Babylon 5–And the Sky Full of Stars (1994)   1 comment

Above:  Dr. Stephen Franklin (Richard Biggs)


J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, believes in the constancy of human nature.  Thus his series, which begins in 2258, is populated with humanitarians, philosophers, bigots, murderers, corrupt politicians, and block ops operatives.  Stories, he says, flow from characters.

Consider Dr. Stephen Franklin, for example.  In 2258 he is the highest ranking doctor on Babylon 5.  A decade before, however, he was on the outs with his superiors in Earth Force.  The Earth-Minbari War was going badly for Earth, and the military brass ordered him to turn over all his xenobiological records relevant to the Minbari for use in developing a weapon.  Franklin destroyed his records instead because he took his medical oath seriously:  first he did no harm to any patient.  He valued ALL life that much.

Or think about Commander Jeffrey Sinclair.  Ten years before in 2248, at the Battle of the Line, the last battle of the Earth-Minbari War, he made a desperate, kamikaze run at a Minbari battle cruiser.  The Minbari locked a tractor beam onto his Starfury fighter craft and took him into the vessel.  Twenty-four hours later the Minbari had surrendered (on the eve of final victory for them and the near extinction of the human species) and Sinclair had a hole in his memory.  The Minbari surrender was related to his identity.  And Sinclair’s identity relates to why Delenn, a member of the ruling Grey Council, is the Minbari Ambassador to Babylon 5.

Below:  Delenn (Mira Furlan)

The Minbari are keeping secrets from many people, including Sinclair.  And many of these secrets pertain to Sinclair himself.

(Aside:  I know that the secrets of a series which went of the air in 1998 are easily available at many websites, but take it from me–the thrill of discovering the secrets gradually, as happened for me in the 1990s, is rewarding.  So, patience is a virtue in this instance.)

An unnamed black ops agency within the Earth government takes great interest in Sinclair, too.  It suspects, however, that the commander is a Minbari plant or agent.  So two operatives, called simply Knight One and Knight Two, arrive on the station, abduct Sinclair, and attach him to a virtual reality machine, by which they interrogate him.  During these encounters Sinclair begins to remember parts of that vital day a decade ago.  Delenn was on the Minbari ship in 2248.

Below:  Knight One and Knight Two Getting Ready

Needless to say, our hero triumphs and the Knights get theirs.  Security forces shoot and kill Knight One, and the VR technology fries Knight Two’s brain.

Below:  Knight Two, Unsure of Who He Is At the End of the Episode

The Minbari know exactly who Sinclair is, however.  And if Sinclair remembers the full details of that day in 2248, they will kill him.  Why are they so interested in Sinclair?  Keep reading…..

I began to watch Babylon 5 when it was in first run.  At the time the many hints and foreshadows meant little to me, especially because I had to wait another week (sometimes longer) for the next episode.  Yet watching the series again from beginning to end is a different experience.  Now I recognize all the important details, especially in the first season, which contained more stand-alone episodes than usual.  In this, the eighth episode aired, I see major plot elements.  Sinclair is vital to the arc of the series.  He is far more than he knows.



All images are property of Warner Brothers, and I do not profit from said images.

Posted June 26, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 1

One response to “Babylon 5–And the Sky Full of Stars (1994)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2258) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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