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My family is re-watching Babylon 5. I will post reviews of each episode as we watch them, one or two a week.






The Parliament of Dreams


Season 1, Episode 5

Originally aired February 23, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnston

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andres Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, and Caitlin Brown

This episode introduces Lennier, played by Bill Mumy and Na'Toth, played by Caitlin Brown

During a festival to celebrate different religious beliefs, G'Kar is notified that someone is about to assassinate him. You will know pain. You will know fear. And then you will die. At first, he suspects his new attache, NaToth, but she isn't the assassin, so they join forces to find the real killer.

Sinclair rekindles his romance with an old girlfriend. The Centauri host a feast of gluttony and debauchery. The Mimbari contemplate life, death, and rebirth. Sinclair introduces representatives from some of the many Earth religions.

The Centauri, Mimbari, and Narn cultures are further developed, but other than G'kar running around trying not to die, there isn't much plot to this episode, However, that isn't much of a problem. It has some great scenes. G'kar's, fear and pain is palatable. Londo becomes one with himself after crawling on the table, kissing a statue's ass, and passing out drunk. Take a good look at the statue. It gets explained in a later episode.

And from the moment he walks into the show, Delenn's personal aid, Lennier, is the perfect complement to her character.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 7, 2018







Soul Hunter


Season 1, Episode 2

Originally aired February 2, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andres Thompson, and Richard Biggs (as Dr. Stephen Franklin.)

This episode introduces another main character, Dr. Stephen Franklin. And Sinclair learns that Delenn is a member of the Gray Council, the ruling body of Mimbar.

The soul hunter, played by Willian Morgan Sheppard, nearly crashes into the station in his damaged spaceship, but he is saved and set free to roam Babylon 5. Soul hunters collect the souls of the dying and preserve them in glass spears. Having failed to collect the soul of the Mimbari leader, Dukhat, during the Earth Mimbari War, this soul hunter sets his sights on Delenn. Rather than wait for her to die, he plots to kill her and add her soul to his collection. Needless to say, that is against soul hunter rules, and Sinclair is determined to stop him.

Delenn believes souls should be free so they can reincarnate into the next generation, which explores another aspect of Mimbari religion and sets up future story lines.

The plot works, but the acting falls a bit flat. Willian Morgan Sheppard's performance lacks the kind of fascinating presence or evil power that would make this a great episode. His mumbling and chanting is more irritating than threatening. So, this episode is a little slow and lackluster, but worth watching.



Reviewed by Romana Drew December 3, 2018







Midnight on the Firing Line


Season 1, Episode 1

Originally aired January 26, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian (as Susan Ivanova,) Stephen Furst (as Vir Cotto,) and Andres Thompson (as Talia Winters.)

This episode introduces three more main characters, Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, telepath Talia Winters, and Londo's assistant Vir Cotto.

Narn warships attack the Centauri agricultural colony on Ragesh 3. The unprovoked attack sends Londo into a fit of rage because his nephew is stationed there. G'kar is equally outraged because the Centauri destroyed his world. He claims the attack was justified. Sinclair goes after the raiders.

This episode is full of emotional posturing and political maneuvering which move the plot along at a good clip. It introduces the complex relationships between Londo and G'Kar, and between Ivanova and Talia. While in the background the election of President Santiago sets up future episodes. There is also a great scene with Delenn and Garibaldi, and his second most favorite thing in the world.

Both the makeup and costumes are an improvement over the pilot, and the characters are better developed. The introduction of Vir and Ivanova adds comic relief and emotional depth.

Reviewed by Roman Drew November 29, 2018











The Gathering


Pilot

Originally aired February 22, 1993

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton Starring: Michael O'Hare (as Jeffery Sinclair,) Jerry Doyle (as Michael Garibaldi,) Mira Furlan (as Delan,) Peter Jurasik (as Lando Molari,) Andreas Katsulas (as G'Kar,) and Patricia Tallman (as Lyta Alexander.)

The pilot introduces the main non-humans Delenn, a Mimbari, G'Kar, a Narn, Lando Molari, a Centauri, and Kosh, a Vorlon. It also introduces three of the major human characters, station captain Jeffery Sinclair, station security chief, Michael Garibaldi, and telepath, Lyta Alexander. Although, Lyta disappears and isn't heard from for a while, she does return to play a major role in the series.

In the year 2275, ten years after the end of the Earth Mimbari War, Babylon 5 serves as neutral territory for resolving disputes and as a center of commerce.

The members of the Babylon 5 Council, Delenn, G'Kar, Lando, and Sinclair wait for Kosh, the fifth member of the council to arrive. Kosh is poisoned before he gets more than a few feet inside the station. If he dies, the Vorlon empire will destroy the station. Since Kosh lives inside an environmental suit, treating him, or even diagnosing him is nearly impossible until Lyta uses her telepathic powers to find out how he was poisoned. However, that implicates Sinclair.

This is a bit of a who-done-it with evidence leading in the wrong direction and Vorlon ships charging weapons.

Although the acting is often a bit flat, the story is well developed, and the pacing moves the plot along at a good clip. The early 1990's special effects are not as cutting edge as they once were, but they still work fine, especially the fighter ships. Their thrusters actually fire in the correct direction when they turn, accelerate, or slow down.

After having seen the entire series, the makeup and costuming, in the pilot is also a bit rough.

The pilot does a great job of setting up the major plot lines that run through the entire series. It is a must see if you want to watch the series.

Reviewed by Roman Drew November 27, 2018