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The year is , the name of the place: Babylon 6. It's been nine years since the decommissioning of Earth Alliance Space Station Babylon 5.
Table of contents
Among the other species are the imperialist Centauri ; the Narn , who only recently gained independence from the Centauri empire; and the mysterious Vorlons. Several dozen less powerful species from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds also have diplomatic contact with the major races, including the Drazi , Brakiri , Vree , Markab , and pak'ma'ra. Additionally, an obscure and secretive race known as "the Shadows " malevolently influences events. The Babylon 5 space station is located in the Epsilon Eridani system, at the fifth Lagrangian point between the fictional planet Epsilon III and its moon.
Living areas accommodate the various alien species, providing differing atmospheres and gravities. Human visitors to the alien sectors are shown using breathing equipment and other measures to tolerate the conditions. Babylon 5 featured an ensemble cast which changed over the course of the show's run:. In addition, several other actors have filled more than one minor role on the series.
Kim Strauss played the Drazi Ambassador in four episodes, as well as nine other characters in ten more episodes. The producers therefore used the same group of people as many as 12 in various mid-level speaking roles, taking full head and body casts from each. The group came to be unofficially known by the production as the "Babylon 5 Alien Rep Group. The five seasons of the series each correspond to one fictional sequential year in the period — Each season shares its name with an episode that is central to that season's plot.
As the series starts, the Babylon 5 station is welcoming ambassadors from various races in the galaxy. Earth has just barely survived an accidental war with the much more powerful Minbari , who, despite their superior technology, mysteriously surrendered at the brink of the destruction of the human race during the Battle of the Line. During , Commander Jeffrey Sinclair is in charge of the station, assisted by executive officer Susan Ivanova and security chief Michael Garibaldi.
Much of the story revolves around his gradual discovery that it was his capture by the Minbari at the Battle of the Line which ended the war against Earth. Upon capturing Sinclair, the Minbari came to believe that he was the reincarnation of Valen , a great Minbari leader and hero of the last Minbari-Shadow war. Inferring that others of their species had been and were continuing to be reborn as humans, and in obedience to the edict that Minbari do not kill one another lest they harm the soul, they stopped the war just as Earth's final defenses were on the verge of collapse.
Meanwhile, tensions between the Centauri Republic, an empire in decline, and the Narn Regime, a former dominion which rebelled and gained freedom from the Centauri, are increasing. Ambassador G'Kar of the Narn wishes for his people to strike back at the Centauri for what they did to his people, and Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri wishes for his people to become again the great empire they once were. As part of these struggles, Mollari makes a deal with a mysterious ally, Mr. Morden, to strike back at the Narn, further heightening tensions.
Further, a significant number of humans on Earth resent humanity's interactions with aliens, seeking to eliminate aliens on any Earth-owned property by any means possible, including those on Babylon 5. It is gradually revealed that Ambassador Delenn is a member of the mysterious and powerful Grey Council , the ruling body of the Minbari. The year ends with the death of Earth Alliance president Luis Santiago. The death is officially ruled an accident, but some members of the military, including the staff of Babylon 5 , believe it to be an assassination. At the beginning of , Captain John Sheridan replaces Sinclair as the military governor of the station after Sinclair is reassigned as ambassador to Minbar.
He and the command staff gradually learn that the assassination of President Santiago was arranged by his then—Vice President, Morgan Clark, who has now become president. Conflict develops between the Babylon 5 command staff and the Psi Corps , an increasingly autocratic organization which oversees and controls the lives of human telepaths. The Centauri homeworld prepares for the pending death of their current emperor, whose health has been failing.
To assure their ascent into power, Ambassador Mollari works with Lord Refa to assassinate any challengers to the throne, while continuing to request services of the mysteries "Shadows" through their agent Mr. Morden to instigate conflict with the Narn. When the emperor dies, Mollari and Refa place the emperor's unstable nephew on the throne, through whom they conspire to start a full-scale war with the Narn, including the use of weapons of mass destruction against the Narn homeworld to conquer it.
Earth's government, prompted by the new war, becomes more totalitarian. Kosh and other Vorlons approach Sheridan and reveal themselves to be the enemies of the Shadows, and fearing that the Shadows have been behind many of these events, ask Sheridan for his help to fight them. Earth's government continues to become more xenophobic , while on Babylon 5 , Sheridan and Delenn, who have become romantically involved, create a "conspiracy of light" to try to reveal the truth behind the Shadows' influence. When the Mars colony is bombed, Earth's government declares martial law, but Sheridan refuses to go along, and declares Babylon 5 ' s independence from Earth.
When Earth forces attempt to retake the station, Minbari forces help to fight them off. The fate of Babylon 4 is discovered when Sinclair returns to the station to request Sheridan's help: Sinclair had been destined to use time travel to take Babylon 4 back in time to the previous Minbari-Shadow war, where he is transformed into the revered Minbari leader, Valen.
During this, Sheridan briefly sees a vision of the downfall of the Centauri homeworld at the hands of the Shadows, and vows to prevent this future. Ambassador Mollari comes to realize his deal with the Shadows has become dangerous and attempts to sever ties with Mr. Morden; but this only serves to ingrain the Shadows within the Centauri homeworld further.
Kosh informs Sheridan that the Shadows can be fought against with telepaths, but the Shadows later kill Kosh for revealing this information. Sheridan leads forces to attack Shadow vessels with Kosh's information. Sheridan's wife, thought dead on an archaeological dig on the planet Z'ha'dum years earlier, arrives at the station and tells Sheridan to come to Z'ha'dum.
Knowing it is likely a Shadow trap, Sheridan travels there alone. Guided by Kosh's words, Sheridan flies a vessel loaded with explosives into the planet while jumping into a pit into the depths of the planet. Meanwhile, Babylon 5 is facing attack by Shadow vessels, but the Shadows abandon their assault when Sheridan bombs Z'ha'dum. Delenn senses the explosions and fears Sheridan is dead. Garibaldi, who was fighting in the battle, does not return to the station when the Shadows retreat.
Sheridan returns from Z'ha'dum with the help of a strange being known as Lorien, who has given Sheridan exactly 20 more years to live as to complete his role in the galaxy. The Vorlons join in the war against the Shadows, but the other races become concerned when they find the Vorlons willing to destroy any planet that has been even tainted by Shadow influence. Sheridan learns that the Vorlons and Shadows had been tasked by the First Ones to care for the younger races in the galaxy, but due to differences of opinion, have been at war for eons, using the younger races to serve in a proxy war.
With the help of the First Ones, Sheridan convinces the Vorlons and Shadows to move on from this galaxy, allowing the younger races to find their own way. Garibaldi returns to Babylon 5 but without any explanation for his disappearance. The station staff recognize he is not the same as before he disappeared, and has been working with Mars tycoon William Edgars for unknown reasons, including kidnapping Sheridan.
Later, it is discovered that Garibaldi was brainwashed by Bester of the Psi-Corps to seek out information about Edgars and reveal it back to Bester at the right time, this being about a virus developed by Edgars to destroy telepaths. Edgars is killed, and Bester releases Garibaldi of his brainwashing. With the Vorlons and Shadows gone, Earth's totalitarian government attempts to use the captured Sheridan to use as a propaganda tool, but Garibaldi rescues him. A brief war breaks out on Earth, culminating in President Clark's suicide and allowing Earth's government to return to a more democratic state.
However, Ivanova is critically injured in the war, and decides to leave Earthforce. Sheridan is made president of the Alliance, and he and Delenn get married. In , Earthforce Captain Elizabeth Lochley is appointed to command Babylon 5 , which is now also the headquarters of the Interstellar Alliance.
The station grows in its role as a sanctuary for rogue telepaths running from the Psi Corps. Sheridan and Delann move to Minbari and raise a family, and Garibaldi also marries and settles down on Mars. G'kar becomes a religious icon for the Narm and goes on his own exploration of space.
A species known as the Drakh, who had been loyal to the Shadows, influence events on Centauri Prime to cause the rest of the Alliance to go to war against the Centauri, leaving much of the planet in ruin. Mollari is forced by the Drakh to become the Centauri Emperor, coerced by the use of a Drakh parasite called a Keeper which can read and control one's thoughts, while Vir Cotti takes over as ambassador to the Alliance.
Over the next several years, Mollari is forced to endure the Drakh's control, but when they kidnap Sheridan and Delann, Mollari attempts to intercede, calling on G'Kar to kill him as to distract his Keeper to allow Sheridan and Delann to escape. However, the Keeper senses the attack, and forces Mollari to kill G'Kar as well, fulfilling the prophecy that Mollari has seen years prior with the two dying at each other's throats.
Cotto becomes Emperor in Mollari's place, expelling the Drakh and promising to restore the Centauri relationships with the Alliance. Twenty years after his return from Z'ha'dum, Sheridan feels his life fading. He has the Rangers contact all his old friends, who come for Minbari for a farewell party. The next day, Sheridan attempts to leave before Delann finds out, but she stops him before he can depart. She knows he will soon die, and gives him her final goodbyes, and tells him it is a good day for a "Sunday drive".
Alone, Sheridan revisits Babylon 5 which is in the process of decommissioning, as the Alliance has found better locations and routes to serve its purpose; it is demolished some time later. Sheridan's ship is found adrift and empty some days later. Having worked on a number of television science fiction shows which had regularly gone over budget, creator J. Michael Straczynski concluded that a lack of long-term planning was to blame, and set about looking at ways in which a series could be done responsibly.here
Taking note of the lessons of mainstream television, which brought stories to a centralized location such as a hospital, police station, or law office, he decided that instead of "[going] in search of new worlds, building them anew each week", a fixed space station setting would keep costs at a reasonable level. A fan of sagas such as the Foundation series , Childhood's End , The Lord of the Rings , Dune and the Lensman series , Straczynski wondered why no one had done a television series with the same epic sweep, and concurrently with the first idea started developing the concept for a vastly ambitious epic covering massive battles and other universe-changing events.
Realizing that both the fixed-locale series and the epic could be done in a single series, he began to sketch the initial outline of what would become Babylon 5. Michael Straczynski, . Straczynski set five goals for Babylon 5. It would have to be reasonably budgeted, and "it would have to look unlike anything ever seen before on TV, presenting individual stories against a much broader canvas. Citing Mark Twain as an influence, Straczynski said he wanted the show to be a mirror to the real world and to covertly teach. Following production on Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future , Straczynski approached John Copeland and Doug Netter, who had also been involved with Captain Power and showed him the bible and pilot script for his show, and both were impressed with his ideas.
Described as a "window on the future" by series production designer John Iacovelli,  the story is set in the 23rd century on a large space station named "Babylon 5"—a five-mile-long, 2.
Instead, acting as a center of political intrigue and conflict, the station becomes the linchpin of a massive interstellar war. This is reflected in the opening monologue of each episode, which describes it as the "last, best hope for peace" in season one, then the "last, best hope for victory" in season three. The series consists of a coherent five-year story arc taking place over five seasons of 22 episodes each. Unlike most television shows at the time, Babylon 5 was conceived as a "novel for television", with a defined beginning, middle, and end; in essence, each episode would be a single "chapter" of this "novel".
Creator and showrunner J. Michael Straczynski wrote 92 of the episodes of Babylon 5 , including all 44 episodes in the third and fourth seasons;  according to Straczynski, a feat never before accomplished in American television. Drennan , Lawrence G. Fontana , and David Gerrold. Harlan Ellison , a creative consultant on the show, received story credits for two episodes. The rules of production were strict; scripts were written six episodes in advance, and changes could not be made once production had started.
Though conceived as a whole, it was necessary to adjust the plotline to accommodate external influences. Each of the characters in the series was written with a "trap door" into their background so that, in the event of an actor's unexpected departure from the series, the character could be written out with minimal impact on the storyline. That was one of the big risks going into a long-term storyline which I considered long in advance; Ratings for Babylon 5 continued to rise during the show's third season, but going into the fourth season, the impending demise of network PTEN left a fifth year in doubt.
Unable to get word one way or the other from parent company Warner Bros. Straczynski identified three primary narrative threads which would require resolution: Estimating they would still take around 27 episodes to resolve without having the season feel rushed, the solution came when the TNT network commissioned two Babylon 5 television films. Several hours of material was thus able to be moved into the films, including a three-episode arc which would deal with the background to the Earth—Minbari War , and a sub-thread which would have set up the sequel series, Crusade.
Further standalone episodes and plot-threads were dropped from season four, which could be inserted into Crusade , or the fifth season, were it to be given the greenlight. When word came that TNT had picked up Babylon 5 , this was moved to the end of season five and replaced with a newly filmed season four finale, " The Deconstruction of Falling Stars ". Ann Bruice Aling was costume designer for the show, after production designer John Iacovelli suggested her for the position having previously worked with Bruice on a number of film and theatrical productions.
With the variety of costumes required she compared Babylon 5 to "eclectic theatre", with fewer rules about period, line, shape and textures having to be adhered to. With an interest in costume history, she initially worked closely with J. Michael Straczynski to get a sense of the historical perspective of the major alien races, "so I knew if they were a peaceful people or a warring people, cold climate etc.
As the main characters evolved, Bruice referred back to Straczynski and producer John Copeland who she viewed as "surprisingly more accessible to me as advisors than other producers and directors", so the costumes could reflect these changes. Ambassador Londo Mollari 's purple coat became dark blue and more tailored while his waistcoats became less patterned and brightly colored as Bruice felt "Londo has evolved in my mind from a buffoonish character to one who has become more serious and darker.
Normally there were three changes of costume for the primary actors; one for on set, one for the stunt double and one on standby in case of "coffee spills". For human civilians, garments were generally purchased off-the-rack and altered in various ways, such as removing lapels from jackets and shirts while rearranging closures , to suggest future fashions. For some of the main female characters a more couture approach was taken, as in the suits worn by Talia Winters which Bruice described as being designed and fitted to within "an inch of their life".
Costumes for the destitute residents of downbelow would be distressed through a combination of bleaching, sanding, dipping in dye baths and having stage blood added. Like many of the crew on the show, members of the costume department made onscreen cameos. During the season 4 episode " Atonement ", the tailors and costume supervisor appeared as the Minbari women fitting Zack Allan for his new uniform as the recently promoted head of security.
His complaints, and the subsequent stabbing of him with a needle by costume supervisor Kim Holly, was a light-hearted reference to the previous security uniforms, a design carried over from the pilot movie which were difficult to work with and wear due to the combination of leather and wool. While the original pilot film featured some aliens which were puppets and animatronics , the decision was made early on in the show's production to portray most alien species as humanoid in appearance. Barring isolated appearances, fully computer-generated aliens were discounted as an idea due to the "massive rendering power"  required.
Long-term use of puppets and animatronics was also discounted due to the technological limitations in providing convincing interaction with the human actors " Foundation Imaging provided the special effects for the pilot film for which it won an Emmy and the first three seasons of the show, led by Ron Thornton. After the show's co-executive producer Douglas Netter and producer John Copeland approached Straczynski with the idea of producing the effects in-house, Straczynski agreed to replace Foundation, for season 4 and 5, once a new team had been established by Netter Digital , and an equal level of quality was assured,  by using similar technology and a number of former Foundation employees.
Christopher Franke composed and scored the musical soundtrack for all 5 years of the show when Stewart Copeland , who worked on the original telefilm, was unable to return for the first season due to recording and touring commitments. With his recording studio in the same building as his home located in the Hollywood Hills , Franke would attend creative meetings before scoring the on average 25 minutes of music for each episode. Using playbacks with digital samples of the appropriate instruments, such as a group of violins, he would decide which tracks to produce electronically or record acoustically.
Utilizing the "acoustic dirt produced by live instruments and the ability to play so well between two semitones" and the "frequency range, dynamics and control" provided by synthesizers, he described his approach "as experimental friendly as possible without leaving the happy marriage between the orchestral and electronic sounds". And while Franke's handling of the electronic textures is adept, I think he could have made a little better use of the German orchestra that's credited in every episode.
In particularly, the driving, fanfare-like title themes would gain a lot of distinction from the kind of guts that an acoustic sound would bring to them. Scores for the acoustic tracks were emailed to his Berlin scoring stage, and would require from four musicians to the full orchestra, with a maximum of 24 present at any one time.
One of three conductors would also be required for any score that involved more than 6 musicians. Franke would direct recording sessions via six fibre optic digital telephone lines to transmit and receive video, music and the SMPTE timecode. The final edit and mixing of the tracks would take place in his Los Angeles studio.
Initially concerned composing for an episodic television show could become "annoying because of the repetition", Franke found the evolving characters and story of Babylon 5 afforded him the opportunity to continually "push the envelope". Assembling music written for the series' final episode, Sleeping in Light succinctly encapsulates just how far Franke's sensibilities evolved over the course of Babylon 5's five-year production run — the synthesizer textures and martial percussion so long a fixture of the series' musical palette are now enhanced by strings and guitars that emphasize the deeply human emotional dimensions of the interstellar drama.
Indeed, for all the series' obvious emphasis on fantasy and otherworldly sounds, Franke never lost track of its earthbound soul. Epic in scope and scale, Sleeping in Light boasts a power few TV soundtracks achieve.
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A total of 24 episode and three television film soundtracks were released under Franke's record label, Sonic Images Records, between and These contain the musical scores in the same chronological order as they played in the corresponding episodes, or television films. Three compilation albums were also produced, containing extensively re-orchestrated and remixed musical passages taken from throughout the series to create more elaborate suites. Throughout its run, Babylon 5 found ways to portray themes relevant to modern and historical social issues.
It marked several firsts in television science fiction, such as the exploration of the political and social landscapes of the first human colonies, their interactions with Earth, and the underlying tensions. Michael Straczynski , . The clash between order and chaos, and the people caught in between, plays an important role in Babylon 5. The conflict between two unimaginably powerful older races, the Vorlons and the Shadows , is represented as a battle between two competing ideologies, each seeking to turn the humans and the other younger races to their beliefs.
The Vorlons represent an authoritarian philosophy: The Vorlon question, "Who are you? The climax of this conflict comes with the younger races' exposing of the Vorlons' and the Shadows' "true faces"  and the rejection of both philosophies,  heralding the dawn of a new age without their interference. The notion that the war was about "killing your parents"  is echoed in the portrayal of the civil war between the human colonies and Earth.
Deliberately dealing in historical and political metaphor, with particular emphasis upon McCarthyism and the HUAC ,  the Earth Alliance becomes increasingly authoritarian, eventually sliding into a dictatorship. The show examines the impositions on civil liberties under the pretext of greater defense against outside threats which aid its rise, and the self-delusion of a populace which believes its moral superiority will never allow a dictatorship to come to power, until it is too late.
Michael Straczynski, . The Babylon 5 universe deals with numerous armed conflicts which range on an interstellar scale. The story begins in the aftermath of a war which brought the human race to the brink of extinction, caused by a misunderstanding during a first contact. Wars between separate alien civilizations are featured. The conflict between the Narn and the Centauri is followed from its beginnings as a minor territorial dispute amplified by historical animosity, through to its end, in which weapons of mass destruction are employed to subjugate and enslave a planet.
The war is an attempt to portray a more sobering kind of conflict than usually seen on science fiction television. Informed by the events of the first Gulf War , the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Soviet invasion of Prague , the intent was to recreate these moments when "the world held its breath" and the emotional core of the conflict was the disbelief that the situation could have occurred at all, and the desperation to find a way to bring it to an end. The Shadow War also features prominently in the show, during which an advanced alien species attempts to sow the seeds of conflict to promote technological and cultural advancement.
The gradual discovery of the scheme and the rebellion against it, serve as the backdrop to the first three seasons,  but also as a metaphor for the war within ourselves. The concurrent limiting of civil liberties and Earth's descent into a dictatorship are "shadow wars" of their own. The struggle for independence between Mars and Earth culminates with a civil war between the human colonies led by the Babylon 5 station and the home planet. Choosing Mars as both the spark for the civil war, and the staging ground for its dramatic conclusion, enabled the viewer to understand the conflict more fully than had it involved an anonymous colony orbiting a distant star.
The post-war landscape has its roots in the Reconstruction. The attempt to resolve the issues of the American Civil War after the conflict had ended, and this struggle for survival in a changed world was also informed by works such as Alas, Babylon , a novel dealing with the after-effects of a nuclear war on a small American town.
Events shown hundreds of years into the show's future tell of wars which will once again bring the human race to the edge of annihilation, demonstrating that mankind will not change, and the best that can be hoped for after it falls is that it climbs a little higher each time, until it can one day "take [its] place among the stars, teaching those who follow.
Michael Straczynski, . Many of Earth's contemporary religions are shown to still exist, with the main human characters often having religious convictions. Among those specifically identified are the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity including the Jesuits , Judaism , and the fictional Foundationism which developed after first contact with alien races.
References to both human and alien religion is often subtle and brief, but can also form the main theme of an episode. Such as in " Soul Hunter ", where the concept of an immortal soul is touched upon, and whether after death it is destroyed, reincarnated, or simply does not exist. The character arguing the latter, Doctor Stephen Franklin , often appears in the more spiritual storylines as his scientific rationality is used to create dramatic conflict.
Undercurrents of religions such as Buddhism have been viewed by some in various episode scripts,  and while identifying himself as an atheist ,  Straczynski believes that passages of dialog can take on distinct meanings to viewers of differing faiths, and that the show ultimately expresses ideas which cross religious boundaries. Substance abuse and its impact on human personalities also plays a significant role in the Babylon 5 storyline.
The station's security chief, Michael Garibaldi , is a textbook relapsing-remitting alcoholic of the binge drinking type; he practices complete abstinence from alcohol throughout most of the series with one notable exception until the middle of season five. He only recovers physically and socially and breaks the cycle at the end of the season. His eventual replacement as Chief of Security, Zack Allan , was given a second chance by Garibaldi after overcoming his own addiction to an unspecified drug. Stephen Franklin develops an initially unrecognized addiction to injectable stimulant drugs while trying to cope with the chronic stress and work overload in Medlab, and wanders off to the homeless and deprived in Brown Sector, where he suffers through a severe withdrawal syndrome.
Executive Officer Susan Ivanova mentions that her father became an alcoholic after her mother had committed suicide after having been drugged by the authorities over a number of years. Captain Elizabeth Lochley tells Garibaldi that her father was an alcoholic and that she is a recovering alcoholic herself. The show employed Internet marketing to create a buzz among online readers far in advance of the airing of the pilot episode,  with Straczynski participating in online communities on USENET in the rec.
Also during this time, Warner Bros. In September , they hired a fan to take over the site and move it to its own domain name, and to oversee the Keyword B5 area on America Online. The pilot film, The Gathering , premiered on February 22, , and the regular series initially aired from January 26, through November 25, ,  first on the short-lived Prime Time Entertainment Network , then in first-run syndication.
The fifth season aired on cable network TNT. The show aired every week in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 without a break; as a result the last four or five episodes of the early seasons were shown in the UK before the US. Figures dipped in its second week, and while it posted a solid 5. In the United Kingdom, Babylon 5 was one of the better-rated US television shows on Channel 4,  and achieved high audience Appreciation Indexes , with season 4's " Endgame " achieving the rare feat of beating the prime-time soap operas for first position.
On November 25, , after five seasons and aired episodes, Babylon 5 successfully completed its five-year story arc when TNT aired the th epilogue episode " Sleeping in Light ". That finale had been filmed at the end of Season 4 when Babylon 5 was under threat of not being picked up for its fifth season. Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski indicated that Paramount Television was aware of his concept as early as ,  when he attempted to sell the show to the studio, and provided them with the series bible , pilot script, artwork, lengthy character background histories, and plot synopses for 22 "or so planned episodes taken from the overall course of the planned series".
Paramount declined to produce Babylon 5 , but later announced Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was in development, two months after Warner Bros. Unlike previous Star Trek shows, Deep Space Nine was based on a space station, and included similar themes related to alien species formerly at war coming to resolve their differences, which drew many to compare it with Babylon 5.
If there are no more major similarities that crop up in the next few weeks or months, with luck we can continue that way. Generally viewed as having "launched the new era of television CGI visual effects",  it received multiple awards during its initial run, including two consecutive Hugo Awards for best dramatic presentation ,   and continues to regularly feature prominently in various polls and listings highlighting top-rated science fiction series.
Excepting movie rights, which are retained by Straczynski, all production rights for the franchise are owned by Warner Bros. In November , DC began publishing monthly Babylon 5 comics. A number of short stories and novels were also produced between and Additional books were published by the gaming companies Chameleon Eclectic and Mongoose Publishing , to support their desk-top strategy and role-playing games. In addition to In the Beginning , Thirdspace , and The River of Souls , they released a re-edited special edition of the original telefilm, The Gathering. In , a fifth telefilm was also produced, A Call to Arms , which acted as a pilot movie for the spin-off series Crusade , which TNT cancelled after 13 episodes had been filmed.
Dell Publishing started publication of a series of Babylon 5 novels in , which were ostensibly considered canon within the TV series' continuity, nominally supervised by creator J. Michael Straczynski, with later novels in the line being more directly based upon Straczynski's own notes and story outlines. In , Del Rey obtained the publication license from Warner Bros. All of the Del Rey novels are considered completely canonical within the filmic Babylon 5 universe. In , the Sci-Fi Channel purchased the rights to rerun the Babylon 5 series, and premiered a new telefilm, The Legend of the Rangers in , which failed to be picked up as a series.
Flight Lieutenant Mac Thompson and the other eleven members of E. Maryland's Alpha Squadron were deployed over half an hour ago from their mother ship, currently stationed at IO, to respond to a distress call from the Earth Force transport "Hercules", which had been damaged and was lost in the Asteroid Belt. Now, Alpha Squadron is flying at high speeds through the hazardous region of space they find themselves occupying, either dodging the giant asteroids or destroying them altogether with their plasma cannons. Alpha Lead has a head-way on the rest of the Squadron by about half a kilometre, trying to keep a lock on his fellow pilots while still paying attention to any threats to them that may linger ahead of him.
We're almost through the worst of it. Let's form back up," the lieutenant calls over the comm. He glances at the holographic HUD on the screen of his cockpit canopy, which showed, among many other things, that his comm.
He turned his head around to try and see behind him. The site he gazed upon would terrify him to no end. The lieutenant's eyes open into near circles as his jaw hangs at the site behind him. A bright pink energy beam slices through his squadron, people he'd called 'friends' for the better part of three years now.
While some of the Lightning-Class Starfury Interceptors manage to dodge the initial attack, it proves futile as their unknown attacker finishes four of them off with frightening ease, while the rest just crash into other nearby asteroids. The attacking vessel comes into Mac's view; a ship with a hull so black he had to focus to keep his eyes from slipping from it. It had menacing-looking spikes protruding from a central body, forming a series of X-shapes running down this monster. Its bow was in a shape that Mac would almost call a 'mouth'.
It glided past him, passing over his canopy, with an unnatural grace. As it passed, Mac's mind splintered as he heard an earth-shattering scream echo throughout it's already distressed interior — a sound that could only be described as 'the sound of hell calling out'.
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After a few moments, the ship shimmered from view. Mac's mind had been so centred on this monstrous ship, and the fighters it had destroyed, that he was oblivious to the repeating Collision Alarm resounding through his helmet and the Cockpit. When he finally directs his attention back to his instruments, he executes a hard right turn, rotating his fighter degrees both downward and to the left, before hitting his main thrusters to try and dodge the massive asteroid that had crept into his path. This proved futile, as the port-dorsal thrusters collided with the crest of the rock, sending the fighter out of control.
Captain Mac Thompson looks out the shuttle viewport, anxiously. Earth Force acknowledge the less 'Military' duty of the new Babylon Station, so they didn't have a problem with him wearing the Earth Force 'Explorer' issue black uniform. He's wearing the newly defined 'Senior Officer' red undershirt beneath it, with his right shoulder bearing a mission patch: His shoulders bare the rank insignia of 'Captain', with the left breast of the uniform jacket wearing the metal Earth Alliance insignia.
His hair is a dark brown, matching his eyes. Outside the shuttle, Captain Thompson sees the newly completed 'Babylon 6' fall into view. The station is 6. The habitat section of the station rotated at 60 mph to generate the Earth-equivalent gravity that the inhabitants would require. Though the Interstellar Alliance had done a fantastic job, things have been tough lately with border disputes and economic troubles among many of the members.
The idea is that by giving them a fully neutral ground, they'll be able to resolve their differences without violence, and it doesn't hurt to have another free-port to fuel Earth-Dome's pockets. The Commander's uniform was identical to Captain Thompson's; with the exception that Michael's had the commander-level rank insignia instead of the captain-level rank insignia.
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He sported a lighter shade of brown hair than Mac's, with light, ice-blue eyes. The pair of military officers stepped through into the Custom's Lobby, which was still being furnished. The walls were cool, matt silver with a blue light strip going along at middle height. The two soon enter the square-floored transport tube, similar to the walls of the corridor outside but with light tubes in each corner running up the length of the walls.