I thought that there would be nothing easier than starting this series of posts with my favourite episode of my favourite Sci-Fi TV series of all time. May I introduce Severed Dreams from the third season of Babylon 5.
For the previous year, there has been a slow eroding of trust in the Earth government by those aboard Babylon 5. This arc has been escalating over the past half dozen episodes and here we have the payoff with the station breaking away from the Clark administration.
This is a classic example of a “fan meet stuff” episode (the PG name), which is a type I really enjoy. Until now, Captain Sheridan and his crew have been lurching from crisis to crisis trying to find a way to rebel within the system. However, with a fleet inbound to arrest the senior crew, it is time for them to step out of the shadows and into the light.
Did you see what I did there with shadows? Your welcome!
I’m also a big fan of epic space battles, and the one here is glorious. There is a sense of desperation in all three aspects of the fight; Sheridan in C&C, Ivanova in her Starfury, and Garibaldi holding off the breaching pods. If I was any good at this, I would even catch the metaphor trying to get out whilst watching the Narn being cut down as they charge. I find myself getting caught up completely in what is happening on the screen.
When the battle finally concludes, and I am able to breathe again, the second Earthforce fleet arrives. All is lost, until Ambassador Delenn comes to the rescue.
“Only one human captain has ever survived battle with the Minbari fleet. He is behind me, you are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else.”
Is there anything better than Delenn being badass?
The thing is, the “shit hitting stuff” isn’t just about Babylon 5 and Earth. We also have the breaking of the Grey Council and the beginnings of the split within the Minbari caste system. It’s a more understated moment, less fighting and more staff breaking, but it is just as important in the grand scheme of things. Each of the major races are now in upheaval, and the Babylon Project has failed.
What else can I say about this episode? There is the moment where Sheridan is contemplating the decision to fight whilst the senior crew discus a plan of action around him. That moment after the main battle where the camera scans the dead and the injured of both sides inside the station, whilst Garibaldi is being helped up obviously spent. I’m such a fanboy, I cannot find fault with the episode.
Actually, I can. this always makes me laugh, but watch closely during the main battle. How many times does the Roanoke get destroyed?
Oh, and I didn’t even mention even that little bit at the beginning with Londo and the Narn security guard. When I watch this episode I go through the emotions , but by the end of it I feel pumped up.
There are a few times during it’s life that Babylon 5 did epic. Sometimes, it felt a little rushed. Here it was perfect.