Babylon 5 was one those unique and intriguing shows that has a way of staying preserved for many years. Babylon 5 was a different kind of show that had a storyline to tell and a way of telling it to the watcher. I have had the pleasure of re-watching the show over again when Netflix, an on-line movie rental website, had this show on its website to watch instantly. This show was first shown in the 1990’s and lasted for five years. The first four years was shown on Warner Brothers Television Network while the fifth season was shown on the TNT network. The show was set on the station that was called Babylon 5 and was the home of numerous races. Babylon 5 was also the place where peace was the last best hope for all. Babylon 5 was created by J. Michael Straczynski and was centered on a space station with the same name. There were four other stations with the name, but the first three had blown up while the fourth simply disappeared. It would be later in the series what happened to the fourth station would be discovered and would have a hold a greater part of the on going story of the show.
Babylon 5 was set in the future, to the tune of the twenty-third century and the station was said to be five miles long, rotating huge place where various races came, lived, did business, diplomacy was held, and peace was one of the big things that was held in high esteem. Sometimes the peace did not work and the station was a place where fights and wars took place. It seemed Babylon 5 was the place to go to do whatever and hide when necessary. In the first season we meet the various races that will be the highlight of the show and most would be the forerunner to the whole series. There were the Humans, the Minbari, the Centauri, the Narn, the Vorlons, and many other races that would have some hold over the five years this show was on.
The first season told the story about Jeffrey Sinclair, the commander of the Babylon 5 station and the one who will discover his destiny later in the series. It also tells the story about how humans came into the war with Minbari and were almost destroyed as a result. It was discovered at one point that somehow Jeffrey Sinclair became the focal point in the end of the war when it became clear that he was somehow linked to the Minbari. The Minbari stopped the war without probably explaining why and eventually when the fifth station came on-line, the Minbari wanted Jeffrey Sinclair to be the one to command the station. Jeffrey Sinclair has no clear memory of what happened before the war ended but has made sure that the station was run smoothly. It would be later revealed that Sinclair was the one who went back one thousand years to become the Minbari revered as Valen, so he could be instrumental in helping stopping the Shadow war. At the end of season one, Delenn, the Minbari Ambassador to the station and one of the members of the Grey Council on her planet, would begin a transformation into becoming part human. This would also see the last of Jeffrey Sinclair, as the actor who played him would leave, but it would be later revealed that it was part of the storyline. Jeffrey Sinclair would become Ambassador to Minbar and leave the station, which would be revealed in the second season. The end of first season would also see the death of President Luis Santiago and problems with two races would become the highlight of later seasons.
The second season revealed the new commander of the Babylon 5 station, which was Captain John Sheridan, who was also the one that at first, the Minbari disliked immensely. They had a name for him and that was Starkiller, since he was the one that they blamed for the death of their leader, and for a time, was not well liked. He was a strong man and was a stubborn but kind man, who knew what his duty was. He took upon himself the leadership and the mantle of a man with too much responsibility. He wore it well and took charge when it came to fighting the evil in the universe. It was in the second season that we saw the introduction of an ancient race known as the Shadows. They were the ones that have been causing the rising tensions and animosity of the Centauri race against their ancient enemy, the Narn. It was all through this season that we saw the escalating problems that the Shadows were causing, which led to a war of all wars. We also saw, due to the influence of the Shadows on the Centauri Republic, the fall of the Narn race.
The third season saw the increasing aggression of Earth president Clark and others on those them deemed below them and also saw the struggle of the Babylon 5 personnel to remain neutral. When that backfired, Babylon 5 withdrew from Earth and everything it represented. The war with the Shadows begins in earnest and goes through to season four. It was also during this season we see the return of Jeffrey Sinclair who recruits several people in order to capture and take Babylon 4 back in time to fulfill a prophecy in which he becomes the revered Minbari, Valen, and to defeat the Shadows in the past. We also saw the determination of Sheridan to do what he feels is necessary in order to help in the defeat of the Shadows. Despite many protests, he travels to the Shadows planet, Z’ha’dum, and in the process of a fight, he dies, but he does manage to destroy what he went to destroy. We also see the start of a budding romance begin with Sheridan and Delenn.
In season four, we see the Vorlons joining in the fight, but in the way that many had wished that they had. The Vorlons are see destroying any world that had any contact with the Shadows. It will take the actions and the will of a few to make them stop but not in time to save those who had already perished. We also see the return of Sheridan from the dead. Apparently he was in a place in between and it took the actions of a being called Lorien to bring him back, but it was not without sacrifice. Sheridan will only have twenty years to live and then he will be no more. We see the assassination of the Centaurian Emperor by the hands of one of their own, Ambassador Mollari, and the death of Morden, who was the one being used by the Shadows to make Mollari do his will. We also see the Vorlons and the Shadows finally leave after Sheridan and the other races make them see what had been going on. There is a civil war on Minbar and it will take several sacrifices before the end of that war. Sheridan is also betrayed by his friend and former co-worker, Garibaldi, and is sent to be interrogated by Earthforce. Sheridan is rescued in time and leaves Earthforce, only to become the President of the Interstellar Alliance.
Season five is the final season of the series and all of what has happened is wrapped up. We see the telepaths who want a different way of life than living the life in the Psi Corps, fight back and eventually fail. The Narn Ambassador, G’Kar, is revered by his people, so much so, that by the end of the series, he has left everything he has loved behind to escape. He and Mollari became good friends despite all the problems in the past. Mollari was finally drawn into his planet’s problems and eventually become Emperor, only to die many years later, as he had foreseen, at the hands of G’Kar, who also died. Leta Alexander, a very strong and dangerous telepath that had been changed by the Vorlans, also left with G’Kar. We also saw the marriage of Sheridan and Delenn and their subsequent decision to live on Minbar, where the Alliance headquarters were. In the last episode of the series, we see that twenty years have passed and Sheridan has reached the end of his life. He gathers all his friends around him and says good bye. He then makes the decision to leave the planet and die where he loves the most, in space. He leaves a heartbroken but understanding Delenn, and leaves for an area of space, where with the guidance of Lorien, he passes away. We say a final goodbye to the Babylon 5 station as it is decommissioned and destroyed.
Babylon 5 was one of those shows that was different and intriguing. I did not watch it when it first came out, but as its popularity grew and the introduction of the actor, Bruce Boxleitner, I began to watch. I have re-watched the show over the years but it was not until Netflix had them that I decided to watch them over again. Next to Star Trek; Babylon 5 is one of my favorite shows. It had an ongoing storyline that kept the watcher interested and wanting to know what happened next. The end of the last episode was a sad one with the death of the character, Sheridan, and the destruction of the Babylon 5 station. There continues to be stories made through and even a spin-off, which was short-lived and told about the Rangers. Babylon 5 was one those shows that remains in the hearts and mind of those fans and will continue on as long as there are movies made.