Sunday, 25 September 2011

Top Five Babylon 5 Ships - Part 1

As great as the various incarnations of Star Trek are, everyone knows the superior show to watch from beginning to end is Babylon 5. This is of course mainly down to the amazingly intricate and enthralling story, superbly developed characters, and the ongoing arc that progressed them all, but it certainly didn't hurt that it had superb alien make-up and a realistic portrayal of the future of mankind, all the corrupt, war-starting lot of it! Something else it had over Star Trek is decent-looking spaceships and here are the best ones in my view:

5 - Earthforce Starfury

The main attack fighter of the Earthforce fleet, this little one-man craft is a superbly versatile thing. What it lacks in raw firepower it more than makes up for with its immense maneuverability. Each of the four 'wings' has a thruster on the front and back and any combination of these can be fired at any time making the Starfury capable of making pinpoint maneuvers and can turn on the spot, even performing one-eighty degree turns while flying in a straight line. It is perhaps for this reason that NASA actually expressed an interest in making it for real. It's not very tough but it looks nice and I get the impression it would be riot to fly one!

4 - White Star

There will be more on this one in the next post but whatever other qualities it may or may not possess, no one can dispute its distinctive looks which makes it seem as though the whole thing was cast from a single mold in its complete form. At first believed to be a one-off warship, it later turned out that, splendidly, there was an entire fleet of these things which combine Minbari and Vorlon technology to give it not only advanced offensive and defensive capabilities, but also a striking appearance which left no doubts as to its strength and agility.

3 - EarthForce Destroyer

Or more specifically, the Omega-class destroyer shown below which, at the time of the show, was Earthforce's largest and most powerful warship. One reason I like this ship so much it that, unlike Star Trek, it's actually a realistic estimation of the kind of ship we could be using in our early years of interstellar travel. It's a huge, lumbering hulk of a ship with much of its mass taken up by the rotating centre section, used to create artificial gravity for the crew. As you might imagine, it's not particularly maneuverable, but few ships look more imposing emerging from hyperspace than one of these, especially with its immense red laser batteries discharging. Cheer on Earth with their technologically-inferior-but-still-really-mean ships!

2 - Narn Heavy Cruiser

Poor old Narn, who couldn't feel for them during their war with the Centauri? One of the consequences of their conquering in that conflict was the loss of almost all of these G'Quan-class heavy cruisers, and mighty fine they are too. They are big, powerful ships clearly designed to look as though they have one purpose - to shoot up stuff! It almost seems as though the Narn designed the huge Heavy X-ray Cannons first, then built a pointy-looking ship around them and gave it scary warpaint! One of the most powerful non-First One ships around.

1 - Shadow Capital Ship

Eeeek! Even if you never got to see one of these things in action, they'd still look ultra-scary! Okay, I know it's a bit of a cheat - the Shadows had a good few million years to perfect their design after all - but what a crazy ship this is! All Shadow vessels are comprised of bio-organic materials and are in effect living creatures themselves but they also require a sentient, humanoid pilot who is integrated into the ship and operates in unison with it, and a ship so equipped is a devastating thing to behold. No other ship strikes fear into the heart like this one does. The appearance of one equals one thing - panic, hide, run!

So, these are in my opinion the best or most formidable-looking ships from the B5 universe, or at least the ones that have had a decent number of appearances in the show. Coming soon in a different post, however, will be the five deadliest. Ooooohhh!


  1. Good call dude.

    B5 is without a shadow of a doubt (see what I did there?) the best show ever. Might have to put it onto my iphone to watch on the bus to work.

    Love your blog, by the way.


  2. Thanks a lot, Ervin, I'm glad you like it :)

    You're certainly right about B5, it's surely the greatest sci-fi show ever!

  3. Oooooooh, controversial!!!! :o)

    I agree, Babylon 5 was a great show, but I think Deep Space Nine had the edge (even though some believe it was a B5 rip off). It's interesting reading your views on the ships because I actually found the designs on B5 to be pretty bland and very poorly designed - maybe a sign of the times due to early CGI not being as detailed as a real model (although, the same can be said with most alien Star Trek ships).

    The idea of a rotating section is feasible (but done entirely wrong in B5). Also I had a play with Lightwave a few years back and made a pretty good Shadows looking ship in about an hour or two, whereas the detailed 3D model of a Klingon battle cruiser I made took several months. On the plus side, B5 had better makeup and prosthetics, and of course the amazing story set across multiple seasons. I think I may actually have to watch my B5 boxsets from beginning to end again. They should bring back Babylon 5 (none of that Crusaders, or Rangers rubbish though), although I'm not sure how since the story was pretty much told from start to end.

  4. Great comment, thanks Stuart! :) I also like all of the various Star Treks (although I haven't watched Enterprise yet) and I love them all, but nothing beats B5 for me. I understand what you mean about Star Trek ships - they're definitely detailed and have a lot of thought put into them, I just don't think many of them look good (the Defiant kicks arse though - I'd love to see one of those versus a White Star!). I did do a Top Five of Star Trek ships a while back, did you see that?

  5. No, I missed that. I'll have a look through your blog and find it though.

    Have you seen the fan movie Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (a parody of Star Trek and Babylon 5)? That's pretty good at showing B5 ships up against Star Trek ships (although the film in in Finnish, the special effects are amazing).

  6. No, I've never heard of it but I'll check it out! :) Or will I? Maybe not if it shows up my precious B5 ships! I guess we're getting into ultra-geek territory here but I really don't see how any Trek ships could wipe the floor with B5 ones. Except the Defiant :|

    Regarding the Top Five Star Trek Ships post - the pics aren't as good because I only recently found out how to keep the size and quality on Blogger posts, but I'd interested in hearing what you think. :) Check the 'Sci-Fi' link in the side-column here...

  7. I haven't watched it in ages, but if memory serves, it shows the B5 ships whip the Star Trek ones, so I am sure you will enjoy it! :o)

    I'll go and have a look at your post and let you know :

    Off topic - my wife just looked over my shoulder and noticed your blog - "I know him" she shouted in my ear!! Apparently you know her (Michelle). Small world!!!!!!!!

  8. Ohhhh yeah, I certainly know a Michelle Wilson but I didn't realise she was your wife! Haha, far out, I'm friends with her on Facebook. Say hi to her for me :)

    And I'll let you know when I've seen that Star Wreck thingy :)