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Sivosten webZine :: Babylon 5: The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark (2007)
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark (2007)

Authors: Angel Genchev, Ivan G. Atanasov, Tuesday, 23 October 2007.

In Articles :: Movies & Animation; Propose a Second Opinion

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Colonel Elizabeth Lochley. I'm not exactly sure what stunned me more - the rank itself or it was the fact that she's actually turning out to be the one and only commander of the Babylon 5 station, who lasted most without becoming the next Ambassador to the Minbari or a Chosen One, or not even some President of an Alliance of sort... Anyhow, a couple of months ago the most surprising sequel to one of the most successful sci-fi series ever was granted to the public, and even if it might have not been a blockbuster, it should have already become the absolute Number One event for the sci-fi audience.

But what's going on in John Michael Straczinsky's head? For quite some time the Babylon project has been unfortunately dead and fortunately completed, and the fairy tale of a sequel to the Crusade was just well, a fairy tale. The mere thought of it was like some long distant dream, something like a new Star Trek with William Shatner in the leading role. But JMS, whilst rumored to be linked with the new Stargate series, suddenly remembered the good old B5 and instead of publishing his next book, released a whole new movie.

It's very unlikely for the B5-creator to perform a random gesture for the fans and, until now, he has never approached in an adventurous manner to his work. So it is quite likely that a plot of some sort is building up in his mind, and maybe it's up to the sales of the new production to unravel it to the public, especially after the financial collapse of B5: Crusade. There are two sentences in the movie that literally strike the viewer, especially the first one, the motto - "It's been ten years since the Alliance was formed". Quite an astonishing parallel. Yes, that's exactly how long has passed... since the filming of the original Babylon 5s last season (not Crusade) in 1997 and its first airing in January 1998. Should we be expecting a little something in 2008, although the IMDB is stone cold silent about it? There is one more serious implication backing up the suggestion that Straczinsky has given up on renewing the "Crusade" project - 10 years later Earth is still untouched. The projects only remains could be found in the bit more dialogic and philosophical format in comparison to the original series one.

As for the second sentence - "Babylon 5 is a place for beginnings and endings" and the final "A new beginning?" coming from president Sheridan's mouth - I think that a more thorough comment is unnecessary.

The movie "Voices in the Dark" itself adds little to the original Babylon universe, although it doesnt pretend for any particular significance. But that is quite likely for Straczinsky, whose full-length movies at most hint the details of a whole new story, start it vaguely or add the final touches to another tale. The movie surely lives up to B5's fans expectations, but would hardly withstand a more serious critique as a separate work and could hardly charm a viewer who is not used to the peculiarities of the series' universe.

Reviewing the old faces in the new production there are several characters left - President Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) and now-colonel Lochley (Tracy Scoggins). A bit surprising is the interference of the techno-mage Galen (Peter Woodward) who is actually a "Crusade" character and his only part in the original series is in the full-length "A Call To Arms", with a little, but key role in the whole story. Missing are Peter Jurasik (Londo Mollari), although there are some archive scenes with him in the intro; Andreas Katsulas (GKar), may him rest in peace; Garibaldi, Delenn, Dr. Franklin and a bit surprisingly Vir (whose a little odd mentioning left me with the impression that JM is cooking something for the centauri's story) - each and everyone of them excused for his absence for one or another reason. The new faces are two and they leave a taste of the Shadows and of course of the never ending ambition of Centauri Prime, but I'd better leave that to the movie.

So, have a nice view and well hopefully see from Babylon 5 soon.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=191614#191614

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