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Babylon 5: The Movie Collection

01/08/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Babylon 5 The Movie Collection in the USA - or Buy Babylon 5 The Movie Collection in the UK

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Region 2 DVD: pub: Warner Bros Z1 39947. 3 films 90 minute each with extras. Price: about 9.00 (UK) if you know where to look. stars: Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, Mira Furlan, Patricia Tallman, Steven Furst, Shari Belfonte, Jerry Doyle, Tracy Scoggins, Ian McShane, Martin Sheen, Jeff Conaway, Carrie Dobro, Tracy Scoggins, Peter Woodward and Tony Todd.

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I got all three of the 'Babylon 5' films when they were first released on video and with the research for an article, I decided it was about time I upgraded with also half an eye on the audio commentaries.

'Thirdspace' was set shortly after Babylon 5 split from the Earth Alliance and the arrival of a large portal that starts giving everyone Lovecraftian nightmares. You'd have thought they'd would be having enough problems with the Shadows or, come to that, why didn't they take advantage of the situation. The solution, even actor Bruce Boxleitner says in the commentary, was a bit destructive. Granted you can't rationalise with all aliens but it would be nice to have seen other options explored.

'The River Of Souls' brings another Soul Hunter on-board looking for an artefact stolen from their hidden cache containing a world's population of souls and illustrating their own mistake that not all souls need to be saved. This film is a lot more thoughtful with its solutions.

'A Call To Arms' is really the pilot episode to the 'Crusade' series and what led up to the Earth's quarantine - more on that when I get onto reviewing the series. Creator/writer Joe Straczynski in the audio commentary does indicate that had the series continued that the infected Earth would have been resolved in the second series.

I'm glad about that statement as I thought it would have been dragging things out had this hunt for a cure taken five years to resolve. With all the problems the Drakh caused after the Shadows departed, you would have thought it made sense to go after them as essentially they were still continuing the war as an act of revenge. Makes you wonder what would have happened had they won, doesn't it?

The extras are mostly audio commentaries. I think the copywriter got lazy saying the cast and director did them for all three films when it was only for 'Thirdspace'. 'The River Of Souls' was commentated by Joe Straczynski and director Janet Greek and for 'A Call To Arms' he's there with director Mike Vejar. Each film also has an introduction the last film has a feature about the Babylon 5 reality.

Watching these films again, it's hard to believe the first two were recorded in 1998 and the last in 2004. Production-wise they still hold up very well. I'm sure most of you 'Babylon 5' fans have gone this boxset already. If you missed it the first time around, then it might be worth exploring this reality anew.

GF Willmetts

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