Babylon Podcast #4: Patricia Tallman / The Gathering

Welcome to Show #4!

Pat Tallman

Interview: Patricia Tallman (“Lyta Alexander”)

Pat talks with us about a vast array of topics, including her days as B5’s resident telepath, her time adapting to Walter Koenig’s pranks, Lyta’s relationship with G’Kar, being recognized because of B5, and more. She also shares with us fond memories of the late great Andreas Katsulas.

Then, Tim and Summer begin a long discussion about “The Gathering” (Pilot). One long enough that it has “to be continued”, and we end up with another heartfelt honoring of Andreas’ impact on the show and our hearts.

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  1. Wow, what a great show! Your interview was one of the best I’ve ever heard on a podcast; bravo to you guys for doing such a stellar job with no prior set-up. Your show is really taking off and going good places, keep it up!

  2. Fantantic interview with Patricia!
    Man, she was used and abused in B5. Personally I thought it was a stroke of genius that JMS brought Lyta back! I loved her involvemnt in the show.

    As for a quick G’kar moment, I love it when Narns took out Lord Refa and the rock cried out no hidding place.

    I’m still amazed how you can remember the names of each of the episodes. Whats the secret?

  3. Oooh I cannot wait to listen to this episode!!!! Lyta Alexander… πŸ˜€

    RIP Andreas.

  4. Ben Hall (UK) says

    The names come with time and dedication and if your stuck a quick glimpse over at the DVD’s. LOL. Well thats how i do it.

    To do with the episode though. As has been said before a great and very well done interview, especially as you had no prep for it. I have no idea how many podcasts out there can boast getting stars and key figures from there subject onto there shows, i find it a real testament to you guys dedication and it gets me every time, i cant wait for more.

    The discussion on the Gathering i found really interesting and i picked up some interesting insights over the differences in cuts that i i had no idea about. All your thematic discussion always brings a moment of revelation for me as i remember yet another facet of the show.

    And finally there is little more to mention about Andreas/G’Kar that hasnt already. He always brought such gravitas to any scene he was in and really with Peter in particular brought so much to the show. It to hard for me to pick out a fave moment or episode for him so i wont even try.

    Anyway, cant wait for show 5, bye for now.

  5. Tony, I actually have watched the series numerous times, although I must say that I’ve watched seasons 3 and 4 more than the rest.

    I also have extensive resources, from the Lurker’s Guide, to the season-by-season reference books by Jane Killick. Good stuff, those books!

  6. Tiffany Boyd says

    That was great! I cant wait to see who will be on the show next week. I also would like to hear a bit more about Andreas Katsulas as the late great G’Kar. Well see you next week.

  7. Geez, you guys got me with that Andreas tribute right at the end! As soon as I heard Andreas’ voice doing the Declaration of Principles, I just lost it. Wow, I’m going to miss him. And I hope that Peter Jurasik will be okay. Hearing Pat saying how devastated he is because of Andreas’ death was sad. Andreas & Peter are my favorite cast-members, & I have met both of them. Peter is also a great guy, really nice.

    As for my favorite G’Kar scenes, you played one of them–the reading of the Declaration. There are so many others, too. G’Kar had *so* many great scenes. G’Kar in many ways was the heart & soul of B5. This is why losing Andreas is a big thing.


  8. I’ve recently though that “The Gathering” was just a big scam set up by the Vorlons to show-off their power and to test Sinclair’s leadership under pressure. At the end of the pilot the Vorlons just jumped back to their own space without losing face.

    Either way it looks like I’ll have to rewatch “The Gathering” (tonight) mostly to make my mind up about Takashima, was she invovled?

    In fact I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, solely because people are talking about B5 again πŸ˜€

    I’m very glad that JMS did have that year break between the pilot and season one. There was many small changes like comm system on the back of hand to many bigger changes like the look of the Minbari which worked and were badly needed.

  9. I hope that the WB “suit” who said Pat Tallman wasn’t sexy enough to reprise her role as Lyta (for season 1) was taken to a doctor and given a thorough lobotamy.

    Good grief. I am a woman who is accosted by stupid tramps on television, and who cannot flip through a channel without seeing some “Desperate Housewife knockoff.” It is a breath of fresh air to have a character such as Lyta who is not only beautiful and intelligent, but sexy in a classy (not cheap) way.

    Pat was so much fun to listen to in her interview. Thank you for having her on!

  10. Lulu – I recently had a green/purple argument with a friend over who was sexier: Lyta/Pat or Talia/Andrea. In the end, neither convinced the other. As for the WB suit, well, my hope is that he was tied down in the open desert and had ants chew out his eyes.

    Tammy – Summer sent me the Declaration of Principles clip while I was at work. Good thing nobody wandered into my cube right then, as i had tears streaming down my cheeks. We are richer for having the chance to be alive and witness great actors like Andreas, and we are diminished by his passing.

    Tony- as for remembering episode names, get yer geek on, man! And it’s not always perfect: I think I mentioned an incident from “Messages From Earth”, and actually it’s from “Dust to Dust”. Ah well.

    Everyone else – thanks for the kind words and encouragement!

  11. VirtualTimV10 (England) says


    Your excellent show gets better each week. I’ve just spent ages downloading No.4 onto my phone and am really looking forward to listening to it on the train journey home.

    It is a terrible loss that Andreas has gone. My memories of his pivotal performances in B5 will not be lost. Thankfully B5 gave him the opportunity to show the world his great and wide ranging talents.

    Summer, Tim, Jeffrey: I’m a newbie who was unaware of you before last week. To put your comments in context, is there any chance you could provide short biographies and maybe list of favourite shows/books/films/etc so that we can place your opinions in a better light. How about a few photos of the team at work.

    Excellent show, keep it up.


  12. Tim

    Click the “about” link here on the blog. You’ll find short short short bios of the Command Staff.

    As for favorite shows/books/films:
    B5 (obviously); Futurama; Battlestar Galactica; Pee-Wee’s Playhouse; TOS era Star Trek; TNG Trek Seasons 3, 4, 5; the NASA Channel; Cosmic Odyssey Tuesday on the Science Channel.

    The Lensman Saga by Doc Smith; Neuromancer by W. Gibson; The Mote in God’s Eye by Niven and Pournelle; Dune by F. Herbert; Starship Trooper by R. Heinlein; Nova by S. Delaney; damn near everything by P.K. Dick.

    Eraserhead; Blue Velvet; Blade Runner; Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Citizen Kane; Forbidden Planet; Star Trek-The Motion Picture.

    How ’bout that mess?


  13. Questions for Summer:

    You said on show #4 that you are into anime. What shows do you like? Cowboy Bebop is my favorite. Also, if you are getting LDs of anime from Japan, they must be “raw” Japanese without English subtitles. Are you fluent in Japanese?

  14. Nigel in Melbourne says

    Excellent ep.

  15. Hello. Good Ep – quality and uncomfortable ‘dead air’ are increasing and decreasing as each Ep is done. Good job. Earlier today ( 2-24-06 ) I’d swear at work I saw multiple links to Andreaus K. tribute files. Does anyone know where the links are – were?


  16. Tammy, I don’t collect Japanese anime laserdiscs anymore, or any laserdiscs for that matter. It’s enough of a bother to maintain shelf space for the ones I do have!

    But the anime I consider my favorites from back then are Bubblegum Crisis, Iczer One, Project A-ko, Dirty Pair, Rumik World, Gall Force, Lodoss Wars, Vampire Princess Miyu, and a handful of others. The newer shows that I like are Wolf’s Rain, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Full Metal Panic.

    Marc, the one site I saw multiple links to tributes was over at Sandy’s site, ISN News. We’re also working on better phone conference tools to cut down on delays, and save Michael some editing time πŸ™‚

    Virtual Tim, the list of my favorite books, shows and movies would in itself be a 5000-plus word article. Suffice to say that SF and Fantasy makes up the lion’s share of my library (leaning more towards fantasy), and the same holds for movies (leaning more towards the SF/Action side simply because fewer fantastical movies are made). TV’s a whole different animal… either SF or crime drama. I don’t do sitcoms.

  17. This episode was a real treat. It’s funny that Summer mentioned that no one would be able to replace G’Kar as a character. I was thinking the same thing when I first heard the news about Katsulas. The guy was so good that he made Legend of the Rangers watchable! He will be missed.

  18. Did it occur to you to dial the mystery number and say “Hello old friend”?

  19. I just wanted to say you’re doing a great job!

  20. Neil Ottenstein says

    It has been great so far. The reason why Kosh said “Entil’Zha Valen” was that he recognized Sinclair as Valen – that was an added treat for us in the new edition. The Vorlons in general did not know that Sinclair was Valen. Some Minbari knew quite a bit about the Vorlons (they had been working with them for over 1000 years), so it might not be that far a stretch that some of them found enough to be able to poison one.


  21. Wow, what and episode!

    I don’t think that anyone could have anticipated the show that you guys put out! this is one of the best so far (with more to come, I’m sure)

    Pat Tallman’s character was very instrumental in the overall story of the show, but her presense was the what made B5 for me, one of the most intersting shows on TV at the time. and well worth watching every week!

    Andreas will forever be remembered for his passion for acting, his characterization of G’Kar, and his love for the craft. no one could have brought to lofe the Narn Ambassador as well as Andreas did, and with style to boot!

    Can’t wait for the next show! Take care guys!

  22. Martin (UK) says

    I’d just like to say how much I’m enjoying the podcasts, guys! You’re really developing some momentum now!

    I like the separation between the episode by episode analysis (which also gives me a fabulous excuse to watch the complete series again) and the cast/crew interviews.

    The points you made about The Gathering were spot on and really echoed my own feelings (having only recently had the opportunity to watch it for the first time). I was especially intrigued by the elements present that differed from the full series (particularly Takashima).

    Pat Tallman, what a wonderful lady and what a fabulous guest to have on a podcast, so full of energy.

    And finally, Andreas Katsulas. You will be missed.

  23. WriterBob says

    Hi Folks,

    I know this is very late to post anything about this episode, but as I’m re-watching B5 along with reading the scripts I’m also listening to these podcasts…

    Regarding the plot of The Gathering and the role the Vorlons play, I have my own ideas.

    Here’s what we know from In the Beginning and War Without End…

    The Vorlons *know* that Sinclair is/was/will become Valen.

    With that one fact, why would the Vorlons want to extradite Sinclair? To protect him and prepare him for the moment he’ll be sent back in time.

    That’s a reationalization, after the fact based on the story as it exists.

    Now, in terms of the actual story development process, this is conjecture… I suspect that the Vorlons, as mysterious as they were, were not fully defined in terms of their power and presence. They had not been realized as being the absolutely powerful race that was to be seen. It is a weakness in the storytelling, but a challenge and an opportunity.

    In the end, viewers are not spoon fed all of the answers, but are challenged to come up with their own answers.

    I would like to thank all of you for a wonderful podcast.


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