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    BABYLON 5's history On Home Video, Including Laserdisc.

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    DGTWoodward
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    BABYLON 5's history On Home Video, Including Laserdisc.

    Post  DGTWoodward on Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:06 am

    BABYLON 5 was a fantastic little show. Despite a pretty shoddy regime of bad treatment and usage as a cash cow by WB over the years, it still is regarded as an example in visionary TV making, due to its revolutionary business model and production schedule. It has out performed contemporary SF shows in terms of ratings and sales and continues to now still sells well in the budget sections. During its life, it pounded down STAR TREK's door, and showed Paramount exactly what they missed out out on by turning it down, despite being offered the chance first.

    Paramount actually had the script for 9 months but, chose not to do it. However, there was a sudden change of thought and that all changed when Warner Brothers decided to gamble on it and decided to fund the show themselves, being reluctant to do more SF after being almost destroyed as a studio by the show "V"

    Suddenly, B5 was a real and breathing entity and in production. The "SPACE STATION" series was filming.

    So, there is a huge space station full of all types of species and races, all working and trading together, and it is positioned next to some sort of spacial gateway, that cuts the cost of the show by bringing the stories to the station.

    No wait, that's Deep Space Nine.

    Coincidence? Really?

    Anyway, eventually B5 hit the air and of course, thought finally came to maximising on the investment...ie the home video market. To date, B5 has been available across three formats, being VHS, Laserdisc and DVD.

    Sadly, even then it was treated quite badly. VHS sales were not regular, and did not get to be so until the sequence reached the "end of season two" episodes.

    And the travesty that is the DVD releases is legendary. Th terrible transfers of the revolutionary FX is awful, just appalling. There were technical reasons why it was done that way, but mainly, it was down to stupidity.

    Someone at WBHV either 'lost' or 'wiped' the original CGI model files, so none of it could be re-rendered anew. Gone, lost forever. This is also the reason as to why we will probably never see B5 on Bluray. It would cost an arm, a leg, and several vital internal organs to re-render all 110 episodes in SD, let alone in HD.

    So that left Laserdisc, right? Even the show's creator Joe Strackzynski declared this the best way of seeing the show. Warners would get it right, wouldn't they?

    Would they? Well, judge for yourselves, here is the release table for B5 availability on laserdisc...

    Babylon 5 Laserdisc Episodes Available

    Season 1 (22) episodes. On laserdisc.....22
    Season 2 (22) episodes. On laserdisc.....12
    Season 3 (22) episodes. On laserdisc.......0
    Season 4 (22) episodes. On laserdsic.......6
    Season 5 (22) episodes. On laserdisc.....22
    In the Beginning 1 TV Movie........................1
    The Gathering 1 TV Movie...........................1
    Thirdspace 1 TV Movie................................0
    The River of Souls 1 TV Movie....................0
    A Call to Arms 1 TV Movie...........................0
    Crusade (Sequel) (13) episodes.................0
    Total from 128 episodes............................64

    That's it. Exactly half of what was available. And the end of season two/all of season three/all of season four are generally considered the best that the show has to offer.

    So if you have the time money and inclination/gumption to track down and own all B5 on LD, tough luck.



    Last edited by DGTWoodward on Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:09 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Weird spacing)


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