Thursday, July 21, 2016

Catching Up with B5

Babylon 5 was a popular television science fiction fiction series during the 1990s and seems all but forgotten today, but the staff at have been actively courting fans with a slew of series-related books and videos. The latest video is titled CNN Documents Babylon 5 (2016) and features interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from the CNN vaults. Full details on the product can be accessed at the website at

Disc one features interviews with cast members conducted at the starts of seasons one and two in winter 1993-94 and fall 1994. These are the most valuable features of the set with comments by Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Michael O'Hare, and Bruce Boxleitner as they began their tenure on the station. These pieces are particular interesting for revealing what each actor saw as the appeal of the series while in production. A final interview is included from summer 1998 with guest star Shari Belafonte on her role in the telefilm Babylon 5: Thirdspace. All the interviews are supplemented by footnotes from staff.

Disc two offers a series of behind-the-scenes videos on the making of four episodes from the series. There is not much that held my interest here, though some fans might enjoy being on set and seeing how things worked. The pieces are from the episodes--"By Any Means Necessary," "Legacies," "A Distant Star," and the penultimate "Objects at Rest"--being shot on the same days the interviews from disc one were conducted. All four videos include optional audio commentary by staff.

Disc three is a limited issue and includes present-day commentary by Christian and Doyle as they watch their interviews from disc one and the videos from disc two. Overall, it is an interesting look back at the phenomenon that was Babylon 5.

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