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Gaspode Has Our First Review Of BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES!!

I am – Hercules!!
“Babylon 5: The Lost Tales”, a direct-to-DVD movie (and rare directorial effort by “Babylon” mastermind J. Michael Straczynski), hits shelves July 31, and Warner Bros. is already issuing screeners. “If you’re not a B5 fan, I would not recommend this little slice of interstitial continuity, because you don’t have a hope of figuring out what’s going on here,” says our spy “Gaspode.” “But for fans of the series, I think you’ll like it a lot.” Here's "Gaspode":
About a decade and a half ago, somebody in Warners Publicity sent me the pilot for a new series that nobody had ever heard of, called Babylon 5. Never heard of it, but I popped the tape into my VCR for a look-see. The sound and music still hadn’t been added, the computer-generated FX were a bit wonky and some of the aliens looked like rejects from The Muppet Show. Believe it or not, I was hooked. Earlier this afternoon, I sat down to watch a DVD of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, first in a possible series of direct-to-video stories that take place in those in-between years before ‘Sleeping in Light.’ Let me cut right to the chase here: if you’re not a B5 fan, I would not recommend this little slice of interstitial continuity, because you don’t have a hope of figuring out what’s going on here. But for fans of the series, I think you’ll like it a lot. Mild spoilers to follow. The initial volume, ‘Voices in the Dark’ is comprised of two stories that together run a bit more than an hour. In the first, Tracy Scoggins returns as now-Colonel Lochley who summons a priest (played by Alan Scarfe) to B5 in order to deal with a problem of a spiritual nature (which sorta makes sense, since he’s a priest and all). While both Scoggins and Scarfe do a decent job with the heavy lifting dialogue-wise, the pace is a bit too slow for my taste. While series creator Joe Straczynski (who wrote and directed TLT) has successfully explored religion before in episodes such as ‘The Parliament of Dreams,’ this one wasn’t quite up to that level. The second story begins on Minbar, with President Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) heading back to B5 for a big shindig celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Interstellar Alliance. Unfortunately his trip is interrupted first by a pesky ISN reporter (played by a very sexy Teryl Rothery) and more disturbingly, a visit by technomage the enigmatic technomage (Peter Woodward, who doesn’t look a day older in this DVD, leading me to believe he really may be a technomage). Invading Sheridan’s dream state, Galen shows him a disturbing vision of the future, as well as a major-league moral dilemma. I don’t want to give too much away, but think about the problem that Christopher Walken talked to Herbert Lom in The Dead Zone and substitute a young Centauri prince for Greg Stillson. Where the Lochley story lags a bit, Sheridan’s tale beautifully captures the spirit of what B5 was all about. There’s a nice performance by the always-dependable Boxleitner, and once again, Woodward gets all the best lines. And speaking of lines, there’s a wonderful reference to G’Kar and Franklin that will definitely raise a few tears from die-hard fans. Okay, that pretty much covers things from a story perspective. Let’s talk about some of the other positives and negatives. On the plus side, the production values are top-notch. I was a bit worried to hear that TLT was going to be shot almost entirely on green screen, but with a few minor glitches where the characters appear just a little bit too superimposed over the digital backgrounds, the HD image is crisp and clean. There’s a wonderful opening credit sequence, and the digital FX are also superb, notably a sequence that takes place in a futuristic New York (at least we know where most of the budget went) and a new version of Hyperspace called Quantum Space. Finally, Christopher Franke’s score is as good as it ever was on the original series, with the possible exception of a couple of beats in the first story that were just a bit too heavy-handed for my taste, but that’s a minor complaint. On the negative side, my biggest complaint is that TLT felt a bit deserted at times, particularly the Lochley story. One aspect of the original series that helped provide some of its texture was that the corridors were always filled with alien extras and station personnel. During the first half, I began to think the station had been evacuated, with maybe just half a dozen background extras, and the station is getting ready for a big tenth anniversary blowout? Maybe everybody was working in the B5 kitchen; you know how long it takes to get the spoo right. And while we’re on the subject, what’s the point of including a line that diplomats and ambassadors from a hundred different worlds will be on hand for the party when we don’t actually see any of them? In addition to the main story, there are a smattering of extras including interviews with JMS and cast members, a pair of memorials to Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs, a series of JMS interviews called ‘Fireside Chats,’ and The Straczynski Diaries, which are a lot more entertaining than they sound. The best is a tongue in cheek segment in which JMS tries to convince straight-faced Warners exec Greg Maday that they can save even more money by replacing the actors with sock puppets, using the real-life actor’s voices. Okay, there’s just something about Galen being played by a black sock holding a Sharpie for a staff that cracked me up. And now that I think about it, maybe those sock puppets could have solved the problem with extras that I mentioned earlier. So what’s the final verdict on Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, volume one? As a first effort in a new format, there are certainly a few minor flaws, but I imagine most of them will be ironed out in future volumes, and let’s hope this one sells well enough to justify them. With so many lost tales still to be told in the B5 universe, it will be interesting to see if Straczynski gets a chance to tell them. Submitted for your approval, Gaspode






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Readers Talkback
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  • July 20, 2007, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Can't wait!

    by Paul T. Ryan

    Here's hoping we get many more in this series. And some resolution to Crusade would be nice too!

  • July 20, 2007, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Good

    by jsm1978

    I'm excited. I loved B5, although I wasn't too crazy about Crusade. Yes, it would be nice to get some sort of closure from that though. Hopefully this DVD will do well so we can get more coming in down the line.

  • July 20, 2007, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Mmmmm Teryl Rothery....

    by Hairy Nutsack

    Just wanted to let everyone know that Teryl Rothery hit on me at a convention not too long ago. And do any of you care? No, no you don't.

  • July 20, 2007, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by Dangerousapple

    Thanks Gaspode for the first review on new B5. Good to read the first volume of TLT has many things to enjoy. Although there are a few things that raised my eyebrows. Ever since I watched the production blogs and the trailer, the halls of B5 seemed kinda empty. The only actors who were featured on those were either the main cast or the supporting cast, which combined don´t even add up to 10 characters. Which is dissapointing, since B5 was a big ensemble show set on the busiest space station in the universe. Still, from the sound of things the effects are top-notch, the writing´´s good and the actors are in fine form. Looking forward to this.

  • July 20, 2007, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Yes

    by jsm1978

    It does seem a little strange to think of the halls being empty, seeing as how there was always something going on in the background.

  • July 20, 2007, 3:27 a.m. CST

    That's spooky.....

    by Brody77

    I just rewatched SG1 Series 7 - Heroes Pt I & II last night, and then you saw Doc Frasier is in B5! She's such a honey! (Pity she wasted her time in White Noise 2 though) Can't wait to see this, hope the UK gets the dvd at the same time.

  • July 20, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Anyone know the running time?

    by photoboy

    Last I heard it was just 30 minutes, is that right? Seems like it might be a bit bare for that length...

  • July 20, 2007, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Running time, UK release, other

    by raw_bean

    Running time is 75 minutes. The firmat was su

  • July 20, 2007, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Running time, other main characters, UK release.

    by raw_bean

    Running time is 75 minutes. The format was supposed to be 30 minute segments each about a specific character, with a Garibaldi segment scripted for the first ep as well as the Lochley and Sheridan ones. With all the set-up costs and the scale and ambition of the Garibaldi segment set on Mars, JMS put his story off until a future DVD and beefed up the other two to just under 40 mins each and applied the extra budget from the third segment to them. He's stated that he'd like to cover all the main cast members (still alive) at some point, including Delenn, Lenier, Londo, Vir, Lyta, and Bester. He's even suggested doing Marcus or Sinclair stories, since he's not tied to any particular time period, and he's said that we'll finally see David Sheridan in a future DVD. As for the UK release, unfortunately the only information available is that play.com are taking pre-orders for early September (I forget the exact date, you can go check), which sucks. :(

  • July 20, 2007, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Sorry for the mangled double post.

    by raw_bean

    Spazzy fingers. :^)

  • July 20, 2007, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Thanks raw_bean

    by photoboy

    Despite having watched the trailer and some of the JMS interview videos that were online I hadn't realised it was actually two separate stories! <br><br> Here's hoping the DVD is successful enough for more to be made. With any luck it will also prove the business model for direct to DVD production of niche stuff, paving the way for cancelled shows to continue.

  • July 20, 2007, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Hope this sells well enough to get a CRUSADE finale

    by SpyGuy

    I know CRUSADE gets a lot of crap at times, but I thought the series had potential if it had lasted a full season more or two. So here's hoping they bring back Gary Cole, Daniel Dae Kim (he has time now that LOST is on hiatus until 2008), the considerably hot Marjean Holden, JMS' favorite mouthpiece Galen, and the black uniforms and give this series an actual ending.

  • July 20, 2007, 9:32 a.m. CST

    No problem, photoboy.

    by raw_bean

    Indeed, let's hope for more dvd goodness, B5 and otherwise. <p>There's been no official word on future discs yet, but given that this DVD reached number 5 in the amazon.com DVD sales charts shortly after the DVD was announced for pre-order, and has currently climbed back up to number 6 after dropping back down for a while (leading to the announcement for the soundtrack referring to the 'already bestselling' TLT), I'm pretty hopeful for more DVDs.<p>Actually, it seems to me to be a pretty good time for sci-fi resurrections. What with the Farscape coming back with the Peacekeeper Wars (and future webisodes), Firefly coming back briefly as Serenity, B5 and Stargate going direct-to-dvd, plus Jericho's resurgence, it seems to me that studios are figuring out that even without mainstream or breakout success, a well-made product with a dedicated fan-base can still make money in the right circumstances. Power to the people! :^D

  • July 20, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Babylon 5 was one of best Sci Fi shows ever

    by warp11

    Seriously, if you have never checked it out, add it to your netflix, etc. You can leave out season 1 and be fine. Season 2-3 was amazing! Even with the old CGI, the characters are what drove the show.

  • July 20, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Well said raw_bean...

    by ComputerGuy68

    I will be getting this one just to make sure more are made. Just like "The Gathering/In the beginning" was a test to see if there was interest in B5 on DVD.

  • July 20, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Hey JMS, how about some direct-to-DVD 'Jeremiah'?

    by KazamaSmokers

    I bet Perry and Warner would be up for it.

  • July 20, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Jeremiah - Perry and Warner

    by B0D

    are available most of the week. Except Giro day.

  • July 20, 2007, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Scroggins looks like Wynona Judd!

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    Just an observation.... I thoroughly enjoyed B5. And I hope that JMS revisits the universe as long as there are compelling stories to tell. More Bester would be nice.

  • July 20, 2007, 1:08 p.m. CST

    JMS: Tell Us Whatever Happened to Lenir?

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    That story would be a nice one.

  • July 20, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    JMS: Tell Us What Happened to David and that Vase?

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    How did they prevent David from being under control like Londo.

  • July 20, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Bring Back Earth 2

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    Antonio Sabato Jr needs a job...

  • July 20, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    I really want to want to buy this...

    by _Maltheus_

    ...since I was such a big B5 fan, but this just doesn't sound interesting. It sounds like all the other B5 movies in that it's a whole lot of boring nothingness. I don't care for Lockely or Galen and I started to hate political-Sheridan by the end as well. How could JMS come up with such a rich tapestry for the first four seasons and then have nothing more to say after that? It's not like there aren't several big stories that we'd all like to see (telepath-war anyone?). I'll probably Netflix it, but I can't bring myself to buy it when it sounds like something I'll only watch once anyway. I'd like to support more DVD being made, but if this is the best he can do after all these years, then I guess it's just as well he doesn't have my support. Fuckin' shame!

  • July 20, 2007, 3:19 p.m. CST

    By Supporting this one.

    by skydemon

    I'm hoping for stories with Lennier, Garibaldi and Londo in the future. Surely Jerry Doyle can take some time out of the radio show to do some more B-5. I Don't exactly know just how big the B-5 fan base is after all these years, but hopefully it's enough to make this DVD a successful effort, and gets us more in the future, or better yet, a new TV series. Hint Hint, SciFi.

  • July 20, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Give me Londo and Garabaldi

    by picardsucks

    Garabaldi hunting down Bester in episode 2. Now that will be cool!!!

  • July 20, 2007, 3:59 p.m. CST

    re: skydemon

    by _Maltheus_

    But that's just the thing, why wouldn't he just do those stories now, when it's more important to be successful. It reminds me of when Johnny Mnemonic was released in order to prime us for Neuromancer. Neuromancer was what Gibson was famous for but instead they thought an insignificant short story would be a safer gamble to start with. Of course, Johnny Mnemonic was a failure and we never got Neuromancer. If you're going to gamble, go all-in. It never made sense to me and neither does JMS. He must have some idea what the fans want, but for whatever reason, he doesn't want to give it too us. I heard that he doesn't want to do the TP war since G'Kar and the doctor are dead, but for fuck's sake, they aren't integral to that plot. What's he waiting for, more cast members to die? I suspect the next movies will deal with rangers and discarded Shadow technology cause that's all he's about anymore. That and this Sim-U.N. storyline with Sheridan. They had to end the story early in the 4th season, the 5th was a waste (almost everyone agrees on this), but every movie (Mimbari war aside) just feels like more of season 5. If this were the TP war with Garibaldi at the forefront, I'd buy three copies. THAT would be a comeback.

  • July 20, 2007, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Babylon 5 is a pile of shit

    by datcha

    Actually, no it's not. Oh, the bloke who played Mac the B5 cleaner lives near me.

  • July 21, 2007, 7:04 a.m. CST

    _Maltheus_

    by smellmycheese

    Absolutely spot on! I could not agree with you more on each and everything you've said. I too was/am a huge B5 fan but I'm afraid season 5 was the beginning of an extremely slippery slope from which the show never recovered. As you say, everything that's come after has just been more of season 5. Boring, pointless and insipid shit. Crusade is a slight exception... but only slight. <br><br>In The Beginning (the Earth/Minbari war) was the first TVM. It was fantastic and all the fans bought it. This paved the way for several more TVMs, all of which were vastly inferior. I don't consider either Lochley or Galen to be "real" B5 characters - one was a last-minute one season replacement for Ivanova, the other is a poor man's Kosh from a short-lived spin-off series. Neither of which I'm particularly interested in. By not starting the new DVD series with the more interesting / main characters they risk the production of future releases for the reasons _Maltheus_ states.<br><br>I think what angers me the most - yes, actually angers me - is the fact we have not, and will probably never, see the future events of War Without End on screen. I know this story was addressed in a book trilogy but when I watch a TV series I do tend to expect to see the conclusion of the story on TV (geez, imagine if LOST ended its story in a trilogy of books! FFS!!) Season 5 was incredibly weak and dull and only really served as an extended pilot for a spin-off series that was subsequently cancelled. All the TVMs, bar one, had nothing to do with the main B5 mythology and were just weak attempts to inject new life into a story/show that was already over! Which, incidentally, is what this new DVD release sounds like.<br><br>How I would love to see a DVD release featuring Mira Furlan and Bruce Boxleitner imprisoned on Centauri Prime in the year 2278 with her telling him "do not go to Z'ha'dum". How I'd love to see David Sheridan and an underground resistance fighting the dark allies of the Shadows as they attempt to rescue them. And how I'd love to see Andreas Katsulas cautiously enter the Emperor's throne room and exchange a few final words with Peter Jurasik before these former arch-enemies turned companions strangle the life out of each other in an attempt to liberate the galaxy and their worlds. How I would love to see that and how it disappoints and angers me that now I never will. <br><br>I'm afraid I don't have much goodwill left for JMS. He provided me with 4 years of solid, interesting and engaging story telling, but that was it. The whole of season 5 or any one of the shitty TVMs or failed pilots could have been used to conclude the one, real Babylon 5 story and each opportunity was squandered. So, like everybody else I'll BitTorrent this and see if it's any good. I highly suspect, however, that it won't based upon the last decade of B5 output. I've bought the whole of seasons 1-4 on both video and DVD (including TG and ITB). JMS has had enough of my money and if he can't be bothered to give us the proper, actual ending to the Babylon 5 story then I can't be bothered to cough up more money for his insipid, turgid, self-indulgent post-season 4 bullshit.<br><br>The boat that JMS has been using to tread water this past decade needs to come in because his time is most definitely up. (*Phew* - that was quite a rant - 10 years in the making that was!)

  • July 21, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Great points Smell & Maltheus...

    by ComputerGuy68

    I have not given up hope on JMS just yet. Yes I have purchased the original pilot and seasons 1-4 (since the prices have dropped I should get S5) I think that the fans have to get this one to ensure more films in the future. I also think that this first batch is NOT a good way to start. <p> But why pick up a not so good DVD? Maybe I just have the faith that JMS can do it again and give the fans some good tales for the next few years. I'm pretty sure that money had a BIG influence on what he could do and who he could hire. I really do believe that if this one does well future movies will only get better. (crosses fingers...)

  • July 21, 2007, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Deserted Corridors

    by Son of Hades

    Gah. I loved the show, but this minor point pissed me off in the original series. The first season felt much more authentic. Halfway through the second, they got rid of the "hustle and bustle" and it never sat right again for me. It felt, and looked, cheaper.

  • July 21, 2007, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Season 5

    by photoboy

    I have to admit, I've also not bought season 5 on DVD. I managed to get hold of Sleeping in Light to go with the end of season 4, but I still can't sit through all that Byron shit. <br><br> I'd really like a movie that deals with Sinclair and possibly his return from the past...

  • July 21, 2007, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Re: Season 5

    by Son of Hades

    True, you have to watch that cunt Byron ponce around the station like the spectacular arse he is, but missing out on season five also means missing out on Peter Jurasik's wonderful acting, and Londo's touching acceptance of Drahk dominion to save his race.

  • July 22, 2007, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Londo and G'Kar

    by smellmycheese

    It's true, Son of Hades, those few episodes/scenes with Londo and G'Kar were gold, as always. The Kingdom Of The Blind was a particularly strong episode that managed to capture the spirit of the previous seasons and be genuinely menacing (providing one skipped all that telepath hippy crap)... but we could also have seen Londo accept his Keeper in a flashback during a 2278 based TVM.<br><br>It's just a real shame that such a strong, innovative, intelligent and entertaining science fiction series, which paved the way for the likes of Lost, 24 and Prison Break (in terms of long-term story telling), is now remembered or regarded by most (mostly those who haven't even watched all of seasons 1-4) as cheap, boring rubbish based upon season 5 and everything that followed. I think the lack of interest in B5 is pretty much evident from the lack of participation in this TB and I think JMS has to take some responsibility for that in straying too far from Babylon 5's mythological roots.<br><br>It's possible that JMS is planning to show the future events of WWE part 2, or the telepath war, at some point in the future (perhaps waiting another 5-10 years so he can save money on prosthetic makeup for the actors!) but the cast isn't getting any younger and with two having already passed away (actually 3 - Zathras is no longer with us either) I fear the real "lost tales" of Babylon 5 will never be told or seen on screen. And, as Dr Franklin once said during one of the shows finest episodes, "maybe that's the biggest tragedy of the whole damn story".

  • July 22, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Can't Wait!

    by Brian_De_Man

    Babylon 5 is by far one of the best sci-fi series ever. I don't care what little bitches have to say. The series had a story line, you cared about the characters, and when the series was on tv, I could not miss a single episode. No other series kept making me want to keep watching what would happen next. What huge battles would take place, and what would happen next to the characters. Sheridan is definately my favorite captain in any of the sci-fi genre's. Geribaldi was the shit. Londo and G'kar's fued was amazing and felt realy across the series, and the Shadow Wars and Earth-civil war were outstanding. I hated what they did with Crusade and Legend of the Rangers. But that time between season 2-4 were some of the best sci-fi fun i've ever had. Star Trek never made me feel so compelled to watch what happened next.

  • July 22, 2007, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Darfur: The Centauri/David/Vase thing

    by Paul T. Ryan

    If you want to learn how that whole thing with David Sheridan and the Centauri turned out, it's detailed in Peter David trilogy of B5 Centauri novels. They're fantastic and fill in a lot of unanswered questions.

  • July 23, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST

    B5 Books

    by Damned if I can login

    Correcto-mundo. Unlike the *thousands* of Star Trek and Star Wars books, many of the B5 novels are true series canon. They aren't overly long, and they're so chok full'o interesting details they practically read themselves.<p>The three Telepath novels describe in great detail:<p>Book 1) The emergence of Telepaths and the creation of the Psi Corps<p>Book 2) Alfred Bester - who he is and why he is<p>Book 3) Resolution of the Garibali vs Bester issue.<p>The Technomage novels are the best (for me that is). Everything you wanted to know about Galen and his merry band of fun-loving comrades in three short volumes.<p>Haven't read the Centauri novels...they're damned hard to find. But the single To Dream in the City of Sorrows was great...all the backstory on Marcus Cole and the info on Sinclair filled in more gaps.<p>Oh, I forgot....wah wah wah..."I hate books"....wah wah wah. Get over it. Anyone who has questions, the answers are there. Do yourself a favor and answer those questions. All others needn't bother. So go ahead and start bitchin' me out. I'm always interested in seeing just how original your insults can be....although I don't have very high expectations. "Fuck you up your stupid ass"...geez, does anyone use that one anymore after Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?

  • July 23, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    This sounds promising

    by Jeditemple

    I'll buy it right away. In a time where "Battlestar Galactica" is getting boring as hell, this is good timing. B5 is back! Well, sorta...

  • July 23, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Preordered but not excited

    by FrodoFraggins

    I was adamant about not pre-ordering this DVD, based on Lochley/Galen being so prominent. I think that was a HUGE mistake for JMS. Anyway, I'll watch it as soon as it arrives, but I'm not expecting much. I bought it to show my support for the show in hopes of more stories in the universe.

  • July 23, 2007, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Damned if I can login...

    by smellmycheese

    Not sure whether your post was directed at me but I totally agree with you - "To Dream In The City Of Sorrows" was a fantastic book that competently and entertainingly detailed Sinclair's time on Minbar and the events which led him back 1000 years. This was the first B5 book to be confirmed as canon by JMS and it's up there with the best episodes. I haven't read the telepath trilogy yet, and wasn't aware there was a technomage set, but thoroughly enjoyed Peter David's Centauri Prime novels when they were first released. You should do yourself a favour and track them down. <br><br>Personally, as far as lost tales go, I'd like to see Morden and Anna on board the Icarus on their mission to Z'ha'dum, or some prequel stories featuring younger versions of our favourite characters (starring new, younger actors but told in flashback by the established cast). This would allow for a greater exploration of B5's rich time line and re-introduce some of the "magic" that was lost with the departure of the Vorlons and Shadows... perhaps providing us with a greater insight into different characters and events. <br><br>I'd gladly read these aforementioned lost tales if they were ever published, but I'd be loathed to do so if elsewhere other B5 TV/DVD projects were being commissioned that bore little resemblance to the epic programme I once enjoyed so enthusiastically and followed so devotedly. <br><br>More than anything, however, I'd like to see the late, great Andreas Katsulas and the magnificent Peter Jurasik on screen together for one last time, delivering new lines and breathing new life into two of the finest characters with which the show, and TV science fiction in general, has ever provided us. As much as I enjoy literature, it will never compensate their outstanding performances. As an avid fan of the series I'm sure you can understand and appreciate that.

  • July 23, 2007, 6:29 p.m. CST

    JMS

    by Cobbio

    I'll likely buy this DVD with the hope that JMS can tell a good science fiction story. Seasons 2-4 were some of the most kickass and compelling science fiction arcs I've ever seen, so I hope JMS can give us something moderately good.<p> Reading about Londo and G'Kar's embittered confrontations reminded me how intense the show could be. Those two had such chemistry, such clenched-teeth hatred of each other, yet by the end, they also had a begrudging respect. What a brutal story of oppressor and oppressee. Star Trek never came close to anything of this quality.<p> I hope this new DVD echoes a small amount of what I remember about the show.

  • July 24, 2007, 1:03 p.m. CST

    smellmycheese...

    by Damned if I can login

    Man, you should immediately browse to the nearest book-selling website and order those Technomage novels! If you enjoyed any of the other novels even a small bit you'll devour the Mage's story with gusto. You get *all* the details on the Mages, who they are, what they are, and where they got their power. If I remember correctly:<p>Book 1) Galen's assention to full on Mage-dom, and his relationship with and loss of Isabella.<p>Book 2) The migration of the Mages and the Fleshing out of the episode, The Geometry of Shadows (the Mage ep in B5). You discover that what you saw in that episode was one about 1/3 of what was actually going on!<p>Book 3) Galen's mission to Za'Ha'Dum, at the same time Sheridan is there with his former(?) wife. *Major* revelations contained therein.<p>And you definitely said it when you discussed Jurasik and Katsulas. Most certainly Emmy caliber performances from the both of them. And yep...Garibaldi was the shit...well said.<p>However, although I'm a huge follower of the series, I'm not that big of a fan of JMS in general. I mean, yeah, B5 was a brilliant piece of work with *real* character development...all the characters flipped 180 degrees (look for that in any Star Trek series!) Not to mention the stories shown were incredibly gripping. I would say most of my disappointment with the man himself is related to the oft-repeated "I've got a secret project in the works" crap he's lain upon us over the last decade. To me his credibility has suffered somewhat.<p>But not with Crusade or Legend...one could say with certainty that either of those shows - given the chance to progress - would'be been great.

  • July 24, 2007, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the recommendation...

    by smellmycheese

    those other novels definitely sound like my cup of tea. I'll see if I can get them. I have to say, I appreciate what JMS was trying to do with subsequent B5 related series/pilots, and I'm sure that in many ways his hands were tied with what he could develop... I just hope that now, with the lost tales, some of these lost opportunities can be recaptured and explored further.<br><br>I don't think any new B5 story will ever capture the intrigue and scope of the original series' epic arc... and nor should they try. I really think future lost tales would benefit from focusing on past events from different angles. I'd love to see some more of Emperor Cartagia, for example, during the Narn/Centauri conflict or watch Morden collaborate with the Shadows on Z'ha'dum, sealing Anna Sheridan's fate in some treacherous way. I even wouldn't mind seeing what Sheridan was getting up to between 2257 and 2258 during the launch of the fifth station.<br><br>As someone said before, there's such a rich tapestry provided by the first four seasons of B5 that there must be plenty of stories there left to tell. I think by doing so JMS will definitely lure back many fans of the original series as well as inform casual/new viewers as to what it's all about ("what it's *really* all about!" ;-). Man, I hope he reads this TB and takes some of our wants and wishes on board. JMS, we love B5... but it's no longer the show it once was.

  • July 25, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Y'know smelly...

    by Damned if I can login

    I knew I forgot one when you mentioned Morden and Anna Sheridan. Check out The Shadow Within, by Jeanne Cavelos. Another novel that is considered canon. It details the doomed expedition to Za'Ha'Dum, and the what/how of Morden's and Anna's respective fates.<p>Oh, and sorry man...I'm not exactly sure if my references to the Technomage Trilogy are exactly correct as to what happened in each book. Nevertheless the series is tremendous...you won't be disappointed.

  • July 25, 2007, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Haha...

    by smellmycheese

    funnily enough I came across that this morning (UK time) on Amazon marketplace and placed my order! Hopefully it'll be here by the weekend! Cheers for the tip tho! Man, I love the Shadow / Morden arcs!<br><br>The same retailer has the Telepath trilogy too at a very affordable price so I'll be getting those too if the service is ok.<br><br>As for the Technomage trilogy, the last book (with Galen and Kosh on the cover) seems readily available but books 1 and 2 are being sold for stupid money. I'll have to hunt around for those two but I imagine they're pretty rare now so I'll have to pay it. Bum.<br><br>You know, all this talk of the golden age of B5 has really got me fired up again - screw it... I'm going to order the new DVD to show my support. Hopefully it will lead to greater things in the future. Fingers crossed it's not another Thirdspace/River Of Souls/Legend Of The Rangers, huh?!<br><br>I could sit here and discuss B5 all day (or at least each day until it's released/the next one's announced). What a shame it is that so few people seem to care about it... not even this TB has managed more than a few dozen posts. A real shame.