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Babylon 5: Season 1 (6 Discs)


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Babylon 5: Season 1 (6 Discs) + Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season (Repackage) + Babylon 5: The Complete Third Season (Repackage)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.73


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Product Description

The award-winning series about the space station that's the tumultuous center of the 23rd Century's bid for peace among humans and aliens hyperdrives onto DVD in a Deluxe 6-Disc Set. Featuring 22 episodes digitally remastered for upgraded picture and sound as well as enticing Exclusive Extras, Babylon 5: The Complete First Season - Signs and Portents is an adventure-packed, state-of-the-universe collectible that will mesmerize fans and space creatures everywhere.

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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). Then follow several mediocre episodes that initially give the impression that B5 is a Star Trek clone afflicted with "silly alien of the week" syndrome. With "And the Sky Full of Stars," B5 really begins to hit its stride, Sinclair being forced to relive his mysterious experiences during the Earth-Minbari war. Filler shows such as "TKO" are notable only for being controversially violent, while the disappointing "Grail" points to writer-creator J. Michael Straczynski's fascination with Arthurian mythology. "Signs and Portents" introduces the sinister Mr. Morden (Ed Wasser) and offers the chilling first appearance of the Shadows, an ancient alien threat.

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. --Gary S. Dalkin


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 14 2011
Format: DVD
Fascinating, sometimes maddening mix of wonderful and silly,
intelligent and dumb, insightful and obvious.

At it's best it's the 'Wire' of science fiction, challenging
'Battlestar Galactica' for intelligence and emotional depth. At it's
worst, it's like an OK episode of 'Lost in Space'.

Generally far more intelligent than most TV sci-fi (or recent sci-fi
films for that matter), with stories based more on ideas than laser
battles. In that, it's a little reminiscent of the original 'Star Trek'
series.

The most interesting thing; this was an early case of a series having a
pre-planned multi-year arc, so throughout there are sometimes seemingly
throwaway details that suddenly return to be finally explained as
having great importance a season or two or three later. On the other
hand, because this preceded the acceptance of truly serial cable shows,
each episode is more self contained than more recent shows in a
sometimes annoyingly neat way.

The show is also full of allusions; Shakespeare, the Bible, Buddhism,
King Arthur, the Koran. Certainly the writing is grounded in pretty
heady stuff. Of course, sometimes it's dealt with in a pretty heavy
handed way.

The setting is a space station that's sort of an intergalactic United
Nations. In season 1, some of the acting is so stiff, that it brings
the series down. Also, the effects, production design, etc. all reflect
a budget that's clearly way too low, giving it all an amateurish air.
None-the-less, I found myself caught up in a number of the episodes,
both emotionally and intellectually. One even brought tears to my eyes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein on Dec 25 2002
Format: DVD
Well, maybe not but this is a terrific box set anyhow. Launched during a time when it was believed that Trek defined science fiction on television, Babylon 5 made other series such as Farscape possible with its 5 year story arc. Season one is hampered with setting up all of the characters and conflicts that were to follow in future episodes. It also features strong character development and, without setting the stage, there wouldn't be anything left follow.
Although the writing is a bit stiffer here than on future episodes (Michael O'Hare gets the bulk of the awkward dialog as his character isn't clearly defined early on), there are a number of episodes that sparkle with the quality of writing seen later in the series. The appearence of the shadows by episode 16 sets the stage for the major conflict during the third and fourth season when the Shadow war breaks out.
All the cast dose a great job with the strongest performances by Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik, Andrea Thompson and Jerry Doyle. Why Thompson gave up her acting for television news reporting is beyond me (maybe she saw something in her future she didn't like for example NYPD Blue) Perhaps it's because the line between truth and fiction was finally crossed.
The DVD features commentary by J. Michael Straczynski on three of the key episodes during the first season (something that should have been done with the Star Trek box sets). Alternately funny and informative, Straczynski's comments provide an interesting backdrop to the action unfolding in the respective episodes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Mitchell on May 25 2004
Format: DVD
When it first came out, I was put off by the cheesy early episodes. But this series has wonderful character actors and a long story arc that builds and unfolds and interconnects. The best science fiction on television.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By morwynd on Nov. 6 2002
Format: DVD
Just picked it up last night, and am very impressed. I am in B5 heaven, after putting up with poor quality video and audio from the broadcasts, now we are treated to a digital widescreen transfer, and remixed 5.1 digital sound. Faith manages!
One negative note... whoever edited the included booklet should be fired.. I counted 3 glaring spelling errors on a quick skim through...
If you want to hook someone on the series, show them Chrysalis, the season 1 finale. It's head and shoulders above the rest from first season, no question. Do NOT show them Infection or TKO. The best episodes from season 1 are: Mind War, And The Sky Full Of Stars, Signs and Portents (this one still gives me shivers... "I want us to reach out and command the stars!"), A Voice In The Wilderness I/II, Babylon Squared, and Chrysalis. Parliament of Dreams and Survivors are pretty good too.
This season is easily the weakest of the series, but that doesn't mean it's bad.. just that there are a few lame episodes, probably born out of early studio pressure to make the series more "mass-appealing" and "Star Trekky". (ie, disposable, recycled plots, and cheesy action) But it's a crucial chapter of the overall Babylon saga, introducing an unforgettable cast of characters.. the sly, vengeful patriot G'Kar, the disheveled outcast politician Londo Mollari, the cynical and tough Lt. Susan Ivanova, the questionable past Security Chief Garibaldi, the guarded but resourceful Delenn, the ruthless Psi-Cop Bester, the impenetrable and enigmatic Kosh.. and so many more. It's so incredible to see the characters grow, change, and even die over the five year span. Season 1 is good. Season 2 is great. Seasons 3 & 4 are pure solid gold.. absolutely breathtaking. Season 5 doesn't quite capture the highs of 3 & 4, but it's right up there, a worthy conclusion, and the most powerfully moving final episode I've ever seen.
ARGH! I want Season 2 NOW!
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