DVD 924 mins
Suitable for 12 years and over
Babylon 5: Season 2
In Collection

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USA  /  English

Director Tony Dow

Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxlietner) arrives on Babylon 5 in the first episode of the second series, "Points of Departure", which marks the handing over of command of B5 to Sheridan from Commander Jeffery Sinclair (actor Michael O'Hare had become a victim of studio politicians who wanted a bigger star in the leading role). This excellent instalment also reveals more about why the Minbari surrendered to Earth at the Battle of the Line when they were on the verge of victory. "Revelations" explains that Sheridan's wife, Anna, died during an archaeological survey of the world Z'ha'dum, the name being just one of many oblique references to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. "The Geometry of Shadows" introduces the Technomages, characters who featured more significantly in the ill-fated spin-off series Crusade (1999), while "The Coming of Shadows" proved to be Babylon 5's finest hour. The story of political intrigue foreshadowing the fate of two of the major characters won the Hugo award for the Best Dramatic Presentation at the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention and proved so powerful that J Michael Straczynski included it in his Complete Book of Scriptwriting.

"And Now for a Word" takes the unusual step of presenting a day-in-the-life of B5 seen through the eyes of a TV news crew, just as the Narn declare war on the Centauri. The inclusion of a PSI-Corps commercial paid homage to Paul Verhoeven's satirical ads in Robocop (1987). In "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum", Sheridan learns that Morden was on the ship on which Anna died, this episode seeing the Captain pushed to his limits by grief and determination to discover why Morden survived. Three exceptional shows conclude the year. The Narn-Centauri war escalates in "The Long, Twilight Struggle", Sheridan faces a most unusual ordeal in "Comes the Inquisitor", while in "The Fall of Night" all hope of peace is shattered as a nerve-wracking assassination attempt reveals a startling secret about Ambassador Kosh.

On the DVD: Babylon 5--Series 2 presents all 22 episodes anamorphically enhanced at 16:9, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Originally shot with eventual widescreen presentation in mind, the programmes looks far better than they did when broadcast. The effects shots, reformatted from full-screen CGI, show occasional pixilation, but the new compositions are more dynamic than the old 4:3. Always a show with powerful audio, the remixed soundtrack is rich and involving, if lacking in the bass punch and complex layering of much more expensive cinema productions. Extras are an introduction to Series 2 (eight mins) and Building Babylon: Blueprint of an Episode (13 mins), is a perfunctory promotional piece. More interesting is Shadows and Dreams, an eight-minute feature on B5's two Hugo Awards. Three episodes have commentaries, with J Michael Straczynski examining the politics, mythology and production of In the Shadow of Z'Ha'Dum and The Fall of Night, and stars Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian and Jerry Doyle have a decidedly low-brow laugh-fest through The Geometry of Shadows. There is an alternative French soundtrack and subtitles for the hard-of-hearing. --Gary S Dalkin

Edition Details
Barcode 7321900241687
Region 2
Release Date 26/05/2003
Screen Ratio 1.77:1
Subtitles Arabic; Dutch; English; French
Audio Tracks English Dolby Digital 5.1
Nr of Disks/Tapes 6
Personal Details
Links Amazon UK