Babylon 5 (DVD) Review

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Nominated for 6 Emmys and 3 Hugo Awards in its five-season run, Babylon 5 changed the landscape of the TV science fiction series genre. Following on the heels of hit series such as Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5 is unrivaled by any of its peers in its application of special effects. The brainchild of J. Michael Straczynski (writer for such shows as Murder She Wrote and Walker, Texas Ranger), the hour-long sci-fi drama series breaks new ground by deploying a five-season storyline that follows the outline of a traditional novel. As such, Babylon 5 is more like a mini-series that lasts five years instead of the usual three to five nights. And also unlike its predecessors, the series showcases original advanced technologies, believable alien characters (who speak alien and not English), and boasts of superb costume and makeup. Premiering in mid-season 1994, Babylon 5 established a solid audience and continues to inspire new generations of fans via syndicated reruns on cable…

Babylon 5 follows the daily events that transpire on Babylon 5, a five-mile long space station from the year 2258. Built by the Earth Alliance, Babylon 5 orbits a lone planet in interplanetary (neutral) space. The setting for an Earthling military post and a transportation hub for businessmen and general travelers, the space station’s primary purpose is to provide a safe haven for the airing of differences between the alien races. Similar in function to the United Nations, Babylon 5 is tasked with preserving the peace between the five primary space-traveling civilizations – the Earth Alliance, the Mimbari Federation, the Centauri Republic, the Narn Regime, and the Vorlon Empire. Headed by Commander Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O’Hare), and later by Capt. John J. Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner), Babylon 5 is home to almost 300,000 humans and their alien counterparts. With so many confined to such a small area, the space station is ripe for internal struggle, racial conflict, regular cast members’ personal problems, and showdowns between various political interests. It’s this intricate and diverse storyboard, coupled with amazing visual effects, that makes Babylon 5 one of the most successful sci-fi TV shows in recent memory…

The Babylon 5 DVD (Season 1) features a number of exciting episodes including the series premiere “Midnight on the Firing Line” in which the crew of Babylon 5 awake to find that the Narn have launched an attack on a Centauri colony. The event drives a wedge between Londo and G’Kar. Meanwhile, a number of attacks on ships around Babylon 5 by space pirates has become a rampant problem… Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “The War Prayer” in which Babylon 5 is plagued by a racist group of humans who attack and brand alien residents, and “Babylon Squared” in which Babylon 4 reappears in the same coordinates in which it disappeared several years earlier, prompting the crew of Babylon 5 to arrange an evacuation of its predecessor while they try to discover the cause…

 

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