Then again, by the definition you apply, no good characterization
can be done, no surprises can come along, in a novel, since a novel is
generally planned out and outlined prior to being written.
But in fact you CAN do solid characterizations in novels; if anything
a novel-like approach (as with B5) lets you do *more* characterization by
virtue of constructing a whole person.
I would also point you toward "The Prisoner," which had a definite
story, a definite beginning, middle and end, but is very MUCH a character
story, with lots of surprises.
In any event, you may want to check out the series before pronouncing
judgment...who knows, you might just be...surprised.