The Gathering

Babylon 5In the Tigris Sector in the year 2257, the gigantic space station Babylon 5 has entered service and is preparing for its first major official duty, hosting the ambassadors of the Minbari, Vorlon, Centauri and Narn governments who will, along with station Commander Sinclair, the Earth representative, begin down the uneasy path toward interstellar peace. The station’s first officer Takashima and security chief Garibaldi are both officers with career records that are, in places, less than exemplary, giving the impression that the Earth Alliance isn’t going to send the cream of its crop to Babylon 5 – especially not since Babylons 1, 2 and 3 were sabotaged and destroyed, and the fourth station in the line vanished without a trace within a day of becoming operational. There are also questions about the alien representatives: Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari spends a good deal of his time in the diplomatic pursuit of drinks and winnings in the station’s casino; Minbari Ambassador Delenn, whose people once waged a vicious war with Earth and suddenly stopped all attacks just moments before wiping out the human race, is secretive and speaks in riddles. Ambassador G’Kar of the Narn Regime is ill-tempered and makes no secret of the fact that he seeks power and prestige for his own people and himself, no matter what the cost to other individuals or governments. And last, but not least, Vorlon Ambassador Kosh Naranek, who, when he arrives, will be the first Vorlon ever encountered by any of the above species, travels incommunicado. This proves to be a problem when Kosh, in a life-sustaining encounter suit, is found unconscious moments after his ship docks at Babylon 5. The crew swings into action and discovers foul play, which infuriates the Vorlon Empire. Matters are made no less critical when it is discovered that the culprit is at large on Babylon 5, and Commander Sinclair is framed for the attack on Kosh. His crew must fight to uncover the truth to prevent the Vorlons from extraditing Sinclair – or to prevent them from simply declaring all-out war on the Earth Alliance…

Order now!Download this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by Richard Compton
music by Stewart Copeland
(music in 1998 TNT special edition by Christopher Franke)

Cast: Michael O’ Hare (Commander Jeffrey Sinclair), Tamlyn Tomita (Lt. Commander Laurel Takashima), Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi), Mira Furlan (Ambassador Delenn), Blaire Baron (Carolyn Sykes), John Fleck (Del Varner), Paul Hampton (The Senator), Peter Jurasik (Ambassador Londo Mollari), Andreas Katsulas (Ambassador G’Kar), Johnny Sekka (Dr. Benjamin Kyle), Patricia Tallman (Lyta Alexander), Steven R. Barnett (Eric), William Hayes (Traveler), Linda Hoffman (Tech #2), Robert Jason Jackson (Tech #3), F. William Parker (Businessman #1), Marianne Robertson (Hostage), Dave Sage (Businessman #2), Ed Wasser (Guerra)

Babylon 5Notes: Three of the main characters – Takashima, Dr. Kyle and Lyta – were replaced by the time the weekly series began, as was Sinclair’s girlfriend Carolyn; the sets also changed between the film and series, primarily due to the production moving to its own custom-built facility, necessitating some redesigns, although the series sets are very much like the movie’s. Almost all of the alien makeups were also altered for the series, most notably Mira Furlan’s Delenn makeup, which originally was much more gaunt and had several “bumps” on the head, as well as light blue spots and blotches; the makeup for G’Kar also changed, notably with the addition of redder contact lenses and a more rounded-off chin than was seen in the movie.

Another curiosity: close examination of the station in the pilot film reveals that the cobra bay doors from which the fighters launch in the series are not present. You may also notice Ed Wasser, later much more recognizable as Shadow agent Morden, playing a technician on the station’s observation dome.

The “special edition” of The Gathering shown after the world premiere of TNT’s Babylon 5: In The Beginning restored several dropped scenes, including a brief hostage scare (taking place after Lyta’s arrival), and additional dialogue with Takashima and Kyle, Sinclair and Delenn, and others. Delenn also takes a much more active part in the climactic hunt for the saboteur.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

In The Beginning

Babylon 5The year is 2245. The Earth Alliance, still swaggering from its victory over the Dilgar, prepares to expand its sphere of influence. The Minbari Grey Council seeks to verify the truth of prophecy on a distant world called Z’ha’dum. A chance meeting of the two expeditions ends in disaster, when misunderstandings escalate into open battle and the Minbari leader, Dukhat, is killed. So begins a holy war that changes the shape of the galaxy’s future, and its past.

Delenn, the newest member of the Grey Council, must find a way to fulfill Dukhat’s last request, which goes against the wishes of her entire race – and she is uncertain of the mysterious involvement of a pair of Vorlons. Dr. Stephen Franklin must choose between loyalty to Earth and loyalty to his conscience. Earth turns to the Centauri Republic and Narn Regime for aid, but the animosity between those two races may doom its only chance for survival. As the Alliance faces annihilation, the last desperate act of a lone pilot may be all that stands between humanity and the abyss…and the beginning of the galaxy’s last, best hope for peace.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by Michael Vejar
music by Christopher Franke

Cast: Bruce Boxleitner (Lt. Commander John Sheridan), Mira Furlan (Delenn), Richard Biggs (Dr. Stephen Franklin), Andreas Katsulas (G’Kar), Peter Jurasik (Londo Mollari), Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova), Theodore Bikel (Lenonn), Reiner Schone (Dukhat), Robin Atkin Downes (Morann), J. Patrick McCormack (General Lefcourt), Tricia O’Neil (President), Robin Sachs (Coplann), James Patrick Stuart (Presidential Aide), Jason Azikiwe (Captain Sterns), Yasemin Baytok (Centauri Woman), Kristin Birch (Woman 1), Justin Carroll (Comm Officer), Jacob Chase (Luc), Tim Colceri (Captain Jankowski), Lane Davies (Callier), Timothy Davis-Reed (Man 1), Pancho Demmings (Alpha 7), Steven Ford (First Officer), Mio R. Jakula (Ganya Ivanova), Nick Jameson (Minbari Pilot), Mike Kennedy (General Fontaine), Erica Mer (Lyssa)

footage from And The Sky Full Of Stars directed by Janet Greek
footage from Points Of Departure directed by Janet Greek
footage from A Late Delivery From Avalon directed by Michael Vejar
footage from War Without End Part 2 directed by Michael Vejar
footage from Atonement directed by Tony Dow

Appearing in footage from previous episodes: Michael O’Hare (Jeffrey Sinclair), Justin Williams (Mitchell), Michael McKenzie (Vastor), Michael York (David MacIntyre)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Thirdspace

Babylon 5En route back to Babylon 5 after springing a trap on unwelcome raiders, a Starfury squadron led by Ivanova happens upon an immense alien artifact, miles long, adrift in hyperspace. No sooner is it towed into Babylon 5 space than Interplanetary Expeditions scientist Elizabeth Trent arrives, intent on taking charge of the alien object. Sheridan is wary of IPX’s motives – after all, they played a part in unearthing Shadow vessels on Mars and Ganymede – but Lyta Alexander is wary of the presence of the artifact itself. Her telepathy picked up on it the moment Ivanova found it, but now that it’s at close range to the station, she has almost been reduced to a vegetable. Others are affected by the proximity of the object as well, even those without telepathy, and Zack worries that the sudden increase of violence on the station is no coincidence. Dr. Trent finds hints that the Vorlons may have had something to do with the artifact, but does not reveal that information to Sheridan willingly. Long ago, the Vorlons built the device with delusions of godhood, unwittingly unleashing hell in the process. When the Vorlons altered Lyta, they implanted an instruction to be given should the passage to thirdspace ever be encountered – destroy, or be detroyed.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by Jesus Salvador Trevino
music by Christopher Franke

Cast: Bruce Boxleitner (Captain John Sheridan), Claudia Christian (Commander Susan Ivanova), Mira Furlan (Delenn), Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin), Jeff Conaway (Zack Allan), Stephen Furst (Vir), Patricia Tallman (Lyta Alexander), Clyde Kusatsu (Bill Hiroshi), Shari Belafonte (Dr. Elizabeth Trent), William Sanderson (Deuce), Kip King (Leo), Floyd Levine (Alex), Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter (Merchant), Joshua Cox (Lt. Corwin), Judson Mills (Delta 7), G. Adam Gifford (Guard), Jerry Kernion (Kuehler), Valerie Red-Horse (Technician)

Timeline: This movie is set during season 4 of Babylon 5, after the end of the Vorlon-Shadow war, but before the open declaration of hostilities against Earth.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The River of Souls

Babylon 5Corwin finds Lochley in the Zocalo, taking a stroll and enjoying the relative peace and quiet that has enveloped the station since Sheridan and Garibaldi departed, setting up Corwin to deliver the news that Garibaldi has returned to Babylon 5. He’s still trying to track down Edgars Industries’ black projects, and he has a meeting on the station with one of Edgars’ researchers, Dr. Bryson, an archaeologist searching for the secrets of immortality. Lochley and Zack, meanwhile, have their hands full with a holo-brothel operator who has set up shop in Brown Sector, armed with a very persistent lawyer against their efforts to void his lease. Bryson arrives, bringing with him a find from his latest dig, a glowing sphere that cost the lives of the rest of his team. He quickly becomes obsessed with unlocking the secrets of the globe, and succeeds in releasing an entity trapped inside it…a soul crying out for death. One of a billion souls trapped thousands of years ago by the Soul Hunters, who arrive to reclaim their lost prize. One of millions of souls who find a way to leave the globe, hungry for revenge and release…even at the cost of the station’s destruction.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by Janet Greek
music by Christopher Franke

Cast: Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi), Tracy Scoggins (Captain Lochley), Richard Biggs (Stephen Franklin), Jeff Conaway (Zack Allan), Ian McShane (Dr. Robert Bryson), Martin Sheen (Soul Hunter), Jeff Doucette (Second man), Wayne Alexander (Soul Hunter), Bob Amaral (Customer), Beece Barkett (Woman), Joel Brooks (Jacob Mayhew), Joshua Cox (Lt. Corwin), T.J. Hoban (Male hologram), Stuart Pankin (James Riley), Ray Proscia (Klaus), Nikki Schieler Ziering (Female hologram), Jeff Silverman (Mr. Clute), Jean St. James (Sheila)

Notes: This film is set midway through 2263, after the events of Objects At Rest. The Soul Hunters’ first appearance on the series was in the first season episode Soul Hunter.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A Call To Arms

Babylon 5On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the formation of the Interstellar Alliance, Garibaldi – who has been heading up the project to construct a new destroyer-class starship with Earth, Minbari and Vorlon technology – picks up President Sheridan for a secret test run of the new vehicle. However, the test run is neither successful nor secret. Unknown to Sheridan or Garibaldi, a technomage called Galen is watching them, against the wishes of his fellow wizards. Galen uses the technological magic of his order to contact Sheridan secretly, warning him that the Drakh – the surviving servants of the Shadows who engineered the Alliance’s war with Centauri Prime – are preparing to ascend to the throne of their former masters by launching an attack on Earth. Galen drops a hint about the planet Daltron 7, and is then gone. Galen also sends Sheridan a vision of Babylon 5, and Sheridan immediately sets off for the station at top speed with Garibaldi in tow, sketching a handful of faces from his vision…faces of people whom he has never met.

After arriving at the station, the faces from Sheridan’s vision begin to appear – Dureena Nafeel, a skilled thief and the last known survivor of the Shadow-destroyed world of Zander Prime, and Captain Anderson, an Earthforce officer who, like Sheridan and Dureena, has been contacted by Galen through mysterious visions. With three pieces of the puzzle together, Sheridan puts a plan into motion to stop the Drakh before they can attack Earth, until Anderson points out that his Earthforce heavy cruiser may not be enough to stop the Drakh if they now command abandoned Shadow technology. Sheridan, Dureena and Anderson quietly slip away, returning to the proving grounds for the two new destroyers and hijacking both ships. Soon, the Excalibur and the Victory – under the command of Sheridan and Anderson, respectively – are en route to Daltron 7. But upon arrival, they find an annihilated world and a dead Drazi, the only remaining face from Sheridan’s vision. The Drazi, however, left a recorded message with a warning – the Drakh have revived a Shadow planet killer, the most powerful weapon in their arsenal, and intend to use this to wreak vengeance on Earth.

Sheridan convinces Captain Lochley to warn Earth of the impending attack as the Excalibur and the Victory race to lead the battle. But when the Drakh assault on Earth is over, the human race’s days are numbered, the Earth’s ecosystem poisoned with a lethal, contagious, time-released toxin of alien origin. And all at once, nothing will ever be the same…

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by Michael Vejar
music by Evan H. Chen

Cast: Bruce Boxleitner (President John Sheridan), Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi), Jeff Conaway (Security Chief Zack Allan), Carrie Dobro (Dureena Nafeel), Peter Woodward (Galen), Tony Todd (Captain Leonard Anderson), Tracy Scoggins (Captain Elizabeth Lochley), Tony Maggio (Drake), Michael Harris (Bishop), Scott MacDonald (First Officer), Wayne Alexander (Drakh), Carlos Bernard (Communications), Burt Bulos (Navigation), Ron Campbell (Drazi), David Coburn (Minbari Ranger), Matt Gallini (Rolf), Valeria Ghiran (ISN Reporter), Marjean Holden (Navigation), Endre Hules (Yuri), Tim O’Hare (First Mage), Tom Ramirez (Second Mage), LaRita Shelby Mullen (Lynne), Kayla Spell (Sarah)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Legend Of The Rangers: To Live And Die In Starlight

Babylon 5In 2265, the Interstellar Alliance discovers a previously unknown race moving near the fringes of its territory. There is no sign of who they are, what they want, or why they are there, save their destruction of a long range vessel flown by the Rangers. The Minbari elders who govern the Rangers enlist the aid of Citizen G’Kar in the investigation. The Narn ambassador gladly volunteers his help…his travels through the galaxy suggest that once again, powerful forces of darkness are on the move.

While on Minbar, G’Kar intercedes in the case of David Martel, a human Ranger who had been in line to command a ship until he violated the Rangers’ central code. With his captain injured and his ship outnumbered and unable to fight, he retreated to save the life of his crew, despite the Ranger vow never to break off in combat. G’Kar’s intercession saves Martel from expulsion, but rather than a top of the line ship, he is given command of the Liandra, a twenty-year-old relic in less then spaceworthy condition, whose previous crew met with disaster. The crew is mostly a collection of Martel’s friends and Rangers who have thus far been outsiders – Minbari second-in-command Dulann, weapons specialist Sarah Cantrell, healer Firell, communications/translation specialist Kitaro Sasaki, intelligence operative Malcolm Bridges, political/first contact expert Tafeek, Narn engineer Na’Feel, and Drazi Tirk. The latter two are the first representatives of their races to serve as crew on a Ranger vessel.

The Liandra’s first assignment seems routine enough – escort a warship carrying Alliance delegates to a security conference on a colony world. It is not long before the routine is broken, as the unknown race makes contact in a decidedly hostile way, perhaps confirming G’Kar’s fears. The warship is destroyed, the delegates barely saved, the Liandra heavily damaged, and its first officer gravely wounded. Martel and his crew’s only hope of returning home is to unravel the mystery of the previous crew’s and somehow defeat their mysterious pursuers…and this time, he can neither retreat nor surrender.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by Mike Vejar
music by Christopher Franke

Cast: Dylan Neal (Captain David Martel), Andreas Katsulas (G’Kar), Alex Zahara (Dulann), Myriam Sirois (Sarah Cantrell), Dean Marshall (Malcolm Bridges), Warren T. Takeuchi (Kitaro Sasaki), Jennie Rebecca Hogan (Na’Feel), Mackenzie Gray (Minister Kafta), David Storch (Tafeek), Enid-Raye Adams (Firell), Gus Lynch (Tirk), Todd Sandomirsky (Tannier), Andrew A. Kavadas (Captain Bart Gregg), Simon Egan (Minbari crewman), Bernard Cuffling (Sindell), Chris Robson (Ranger), Rob Morton (Drazi diplomat), Eric Schneider (Cloaked figure), Mark Antontuk (Wounded Minbari)

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer Read More

The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark

Babylon 5Over Here: Col. Lochley asks a Catholic priest to come to Babylon 5 a few days before President Sheridan is to arrive for the Interstellar Alliance’s tenth anniversary celebration. A crew member who recently returned from a vacation on Earth had been complaining of hearing voices before finally barricading himself in a section of the station. The crewman, Burke, is now restrained within a security cell and claiming to be possessed by a demonic spirit. The priest is skeptical at first, suspecting mental illness or some kind of hoax. But after a demonstration of the being’s power, he is convinced. He is unsure whether or not to try to perform an exorcism immediately, or summon additional help from Earth. If he calls for help, the word of the reason will spread. And while this may cause some panic, it would also lead to a renewed purpose for a Church that has been declining toward irrelevance. The demonic being claims this is, in fact, its purpose – that it was trapped in space by God so that starfaring humans would find reason to believe. The being’s apparent eagerness to be exorcised gives Lochley and the priest pause: there is another agenda here. But denying the demon’s wish would seem to condemn Burke to suffer, and that responsibility may be too much to bear.

Over There: En route to Babylon 5 for the anniversary celebration, Sheridan begrudgingly gives an interview to ISN. He mentions his regret that Londo will not be at the celebration to represent the Centauri, but that his ship will be picking up Prince Regent Vintari, third in line to the throne. The night before the rendezvous, Galen appears to Sheridan in a dream, and shows him a vision of the destruction of New York City. In 30 years, he says, Emperor Vintari will attempt to restore the Republic’s former glory by destroying an old adversary: Earth. This can all be prevented if Sheridan will simply kill Vintari now. But when Sheridan meets the young man, who already feels trapped by the political intrigues of the Republic, he begins to doubt that he can kill a man for actions he has not yet committed.

Order now!Download this episodewritten by J. Michael Straczynski
directed by J. Michael Straczynski
music by Christopher Franke

Cast: Bruce Boxleitner (President John Sheridan), Tracy Scoggins (Col. Elizabeth Lochley), Peter Woodward (Galen)

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer