Babylon Podcast #206: Surprises in Babylon 5

Welcome to Show #206!

Tim, Summer and Bret (and the entire B5 fandom) are glad to hear that Jerry Doyle is doing better and recovering well, and can’t help but wonder how similar the situation sounded to Garibaldi’s experience with PsiCorp’s “treatment” facility.

We also discuss the lingering Hollywood accounting shenanigans, and how after all these years, Babylon 5 is still considered by Warner Bros to still be $80 million in the hole after $100 million in costs for all 5 seasons, even though they reported $1 billion in DVD sales and other earnings.

Source: 11 biggest sci-fi blockbusters that still managed to LOSE money

Inquiring fans want to see the mathematical proofs, and to get those equations vetted by top mathematics and economics professionals. And where are the bulldog representatives for the creative talent in Hollywood? A-List actors and directors aren’t the only ones who are due fair compensation for their work… writers, producers and crew work just as hard, if not harder (Summer’s a writer and producer… can you tell this is a hot button for her?)

Discussion: This episode is all about the surprises we experienced while watching Babylon 5, both the very first time, and the subtle new things discovered on subsequent viewings.

Emails: Seems the Triluminary discussion from Show #204 struck up a rather deep analysis and dialogue!

John in Jersey puts forth his theory on what exactly the Triluminary was really reacting to (was it reacting to Minari souls in humans, or human DNA in Minbari?); Jim Stiles thinks the Triluminary was scanning for junk DNA markers common to both Minbari and humans; James agrees with Bret that the soul transfer argument was religious caste hand-waving, and there’s a genetic component that it’s reacting to.

Summer posits that maybe Valen wasn’t a human fully transformed into a Minbari, but was a human-Minbari hybrid just like Delenn transformed into. Having them both be hybrids answers some of the questions recently brought up by our insatiable curiosity. Thoughts?

Ernestine from New Jersey comments on the theory that Morden would be an excellent lover, but has concerns about his ever-present hidden surveillance, and she also comments on the Days of Our Lives-B5 crossover data points.

Lurker’s Guide 2.0: Summer is starting a push to get Lurker’s Guide 2.0 completed and finished, including missing collectibles, photos of magazine covers and toys, and all sorts of other B5 goodies that didn’t get included in the original guide during the years after Crusade. Let her know if you want to lend a hand.

More Parody/Filk Songs Wanted: If you know of any more B5-related fan songs out there, definitely let us know, so we can let other B5 fans know where to buy them! And if those CDs are out of print, let’s brainstorm on ways to get those songs back out there for fans!

Babylon Podcast Social Communities:
Twitter: @babylonpodcast

Babylon 5 Information Gathering: If you know of a dead or abandoned B5 related website that may be in need of a new home, let Summer know! Maybe we can mirror it here or house it on a sister site.

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Promo: Slice of SciFi


  1. So the Michael O’Hare transformation into Valen is a plot hole?

  2. Was the original concept that Sinclair would fall in love with Delenn and have a child, David, who would receive the gift from Londo? If so, there would have been an additional twinge at the revelation that Sinclair transformed in Valen, the ancient and beatified progenitor of her family. Related song cue: “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

  3. In the original concept, Sinclair would not necessarily have gone back in time to become Valen.

  4. John’s right. In fact, in JMS’ original original concept, Sinclair and Delenn would have snatched B4 for their use in their Shadow War, as opposed to doing the time warp to 1,000 years ago. We’ll discuss all that in an upcoming Babcast.

  5. > We’ll discuss all that in an upcoming Babcast.

    Excellent! As one without the script books and much else, this would make a great episode. Sometimes the “what if” game becomes tedious and tasteless right away, but in this instance a “What-if” roundtable or email collage would prove interesting. One of my strongest judgments of JMS’s work is how it stands up to continuity scrutiny and if a what-if investigation can produce a better, more interesting story line, then his plot execution is lessened. I don’t think his eventual solution will come out substantially worse off than the original premise, but I would love to hear this episode.


  6. Omgosh! I just picked out JMS’s voice from a Batman Animated Series commentary /im a nerd! Love him!

  7. Neil Ottenstein says

    This is the original Ranger Sightings webpages
    The second season one appeared first in a slightly different form and I remember using that on subsequent viewings of the episodes.

  8. I started watching Babylon 5 because it was similar to Star Trek, really good stories, interesting concepts, like the nature of the Soul, etc.

    1. End of episode 10 Believers, didn’t end the way I expected, pretty shocking compared to any sci-fi at the time.
    2. Episode 13 Signs and Portents, when I realized there was a “bigger picture”. I had no idea about story arcs, I was used to sci-fi shows “resetting” at the end.
    At this point, I was hooked.

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