18 October 2012

B5 Review: And Now For a Word & In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum

And Now For a Word
Cynthia Torqueman
An Interstellar Network News crew come to Babylon 5 to do a story on the station now that it has been operational for 2 years amidst heightening Narn-Centauri conflict in the area.

Cynthia Torqueman of ISN interviews the crew and ambassadors of Babylon 5 throughout her 36 hour stay. During her stay she and her crew see the Narn-Centauri conflict first hand, meet a less than optimistic Dr Franklin, catch a glimpse of Ambassador Kosh and upset Ambassador Delenn.

The Narn accuse the Centauri of shipping weapons of mass destruction to be used in the war through neutral territory. There are differing views on each side from both Londo and G'Kar about who started the hatred between the two races.

Amongst all that is going on, we hear minor tidbits of things back home including the establishment of the Office of Public Information and the Ministry of Public Morale. Senator Hidoshi, someone who had a lot of contact with Commander Sinclair in the first season is no longer in office and it seems that support for Babylon 5 might be waning. We also get to see a rather corny recruitment commercial for the Psi-Corps which reminded me of something from the movie Starship Troopers, but it provided some laughs at least.

I find it hard to like this episode but it is quite informative and well done. As a result, I give it a 6/10.

In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum
Icarus at Z'ha'dumSheridan is alerted to the fact that Morden, who has frequented Babylon 5 many times was on board the Icarus, the science vessel Anna Sheridan was on when it exploded.

Meanwhile, Narn refugees continue to fill the station and a spokesperson from Earthdome's newly formed Ministry of Peace comes to talk with Earthforce personnel about a new initiative.

This is a significant episode for this season with many more answers coming our way regarding the coming darkness and we learn a lot more about Morden in the process. Captain Sheridan becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to his wife by illegally detaining Morden, putting him at odds with Garibaldi, Ivanova and Winters. The Centauri want him released as a guest of the Republic and Delenn and Kosh reveal some disturbing information about why Morden must be released.

The Narn-Centauri War continues to go badly for the Narn and Dr Franklin is doing all he can to help the refugees coming through the station but at what cost? 

In a recruitment drive, the newly formed Ministry of Peace has formed the Nightwatch, an incentive for Earthforce personnel to earn an extra 50 credits to wear an armband and report any unusual activities or suspicious behaviour. It appears Earthdome is becoming quite paranoid back home with this and the Ministry of Public Morale seemingly designed to keep people under control and muzzled.

A lot comes out of this episode and we see Vir maturing in his role as attache along with everything else we learn. Sheridan has new resolve by the episode's end and Kosh even serves a warning to him about where this path will take him.

Rating: 7.5/10

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