Review By: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Preacher
Created by: J. Michael Straczynski
Captain John Sheridan – Bruce Boxleitner
Commander Jeffrey Sinclair/Valen – Michael O’Hare (RIP)
Executive Officer Susan Ivanova – Claudia Christian
Security Chief Michael Garibaldi – Jerry Doyle (RIP)
Ambassador Delenn – Mira Furlen (RIP)
Ambassador Londo Mollari – Peter Jurasik
Ambassadoe G’Kar – Andreas Katsulas (RIP)
Doctor Stephen Franklin – Richard Biggs (RIP)
Vir Cotto – Stephen Furst (RIP)
Lennier – Billy Mumy
Security Officer Zack Allan – Geoff Conaway (RIP)
Talia Winter – Andrea Thompson
Lyta Alexander – Patricia Tallman
Marcus Cole – Jason Carter
Captain Elizabeth Lochley – Tracy Scoggins
Byron Gordon – Robin Atkin Downes
Mr Bester – Walter Koenig
Mr Morden – Ed Wasser
Emperor Cartagia – Wortham Krimmer
Zathras – Tim Choate
Na’Toth – Julie Caitlin Brown/Mary Kay Adams
Ta’Lon – Marshall Teague
Neroon – John Vickery
Number One – Marjorie Monaghan
Draal – Louis Turrene/John Schuck
Anna Sheridan – Melissa Gilbert
Lise Hampton-Edgars – Denise Gentile
William Edgars – Effrem Zimbalist Jnr
General Hague – Robert Foxworth
Lady Morella – Majel Barrett
Vance Hendricks – David McCallum
(Rebo & Zooty – Penn & Teller)
Captain Matthew Gideon – Gary Cole
Lieutenant John Matheson – Daniel Dae Kim
Technomage Galen – Peter Woodward
Doctor Sarah Chambers – Marjean Holden
Dureena Nafeel – Carrie Dobro
Max Ellerson – David Allen Brooks
‘Babylon 5’ is a true masterpiece in the world of science fiction television. With its thrilling storylines, complex characters, and breath-taking visuals, this American ‘Space Opera’ series captivated audiences from its very first test pilot movie in 1993. Created by the exceptionally talented J. Michael Straczynski under the ‘Babylonian Productions’ label, the series took the world by storm with its first season in 1994, leaving viewers spellbound with its epic storyline.
Set on the space station ‘Babylon 5’, the show follows the lives of humans, their mainly military staff, and a dazzling array of alien diplomats – as they navigate the aftermath of several inter-species wars. The station serves as a neutral ground for galactic diplomacy and trade, providing a compelling backdrop for a millennial cyclic conflict between ancient races, inter-race wars, and intra-race intrigue and upheaval. The human characters, in particular, play a pivotal role in the resistance against Earth’s descent into totalitarianism, making ‘Babylon 5’ a story of hope as well as a cautionary tale.
What truly sets ‘Babylon 5’ apart from other shows is its superbly-planned five-year story arc, with each episode serving as a consecutive chapter in the story. This creates a sense of coherence and continuity that is rare in television, allowing viewers to become deeply invested in the characters and their struggles. The magnificent cast of actors bring their passion and intensity to each role, both individually and as an ensemble, making ‘Babylon 5’ a standout series in television history.
Throughout its run, ‘Babylon 5’ tackled relevant modern and historical social issues, including the exploration of political and social landscapes of the first human colonies, their interactions with Earth, and the underlying tensions. The series also made television history by positively portraying same-sex relationships and exploring the concept of unrequited love and soulmates as a source of both pain and joy.
In conclusion, if you have not yet watched ‘Babylon 5’, you are missing out on one of the greatest science fiction television series of all time. With its gripping storylines, unforgettable characters, and stunning visuals, it is a true masterpiece that will leave you breathless. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this unforgettable journey into the depths of space and beyond.
So, let’s now talk about the show – season by season.
‘Babylon 5’s’ first season, “Signs & Portents,” is a stunning masterpiece of science fiction television that expertly weaves together an intricate and immersive storyline that is both thrilling and thought-provoking. Right from the start, viewers are hooked into a captivating narrative that keeps them on the edge of their seats.
Commander Geoffrey Sinclair, the show’s protagonist, is a complex and fascinating character who struggles with memory loss, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the plot. His relationship with the enigmatic Minbari ambassador Delenn is mesmerizing to watch unfold, while the tensions between the various factions of the Minbari ruling Grey Council keeps the drama alive.
The exploration of intergalactic politics is nuanced and gripping, with the Narn and Centauri ambassadors engaging in a high-stakes game of diplomacy that threatens to boil over into all-out war. One of the standout moments is the Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari’s alliance with the mysterious Mr. Morden, which showcases the show’s ability to keep viewers captivated.
What sets ‘Babylon 5’ apart is its commitment to character development. For instance, the character of the Narn ambassador G’Kar evolves spiritually and emotionally over the five years far more than any other single character in the series, making his journey a fascinating one to witness.
The subplot involving Earth’s xenophobic groups is also handled with deft skill, providing a haunting commentary on the dangers of intolerance and fear. All of this tension and drama culminates in a shocking and unforgettable climax: the assassination of Earth President Santiago when in close orbit to Jupiter. This twist is expertly executed, leaving viewers yearning for more as they eagerly await to see how the rest of the season will unfold – you might say like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis … more on that shortly!
Season two of ‘Babylon 5’ is a true triumph of science fiction television. Titled “The Coming of Shadows,” this season introduces an exceptional cast of characters who take the series to new heights of intrigue and excitement. From the surprising transfer of Commander Sinclair to the position of ambassador to Minbar, to the appointment of Captain John Sheridan as the new commander of the station, the stage is set for an unforgettable political drama that unfolds with perfect pacing.
The ‘sacrifice’ of ambassador Delenn at the end of season one – entering a mysterious cocoon left viewers aghast at what might come next. Her eventual emergence as a Human-Mimbari hybrid – to bridge the gap between the races proves to be a remarkable storyline – as she is mistrusted by both sides despite her allegiance to both.
One of the season’s most chilling and thought-provoking storylines centres around new Earth President Clark’ssuspected involvement in Santiago’s death, and his subsequent malevolent actions, as he leads Earth down a path of isolationism and totalitarianism. The addition of the enigmatic Mr. Morden’s “associates,” the Shadows, adds an extra layer of mystery and danger to the already complex plot.
The rise of the insane Emperor Cartagia and his alliance with Lord Refa and Londo Mollari on Centauri Prime, to wage war against the Narn is a stunning example of masterful storytelling. The Centauri’s use of the Shadows to decimate the Narn empire is a haunting and unforgettable story that will stay with viewers long after the season ends.
With the full addition of the Vorlons and their ancient enemy, the Shadows, the stage is set for an epic battle that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The request for Sheridan’s help by the Minbari and Vorlons to fight against their common foe is a thrilling moment that sets the stage for an unforgettable season finale – the attempted assassination of Captain Sheridan, and the appearance by Kosh as an angel – dazzling many of the other races, by appearing to each as their most sacred deity – only Londo Mollari is unable to see anything.
Season three of ‘Babylon 5’ is an absolute glittering jewel in the world of science fiction television. Titled “Point of No Return”, this season is a perfect blend of heart-pounding action, intricate plot twists, and exceptional character development that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
The Shadow/Vorlon war takes centre stage in this season, and the tension is palpable as Sheridan and Delenn lead the charge to establish a “conspiracy of light” to combat the Shadows’ influence. The stakes are high as President Clarkdeclares martial law on both Earth and Babylon 5, and Sheridan boldly declares the station’s independence from the Earth government.
The character development in this season is exceptional, with Londo Mollari’s realization that his deal with Mr. Mordenhas become a colossal and dangerous folly being a standout moment. The Shadows’ actions cause chaos and destruction throughout the galaxy, and Sheridan’s confrontation with Kosh leads to a stunning turn of events when the Vorlonsprovide massive military assistance.
The assassination of the Vorlon ambassador Kosh is a heart-breaking moment, and Sinclair’s journey back in time to the previously ‘lost’ ‘Babylon 4’ space station, which ensures the Minbari survive the Shadow War of 1000 years prior is a brilliant plot device – with Sinclair being reborn as the Mimbari legend Valen.
The military tactics employed by Sheridan, including the discovery of vulnerabilities in the Shadow vessels and the ability to predict their objectives, lead to the first major military defeat of the Shadows. The season’s finale is nothing short of breath-taking as Sheridan confronts the Shadows on their mysterious home-world Z’ha’dum, with the literally ‘explosive’ conclusion being a stunning moment in television history. As the shadows retreat completely, one question remains – ‘whatever happened to Mr Garibaldi’? Who was last seen in a fighter ship outside the station. Watch this space.
Season four of ‘Babylon 5’ is an absolute triumph in the realm of science fiction television. It is a masterpiece that expertly combines stunning visuals, complex characters, and intricate plotlines to deliver an unforgettable viewing experience.
The season – called “No Surrender, No Retreat” is an incredible rollercoaster ride, filled with twists and turns that leave viewers on the edge of their seats. The return of Sheridan from Z’ha’dum, accompanied by the enigmatic Lorien(possibly a God Incarnate?), is a moment that is both captivating and awe-inspiring. The Vorlons’ endlessly destructive behaviour adds a sense of outright fear to the season, raising the stakes to epic proportions. Lorien has temporarily saved Sheridan’s life – but he now has a set twenty years remaining to him.
But what really sets season four of ‘Babylon 5’ apart is its exceptional character development. Garibaldi’s disappearance and subsequent reappearance and abrupt personal transformation keep viewers guessing until the stunning truth is revealed. The civil war on Earth is a heart-wrenching storyline that delves into complex and difficult issues, showcasing the show’s ability to handle challenging themes with grace and poise.
The unspoken love between Ivanova and Ranger Marcus Cole is a beautiful and tender exploration of two damaged souls who long to be together. Their story is both uplifting yet ultimately tragic, leading to a truly unforgettable moment that will leave viewers in tears. Finally, the creation of the Interstellar Alliance is the perfect culmination of everything that has come before. Sheridan’s appointment as president and his marriage to Delenn provide a satisfying conclusion to a season filled with incredible storytelling and unforgettable characters.
The fifth and final season of the epic science fiction television show ‘Babylon 5’, entitled ‘The Wheel of Fire’, was a breath-taking conclusion to one of the most beloved and influential science fiction shows in history. The writers took the show in a bold new direction, introducing a group of rogue human telepaths seeking sanctuary on the station, and their attempts to escape the control of the Psi Corps. This plotline added a new level of complexity to the show, as the telepath colony began to cause numerous problems for the Interstellar Alliance.
The show semi-moved away from the space station, as Delenn and Sheriden are now to be based on the Mimbari home world. Their exit in a shuttle craft is a beautifully crafted moment of drama as Sheridan walks to the front of the shuttle to salute the all new B5 command crew – it is a tear-jerking moment as the crew in turn solemnly salute him … I can still see if vividly in my mind’s eye. Shortly after this, Sheridan and Delenn are completely betrayed by Lennier – who it transpires has always hated Sheridan, it is a moment of true high drama – Lennier now flees to places unknown, vowing only to return once he can fully come to terms with the horror of what he has done.
The season was filled with intense drama, as the villainous Psi Cop Al Bester was at last met head-on by the monumentally powerful telepath Lyta Alexander, who can now (thanks to a mutation carried out on her by the Vorlons) wield the ‘omega weapon’ telepathic weapon against him and the Psi-Corp. Meanwhile, Michael Garibaldi fought to regain his sanity and his sobriety in a storyline that was sometimes hard to watch, but ultimately incredibly rewarding. The struggles of these characters were woven together seamlessly, building towards an epic and emotional finale.
Meanwhile, the shadowy race known only as the Drakh, who are the last remnants of the Shadows, sought revenge against the Centauri for their betrayal and against Sheridan’s Alliance, who had defeated them. The Drakh infiltrated the Centauri government and orchestrated devastating attacks against other Alliance members, causing the now fearful Londo Mollari to attempt to purge the alien manipulation of his government. However, it was too late, and he was installed as emperor – under complete physical and mental Drakh control, leading to the permanent withdrawal of the Centauri from the Interstellar Alliance.
The season’s emotional climax came twenty years later when Sheridan had a last reunion with his closest friends before leaving to journey to B5, to witness its decommissioning and destruction – which is a moment that still moves me enormously. Sheridan now joins Lorien and the older races “beyond the rim”, leaving a heartbroken Delenn to live out her days without him. This final scene was incredibly moving and provided a fitting end to one of the most epic love stories ever portrayed on television. The show’s finale was the perfect ending to a series that will go down in history as one of the greatest science fiction shows ever made. The show’s legacy is still felt today, and it will undoubtedly continue to influence science fiction for generations to come.
If you’re looking for a science fiction show that will make you laugh just as much as it will make you gasp in awe, then look no further than ‘Babylon 5’! While the show does have its endless share of dramatic moments, it also has an incredible sense of humour that is sure to brighten your day.
The humour in ‘Babylon 5’ is clever and witty, with plenty of observational humour that will have you nodding your head in agreement. But the real stars of the show when it comes to humour are the characters themselves. The interplay between Londo Mollari and Vir Cotto is always a delight, and the way their relationship evolves over the course of the show is nothing short of hilarious.
And let’s not forget about the ‘bromance’ that develops between Londo and his once-nemesis G’Kar. As the seasons progress, their animosity turns into a friendship that is both heartwarming and side-splittingly funny.
But it’s not just those characters that get to enjoy moments of levity. Mr Garibaldi, Vir Cotto, and Lennier all have their fair share of humorous moments throughout the show, and even characters like Zathras and Draal, who are typically associated with more serious storylines, bring a sense of lightness and humour to the show.
Overall, ‘Babylon 5’ is a perfect balance of light and shade, and its sense of humour is just one of the many reasons why it remains a beloved classic of the science fiction genre.
Prepare to be transported to a captivating sci-fi world with the one and only season of ‘Crusade’. Set five years after the thrilling events of ‘Babylon 5’, this spin-off series takes us on a journey to unchartered areas of deep space. The plot is full of suspense and intrigue, as the Earth is under attack from the Drakh, using the terrifying and deadly ‘Nanoplague Virus’, which threatens to wipe out all life on the planet. But hope is not lost, as the intrepid crew of the ‘Excalibur’, led by the brilliant Captain Matthew Gideon, set out to search for a cure. Every episode is filled with nail-biting action, as the crew races against time to save humanity.
Although ‘Crusade’ was intended to have a five-year story arc, its production was unfortunately cancelled before the first episode even aired. But don’t let that deter you from immersing yourself in this gripping series, as the thirteen completed episodes will leave you yearning for more. From the exceptional writing to the top-notch acting, ‘Crusade’ has everything you could want in a sci-fi show. The special effects are truly stunning, transporting you to new worlds that feels both futuristic and real.
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the cast members who are sadly now gone “beyond the rim”. No less than seven of the main cast have died since the end of ‘Babylon 5’ – and we remember them all with great gratitude:
Michael O’Hare. Jerry Doyle, Richard Biggs. Steven Furst. Andreas Katsulas. Richard Biggs. Jeff Conaway.