Wednesday, January 26, 1994

Season 1: Signs and Portents



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. Its goal, to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their 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 tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night. It can be a dangerous place, but it's our last best hope for peace. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5.
- Commander Sinclair

Season 1, entitled "Signs and Portents" started airing on January 26, 1994, where the episode "Midnight on the Firing Line" officially kicked off the Babylon 5 show. We see many of the same characters from the Pilot, "The Gathering," but there are also some replacements and new faces that we are just introduced to this season. Read about the Station in the first season here.

Plotline:
In Season 1, we are introduced to different races in the universe, notably the Narn, Centauri, Minbari, Vorlons, and of course, Humans. Right away, we see the conflict between the Narn and the Centauri, with the Narn seeking revenge on the Centauri after 100 years of suffering under their occupation. As the Narn take on an aggressive stance, we also see more details about the Earth-Minbari War that ended 10 years prior, as well as seeing more glimpses of Sinclair's and Delenn's involvments and influences during that war. We find more about the planet Epsilon 3 that Babylon 5 orbits, in addition to being introduced to a new and dangerous alien race (the Shadows) that are largely unknown to the newer races. It ends on a cliffhanger with a massive change that Delenn decides to undergo.

Characters:
[Many thanks to The Lurker's Guide]

Commander Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O'Hare)

The commander of Babylon 5 and representative of the Earth Alliance. A survivor of the climactic Battle of the Line at the end of the Earth-Minbari War, Sinclair sometimes yearns for his days as a hotshot fighter pilot, and partially for that reason, he's given to taking unnecessary personal risks. He's uncomfortable in his position and in fact isn't entirely sure why he was given command of such a major post and made a high-level diplomat; his stiff demeanor is perhaps due to a fear that he isn't up to the job he's been given. Sinclair was born on Mars Colony and is 39 years old.

Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova (Claudia Christian)

Second in command and in charge of the day-to-day operations of Babylon 5, Ivanova is an ambitious career officer. She can be quirky or pessimistic at times, but she has a dry sense of humor that shows itself in the rare moments she is able to relax among others. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and raised abroad on Earth, she has a strong dislike for the Psi-Corps, whose legally-mandated drug treatments drove her mother to suicide after it was discovered her mother was a latent telepath. She is new on the station and often buries herself in her work; her friends are few and her family is all but gone.




Security Chief Michael Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle)

In charge of security on Babylon 5. He has a troubled past, bouncing from position to position and trying to overcome alcoholism. He was picked by Sinclair for the job; the two worked together in the past. Sinclair knew that Garibaldi would be persistent, not willing to give in to political pressures -- in Sinclair's words, "a pain in the ass." Garibaldi is something of a smart-aleck, always ready to crack a joke, but given to bouts of self-doubt and introspection when nobody's looking.





Talia Winters (Andrea Thompson)

Babylon 5's resident telepath, on her first solo assignment, with level 5 psi rating, bound by the rules and regulations of the Psi Corps. She sells her telepathic services to businessmen, and occasionally assists Sinclair in negotiations. Talia was raised and trained by the Psi Corps, meaning that that organization is her family.








Dr. Stephen Franklin (Richard Biggs)

Dedicated and assured, a specialist in xenobiology (alien biology,) and in charge of Medlab on Babylon 5. His background is mainly in experimental medicine, so his bedside manner is occasionally not what it should be. His strong sense of personal morality is at times in conflict with his duties as the chief medical provider for aliens from hundreds of worlds and cultures, some of whom view his obligations rather differently. In his middle thirties now, he spent years hitchhiking through space, offering his doctoral services in exchange for the opportunity to examine new life forms.





Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik)

The representative of the Centauri Republic. Londo views Babylon 5's mission as something of a sham, with limited chance of helping his people regain their lost glory and sense of purpose. His assignment on Babylon 5 is not considered an important position, in spite of the high status that his regalia and high-standing hair would indicate. A war hero in his younger days, he has since grown decadent and indulgent. Londo can often be found in one of the station's bars or casinos, drinking himself to oblivion. He has a biting, cynical sense of humor. Perhaps his only real friend is Garibaldi, who understands something of what Londo has been through.





Vir Cotto (Stephen Furst)

Centauri assistant to Londo. Timid, unsure of himself, at times he seems little more than someone for Londo to throw things at. First appears in "Midnight on the Firing Line."











Ambassador Delenn (Mira Furlan)

Represents the Minbari Federation. Delenn is a member of the highest Minbari governmental body, the Grey Council, and why she's masquerading as a lowly ambassador is one of the ongoing mysteries of Babylon 5. A member of the religious caste, Delenn's belief in fate and destiny is often evident. She is fascinated by humans and tries to learn all about them; some say she is suspiciously watchful of Commander Sinclair.






Lennier (Bill Mumy)

Delenn's aide, fresh out of a monastery on the Minbari homeworld. He's something of an innocent abroad, perhaps the one person on Babylon 5 without a hidden agenda or a knife waiting to stab someone in the back. He reveres Delenn; to him she's a holy figure. First appears in "The Parliament of Dreams."








Ambassador G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas)

The representative of the Narn Regime rose to his position in part thanks to his wife's renown as a hero of the revolutionary war against the Centauri, but his own ambition and ability are more than equal to the job. G'Kar will waste no opportunity to turn a situation to the Narns' advantage, even if it means antagonizing everyone else on the station. He takes pride in his position and himself, a pride perhaps bordering on arrogance at times. G'Kar would like nothing better than to see the Centauri, and Londo in particular, pay dearly for their brutal occupation of Narn.



Na'Toth (Julie Caitlin Brown/Mary Kay Adams)

A female Narn, assistant to G'Kar. She is fiercely loyal to G'Kar, even if he's not ready to believe it at first. She prefers the direct approach rather than G'Kar's subterfuge and deception. First appears in "The Parliament of Dreams."








Ambassador Kosh Naranek (Ardwight Chamberlain/Jeffrey Willerth)

Even less is known about Ambassador Kosh than about his race. He arrived on the station in 2257 and was promptly the victim of a complex assassination plot involving the Minbari and others. He is rarely seen in council meetings, claiming that "we take no interest in the affairs of others," and Vorlons' reasons for coming to Babylon 5 at all are unknown. Kosh communicates through a complex sequence of musical tones, translated into English by a device on his encounter suit. When he speaks, his words are few and sound cryptic, but often have a strange truth to them. Kosh's quarters are filled with a dense atmosphere of methane and other gases; whether he needs it or is using it to make himself less accessible is an open question. Even when he's receiving visitors there, Kosh wears his suit.




~Click here to read about other characters within Season 1~

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