The Babylon 5 Scripts mailing list just announced a July 31 release date for Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. JMS announced the project at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con: to revisit the universe for a series of direct-to-DVD movies. The first, Voices in the Dark, focuses on Sheridan, Lochley, and Galen, set during the 10th anniversary of the Interstellar Alliance.
One part of the story follows Sheridan as he picks up an unexpected visitor on the edge of Centauri space, Prince Regent Dius Vintari, and a warning about what will come afterward delivered by the techno-mage, Galen. The other part of the story is set aboard Babylon 5, as Colonel Lochley summons a priest from Earth space to deal with a problem that may have dark supernatural overtones. The two parts of the greater story intersect at certain key plot and thematic points, so that they overlap and complement each other while telling separate, but simultaneous, stories.
JMS has been posting photos and notes from the set from time to time, and (via ***Dave), TV Shows On DVD has posted a press release with more background and information about the DVD.
Interestingly, the press release and cover art make no mention of it being the first in a projected series. This is hardly a surprise, though, as Warner Bros. has always been reluctant to commit fully to Babylon 5 without testing the waters. Then they see the dollar signs and go all-out. It happened when they decided to release the pilot as a TV movie, instead of committing immediately to a series. It happened when they licensed the VHS rights to Columbia House, until they realized how much money Columbia House was making and launched their own series. It happened when they released just the pilot and one prequel as a DVD, before they were willing to release full season sets.
Here’s hoping it’ll be worth the wait.