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Babylon 5, UK Mini-FAQ: tv news & newsgroup info (v1.43b)
Section - 4. Videos, DVDs and soundtracks

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Q 4.0 Can I get Babylon 5 episodes on video?  In boxed sets?

A.  All Babylon 5 episodes are now (20th September 1999) available on
    video.  There are often discount deals, especially on the earlier
    seasons, check HMV, Virgin, WHSmiths, Woolworths, Forbidden Planet,
    etc... to see who has the best current deal.

*   A limited number of boxed sets of each season, (1 to 5), have been
*   available from HMV, <URL:>, since November 1st
*   1999.  The season 1 boxed set includes the original feature length
*   pilot, also known as The Gathering.  Boxed sets for seasons 1 to 4
*   were previously available from HMV and Great Universal catalogues
*   in the winter of 1998/9.

Q 4.1 Which Babylon 5 TV movies can I get on video?

A.  There are five feature length Babylon 5 stories.  The original pilot,
    known as "The Gathering" but distributed as "Babylon 5", didn't fulfil
    JMS's, (Joe Straczynski), hopes for various reasons, including the
    director not quite sharing Joe's vision and PTEN requiring it to be
    edited into four acts instead of three.  In 1997 Joe re-edited The
    Gathering, recovering missing scenes, (despite difficulties such as
    rats having dined on some of the original film), and using a new Chris
    Franke score that makes it feel more harmonious with the rest of the
    story.  Although the re-edited version has shown in the USA there is
    as yet no sign of either a UK broadcast or video release.

    The original version of the pilot has been shown several times on
    Channel 4 and is available on video.

    There are four other tv movies, which have all been released on video:
    1. In the Beginning, is a prequel story to the whole Babylon 5 story.
       UK release; 27th July 1998.
       HMV have a limited edition twinpack of book & video.
       Rating: 10 out of 10.  Excellent!
    2. Thirdspace, leans to the horror/adventure genre - with strong
       undercurrents of H.P. Lovecraft.
       UK release; 14th September 1998.
       HMV have a limited edition twinpack of book & video.
       Rating: very good (8 out of 10) for people who like this genre,
       but unsatisfying or worse (3 out of 10) for others.
    3. River of Souls, mediocre transplant of one of those awful Star Trek
       TNG or Voyager holodeck stories, set early/mid season 4.
       UK release; 22nd February 1999.
       (The novelization fell through, so there is no HMV twinpack.)
       Rating: 2 out of 10.  Poor compared to the rest of Babylon 5.
    4. A Call to Arms, segues from the Babylon 5 story into setting up the
       premise for Crusade.
       UK release; 2nd August 1999.
       HMV have a limited edition twinpack of book & video.
       Rating: 7 out of 10.  Good, but a few story weaknesses.

    From 1st November 1999 a special boxed set of widescreen editions of
    the four movies have been available from HMV, see below ...

Q 4.2 Will Babylon 5 be available in widescreen format?

A.  All Babylon 5 (and Crusade) episodes and the tv movies, (but not the
    feature length pilot), were filmed in widescreen with the intention
    that they eventually be shown in that way.  The Computer Generated
    Imaging (CGI) was initially only generated for regular tv format, so
    they need to be re-rendered for widescreen.  (Some markets have
    reportedly broadcast widescreen versions of some seasons, so this has
    already been done for some episodes.)  Although the main activities
    are framed for normal tv viewing there are certainly little extras
    that JMS and the directors have placed in anticipation of widescreen

    The four movies - In the Beginning, Thirdspace, The River of Souls and
    A Call to Arms - are available in a boxed set in the 16:9 ratio format
    exclusively in HMV (UKP 34.99) since 1st November 1999.

    If these prove popular WHV will hopefully release widescreen videos of
    seasons 1 to 5 too!

Q 4.3 What about Babylon 5 on DVD?

A.  There were strong rumours of plans to release DVDs in the autumn of
*   1999.  There are still rumours floating around, but no firm info.
*   Sorry.

    It is hoped that Warner Bros will indicate release details such dates,
    and whether the DVDs will carry regular format presentations, 
    widescreen or both, possibly with bloopers or scenes that were cut for
    time, ...

Q 4.4 When will Crusade videos appear?

A.  Release dates for Crusade videos have now been announced:
*   Babylon 5 Crusade Volume 1 - 6th March
*   Babylon 5 Crusade Volume 2 - 6th March
*   Babylon 5 Crusade Volume 3 - 12th April
*   And one per month thereafter.
*   Some websites allow pre-ordering of tapes, e.g.
*     <URL:>

Q 4.5 Can I get the music & songs from episode <...> on CD?

A.  Much of Christopher Franke's music for Babylon 5 is available on CD:
    +  Two CDs "Babylon 5" and "Babylon 5 Vol 2" have music from the first
       4 seasons.
    +  Individual soundtrack CDs for the TV movies "In The Beginning" and
    +  A further 19 episodic soundtracks from episodes in the first 4
    +  Soundtracks for River of Souls and some season 5 episodes are
       likely soon.
    +  February '99, 4 new soundtracks have been released.  Two are on
       general distribution: Falling Towards Apotheosis and Darkness
       Ascending.  The other two only available through the website:
       Objects At Rest and Sleeping In Light.
    +  June '99, Evan Chen's soundtrack for Crusade will be released
       through Franke's record company.

    In the UK the first two CDs and the TV movie soundtracks should be
    available from larger music stores.  The episode soundtracks are
    carried by specialist shops such as Forbidden Planet, Andromeda and
    Tower records.

    For more information, or even to order online, select "Babylon 5"
    under Favorites in the left hand menu of:

Q 4.6 Where can I find more news on videos & DVDs?

A.  Check Arwel Parry's web page for the latest news:

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