing these where you can watch them without having to set your VCRs. (I had to fight similar battles at KPBI, convincing management that Fox’s Doctor Who movie in ’96 was a Big Deal. We actually popped a better number with it than many Fox stations did, but not in a big enough market to matter in the end.)

    Warner used to send out some really neat promo goodies – somewhere, I actually have my own copy of Universe Today, sent out around the launch of season 1, complete with the “Is something living in hyperspace?” headline. I still have a ton of that stuff – B&W publicity glossies, slides, and so forth. Just the other day I found, completely by accident, a bunch of unused ad slicks to be sent to local TV listings pages. Good times.

    I was stunned and delighted to hear someone podcasting Babylon 5 so long after the end of the show. So much of what TV has become has happened because – in my opinion – Babylon 5 and Twin Peaks kicked the door open on different stylistic fronts…door-kicking that now gets attributed to Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, even new Doctor Who (whose showrunners I’ve often felt really need to rewatch B5 so they can learn how to “do arc”…I’ll send Chibnall my DVD box sets if it’ll help).

    Anyway, I just wanted to drop a line to let you know how much your show is appreciated. I host a podcast or three myself, and it’s a huge amount of work to put it all together even if you’re flying solo, and that’s before one gets to distribution, promotion, and engaging with listeners after that. My hat’s off to all of you. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *