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Babylon 5: The Road Home

Reviewed by Galen Strickland
Posted August 14, 2023

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The official release day is tomorrow but I got my Blu-Ray Saturday. I would have posted this review earlier but other things in life got in the way. This site is an Amazon.com associate, and purchase links are provided above if you chose to use their services. The prices have changed since I first checked, especially for the Blu-Ray. I bought mine through Best Buy since I had a reward certificate, and I can't take advantage of Amazon's commission for my own purchases. At this time Best Buy's price for the Blu-Ray is less than half what Amazon is asking. Of course, prices from any source are subject to change, and be sure to double check which format you are buying, since I've seen pages saying "4K" but the image reads "Blu-Ray," and in one case Blu-Ray only, no digital code. I don't care where you buy it, since the commission from Amazon would not be that much. I do recommend this, so if you find it anywhere else at a better price, go for it.

My comments will be brief because I want to upload this as quick as I can before I get distracted again, but I may add to them later, especially after watching again. Six of the main actors return to do voice work for their characters; Bruce Boxleitner as John Sheridan, Claudia Christian as Susan Ivanova, Peter Jurasik as Londo Mollari, Bill Mumy as Lennier, Patrica Tallman as Lyta Alexander, and Tracy Scoggins as Elizabeth Lochley. Sadly, quite a few of the original actors have passed away, so new voices had to be recruited. The one I think sounded the most like the original was Rebecca Riedy as Delenn, and she also voiced the adolescent John Sheridan in a flashback sequence. Paul Guyet does double duty as Jeffrey Sinclair and Zathras…or I should say Zaahthraaas. The inclusion of that character automatically tells you that time travel is involved, which happened several times in the original series. Anthony Hansen voices Michael Garibaldi, Phil LaMarr is Stephen Franklin, and Andrew Morgado is G'Kar. It is not that important that the new voices match the original actors, and in several instances I don't think they did, but the spirit of the characters shines through. In a special feature, "Babylon 5 Forever," the actors are interviewed in the studio's audio booth. At that time Morgado sounded more like Katsulas's G'Kar than at any time in the film itself, but I might change my mind about that on another viewing. And as with all of Babylon 5, I will be watching this again for sure, the next time maybe with the commentary track turned on.

The opening sequences are set during the start of the original series' Season 5, as Sheridan and Delenn depart Babylon 5 for Minbar. During a ceremony dedicating a new power station, which unfortunately uses tachyon particles, Sheridan is trapped in a time bubble, transported to other places and times, including alternate universes. This can be viewed as a satisfactory story on its own, as well as a comprehensive overview of the entire series, and the many different ways events could have gone given alternate circumstances. Sheridan interacts with younger and older versions of multiple characters, some who know who he is, some who don't, since they obviously had not met him in their world. In more than one of those scenes he talks about the Shadow War, and a young Sheridan, Garibaldi, and Lyta Alexander don't know what he is talking about. A nice world to be in if the Shadows were never awakened. Not everyone he meets is the person they appear to be. In once case it is G'Kar, but in reality someone (some thing) else, perhaps one of the Ancient Ones who predated the Shadows or the Vorlons. He talks about the purpose of Sheridan's journey, and the means for him to come to that journey's end. The road home is through love, and for John Sheridan love means Delenn.

While the animation was produced via computer, the character work has a traditional look, mixed with a modern 3D style for the backgrounds. The ships, buildings, and other machinery have depth and substance, looking a lot like the original FX but in sharper detail. The movements of the Star Furies and the White Star are realistic. One slight criticism though; on more than one occasion the flight of weapons fire doesn't match the direction they should be coming from. Other than that, an immersive experience as good as anything I could have expected. Straczynski says he has more stories in mind, and has had discussions with the studio, so hopefully this production does well and we get more. The story could be expanded to places well beyond the Babylon station or other places we've already seen, introducing new characters, which could be done live action. But if original characters are necessary for the franchise to survive and thrive, animation is the perfect way to do it. I for one want more, hopefully I'm not alone. Not as good as the intense story lines in Seasons 3 and 4, but better than several of the extra movies. Well worth your time and money. Highly recommended.


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J. Michael Straczynski

Matt Peters

Release Date
August 15, 2023

Voice Cast
Bruce Boxleitner
Claudia Christian
Peter Jurasik
Bill Mumy
Patricia Tallman
Tracy Scoggins
Rebecca Riedy
Paul Guyet
Anthony Hansen
Andrew Morgado
Phil LaMarr

Full Credits at IMDb

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