Babylon 5 – tape 1795

More from the first series of Babylon 5. In By Any Means Necessary, the Babylon 5 loading docks are hugely stressed by all the traffic, while also not being funded enough to run the infrastructure. It’s a rare look at the people working on the station below officer class.

Katy Boyer plays Neeoma Connally, the representative of the docking workers, arguing for more people and improvements. But Earthforce don’t want to spend any more money.

Katy Boyer

Meanwhile, G’Kar needs something for a religious ritual he has to perform, and the only one on the station belongs by Londo.

The dock workers start calling in sick. Striking would be illegal, so workers are calling in sick.

Earthforce send a slimy negotiator to talk to the dock workers. For some reason, they hold their main negotiation in the docking bay, with all the workers around, shouting. Not sure that’s usually how union negotiations work.

Earthforce invoke “The Rush Act” which declares the dockers’ strike illegal, and the strikers will be arrested. The act gives Commander Sinclair the authority to resolve the situation by any means necessary. So he reallocates money from the military budget to the docking bays to revamp their outdated equipment, and to hire more workers. The Earthforce negotiator can’t stop him because the Rush Act gives Sinclair ultimate authority.

Definitely one of the middling episodes of the first season.

After the first episode, the recording continues slightly with the start of an episode of Mighty Mouse.

Next it’s Signs and Portents. This episode also gave its name to the overall title of the season – each season had an overall theme and title.

Raiders are attacking ships in the local sector, and the station crew can’t figure out how the raiders are getting in and out so quickly.

Sinclair asks Garibaldi to help him figure out what happened to him when he was captured during the Battle of the Line.

Londo obtains a valuable Centauri artefact, at great cost.

And a strange man is visiting the ambassadors, asking a single question, “What do you want?” He’s Mr Morden, and we’ll be seeing him again.

Mr Morden

A Centauri Seer visits Londo, and has a vision. “Fire! Death! Pain!”

Delenn throws Morden out of her chamber, and he significantly avoids talking to the Vorlon Ambassador Kosh. But when he asks Londo what he wants, he basically tells him he wants to Make Centauri Great Again. Oh Great. Even Babylon 5 is now a metaphor for our New World Order.

Anyway, Londo’s artefact catches the notice of Lord Kiro, another Centauri, who would rather like it to bolster his position in the Centauri power structure. But they’re all held at gunpoint by a human who wants to steal the artefact to sell.

Londo and the Seer get away, but Kiro is taking by the thief at gunpoint to his ship. The Seer keeps saying “The Shadows are coming for him.”

Sinclair shuts down the jumpgate so the raider is trapped, but a large raider ship jumps into the sector with its own jump point.

Raider Ship

They escape, and Kiro looks like he’s getting away with it, when a huge ship suddenly appears and carves up the raider ship. It’s a Shadow ship, one of their early appearances.

And to underline for whom they are working, Mr Morden appears on the station again, to give Londo a present – the artefact he had thought lost when Kiro escaped. Morden offers it as a gift from his ‘associates’ with a promise that they’ll want to be repaid in the future. Londo has just sold his soul.

The code of the episode sees the Centauri seer showing Sinclair her vision – of Babylon 5 blowing up. Something that will happen at some point in the future.

The next episode is Grail. A lowlife is menacing other people with an alien that (he claims) is the vorlon ambassador Kosh. The alien is wiping people’s brains. He threatens a man called Jinxo, who owes him money.

Father Ted’s Bishop Brennan turns up as an ombudsman.

Jim Norton

There’s a nice joke with an Earthman accusing an alien’s great-great-grandfather of abducting he great great grandfather, which pays off simply through alien design.

Abductor

Delenn is excited to meet a visitor from Earth – Aldous Gajic, played by the ever-brilliant David Warner. He’s there looking for the Holy Grail.

David Warner

Jonxo tries to pick his pocket, is caught by Garibaldi, and brought before the Ombuds. He offers to pay Jinxo’s fare to leave the ship, but he freaks out at the suggestion. He thinks if he leaves the station it’ll disappear or be destroyed.

Gajic offers to take Jinxo under his wing. But he ends up dying, while saving Jinxo’s life from the fake Vorlon, so Jinxo takes on the search for the Grail.

The last episode is Eyes. Garibaldi is building a 1992-vintage motorcycle. How many ‘bits’ did Garibaldi have to have as an alternative to an actual personality? If it’s not motorcycles, it’s italian food, or Looney Tunes cartoons, or alcoholism.

Two more mysterious visitors have arrived on the station, making cryptic conversation about one or other of the regulars. One of the visitors is Jeffrey Combs, Herbert West himself.

Jeffrey Combs and Gregory Martin

They work for Earthforce Internal Investigations department. Combs is a telepath, which freaks out Ivanova.

At one point, the station’s computer actually says “Commencing Interweb Link”.

The Internal Affairs guy is Colonel Ari Ben Zayn, who is looking for something dodgy in the command staff. Garibaldi says “Look, I’ve been up all night with Colonel Ben Hitler”.

Ivanova is having bad dreams, no doubt instigated by Combs. Once again, it’s the woman who suffers from the mind-rape storyline.

Ben Zayn could only be a more cliched villain if he had an eyepatch. He’s ridiculous.

Sinclair won’t put up with the investigation, so Ben Zayn relieves him from command and assumes command himself.

But he ends up so bugnutty that even Combs can see that he’s only doing this investigation because he’s eaten up with jealousy at not getting the Babylon 5 command himself, despite being a senior officer.

Ultimately, this is yet another of the ‘inquisitor’ stories that JMS seemed to love doing. We saw another one before, and there’s at least one more coming in a later season.

After the last episode, recording continues with Mighty Mouse and an episode called Deadeye Dick.

Then, Channel 4 News, with “Another attempted bomb attack in London as Gerry Adams says he knows of no cease-fire”.

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