Babylon 5: Season 5 (Repackage)
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Babylon 5: The Complete Fifth Season (Repackage)(DVD)
In 2262, longstanding conflicts between telepaths and normal humans lead to a major clash on Babylon 5, and the former captain of the station continues its peacekeeping mission by forming the InterStellar Alliance.]]>
A disappointment after the superb two previous seasons, the final run of Babylon 5 found Claudia Christian departed and Ivanova replaced by Captain Elizabeth Lochley (Tracy Scoggins), who in a soap-opera twist turned out to be Sheridan's first wife. Sheridan was promoted to President of the Interstellar Alliance and the action moved to a group of telepaths seeking sanctuary from the PSI-Corp on B5. Giving a prominent role to Patricia Tallman's Lyta Alexander, a love story for her was woven with the leader of the telepaths, Byron (Robin Atkin Downs). Meanwhile the aftermath of the Shadow War was explored as the origin of human telepaths became clear in "Secrets of the Soul," and the appearance of PSI-Corp's Bester (Walter Koenig) brought the plight of the refugees to a powerful close in "A Tragedy of Telepaths" and "Phoenix Rising."
This was immediately followed by a rare episode not written by J. Michael Straczynski. Much was expected of "Day of the Dead," penned by Neil Gaiman, the British creator of DC's landmark Sandman comic and graphic novel series. Yet despite a change of tone including a guest appearance by Penn & Teller as 23rd-century comedy favorites Rebo & Zooty, the story proved an incongruous side trip into an unexplained twilight zone of fantasy. As usual the season picked up toward the end, with a string of fine political episodes leading to "The Fall of Centauri Prime" and the haunting "Objects at Rest," in which Sheridan and Delenn leave Babylon 5 for new quarters on Minbar.
The final episode, "Sleeping in Light," was directed by J. Michael Straczynski and made an epilogue to the series. Set 20 years later, after all the sound and fury this quiet, elegiac tale is the apotheosis of the love story that proved the balance to the tragedy of the preceding darkness. A personal story resolved against a background of the epic, at once transcendent, deeply human, and profoundly optimistic, "Sleeping in Light" is as moving as any hour in the history of television drama and a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to one of the greatest series ever made. --Gary S. Dalkin
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I miss Ivanova.
Season 5 gave us another year to explore the universe of the future and wrapped up the story line very well. The writer and producers struggled greatly with finding a sponsor so season 5 could continue to exist. J. Michael Straczynski poured his life and creative talent into this production and it shows. It is a story of good and evil.
If you hearken back to the beginning at Season 1, the words of G'Kar ring clear, "Just remember, at Babylon 5, no one is as they seem". I would have put my money on Ambassador Londo Mollari as being the good guy and G'Kar being the bad guy. If there's one thing we should have learned from this morality play is that appearances are deceiving and that we cannot always take things at face value. At the first season, no one starting out could have ever worked out how things ended. It's also the case that you can defeat or supplant an evil enemy, but there's always another to replace it.
We should all reflect on whether on the whole we are at the core good or evil. Introspection might yield some highly disturbing results, particularly in contrast to the broad sweep of a much larger universe.
Addictions were also explored in various ways in the series and should provoke some action for those for whom it is appropriate.
There are, as there always will be, questions. For example, what about David?
Another series which, sadly came to an end far too soon for us, but not nearly soon enough for J. Michael Straczynski who put so much time, effort, blood and tears into giving us an exceptional exploration of our society.
Too many people I know said the show was good. So, I finally watched it - all of it. The technical aspects of the production/delivery are adequate and, I forgave the costumer, more or less). And I am actually fond of all the characters.
The story line is great. An example of what a good writer can do, if the network execs don't meddle too much. The sequel series only made it one season - I never understood what network execs can't be happy with a good show that is popular, but not wildly popular.
Top international reviews
Sadly, the primary new story, the rogue telepaths, just doesn't work. Byron, leader of the group, is annoying and po faced beyond belief. Plus, the whole situation could have been so easily resolved (sending them to Minbar?) but is drawn out over several tedious episodes. The stand alone stories are also poor/preachy/badly thought out.
Thankfully, the second half of the season improves as the originally planned arc story involving the Centuri being manipulated gets going. episodes such as 'all my dreams torn asunder' and 'the fall of centuri prime' are B5 at its best. The storyline involving Garibaldi's descent into alcohol addiction is also very well done. Sadly, the season finale, 'sleeping in light' is a little disappointing as it leaves too many hanging threads and unresolved stories.
Overall, the season isn't terrible, but certainly suffers from having to have new stories thought up to fill up the episodes. A noticeable example of this is the vast amount of expositional dialog (something Straczynski was already a bit guilty of) that is clearly used to fill up episode time.
Finally, the series does suffer from the same DVD mastering problems as the other seasons (drops in picture quality during CGI & composite scenes).
What follows is the briefest of overviews, season 5 has lot more going on.
The year 2262 sees the beginning of the end for season 5. There is a new command Babylon 5 Captain Elizabeth Lochley. The Station is also headquarters of the Interstellar Alliance. Unofficially as a sanctuary for rogue telepaths, who are running from the Psi Corps - this in turn leads to conflict. Although the Shadows have left their dark servants remain. One of these servants the Drakh, need somewhere to `live' and by using a controlling parasite called a keeper to enslave the Regent Virini on Centauri Prime. In order to have a safe hiding place they create war between Centauri and the Interstellar Alliance, so they can further isolate Centauri from the Alliance. The final episode sees the poignant scene where by a technician switching off the lights of a now decommissioned and soon to be demolished Babylon 5 - take a closer look at the technician he looks rather familiar. For me another very good, and sadly, last season.
Season Five begins very ploddingly in a time of peace and explores the setting-up of the new alliance with the former Captain of Babylon 5 John Sheridan as its President. The new Captain of the station Elizabeth Lochley is very likable almost immediately- despite being written to oppose almost every regular on the show before she's even got both feet through the whooshing space-doors- but she is in my view a very solid replacement for Susan Ivanova, who especially gets the chance to shine in the "River of Souls" TV Movie made at the same time as this season.
The telepaths invited to start a colony on the station are one of the two main subjects of the season, but it's not until episode seven that this storyline picks up pace and becomes absorbing. But even then- after the so-called "telepath war" was alluded to more than once in previous seasons- it's somewhat of a disappointment when you consider what could have been had Straczynski chosen to really take on such a large story-arc and all that it entailed ethically, socially and politically for the universe of Babylon 5. The telepaths' story, which comes at a time between their exploitation by Earth Gov. in the past and the war (between them and the "mundanes") that's to come...is an interesting one, but the main problem is that as a group they are largely uncharismatic and with the exception of their leader- mute, which doesn't make for thrilling viewing. But on the flip side this story does provide Patricia Tallman (Lyta Alexander) with the screen-time she deserves and also some fantastic character dilemmas to sink her teeth into and that's reason enough for me be glued to my seat throughout this season. And once it gets up some momentum the storyline and the characters involved do make for compulsive viewing. The second subject of the season I won't give away for those who haven't seen it before, but it's much more thrilling than the telepath story-arc and also ties in with the finale of the show and also the fabled Babylon 5 feature film, which has yet to materialise...
Every season of Babylon 5 is marked by at least one superlative episode that takes every revelatory idea, every glimmer of brilliance and every subtle exploration into what it means to be human to extraordinary heights and it's no surprise that "Sleeping in Light," the episode in the fifth and final season of Babylon 5 and the finale of the show as a whole...is the episode for me, which attains that inexplicable goal. Even though I hadn't followed the programme from the beginning- when I saw this episode for the first time I was moved to tears, such was the power of the feeling and ability of all those involved in its making and I dare anyone not to react in the same way. The last thing you'll want to hear is that this episode alone is worth the price of the box set, because that implies the rest is below par. Well unfortunately...it is to some extent, but this is Babylon 5- it's still an awesome season, so buy the set for every episode, all 22 and be more than pleasantly surprised by a gem of an episode right at the end.
I used to count down the weeks till each new series was aired and fall into the stories, the plots and the fantastic Arc that J.Michael S wrote.
All five series are Fantastic, all are groundbreaking, all make you laugh, cry, and each series had it's episodes that blew you away (The first time we saw Kosh in series Two!! Babylon Squared and then finding out who Valen really was!!!!)
Series 5 was no different, in fact i loved it even more this second time round, but it is the final episode that still gets me, the finally 15 minutes, when we say goodbye to all we have watched, it certainly made me cry (just bought the episode soundtrack it is that powerful and very recommended if you can get hold of it!).
So thank you J.Michael, Babylon 5 is the best and the fans will never forget and my DVDs will be played over and over.
Therefore the reason why Babylon 5 is so successful is becauase of this series. Series 1-4 were full of fast action packed episodes, however series 5 works more on your emotion centres - guiding us to the emotional charged final episode. But you do have to go on the voyage to get there. G'kar and Londo steal the series with some of the finest acting I have ever witnessed in a made for TV drama and in the end you feel utter despair for Londo - a lost and broken soul.
Long before the final episode "Sleeping in the Light" - the emotions get tugged and "Day of the Dead"; "A Tragedy of Telepaths"; "All my Dreams, Torn Assunder"; "Movements of Fire and Shadow". & "Fall of Centuari Prime" (now corrected), give us some of the greatest TV moments ever recorded.
This series is guaranteed to make grown men cry - so with tissues ready enjoy what surely will still be being talked about in 30 years time.
R.I.P. Richard Biggs, Andreas Katsulas, Tim Choate.
This series obviously could not have surpassed season 4 (the best season in my opinion), but it could still have been better. Season 5 is noticeably made on a smaller budget than the previous one, although this is not necessarily an issue as it gives the opportunity for more character development and more tightly controlled storylines. However, this opportunity is generally missed and there is a lot of padding in the storylines often rendering them dull and pondering. Episodes such as "Day of the Dead" are interesting, but somehow miss their mark and fail to convince. Some of the acting seems to just going through the motions (Garibaldi and Zack Allan) and does not have the same emotional investment of the previous seasons. Tracey Scoggins is not convincing as the new Captain Lochley and Ivanova is sadly missed.
There are some strong episodes, e.g. "The Fall of Centauri Prime", and it has to be said that Peter Jurassik and Andreas Katsulas as Londo and G'Kar respectively are still as watchable and convincing as their characters as ever. I also enjoyed some of the telepath story arc at the beginning of the season, as the episodes with Bester in are pacy and entertaining. I think this season is mainly for fans and people who have watched the entire previous seasons and want to see how it all ends. Just don't expect a happy ending!
Having recently bought all five of the seasons, I still got the same thrill and anticipation from years back as I opened that DVD case. For me it is timeless and the story is just emmense now as it was back in the 90's. We all as fans know of the syndication trouble before the end of Season 3, so JMS did all he could do with Season 4 (Season 4 ending was meant to be the 5 year completion) and Season 5 is a little detached overall. That you could pick up and watch without too much trouble, but if you have browsed the other seasons, you need to start with Season 1 and on for there. For example, a plot reference from Season 1 only makes sense in Season 3
I recommend this series and as such, I implore anybody looking for something with superb writing and direction from JMS and co with fantastic characters like G'Kar and Sheridan, get this series :)
Don't forget to see all the films & the other related series too!
Search IMDb or Wikipedia for more information on them.