Monday, February 11, 2008

BOOK REVIEW - The Babylon 5 Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski Vols. 1 & 13

The Babylon 5 Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski Vol. 1
J. Michael Straczynski
Synthetic Worlds Publishing, 2005
454 pages

The Babylon 5 Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski Vol. 13
J. Michael Straczynski
Synthetic Worlds Publishing, 2008

I am not certain when I became aware of this collection, I know it was a couple of years ago or at least enough time for me to decide I had plenty of time to buy in and start getting these books. Now it is 2008 and according to the website they are only going to be available until May 31st of this year. I guess it is time to put up or shut up so I went ahead and ordered the first book in the series and the most recent book in the series to see how they are. While the scripts are interesting and as an aspiring screenwriter I make it a point to read as many screenplays as I can get my grubby little paws on, what makes this series of books so interesting to me is the extra materials included with each volume.

Of particular interest are the introductory essays from JMS where he discusses different facets of the production of Babylon 5 and then discusses each of the scripts contained in the volume. It is interesting to see where he was mentally when writing the scripts and the various things which influenced him during the writing of the scripts.

While I think the books could be slightly higher quality for the $40 per volume price (the plastic film which protects the covers has started to peel on both volumes and I have had them for less than a month) the materials contained between the covers are certainly worth the price of admission. Now all I have to decide is whether I want to go ahead and drop the cash for the entire series. These books are an excellent resource for screenwriters and provide fans of Babylon 5 with some interesting insights into the production of the series.

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