Babylon 5 – tape 1780

Here’s a few more episodes of Babylon 5. All from the first season. In Deathwalker Ambassador Kosh engages Talia for a transaction, involving a cyborg who records feelings.

Na’Toth sees a face she knows arriving, and attacks her. She’s Deathwalker, a woman who performed hideous experiments on Na’Toth’s family. She’s a war criminal from 30 years ago, although she’s hardly aged.

Earth Central asks that she be sent to Earth immediately. And all the other alien delegations are suddenly really interested in her.

She has a serum, a ‘universal anti-agapic’ which retards aging. She’s played by Sarah Douglas, Ursa from Superman II.

Deathwalker

The command staff aren’t happy about a deal being made for this terrible war criminal.

When word gets out, all the races on the station demand a vote on whether she should be brought to trial.

Robin Curtis (Saavik from Star Trek) is an alien who wants a trial.

Robin Curtis

It’s decided to send her to Earth, and before she goes, she reveals that the secret of the serum is something which has to be extracted from a living being – for people to live forever, another person must die. Oh the irony.

But when she’s en route, the vorlons appear and destroy her ship. “You are not ready for immortality” says Kosh.

The next episode is Believers. a young alien is dying, but his parents refuse the surgical treatment that would save his life because of their religion.

It’s a morality tale that seems more typical of Star Trek than Babylon 5. Perhaps that’s because it’s written by David Gerrold, long-time Star Trek writer (and creator of Tribbles).

The last episode here is Survivors. A docking bay explodes, and a witness implicates Garibaldi in the accident. The head of the President’s security detail has an axe to grind with Garibaldi from his alcoholic past, Major Lianna Kemmer. She knew Garibaldi as a child, and has always blamed him for the death of her father, so she pounces on this accusation. So Garibaldi has to go under the radar to clear his name.

But weirdly, Garibaldi isn’t the one who discovers the clues that clear his name – that’s down to one of his assistants, Lou Welch. This seems like a poor dramatic choice.

And of course, one of Kemmer’s men is also in the conspiracy, which leads back to the Homeguard, the Earth First terror group we saw in previous episodes. At least Garibaldi gets to beat him up at the end.

I do like the President’s shuttle. In fact, I like a lot of the Babylon 5 spaceship design, it reminds me of those great Chris Foss paperback covers from the 70s.

Presidential Shuttle

After this episode, recording continues with Mighty Mouse in Krakatoa.

Then, most of an episode of Channel 4 news, leading with the crisis in Rwanda. It’s strange to hear Jon Snow talking about aid planes in Zaire, a country which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and which is a perennial ‘gotcha’ on Pointless.

Also in the news, continuing peace talks in Northern Ireland, with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams still having his words spoken by an actor. This was a thing that our government thought was a good idea.

Peace is also in the news in the Middle East, with Israel and Jordan signing a peace agreement, brokered by President Clinton (that’s Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill, who was President in the last century).

There’s also a look at the plans to renovate the British Museum when the British Library moves to St Pancras.

British Library Plans

The recording stops after about 40 minutes of news, and underneath there’s something featuring a fleet of Coca Cola trucks being driven by Santa Claus. The Coca Cola Kid by any chance? Yep, there’s Eric Roberts.

Eric Roberts

Just before the tape ends, there’s a brief chunk of rather dull ceefax from Channel 4.

C4 Ceefax

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