Babylon 5: Character Bios: Byron
Byron (played by Robin Atkin Downes) is the twerp leader of the Babylon 5 Telepaths, a bunch of namby pamby drifters seeking sanctuary from the Psi Corps (who desperately want them back). Bester wanted Byron most, not just because he was their leader, but because he was once his protégé! Byron is an ex-Psi Cop who left after being forced to destroy an unarmed ship.
If you were to meet Byron in a pub, you might find your girlfriend chatting him up. However, you would might be more worried that he might try and chat YOU up! Female Sad Geezers might ask him what shampoo he uses.
Sheridan supported Byron’s plea for sanctuary. But this was against the advice of Captain Lockley. Garibaldi mistrusted him and asked Lyta to check him out. Byron was unimpressed by Lyta’s allegiance to Babylon 5 and eventually persuaded her to join his merry band of heroes. Lyta is distant at first but she feels an affinity with anyone who appreciates the difficulties and trauma of being a telepath and quickly succumbed, eventually falling in love.
As the season progresses we find Byron continually harping on about ‘a place of their own’. The place being a planet. Not too easy to come by is it, a spare planet – have you got one? He becomes even more exasperated when he finds out from Lyta that it was the Vorlons who created Telepaths in their battle against the Shadows. He feels that since they ‘did their part’ in the Shadow War, telepaths should be rewarded with their own world. And what was Lyta doing thinking of Vorlons while making love to Byron!!??
He is joined by other telepaths but some aren’t as wimpy as Byron and he has great difficulty in controlling them. The fact is that Lyta’s bo is a bit of weakling in the leadership stakes. He advocates cuddles and stupid singing sessions instead of some plane and simple discipline. The guy is too much of a dreamer and not enough of a leader.
At an Alliance Counsel meeting, Byron threatens the ambassadors by telling them that if the telepaths don’t get their own planet, they will release secrets gained through a covert and unauthorised mind scan of the Alliance Ambassadors. It was a cool but nasty trick and the council chamber erupted. The plan backfired and Byron decided that he and his followers should cut themselves off from the rest of Babylon 5 by walling themselves in! However some of Byron followers decided to go it alone.
For all Byron’s faults, he was not a violent person. But the loners WERE! They advocated a violent struggle to achieve Byron’s aims of a ‘place of their own’ and stole a number of weapons. The rogue telepaths used these captured weapons to attack the Medical centre and take Garibaldi, Franklin and his crew hostage. The rogue blips were led by a particularly ruthless git. If his demands for the release of Byron and the creation of a homeworld for Telepaths were not met, then Garibaldi would be the first hostage to die.
Byron was outraged by the situation and decides to stop the killing. He crawled through the air ducts to MedLab and saved a pretty worried looking Garibaldi by shooting the head hostage-taker. He agrees a surrender with with Sheridan that he and the rogue telepaths would give themselves up to Babylon 5 security. Bester though, had other ideas.
At the surrender point Babylon 5 security and Byron’s bunch face each other when Bester and his bloodhounds appear. Bester protests at not being allowed to receive the teeps into custody. Byron’s people become agitated and open fire on Bester and the Psi Cops. A vicious battle ensues. A tense peace is called after Byron is shot in the arm and a disturbing leak of fluid (most certainly flammable) seeps from a damaged pipe. Lockley shouts for everyone to hold their fire.
Byron tells Sheridan that they cannot go back now, that they are not what they once were – there has been too much blood spilled. He asks Lyta to go as she once promised. Lyta protests, exclaiming her love for him. ‘How can I leave you‘, she says. In a touching last embrace he asks her to be strong for him one last time. She does as he asks. Then Byron starts to sing his bloody stupid ‘huggy, huggy’ song and aims his PPG at the flammable liquid. As millions of Babylon 5 fans all over the world pray for Byron to quickly put us out of our misery, Lockley and the others escape. Byron then meets a fiery end as he shoots. He and his pals become ex-blips as the whole corridor becomes a crematorium.
The story of Byron and the Telepaths was an annoyance as far as I’m concerned. No doubt there is some significance to this element of the story arc, and maybe it will become more apparent in future episodes.
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