Babylon 5 is one of those shows where missing one key episode can leave you clueless when watching future episodes, and Chrysalis – which first aired in October 1994 – was just such a pivotal episode. The final episode of the show’s first season, Chrysalis set plot threads into motion that would affect the series permanently. The music was easily the first season’s most memorable, and firmly set the scoring style for the show on a more percussive path rather than a predominantly new-age-esque tone (which can also be heard clearly on Chrysalis). Chrysalis includes such immortal moments as the injured Garibaldi trying to reach Sinclair to warn him about the attempt on the Earth president’s life, Delenn offering to share the secret of the Battle of the Line, and the first time we see Kosh revealing his true nature to any of the other characters. The early scoring style of Babylon 5 leaned heavily toward new age influences, but in this case – especially those scenes involving the crysalline device that transforms Delenn – it works to the advantage of this episode. There are also two bits of source music here, including the song “Believe Me Now” (a very short, early-80’s-new-wave-style pop song heard in the background of the nightclub where Garibaldi finds Devereaux), and “Cheers”, the little chunk of thumpin’ house music played as the clock strikes midnight on 2258 (actually an excerpt from Franke’s solo album Klemania).
Fan favorites such as the music accompanying the assassination of the Earth Alliance president, and Garibaldi’s dying struggle to warn Sinclair about the impending plot, are heard here unedited for the first time (both pieces were included in altered form on the first Babylon 5 compilation CD, released in 1995). My personal favorite here, however, has to be the soft but menacing piece heard as Delenn prepares to reveal her true purpose to Sinclair (which leads into one of the aforementioned Garibaldi cues). Even as I first heard that on TV, that cue sent chills up my spine, and it repeats a musical motif heard elsewhere in higher registers throughout the episode’s score, symbolizing the imminence of Delenn’s change.
Chrysalis has turned out to be one of my favorites of the Babylon 5 episodic CD range, and I hope that, even if the first-season musical scores came up a bit shorter than even 30 minutes, Sonic Images will continue to release them, perhaps opting to pair up shorter scores on a single CD.
- Into the Conference / Death of the Informant / Main Title (3:27)
- Medlab / July is Better / See You In An Hour / I Knew Him / Things To Come /
I Must See (4:06)
- Believe Me / Send the Message / I Don’t Like Where We Are Going / I Don’t
Like This / The Attack (5:50)
- He Wouldn’t / I Do Not Have Much Time / There Is Someone Else / Cheers /
- Too Late / The Point of the Exercise / She is Changing (3:30)
- Transmission / Destiny / End Title (2:30)
Released by: Sonic Images
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 24:51