am 21. Juni 1998
This is an episode guide done by an English writer. Thus the delay in getting this on the market for almost five years. Well worth the wait. One of my pet peeves with the Starlog series magazines and the Starlog general magazine as well, is the lack of complete credit lists of the artists and creative personnel. Nothing is more annoying to me than wondering all through an episode who someone is (as in-- I've seen that face before, or, who's that, they're really good?) and wanting to find out what else they've done (using the net of course) and then there is a swing insert preview or teaser at the end which squinches up the cast credits. Or you missed the leading credits, but that doesn't matter anyway, because there are five or six opening credits and you don't know any of them. And they go by too fast to write down. (Hercules and Xena do this scrunching all the time. Better to scrunch the chief grip, etc. ) These episode guide books are really handy for looking someone up, just as useful as the episode summaries themselves. In addition, there have well-written commentaries and analyses of the major themes of the series. This series is so well packed that since I have been watching the reruns on TNT, I picked up on sub-texts and hints that were not returned to until the fourth season when there was doubt that a fifth would be done. I am looking forward to buying the last three books, I already have the first two. Carter Rila
am 18. April 1998
"Who are you?" "What do you want?" These two questions, how they are answered, and in what order, define the televised novel Babylon 5. Be aware though. Answering these two questions is not nearly as easy as it sounds.
Babylon 5 is about choices made (in response to the two questions), opportunities lost, and the effect of these on the development of each character. This theme is brought to light in a nicely written book covering Babylon 5's first season (which has the same title as the book - "Signs and Portents") by Jane Killick. For each episode and the pilot, there is a synopsis which, along with a well thought out analysis, helps greatly in rationalizing and understanding the motives of each of the major characters and the various races. Numerous interviews with the actors, writers, directors, and series creator, J. Michael Straczynski, provide additional insight into the series direction and each character's actions. Killick's book also contains a comprehensive section devoted to the events that led up to Babylon 5's creation.
Because Babylon contains forshadowing of future events in almost every episode, I found that the book increased my understanding of the events taking place in the Babylon 5 universe considerably. From refreshing my memory about forgotten details, to pointing out what was overlooked in viewing the show, this book was an invaluable tool that could only have been made better by including more plot detail.
Overall, I have to rate this book a "must buy" for those with even a passing interest in the show. It is the first authorized book of its type and it doesn't rely heavily on information posted on the web or hearsay sources, but instead on exclusive first person interviews. This reason alone makes it worth the price.
No doubt about it, this book's a keeper (and you'll find out about those in the Season 3 book of the series - "Point of No Return").
am 17. April 1998
For those who want in-depth reviews and notes on each episode of Season One of the highly-acclaimed television series 'Babylon 5', this book will do extremely well. Entertaining facts and reviews abound in this book, including behind-the-scenes notes from the creater of the show on how his vision went from paper to screen. I enjoyed it immenseley, including the section that reveals how actor Walter Koenig was originally selected for the role of Psi Cop Alfred Bester. The candid forward from Michael O'Hare was a very pleasant addition to a well-constructed Season One reference manual of the show. I recommend it (and future reference books in the series) to both fans and first-timers alike.
am 8. Juni 1998
This is a good reference to Season One, a must for anyone who is a fan of the show and definitely for those who don't have Internet access and/or haven't found the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. The summaries are good, though the reader has to skip over some of Killick's commentary regarding what was "good" and "bad" about certain episodes. What is most fascinating though is the behind-the-scenes commentary, finding out that Koenig WASN'T originally thought of for Bester, etc. The stories behind the stories are a good bonus to buy this book.
am 6. April 1999
I have taped all of the shows, & proceed to watch them at my own leisure one by one. After watching each episode, I then read the synopsis of the episode out of the book. It tends to make some minute things come to life.Things that I consider minor, are shown to be of great importance by the creator. The insights on why things were done, the timing of those things, it was all very excellent. I reccommend it for any real Baylon 5 fan. There is sooo much to learn from this series of books.
am 23. August 1998
This is an excellent reference book. I skipped the capsule descriptions of the episodes and went to the real meat: the behind-the-scenes stuff. Whether it's an anecdote by one of the actors/actresses, or getting into the nuts-and-bolts business of keeping the show on the air and staying within budget, this volume never failed to delight.