Saturday, August 24, 2013

Babylon 5 (TV) - Sneak Peek From 1993

When I saw this back in 1993 on the SciFi Channel's version of "Entertainment Tonight" called "SciFi Buzz" I knew good things were coming. J. Michael Straczynski creator of many works of SciFi and writer on one of my favorite cartoons as a youth (Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors) fashioned a scifi universe to rival the vaunted concepts of Starfleet with it's Warp Drives, Photon Torpedos and Federation. As this universe came to life he enlisted top noch actors, costumers and special effects artists to create a story that will forever live in the hearts of fanboys across the world. Some things to take note of:
* The opening music is really cool, but I have no idea who did it or its name...yet.
* The Minbari seen in the scene at 1:16 is indeed Delenn but they hadn't finalized the vocal mix for her voice for the pilot movie. I beleieve they allowed Mira Furlan to use her unaltered voice for the series.
* JMS' incessant allusions to "that other scifi show" is indeed a jab at Star Trek. JMS pitched the storyline of B5 to Paramount during the production of STNG. They turned him down, citing that they had a scifi series set on a space station all their own that they were planning. So the basis of a rivalry was also spawned with B5.
* The computer technology was very state of the art and budget friendly at the time. They used Lightwave 3D and video Toaster technology from NewTek to create all the models used in the series. A cost saving measure that allowed them to create lavish aliens, some of which were puppets with only humans doing their dialogue. Their use of Lightwave would show Hollywood that computerized model design and animation was more than feasible and thus Lightwave became an animation and design darling in Hollywood for all manner of productions.
* JMS' comments about the bathroom were very true and often remarked upon by those familliar and unfamilliar wth Star Trek. So much so that they used small (very small) amounts of bathroom humor in a few of the movies.
Overall a great little piece of video for anyone who loves B5 or SciFi Buzz. I am glad I found it.

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