The night of February 22, 1993 changed television viewing habits for a large number of science fiction and space opera fans.
The pilot episode of Babylon 5, “The Gathering”, aired on the fledgling PTEN network, syndicated in most markets in the US, and on different networks in Canada and the UK. The series premiere wouldn’t happen until a year later, in 1994, and stayed on PTEN until the show moved to TNT for its fifth and final season.
Many who became fans of the show after Season 1 began didn’t get a chance to see “The Gathering” until the remastered version aired on TNT just before “In The Beginning” and then Season 5.
Chances to see the original version of the pilot have been tough to come by, although for a while, it was available on Hulu for free when that platform was just starting out, and also on TheWB.com in it’s early days of making free Warner Bros content available on the web.
Not sure if it’s available on any home video format anymore (there used to be a Japanese laserdisc), but anyone interested in the history of Babylon 5 might enjoy the original soundtrack composed by Stewart Copeland (drummer for The Police, also composed the theme for The Equalizer), before they made the change to Christopher Franke for the series.
Time again for a series binge…
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