Babylon 5 Season by Season: The Coming of Shadows Review
The Coming of Shadows is Jane Killick's in-depth guide to the second season of Babylon 5. This title is also the overall title of the show's second season and refers to the escalating activities of the Shadows and their minions during the year 2259.
Ms. Killick begins with an essay titled "By Any Means Necessary: Making Babylon 5 on a Budget". This section discusses the challenge of producing Babylon 5 on a limited budget. The crew utilized many techniques including extensive preplanning, knowing when to spend and when to scrimp, and sticking to a rigorous shooting schedule.
The second section of the book is an essay about the second season as a whole. Ms. Killick tracks the activities of the Shadows operating behind the scenes in the Narn-Centauri War. She also discusses the integration of Sherdian into the crew and the evolution of his character from a squeaky clean war hero to a conspirator.
The meat of the book is the episode guide. This section is comprised of one chapter for each episode, and each chapter includes a cast list, short synopsis, and an analysis of the episode. Dedicated Babylon 5 fans may find the synopses lacking because they are written nonlinearly and occasionally have surprising omissions. However, the analysis sections more than make up for the synopses. On these pages, Ms. Killick's informed interpretations serve as a framework for quotes from the cast and crew. Numerous actors and crew members - as well as J. Michael Straczynski himself - were interviewed for this book, and their comments have been dispersed to appropriate places throughout the episode guide. All of the comments relating to a particular episode or issue are grouped together.
With a story as complex as Babylon 5's it is hard to keep the events of five seasons straight. Babylon 5 Season by Season: The Coming of Shadows is an indispensable addition to any serious Babylon 5 fan's library.