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Babylon 5: The Complete First Season (Repackage)
Babylon 5 The Complete First Season
Repackage
Actors: Bruce Boxleitner, Richard Biggs, Jerry Doyle, Peter Jurasik, Bill Mumy
Genres: Television
NR     2009     15hr 56min

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 06/16/2009 Rating: Nr

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Bruce Boxleitner, Richard Biggs, Jerry Doyle, Peter Jurasik, Bill Mumy
Genres: Television
Sub-Genres: Science Fiction
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/16/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 15hr 56min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 6
SwapaDVD Credits: 6
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Come On, REALLY
DeClawed | 08/27/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The thing with writing a negative review for a show that everyone loves is that when those people come here to buy this season and see a 2-star review, they get mad. And then they vote against the review. Whatever, don't shoot the messenger. Or do, it's not like I get paid for this.

If you read the 5-star reviews below, many of those ALSO mention that this season is weak, BUT they still give it 5 stars because it is the beginning of a fantastic series. I'm rating THIS SEASON, not the series. I'm a big fan of the series, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to pretend that the first season was perfect (5 stars) standing alone.

Hardcore fans do B5 a disservice by praising this season to the sky, because when newcomers watch it with no prior exposure to the later quality, they just end-up thinking "what was wrong with the people who gave this 5 stars? I'm not getting the next season, 5-star ratings or not." (Don't take my word for it: There's an early review below that says exactly this, essentially, if you look on the review page.)

I see everyone below raving about the quality of the first season and I think that they all must be watching a different show. The later seasons improve by leaps and bounds, that is for certain, but the first season is useful only in the foundation it builds for those seasons. Otherwise it is painful to watch (I am trying to get my husband to watch the whole arc, and he is finding the first season as hard to get through as I did my first time out).

The later seasons are NOT better because Bruce Boxleitner is a stellar actor--this is not a Sinclair vs. Sheridan thing. This is a shoe-string budget to supported budget, growing into character, maturing plotline and writing, kind of thing.

What is wrong with the first season?
1) The dialogue is AWFUL. It is predictable and cliche-ridden, stilted and melodramatic. I find it most similar to the types of dialogue I see most sci-fi fans make fun of on soap operas. The nature of the dialogue leads contributes to the other problems...
2) The delivery of the dialogue is laughable. I suppose, when faced with melodramatic, stilted dialogue, even good actors end up delivering it with almost comical dramatic overplay. Overly pregnant pauses, jumping to the extremes of emotion rather than building or portraying a range (as most humans do in daily life), these characters are much more two-dimensional than in later seasons.
3) The philosophical discussions are trite, and tend to suffer from the effects of points 1 and 2 above. There is no nuance here--these plot lines are obvious, blunt instruments where the complexities of the moral quandries seem feigned to demonstrate depth, but really are very obvious, very black and white. Just because a sci-fi series talks about social issues doesn't make it deep.

Once again, I think the later seasons really do an excellent job at rectifying all of the above--is there any better treatment of right and wrong in scifi than the battle with the shadows? But, seriously folks, the difference between those later seasons and this one in terms of skill in rendering is the difference between light and day. We need to be able to balance our love of the series and JMS by recognizing that this isn't 5-star work. Or else you have to add more stars to rate later seasons, don't you?

You need to watch this season in order to understand the later ones, so buy it, grit your teeth and get through it. Then start Season Two--and the fun begins."
The Best Of Year One
Lance Falk | Northridge, CA United States | 08/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since B5 Year One is considered by many here as a mere warm-up to the rest of the series, I present the following First Season entries as essential and fantastic Babylon 5 viewing. These episodes alone make the entire first year well worth the purchasing:(Fear not: No spoilers here.)DEATHWALKER: You'll love the sheer toughness of this one. A villain beyond understanding or redemption. Sinclair and Garibaldi willing to buck the system to do what's right. Sarah Douglas' electrifying portrayal of a character that even death is too good for. N'Toth at her wrench-swingin' best. Cool FX. The great twist and turns throughout leading up to an unexpected trump card played from an unexpected quarter. Riveting throughout.MIND WAR: This was the first episode that many saw the series for what it was rather than "Well, it is doing right for what Next Gen is doing wrong." It was with this story that fans began to love B5 for ITSELF. Huge threat, huge stakes. A dynamite intro to the Psi Corps and Bester. (Giving us a new appreciation for Walter Koenig by revealing an acting ability that was NEVER properly spotlighted by Trek) A story that's awe-inspiring, imaginative, and intense. And, oh yeah...the sub plot about Katherine and Sigma 957 with G'Kar's speech capping the whole thing. "No one is what they appear to be" indeed. (And Psi Cop Kelsey is pretty darn cute too)A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS: This two-parter about the Great Machine is simply epic. Numerous factions dealing with a powerful and deadly discovery, the ticking clock, Sinclair's surprising willingness to oppose his own. The incredible FX, and two unlikely characters working together for the first time. Just delightful.AND THE SKY FULL OF STARS: If you're a sucker for War Stories, here is all that and more. A great, intriguing payoff which raises as many questions as it answers (a B5 hallmark). Christopher Neame is a delightfully over-the-top heavy, the stylized FX has emotional impact as well as a cool factor, Chris Franke's chilling and sophisticated score, and of course there's the teeniest chance that the series from this point on is all in the mind.BABYLON SQUARED: This one's an all-out rocket ride. Fully satisfying on it's own, this episode is also sequelized in a Third Season 2-parter. Here's a B5 that has it all, delivering what this series does best, action, intrigue, laughs (in the form of the could-have-been-annoying-but-was-great Zathras), high stakes, ect. CHRYSALIS: Wow! Nothing was the same after this one. The best Season-ender SF had ever seen (Until B5 topped it in both Second and then Third years!). When watching this, you can feel the rug being pulled out from everyone's feet and the show take a decidedly dark and epic turn. The surprises and emotions keep hitting one after another until the end credits.And perhaps the best Season One episode...SIGNS AND PORTENTS: This brings home the idea that a true epic tale is being told. Not merely a series with strong threads of continuity, but clearly, Babylon 5 is a capitol "S" Story. Of course, stunning FX, music, and performances by regulars and guests alike, Morden's incredibly cool, creepy introduction, the Raider battle supreme, and Ladira's chilling vision of B5's possible fate. Though, the above entries are essential viewing for the overall saga, Season One has some other very worthwhile episodes such as: BELIEVERS, LEGACIES, SOUL HUNTER, and, THE QUALITY OF MERCY.Thanks for listening."
Babylon 5 Season One - The epic saga begins!
K. Wyatt | St. Louis, MO United States | 05/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Let me start this by saying that it was a pure pleasure watching this first season of Babylon 5. One thing can certainly be said of this outstanding science fiction series; creator J. Michael Straczynski and the universe he created here is on the same scale as that of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek and Chris Carter's The X-Files. What he created in Babylon 5 is thoroughly incredible in the sense that he drafted a five year, continuous saga and after no small measure of consternation was able to get Warner Brothers to foot the bill. A major nod to his persistence in this endeavor as science fiction fans everywhere will attest to the overwhelming success of Babylon 5. Besides J. Michael Stracynski's superb writing, he also brought in a couple of veteran Star Trek the original series authors to help them along the way. D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold served greatly to enhance Babylon 5.One of the things that always drove me nuts about trying to keep up with Babylon 5 when it was being originally aired was its being in syndication. It always seemed as if something was preempting this beautiful show making it occasionally difficult to keep up with this rather large book/series. With this, the first of the five seasons on DVD, that is certainly not a problem.A set of deeply rich characters is what I believe set this saga apart and above other sci-fi shows that were in competition or have come out since. All of the characters were extraordinarily well thought out, leaving the viewer with a great sense of joy upon watching these episodes. The only character that somewhat grated on one's soul was that of Commander Sinclair. Michael O'Hare did a wonderful job; he just never seemed to actually fit the part of a leading character. I believe this is what led to the beautiful story arc at the end of the season that lead to him and his destiny with Babylon 4.One of the most endearing aspects of Babylon 5 is that in seemingly every show there is either a tidbit or a large chunk of information that plays a part in either the future or the past of this series. That is what quality writing is all about!Standout episodes:Born to the Purple - Any show featuring Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari, the wonderful character brought to life by Peter Jurasik is outstanding in my book!The Parliament of Dreams - Any episode featuring Narn Ambassador G'Kar brought to life with conviction by Andreas Katsulas is as equally outstanding.Mind War - This wonderful episode is where we're more formally introduced to the Psi Corps and Bester, played admirably by Walter Koenig of Star Trek fame. Here is where much of the intrigue about the Psi Corps is initiated.And the Sky Full of Stars - Here is where we find out a small amount of what happened to Commander Sinclair when he blacked out during the Battle of the Line on the last day of the Earth-Minbari war. This episode also adds to the mystique and intrigue of Minbari Ambassador Delenn who is played quite admirably by Mira Furlan.Survivors - This great episode serves well featuring Security Chief Michael Garibaldi who plays his role with passion. Mr. Garibaldi is framed for a crime and flees to the stations down below area in an attempt to clear himself.Signs and Portents - This is most definitely the best episode of the season. Here we have Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova played perfectly by the ever beautiful Claudia Christian getting out in a Star Fury in an attempt to catch some raiders. While that's happening we have a Centauri Seer on board who foretells an explosive doom for the station.Grail - This episode is great simply because it has a very high profile Science Fiction guest star in David Warner who performs to his usual standard of brilliance.A Voice in the Wilderness parts I & II - These are two of the first season's most exceptional episodes. The planet that Babylon 5 is orbiting was believed to be barren and uninhabited until one day it starts having a great amount of seismic activity. They later discover the amazing cause of this seismic activity. These two episodes serve greatly to set up the back story for the planet which will be used in further detail down the road.Babylon Squared - This is another of those outstanding episodes of the first season and it involves temporal mechanics, yippee! Babylon's 1-3 were all sabotaged and lost, Babylon 4 just disappeared and now it has reappeared right where it was four years hence.Chrysalis - Of the many series I've watched few have ever come up with a better season ending cliffhanger. The Shadows make their first known move in helping the Centauri, Sinclair proposes marriage and Delenn enters a cocoon...I highly recommend this DVD set and the next four seasons to follow to any and all fans of great Science Fiction. {ssintrepid}Bonus Materials:The Making of Babylon 5 Vintage Documentary
Back to Babylon 5 New Documentary
The Universe of Babylon 5 Includes: Computer Files Archive Offering
1) Background on the Human/Alien Historical Events and Political Situations the Foreshadowed the Creation of Babylon 5
2) Station Personnel and Diplomatic Personnel Profiles
3) Technical Section Focusing on 24th Century Interstellar TransportVirtual Station Tour: Outlining Babylon 5's Structure and SectorsAll of the above Bonus Materials are an absolute joy to watch that make this DVD set even more worth picking up!Episode/Chapter list:Midnight on the Firing Line
Soul Hunter
Born to the Purple
Infection
The Parliament of Dreams
Mind War
The War Prayer
And the Sky Full of Stars
Deathwalker
Believers
Survivors
By Any Means Necessary
Signs and Portents
TKO
Grail
Eyes
Legacies
A Voice in the Wilderness Part I
A Voice in the Wilderness Part II
Babylon Squared
The Quality of Mercy
Chrysalis"
The Start of the Greatest Story Ever Told!
J. Lindsay | Vancouver | 08/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the TV show that changed all tv show's in the Same genre. Before B5, Science fiction just moved from episode to episode, telling a new story every week. Well now every scifi/fantasy show builds its story on seasonal of series long story arc. And so it begins. Babylon 5 started out being very subversive. The creator, Joe Michael Straczynski was being watched very closely by the network so he could not do everything that he wanted to do. So how did he build his story? He did so by planting seeds in each episode that woulod sprout one, two , three even four years later. By watching the story unfold, it makes season one that much better. Season one is probibly the least best of the Five, but it is still better than any sci-fi season of any show ever made. The characters are still undeveloped. And let me explain that, The characters were not fully revealed so you did not know who was good or bad, in fact they did not know if they were good or bad. They had to be thrust into incredible scenarios to find out how they would react in a certain situation to find out what type of person they were. It is brilliant. And the scenarios that they were put into are incredible. The author really does a great job of leading you down one path only to find out that you are more lost, disturbed and manipulated than you ever imagined. And the writer is an author. He put the outline of a book together in 1987 and instead of trying to write it as a paper novel, he turned it into a tv novel. I believe he wrote about 90 of the 110 episodes made. that is over a thousand pages a year. Most people don't read that much. Eacvh episode is a new chapter driving the story and charaters deeper into a pit of despare and intregue that allows us to ask various questions on human nature. It is mythology, psycology, sociology, science fiction, politics, philosophy and allegory all in one. No author has ever built a more intense story and put all of his characters through such hell. Where do they end up? Well you will have to watch it to find out but if you decide not to, then you are missing the greatest peice of art that the TV has ever displayed. I recommened it for anyone who likes to think about things that matter, religeon, life, justice, crime, punishment, chaos, order, how to let go and how to move on. It is all there. It has always been there!"