newly completed Babylon 5 station - a centre for commerce
and diplomacy located in neutral space - is the last, best hope
for galactic peace. But its chances of success are jeopardised
almost immediately when an attempt is made on the life of an
remember not being terribly impressed with this, the pilot
episode to Babylon 5, but I enjoyed it a whole lot
more this time around.
certainly helps that a few changes have been for this (slightly)
extended special edition, the most important of which is the
scoring of a new soundtrack by Christopher Franke. Franke
provided the music for each of B5's 45-minute instalments,
and was thus responsible for a significant part of the series'
essential "feel". This TV movie was originally scored by Stuart
Copeland, whose music sounded no different to me than his
work on The Equalizer - I kept expecting Edward Woodward
to come walking along one of the station's corridors!
aspect that was impossible to fix is the fact that some of
the alien make-up designs differ from how they would eventually
appear in the 45-minute episodes, especially in the case of
G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas) and Delenn (Mira Furlan). The big-chinned
Delenn looks quite forbidding and far less attractive compared
to her later appearances.
are also a few cast members - Tamlyn Tomita as Lt Laurel Takashima,
Johnny Sekka as Dr Benjamin Kyle and Patricia Tallman as telepath
Lyta Alexander - who would fall by the wayside before the
commencement of the first season proper. Tallman was cleverly
written back in during the third season, but the performances
of Tomita and Sekka are often rather stilted, so they were
no great loss. We got to keep the frequently wooden Michael
O'Hare (as Commander Sinclair) for another year, but you can't
have everything! Watch out also for an early appearance by
Ed Wasser as crewman Guerra - the actor would later portray
the excellent recurring character, Morden.
the plot is reasonably self-contained, plenty of seeds are
sown for future story arcs. On certain occasions it is perfectly
obvious that a particular aspect of the plot - such as the
gap in Sinclair's memory - is going to have consequences.
With other scenes, however - such as the one in which G'Kar
amusingly propositions Lyta - you'd never guess that the material
was included for any reason other than to provide entertaining
recurring structural problem of the series was the number
of "epilogues" that many episodes concluded upon. The pilot
is no exception: the last ten minutes comprise no fewer than
five separate closure scenes. However, this is more acceptable
in a 90-minute movie than in a regular episode. As pilots
go, this one's not bad at all.
with the DVD release of In the Beginning, there is
an almost total lack of special features. I have mentioned
my preference for Christopher Franke's incidental music over
that of Stuart Copeland, but this is DVD - we could
have had a choice!
the dearth of extras, this is still worth gathering into your
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