'Babylon 5 - The Lost Tales'
(Bruce Boxleitner, Tracy Scoggins, et al / DVD / NR / 2007 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Times change. Dangers remain. 10 years after he became President of the Interstellar Alliance, Sheridan prepares for a fateful Babylon 5 reunion that could prevent Earth's impending doom...if he will also compromise his core principles. Meanwhile, commander Lochley confronts an unexpected interloper on the way station - a being whose presence makes the B5 freeport the crossroads between heaven and hell.
DVD Verdict: After many false starts such as the Legend of the Rangers and the planned movie, The Memory of Shadows, it is nice to see that series creator JMS has finally been able to get 'Babylon 5' back. The DVD is the first of a planned 6 that will look at select characters from the series that will fill in bits of their story as well as that of the Babylon 5 universe as a whole.
The new information that is given is often subtle while some of it is very upfront. One such instance is when a Centauri Prince who is 3rd in line to the throne brings up the subject of Vir. In a somewhat offhand manner, the character mentions that rumor has it that Vir killed his father. Fans of the series will be able to conclude that the character is the child of the Manical Catragia, and that when a dire warning is given about his role in the future, you have a nice framework for possible future events.
Divided into two stories, the first is a interesting spiritual based story, while the second is more of the thriller variety. The FX have improved and the station has never looked better. My biggest concern with the film, was that there was a severe lack of any real action. While I know the series did not always have to rely on violence, a bit of a extended fight sequence would have been nice after so many years away from new material.
Boxleitner is solid as always as President John Sheridan, and the supporting cast of Woodward, and Scoggins, round out what is an enjoyable return to the beloved Sci Fi Epic. [ FYI - The official 'Babylon 5' website has posted a trailer (yes a trailer!) and two director's blogs under "The Lost Tales movie" segment. The trailer starts quietly but explodes halfway! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
'The Straczynski Diaries' - a multi-part series of vignettes as filmed by J. Michael Straczynski as he documents every phase of pre-production, production and post. Viewers are given a first person, inside look at the creative process making the 'Babylon 5' film.