ATTN JMS: Defining Episodes?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon May 25 06:51:11 EDT 1998

From: "S. John Ross" <sjohn at>
Date: 23 May 1998 11:11:50 -0600
Lines: 47

Joe (and assembled company):

Is there one single episode that defines B5? A single high-point story that
displays the finest points of the show for all to see? I don't mean a
"favorite" episode, per se, just a defining moment.

For the record, I have two - each "defining" in a different way. The one
that best defines B5 (and one of my favorite episodes) is the one where the
Centauri Emperor kicks the bucket. I think that may be the best overall
example of the qualities of B5.

My second "defining" episode is one that defines a specific idea - how B5
differs from previous TV SF, Star Trek in particular. My choice for that is
the first-season ep where Dr. Franklin saves the alien kid against the
wishes of his parents. That episode has always been the "Dr. Franklin finds
out he isn't in Star Trek" episode -- because that's a story that *could*
have taken place on board the Enterprise, but with a very different ending.
In ST, if you take the time to explain to somebody that their religion is
"wrong," they'll often as not thank you, hold a
let's-reorganize-the-society party with you and your crew as the guest of
honor, and shake their heads in bewilderment that they believed all that
stuff before the Enterprise had the guts to violate the Prime Directive and
show them the dangerous error of their superstitious ways. Which I don't
mean as a condemnation of Trek (I rather *like* Roddenberry's Nice Clean
Humanist Ideal; I just don't feel that it relates to the real world in any
useful way); just as an observation on the episode that clinched it for me,
as it might have for Dr. Franklin, that Babylon 5 exists in a fictional
universe that is, in some very important ways, just a little less fictional
than Trek.


^Ð^Ð S. John Ross
^Ð^Ð sjohn at
^Ð^Ð "It is easier to find a score of men wise enough
^Ð^Ð  to discover the truth than to find one intrepid
^Ð^Ð  enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up 
^Ð^Ð  for it."
^Ð^Ð                                    -- A.A. Hodge


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 24 May 1998 11:24:22 -0600
Lines: 8

It's hard to say...I think Deconstruction may be a defining episode, certainly
Sleeping in Light is that way, as is 519.  Hard to say why until they air....


(jmsatb5 at
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