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Babylon 5: Complete First & Second Seasons [Import]

Michael O'Hare , Claudia Christian , Bruce Seth Green , David J. Eagle    Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

The epic sci-fi series Babylon 5 was a unique experiment in the history of television. It was effectively a novel for television in five seasons, consisting of 110 episodes with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The first season introduces the main characters, headed this year by Commander Jeffery Sinclair (Michael O'Hare) and Security Chief Michael Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle), and familiarizes the audience with the unique environment of a five-mile-long space station in the year 2257. The first episode, "Midnight on the Firing Line," plays at a breathless pace, introducing Commander Susan Ivanova (Claudia Christian) and establishing the conflict between the Narn and Centauri races as represented by their ambassadors, G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas) and Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik). B5 hits warp speed with a run of exceptional episodes building to the season finale. The two-part "Voice in the Wilderness" has Mars breaking into open revolt against Earth and the discovery of a "Great Machine" on the dead world Epsilon 3. Referencing 1950s sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, the story leads to the superb time-travel-based "Babylon Squared." Season finale "Chrysalis" proves more than just the usual television cliffhanger, placing Minbari ambassador Delenn in conflict with her ruling Grey Council and forcing on her a decision that laid the groundwork for Babylon 5's eventually becoming a great love story.

Delenn's future love interest, Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) arrived on Babylon 5 in the first episode of season 2, "Points of Departure." The show marked the handing over of command of B5 to Sheridan from Commander Jeffery Sinclair, actor Michael O'Hare becoming a victim of studio politicians who wanted a bigger star in the leading role. "Revelations" explains that Sheridan's wife, Anna, died during an archaeological survey of the world Z'ha'dum, the name being just one of many references to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (the bridge at Khazad-Dum). "The Coming of Shadows" proved to be Babylon 5's finest hour to date, and in "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum," Sheridan learns that Morden was on the ship on which Anna died. Three exceptional shows conclude the season. The Narn-Centauri war escalates in "The Long, Twilight Struggle," Sheridan faces a most unusual ordeal in "Comes the Inquisitor," and in "The Fall of Night" all hope of peace is shattered as a nerve-racking assassination attempt reveals a startling secret about Ambassador Kosh. --Gary S. Dalkin


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Television Series Nov. 24 2003
Babylon 5 is a five mile long space station. Located deep in neutral territory, it is designed to prevent intergalactic war by providing a place where peace can be worked out between the races. Run by Earth, it was built with help from the Minbari after our war with them when we were almost wiped out. Since it is also a trade station, it attracts allies of all kinds on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, it also attracts trouble. There are raiders in the area, the Narn and Centauri have at best a fragile peace, and someone is always trying to smuggle something on board. Even worse, an ancient enemy is rebuilding forces, and the effects of this will reach all the way back to Earth.
Babylon 5 is still unique in television. It set out to tell a single story that had been mapped out beforehand. As a result, it sucks you in and doesn't let you go until you've reached the end. Season 1 is the most uneven, but the beginnings of the story are there, and it lays the background on the races and cultures we will be dealing with over the course of the show. Season 2 brings a new captain and a storyline that is gaining speed.
Of course, if you are looking at this page, odds are you are already a fan and looking for information on the sets. The picture, presented in widescreen, is hit and miss, with some dust popping up occasionally. It is clear and sharp most of the time. Sound is presented in full surround and has never sounded better. Each set contains two audio commentaries by series creator J. Michael Straczynski and a season intro by cast and crew. They also have some behind the scenes documentaries and encyclopedia entries introducing you to the world of Babylon 5. In addition, season 2 has one audio commentary by various cast members.
Whether you buy the seasons bundled like this or individually, don't miss your chance to own this fantastic TV series.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to get rid of VHS taped episodes! June 2 2003
By Skip
I started watching the original B5 episodes during the original 2nd season airing.. and since then have taped (on VCR) every single episode of B5 and have kept them. B5 is one of the most sophisticated, well thought-out SciFi series I've known. It takes a little getting used to as the characters are more raw than those from the refined ideal Star Trek world, but that adds to the grounded-ness of the storyline. Also, although each episode by itself is complete in itself, but unlike Star Trek, each episode builds on the previous episode and is chronological, so the full impact of the series can only be appreciated if you see the whole thing. Imagine it being a 5-year mini-series with 22 episodes/year. Thus buying the whole season makes sense (as opposed to Star Trek episodes you just want a select few of the whole season. you can still do that with this, but you miss out a lot if you do)
Now with the DVD's I can get rid of my VHS tape clutter (DVD's are more compact!), get better screen resolution (shown in wide-screen letterbox format and DD surround) than you could ever reproduce from a taped show while it was on air.
Highly recommended for those who taped the entire series. No commercials, you get the full ending credit (many of the TV airings either squashed or muted the end credits), DVD-quality sound and video, instant episode jumping, etc... in addition to some snippets from the actors. The chapters are done so that it is easy to skip the beginning and end credits too.
Was this review helpful to you?
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Prices fluctuate wildly on Amazon, but right now you could get a much better
deal buying these two seasons seperately.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to get rid of VHS taped episodes! June 2 2003
By Skip - Published on Amazon.com
I started watching the original B5 episodes during the original 2nd season airing.. and since then have taped (on VCR) every single episode of B5 and have kept them. B5 is one of the most sophisticated, well thought-out SciFi series I've known. It takes a little getting used to as the characters are more raw than those from the refined ideal Star Trek world, but that adds to the grounded-ness of the storyline. Also, although each episode by itself is complete in itself, but unlike Star Trek, each episode builds on the previous episode and is chronological, so the full impact of the series can only be appreciated if you see the whole thing. Imagine it being a 5-year mini-series with 22 episodes/year. Thus buying the whole season makes sense (as opposed to Star Trek episodes you just want a select few of the whole season. you can still do that with this, but you miss out a lot if you do)
Now with the DVD's I can get rid of my VHS tape clutter (DVD's are more compact!), get better screen resolution (shown in wide-screen letterbox format and DD surround) than you could ever reproduce from a taped show while it was on air.
Highly recommended for those who taped the entire series. No commercials, you get the full ending credit (many of the TV airings either squashed or muted the end credits), DVD-quality sound and video, instant episode jumping, etc... in addition to some snippets from the actors. The chapters are done so that it is easy to skip the beginning and end credits too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best. Series. Ever. May 14 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
"Continuity". That's the key word here. Star Trek consists almost entirely of stand-alone episodes -- there is, at best, a very thin plot throughout the show. Babylon 5, however, is essentially a really long mini-series. It is one continuous tale that needs to be watched from start to finish.
The story is essentially the tale of a collection of space faring races trying to not kill each other more than necessary, and the eventual arrival of a new and deadly force and the alliance that must come together to stop it. Nothing that hasn't been done before in countless sci-fi stories, but this is really done well, certainly the best of anything commited to film. The show is more militant than ST:TNG, being much more similar to the later seasons of ST:DS9 -- more good old fashioned blowing stuff up than we got out of Picard's ship. Also, while Star Trek tended to use models for their space scenes, which resulted in pretty limited space battles, B5 used computer graphics, so the space scenes of ship to ship combat are much longer, larger, more intense and more frequent.
If you enjoy a good sci-fi show, it would be criminal to not get Babylon 5. To me, as someone who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Starship Troopers and sci-fi in general, Babylon 5 is the single best show you can find. I only wish they would release the seasons to DVD faster, cause now I need season 3!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Television Series Nov. 24 2003
By Mark Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Babylon 5 is a five mile long space station. Located deep in neutral territory, it is designed to prevent intergalactic war by providing a place where peace can be worked out between the races. Run by Earth, it was built with help from the Minbari after our war with them when we were almost wiped out. Since it is also a trade station, it attracts allies of all kinds on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, it also attracts trouble. There are raiders in the area, the Narn and Centauri have at best a fragile peace, and someone is always trying to smuggle something on board. Even worse, an ancient enemy is rebuilding forces, and the effects of this will reach all the way back to Earth.
Babylon 5 is still unique in television. It set out to tell a single story that had been mapped out beforehand. As a result, it sucks you in and doesn't let you go until you've reached the end. Season 1 is the most uneven, but the beginnings of the story are there, and it lays the background on the races and cultures we will be dealing with over the course of the show. Season 2 brings a new captain and a storyline that is gaining speed.
Of course, if you are looking at this page, odds are you are already a fan and looking for information on the sets. The picture, presented in widescreen, is hit and miss, with some dust popping up occasionally. It is clear and sharp most of the time. Sound is presented in full surround and has never sounded better. Each set contains two audio commentaries by series creator J. Michael Straczynski and a season intro by cast and crew. They also have some behind the scenes documentaries and encyclopedia entries introducing you to the world of Babylon 5. In addition, season 2 has one audio commentary by various cast members.
Whether you buy the seasons bundled like this or individually, don't miss your chance to own this fantastic TV series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bab 5 Feb. 4 2013
By Pamela Wendell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Babylon 5 was absolutely the very best science fiction program ever to be on television. We watch it clear through once a year. Love Love Love it.
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ** NOT STAR TREK! ** May 15 2005
By Christine Tynes - Published on Amazon.com
Be careful with this series. Babylon 5 is strange. Usually Star Trek fans like Star Trek because it is unique. Star Trek is not like every other Sci-Fi show out there. Babylon 5 IS very much like 'every other Sci-Fi show out there.' If you like Sci-Fi in general then buy this for your collection ... if you very specifically like all of the Star Trek series' then be careful. I never watched this show while it was on tv ... I pretty much knew just by looking at commercials for it that I wasn't going to like it much. Many years later (like now) a good friend who was a huge fan of the show has decided he wants me to watch the show (we are renting the series from NetFlix.com) thinking that since I am a huge Star Trek fan I couldn't possibly not like Babylon 5. How wrong he is. Its not that good. The acting is stiff and bad, the theme music throughout the show is cheap and bad (no emotion at all) and the show in general is just silly and overdone with exceptionally bad dialog -- -- like most Sci-Fi television and movies actually. I am only halfway into the second season and I think I am going to tell my friend to stop -- its not good. Its actually laughable.

Again, if you like silly Sci-Fi in general, you will probably enjoy this series ... but if you are a true Star Trek, TNG, DS9, Voyager and even Enterprise fan (yes, even with the show being cancelled Enterprise is better than Babylon5) then Babylon 5 is probably not for you! Gosh this series is so bad!
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