ORBzine TV Review - "Legend of the Rangers" February 2002

Legend of the Rangers [Season 1, Episode 1-2] To Live and Die in Starlight
Shown 2002 []

After the death of Crusade , this is the new Babylon 5 spin-off show. It's set in the B5 universe just under 3 years after the events of Objects at Rest. We get to see things from a somewhat different perspective.

The show concerns a group of Rangers led by a stereotypical square-jawed American. He fails to obey the Rangers' kamikaze code of conduct, so he and his entire crew are up to be kicked out of the Rangers. Thanks to the intervention of Citizen G'Kar they keep their jobs. Instead they are posted to the equivalent of the Millennium Falcon and given every suicide mission the Rangers Council can find!

The first mission is as escort to the new flagship, carrying VIPs to a secret destination. The Captain of the flagship is the most kamikaze maniac that the Council can find, and is naturally keen to blow up his own ship - leaving the VIPs marooned, unprotected and under alien attack.

The show is used to introduce our heroes' Arch-enemies, a race of ancient aliens known as The Hand. Apparently these creatures are far more powerful than The Shadows, perhaps older than Lorien or the First Ones from B5. The problem is that the B5 universe has so much backstory that to retrofit this seems pathetic.

The nearest comparison to this series is Enterprise . Both are spin-offs from successful shows, with new crews and new technologies. The difference is that Enterprise has promise of improvement, and while it has a certain number of predictable sequences it is handled in a more or less jokey manner. LOTR, no doubt intentionally named by JMS, is incredibly self-indulgent and takes itself totally seriously. The dialogue for the most part is attrocious, the characters bland and unlikeable, and the only decent scenes involve Guest Star Andreas Katsulas.