When I got to my hotel room last night, I realized that I’d forgotten to pack a network cable along with the laptop. Thus, today’s articles are getting posted from my work computer. Today is expected to be a busy day, so the “Smallville” review may not appear until very late in the day. (If the review looks funny, that’s because my templates aren’t on the work computer.) In the meantime, here’s the Saturday review, which will finish off all existing live action Babylon 5 for review. Come back in July or August for more, assuming JMS’ call to jury duty doesn’t slow things down too much. (At least we can rest assured of a fair trial, though. Man, would I love to be in that jury deliberation room…)
Cast and Crew
Dylan Neal as David Martell
Andreas Katsulas as G’Kar
Alex Zahara as Dulann
Myriam Sirois as Sarah Cantrell
Dean Marshall as Malcolm Bridges
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Mike Vejar
The remarkable similarities between this captain and James T. Kirk.
This is probably the least original production that has the B5 name. At this stage, it felt like a shot at Babylon 5 again, complete with an ancient evil that has just woken up. (Referring to the Shadows as “insects” to make these guys seem scarier does more to downplay the original series than to beef up this one, from my perspective.) Include cast members that don’t seem very far removed from those of other franchises, and you’ve got a problem. I give it 2 out of 6.
The effects look like those in the other movies. They clearly have a lower budget than they should have had, and it shows in the effects more than anywhere else. I give it 4 out of 6.
The story has all the structure elements it needs, and it’s definitely intended as a pilot rather than a complete package. As a result, we’ve got sci-fi adventure, but there’s little or no sign of the deeper messages and meanings we’ve come to expect from JMS. Apart from the lack of originality, there’s nothing really wrong with the pilot (except perhaps the world’s least efficient weapon targeting system, and a stealth and espionage expert who gets very flustered when he gets caught), though it doesn’t reach the depths of JMS’ more complete works. I give it 4 out of 6.
The acting from Andreas Katsulas was always great. The rest of the cast definitely needed to grow into their roles. I give it 3 out of 6.
The emotional response was limited. It’s entertaining enough, but it doesn’t live up to the expectations I’ve developed from something with the Babylon 5 stamp. I give it 3 out of 6.
The production is second only to the visual effects for revealing the lack of budget. It’s a good attempt, but not quite good enough. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, it’s hampered by my expectations of the series. I suspect that my second viewing, while perhaps not any more enjoyable, will be less dissapointing. I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers receives 24 out of 42.