Babylon 5: Films: The Gathering
Review by Angelus.
“I was there, at the dawn of the Third age of mankind. It began in the Earth year 2257 with the founding of the last of the Babylon stations, located deep in neutral space. It was a port of call for refugees, smugglers, businessmen, diplomats and travellers from a hundred worlds. It could be a dangerous place, but we accepted the risk because Babylon 5was our last, best, hope for peace.
Under the leadership of its final commander Babylon 5 was a dream given form…a dream of a galaxy without war, where species from different worlds could live side by side in mutual respect…a dream that was endangered as never before by one man on a mission of destruction.
Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. This is its story.”
-Ambassador Londo Mollari
Babylon 5 the fifth of the Babylon stations developed after the Earth/Minbari war as a place for alien races too meet has just officially opened its doors for business, of the other four Babylon stations which where constructed between 2249 and 2252, three where destroyed whilst number four disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 2254 twenty four hours before it was due to go online.
Of the 5 main governments involved, the Minbari have sent Ambassador Delenn, the Narns sent Ambassador G’Kar, the Centauri Londo Mollari and Earth force Commander Sinclair a war veteran and survivor of the Battle Of The Line during the Earth/Minbari conflict. only the mysterious Kosh the Vorlon ambassador is still not onboard. Security chief Garibaldi tells the new commander that no human has ever seen a Vorlon and that every ship sent into Vorlon space has never returned.
Outside the station a Narn supply vessel is arguing with Commander Laurel Takashima because the pilot refuses to submit to a weapons scan. A small one-man transport detaches itself from the Narn ship and attaches itself to Babylon five and burns through the outer hull. In the customs hall a human checks himself onto the station. Del Varner deliberately avoids the newly arrived Psi-corp telepath.
When his organic ship arrives he is expecting to be met by Commander Sinclair, but on the way to meet Kosh Sinclair is trapped in a faulty lift. Someone however does meet the ambassador but poisons him, in the airlock.
After he arrives in his quarters Del Varner is interrupted by his front door opening, the being that was in the transport pod enters the room. Although Del was expecting him, he wasn’t expecting the gun or the shot that kills him.
Whilst he is in critical condition the Vorlon homeworld refuses any access to Kosh by the medical teams as no one actually knows what a Vorlon looks like without his encounter suit and without permission no one can treat him w
Whilst visiting Med lab commander Jeffery Sinclair decides that enough is enough and orders Dr Kyle to switch off all the monitors in Med lab and to keep his promise of doctor patient confidentiality, he agrees and opens the Vorlons Encounter suit (this suit operates all his environmental controls). A bright stream of light leaves the encounter suit and for the first time ever an astonished human looks in on a Vorlon.
After opening the suit the doctor still has no idea on how to treat him unless they know exactly what happened.
They bring in a Psi-Corp (boo hiss) Telepath Lyta Alexander to do a scan on the patient. Psi-corp is a division of Earthforce that is run by telepaths they where set up by the president of Earthforce to control the sudden explosion of telepaths around the world. They are separated into two groups commercial telepath’s who work with large corporations, and military. At first Lyta refuses point blank, but when she realises the stakes involved she reluctantly agrees. She enters Med lab and removes her glove.
(Telepaths wear gloves to avoid accidental contact with other people) She plunges her hand into the open encounter suit and her eye’s seem to pop out of her head as she pictures the scene, She pictures a man approaching Kosh, he reaches out his hand, they shake, and the man presses a poison tab onto the Vorlons’ hand. As a result of this scan Lyta discovers (dum dum dum) that the assailant of Kosh was…. Commander Sinclair.
G’Kar requests a meeting of the Babylon council and insists that Commander Sinclair be sent to the Vorlon home world for trial and tries to get the rest of the council to vote with him. The Vorlons send several warships to take him into custody. Commander Sinclair is relieved of command. G’Kar arranges a meeting with Lyta and offers her money if she will either mate with him or provide the Narn Regime with a sample of her DNA. The Narn are the only ones who do not have telepaths of their own and desperately want to breed some.
Meanwhile security Chief Michael Garibaldi fights to clear Sinclair’s name. He discovers the dead body of Del Varner and the pod that transported the other being. Evidence in his (Del’s) apartment indicates that the assailant is using a changeling net – a device that allows the wearer to take on the form of anyone they want. Disguised as Lyta the assailant tries yet again to kill Kosh but is foiled by Dr Kyle. Eventually Garibaldi discovers that a militant Minbari Warrior caste member is responsible whilst using the “changeling net” to disguise himself as the commander and trapping him in the lift.
Due to the power output of the “changeling net” it can be tracked by the Stations sensors. During a fight between Sinclair, the Minbari and security chief Garibaldi in down below (a run down section of Babylon 5 where people with nowhere else to go end up) the warrior tells Sinclair that “he has a hole in his mind” Sinclair is confused about this as during the Earth-Minbari conflict he was a pilot in the Battle Of The Line and is missing twenty four hours of his memory. The same twenty-four hours when the Minbari surrendered. Just as he tries to questions him further the warrior commits suicide rather than be questioned and explodes (typical huh) all this is caught on tape and broadcast to the Vorlon fleet, which turns around and head home.
Delenn presents Sinclair with a file containing information that connects Narn Ambassador G’Kar with the Minbari assassin, explaining that the Narn hoped to blame earth or Centauri Republic for the assassination in the hope it will lead to a Narn-Minbari or Narn-Vorlon alliance. Sinclair meets with G’Kar and pretends to drug his drink with a tracking device saying that “if anything happens to me my friends will come looking for you“.
This leaves a very worried Narn wandering the corridors of Babylon 5. As he passes Garibaldi, he makes a “beep beep” noise causing the ambassador to jump and hurry away.
Points of interest:
Whilst in Command and control a face that will become familiar later on is Ed Wasser. No commander Ivanova. No Dr Franklin. The Minbari insisted on Commander Sinclair and as a partner in the Babylon project would have pulled out without him why??
G’Kar to Lyta in his failed attempt to get telepath DNA “Would you prefer to be conscious or unconscious during the mating? I would prefer conscious, but I don’t know what your…pleasure threshold is.“
The “The Gathering” Film review is © 2001 Angelus
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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