Hmm, I wish I could rate these separately, but I'll have to make do.
I had the bad fortune to watch this *after* I saw later episodes. I committed the cardinal sin of Sci-Fi Television watching and jumped in to the middle of a show without watching the beginning. Because of this, I did not enjoy this 'movie' (really the Pilot, but I digress). I couldn't get past Delenn. I couldn't accept the unpolished acting, although knowing that this was the first episode, I was willing to be lenient. And I have to admit, while I did like it for what it was, I rarely re-watch it, and my bias against it is purely my fault. I apologize to B5 fans everywhere :(
In The Beginning:
Wow. For someone who was new to the show when they watched this, it was a real treat. I DO re-watch this one often, simply because it's an amazing piece of work. The storytelling style, using a future perspective to explain a past event, was absolutely fantastic. The Grey Council was awesome (and I believe that year in pottery class I made myself a Triluminary :P), and the way the war was illustrated from both sides made it so easy to empathize with both races. I loved the acting, the little nods to the audience, the bits and pieces of different characters that explained so much (Ivanova's brother Ganya, the Narn's involvement, the Centauri's part in the war). This movie was just so full of awesome that for me, it overshadowed much of the series. This is what I show people when they ask 'what's Babylon 5 all about?'
But of course, the best part for me as a casual viewer of the show was finally seeing for myself, the explanation of the best line in the series:
'Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari Fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else!'
This movie sets up the entire series. It is awesome. That is all.