UKTV Air Date: 12-Nov, 13-Nov, 14-Nov and 15th Nov
My watch date: 5-Dec/6-Dec
The Parliament of Dreams
Now it’s G’Kar’s turn to get an episode. He’s the last ambassador to get his own episode(although he was quite heavily featured in Midnight on the Firing Line). All the other main cast get their slot too so I consider this to be the end of the introductions. It is a relaxed episode (which is saying something since it features an assassination attempt). I am glad to see that Na’Toth’s has turned up now. She is a great strong character. G’Kar is a perfect foil to the more comedic, almost slapstick actions of Londo and Na’Toth’s biting sarcasm is the perfect foil for G’Kar’s seriousness. She is insanely competant and can cope with anything as long as she gets to make a sharp-tongued comment in response. Sometimes I think that Na’Toth and Vir are the secret stars of Babylon 5.
Star Quote: I cannot have an aide who will not look up. You will be forever walking into things. – Thanks Delenn but haven’t I heard that before/later/insert temporally confused adjective here.
Finally our introduction to the magnificent Bester and the Pys Corp. Other than the appearance of our favourite teep I always find main story to be a little weak. The B-story is the stronger of the two parts here. We get G’Kar being nice to people, which is well welcome reverse to his “bad guy” image and some good depth to his character. There is also some very nice graphics for the First Ones ship. A generally ok episode, but not an all time classic.
Star Quote: No-one here is exactly what he appears – G’Kar
The War Prayer
The home guard start making waves and the Londo gets another chance to do the light-hearted B-story.
I dunno, but this sort of felt as though this was yet another “Oh look we have an ex of the main cast turn up. Sinclair gets his ex in Parliament of dreams, then Talia has her ex in Mind War before Ivanova gets her ex in this episode. I understand that people can have baggage, but three on the trot (and watched back-to-back) makes it feel laboured. I’m also not sure if things have moved on in portrayals of racism, but these seems to be done in a very heavy-handed fashion. Of course, that might be because it is so extremely blatant and they needed to ram home exactly what sort of changes were happening with Earth attitudes.
Having said all that, it is still a nicely put together story, and Londo does play the old romantic very well. Thanks to the B-plot this is still a strong episode, if a little bit uncomfortable at times.
Star Quote: My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance. – Londo
And The Sky Full of Stars
Arc episode. This is the first biggy and I can remember that the mystery of what happened on the line really stirred me when I first saw this. I think this is the point when I first realised that this wasn’t just a series of episodes thinly linked together, but actually a single ongoing piece that grows and grows into an epic over-arc. I loved how Sinclair doesn’t want to give into the torture,yet still wants to follow the process because he needs to know the answer as much, if not more than the knights.
I’ve always loved one-on-one scenes that let the two actors get into the meat of the role and this is choc full of them. This is also an episode that answers questions, but it leaves even bigger questions in place of the originals. Love it. Absolutely love it.
The only thing regret is that I hadn’t watched The Gathering before I started this catch-up. The flash-back to the assassin talking about holes in minds set that one off. It’s not as though I have a newly purchased box set containing every episode sitting right next to me! That was frustrating.
Oddly enough, despite this being a great episode, there isn’t anything that really stood out as being special on the quote side of things. It worked well with lots of simple lines but the context was more important than the words.