Babylon 5

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1994-1999

Premise:
Babylon 5 is the last of the Babylon stations, intended as a haven where alien races and organizations could peacefully solve their problems and avoid war. Built after the Earth-Minbari war when the human race was almost exterminated, Babylon 5 hosts a variety of species and beliefs. Although the station is run by predominantly human staff, Minbari, Narn, Centauri, and Vorlan are part of the diplomatic factions on the station, and each species has their own ambassador and attache. The remaining aliens are represented in an Unallied League.

The series takes place in the five years after the station becomes operational. It generally revolves around conflicts between all the races and their struggle to unite against the massive threat of the Shadow, a dangerous species on the Rim of the known universe.

Characters:



CAPTAIN SINCLAIR: Head of B5 during the first season, Sinclair was the unknown catalyst for the end of the Earth-Minbari War. He is believed to be the reincarnation of one of the Minbari's most cherished leaders. This was discovered after he was beamed out of his fighter plane at the last battle during the war. Ambassador DeLenn agreed to monitor him during his time at B5. However, he was abruptly transferred to Minbari as an ambassador recruited to bridge the gap between human and Minbari.



CAPTAIN SHERIDAN: A hero in the Earth-Minbari-War, Sheridan served on the warship Agamemnon where he became known to the Minbari as "Star Killer" after faking a distress signal. His wife, Anna, served on an explorer class ship, The Icarus, and was presumed dead after encountering the planet known as Z'Ha'Dum. Years later, Anna reappeared after being brainwashed by the Shadows, but later died at the hands of Sheridan on the very planet that "saved" her.

Sheridan took command of Babylon 5 following Jeffrey Sinclair's departure. When President Clark ordered him to stand down, he instead had Babylon 5 secede from the Earth Alliance. He is romantically involved with Ambassador Delenn and in one possible future they have a son named David.

Now president of the new Interstellar Alliance and commander of the Forces of Light, Sheridan's voice is heard by millions who both respect him and fear him.



LT COMMANDER/COMMANDER SUSAN IVANOVA: Second in command and in charge of the day-to-day operations of Babylon 5, Ivanova is an ambitious career officer. She can be quirky or pessimistic at times, but she has a dry sense of humor that shows itself in the rare moments she is able to relax among others. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and raised abroad on Earth, she has a strong dislike for the Psi-Corps. She often buries herself in her work; her friends are few, and her family is all but gone.

Ivanova is a latent telepath, "not even a P1," but has spent her life hiding her talent from Psi Corps after their legally-mandated drug treatments drove her mother to suicide. She leads flying expeditions often, and later joins the Earth-Minbari war alliance The Rangers.



CAPTAIN ELIZABETH LOCHLEY: Captain Elizabeth Lochley was hand picked by John Sheridan to assume command of Babylon 5 when he was to leave the post to become the president of the newly formed Interstellar Alliance. Sheridan's decision was based on her record, not on the fact that he and Lochley were married for a short time.

Lochley's loyalty during the conflict between Earth and Babylon 5 remained solely with Earth. She has a distinguished record and has proven to be calm under fire and a good diplomat.

Upon her arriving on Babylon 5, one of her first duties was dealing with a problem with rogue telepaths. Lochley is in a unique position, filling both positions that Susan Ivanova and Sheridan left behind - all rolled into one. The Interstellar Alliance being stationed on Babylon 5 is not without stress either, as her orders are sometimes contradicted by President Sheridan.



SECURITY CHIEF GARIBALDI: Michael Garibaldi's ties with Babylon 5 were forged with the first commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, long before The Babylon Project became a reality. He and Sinclair crash-landed on a shuttle to Mars and stumbled across a secret Psi-Corps facility. This led Sinclair to request him as security chief on Babylon 5, despite opposition from the Earth Senate.

While investigating possible illegal activities on Europa, an attempt was made to stop him by rigging a shuttle landing pad. As a result, Garibaldi's close friend, Frank Kemmer, perished when the pad exploded. This incident is believed to be a contributing factor to Garibaldi's past and present weakness - alcoholism.

In 2260, while on patrol in his Starfury, Garibaldi was abducted by a Shadow vessel and didn't reappear until some time later. After his return, Garibaldi was different and began questioning Sheridan's orders. Finally having enough of Sheridan's "second-coming" attitude, Garibaldi resigned and started working as a private investigator on Babylon 5. Later in 2261 he was hired by William Edgars to help move items through Babylon 5 customs. He moved to Mars late in 2261 to further work with Edgars and was almost killed twice in unspecified incidents on Mars. Garibaldi betrayed Sheridan and set a trap for Sheridan to come to Mars, where he was imprisoned and questioned by Earth Force.

After convincing Sheridan and the other members of his inner circle that he was not at fault, Sheridan appointed Garibaldi the leader of covert operations for the new Alliance.



AMBASSADOR DELENN: Delenn was appointed as Ambassador to Babylon 5 by the Grey Council, a secret group of the Minbari ruling body composed of members from all three different castes of Minbari. Her mission was to keep an eye on the commander of Babylon 5, Jeffrey Sinclair, whom the council found out has a Minbari soul - in fact the soul of their most highly revered leader.

Delenn was at one time an aide to Dukhat and became a member of the Grey Council through his training. She was present at his death, which occured at the hands of Earth forces when first contact with them went terribly wrong. She gave the deciding vote in the Grey Council to wage war with the Humans, resulting in the Earth/Minbari War.

In 2258, Delann was chosen to become the leader of the Minbari but turned it down to see through the possible prophecy of Valen. To help further the relationship between Minbari and Humans, Delenn transformed herself (through use of a triluminary) at the end of 2258 into a melding of human and Minbari. This angered the Grey Council and resulted in her replacement by Neroon. She later dissolved the Grey Council, as Valen once said would happen. In 2261 she formed a new Grey Council with preference given to the Worker caste.



AMBASSADOR LONDO MOLLARI: Londo Mollari is a patriot. But, as we have found out, he hasn't had the best of luck dealing with the ruling body of the Centauri Republic. Londo was assigned to Babylon 5 because nobody else wanted the job. His time on Babylon 5 was first spent having fun gambling, drinking and being a general nuisance.

Londo has seen his own death in a dream and believes that he and G'Kar will strangle each other to death and Vir will replace him as Emperor. Londo relies heavily on his aide Vir, who tries to act as Londo's conscience.

Londo temporarily served as Head of Planetary Security under Emperor Cartagia. He planned the assassination of the insane Emperor. A heart-attack induced dream forced him to appologize to G'Kar in order to save his own life. When the Centauri ordered G'Kar to be placed in a cell, he went with him. Londo has been seeking redemption for his crimes and is fated to become Emperor.



VIR COTTO: Vir Cotto was appointed as attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari in 2258 mainly because his family wanted him as far away as possible. Vir was later reassigned to the Minbari homeworld in 2260 as head of the Centauri mission on Minbar. He was removed from that duty when it was discovered he was covertly smuggling Narns off their homeworld under the guise of "Abrahamo Lincolni", a fictional Centauri noble supposedly of the Centauri Relocation Bureau.

Vir likes beepy gadgets and video games and is generally nervous in political situations. His hatred of Mr. Morden was evident, and he felt the alliance with the Shadows was a bad idea from the start. After the Shadow war, Vir received his wish to wave at Mr. Morden's head on a pike. Later, it was Vir who assassinated the Centauri Emperor after an escape by G'Kar didn't go quite as planned.

It has been stated that Vir will follow Londo as the Centauri Emperor in 2277.



TALIA WINTERS: Babylon 5's resident telepath during the first couple of seasons, Talia's posting at B5 was her first solo assignment. She had a level 5 psi rating, bound by the rules and regulations of the Psi Corps. She sold her telepathic services to businessmen and occasionally assisted the station personnel. Talia was raised and trained by the Psi Corps, meaning that that organization was her family. Early in the series, she was visited by an old teacher who had undergone a Psi Corps experiment. He altered her, giving her telekinetic abilities and possibly other powers as well. He also warned her of the changing nature of the Corps; she therefore wasn't entirely sure she trusted its motives anymore.



LENNIER: From the start, Lennier has been completely dedicated to Delenn and has promised to serve her for the rest of his life. Lennier has studied the 97 dialects and sub-tongues of Minbari and ranked "Master Adept" in the laws of probability. He is also skilled in Minbari martial arts.

Lennier is quiet and efficient and is in charge of dealing with many of the day to day jobs for Delenn. He is honorable and willing to lie to preserve someone else's honor. He occassionally serves aboard the White Star with Delenn. Lennier is in love with Delenn and left for Ranger training shortly after she married Sheridan. Lennier counts Vir Cotto as one of his close friends.



LYTA ALEXANDER: Lyta was assigned to Babylon 5 in 2257 upon the station's opening, but was immediately called back to Earth as a result of an encounter with the Vorlon ambassador, Kosh. Upon arriving on Earth, she spent months being interrogated about her experience and finally escaped and fled to the Mars Colony. Lyta then returned battered and bruised to Babylon 5 where she managed to reveal Talia Winters, the current resident telepath, as a "Control" - a replaced personality used to gain inside information.

Lyta then retreated to Vorlon space where nobody had returned alive ~ making her the first. When she returned, however, she was "altered." At first it seemed to be only gill implants, but it was later revealed that her Psi capabilities were enhanced so she could carry the essence of the Vorlons.



DR STEPHEN FRANKLIN: Dr. Stephen Franklin is a Xenobioligist, who loves his job and is passionate about saving lives. This passion has gotten him into trouble on numerous occasions, when he has performed unwanted surgery, even though the patient knew that they would die if they did not operate.

Dr. Franklin is also know to bend or break the rules to try and help people. He runs an unlicensed clinic in downbelow when he can. He also helped telepaths escape Psi-Corps several times by hiding them in a downbelow sector. This operation has since been closed down when Bester came onto the station looking for unlicensed telepaths he knew were hiding there. Dr. Franklin had trouble with an addiction to "stims" - a drug that helps to keep the user awake longer. He has been known to stay up for 36 hours at a time. This addiction to stims was noticed by Garibaldi, who offered help. When Franklin admitted he was an addict, he decided to resign from Medlab before he did something stupid.



AMBASSADOR G'KAR: G'Kar is in many ways a mirror of his Centauri counterpart, Londo Mollari. When the Centauri took back the Narn Homeworld, John Sheridan granted him asylum on Babylon 5 which meant the Centauri could not take him back for trial. This greatly angered Londo since G'Kar was the only member of the Kha'ri still at large.

G'Kar later became a leader for the Narn resistance. He is follower of the G'Quan, and is a true patriot and a firm believer in G'Quan's teachings. He wrote the "Declaration of Principles" for the new Alliance after the offer from Sheridan.

He agrees to become Londo's bodyguard and accompanies him to Centauri Prime where they are both thrown into a cell before they can talk to the Regent.

G'Kar and Londo both know that they are fated to die at each other's hands in 2277.



AMBASSADOR KOSH: Even less is known about Ambassador Kosh than about his race. He arrived on the station in 2257 and was promptly the victim of a complex assassination plot involving the Minbari and others. He is rarely seen in council meetings, claiming that "we take no interest in the affairs of others," and Vorlons' reasons for coming to Babylon 5 at all are unknown. Kosh communicates through a complex sequence of musical tones, translated into English by a device on his encounter suit. When he speaks, his words are few and sound cryptic, but often have a strange truth to them. Kosh's quarters are filled with a dense atmosphere of methane and other gases; whether he needs it or is using it to make himself less accessible is an open question. Even when he's receiving visitors there, Kosh wears his suit.


Why It's Cool:
It's got tons of interesting characters that are actually developed quite well over the episodes. The special effects start out decent enough for the time, and they improve noticably over the seasons as the budget increased and cgi took over much of their fx.

There's also lots of funky aliens, petty squabbles, grand conspracies, political intrigue, wars, and shadowy betrayals. It reminds me a lot of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and I really don't think that's a bad thing.

Why It's Not So Cool:
There are entirely too many characters that leave and return and disappear. It's hard to keep track of if you're not an avid watcher. In addition, it makes the series lack stability. For all you know, your favorite captain could mysteriously vanish between seasons. Oh wait, that already happened.

Plus, it's just a bitch to write character bios.

Babylon 5

I feel compelled to comment on Babylon 5's cast. For as long as I can remember, I have always been able to find an attraction to sci fi female cast - from the Vulcan in Star Trek to the dancing aliens in Jabba the Hutts barge in Star Wars. However, Babylon 5 has not produced an attractive alien. Does anyone else feel the same?

B5 and a calendar

A few years ago, I made someone a SciFi Babe calendar... kinda self-explanatory. There were no representatives from Babylon 5 in it. And it was an 18-month calendar.