The Chronological Babylon 5

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “The Fall of Night” (Season 2, Episode 22)

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Following the Cylon sneak attack that destroyed their homeworld, the last battlestar, Galactica, leads a lonely quest to…oh, wait, I meant “Centauri” and not Cylon. And it’s a Narn heavy cruiser, not the other thing. Sorry.

Anyway, when the war ended, there was one Narn warship unaccounted for. It shows up at B5, exhibiting *really* bad timing.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “The Long, Twilight Struggle” (Season 2, Episode 20)

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The Narn/Centauri war, which started back in episode 9 of this season (“The Coming of Shadows”) ends tonight. We’re told it’s about six months later. G’kar mentioned in “Acts of Sacrifice” (Season 2, episode 12) that his people defeated the Centauri before with a century-long Vietnam style war, until finally they broke their oppressor’s will, and were set free (Presumably this was Emperor Turhan’s doing). Since that time, the Narn became like abused children who grow up to abuse everyone around them.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Divided Loyalties” (Season 2, Episode 19)

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This episode really doesn’t make a lick of sense. In fact, it makes so little sense that it stretches back in time and makes several *earlier* episodes nonsensical as well. Despite all that, I was so happy with the resolution that I really can’t say anything bad about it. After the last couple weeks of standalones, we’re now back in full-on Arc territory

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A ranger and a random extra are being chased through the sewers on Mars. One escapes, bound for B5 with information of some sort.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “Confessions and Lamentations” (Season 2, Episode 18)

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Remember how last week was lame? Really lame? Like “Deep Space 9” lame? Well, as lame as that one was, this one promises to be even lamer, starting off as it does with ‘Generic Star Trek Peril Plot #7: Plauge On The Ship.” However, just to drive home how really, really badly Trek had been doing it in the ‘90s, B5 takes that inauspicious, overused, boring ol’ trope, and turns it into something magnificent. Really!

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “In the Shadow of Z‘Ha‘Dum” (Season 2, Episode 16)

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Finally, 38 episodes into the run of the series, and 23 episodes after the Shadows first showed up, we start getting some answers…

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SHORT STORY REVIEW: “Space, Time, and the Incurable Romantic” by J. Michael Straczynski

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A decade ago, there were a bunch of Babylon 5 tie-in novels and short stories published. The novels are still fairly easy to find on the internet, the short stories are real tough to dig up, though: They were published only in various magazines, never reprinted, never collected, and they’re unlikely to be. I can’t reprint the stories, but I *can* at least review ‘em and let you know what you’re missing. Which I’m doing here:

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Babylon 5: “And Now For A Word…” (Season 2, Episode 15)

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Now that we’re safely on the downslope side of Season 2, and the show has *finally* found its footing, we get our first really ‘format breaking’ episode. This time out, the story isn’t told as though it’s a standard hour of B5, but rather it’s shot as though it’s a 23rd century news show *about* the Babylon 5 space station. The story, then, is told through the eyes of the reporter and the camera crew. We see what they see, don’t see what they don’t see.

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SHORT STORY REVIEW: “Hidden Agendas” by J. Michael Straczynski

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After Babylon 5 ended, there were a spate of official, canonical short stories published, mostly written by series creator Joe Straczynski himself. These stories have never been reprinted, nor collected, and given the general lack of media interest in B5, they're unlikely to be anytime soon. I have all the stories, but for obvious legal reasons I can't simply post 'em here. As a service to fans who might be driving themselves crazy trying to find these particular straws in a needle-stack, I offer an overview, review, and my observations. It's not much, but it's what I've got.

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