Babylon Podcast #207: Law and Justice in Babylon 5

Welcome to Show #207!

Summer’s down for the count, but Tim and Bret soldier on! Tim also restrains himself from mauling Bret for even bringing up the myth that mankind has not landed on the Moon.

But yeah, it’d be real nice if we started landing on other planets and moons again.

Discussion: This episode is all about the justice, law, and the legal system as portrayed on Babylon 5, and how much it did or didn’t influence the story as a whole.

The guys discuss, amongst other things:
* legal entanglements involving telepaths and PsiCorps
* whether or not petty street crimes exist in Minbari society
* that the conundrum of what’s legal to one race and isn’t to another wasn’t addressed
* how hard it would be to develop a Universal Code of Justice amongst diverse worlds
* what became of the justice system on B5 after they broke away from Earth Alliance
* whether Sheridan was a criminal and a terrorist, or a hero and a freedom fighter

Feedback: Kurt in St George brings up what he thinks was a missed opportunity with Lyta in Season 5; Rapid Eye surmises how insects might have been wrangled on the set; Roger wonders where Delenn got the authority to break the Grey Council and why they abided with her declaration; Hated Bunny comments on the statue of the Centauri goddess Li having tentacles… (HB, the goddess and the average Centauri female are differently endowed, remember?)

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.

If you can, Please Donate to the show!

Promo: Theme and Variations Volume 2


  1. Ah… where to begin!

    First, I agree with Kurt. In the scenes where the fighting was still going on, it’s easy to see where Lyta could have believed that Byron was in mortal danger, and gone into a mama bear protective mode, where her instinct to protect a loved one overrode whatever subconscious limits she was still holding herself to, and laid a major smackdown on someone, telepathically or telekinetically. It wasn’t until afterwards, after Byron made his decision to end the fighting and immolate himself, and she could see that he couldn’t be talked out of it, that she went back to being her typically restrained self.

    Tim must have used some telepath mojo on Bret, because Bret was right the first time.

    Second, yeah, I also think Hated Bunny must have confused some of what we were saying. The statue of Li has both male and female anatomical aspects because she’s the goddess of passion and fertility. We see she has female breasts and male members, and we can assume she also has representation of the matching female genitalia along her spine. Plus deities can do that sort of thing if they wish.

    But we have never ever said that the Centauri females have those tentacles.

  2. FreeholdSouth says

    One aspect of the elements of cultures doing things that are considered odd that I didn’t hear covered might be the whole Drazi green v. purple “civil war”. To Ivanova in particular, it didn’t make much sense. To most humans, outside of English football hooligans, it doesn’t make much sense. However, to the Drazi, it’s as simple as “Green. Purple.” *shrug*

  3. Gary The Great says

    I was surprised that TIm or Bret didn’t bring up Passing through Gethsemane during their justice discussion. That episode reveals more about the EA justice system then just about any other episode in the series. From capital punishment to victims’ rights, it covers a lot of territory.

  4. In the discussion of justice, where does ‘spacing’ fall? Garibaldi went into some depth explaining it to someone whom he was seeking to motivate. Was this just a verbose bluff? The actual illustration of spacing came by a sweet young protogee of Bester in a small ship.

    When part of the rules say “we don’t kill anymore — we just wipe the personality,” but Garibaldi has knowledge of brutal capital punishment techniques and Psy Corp actually implements them, this indicates to me that bureaucratic justice vs street justice in B5 are just as we experience them today.

  5. Katie from Sydney says

    In many cultures concepts of honour are closely linked to justice and I think you missed a couple of points in the way this is dealt with such as the Centauri duel in Knives and the oaths of revenge the Narns take a couple of times

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