Story: Leaning heavily on interviews with series creator J. Michael Straczynski and the main cast members, Jane Killick continues her analysis of Babylon 5, this time covering the show’s much-loved third season. Topics of interest include the tightening of the show’s story arc as the Shadow War looms, how the plot threads in War Without End might have been resolved if Bruce Boxleitner hadn’t taken over as the show’s leading actor the previous year, and the increasing reliance on computer generated visuals.
Review: If I wish one thing could’ve been different about Jane Killick’s excellent and informative series of Babylon 5: Season By Season books, it would’ve been devoting less space to episode guides (which can be found elsewhere) and more space to talking to the cast and crew.
Still, what is here is interesting; some of the stars begin to show a bit of frustration at the increasingly FX-heavy Shadow War arc, particularly when discussing the episode Shadow Dancing, and Joe Straczynski blasts his own script (and I’m not sure too many fans will argue with him here) for the bizarre episode Grey 17 Is Missing. And while a lot of mention is made of special effects, Straczynski vents – in numerous places – some frustration at the segment of fandom that brushed off episodes that didn’t feature major space battles. (And quite right he is there, too.)
This is also the Season By Season book with the widest spread of cast and crew members interviewed, with virtually eveyone in the main cast getting a word in somewhere, and several directors as well, including Kevin Cremin, David Eagle and John Flinn. Don’t miss Jerry Doyle’s account of breaking his arm during the filming of Severed Dreams, then trying to be a trooper and finish the scene, which only resulted in him then breaking his wrist during the retake.
Overall, this is probably the best book of the series, though this is hardly surprising when so many fans hold the show’s third season in such high regard.
Author: Jane Killick
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 176 pages