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PHOTOGRAPHY

BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 72 minutes, interviews, memorial featurettes, The Straczynski Diaries featurettes, Fireside chats featurettes
VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH (movie only)
STUDIO: Warner Brothers
RELEASE DATE: 7-31-2007

I'm a big fan of BABYLON 5. I was saddened when CRUSADE was canceled and when the BABYLON 5 movie fell apart before production. I am excited new BABYLON 5 have made it to DVD in form of BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES (titled as VOICES IN THE DARK). The big problem is J. Michael Straczynski should have picked two better stories to kick off B5's possible future on DVD. The first story has a priest (Alan Carffe) and coolonel Lochley (Tracy Scoggins) trying to figure out what to do with a worker (on Babylon 5) who has been possessed by some evil entity). That tale is definitely the weaker of the two installments on this DVD. The second story is better as President Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) is coming to Babylon 5 for the 10th anniversary of the Instellar Alliance. Tagging along is a Centauri Prince who may cause destruction to Earth 30 years later after becoming Emperor of Centauri Prime 10 years before that. Technomage Galen (Peter Woodward) wants Sheridan to kill the young prince before he grows up to become a threat.

JMS should have started bigger and made the new BABYLON 5 series count for something. So far it is a misfire. The first tale (The Exorcist In Space) is a B story that runs on for too long and the second one should have featrued more action (some of the Sheridan dialogue is poorly written). G'Kar and Dr. Franklin are mentioned (a nod to teh late actors who played them). A third story was planned (featuring Garibaldi), but it has been bumped for a future installment. The stories held me a little bit, but I want to know how the CRUSADE storyline wrapped up and bigger adventures with the main characters in the 18 years Sheridan has before he passes beyond the rim. I hope more Babylon 5 characters are features in future discs in THE LOST TALES series instead of just three main characters. The CGI sets and the CGI effects (for the Babylon 5 station and the space sequences) are top notch (and look even better than anything on the series). Also I hope they give future stories more of a budget.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The featurettes and interviews are fun and don't take themselves too seriously. It is rather fun watching them, but I could have done without the sock puppets issue.

The Interviews section is divided up into J. Michael Straczynski and Bruce Boxleitner, JMS and Peter Woodward, and Tracy Scoggins. Each interview segement is fun and gives some insight into the new movie.

Memorials for Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs have J. Michael Straczynski, Tracy Scoggins, and Bruce Boxleitner talk about the two late B5 actors (as they recall moments that stuck out). The Straczynski Diaries takes a behind the scenes look at the making of BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES except for the time spent on the sock puppets. The Fireside Chats featurettes provide more insight into the project. JMS directed the first LOST TALES DVD to set how future installments should be done (and he says he won't be directing again).


FINAL ANALYSIS: BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES are for fans of the series. New fans should check out the DVD sets before diving into this original movie. Hopefully, future movies will be better than what was presented here.

this DVD Review is (c)8-8-2007 David blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to Lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com