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Babylon 5 DVD Releases

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Babylon 5 Season 1

Babylon 5 Season 1 DVD

All five seasons have been released individually in the US and the UK. A complete 5-season set is also available the UK, titled Babylon 5: The Complete Universe.

Columbia House offered the series DVDs by subscription, one disc at a time. These were the same discs that are found in the retail season sets, but they were individually packaged. The package artwork was largely the same as the retail season sets, but carried the Columbia House logo.

Babylon 5 Movie ReleasesEdit

Babylon 5 The Movies Collection

Babylon 5 The Movies Collection DVD

The Babylon 5 TV movies were distributed differently in the U.S. and UK. Initially a DVD containing the two movies The Gathering and In the Beginning were released on both region 1 (North America) and region 2 (UK) DVD. Then, in the U.S., the first five movies which aired while Babylon 5 was still on the air were released in one boxset, with the TV movie Legend of the Rangers getting its own separate release on both region 1 and region 2 DVD. In the UK, a film boxset was released, but instead of containing the five movies like the U.S. version, it contained the three movies which hadn't been released yet (Thirdspace, River of Souls, and A Call to Arms). The Gathering and In the Beginning were released on a low-priced two-sided R1 DVD in 2004, intended as a 'trial' of the series proper; Warner Bros. issued several such DVDs but discontinued the line shortly thereafter due to lack of interest.

Crusade DVD ReleaseEdit

Crusade

Crusade The Complete Series DVD

The complete series was released as a four disc set in 2004, almost five years after the series ended and a few months after the final season and movie set of Babylon 5 was released. Crusade was also included in Babylon 5: The Complete Universe, a set of all B5 shows and movies released in the UK on October 24, 2005. It was not included in Babylon 5: The Complete Television Series, which was a set released in the US.

Aspect RatiosEdit

The VHS releases were in a 4:3 (fullscreen) aspect ratio. DVD releases were in 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio.

The DVD releases were created by combining higher quality widescreen shots taken from original film elements (for purely live action material), with matted versions of the original broadcast and VHS release footage for any shot involving a digital effect (including fully CGI sequences, crossfades between scenes, and combinations of effects and live action material). For the latter, a 16:9 frame was achieved by cropping the top and bottom of the original 4:3 video frame and zooming the remaining imagery. Cropping and zooming these shots led to a noticeable drop in image quality in relation to purely live action material. This is evident in certain key scenes/shots:

  • In the opening monologues to In the Beginning, there is a candle on G'Kar's desk. This candle is visible throughout G'Kar's speech in the broadcast and VHS version. In the DVD version, the candle has been matted out of the frame.
  • In A Distant Star, a Starfury is shown flying beneath the Explorer class ship to give a sense of scale. The Starfury is matted out of the frame in the DVD release.
  • Throughout the series, in the DVD release, characters are sometimes missing their chins or the tops of their heads while on screen during shots involving any digital effect.
  • Some scenes alternate more frequently between the original film elements and shots involving digital effects, causing a more obvious observable shift in image quality.

Crusade and The Gathering were released to DVD in their proper 4:3 aspect ratio and do not experience these issues.

The Legend of the Rangers and Babylon 5: The Lost Tales were originally shot and released in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

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