Archive for the ‘Babylon 5 Movies’ Category

Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2263 and Later)   Leave a comment


Above:  The Destruction of Babylon 5


River of Souls:

The Legend of the Rangers:  To Live and Die in Starlight:


A Call to Arms:


The Lost Tales:  Voices in the Dark:

In the Beginning:

War Without End, Parts I and II:

Sleeping in Light:

The Deconstruction of Falling Stars:


Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2261)   Leave a comment


Above:  A Scene from the Battle of Coriana VI, the Final Battle of the Shadow War


The Hour of the Wolf:

Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?

The Summoning:

Falling Toward Apotheosis:

The Long Night:

Into the Fire:


The Illusion of Truth:




Racing Mars:

Lines of Communication:

Conflicts of Interest:

Rumors, Bargains and Lies:

Moments of Transition:

No Surrender, No Retreat:

The Exercise of Vital Powers:

The Face of the Enemy:

Intersections in Real Time:

Between the Darkness and the Light:


Rising Star:


Posted August 22, 2013 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Movies, Babylon 5 Season 4

Tagged with

Guide Post: Babylon 5 (Through 2257)   Leave a comment


Above:  Lt. Commander Laurel Takashima in 2257


War Without End, Parts I and II:

In the Beginning:

The Gathering:

Referenced Here:


Posted August 22, 2013 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Movies, Babylon 5 Season 3

Tagged with

Babylon 5–A Call to Arms (1999)   1 comment

President Sheridan, Back in the Saddle


A Call to Arms is the darkest in tone of all the Babylon 5 movies.  And, if it is not the best of them, it is the second best.  The stakes are high, for they are nothing less than the fate of all life on Earth.

It is November 2266, in the days approaching the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Interstellar Alliance.  Despite the Alliance’s difficult first year, Sheridan has succeeded in establishing peace among the member governments.  He has moved past his rookie mistakes and grown into his office, but his days of adventure are not over.  Also, the Telepath War is a recent memory, with a memorial to those who died in that conflict planned for the near future.  Psi-Corps is no more, and Lyta Alexander and Lennier are both dead.  Much has changed since Sheridan and Delenn relocated Interstellar Alliance headquarters to Minbar, but one legacy of the Shadow War is about to endanger Earth.

As the late Gilda Radner said in character, “It’s always something.”

Sheridan and Garibaldi Discuss the New Victory Class Vessels

Sheridan and Garibaldi rendezvous in outer space.  This is a top-secret operation, for they are meeting to discuss the new Victory Class vessels, of which few people know anything.  The Victory Class is the product of reverse engineering Minbari and Vorlon technology; these ships are advanced and untested.

Galen, in Shadows

Sheridan and Garibaldi think that nobody can follow them, but they do not know that Galen, a techno-mage is observing them from afar.  Techno-mages, who use technology to simulate magic, appeared first in the second season (set in 2258), when they were traveling to parts of space unknown in advance of what turned out to be the Shadow War.  They are still hiding out in 2266, and Galen considers this a mistake.  The other techno-mages call him to account for making contact with the outside.


Yet Galen persists.  Through technology he warns Sheridan about an impending threat.  The first such contact occurs as Sheridan and Garibaldi inspect the two Victory class prototypes, the Excalibur and the Victory.  Mr. Drake, who is in charge of overseeing the final stages of construction and testing, is a perfectionist who takes his job very slowly.  Yet Garibaldi, to whom Drake answers, forces him to speed up the process.  The ships must be ready soon.

The Victory Class design includes a really big and powerful gun, but with a caveat:  it uses so much power that the ship is essentially a sitting duck for one minute after firing it.

Dureena Nafeel

Galen continues to contact Sheridan, as well as to warn others.  Among these is Dureena Nafeel, who is, to the best of her knowledge, the last of her species.  The Shadows destroyed her homeworld, Zander Prime, during the final days of the Shadow War.  She has had a hard life, and is a spitfire.  Dureena is also a member of the Thieving Guild, and she makes contact with the local on Babylon 5 after arriving at the station.

First, however, she must check in with Security Chief Zack Allan, who tells her to surrender all weapons.  She has many weapons, hence Zack’s facial expression.

Captain Leonard Anderson of the E.A.S. Charon

Galen has also made contact with Earth Force captain Leonard Anderson, who goes AWOL to travel to Babylon 5, to rendezvous with Dureena and Sheridan.  Galen has shown each of these three individuals the faces of the others, as well as that of a Drazi.

Both Garibaldi and Lochley think that Sheridan might not be firing on all thrusters, but the coincidences confirm everything he has said.  These three people who have never met each other recognize each other, and they know many of the same facts, courtesy of Galen.  The name Daltron VII comes up; Galen said that Earth might suffer the same fate as Daltron VII.

Anderson is a heroic figure.  He did not go AWOL lightly.  He is married with a young daughter, whom he has promised to protect from monsters.  The monsters are quite real, and they have something to do with Daltron VII.  And he regrets not having sided with Sheridan during the Earth Civil War; this is his chance to do the right thing.  Sheridan and Delenn depart Babylon 5 on board the Charon, whose crew staffs the Victory and the Excalibur.  (If you are the President of the Interstellar Alliance, is it stealing if you take ships you technically own?)  Sheridan commands the Excalibur, and Anderson is in charge on the Victory.

The Excalibur and the Victory arrive at Daltron VII, now a dead world.  It has only been a dead world for a week, though.  And Shadow technology caused this.  The Shadows left the galaxy six years ago, so another species has their technology.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi (in the company of Drake) pursues Sheridan to Daltron VII on a White Star.

A Drakh (yes, those aliens who took over Centauri Prime) fleet approaches the Victory and the Excalibur at Daltron VII.  The Drakh ships receive a transmission then attack the two ships.  Our heroes defeat the Drakh fleet yet detect a death cloud, at the heart of which is the last Shadow planet killer; it is headed for Earth.  Sheridan, Anderson, and their crews enter hyperspace and head for Earth.  There is no time to lose.

Sheridan notifies Delenn, who is summoning Alliance ships as quickly as possible, but they will probably not arrive in time.  Then he calls Lochley at Babylon 5.   She is skeptical, but he asks her to trust him to notify the Earth Alliance government of the impending threat.  Sheridan is not popular on Earth, and the administration is more likely to listen to Captain Lochley.  She agrees, and acts accordingly.

Garibaldi discovers the source of the transmission to the Drakh ships; it was Drake, aboard the White Star.  Garibaldi can be very persuasive when angry.

The death cloud reaches Earth, but so do the Excalibur and the Victory.  And the administration has sent forces, too.  The defenders of Earth destroy the planet killer at the heart of the death cloud, but Captain Anderson and the crew of the Victory give their lives in the process.  Anderson died keeping his promise to his daughter; he fought the monsters.

In a final act of spite, the Drakh forces seed Earth’s atmosphere with a plague, which is technological, not biological.  Earth is now under quarantine.

The Excalibur Outside Babylon 5

Sheridan briefs Lochley and Garibaldi on Babylon 5.  The plague will kill all life on Earth in five years unless someone can find a cure.  This cure will probably come from outer space, since the plague did.  The Rangers will aid in the quest for the cure, and the Excalibur will be the main vessel whose crew is assigned to lead the mission.  Failure is not an option.

A Call to Arms sets the stage for the short-lived follow-up series, Crusade, set mainly aboard the Excalibur.  Suspense is not an issue, for we know from Sleeping in Light that Earth is plague-free in 2281, fifteen years later.  But the important part is the journey, not the destination. J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) writes television programming about people within plots, not mainly about plots with people in them.

So it is that my next post in this series will be an overview of the Crusade series.



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

Posted October 15, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Movies, Crusade

Babylon 5–The River of Souls (1998)   1 comment

The Captain and Her Take-Out Meal:  A Scene the Likes of Which I Have Never Detected in Star Trek


Turner Network Television (TNT) rescued the Babylon 5 series and granted it the fifth and final season.  TNT also gave the green light to four telefilms:  Thirdspace (Let us ignore it; I try to do so.), In the Beginning (a prequel, with the present day set in 2278 and Emperor Mollari II telling the story of the Earth-Minbari War), The River of Souls, and A Call to Arms (which will be the topic of the next post in this series).  Three of these films are exceptional.

The River of Souls is both a comedy and ghost story of sorts.  There is much reason for the characters to be concerned, for the space station almost explodes.  The Babylon 5 series, no matter how grim it became, never abandoned humor.  A grim series can find and maintain an audience and be excellent television; witness the Ronald D. Moore version of Battlestar Galactica.  (I have every episode and watch new Caprica episodes.)  But J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) is not Ronald D. Moore, and Ronald D. Moore is not J. Michael Straczynski.

Martin Sheen Portraying a Soul Hunter

The River of Souls reaches back to one of the earliest Babylon 5 episodes, Soul Hunter.  (A URL for that post:  Soul Hunters are long-lived beings; one who is 4,000 years old is relatively young and considered naive.  Soul Hunters do not believe in an afterlife, so they seek to preserve the souls of important individuals.  This, the Soul Hunters think, is a service.  They preserve the souls in orbs and speak to the souls, as well as set up spaces where souls may speak to each other.  The Soul Hunters are humble with regard to themselves, thinking themselves unworthy of such preservation.  Not surprisingly, they are outcasts.

Sometimes Soul Hunters “preserve” entire species.  Approximately 10,000 years before The River of Souls (which is set in June 2263), they “preserved” the billion inhabitants of the planet Ralga.  The Soul Hunters perceived that the Ralgans were about to die en masse.  The Ralgans were a species of artists and philosophers, and the Soul Hunters decided to preserve these accomplishments.  So they did.

In 2263, on Ralga, Dr. Robert Bryson, an archaeologist, and his team, enter a Soul Hunter chamber filled with soul orbs.  Bryson takes an orb and leaves the chamber as Soul Hunter vessels attack.  Only he escapes, after which he departs for Babylon 5.

Captain Lochley, Shopping

Meanwhile, on Babylon 5, Captain Elizabeth Lochley tells Lt. Joshua Corwin how enjoyable the relatively quiet last six months have been.  Ever since Michael Garibaldi left for Mars and President John Sheridan departed for Minbar, there has been almost no trouble on the space station.  The thinks that they attract trouble; this is the Sheridan-Garibaldi Effect, akin to the Pauli Effect, named after the Twentieth-Century physicist Wolfgang Pauli, whose presence allegedly caused experiments to go awry and expensive lab equipment to break or explode.  Corwin has news to ruin Lochley’s calm:  Mr. Garibaldi just arrived.  At that moment, a fight breaks out on the Zocalo, the marketplace where Lochley is shopping.

At the Holo-Brothel (Human Nature Is Constant.)

A short, balding man enters the holo-brothel in Down Below.  This is a shady business which exists on the station by a technicality in a business license.  Jacob Mayhew (the owner), who has a tacky wardrobe, offers his “services” via full-body suits with sensors embedded in them.  A client can bring in a picture of his or desired partner (with or without that person’s consent–Mayhew even uses Lochley’s image).  The balding man’s suit malfunctions (out of sight of the camera, of course) causing him to scream.

Mayhew is proof that the baser (if not humorless) aspects of human nature are constant.  Not only does he profit from the loneliness of his clients, but he tells a bad pun:  “Another day, another holo;” holo, not dollar.  When his female employee rolls her eyes, he threatens to make it the company logo, so she will have repeat it every time someone calls.  On the basis of this attempted witticism, Mayhew fancies himself a “literary kind of guy.”

On a more serious note, Garibaldi meets with Lochley in her office.  She asks him if he still sober; he is.  Garibaldi is on the station for business.  He is sorting through projects the late William Edgars had funded and deciding whether to continue financing them.  Garibaldi has a scheduled meeting with Dr. Bryson, who is trying to find a way to extend human life spans.

Dr. Bryson arrives and finds Garibaldi and Lochley.  Bryson and Lochley talk shop, leaving Garibaldi confused.  Besides, he will speak with Bryson in private, to learn if the 2 million credits William Edgars had appropriated was money well spent.  Bryson evades Garibaldi’s questions, saying that he is close to achieving his goal, but wants more time.  Garibaldi grants Bryson an extension until the next day, at which point he wants Bryson’s notes.  (Garibaldi does control the funding.)

Mr. Clute and Lt. Corwin

Lt. Corwin introduces Mr. Clute, the holo-brothel customer who had a bad experience with a full-body suit, to Captain Lochley.  The Captain is unaware of the presence of such an establishment on the station.  She sends Security Chief Zack Allan to investigate this situation.  Allan, while in the holo-brothel, makes comments about how dangerous the full-body suits are, and would-be customers leave.

I wonder if Mr. Clute’s name is an homage to Klute, a 1971 Donald Sutherland-Jane Fonda movie.

Lt. Corwin Presents Captain Lochley with a Love Bat

After Mr. Clute leaves, Lt. Corwin gives Captain Lochley a love bat.  It looks like a baseball bat, but it is much softer and it emits affirming messages.  These include “People like me.”  Remember the love bat; Lochley makes good use of it later.

In his quarters the night before the second scheduled meeting with Garibaldi, Bryson studies the soul globe he stole from Ralga.  Unbeknownst to him, it contains a billion souls.  He makes contact.

A figure emerges from the org and hangs in mid-air.  It says, “They came for us.  They took us away. They had no right. Let me go back to sleep. Let me die.”   Bryson says, “Then you’re not dead!” The figure replies, “You don’t understand.  Leave us alone…”   Bryson, confused, asks, “Don’t understand… what?”  The figure yells,  “Leave us alone!” before exploding into tiny shards of light, which then coalesce back to the tendril of light and return to the globe.

Zack, while on patrol, encounters a dark, sobbing figure.  It is a mother asking where her children are.  Then the figure passes through him.  Zack thinks at first that this is a hologram Mayhew has sent to harass him, but it is one of the Ralgan souls.  They are spreading out on the space station.

The next day, Mr. Riley, Mayhew’s attorney, interrupts Captain Lochley’s breakfast.  He is suing her for restraint of trade.  Babylon 5 has survived a Vorlon fleet, an alien probe, the forces of President William Morgan Clark, a Shadow fleet, and malevolent, psychic creatures who live in Thirdspace.  And now, here is a lawyer!

But, as Ron Popeil says, “there’s more.”

A Soul Hunter, portrayed by Martin Sheen, arrives, in pursuit of Bryson.  The Soul Hunter knows that Bryson is on the station, for he has a soul orb containing the essences of Bryson’s former associates.

In his quarters, Bryson has been speaking to Ralgan souls.  They know that a Soul Hunter has arrived.  Bryson assures them that he will protect them from the Soul Hunters.  “Better to destroy the station, embrace the darkness, than go back there,” he says.

Later, the Soul Hunter speaks to Captain Lochley.  She describes being confined to a soul orb as her concept of Hell.  Meanwhile, souls have begun to fan out across the station, occupying even holograms at the holo-brothel.  They want revenge.  Some Ralgan souls attack the Soul Hunter and injure Lochley.  Then the Captain makes contact with a Ralgan, who explains that about half of the Ralgans have gone insane, and that Ralgans are engaged in a power struggle.

The Soul Hunter brings a flower to the recuperating Lochley.  She explains to him that the Ralgans were not dying 10,000 years ago; they were evolving.  The Ralgans were about to shed their bodies and become non-corporeal.  The Soul Hunter realizes that Lochley is telling the truth.  Yet the others will not believe him, for he relatively young (a mere 4,000 years) and they consider him naive.

A fleet of Soul Hunter vessels arrives at Babylon 5.  The ships will destroy the space station if they do not get the orb back.

Lochley investigates Ralgan appearances on the station, discovering their presence at the holo-brothel.  She also discovers Mayhew’s use of her image.  The Captain throws a hand grenade into the holo-brothel, destroying it.

Many Ralgans have control over Bryson, who sits near the station’s fusion reactor.  They are willing to destroy the station and themselves to kill the Soul Hunters outside the station.  They are also willing to kill everyone on board Babylon 5.  And they will do so in 15 minutes, unless somebody does something soon.  The Soul Hunter offers himself willingly in exchange for the lives of others.  He says, “Let my soul be a bridge between us, and let my soul be doorway to hope.”  The Ralgans accept.

Lochley presents the soul orb to another Soul Hunter.  She explains, “I never knew the name of the other one from your order who came here. He never told me. I don’t even know if you have names. All I know is that he gave his promise and his life to protect you and this place, and the billion minds trapped inside this thing. Make sure that the promises he made on your behalf are kept, or I promise you, the Hunters will become the hunted. I will do whatever it takes to make sure his sacrifice was not in vain.”

Garibaldi leaves the station, his business concluded.  One may assume safely that he cuts Bryson’s funding.  But Garibaldi will be back next month.  And a vase in Lochley’s office falls to the floor and shatters.  What will happen then?

Riley confronts Lochley about her destruction of the holo-brothel and threatens her with more charges.  She uses her own technicalities (such as the unauthorized use of her image) to intimidate Riley, who knows that he has lost.  “You don’t expect me to go back to my client with nothing, do you?” Riley asks.  Then Lochley presents the lawyer with a reprogrammed love bat.  This time it says things like, “I’m an idiot,” “Nobody likes me,” and “My mother dresses me funny.”  Riley slinks out of Lochley’s office.

No matter how well written a summary and review of a Babylon 5 episode or telefilm is, it cannot rival watching the video itself.  Thus I encourage people to find a legal source for these productions and to watch them, and to savor them.



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

Posted October 14, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Movies

Babylon 5–The Road From Here   Leave a comment

Season 5 Title Card

My journey through the universe of Babylon 5 is almost complete.  So I pause here to lay out and explain my plan for the remaining summary and review posts.

The Fall of Centauri Prime is episode 18 of the last season, which has 22 episodes.  Episodes 19-21 (The Wheel of Fire, Objects in Motion, and Objects at Rest) conclude most story arcs, consisting mostly of farewells.  Sleeping in Light, the series finale, dates to the end of the fourth season, when a fifth season looked unlikely, if not impossible.  I have chosen to write the Sleeping in Light post last, for it is the last story in terms of chronology.

Turner Network Television also commissioned a few television movies.  I choose to ignore Thirdspace, set somewhere inside the fourth season.  The continuity does not work well, and I dislike the film, which borrows too much from H. P. Lovecraft.  Much better is The River of Souls (1998), set in middle 2263.  I plan to write about In the Beginning (1998), in which the “present day” is 2278, with Emperor Londo Mollari as storyteller.  Then there is A Call to Arms, set in November 2266, which sets the stage for the prematurely canceled series Crusade.  This series was supposed to run for five years and have story arcs, just like Babylon 5, but TNT ended everything after 13 episodes.  I wonder what B5 would have been with just 13 episodes.

In 2001 the Sci-Fi Channel made The Legend of the Rangers–To Live and Die in Starlight, a pilot for a series the network did not pick up.  I do not own a copy of this anymore, nor do I wish to do so.  I taped it off cable television in 2002, and found it unsatisfactory then.  Once I saw The Legend of the Rangers on sale, and thought it overpriced.  $1 would be overpriced.  Consider this my review of that telefilm.

The last filmed Babylon 5 comes from 2007.  The Lost Tales was supposed to be a series of direct-to-DVD releases, but there was only one, Voices in the Dark, set in 2271.  This consists of two related stories, which have just a few characters each.  These are good stories, although the obvious green screen work proves distracting in some scenes.  This production could have benefited from a larger special effects budget, but the station exterior never looked better.  Consider the image below:

Here then, is my plan for remaining Babylon 5 summaries and reviews:

Set in 2262

84.  The Wheel of Fire (Season 5, Episode 19)

85.  Objects in Motion (Season 5, Episode 20)

86.  Objects at Rest (Season 5, Episode 21)

Set in 2263

87.  The River of Souls (TV Movie)

Set in 2266

88.  A Call to Arms (TV Movie)

Set in 2267

89.  Crusade (Series)

Set in 2271

90.  Voices in the Dark (Direct-to-DVD)

Present Day = 2278

91.  In the Beginning (TV Movie)

Set in 2281

92.  Sleeping in Light (Babylon 5 Series Finale)

I hope that these posts have interested some of you in this excellent programming.  B5 has been a passion of mine since 1994, and I want to influence others to watch these episodes and enjoy them.



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

Below:  A White Star

Posted October 4, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Movies, Babylon 5 Season 5, Crusade

Tagged with