Babylon 5: The Lost Tales begins with "Voices in the Dark." This is the first in a set of direct to DVD installments to the Babylon 5 franchise. In "Voices in the Dark," two parallel stories occur in a seventy-two hour period. First, Interstellar Alliance President, John Sheridan, proceeds to Babylon 5 from the headquarters on Minbar for a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Interstellar Alliance. In the second, B5's Colonel Lochley summons a priest from Earth space to handle strange goings on Babylon 5.moreless
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Colonel Elizabeth Lochley
Prince Regent Dius Vintari
Had Colonel Lochley changed branches on Earth Alliance military? During the final year of Babylon 5 and through all season of Crusade, she was Captain (O6, navy); now she is Colonel (O6, also, but Marine/Army). However, she does not use greens, as General Franklin (B5-2x10, "GROPOS") and his staff or brown like Colonel Ari Ben Zayn (1x15, "Eyes"), but blues like always - and like Major (O4) Ed Ryan (B5-3x10, "Severed Dreams") - who, by the way, was CO of the "Alexander". So, what happened? Perhaps has Earth Alliance decided to unify its military rank designations?
Father Kelly in his conversation with Lochley mentions "seraphim." A "seraph" or its plural "seraphim" is one of a class of celestial beings mentioned in Old Testament. They may have human form, can be referred to as "angels," and are mentioned in the book of Isaiah as winged guardians of God's throne.
"... I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the Hekhal. Above Him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales introduces a new kind of Minbari cruiser.
Bruce Boxleitner brought all of his personalized crew coats, not donated to auction, up to the Vancouver studios to dispel rumors by a "sub-section of British fans" that he burned them. JMS referred to the rumor mongers as "bunch of whackos" and had a picture taken to " ... at minimum ... put THAT baldfaced lie to bed."
There was a question early in production as to whether the coat for Prince Dius Vintari of the Centauri Republic should be blue or gold. JMS wrote, "Ultimately we went with gold, despite the input of some who charged into the room shouting 'I'm thinking pastels!' for no discernible reason."
Vintari: Anyway, Emperor Mollari thought I'd be safer with you. He said: 'I would trust Sheridan with my life!"
Sheridan: Well, that's...
Vintari: Then he corrected himself and said he would trust you with my life, because he had plans for next week. Then he left the room laughing!
Sheridan: But this can be stopped?
Galen: No! I came all the way to show you this because nothing can be done, because I like the way your pupils dilate in the presence of total planetary Armageddon... yes, it can be stopped!
Father Kelly: I'm afraid there aren't many priests in this section of space, or any sector to tell the uncomfortable truth. We're something of a vanishing breed out here.
Lochley: I'm sorry.
Father Kelly: Don't be. A decline in faith and influence of the Church was to be expected once humans penetrated heaven and found there was no angels, no fire eternal, no not even a delinquent seraphim left behind by the general evacuation, just infinite space. For two hundred years mankind has walked among the stars on legs of fire and steel failing to encounter the wonders of the burning bush.
Lochley: True, but still there are a lot of scientists who believe in God.
Father Kelly: Oh sure, physicists have tried to soften the blow with quantum mechanic consolation prizes. Noting the mystery is yet to be resolved in tiny sub-atomic particles whose actions hint of the presence of intelligence, but where in those infinitesimal spaces can be found the God who stopped the sun in the sky over Jericho, parted the Red Sea, birthed the universe, and shaped the molecules of dust until their name was man and woman. Once we got into space, the deck was stacked and the clock was ticking, but that doesn't scare me. I think the Church still has a few surprises up our sleeve.
Lochley: Well, if it's surprises you are looking for, you've come to the right place.
Col. Lochley: I hope you don't mind that we are meeting here in my quarters. I felt it best to keep this away from the crew.
Father Kelly: The clergy specializes in private conversations in small quiet places.
Col. Lochley: Oh yes, we are getting ready for the big celebration party for the tenth anniversary of the Interstellar Alliance. President Sheridan, himself, is coming in from Minbar to be here for it. So things are a bit crazier than usual. Which is saying something.
Col. Lochley : Personal log, Colonel Elizabeth Lochley, Commanding Officer Babylon 5, in the nine years since I took over day to day operations on B5, I requisitioned some pretty odd things strange foods, alien booze, exotic dancers for a Centauri business meeting, but this ... this is a new enigma even for me.
G'Kar's voice: (intro. before title: B5 station explodes, time on screen counts backwards) I believe that when we leave a place part of it comes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen for a while. You will hear the echo of all our conversations, every thought and word we exchanged. Long after we have gone, our voices will linger in these walls.
The Babylon 5 : The Lost Tales offices for JMS and Doug Netter were located directly next door to the Battlestar Galactica offices at the Vancouver Film Studios.
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales came in under budget and finished a full day ahead of schedule.
New technology simplified production of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. JMS noted, "For instance, in B5 halls we used to have wooden strips painted green or blue or red to signal various sectors. Here we ran these really lovely light panels that can change colors and at the same time add a light source and warm up the halls."
J. M. Straczynski started writing the first of the Lost Tales scripts by August 2006. The stories were formed partly by which actors were available, since original cast members are being used.
An initial production schedule was given at Comic Con convention. The first Babylon 5: The Lost Tales DVD was planned to start shooting in September of 2006, with post-production in the fourth quarter of 2006, and release in the second quarter of 2007. However, members of cast and crew were not available necessitating changes. Shooting got rescheduled to October, then to November, and finally began on November 13, 2006. Production was completed on April 15, 2007 an the DVD was presented to the studio.
To maintain the look of Babylon 5, Babylon 5: The Lost Tales required the usage of fan created materials for reference." The CGI people at Atmosphere Visual Effects used the fan created 3D models. It has been noted, that the original materials were turned over to Warner Bros to be archived and were subsequently lost.
Originally the DVD was to have three stories. By October 2006, it was decided to "postpone one of the three stories to the next DVD, and lengthen the other two to make up the difference. Given that the Garibaldi story was the most complicated visually and technically, also the most difficult from a CGI perspective, that's the one that got pushed until, potentially, next time." (JMS quoted)
The DVD extras include a number of behind-the-scenes pieces were shot specifically for inclusion on the DVD. In addition, a number of original short pieces were filmed six months prior to release which feature glimpses into the future of Babylon 5 and her characters.
This first DVD in The Lost Tales series required approximately two hundred EFX shots using the latest CGI technology. The same CGI was used to create virtual sets "a la Sin City, but on an even more detailed basis, in many cases integrating them with practical sets based on the original blueprint designs for Babylon 5." (JMS)
JMS placed a separate set-piece just before the main title sequence to "tie back visually to our series finale, 'Sleeping in Light,' in kind of a tribute to the end of that volume and the starting of this one."
Several prop.s, including an original Starfury, were shipped to the Vancouver studios from holding stages in LA. After refinishing and a new paint job they found new life in Babylon 5: The Lost Tales.
The Babylon 5 set was reconstructed "directly from the specs shown in the original B5 blueprints, hand-delivered to the set by JMS."
The digital effects for Lost Tales required a green screen on Stage J of the Vancouver Film Studios that covered nearly two thirds of the massive fifteen thousand square foot stage.
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