01 May 2013

B5 Review: A Late Delivery from Avalon & Ship of Tears

A Late Delivery from Avalon
G'Kar and Arthur The first Earth transport liner for months arrives at Babylon 5 bringing with it a troubled individual who believes he is King Arthur of the round table. Franklin and Marcus attempt to figure out who he really is while Sheridan and Ivanova look to gain more support from the other races in the defense of the station and Garibaldi refuses to pay the Post Office's new, exorbitant fees since the station declared independence.

Arthur is traumatised by a past event but goes about his business on the station, helping the weak in Down Below and meeting G'Kar when he comes upon a group of loan sharks attacking a man. Eventually, Franklin is able to uncover the truth surrounding Arthur - that he was gunnery sargeant aboard the Prometheus, the Earth ship that made first contact with the Minbari and in a misunderstanding, started the Earth-Minbari War. Arthur is really David McIntyre and he also served in the Battle of the Line. The King Arthur persona draws parallels with his life story but allows him to escape the truth that Stephen brings back to him. Only with Delenn's forgiveness is McIntyre able to move on.

A Late Delivery from Avalon is a fun episode with a much different look, sound and feel about it. Michael York plays a convincing 'Arthur' and Christopher Franke brings a unique soundtrack to an episode about a knight. We are also offered a bit more insight into the Earth-Minbari War, particularly how it began.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Ship of Tears
Ivanova and Bester ISN is back on the air, but unfortunately it is just broadcasting more propaganda and misinformation to its viewers, particularly about their last transmission before the station was cut off. Meanwhile, Sheridan is out testing some of the new Thunderbolt Starfury's that came to the station following the destruction of the Churchill in Severed Dreams. They pick up a distress signal which turns out to be Bester in a Black Omega Starfury.

G'Kar confronts Ivanova about becoming a part of the alliance that has been building while Bester reveals he knows of a transport ship carrying weapon systems for the Shadows and since he has become aware of the Shadows, they are interfering with his own plans for Psi-Corps.

Delenn takes it upon herself to talk to G'Kar before inducting him into their 'War Council'. In their meeting, she admits that G'Kar was right when he first warned of the coming darkness, but they could not speak out. That they could have said something when the Centauri, with Shadow assistance crushed the Narn in the recent war. Delenn is deeply emotional and apologetic but knows that G'Kar may take some time to forgive her.

Sheridan and Bester take the Whitestar and intercept the Shadow transport. Strangely, they avoid a conflict with one of the Shadow motherships. Aboard the transport, they find 100 telepaths in cryogenic suspension. The ship pilots took their own lives before they could be captured. Once back on Babylon 5, Dr Franklin unfreezes one of the telepaths and notices their cyberweb implants on either side of the head.

Bester is able to identify the telepath by her ID bracelet and realises she is someone he knows, indeed, someone he loves and who he had only seen a few weeks prior. In Medlab, she has entangled herself and interfaced with the station's wiring, attacking Bester on the sight of his Psi-Corps badge. In the commotion, she sends Bester a telepathic message of alien surgeons and Shadow ships.

The Shadows intended the telepaths to be integrated into Shadow vessels and for this, as well as saving the life of his loved one (carrying child), Bester allies himself with the Babylon 5 staff to fight the Shadows.

Garibaldi is able to decipher a section of the Book of G'Quan where he discovers that telepaths on Narn led by G'Quan were able to drive the Shadows off their homeworld 1000 years ago. Then the Narn telepaths were wiped out.

The War Council realise they have a potential weapon to fight the Shadows with - and not a moment too soon as the Shadows have come out into the open and have begun attacking Brakiri space...

Another Bester episode but quite an important one for the arc as we are about to get into some more heavy episodes towards the end of Season Three. My rating, 7/10.