on 9 September 2009
I just recently purchased this box set and looked forward to having the complete Babylon 5 collection. I started watching season one until I got to disc 5 and wondered why I was watching the last two episodes of the season. I checked disc 6 and sure enough, the same last two episodes are on that disc as well! I am missing the episodes that should be on disc 5. This is very poor considering that when the original season box sets were released on DVD there was a pre-title sequence missing from one of the episodes. I thought these kinds of mistakes would have been cleared up.
According to another reviewer he did not even have the full B5 movie set in his collection.
A very low standard for such a very good series. I shall be returning my box set.
on 19 October 2009
Oh dear...I foolishly dispensed of my entire Video collection of B5 prior to ordering the box set DVD. Started watching the same only to find in Series 1 DVD no5 was an exact copy of no6....in other words missing 4 episodes and 2 lots of the same!
Purchasers beware, therefore....judging by some others feedback, this is clearly an issue with this particular box set.
Otherwise this should not detract from what is a superb series with all of its spin offs. The moral of the tale? Don't get rid of your old (no matter what the format)until you have checked you have Babylon 5 and not Babylon 4 7/8ths! (with 2 lots of the final 1/8th!)
As I didn't start watching this until at least 45 days after purchase, returns policy is null and void. Ah well...best advice I can give, therefore, is lock yourself away in a darkened room and watch the entire box set immediately after purchase!!?
on 22 April 2010
Recently finished watching the complete box set (extras and all!). It was just as good as I remembered it when it was originally on TV. There are some weak episodes and some of the TV movies aren't great (Legends of the Rangers what were they thinking?!?) but this set is well worth the price.
The quality of the main series is shown in the writing and plot arc. The characters are excellent and the storylines too. The 5th season goes off on a nuber of tangents but I think this is because they thought it was going to be cancelled after season 4 so packed 2 storylines into that season. Also B5 probably has my favourite ending of a series ever.
Crusade which is also included showed a bit of potential but I can see why they cancelled it. Also I get the feeling the budget was tighter (not that B5 seems to have had a huge budget, but with good writing you don't need it as much).
Well worth getting if you're into your sci-fi. And even if you're not a lot of the storylines should interest anyone. They just happen to be set on a space station but would work anywhere.
All TV science-fiction is flawed. It shares this with its book and short-story antecedents: so often real science overtakes future fantasy. However, there are a few TV SF series that stand out despite their flaws as milestones. Babylon 5 is one of them.
What Babylon 5 had which its predecessors did not was an extraordinary breadth of imagination. Dozens of races, thousands of worlds, whole histories of conflict and culture, a complex and fully realised network of alliances and enmities, a number of religions, all of which are taken seriously by the writers, and very distinct groups of technologies belonging to the various races and factions.
This imagination also extended to the plot. Babylon 5 was not the first series to use story-arcs, but it was by far the most extensive continual storyline. The plot flows directly from the first episode through to the close of season 4, and is essentially told as one enormous narrative. Season 5 was made after an initial closure, but is itself a new, complete storyline. The exception is Crusade, which begins but does not properly finish, following network unenthusiasm.
Like everything else, this breadth of imagination comes at the price of the difficulties in realising it with the technology available at the time. The CGI, largely confined to space scenes and views of other planets, is in most cases very rough, with substantial artefacts and pixellation. Babylon 5 relies very heavily on CGI, rather than the traditional disciplines of model-making and matting. At the time it was praised for the absence of 'wobbly models', but in retrospect the CGI has not stood the test of time. On the other hand, the prosthetics used for alien faces are very good, with especially the Narn seeming fully organic, allowing a complete range of facial expression.
In this, the storyline plays to its strengths: Babylon 5 is primarily about human and alien relationships and personalities, rather than exciting battles in space.
It is possible, but ultimately fruitless, to compare Babylon 5 to Star Trek, Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Lexx and Farscape. Each have their own strengths. Babylon 5, though, has the greatest breadth and internal consistency. The depth and resonance of the world of Babylon 5's imagination will outlive criticisms of its graphic realisation, or even of its acting.
If you like watching science-fiction, and you want something big enough to really get your teeth into over many evenings, then there is really nothing to compare with Babylon 5.
This set is powerfully recommended.
on 8 August 2015
Being a life-long Trekkie as a kid back in the 1960's, I've only just discovered this series on DVD in 2015. But this isn't just another tv series, this is a philosophical life changing experience. By no means go by the rather stodgy pilot and the first series finding it's feet. It's series 2-4 when the arc of great writing and acting really takes off. Ha - No wonder Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has come off looking even more pale and playing catch up in comparison. In my opinion, JMS is now right up there with Rod Serlin in terms of genius script-writing. In fact one does wonder how on Earth they proved to be so prolific at such a high standard? If anything, only the film prints, the flat background paintings and the naff CGI let this series down. Were it to be given a complete High Definition overhaul with renewed Special effects, I'm sure it would pick up new fans by the millions. Unfortunately at such a high cost, I don't suppose that will happen anytime soon. So I guess Babylon 5 will remain this great select secret. Only left to those who finally get to see it, also left as the mad ones to rave about it! So please - if you haven't seen I yet - get on board and spread the word. I'm sure after a few years. I will re-watch the saga all over again.
on 2 June 2016
B5 is great. This is as good as you can get with B5. It's not likely it'll be re-mastered at any point, and the DVD's were produced by people that managed to screw up the digital shots (they use the 4:3 TV broadcast footage, cropped and scaled up to widescreen). That said, the show itself is a true classic and ought to be watched by every sci-fi fan. This is the 90's spiritual granddady of the modern Battlestar Galactica - don't let the first season fool you; the "Trek like" vibes were deliberate and set up so the producer could undermine them all. Once you've got through the first half of sesason one it starts to shine (and it was perfectly fine "standard fare" before that too). By the time season two is underway it's showing its true colours and it's gripping as hell.
on 9 August 2016
One of the very few TV series with a wholly developed, closed plot. J Michael Straczynski envisioned the plot progression of the whole series right from the beginning, and the show sticks to it. As a viewer, this gives you the pleasure of being able to re-watch from the beginning, and appreciate the foreshadowing of future events.
Character development is superb, with sufficient time given to explore the principles, and their flaws that don't so much define them, as highlight their good qualities.
If you enjoyed the remake of Battlestar Galactica; this show will provide you with an equally engaging, long-term plotted, well written; and above all exciting experience.
on 2 November 2014
I love the original series and the DVD collection is very good, including all the original series, TV movies and Crusade series. The reason I am knocking of 1 star is because the series has been converted to be used with wide screen TV's and the quality of picture at times degrades, where the image has been cropped.
on 27 July 2014
Babylon 5 is still, in my opinion anyway, the best sci-fi series ever released. OK, it starts slowly, but this universe is so complex and vast that you need to sink into it's richness for most of the first season before the main threat is let loose and civilisations start to fall! Much has been made of B5's story archs and rightly so - this is one big 5 season story with many layers. Forget your Star Treks and Star Gates, with either no or little back story, here the universe fights and dies while civilisations bicker, scheme and hide. If you want grown up sci-fi this is it!