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Babylon 5: The Road Home               review by Chris Medellin

Babylon 5 was science fiction TV show that aired from 1994 to 1998. It had been preceded by the pilot Babylon 5: The Gathering in 1993. The series was based on the Babylon 5 space station, a five mile long space station with almost a quarter of a million inhabitants. The last of the Babylon stations designed as a hub for trading and diplomacy. 1 through 3 were destroyed. Babylon 4 disappeared. The Babylon 5 station was the universe's

last best hope for peace.


Babylon 5 was created by Joseph Michael Straczynski, known as JMS for the rest of this review, as a novel for television. It was designed to run as a five year story arc. Once the main story was done, it was done. Something exceptional for not only for science fiction television but regular television as well at the time. The show held together because not only was JMS executive producer of the series, he wrote 92 of the 110 episodes. Something, he's said in interviews he was never going to do again.

The story was completed more or less according to plan. It did last not only five seasons. There were five TV movies, including The Gathering pilot. There was the failed pilot Legend of the Rangers. There was the 13 episode series Crusade and the straight to DVD anthology Lost tales. Also 22 novels, comics, tabletop games, technical books and even action figures.


The brilliance in the series was not only the intelligence of the writing. There really are no throw away lines in the dialogue. Every character had a well-developed story arc. No one left the story the same as they went in. Take Londo Mollari, the Centauri ambassador. He was a man given to drinking and decadence. The Centauri Empire was once one of the greatest empires in the

galaxy. Now they falling apart from attrition and overindulgence. Londo is given an opportunity to help his beloved empire to rise back up, and he makes deals with devils. He is grateful at first, then realizes the scope of what he has done for it. Or take G'Kar, the ambassador from Narn. In any other science fiction, as the reptilian looking alien he would probably be the story's bad guy. But G'Kar, as are all the other alien races, too complex for that. The Narn were slaves to the Centauri. A hundred years before, these formally agrarian people had built their people up to be a space faring race almost equal to others. What of the telepaths? They began to appear over a century before the main series begins. What's their story? What of one of the older races, the Vorlons? Who is the new ambassador, Kosh? Why does he have to wear an encounter suit?

Commander Jeffrey Sinclair was the first to command Babylon 5. He was aptly played by Michael O'Hare. He starred in the first season. Bruce Boxleitner came in season two as Captain John Sheridan who took over and lasted the entire season. JMS had a “trap door” for each character. Meaning any and all characters could be written out with minimal disruption of the story. It didn't mean that the characters would have the same story arc or personality. Sinclair was a fighter pilot who became a diplomat. Sheridan was a war hero. He was the only one in all of Earth Force who scored a decisive victory against a Minbari battleship in the Earth Minbari war. He was called Starkiller because of it. Michael O'Hare returned to the series to finish out Sinclair's arc in season two.

I told y'all all this so you have an idea of what's going on in the new animated feature Babylon 5: The Road Home. If you were a fan of the show, I think you might like this quite a bit. I did. If you haven't seen this show, what's up with

that? Okay, full disclosure, I am a fan. Babylon 5: The Road Home is a welcome return to the universe, people and stories we last sawover 21 years ago. The animation was good. On par with the DC animated movies. It starts with John Sheridan, now President of the Interstellar Alliance, touring a new energy production facility on Minbar. Something goes wrong and Sheridan becomes unstuck in time. He not only travels through time but goes into parallel worlds. Some are expansions on things they hinted at in the original series. Some are new. John has to make his way back to Babylon 5 to the dead planet it orbits, Epsilon III, and to the Great machine inside to help him. Everywhere he goes the Shadows are winning.


It was a welcome return for a fan like me. Especially with original actors Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian. Bill Mumy, Tracy Scoggins, Peter Jurasik and Patricia Tallman returning to their characters. According to the featurette included on the Blu Ray, much to all their enjoyment. JMS has hopes to make more of these animated features. Let's hope.

I'm going to close out this review by finishing with the actors who are no longer with us or it's said in the B5 universe, those that have passed beyond rim. Their characters, with different voice actors. Some were good. Some came close. But it didn't distract from the story being told.

To Absent Friends in Memory, Still Bright: Richard Biggs, Tim Choate, Jeff Conaway, Jerry

Doyle, Mira Furlan, Stephen Furst, Andreas Katsulas, Michael O'Hare.

Babylon 5: The Long Road Home is available on Blu Ray, 4K and video on demand by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. 

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