Babylon 5: Midnight on the Firing Line

It was the dawn of the third age of mankind,
Ten years after the Earth-Minbari War.
The Babylon Project was a dream given form.
It’s goal: to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens can work out there differences peacefully.
It’s a port of call, home away from home for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and wanderers.
Humans and aliens wrapped in two million five hundred thousand pounds of spinning metal,
all alone in the night.
It can be a dangerous place, but it’s our last, best hope for peace.
The year is 2258.
The name of the place is Babylon 5.

–Jefferson David Sinclair

I just love this opening. The music is probably my favorite of all the years. It is very . . . epic.When the Centauri agricultural colony on Ragash 3 is attacked by Narn, interstellar tensions escelate. At the same time, the crew of Babylon 5 also has to worry about raider attacks on the shipping lanes.

Already we have some changes in this first episode that reintroduces us to the Babylon 5 universe. Lieutenant Commander Laurel Takashima is replaced by Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova, and telepath Lyta Alexander is replaced by Talia Winters.

We also get the communicators that stick to the skin instead of the wrist communicators. We are introduced to the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, and get to see Star Furies in action.

We are introduced to the raiders. Too bad they don’t stay away. We get a better idea of the consequences of Centauri occupation of Narn. We get the tone of the relationship between Londo and G’Kar that will last through the first season. We learn of Londo’s precognitive dream where he and G’Kar kill each other about twenty years in the future. We learn part of why Ivanova doesn’t like Psi Corps. The beginning of her relationship with Talia is set. And we learn that Narns were about the only ones who would sell weapons to Earth during the Earth-Minbari War. Finally, Santiago won the Presidential election. Oh, does this one come back to bite us.

Funniest moment of the series to this point: Garibaldi sharing with Delenn his second favorite thing in the universe.

Londo’s nephew Carn as the Narn attack.

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Meet Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova. She’s Russian and proud of it.

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Londo just has one headache after another this episode. No wonder he wants to kill G’Kar.

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Vir Cotto, Londo’s aid. He needs to get a backbone.

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Talia Winters, the new telepath. I think she likes Garibaldi’s second favorite thing in the universe better than his favorite thing in the universe is. As for what that is, I think we don’t want to know.

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Ivanova explains to Talia why she doesn’t like Psi Corps. Will this obstacle to their friendship ever be surmounted?

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Garibaldi shares with Delenn his second favorite thing in the universe: “Duck Dodgers in the twenty-fourth and a half century!” I don’t think she quite gets it. Oh, there will be more screencaps of Delenn later, but aren’t we glad she has a different look that what we were shown in The Gathering?

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