Babylon 5 Project I: Dawn of the Third Age
The Babylon 5 Project also looks to exorcise some loose plot threads that don't pay off down the line. Talia Winters is reduced in her role throughout the early seasons for this reason. Some inconsistencies are also removed, especially when it comes to Babylon Squared and the War Without End two-parter.
The Battle of the Line segment from Babylon 5: In the Beginning provides a prologue and sets up Sinclair. He regains his memory from a flashback in Babylon Squared rather than "And the Sky Full of Stars" which gets to the point quicker (avoiding what I think of as a weak episode) and removes Sinclair's flash-forward in B-Squared which never happens.
Midnight on the Firing Line
- Most of Talia's storyline (sorry Talia/Ivanova shippers!)
- Londo at the casino
- The breakfast scene
- Fasten/zip sequence
- Minor edits to remove inconsistencies with War Without End
- Battle of the Line footage from In the Beginning as a prologue. Minor edits made to hide certain bombshell revelations by Delenn.
- Truncated version of the Londo/Adira love story. Removed the Purple Files aspect and made a more runaway slave kind of story.
- Truncated version of the alien healing device storyline with Dr. Franklin.
- Sinclair's memory from And the Sky Full of Stars of the Battle of the Line were added and mixed with footage from In the Beginning of the same event.
- The final scene from And the Sky Full of Stars of Sinclair giving his personal log.
- A shot or two from War Without End added for consistency.
As a fan of the series I am honestly staggered by this edit.
The way subjectzero intercut multiple episodes is simply brilliant. Those who have watched the show will know that the first season is a bit of a slog at times but this film successfully takes the first season's best elements and weaves them together to create a compelling opening chapter to Babylon 5's grand narrative.
What's more this edit managed to made the show more believable. Babylon 5 actually felt busy. Normally the commander would only have to deal with the A and B plots of any given episode but this film actually made the commander appear to be deftly spinning multiple plates. It does this while successfully introducing the shows ensemble cast who each get ample screen time.
Honestly it is hard to find fault with this project. I did occasionally think of a scene that could have included but when I tried to think where it would actually fit or what would need to be replaced in order to keep the run time sensible it just didn't seem like there would be any net benefit overall. If I had any criticism it would be that, when compared to the series, you simply have less time to get invested in the characters. However, with a project like this that is as inevitable as it is understandable and it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the film. Ultimately if you already love the show you will love this.
All in all it is a well paced distillation of the early key points of the series and I am very much looking forward to the second movie.
- No filler episodes
- Reduced cringe worthy scenes/dialogue
- Babylon 5 genuinely feels like a bustling space port
- Maintains early plot foreshadowing
- Excellent editing throughout
- Reduced time with each character
Babylon 5 is an epic length novel for television and can work in a multitude of ways...long-form tv and now long-form "movies", edited together with supreme craftsmanship by subjectzero. I was very privileged to have seen the betas and helped out with ways of how to improve the final product. Here, in the first chapter of the B5 saga, several key episodes of the first season are held together by coherent editing and the very strong connective tissue of the series myth arc. This edit will remind older fans of the journey they went on, only now they have a lengthier amount of time to take it all in than just standard tv length. A worthwhile project that I look forward to seeing through to completion.