It is the 23rd Century and the Dawn of the Third Age of Man. Humanity had just narrowly escaped genocide from a tragic misunderstanding less than a decade ago by the incredibly powerful Minbari. To prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again, the Babylon Project was conceived: the creation of a safe meeting ground; a five-mile long spinning space station in neutral space where anyone and everyone could come and work out of their problems peacefully.
This is the story of the last of the Babylon Stations. It was a port of call for smugglers and businessmen, for ambassadors and hustlers from dozens of worlds. It was an incredibly dangerous place. Where nothing and no one was what they appeared to be. But it was also our last, best hope for peace. It was called Babylon 5.
Considered one of the greatest sci-fi space operas ever created; Babylon 5 was a multi-award winning television series during its series run. Over the span of it's production, it achieved an Emmy Award in Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects; 2 Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation; a Saturn Award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series; and 2 Space Frontier Foundation Awards. It also inspired 6 made-for-television movies; In The Beginning, Thirdspace, The River of Souls, A Call to Arms, The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark, and The Legends of the Rangers as well as a spin-off sequel television series, Crusade.
The Babylon 5 franchise has also had a long standing controversy in regards to it's rival show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine which had a similar space station and setting. The creator of the series, J. Michael Straczynski had pitched the series concept and a extensive bible of story notes to Paramount Television well over a year before DS9 was released. Although Paramount ultimately turned down his project, the timing of the launch of DS9 and its similarities have led to his belief that the studio heavily utilized his notes as the basis of DS9.
- Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
- John Sheridan
- Captain Elizabeth Lochley
- Susan Ivanova
- Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Londo Mollari
- Vir Cotto
- Kosh Naranek
- Dr. Stephen Franklin
- President Morgan Clark
- Alfred Bester
- Ranger Marcus Cole
- Zack Allen
- Talia Winters
- Lyta Alexander
Season 1 "Signs and Portents"
A five-mile space station in neutral territory, Babylon 5 is home to diplomats from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, a collection of small and independent alien systems and the 5 major powers of the galaxy: the new Earth Alliance; their former enemy, the Minbari Federation; the decadent Centauri Republic; the fierce Narn Regime; and the enigmatic Vorlon Empire.
It is the year 2258 and Earth Force Commander Jeffrey Sinclair is the newly appointed Babylon 5 Station Commander much to his utter surprise. However despite his reservations, Sinclair is absolutely dedicated towards the station's avowed mission. He is one of the few survivors of the 'Battle of the Line' 10 years ago and having seen the horror of genocide from a fatal misunderstanding leads him to personally attempt to resolve the various situations that arise on Babylon 5 through a combination of canny diplomacy and inventive resourcefulness.
Despite Sinclair's best efforts however, tensions between two of the most powerful alien races; the Narn Regime and the Centauri Republic are on the rise. Once enslaved by the decadent Centauri, the now freed Narn are highly volatile and embittered against their former masters who are on the decline and now a fading shadow of their past self.
The aggressive Narns would like nothing better than to wipe the Centauri off the face of the galaxy and after decades of intense military build-up, they may very well be in the position to do so as a number of provocative incidents can be traced back to them. Meanwhile, the Centuari Republic appears to be on the verge of total collapse. The Centauri Emperor is old, frail, and with the recent death of his son; has no direct heirs resulting in the rise of a number of competing political factions who are more involved in backstabbing each other than worrying about the Narns.
However even as Sinclair struggles to maintain the fragile peace; he also discovers a number of disturbing mysteries revolving around himself. Near the end of the 'Battle of the Line', Sinclair's Starfury was badly damaged and he blacked out. He has been unable to remember anything afterwards but an incident with a mind probe makes him remember certain fragments. Sinclair realizes that he had actually been captured by the Minbari and that the current Minbari Ambassador, Delenn was one of his interrogators. Shortly afterwards, the Minbari on the verge of complete and utter victory ... abruptly surrendered and deliberately erased his memories of the entire event.
Further, he was not chosen by Earth Force as the Babylon 5 Station Commander at all but rather because the Minbari demanded it. There is also some sort of connection between himself and the mysterious disappearance of the Babylon 4 space station years ago which was apparently commandeered to travel through time to fight in a terrible war apparently sometime in the distant future.
In the midst of his confusion, Sinclair learns of an assassination plot aimed at Earth President Luis Santiago but he is helpless to prevent it and afterwards discovers that the President's death has been ruled an accident. Sinclair is dismayed and fears that the universe is a much darker place in the aftermath.
Season 2 "The Coming of Shadows"
The year is 2259 and the fragile peace of the galaxy is crumbling around Babylon 5. Earth Vice President Morgan Clark has taken up the reigns of his predecessor; recalling Station Commander Jeffrey Sinclair to Earth and appointing Captain John Sheridan to the post.
Sheridan is a war hero but his appointment is not a popular one as he is remembered by the Minbari for his 'dishonorable' ambush and destruction of their flagship 'The Black Star' during the Earth-Minbari War 11 years ago; earning him the bitter epitaph of 'Starkiller'. What's more, his own subordinates are wary of his abrupt replacement of Sinclair who was making certain people nervous about with his claims that President Santiago was assassinated.
Even worse, evidence comes to light that leads the staff of Babylon 5 to believe that Clark was part of the Santiago assassination plot and is pushing a more sinister, fascist and totalitarian agenda even creating a new security organization known as Nightwatch but is little more than a secret police to terrorize and intimidate those who oppose Clark's policies. Things are changing on Earth and not for the better. Can they trust the man who was chosen by Clark to run things at Babylon 5?
Meanwhile the elderly Centauri Emperor who is very ill, desperately wishes to make up for his people's crimes against the Narn. In a last ditch attempt to reconcile with them, he has comes to Babylon 5 in the hope that before he dies, he can heal the rift between their races. Before he can do so though, he succumbs to his ill health and collapses.
Realizing that the Emperor's condition is fatal, a pro-war faction with the help of Ambassador Londo Mollari; wipe out a Narn outpost to win the popular support of the Centauri citizens. With his dying breath, the Emperor curses Londo for doing this. Afterwards, Londo lies and claims that the Emperor approved of their actions, begging them to continue and return the Empire to greatness. His lie prompts the Centauri to attack and wipe out several Narn colonies.
The Narns are shocked and declare war against their one-time conquerors. However, the war swiftly turns badly for them and they find that due to their years of aggressive posturing and provocative behavior, no other alien race will trust nor support them. With their fleets wiped out, their colonies destroyed, and finally their own homeworld bombed back into the stone age via mass drivers; the once arrogant Narns are a broken people. Ambassador G'Kar is forced to plead for sanctuary from Babylon 5 to escape being deported back to Narn and the clutches of the Centauri overlords who are eager to execute the last remaining free leader of the Narn.
Unknown to the rest of the galaxy, the Centauri have been receiving secret assistance and military aid thanks to the instigation of a mysterious figure known as Mr. Morden, an associate of Londo Mollari. Unknown to even Mollari, Morden is simply the human agent of an ancient alien race known as the Shadows.
Over a thousand years ago, the Shadows fought a terrible war against the ancient races and powers of that age and lost. Now, they have returned to reclaim their rightful place. But to do so, they seek to weaken the current alien powers who might oppose them by working against them in secret.
The Light is dim and fading with the fate of the Galaxy has never appeared darker... but a conspiracy has been enacted at Babylon 5 consisting between Captain Sheridan, the Vorlons, and the Minbari to fight the looming darkness of the Shadows.
But this Conspiracy of Light will need allies to prosecute their campaign against this ancient and ruthless race. But who can they trust in these dark and perilous times?
Season 3 "Point of No Return"
After the Earth-Minbari War, the Babylon Station was conceived as a safe haven; a five-mile long spinning space station in neutral space. Where anyone and everyone could come and work out of their problems peacefully. It was in essence; our last, our best hope for peace. It was a shining beacon to that dream and hope.
But peace is sometimes another word for compromise. And sometimes there are compromises that are simply unacceptable. Sometimes there are compromises that require too high a cost. In the year 2260, Babylon 5 was not the beacon for peace during the Shadow War. In the end, Babylon 5 became our last, best hope ... for victory.
Flush with their victory over the Narns, the Centauri Republic seeks to expand their renewed empire bringing them into conflict with several members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. However, Londo Mollari finds himself unhappy with his rise to acclaim and increasingly disillusioned as the Empire continued to seek its glory in war and conquest. His former friends have turned their backs on him and even his close associates are now wary of his growing political power and his sinister political allies. He is now fearful of the Shadows and what he has helped unleash upon the Universe.
Meanwhile Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn have been growing closer as they work together secretly to prepare for the coming war. Then, the Conspiracy of Light is forced to break out into the open when Captain Sheridan provides proof that Morgan Clark, the current Earth President had his predecessor assassinated. Even worse, the Conspiracy also learns that the Shadows assisted Clark in the deed and he is one of their pawns.
Clark swiftly declares martial law and uses the military to seize control over Earth and the outer colonies save for the too distant and too well armed Babylon 5. In wake of Clark's brutality and reign of terror, Captain Sheridan breaks off from Earth, declaring Babylon 5's independence. Babylon 5 becomes the rallying point for the resistance against Clark's tyranny by several defecting Earth Force ships.
But the war takes a darker turn as the Shadows begin to make their presence known openly. When Captain Sheridan tries to bring the various races together in a Grand Alliance, he is dismayed to find that none of the races are willing to fight against the fearsome Shadows. Too many of them are convinced that the Shadows are invincible and too powerful to fight against. To do so it futile. Sheridan believes that the only way to inspire the other races to band together and fight back is to show them that the Shadows are not unbeatable and that they are not alone in fighting this coming darkness.
At Sheridan's behest, Ambassador Kosh has the Vorlons make a stand and fight back against the Shadow Fleet. After all, the Vorlons are the only ancient race of similar age with the Shadows so their technology must be near or on par with them. Although the Vorlons do manage to drive off a Shadow attack and publicly score a coup, causing several of the League Worlds to come together; the Conspiracy of Light suffers a horrible blow as the Shadows retaliate by assassinating Kosh.
Subsequently, the Alliance manages to win a major victory thanks to the return and the sacrifice of Commander Sinclair. Following his recall back to Earth in 2259, Sinclair was chosen as Earth's Ambassador to Minbar where he has been secretly building an Army of Light against the Shadows.
Then the Shadows succeed in luring Captain Sheridan to their homeworld of Z'ha'dum where they try to convert him to their side by diplomacy. When that fails, they decide to use force only to discover that Sheridan was prepared for their tactics. Unfortunately for the Shadows, when they lured Sheridan to Z'ha'dum, he turned it to his advantage as it enabled him to bypass their defenses and bring a pair of booby trapped nuclear bombs on his ship. Sacrificing his life, Sheridan detonates the bombs, slaughtering countless unprepared Shadows and ravages Z'ha'dum in the process. The death screams of so many of their kind shocks the Shadow Fleet which hastily retreats to find out what went wrong at Z'ha'dum.
And the Universe itself takes a brief pause as both sides, Light and Dark struggle to reassess the current losses inflicted to and by their enemies... and wonder if victory is even possible anymore?
Season 4 "No Surrender, No Retreat"
The year is 2261. And Captain John Sheridan, the Station Commander of Babylon 5 is dead. And the Alliance itself is beginning to crack without his unifying presence.
Londo Mollari has returned to Centauri Prime after receiving a huge political promotion and finally meets the new Centuari Emperor Cartagia that he and his allies helped elevate to the throne. However Mollari is horrified to discover that Cartagia is insane and has been slaughtering anyone who dares challenge his authority which he believes will threaten his ultimate evolution to godhood. Worse, Cartagia is also openly allying with the Shadows who with the devastation of Z'ha'dum has compelled them to create a base on Centauri Prime itself. Driven to a corner with no way out, Mollari finds himself plotting the assassination of the Emperor. But everyone who might aid him is too cowed of Cartagia.
A grief stricken Delenn attempts and fails to rally the Alliance races when she realizes that they are on the verge of fracturing completely. The belligerent members protest that she's acting out of grief and loss, wanting to punish the Shadows for killing Sheridan. The Shadows have not attacked anyone since Z'ha'dum and many are hopeful that if they do nothing; the Shadows may be content to ignore them for another thousand years. It appears to be a lost cause until the unexpected return of an alive Captain Sheridan who proclaims that they need to rally to fight against the Shadows because they are weaker than ever before! If the Alliance will fight, they can win this war; not just today, not just for the next thousand years but forever. For the future and for their children and their children's children, they can end the cycle forever!
It is a belief that apparently the Vorlons share for they have embarked on a new strategy of a scorched galaxy cleansed of any of the Shadows' influence. They have gathered their mightiest war vessels and have begun destroying any world, eradicating any civilization, and wiping out any race that have been touched by the Shadows.
Meanwhile, Londo Mollari has found an unlikely ally in his regicide plot for his oldest nemesis, former Narn Ambassador G'Kar has been captured by the Centauri and brought to the Emperor in chains to be tortured for his amusement. Mollari vows that if G'Kar aids him in this, he will help free the Narn Homeworld resulting in an alliance of convenience between these two old enemies.
The war is increasing, the casualties are mounting, and entire worlds are being destroyed between the massive war machines of the Vorlons and Shadows. The Alliance find themselves not on the offense, not even on the defense; but scrambling to get anything and anyone out of the path of these ancient juggernauts who are determined to kill one another, uncaring of anyone or anything that gets in their path. Captain Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn come to the bitter realization that thousands of years ago, when the Eldest Races left the Galaxy for the Outer Rim, two of their number stayed behind voluntarily to watch over the Younger Races to help guide and develop them.
These were the Vorlons and the Shadows. But they became divided over how best to guide their "children". The Vorlons were convinced that Order was the proper path and that races best developed through rigorous discipline and obedience. In doing so, they remade themselves into as objects of worship for the alien races to follow. The Shadows thought that growth was achieved through Chaos which forced races to become stronger and evolve. And so, they began instigating wars, secretly fomenting conflicts. Their philosophical disagreements ultimately began an all-out war which the Vorlons and Shadows fought via proxies of the Younger Races; manipulating them into fighting, even genetically altering various races to make them stronger, faster, deadlier, and more obedient and more compliant to the Vorlons or Shadows. And so it has been for thousands of years; both sides forcing the other races to do battle, to choose which side to follow: order or chaos.
Sheridan tricks the two sides into a confrontation and reveals to the entire Galaxy the extent of their manipulations, how they have continued this process over and over again. Neither side interested in winning or losing, merely proving that they are right. Sheridan admonishes them into realizing that they have both lost their way. They are no longer guardians or guides anymore, but hindrances to everyone now. And the entire Galaxy understand what they are and what they have become, and that they will no longer tolerate their "guidance" anymore. They are ignorant children no more, forced to choose between two squabbling parents. No longer pawns but ready to stand up and forge their own path between order and chaos in understanding. This is their age, the Third Age and united against both of them; the Vorlons and Shadows give way and reluctantly travel to the Rim to follow the other First Ones and ending the never ending cycle of Light and Dark.
Sheridan however has a new confrontation before him as he must retake Earth from the tyrannical President Clark who is still in power and Delenn discovers that the Minbari have fallen into civil war as the revelations of their long patrons, the Vorlons have left them in a state of religious crisis and shattering loss of faith.
Season 5 "Wheel of Fire"
The year is 2262 and everything has changed. The First Age of Chaos where man stumbled about in ignorance and confusion has ended along with the Second Age where they were forced to serve as pawns, guided and manipulated for their own good by others. It is the dawn of the Third Age. The Age where they have come into their own. Of understanding and enlightenment. Where they make their own choices, their own decisions, and their own mistakes. To make their own magic, their own legends, their own future. And the center of it all is the now legendary space station, Babylon 5.
Despite saving Earth from Clark's reign of terror, Earth Force has no choice but to drum out Sheridan for his treasonous actions. His "retirement" is a sham but he accepts it to save his crew who followed him. As it so happens, it allows him to accept a new post. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds along with the Minbari, the Narns, and the Centauri have come together in the wake of the Shadow War and in an unprecedented show of cooperation; have forged an Interstellar Alliance headquartered at Babylon 5. And they need a good man that they can all trust to serve as its First President.
But President Sheridan will find his stewardship of the fledgling Alliance to a rocky road. There are powerful political forces that are not happy with this new state of affairs and others who seek to use the Alliance for their own ends including a group of rebellious telepaths on the run from Earth's Psi Corps. And there are old enemies including the Drakh, ancient servants of the Shadows who blame the Alliance for exiling their masters to beyond the Rim who seek to destroy them out of revenge and to assume control of the galaxy. But nothing worth building has ever come easy. No age was ever made without pain and sacrifices. This is the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind and this is how it all began...