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Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season

Bruce Boxleitner , Claudia Christian    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 74.98
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Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season + Babylon 5: The Complete Third Season (Repackage) + Babylon 5: The Complete Fourth Season (Repackage)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 77.75

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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. This excellent installment also revealed more about why the Minbari surrendered to Earth at the Battle of the Line when they were on the verge of victory. "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 Geometry of Shadows" introduced the Technomages, characters who featured more significantly in the ill-fated spinoff series Crusade (1999), while "The Coming of Shadows" proved to be Babylon 5's finest hour to date. The story of political intrigue foreshadowing the fate of two of the major characters beat Apollo 13, Toy Story, 12 Monkeys, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Visitor" to win the Hugo award for Best Dramatic Presentation at the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention and proved so powerful that J. Michael Straczynski included it in his Complete Book of Scriptwriting.

"And Now for a Word" took the unusual step of presenting a day-in-the-life of B5 seen through the eyes of a TV news crew, just as the Narn declared war on the Centauri. The inclusion of a PSI-Corps commercial paid homage to Paul Verhoeven's satirical ads in Robocop (1987), while his later Starship Troopers (1997) seemed at times like a spoof of B5's earnest space opera. In "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum," Sheridan learns that Morden was on the ship on which Anna died; the episode sees the captain pushed to his limits by grief and determination to discover why Morden survived. 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

Special Features

Babylon 5: Season 2 presents all 22 episodes anamorphically enhanced at 16:9, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Originally shot with eventual widescreen presentation in mind, the programs look far better than they did when broadcast. The effects shots, reformatted from full-screen CGI, show occasional pixilation, but the new compositions are more dynamic than the old 4:3. Always a show with powerful audio, the remixed soundtrack is rich and involving, if lacking the bass punch and complex layering of much more expensive theatrical productions. Extras include an introduction to Season 2 (8 minutes) and "Building Babylon: Blueprint of an Episode" (13 min.). More interesting is "Shadows and Dreams," an 8-minute feature on B5's two Hugo Awards. Three episodes have commentary tracks, with J. Michael Straczynski examining the politics, mythology, and production of "In the Shadow of Z'Ha'Dum" and "The Fall of Night," and stars Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle have a decidedly lowbrow laughfest through "The Geometry of Shadows." --Gary S. Dalkin

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Coming of Shadows" July 11 2004
Format:DVD
Back in the mid-nineties I really wasn't watching any TV show religiously. There was the occasional "Married...with children" episode, or once in a while I would watch "Star Trek: the Next Generation." Then I caught a single episode from season 2 of some Sci-fi show called "Babylon 5." The reason I know it was season 2 is because Bruce Boxleitner(of "Tron" fame) was the commander of the space station. At first I thought, "Okay, this looks like a slight variation on Deep Space 9, nothing more." I could not have been more wrong. What makes all "Star Trek" shows so frustrating is that they become predictable through repitition of plotting with only a handful of predictable characters. One knows that somehow the characters will resolve to succeed, usually in some positive re-affirmation of humanity. But on "Babylon 5" all the characters are flawed, there are many episodes that are left unexplained and/or unresolved. This makes for a very fresh experience with each story. More or less, there is a through story about "The Coming of Shadows," creatures that are oddly reminiscent of the "Buggers" from the Orson Scott Card novels "Ender's Game," "Speaker for the Dead," and "Xenocide." There are side stories, many of which are very humorous, that keep the show interesting most of the time. There are many reviews here that state that starting with season 2 is the way to go because of a respectable but fairly lackluster first season. I never saw the first season; even in syndication the networks only showed "Babylon 5" from season 2 on. There are also many reviews here noting all the references to "The Lord of the Rings." There are quite a few. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A big leap up from season 1 Aug. 14 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
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.

The most interesting thing; this was an early case of a series having a
pre-planned multi-year arc, so throughout there are sometimes intentionally
confusing or mysterious details that 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..

Season 2 brought in some stronger cast, and somewhat better effects than
the slightly rocky season 1.

The stories in season 2 continued to be a mix, mostly quite good, a few
great, and some subplots that were to be honest, dopey. But overall it
remained pretty riveting, with lots of interesting allusions to history
and philosophy. And it was great to see characters that seriously
evolve as the show goes on.

What may be the series' biggest problem; if this show could have been
12 episodes a year instead of 22, as is the case with most current serialized
series, there would be a lot fewer episodes that felt lacking
in substance, as if the show were just marking time.

I wish it was even more consistently great, but - in the end - it was
more than good enough.

P.S. To echo what others have written here, be careful with the special
features. They sometimes have a nasty habit of acting as spoilers and
giving away plot twists to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Babylon 5 Oct. 15 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this series when it first came on tv and was happy to obtain season 2 to complete my sci-fi collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very glad I got this series April 22 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had forgotten how much I liked this series. I remembered that It was good but after getting all 5 seasons and watching them all, I have to say I'm very glad to have watched it again, all these years later. Well worth the price. I know I will watch all five seasons again a couple of time over the years.

The regular characters are well defined, you really get to like and dislike some of them. For all the weird costumes and hairstyles, and what not, the acting gets you beyond laughing at them and brings you right along to caring about them.

Very good Sci-Fi series. A great addition to my collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service Feb. 12 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hard to find item here on Prince Edward ISland these days. Glad to find it. Great service and arrived in excellent condition.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Huge mistake in opening credits July 15 2004
Format:DVD
Spoilers...
The opening credits for the first two episodes are supposed show Delenn in her orignal season 1 form. Not until after "Revelations" are they supposed to show her in her new form. However, the DVD credits for episodes 1 and 2 show the new and improved Delenn and spoil the surprise.
It's just sad to know that whoever compiled this set really didn't know what they were doing and wasn't a true fan of the show. I'm amazed that JMS didn't notice this as well.
It's bad enough the the box and DVD splash screen give away this plot point, but to have the wrong credits on the DVD is just sloppy. We're supposed to be getting the show as it aired and we are not.
One of the reasons I bought the DVD sets is so I can show it to people who missed it the first time. Now they won't have the same viewing experience that I had.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment
I never did catch all of B5 when it was on TV. Following a purchase of season 1, season 2 has been great! Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2011 by Alan Petra
3.0 out of 5 stars new crew and no traduction
First of all, the first season of B5 is traducted in french BUT not the 2nd, wich is too bad.
Second, there is a new actor for the commander of the base. Read more
Published on June 6 2010 by C. Morin
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio and video problems
After reading reviews of all the box sets and some of the problems some people have had,I just wanted to add my experiences. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by James E. Karakitsos
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor DVD Quality
I have purchased all 4 seasons that were available. Every one of them have discs that are faulty. They "freeze" or skip scenes. Those scenes will not play. Read more
Published on April 13 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars BEST SHOW EVER. Good second season: "The Coming of Shadows"
"They walk among the stars like giants...."

Yes, Babylon 5 is the best sci-fi show ever produced, and season 2 is where the series starts to truly shine. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by Troy
4.0 out of 5 stars ... that continues to a new era of a new captain...
After Season 1, its time for Season 2. And what a new season to begin with.
New captain, unsolve problems and unexpected turn-of-events had made Season 2 something more. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by C.S Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Second Chapter of TV's Best SF Show
There is not much to add here, but B5 truly became the best SF TV show in history beginning in this season. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Daniel Waitkoss
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