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FidoNet Babylon 5 Echo FAQ
J Paul Halt's Babylon 5 reviewsKay Shapero Babylonathon, Now viewing Season 5

[last updated April 18, 2012]

This FAQ was started to answer for frequently asked questions in the FIDOnet Babylon 5 echo. I've no idea if the echo still exists, but I figure this FAQ may still may be of use to someone so I'm keeping it up. As when it was still connected to the echo, this FAQ will also cover information about shows related to B5 like Crusade and Legend of the Rangers, also the occasional reference to other JMS shows. Note: There are many references to the moderated Babylon 5 Usenet newsgroup, which has a FAQ of its own. It's moderated for a reason; read the FAQ first.
Changes:
General repairs of links and typoes.
Updated Are Babylon 5 scripts available?
Updated Will there be a new/continued Babylon 5 series?
Updated Where can I find Babylon 5 merchandise?
Updated What has JMS to say on line these days?
Updated Where can I find those interesting fonts used on the show?

Table of Contents

  1. What are the Babylon 5 series Episodes?
  2. What are the Babylon 5 movies?
  3. What are the Crusade Episodes?
  4. Are B5/Crusade/Legends of the Rangers/Jeremiah available on video?
  5. Are there any known Easter Eggs on the videos?
  6. Are Babylon 5 scripts available?
  7. What are the Babylon 5 novels?
  8. Will there be a new/continued Babylon 5 series?
  9. What about another Babylon 5 movie?
  10. What are some on-line Babylon 5 resources?
  11. Was Crusade ever meant as a continuation of the Babylon 5 characters?
  12. Speaking of Crusade, when does A Call To Arms take place relative to Babylon 5?
  13. Why was Crusade so short?
  14. Where can I find out more about Jeremiah?
  15. Where can I find Babylon 5 merchandise?
  16. What has JMS to say on line these days?
  17. Speaking of The Zocalo, where can I subscribe?
  18. Where can I find those interesting fonts used on the show?
  19. What happened to Claudia Christian (Ivanova)?
  20. Which came first, B5 or DS9?
  21. Were Ivanova and Talia written as lovers?
  22. How do you spell [fill in the blank]?
  23. What's this about a bear?

What are the Babylon 5 Series Episodes?
Pilot
The Gathering ( Two hour TV movie which may be found in two versions - as originally aired, and later as recut by JMS)
First Season: "Signs and Portents"
Midnight on the Firing Line; Soul Hunter; Born to the Purple; Infection; The Parliament of Dreams; Mind War; The War Prayer; And the Sky Full of Stars; Deathwalker; Believers; Survivors; By Any Means Necessary; Signs and Portents; TKO; Grail; Eyes; Legacies; A Voice in the Wilderness Part 1; A Voice in the Wilderness Part 2; Babylon Squared; The Quality of Mercy; Chrysalis
Second Season: "The Coming of Shadows."
Points of Departure; Revelations; The Geometry of Shadows; A Distant Star; The Long Dark; A Spider in the Web; Soul Mates; A Race Through Dark Places; The Coming of Shadows; GROPOS; All Alone in the Night; Acts of Sacrifice; Hunter, Prey; There all the Honor Lies; And Now For A Word; The Shadow of Z'ha'dum; Knives; Confessions and Lamentations; Divided Loyalties; The Long, Twilight Struggle; Comes the Inquisitor; The Fall of Night
Third Season: "Point Of No Return"
Matters of Honor; Convictions; A Day in the Strife; Passing Through Gethsemane; Voices of Authority; Dust to Dust; Exogenesis; Messages From Earth; Point Of No Return; Severed Dreams; Ceremonies of Light and Dark; Sic Transit Vir; A Late Delivery from Avalon; Ship of Tears; Interludes and Examinations; War Without End, Part 1; War Without End, Part 2; Walkabout; Grey 17 is Missing; And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place; Shadow Dancing; Z'ha'dum
Fourth Season: "No Surrender, No Retreat"
The Hour Of The Wolf; What Ever Happened To Mr. Garibaldi?; The Summoning; Falling Toward Apotheosis; The Long Night; Into the Fire; Epiphanies; The Illusion of Truth; Atonement; Racing Mars; Lines of Communication; Conflicts of Interests; Rumors, Bargains and Lies; Moments of Transition; No Surrender, No Retreat; The Exercise of Vital Powers; The Face of the Enemy; Intersections in Real Time; Between the Darkness and the Light; Endgame; Rising Star; The Deconstruction of Falling Stars
5th Season "Wheel of Fire"
No Compromises; The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari; The Paragon of Animals; A View from the Gallery; Learning Curve; Strange Relations; Secrets of the Soul; Day of the Dead; In the Kingdom of the Blind; A Tragedy of Telepaths; Phoenix Rising [100th ep produced]; The Ragged Edge [100th ep aired]; The Corps Is Mother, The Corps is Father; Meditations on the Abyss; Darkness Ascending; And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder; Movements of Fire and Shadow; The Fall of Centauri Prime; Objects in Motion; Objects at Rest; Sleeping In Light

What are the Babylon 5 movies?
In The Beginning; The Gathering (pilot - see above); Thirdspace; Babylon 5: The River of Souls

What are some on-line Babylon 5 resources?
There's the First Ones wiki, which has links to a LOT of interesting things, also The Chronology of the Babylon 5 Universe, compiled by Jari Laaksonen. Warner Brothers hosts an official B5 site. There's fan Brandon Bray's Tech Manual, researched from various B5 shows and publications. Here are some B5 quotes. The First Ones downloadable game: Babylon 5 "I've found her" and related items are here.

What are the Crusade episodes?
In order aired:
War Zone, The Long Road, The Well of Forever, The Path of Sorrows, Patterns of the Soul, Ruling from the Tomb, The Rules of the Game, Appearances and Other Deceits, Racing the Night, The Memory of War, The Needs of Earth, Visitors From Down the Street, Each Night I Dream of Home

Are B5/Crusade/Legends of the Rangers/Jeremiah available on video?
[Personal experience]
Yes. Amazon.com has a number of these, (see B5/Legends, Crusade and Jeremiah) otherwise check your local video store or the net.

Are there any known Easter Eggs on the videos?
[Personal experience, internet]
Yeppers. DVD talk shows lists of unmentioned features (Easter Eggs) for all five seasons of Babylon 5 DVDs (search on Babylon 5). I don't see anything for any of the other videos.

Are Babylon 5 scripts available?
JMS posts to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated
Well, all of JMS's scripts were for a limited time via Cafe Press, but the time of their availability has, alas, expired. This is however part of a continuing series of interesting stuff. To see what's currently available check Babylon 5 Scripts.

What are the Babylon 5 novels?
[Culled from The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5.]
John VornholtVoicesDell
Lois TiltonAccusationsDell
John VornholtBlood OathDell
Jim MortimoreClark's LawDell
Neil Barrett, Jr.The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your NameDell
S. M. StirlingBetrayalsDell
Jeanne CavelosThe Shadow WithinDell
Al SarrantonioPersonal AgendasDell
Kathryn DrennanTo Dream in the City of SorrowsDell
J. Gregory Keyes Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps
Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant
Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester
Del Rey
Peter DavidLegions of Fire: The Long Night of Centauri Prime
Legions of Fire: Armies of Light and Dark
Legions of Fire: Out of Darkness
Del Rey
Jeanne CavelosThe Passing of the Techno-Mages: Casting Shadows
The Passing of the Techno-Mages: Summoning Light
The Passing of the Techno-Mages: Invoking Darkness
Del Rey
Peter DavidIn The Beginning (novelization)Del Rey
Peter DavidThirdspace [novelization]Del Rey
Robert SheckleyA Call To Arms [novelization]Random House
For much more information on this and other Babylon 5 subjects see The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5

Will there be a new/continued Babylon 5 series?
[Personal knowledge]
I seriously doubt it, though Joe has never said for sure. Babylon 5: The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark was released on DVD in August of 2007, but that's the most recent thing I know of.

What about another Babylon 5 movie?
[misc JMS posts to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated]
Not at the moment. The rumored "B5:TMOS" didn't pan out. See here for details. Oh well...

Was Crusade ever meant as a continuation of the Babylon 5 characters?
Short form: No.
Long form:
[JMS post to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated on September 2, 2003]
Okay, let me put the absolute and total lie to this right now.
I've just gone back into my files and dragged out the ORIGINAL TREATMENT for Crusade, the one written while B5 was still in production, BEFORE "A Call to Arms" was ever filmed. The treatment, which was available to WB, Doug, John, and department keys and I know some cast members got their hands on it, was dated 6/16/98 (that date is still on the file datestamp).

I quote from a latter part of the treatment, where the characters are introduced. There are some little variances here and there -- one in particular that I think will surprise some people -- but this was what was written at that time...the very first time I put ANYthing down on paper about Crusade for WB.

One small caveat: I used the terms "infrequently or not at all" primarily because WB was desperate to make sure that this show was different from B5, so the "not at all" part was a nod to that, but the "infrequently" was my planned opening to use the characters from time to time, which was already in the works when the show was pulled.

Quote follows:

--------------------------------------------------

Whether it begins within BABYLON 5 or outside, the CRUSADE pilot movie will start with the Drakh attack, and end with the revelation about the plague. It's important to see this happen in current time, rather than hear about it after the fact. We need to see first-hand what's at stake, and how we got here.

As a result, the pilot will introduce not only our characters, but the full situation and setup for the series to come. Because of the attack and counter-attacks, it will be primarily action-oriented. The focus is not on diplomacy, or negotiations...the focus is nothing less than the very survival of our species, and the acts of heroism that result when our characters stand against terrible and overwhelming odds.

As head of the Rangers, Delenn and Captain John Sheridan give the fleet its mission, and take part in the pilot movie.

After that, once the battle is over and the fleet is on its way, they will appear either infrequently or not at all. CRUSADE will stand on its own, except for possible TNT movie cross-overs.

Let's meet our characters.

CAPTAIN MATTHEW DRAKE, Captain of the Excalibur, the high-tech flagship of the White Star fleet of ships. (The fleet divides into teams to help increase the odds of finding a cure; when they find a possible lead, they call in the Excalibur, wait until it arrives, then they move on to the next destination while the Excalibur does its work.) In his 30s, dark, brooding, attractive, he's a fighter whose own Earthforce ship was destroyed during the initial war with the Drakh. (It wasn't his fault, as we will learn; he was up against impossible odds and barely managed to save his crew at great risk to himself.)

Personally assigned to the Excalibur by Sheridan, this mission represents his chance to redeem himself. Hard-headed and practical, a man of action who doesn't believe in the mysticism practiced by the Minbari and the Rangers; if he can't feel it or taste it, it doesn't exist. A loner whose harsh exterior covers a heart that has been wounded too many times, and now refuses to let anyone near him.

MARCUS COLE, a Ranger established on Babylon 5 during its third and fourth seasons. Energetic, bright, literary, with a poetic quote always at hand when it's needed, and a pike or a PPG rifle when force is needed. Trained equally in martial arts and philosophy. A dashing, romantic figure noted for a cheerfulness that belies something much deeper beneath.

-------------------------------------------------

We had to change Drake to Gideon because of a clearance problem, and obviously the Claudia situation threw a monkey wrench into using the character of Marcus, as originally planned.

Speaking of Crusade, when does A Call To Arms take place relative to Babylon 5?
[Post by JMS in December 1998]
Five years after the events of Season 5.
jms
(except for Sleeping in Light, of course, which takes place much later. --Kay)

Why was Crusade so short?
[Various sources including JMS' remarks at a convention.]
TNT decided to only fund 13 episodes. From the looks of it JMS got caught in the middle of a turf battle - in any case according to JMS, they asked him for a lot of changes that he could not, in all good conscience, make (and considering some of the ones he reported I don't blame him), and finally push just came to shove. Better to make 13 good episodes than 22 icky ones.

See also this article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 6, 1999.

Where can I find out about Jeremiah?
See Jeremiah Links.

Where can I find Babylon 5 merchandise?
The Script Books and Babylon 5: The Lost Tales are mentioned elsewhere in here. Christopher Franke has a number of soundtrack CDs in release from Sonic Images. Cafe Press has several related merchandise pages like this one. Otherwise, your Google/Yahoo/Dogpile/whatever search is as good as mine.

What has JMS to say on line these days?
[source: personal knowledge]
See the moderated Babylon 5 newsgroup (if you want to post there see the FAQ, first) and JMSNews (and here in Facebook), an archive of JMS posts. He can also be found on Facebook at Fans of J Michael Straczynski.)

Is The Zocalo still around, and where can I subscribe?
[source: post to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated]
The current version can be found on the net as The Zocalo Today, and includes information on how to subscribe.

What are those interesting fonts used on the show?
The corridor signs are in Stop, the opening credits are Serpentine or Serpentine Bold (a version also exists called Chainlink Bold) which can be found in a number of word processing packages.
The header on this FAQ is made from Babylon 5 Hollow, a font inspired by the show but not used on it.

What happened to Claudia Christian (Ivanova)?
[Info culled from a LOT of posts to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated. Feel free to check Google Groups for details.]
Claudia did not sign for the 5th season; and so did not appear in it (though she is in both the TV movie Thirdspace, and the last episode, Sleeping in Light.)
As for Susan Ivanova, she's taken command of her own ship and is off somewhere exploring. [established in the second to last episode of Season 4, "Rising Star".]

Which came first, B5 or DS9?
[Personal memory, various posts in various places]
JMS came up with Babylon 5 in 1987 or so, and spent years pitching it to various studios (including Paramount) before the pilot movie "The Gathering" appeared in 1993, and the series itself started the following year. In the interim, Paramount developed their own space station show and since they didn't have to shop it around to all and sundry got it to the screen first. Hence the occasional confusion amongst those who joined in after the start of the series.

Were Ivanova and Talia written as lovers?
[JMS post to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated June 27, 1998]
Yes. That was the intent from very early on, when I told Andrea Thompson that her character was bisexual early in the first season. I was slowly developing their relationship, and it would've gone further by a bit had Andrea not chosen to leave the show.

How do you spell [fill in the blank]?
Agamemnon, Lyta Alexander, Zack Allan, Shai Alyt, Anla-shok, Bester, Brakiri, Malcolm Bridges, Bureau 13, Sarah Cantrell, Cartagia, Celini, Centauri, Claudia Christian, Chrysalis, The Third Fane of Chudomo, Morgan Clark, Vir Cotto, Delenn, denn'bok, Draal, Droshalla, Dukhat, Dulann, Edgars, Entil'zha, Firell, Michael Garibaldi, G'Doc, G'Kar, G'Quan/G'Quon(both spellings appear to be correct), General Hague, Isil'zha, Susan Ivanova, Minister Kafta, Kalain, Warren Keffer, Kha'Ri, Kitaro, Lennier, Liandra, Captain Elizabeth Lochley, Lorien, Lyndisty, Marcus, David Martel, Minbari, Londo Mollari, Morden, Dureena Nafeel, Na'Feel, Kosh Naranek, Narn, Neroon, pak'ma'ra, Psi Corps, Rathenn, Lord Refa, rogue telepaths, Tracy Scoggins, John Sheridan, Jeffrey Sinclair, Sindell, starfury(one r...), J. Michael Straczynski, Streibs, Tafeek, Tannier, Tirk, Valen, Valeria, Vorlons, Vree, Zathras, Z'ha'dum

What's this about a bear?
As everybody familiar with the show knows, one episode involved a teddybear with an interesting history (not to mention fate) Here's what JMS had to say about it in a post dated 5/6/1995...

Okay, since the JS/teddy bear thing has come up again, let me deal with this just a little.

Here's the story of the bear.

I hate cute. Everybody knows me, knows that. So after buying Peter David's script #2, Peter sends me a gift. A bear. A teddy bear. With my initials JS in front, and Bear-ba-lon 5 in the back. I call Peter back. I say that I must now get him for this. He asks what I had in mind. I said wait and see.

So I wrote the entire bear thing at the end of the show, and inserted it into his script.

Never send me something cute.

Best part was during filming, we shot the bear against blue-screen to be composited into the CGI. And there's our EFX supervisor, standing there on film, against blue-screen, with this long rod up the teddy bear's ass, spinning it round and round and round....

Whilst doing that, I also wrote and inserted the Kosh/Perfect Beauty scenes, since I was already in it at that point anyway, and I figured it'd be cool.

It also keeps the Sheridan Learning Stuff thread going, and works in a nice balance to the rest of the episode. Here he's going nuts, being harrassed, and his command is on the line...so he has to learn to bend his knee, accept silence, give up his command symbolically by giving up the stat bar, and finding one perfect moment of peace.


Be it noted Peter got even later in his series Space Cases where the characters found it floating in space and wondered out loud who would be mean enough to space a teddybear. It turned out to be a trap set by the evil Straczyn empire...

And when someone on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated said that Peter David denied there was a man in a bear suit following him about the next DragonCon, Joe posted the following:

It was supposed to have been arranged by some of the folks at Comic Con in Chicago. When I got there, I asked if this had been taken care of (they said they knew the right people, and I'd reimburse for the cost involved). They said it was all going to go off as planned. If it didn't...then I'm hugely annoyed.

Tongue in cheek? No idea... And if there is anything more on the story of the Bear I'm unaware of it. Well, other than the filksong I wrote on the subject anyway... :)