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The Earth military encounters an alien race called the Minbari. Through a series of accidents and misunderstandings, a war breaks out that nearly results in the death of every human on Earth. The war and its aftermath provide the background for the TV series "Babylon 5," especially its first season. Written by
Darin Adler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fine telemovie that should be watched by all fans of the series.
Before watching In the Beginning I had only ever heard of Babylon 5 in passing. I knew it was well respected amongst its fans and had earned critical acclaim. After watching this film I became an avid fan of the series. In the Beginning tells the tale of the Earth/Minbari war, Earth was on the rise as an interstellar power and filled with confidence after defeating the Dilgar. Many races were courting Earth's favour, in particular the Centauri, a former power in the cosmos now in the twilight of its Empire. The tale is told in retrospect by Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik), then just a lowly liason to the Earth government, but now an aging and sad Emperor. Through his narration you get a sense of the importance of the events surrounding the war and the consequences for all life in the universe as a result of it.
The special effects are of good quality, on par with the series but not of the same quality you'd find in a cinema release. Some of the scenes have been recycled from the first season of Babylon 5 (particularly those shots involving the Battle of the Line and Michael O'Hare) but coupled with Peter Jurasik's voice over they prove to be very effective in portraying the relentlessness of the Minbari and the courage of the humans in the face of destruction.
Despite the conspicuous absence of Micheal Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle), all of the series regulars make an appearance. It was interesting to see a young looking John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) in his much talked about battles with the Minbari and the events surrounding Delenn's (Mira Furlan) proclamation of war against the humans after the death of the Minbari leader Dukhat. However, it must be said that the star of the film is Londo Mollari. Anyone familiar with the regular series will appreciate Peter Jurasik's performance and his subtle references to the mistakes he made in the past.
In the Beginning can be watched by anyone. I came to it with no knowledge of the regular series and enjoyed myself immensely. It tells a stirring story of heroism, courage in the face of overwhelming odds and hope for the future. Those fans of the series that haven't seen it yet will no doubt come away with a greater appreciation for Babylon 5. It fills in a lot of the history surrounding the Earth/Minbari war and has a great ending that links in directly to the double episode War Without End from the third season of B5 (it my confuse those not familiar with the series though). That said, those interested in good sci-fi would do well to see this telemovie as it shows what can be done with good writing, wonderful acting and good special effects. The best of the Babylon 5 telemovies.
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