Archive for the ‘Babylon 5’ Category

Echoes of All Our Conversations #6

This is the final volume to this series, though a lovely volume containing an index and featuring Stephen Furst’s Vir is also available, but that doesn’t make for very good reviewing, though the index is quite extensive, and the production timeline and set blueprints are quite cool. Except that like the other volumes it is signed and includes with it a postcard and bookmark with Vir quotes on them.

But this is volume six, and features Bill Mummy’s Lennier and includes a CD with an audio interview not transcribed in the book. It also features interviews with many of the cast and crew a year or so after Babylon 5 finished principle production. Many of the questions focus on memories from when everything started back with “The Gathering” over six years earlier. We not only get a rare interview with Michael O’Hare, but Walter Koeing, several writers and directors, and a representative from Warner Brothers is included. There are then interviews with the principle cast for Legend of the Rangers, and finally, interviews with the three principle cast members of The Lost Tales. Included are many wonderful photos, including one of Andreas Katsulas in costume but without make-up or prosthetics.

And thus ends this trip down the Babylon 5 memory lane. Or thus it almost ends. There is one final book, B5 at 20: A Visual Celebration, but while it looks amazing it doesn’t look right for me. There is also my reviews of Babylon 5 itself to finish here…someday hopefully. In the mean time, I hope you have enjoyed this look at some of my favorite parts from these books, and look forward to more on Doctor Who here in the hopefully near future.

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Echoes of All Our Conversations #5

This is an interesting collection because this gives us a snapshot of the end of season five, which was full of emotion between things ending and the second two movies plus the potential of Crusade. It is always interesting to hear different perspectives on the same thing. This tends to happen a lot since the interviews tend to be clustered together. The guest cast is always interesting to hear from since they give us a bit of an outside perspective. This time we get Byron, the regent, Wayne Alexander in yet another role, Martin Sheen, and the archaeologist as stand outs. The artist who helped design Thirdspace is another interesting one. It is also interesting to hear from some of the people who have been there forever, especially as far as the CGI is concerned. As usual, there is included a CD with an audio interview. This time Jerry Doyle is the actor featured, including a bookmark and postcard with quotes from his character Michael Garibaldi. There is an interview from Mira Furlan’s husband who directed an episode in the fifth season. Harlan Ellison’s interview is particularly noteworthy, having been involved on the peripheries from the beginning. Patricia Talman also gets personal. Once again, another must have volume for B5 fans.

JMS Script Book #2.5

So back in JMS Script Book #2, they included the final version of the season 2 premier, “Points of Departure”. Usually, the script team would go for an earlier version, but thanks to a hard drive crash this was not possible for this episode – or so they thought. Fast forward several years and they somehow managed to find a copy of the original script. This book comes complete with a complete discussion of differences between scripts and the script itself is annotated indicating what was different from the final version. As a bonus, they managed to capture the audio of the original version and have included a complete storybook with pictures and dialog to go along with the CD. As another bonus, we get the original notes from JMS about both the Centauri trilogy and the Technomage trilogy of books. Oh, and in addition to the CD, we get another postcard and bookmark with quotes from the original version of “Points of Departure”. All in all, very fascinating! I can’t help but wonder what they will have for us next!

Echos of All Our Conversations #4

This time we are treated to some quotes from Delen and a message from Mira Furlan herself before we dive into the goodness of this book. Much of the book there is a sense of uncertainty as it  covers the period where no one knew whether B5 would be renewed for a fifth season or not. We get Claudia Christian’s perspective on not coming back for season 5 and everything that led to that. We also get interviews directly related to the first two TV movies, “Thirdspace” and “In the Beginning”. Many of the same people are interviewed, but there are some newcomers, especially Tracy Scoggins. We also get some insight into some reorganization of the CGI department. One of the funnest parts, for me at least, was to read the comments of the guest actors. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed to me there were more of those in this volume than some of the previous volumes. Again, photos of cast and crew are included.

Echoes of All our Conversations #3

In this red volume, we get a bookmark and postcard with quotes by Commander Susan Ivanova and it is signed by the actress who played her, Claudia Christian. This book covers the end of season two into well into season four when there was much uncertainty whether there would be a season 5. We get some interesting stories, including the strike, the change to a different CGI company, and Harlan Ellison’s take on the B5 project. We not only hear from some of our favorite regulars (and some not so regulars like Walter Koenig, Wayne Alexander, and Ed Wasser)), we hear from some of the guest stars like Turhan Bey and Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Another must have volume for fans.

Echoes of All Our Conversations #2

This blue volume features a quote and saying plus signature and greeting from Bruce Boxliner, AKA John Sheridan. Once again we have interviews with main actors, guest actors, writers, directors, the people over costumes and wardrobes, set designers, CGI creators . . . This time we get through the end of season two with hints of what is to come in season three. What I find most interesting is they will cover some of the same ground, i.e. what did you think of this particular episode, and JMS will give a different answer from the writer (if he didn’t write it) who gives a different answer from the director who gives a different answer from this actor who was prominently featured in that episode which is different from what the guest actor says . . . Included are a number of casual shots from the B5 photo archive.

Echoes of All Our Conversations #1

This is an amazing series so far. First up is Peter Jurasik aka. Londo Molari whose signature graces this purple (very appropriate since in purple he is stunning) volume. He also included a note for the fans. He chose two quotes, one of which goes on a bookmark and another on a post card. As an extra a CD is included with an interview that is not transcribed in the book. The source of this book is a number of interviews done by Joe Nazzaro with the cast and crew over B5’s entire run. Yep, out of several dozen interviews, only two are with JMS. The rest are with everyone else. This volume covers many of the interviews done during the production of “The Gathering” and season one and prep for season two. It is interesting to see how some of these accounts compare to each other. For instance, it appears Catlin Brown has different ideas about Na’Toth than Larry DiTillio. Another interesting thing is that there was a bit of a question whether to start the series with “Midnight on the Firing Line” or “Soul Hunter”. There are lots of tidbits like that. We learn things about the actors and the crews such as what else they have worked on. For instance, I did not know that Julia Nickson was in Rambo or in Sidekicks. This is a great volume for any B5 fan.

Asked and Answered Part 5

In this final volume of this series, we get season overviews with questions asked and answered about seasons two through five. They seem to get progressively shorter, but given JMS’s workload at the time, I don’t blame him. Also, the closer you get to the series’ finale the fewer questions there are to ask I suspect. We also get the lowdown on “In the Beginning”, “Thirdspace”, “River of Souls”, “A Call to Arms”, “Legend of the Rangers: To Live and Die in Starlight”, and “Lost Tales Voices in the Dark”. There are a particularly large number of questions asked and answered about “Sleeping in the Light”, which was not only the series finale but also JMS’s directorial debut. All in all very interesting.

Asked and Answered Part 4

In this volume JMS gives us some insight into what a writer’s life is like, or at least he tells us what his writer’s life is like. He talks in some detail about the pilot – pre-production, production, and post-production and everything in between from casting to the ratings. He then goes into the preparation for season one and talks about each episode of season one. All in all, another fascinating volume.

Asked and Answered Part 3

In this volume JMS gets down into the nitty-gritty. He talks about costumes, special effects, sound design, and the writing process. He gives details on the various races, the ships, and technology portrayed on Babylon 5. He also tackles controversial topics such as religion, sex, and what he really thinks about Star Trek. Also included is a Babylon 5 timeline that covers all the major events from the production of The Gathering to the release of The Lost Tales.