CAT | B5 Marathon
Synopsis: “I was there at the dawn of the third age of mankind”. Londo has chosen the same words when he told the story of the pilot “The Gathering”. Now it is 2278, Londo has been emperor for 16 years but his time is coming to an end. When two children aks him to tell them a story, a story about “great battles and war and bravery and heroes and villains”, a true story, he tells them the events around the Earth-Minbar war.
My opinion: From all the TV movies they’ve made I like this the most. It is a good story and has great speeches in it. Without one exception we learn nothing new about the events in that war. There are some minor glitches that contradict the series but in the big picture it’s well put together.
And with this I conclude my Babylon 5 marathon.
After you’ve seen the series you can enjoy this two-part video. Especially pay attention to the words of the songs in combination with the scenes shown:
Wheel of Fire
Synopsis: It is planned that the inauguration of President Sheridan will be take place on Babylon 5. But there is someone who has a faible for dead presidents. Meanwhile Captain Lochley arrives at the station as a replacement for Commander Ivanova. Also a group of telepaths arive and they are not Psi Corps.
My opinion: It was an ok introduction to the last season and I really liked G’Kar’s way of getting the ceremony done.
The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari
Synopsis: One of the two hearts of Londo has given up and while they wait for a transplant, Londo lies in a coma where he has to face the things he has done or not prevented.
My opinion: A walk down on the sin road. I am not much of a fan of any dream or coma episode, they are often strange (and supposedly intended to be that way), but I don’t like the idea that I have just to decide subconsciously to wake up and suddenly wake up.
The Paragon of Animals
Synopsis: Sheridan tries to convince the members of the Interstellar Alliance to sign the Declaraton of Principles. But there is some resistance to do so. Meanwhile a planet on the border of Drazi space is attacked by Raiders and they ask Babylon 5 for help.
My opinion: This one as a fan of speeches I liked a lot. The writers did a excellent job in putting those words into G’Kar’s mouth. Although I found it a bit unrealistic that the Drazi could be suddenly a thread to a large Whitestar fleet, even when they ambushed them.
A View From the Gallery
Synopsis: We watch the events of this episode through the eyes of the maintenance people Mack and Bo who work on the station And they have to repair all kind of things while an unknown force is attacking the station.
My opninion: Great episode. To switch the view from the main characters to some “by-standers” was a fantastic idea. Of course they had to cross paths with the mains, but the focus remained on them.
Quote of the episode:
Mack (to Bo about Londo and G’Kar): “So, how long you figure they’ve been married?”
No Surrender, No Retreat
The Hour of the Wolf
Synopsis: Sheridan seems to be dead. Mr. Garibaldi is missing. Londo is called back home to the royal court and emperor Carthagia. Carthagia has given the Shadows a base on Centauri Prime on the Island of Selini. Mollari fears for the safety of his homeworld. Meanwhile the alliance against the shadows is breaking apart because the shadows have temorarily retreated and Sheridan has gone.
My opinion: A very slow beginning of a new season. That is somewhat ironic if one knows how packed this season will be. But at least we know that the character of Sheridan isn’t out of the game. But it is not clear whether hes is dead or not.
Whatever happened to Mr. Garibaldi?
Synopsis: Sheridan is still in what seems to be a cave with a being that identifies himself as Lorien. Lorien claims that Sheridan is dead and all indications point to that being true. Meanwhile G’Kar is looking for Mr. Garibaldi.
My opinion: I really liked the conversation between Sheridan and Lorien who was the very first being in the universe. And again Londo proves that his first priority is the well-being of Centauri Prime even if that means to kill the emperor and/or die in the attempt.
Quote of the episode:
Sheridan: “If you’re falling off a cliff, you may as well try to fly. You’ve got nothing to lose.”
Synopsis: Delenn plans to attack Z’ha’dum with the entire White Star fleet and all who are willing to come along. Ivanova tries to find more of the First Ones to join the fight. Meanwhile the captured G’Kar is humiliated in the royal court on Centauri Prime and tortured afterwards. And Ivanova discovers a huge Vorlon fleet in hyperspace.
My opinion: The Vorlons have attacked the Shadows directly. Now it gets really ugly and the younger races are caught in the middle. This episode leaves you with the foreboding of doom. Now it even seems to be pointless that Sheridan has returned from Z’ha’dum. Very depressing.
Quote of the episode:
Drazi: “We thought you were dead.” Sheridan: “I was. But I’m better now.”
Falling Toward Apotheosis
Synopsis: The Vorlons have attacked and destroyed several more planets that were “touched by the Shadows”. They use a vast ship called the Planet Killer. Sheridan plans to kill the Vorlon ambassadorand Londo suggests to trial and execute G’Kar on the Narn homeworld.
My opninion: Sheridan plans to kill a Vorlon. That’s a though decision that could’ve turned out very badly. But it was really cool to see an angry Vorlon and then to see two Vorlons fighting. It had to be done and it won’t be the only hard decision to make for Sheridan (see next episode). But we also learn that Sheridan has a price to pay for his journey to Z’ha’dum but he has accepted that price for a greater good. Very good episode.
Point of No Return
Matters of Honor
Synopsis: A Ranger training post is sealed of with mines and one ranger who could escape asks Babylon 5 for help. Meanwhile Londo tries to cut his connections to Mr. Morden and his associates. Also a representative of Earth comes to Babylon 5 to investigate about the Shadow vessel that destroyed Lt. Keffer’s Starfury.
My opinion: I always liked Marcus and I sure love the White Star. But Sheridan has to be a bit mad to try a stunt like the one in this episode. Good introduction to the next step of the story.
Synopsis: A series of bombings shake Babylon 5. Bombs planted by a person who has no political agenda but to spread fear. And when Lennier tries to save Londo he gets badly hurt.
My opinion: While I never really understood the motives of the bomber I really liked the tube scene between Londo and G’Kar. I also liked the arrival of the monks around brother Theo who will stay for a while on the station.
A Day in the Strife
Synopsis: A probe approaches Babylon 5 and transmits a message: When Babylon 5 can answer a series of highly complicated questions, they will receive important knowledge in return. If not, the probe will explode and take B5 with it.
My opinion: Another average episode, there’s not really much to say about it.
Passing Through Gethsemane
Synopsis: Again we see the monks. But one of them is troubled because he gets flashes of memories but he can’t remember the events. Meanwhile Lyta Alexander return to the station on a Vorlon(!) transprt ship. She has been to the Vorlon homeworld but is forbidden to tell about it. She now works for the Vorlons and must hide from the Psi Corps.
My opninion: Great episode about crime and punishment. To see the life of a mind-wiped person and how the victims of a crime can’t let go. I really liked the acting of Brad Dourif (Dune, Deadwood) and the actions of brother Theo at the end of the episode.
Categories: B5 Marathon, DVD / Blu-ray, DVD Marathon
Tags: Babylon 5 · Back to the Future · Highlander · Sliders · Star Trek · Star Trek DS9 · Star Trek TNG · Star Trek TOS · Terminator · The Last Samurai
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The Coming of Shadows
Points of Departure
Synopsis: Cmdr. Sinclair has been re-assigned, Garibaldi is still comatose, Delenn is still in her cocoon and Babylon 5 gets a new commander: Captain John Sheridan, amongst the Minbari known as “Starkiller”, because he destroyed their flag ship – the Drala Fi (Black Star) – in the war. And now a renegade Minbari war cruiser takes course to Babylon 5.
My opinion: The new season starts as powerful as the last season ended. While I liked Sinclair, Sheridan seems much more powerful as a station commander. And we finally learn why the Minbari ended the war. I especially liked the speech of Sheridan in front of – no one.
Synopsis: G’Kar has returned from his search and reports from a great ancient enemy who has returned after a thousand years and he believes that this foe is responsible for the destruction of the Narn base in quadrant 37. Meanwhile Dr. Franklin heals Garibaldi by using the alien healing device we’ve seen in the previous year and Anna Sheridan – Cpt. Sheridan’s sister – visitis the station. And Delenn has left the cocoon!
My opinion: Without knowing Garibaldi Sheridan decides to give his own life power to heal him, I liked that a lot. And we learn about the loss of his wife, who died on an IPX expidition on the Rim. But at least the traitor has been apprehended. But Londo drifts deeper and deeper in the maelstrom of his destiny. And finally, Delenn has been transformed into a beautiful being!
Spoiler (mark to read):
Londo asks about the complete destruction of the Narn homeworld and Morden answers something like “not everything at once” – we know it will happen.
The Geometry of Shadows
Synopsis: The Techno Mages are leaving for the Rim and don’t intend to return because they feel a dark force rising. But Londo wants to meet with them because it would be a powerful symbol to his people. Meanwhile Ivanova has to “negoiate” between the “purple” and the “green” fraction of the Drazi who are fighting over leadership.
My opinion: Ivanova says our flags have meanings whereas the colors of the Drazi are totally random but I tend to disagree. A flag is nowadays a symbol for a country. In earlier days it was the clan or the colors of the local lord. They only showed alliegience but for most of the people who fought and died it made no difference on which side they fought because they were forced to and often one side wasn’t an inch better than the other. Even nowadays for most people the color of the flag is set by the birth place. Therfore it’s not entirley true that our flags aren’t random.But i liked the episode because it showed how stupid it is to fight over flags or colors.
The Techno Mage wasn’t that interesting except for the dialog between Elric and Londo at the departure.
A Distant Star
Synopsis: A huge earth explorer ship arrives at Babylon 5 and refills their supplies. When it re-enters Hyperspace there is an accident and the ship drifts aways from the marked routes and may get lost. The station’s Starfurys try to find and rescue it.
My opninion: I think we’ve seen the Hyperspace for the first time in the show. Yes we’ve seen ships entering and leaving but not being in Hyperspace. Except from that it was an OK episode, nothing world-shaking.
Quote of the episode:
Sheridan: “If the primates that we came from had known that someday politicians would come out of the gene pool they’d have stayed up in the trees and written evolution off as a bad idea!”
Signs and Portents
Midnight of the Firing Line
Synopsis: A Centauri agricultural colony is attacked by the Narns and taken over. The head researcher of the Centauri happens to be the nephew of Centauri embassador Londo Mollari and the Narn have no intention of giving the colony back. Meanwhile unarmed transports are raided by people who seem to know exactly when and where a transport will be.
My opinion: This episode is somewhat of a second pilot. While it doesn’t introduce the station or the characters it sets certain things in order and makes changes to the staff and the appearence of certain aliens (e.g. Delenn, the Minbari ambassador). It also introduces the concept of a primary and a secondary storline to this show, a concept that many of the following episodes will use, too.
It’s not that great an episode but it shows the mutual hatred between the Narn and their former oppressors, the Centauri. But I loved Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova from the start and while Lt. Cmdr. Takashima (from the Pilot) was ok, Susan seems much more powerful from the beginning.
Synopsis: An alien unknown to mankind “stumbles” through the jump gate and lands himself in the infirmary. To other aliens his kind is known as Soul Hunters because they catch the soul of people the moment they’re dying. And this particular Soul Hunter has come for a certain ambassador.
My opinion: I liked this episode because it discussed the different belives of what happens to a soul when the body is dying. And everyone was certain that his/her concept alone was to be the correct one and than one should act accordingly.
I also liked the hints that Delenn is hiding something from Sinclair and the first mention of Dukhat, although the events leading to his demise are not revealed yet.
Born to Purple
Synopsis: Londo falls in love with a Centauri exotic dancer and doen’st care much about his duties as ambassador of the Centauri Republic. Meanwhile someone uses illegaly the high priority communication channels known as “Gold Channel” and security chief Michael Garibaldi is determined to find him or her.
My opinion: I really liked the insight of the Centauri society because it showed that the Republic is more like an aristocracy with houses and titles and slaves. I also liked. We also learn more about Ivanova and that she is russian. OK, since Star Trek’s Chekov this is no new concept but I was always a fan of the idea that not every human in space is of american origin.
Synopsis: Babylon 5 has its second birthday and Sinclair is trying to evade from a InterStellar Network (ISN) News reporter. But more danger to the station are some artefacts from a world long dead and the realization that not one person of a species is a pure being of that species.
My opinion: I love enemies who mus be defeated in the great Star Trek tradition of “talk them to death”. While ST often used it on computers and confused them with logic, it works with bio weapons, too. And we learn that there are deserted worlds and civilisations long gone and the earth company InterPlanetary eXpiditions (IPX) sponsors such expiditions.
Synopsis: A human space station called Babylon 5 was built in neutral terrritory between several star empires including the Minbari Federation, the Narn Empire, the Centauri Republic and the Earth Alliance. The construction finished ten years after the Earth-Minbar war where the Minbari nearly annihilated the humans but then surrenderd on the eve of victory. Now the station is complete to prevent such wars and every race sends an ambassador including the mysterious race called the Vorlons. But when the Vorlon ambassador Kosh arrives he is attacked and things get out of hands.
My opinion: Great start into the show even when not all things are already set as they will be in the following season(s). Babylon 5 is a show of great speaches and many wisdoms. It doesn’t matter that the effects are somewhat cheesy because the show is built upon the characters and that will never change. We also learn that there is something mysterious about the end of the E-M war and that Sinclair is involved even if he doesn’t remember.
Spoiler (mark to read):
It is never explained how anyone could poison Kosh because we know he is a being of light and he has no hand. The only explanation would be that the Vorlons (and the Minbari) wanted Sinclair safe until he is needed for his great journey because at least the Vorlons know who he will become. But that wouldn’t explain why Kosh was suprised and called out “Valen” in the DC.
Quote of the episode:
Sinclair: “When something we value is destroyed we rebuild it. If it’s destroyed again we rebuild it again. And again and again and again. Until it stays. That is our poet Tennison once said the goal: To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”
After deciding to watch B5 again, I thought I make a marathon out of it.
“Babylon 5″ Marathon
WARNING: In my analysis there will be spoilers (but marked as such) about future events so don’t read them lightly unless you already know the show.