Babylon 5

Series Rewatch – Babylon 5: A Voice in the Wilderness: Part 2

Written by J. Michael Stracsynski and Larry DiTillio
Directed by Janet Greek

Picking up where the previous episode left off, Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) faces an Earth Force Cruiser having appeared at the Station to “help”. It seems the word is getting out about the technology discovered on Epsilon III. The heavy cruiser is soon joined by ships from the .

Captain Ellis Pierce (portrayed by Ron Canada), of the Earthforce Cruiser Hyperion, states that they are now in charge. Commander Sinclair (Michael O’Hare) states the being they found on the planet is in Medlab in an uncertain condition. Sinclair doesn’t want him there and promises to make his presence a brief one. He contacts a Senator and threatens to resign over the issue. Ivanova (Claudia Christian) calls Sinclair back to Central Command after the Hyperion launches ships to the surface. Ivanova also informs him that there is increased seismic activity on the planet, threatening to rip it apart and take Babylon 5 with it.

As the three of them try to figure out what’s going on, Sinclair, Ivanova, and Garibaldi come to the conclusion that while the humanoid they discovered was hooked up to the technology, it was preventing this from happening. Delenn (Mira Furlan) is with Draal (portrayed by Louis Turenne) when he hears the humanoid calling to him.

Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Ambassador, do you really want to know what’s going on right now?

Ambassador Londo Mollari: Yes. Absolutely

[Ivanova get’s closer to Londo’s ear]

Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Boom. Boom boom boom. Boom boom. Boom! Have a nice day.

Meanwhile, reports from the Mars Colony aren’t good. Garibaldi is in a bar when someone ignorantly spouts off about killing the colonists and overreacts. Sinclair comes and asks him about it. Garibaldi admits he overreacts and is frustrated about not being able to do anything about what’s happening on Mars or with Epsilon III. Sinclair asks him to make sure Ivanova gets off the Station if they have to evacuate.

Draal and Delenn visit Medlab and the humanoid awakens and talks to him about Epsilon III. He warns they will be destroyed if they approach. Captain Pierce believes he is lying and prepares to send a team to the surface. Sinclair orders a planetary blockade. A ship they’ve never seen comes through the jumpgate and claims the planet belongs to them. Sinclair visits the patient in Medbay, who is calling himself Varn, and he fills him in on who they actually are. Varn says they must not be allowed to have the planet. Dr. Franklin (Richard Biggs) says Varn is dying, and the planet along with him.

Delenn and Draal enlist the help of Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) in getting back down to Epsilon III with Varn. They make a great escape, followed by Garibaldi pursuing them. When he catches up to them, Draal explains what they have in mind.

This is a good episode that fills in some of the blanks surrounding how Babylon 5 manages to exist in space, in addition to some background on the characters. We get to see Londo in the role of a pilot, one he seems to enjoy. Delenn and Draal give more background on the spiritual side of the Minbari and their concepts of what defines a sentient life form. When Garibaldi finally finds out whether or not Lise, the woman he left behind on Mars, is still alive, we also learn how his alcoholism impacted his life and the choices he made. Sinclair is shown bucking the authority of Earthforce as he attempts to keep the promise of the neutrality of Babylon 5 going. This is a seed for future events in the series.

Delenn also states at the end of the episode that if they had approached the command staff with this solution, Sinclair would have been the one to volunteer, and his destiny lies elsewhere. In knowing what’s going to happen in the future, and how some things had to be shifted after the first season, the follow-through on this is excellent.

The remastered special effects are demonstrated greatly here. The shots depicting the planet’s technology are clean with nice, crisp lines rather than the blurry, out-of-focus shots I saw on my DVDs. The brief space battles are also well-done. Although they look like animated CGI, it’s a definite improvement over the DVDs. This brings some action into a very character-driven story. I enjoyed the shots of the shuttles going down to the surface as well. They felt realistic and the actors handled them well.

There are many seeds in this episode that will pay off in the future for all of the characters here. Garibaldi will have more involvement with Mars, Delenn appears to know a lot about Sinclair’s future, and there is already a fracture between Babylon 5 and Earth’s government. The actors are strong across the board, with only a bit of overacting on the part of guest actor Ron Canada who seems a bit too dramatic at first. Other than that, it feels more like they have settled into their roles and are having fun with the characters. It’s a solid episode all-around.

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