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Babylon 5: Complete Fourth Season [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Bruce Boxleitner , Claudia Christian , David J. Eagle , Jesús Salvador Treviño    DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Actors: Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs
  • Directors: David J. Eagle, Jesús Salvador Treviño, John C. Flinn III, John Copeland, John Lafia
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jan 2004
  • Run Time: 960 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0000DGBEY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,873 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Earth Liberation 20 Aug 2004
President Santiago of Earth was assassinated by unknown forces. Now the truth is known.
The newly appointed President Clarke was responsibe and at the time was collaborating with forces behind the scene, Psi Corps and the Shadows.
Sheridan tries to share the truth resulting in Clarke tightening his grip on Earth and her Colonies by imposing martial law. Brutally, inocent citizens of Earth are slain by those loyal to Clarke.
Sheridan fights back and one by one takes back the outer colonies with a newly established force and is joined daily by deserting ships and her crews from Clarkes tirrany.
Sheridan also begins a media war trying to gain support of citizens of Earth who have been constantly bombarded with false propergander from Clarks facists campaign.
These events appropiately closely represent fascist stratergies witnessed here on Earth in our own history and bring home a few truths.
With great special effects, story lines and battles, this has to be my favourite season as Sheriden gets closer and closer to Earth and then discoveres Clarke has hidden Shadow technology up his sleeve.
This shows the affects of Civil War as Humans fight Humans, all believe they are fighting for Earth and fight as passionately as humanly possible, both sides believing they are right. There is also further tragedy when one of the Command Crew is killed in action and another is betrayed by a close friend and delivered to Clarkes forces.
This season is a must.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  176 reviews
197 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, the best was yet to come! 26 Sep 2003
By D. Ferguson - Published on
This season of B5 is bittersweet for fans, because it was both the best of seasons and the worst of seasons. The best, because it had some of the most moving moments in the whole B5 canon (the scene where the Liberation Fleet jumps out of hyperspace to Earthspace, with the music reaching it's height, is indelible).
The worst because both the shadow war AND the earth war each their conclusion, prematurely, in this season. It is one slam-bang episode after another, as JMS fought was he thought was the fight to tell the last two seaons in one season - it left the cupboard bare for season five, but it left us with a powerful season of TV!
I won't bother with a show-by-show description of what happens. Others, better qualified than I, will surely do so. But I will share what i think were the highlights of the season:
1. Sheridan's speech when arriving at earth was extremely well-written and delivered. Though Boxleitner has been called "wooden" in his style, this speech was a vindication for him.
2. The whole thread having to do with Sheridan's sacrifice on Zha'ha'dum was well-done. Not overplayed by anyone, it still cast a delicious pall over the season, making all choices seemingly minor in comparison.

3. The end of the Shadow War was well-handled. It showed that the enemy was not the one most alien in body, but the one most alien in mind, that was the foe. In the end, we understood the Shadows and Vorlons but never understood Bester or Clark. The former were beaten by reason, the latter only by force.
4. Tactics, especially those at Proxima Three, were interesting and important. It is a rare show that show more than just shooting until one side figures out a dodge to win against imposible odds. Sheridan's forces and tactics had this one won from the start - the cost was the only variable.
There are some poorly-done elements. The Shadows and Vorlons are pathetic at the end. Lorien was a bit TOO deus ex machina for my tastes. Jerry Doyle is a bit too much overtaxed by the script, as is Patricia Tallman (both needed a couple of more episodes to make charactor changes believable).
However, the season as a whole is magnificent. The intro sequence alone is worth the price of admission. This is must-get for B5 fans and TV sci-fi fans alike.
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2261 - My Favorite Year in the Future 12 Jan 2004
By Mark Baker - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Things are looking dark for our heroes. As this year opens, Garibaldi is missing and Sheridan is missing, presumed dead. Even though they are both alive (as we learn from the opening credits), things are dark. The Vorlons and the Shadows are no longer hiding behind allies and have launched a full scale war, using the younger races as the targets. Can Sheridan use what he's learned to bring a peaceful end to the fighting? Plus there's the situation on Earth with dictator President Clark. Throw in Garibaldi's weird behavior and you've got a full season that catches your interest and never lets go.
Since JMS didn't know for sure if he'd actually get season 5, he worked hard to bring major plot threads together in season 4. As a result, this year is packed with action and story, but there are some wonderful character arcs as well. I've always found Garibaldi's to be the most interesting of the season, but Vir gets some great moments early on as well. Londo and G'Kar's relationship also takes some unexpected turns that are wonderful. I love watching that duo at work.
Frankly, this season will always hold a special place in my heart because it's when I started watching. Hard for me to believe now, but my first episode was "Into the Fire." If it weren't for some very patient friends, I would have been lost, but I managed to stick in there, getting so hooked on the Earth plot that I couldn't stop watching. Later, when I'd seen the rest of the show, I realized exactly what I had missed in way of back story. Naturally, I don't recommend starting here. The way JMS is able to bring plot threads together is truly amazing this season and worth every hour spent watching the first three seasons for the payoff (not that that's a chore by any stretch of the imagination.) Still, I'll always have fond memories of waiting impatiently each week to see what happens next and the long wait over the summer to see how they'd resolve the mid season cliffhanger.
This DVD set is in perfect keeping with the others that have come out. Picture quality is mostly good with the occasional grain or spot. A tad distracting, but overall sharper then my video tapes. Sound is wonderful in full surround. Again we get three commentaries. The cast commentary, featuring Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Peter Jurasik, and Patricia Tallman is entertaining if not very informative. (I'll never look at Jerry's head the same way again, however.) JMS does his usual two commentaries. He's joined by director Michael Vejar on "Face of the Enemy" for a fascinating look at creating that pivotal episode. And he does his usual interesting look at "Deconstruction of Falling Stars," the unusual fourth season finale. The special features are rounded out by an introduction on disc 1, a new documentary on the music of the show, a new suite of music set against visuals from the season, the usual data and personnel files, and finally a gag reel. I will confess I almost missed this, but it was great. Makes me wish more then ever that we'd gotten to see the gag reels from the previous seasons.
If you're a fan of this show, you must get this set. It's worth every penny spent. And if you've never seen the show, DVD is a wonderful way to discover this wonderful show. I just suggest being smarter then I was and starting with season 1.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best season of the five 8 Nov 2003
By Echo - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The fourth season of Babylon 5 wraps up the series admirably, and in my view is much stronger than season five. If not for "Sleeping in Light" it would be fine if the entire series ended with "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars".
The season itself is very tight. There isn't a lot of non-arc stuff, which is fine with me. Of the many subplots and loos ends that get resolved, look for Londo to sink even deeper into darkness while in Emperor Cartagia's court. The Minbari civil war comes to a head, with a very unexpected outcome for both the war and for Neroon.
The acting is more than adequate. Of particular note, Wortham Krimmer is fantastic as the sadistic and depraved Emperor Cartagia. Andreas Katsulas has never been better as Citizen G'Kar.
We understand the reason for the Shadow/Vorlon conflict...if if you don't know what the reason is, stay might just find yourself agreeing with the Shadow point of view.
Looking forward to a good long acquaintance with this B5 season.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quoting my seaon 3 review - still the best TV ever 29 Jan 2004
By Bob Stout - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Combining plot elements reminiscent of Tolkien and the Arthurian legends, writing that's rarely been equalled, characters you actually care about, an epic story spanning ages and generations, and still with more believability per frame than most non-SF dramas, B5 is in a class of its own.
Like some others here, I'm replacing my tapes with DVD's as they are released. The ability to quickly visit any scene from any show easily justifies the extra cost.
Season three is where most B5 fans got hooked - I know I did. I watched season one on and off. With season two, I found myself watching more. By the time the story arc began to unfold in season two, I was watching every week. By season three, watching every week's episode had taken on the nature of an almost spiritual imperative. Unlike some here, I don't necessarily consider season four a close second, but pretty much equal to season three.
B5 broke so much new ground, it's hard to list it all. It certainly was one of the first to show bad things happening to good characters. It took the bold step of letting you believe for years that certain characters were good (or bad), when they might turn out to be much more complex in the end. The characters become so real to us that I've seen grown men choke back their emotions when a character you only saw in a robotic suit incapable of expressing emotion get killed. B5 was a pioneer in admitting to and exploring issues of faith even though its creator and writer is an avowed atheist.
Even in its portrayal of relationships, romantic and otherwise, it was unique. Everywhere else on TV, characters were introduced in act 1 and in bed by act 3. As in real life, this also happened on B5, but you also got a chance to savor the growth of relationships you could never hope to see on episodic TV. B5 had its share of great love stories but they were never formulaic. Two were cut short by tragedy, but one of those was never consummated while the other grew from a one-night stand with political motives. You even saw people who were close and had some obvious attraction, but chose for various good reasons not to act on those feelings. Based on perhaps limited experience, these people seem more real and interesting to me than most I see on TV.
At a time when most entertainment teaches few positive values, B5 celebrates commitment to a greater cause. It balances this with cautionary tales that suggest we be constantly vigilant that our cause is really just. It teaches self-sacrifice. Simply watching most episodes of B5 is like a workout for your conscience. It makes you think. The characters themselves think. It taught that victories aren't always won by violence and that the only persistent peace is achieved through conscience, commitment, and determination.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Primacy of the Moral 18 Feb 2004
By S_McCrea - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I too was no big fan of season one, after a couple of episodes when it debuted, I tuned out; it was too derivative of Star Trek and Straczynski had yet to find B5's unique and astounding voice.
Season Four is a stunner, bringing two wars to conclusion, raising heros from the dead, a wicked conclusion to Bester's most fiendish plot (in his defense, he was fighting for his freedom and his life). As always, "The Demolished Man" joke is a great one--and if you don't get it, you need to learn a LOT more about sf!
Once again, the writing is amazing, the direction tight, the CG splendid--the explosions finally stop looking like bad video games from 1985--and the acting, well, the "torture" ep--that's all I'll say--should have one a certain actor an Emmy. But...we know he didn't. I'm afraid the same fate awaits Peter Jackson, et al, on Feb 29th.
This season also contains my fav ep of all time, "Deconstruction of Falling Stars." Another ep that deserved an Emmy. I can't say enough in it's praise. B5 can no longer be labelled at ST's ... little brother: it's an equal in every sense.
The cast commentary is hilarious. You can tell that these are people (Boxleitner, Christian, Tallman, etc) who genuinely like each other and the camraderie and friendship is still there, six years after it all ended. Straz's three ep commentaries are interesting, but I wish that one of the actors or ep directors could have been present to discuss the eps; Staz's voice, contrary to his pen, can be monotone and a little somnolent, but, once fully awake, what he says IS interesting.
This review of the serious still says everything that I feel needs to be said. It goes straight to the heart of the B5 series and the real core.
Eh, voila...
J. Michael Straczynski and Robert B. Parker (of Spenser fame) have both achieved the same thing with very different subject matters and in very different media: they have made the moral choices of their characters the primary, indeed, almost the SOLE focus of the action. Straczynski's task is probably that much the harder because, unlike the novel, he can only graphically illustrate his characters' inner worlds. The result is triumph; presenting something so rare on TV: real people.
Yes, as in the Parker novels, there is plenty of violence. Also there is no downplaying certain characters' relish of the test of battle and their love of soldiering. Straczynski has a real respect for the military and does not let his correct skepticism of government (even if does repeat the McCarthy myth on a commentary track) spill over into disrespect for those who put their bodies where "the metal hit the meat." His use spectacular special effects only enhances.
The ground breaking CG had one real drawback: B-5 explosions simply don't look real. I guess they just didn't have the processor power to simulate them on their budget. Even now fire is said to be impossible to model and thus its creation is more the work of artist than artisan-something the insane schedule of network drama simply doesn't allow.
Both series place characters--whatever the literary allusion--in situation where they have choose between expedience and principle. Straczynski does a superb job of dropping his characters--ones obviously very beloved to him--into horrible situation in which they die or undergo the most dreadful pain and loss. Then there are those, like Mr. Morden, Mr. Bester nice "Demolish Man" joke), and "President" Clark who clearly took the road of expedience. Straczynski shows, graphically, the very real consequences of their actions not only for themselves but for billions of other humans and aliens.
The main theme was taken from an old Poul Anderson novel whose name eludes me. He pictured a war between vastly powerful species whose mere existence was outside human comprehension but who used humans and others as proxies in their never ending struggle. Redux the Shadows and Vorlons--who turn out to be as amoral as the Shadows when crossed.
As with the Spenser novels, Babylon 5 rises far above genre to achieve what is so utterly rare in any historical era: art. They both show us the recesses of the heart, the secret places we hide from everyone else. We are also shown the devastating consequences of moral failure or necessity. In a hundred years B-5 will still resonate in a way my beloved Star Trek never can. Star Trek, you see, is fantasy, the way the world ought to be. Babylon 5, unfortunately, is the way the future WILL be.
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