Babylon 5: Season 3 [DVD]
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Contains all the episodes from Season 3:
- Matters of Honor
- A Day in the Strife
- Passing Through Gethsemane
- Voices of Authority
- Dust to Dust
- Messages From Earth
- Point of No Return
- Severed Dreams
- Ceremonies of Light and Dark
- Sic Transit Vir
- A Late Delivery From Avalon
- Ship of Tears
- Interludes and Examinations
- War Without End 1
- War Without End 2
- Grey 17 is Missing
- And the Rock Cried Out No Hiding Place
- Shadow Dancing
"Matters of Honour" launches the third series of Babylon 5 with the introduction of the White Star, a spacecraft added to enable more of the action to take place away from the static space station. Also introduced is Marcus Cole (Jason Carter) who, in another nod to The Lord of the Rings, is a Ranger not so far removed from JRR Tolkien's Strider. In "Voices of Authority" the show finds an epic scale as Ivanova seeks the mysterious "First Ones" for allies against the Shadows, and evidence is discovered pointing to the truth behind President Santiago's assassination. A third of the way through the series "Messages from Earth", "Point of No Return" and "Severed Dreams" prove pivotal, changing the nature of the story in a way previously unimaginable on network TV. Earth slides into dictatorship, the fascistic Nightwatch takes control of off-world security and Sheridan takes decisive action by declaring Babylon 5 independent.
"Interludes and Examinations" presents the death of a major supporting character, while the two-part "War Without End" reaches apocalyptic dimensions in a complex tale resolving the destiny of Sinclair and the fate of Babylon 4 (dovetailing elegantly with the events of Year One's "Babylon Squared"), resolving a 1,000-year-old paradox and presenting a vision of a very dark future for Sheridan and Delenn. All this is trumped by the monumental "Z'ha'dum". In the preceding "Shadow Dancing", Anna Sheridan (Melissa Gilbert, Bruce Boxleitner's real-life wife) returns from the dead, no longer entirely human. In the mythologically resonant climax Anna invites Sheridan back to the Shadow homeworld with no hope of survival. Just as Gandalf fell into the abyss at Khazad-Dum, so Sheridan takes a comparable leap into the unknown on an alien world.
On the DVD: Babylon 5, Series 3 presents all 22 episodes anamorphically enhanced at 16:9 for widescreen TVs. While not up to blockbuster movie standards these are the finest looking B5 discs yet. Likewise the remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 sound packs a considerable punch in the many action scenes while remaining clear and atmospheric throughout. Reasonable though unremarkable extras are in line with previous box sets, with detailed and informative commentaries by series creator J Michael Straczynski on episodes "Z'Ha'Dum", and the Hugo Award-winning "Severed Dreams". Actors Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Richard Biggs and Ed Wasser offer a more jokey and backslapping appraisal of "Interludes and Examinations".
Introduction to Point of Return is essentially a six-minute trailer for the season, while Behind the Mask: Creating the Aliens of B5 offers make-up artist John Vulich, JMS, and producer John Copland reflecting on the creation of various races. Complementing this is a seven-minute look at Building a Better Narn. Designing Tomorrow: The Look of Babylon 5 focuses on the work of production designer John Iacovelli. Finally The Universe of Babylon 5 presents five short character profiles. The set offers an alternative French soundtrack and subtitles in English, English for the hard-of-hearing, French and Dutch. --Gary S Dalkin
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Top Customer Reviews
Babylon 5 definitely hit its stride with the third season. Series Creator J. Michael Straczynski wrote the entire season, helping it hang together and tell the story. Bester begins to play more of a role and is fleshed out a little more as a character, and this season also introduces Marcus Cole, the Ranger. While many of the episodes contribute directly to the over all story line, there are still several stand alones, including a personal favorite, “Passing Through Gethsemane” and one I really dislike, “Grey 17 is Missing.” The arc episodes are all top notch. Highlights here include “Point of No Return,” Hugo winning “Severed Dreams,” “Interludes and Examinations,” both parts of “War Without End,” “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place,” and the best season ending cliffhanger of the series, “Z’ha’dum.”
If you’ve been buying these sets, you know what to expect here. There’s the season intro, two audio commentaries by JMS and one by cast members Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Richard Biggs, and Ed Wasser.Read more ›
The rest are an exciting romp. Many shows raise questions about various mysteries in the show, but few actually answer them in a concise and meaningful manner. The X-Files comes to mind as a series which failed to do this, but here Babylon 5 proved once again that it was going to do it. Not one but two arcs culminate (the situation back on Earth and the growing threat of the Shadows) - the first in an outstanding sequence of episodes with breathtaking special effects in "Shattered Dreams". The second builds to the season finale, which isn't the strongest episode of the season, but you simply can't deny the storytelling quality there. The "War Without End" two-parter acts as a satisfying conclusion to one the most ambitious things attempted in sci-fi programming.
Add to that the continued character development of the characters - Londo slips further into darkness, G'Kar pretty much does a 180, and Sheridan builds in his role as leader. The actors are all pretty comfortable in their roles now, and the show has a bigger budget to cope with its ambition. This season is what Babylon 5 is all about, and it's the true highlight. I'd deem it as the best season of sci-fi programming ever.
The DVD set does disappoint, however. The picture quality still isn't what it should be, and while the extras are entertaining, they aren't what they should be. The commentaries are also a bit of a let down, the cast one not being as entertaining as the second season one and the JMS ones not being quite as informative. Still, it's a must-buy.
The first sign that this season is going to be different comes with the new narration over the credits. "The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. In the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope... for victory." we are told, highlighting the fact that Babylon 5's peace keeping missing has failed resulting in the Narn-Centuri. This failure allows the series to abandon its optimistic standpoint and tell a much darker story which greatly enhances the show.
This is the season that hooks even the most recreational viewer and turns them into an avid viewer and is a must for all Sci-Fi Fans.
This was the season that introduced me to B5. If you have watched the previous seasons, you'll know that this season is where the Shadow War arc really starts to warm up and Earth goes through some tough times!
If you are a fan of the series, what are you waiting for? Don't eat for a week, or morgage your house, but you MUST own these DVD's! If you're not a fan, i'd reccomend you get season 1 and 2 before this one. it'll make more sense.
As for the picture quality, i can only say that this set is better that the previous ones, although i didn't think those were bad at all. Maybe you guys are watching on 42" plasma screens. I'm not!
Buy these DVD's. Go on!
oh yeah, make sure you check out the hidden outtakes on one of the discs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ever since B5 came out I have always had a soft spot for this massive story arc. Why? Because despite the high technology, Jump-gates and Star Furys humanity is still very human... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Space
Babylon fan here, had it all on VHS and now replaced with DVD, worth watching!Published 7 months ago by T. James