Subject: Babylon 5 FAQ (D): Setting for season 2
    Date: 13 Dec 1997 10:08:44 GMT
    From: Babylon 5 FAQ 

Archive-name: tv/babylon-5/setting/season2
Frequency: bi-weekly
Last-modified: 20 March 1997

|  BABYLON 5 FAQ, part (D):         |
|  Setting for season #2            |
|                                   |
|  A guide for viewers who wish to  |
|  catch up to the events  leading  |
|  up to season 2,  "The Coming of  |
|  Shadows." This is the year 2259  |
|  in the opening credits.          |
|                                   |
|  This holds SPOILERS for  season  |
|  1 episodes  *AND* for the first  |
|  *two* episodes of season 2, and  |
|  descriptions of season 2 set-    |
|  tings. DON'T READ if you haven't |
|  seen the first two s#2 episodes! |

There are SIX parts to the FAQ: (A) Information about B5; (B) News and Sched-
ule; (C), (D), (E), (F) are the settings for seasons 1, 2, 3, 4 respectively.

The latest version of all parts of the FAQ can be retrieved via anonymous ftp
at or via e-mail by sending a note to with any or all of these lines in the message body:
    send usenet/news.answers/tv/babylon-5/faq
    send usenet/news.answers/tv/babylon-5/news-schedule
    send usenet/news.answers/tv/babylon-5/setting/season1
    send usenet/news.answers/tv/babylon-5/setting/season2
    send usenet/news.answers/tv/babylon-5/setting/season3
    send usenet/news.answers/tv/babylon-5/setting/season4

WORLD WIDE WEB users should see
for the much more detailed "Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5"; the information
in this document is similar to the "Universe" section.

    Contents of this document
    1.  Introduction
    2.  The Setting of Babylon 5
    3.  The Major Players
    4.  The Characters
    5.  The Story So Far
    6.  Past and Current reference
    7.  Credits and Legalese


Subject: 1.  Introduction

    The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace.  A self-contained
    world five miles long, located in neutral territory.  A place of commerce
    and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens.  A shining
    beacon in space, all alone in the night.  It was the dawn of the Third Age
    of Mankind...the year the Great War came upon us all.  This is the story
    of the last of the Babylon stations.  The year is 2259.  The name of the
    place is Babylon 5.
        -- Captain Sheridan


Subject: 2.  The Setting of Babylon 5

A hundred years ago, humanity made contact with its first alien civilization
-- or more to the point, they made contact with us.  Before the arrival of the
Centauri, we were confined to our own solar system, forced to use slow sleeper
ships to explore the universe.  The Centauri gave us the stars, offered us the
use of their "jumpgates" -- portals into hyperspace -- and later, taught us to
make our own.  In exchange for this and other technologies, they asked only
for trinkets, novelties to sell back home.

In the eighty years that followed, humanity flexed its muscles, expanding
outward at a rapid pace.  When a group of less powerful races was attacked by
an invading army, Earth came to their aid, cementing its role as a major
galactic power, if a young, brash one.

The wave of euphoria came crashing down when humanity made contact with a
mysterious race called the Minbari.  The Earth-Minbari War began with a
misunderstanding, a human captain and a Minbari commander too quick on the
trigger.  Thanks to bad luck or something darker, our first meeting with the
Minbari resulted in the death of their supreme religious and political leader.
To the Minbari, what followed was a holy war, vengeance for the murder of
their spiritual leader.  Earth was no match for the technologically superior
Minbari, and they easily beat us back to our home planet.

Then, without explanation, as their ships closed in on Earth and wiped out our
last desperate defenses, the Minbari halted their advance and surrendered.
Only an elite few knew why.

The Babylon Project was conceived in the aftermath of the war.  Modeled after
the United Nations, it would be a meeting place, neutral ground where the
powers could meet and work out their differences peacefully.

The first three Babylon stations were sabotaged in mid-construction.  The
fourth was completed, but just as it was about to go online, it vanished
without a trace.  The Earth government would have stopped there, but some of
the alien governments, seeing the value of a meeting ground, offered financial
assistance for the construction of a fifth station.  Naturally, there were
strings attached.

Babylon 5 is the story of the last of the Babylon stations, the last hope for
a galaxy without war.  It begins in the year 2257 with the opening of the
Babylon 5 station.

 + + + + +

Babylon 5's mission appears increasingly hopeless.  After nearly two years of
operation, everything is changing for the worse.  Though Babylon 5's mission
of peace continues, war appears to be imminent, and there is a dangerous new
power in the galaxy that few even suspect exists.  Amid the heightening
tensions, the complex relationships among the major powers are shifting in
unpredictable ways.


Subject: 3.  The Major Players

========    a. The Earth Alliance

The Earth Alliance, headquartered in Geneva, is in charge of the station and
the surrounding space.  Its president was recently killed in an "accidental"
explosion.  His successor seems to be taking the goverment in a sinister
direction.  President Clark is connected with the Psi-Corps, an organization
responsible for the tracking and training of human telepaths; increasingly,
though, the Corps appears to be meddling in Earth politics, pursuing its own
agenda.  Evidence that the last president's death was not an accident isn't
being taken seriously.  Babylon 5's first commander, Sinclair, was abruptly
removed from his post and sent to the Minbari homeworld.  The new commander,
Captain Sheridan, has his work cut out for him; keeping the peace has never
been more difficult.

========    b. The Minbari Federation

An old, highly spiritual race, Minbari are humanoid with exterior bone crests
on their heads.  Once an adversary of Earth, the Minbari Federation has
continued to show interest in and friendship with humanity.  Over the past
year, a few have discovered why: the Minbari religious caste believes that
some humans are carrying reincarnated Minbari souls, a discovery made by the
Minbari ruling body, the Grey Council, on the brink of victory over Earth
eleven years earlier.  The abrupt cessation of the Earth-Minbari War was a
direct result; Minbari have a strict moral code against killing others of
their kind.  Some in the religious caste also believe in a prophecy of their
original spiritual leader, Valen, that the Minbari must unite with another
race to defeat an ancient enemy.

========    c. The Centauri Republic

The Centauri Republic, long considered a fading empire, seems to be on the
upswing, thanks to a deal that Ambassador Londo Mollari struck with a
mysterious race he knows next to nothing about.    In terms of appearance,
Centauri appear human at first glance, though that's deceptive.  Women shave
their heads; men wear their hair in fans, with length indicating social
standing.  The Republic is rife with political intrigue and backstabbing.

========    d. The Narn Regime

Among those formerly under Centauri domination are the Narn, a
reptilian-looking race who fought off their oppressors in a century-long war
of attrition.  The Narn Regime has been building up its military, and it looks
like that preparation may pay off, as the Centauri have gotten aggressive
again and there may be more conflict ahead.  Only Narn Ambassador G'Kar
believes that somebody else is responsible for the Centauri's military flexing
and that more races than the Narn are in danger.

========    e. The Vorlon Empire

Even though the Vorlon Empire has had a representative on Babylon 5 for a year
and a half, almost nothing is known about their race; even their appearance is
shrouded in mystery as their Ambassador, Kosh, is only seen in a bulky
encounter suit.  Kosh seems to be taking an interest in Captain Sheridan, but
his interest in humans is still shrouded in mystery.  The Vorlons are an
extremely powerful race; no expedition into their space has been heard from
again.  There seems to be some history between the Vorlons and the Minbari,
but neither one is willing to say what it is.

========    f. The Shadows

The Shadows are a strong and dark power who are clearly not interested in
being discovered.  Only those who pay attention to prophecies suspect they may
have returned after a centuries-long absence.  Through their human agent
Morden they have offered to help Londo restore the Centauri Empire's glory...
but clearly that's only one step in their larger plans.


Subject: 4.  The Characters

========    a. Main Cast (appearing in most episodes throughout the season)

i. Humans

CAPTAIN JOHN SHERIDAN                       Bruce Boxleitner

The commander of Babylon 5 and representative of the Earth Alliance.  One of
the few heroes of the Earth-Minbari War, Sheridan scored Earth's only major
victory of the war, something which has earned him the hatred of the Minbari
warrior caste.  Charismatic, quick-thinking, and occasionally serious,
Sheridan was hand-picked by the President to replace Sinclair.  Sheridan is
still recovering from the loss of his wife Anna, who died on an alien
archaeological dig.  Most of his career has been spent aboard starships; he's
still in the process of getting used to being the head of what is essentially
a small city in space.  Sheridan and Ivanova have served together in the past.

COMMANDER SUSAN IVANOVA                     Claudia Christian

Second in command and in charge of the day-to-day operations of Babylon 5,
Ivanova is an ambitious career officer.  She can be quirky or pessimistic at
times, but she has a dry sense of humor that shows itself in the rare moments
she is able to relax among others.  Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and raised
abroad on Earth, she has a strong dislike for the Psi-Corps, whose
legally-mandated drug treatments drove her mother to suicide after it was
discovered her mother was a latent telepath.  Although she has become more
comfortable with her job and her role on Babylon 5, she has a tendency to bury
herself in her work.  Her promotion to Commander has given her new
ambassadorial duties, which she finds extremely challenging.


In charge of security on Babylon 5.  He has a troubled past, bouncing from
position to position and trying to overcome alcoholism.  He was picked by the
station's first commander, Sinclair, who knew that Garibaldi would be
persistent, not willing to give in to political pressures -- in Sinclair's
words, "a pain in the ass." Garibaldi is something of a smart-aleck, always
ready to crack a joke, but given to bouts of self-doubt and introspection when
nobody's looking.  His natural sense of paranoia wasn't reduced when he was
shot in the back by his own second-in-command while he was investigating the
death of President Santiago; he recovered, but is now convinced that something
is dreadfully wrong at the heart of the Earth Alliance.  His rank is "Chief
Warrant Officer."

DR. STEPHEN FRANKLIN                        Richard Biggs

Dedicated and assured, a specialist in xenobiology (alien biology,) and in
charge of Medlab on Babylon 5.  His background is mainly in experimental
medicine, so his bedside manner is occasionally not what it should be.  His
strong sense of personal morality is at times in conflict with his duties as
the chief medical provider for aliens from hundreds of worlds and cultures,
some of whom view his obligations rather differently.  Often bordering on the
obsessive and overworking himself frequently, Dr. Franklin is known to operate
outside the rules when he feel the issue is important: he runs a free clinic
in the Downbelow section for those who cannot afford medical care; he also
serves on an "underground railroad" for telepaths who do not want to be found
by the Psi Corps.  In his middle thirties now, he spent years hitchhiking
through space, offering his doctoral services in exchange for the opportunity
to examine new life forms.

TALIA WINTERS                               Andrea Thompson

Babylon 5's resident telepath, on her first solo assignment, with level 5 psi
rating, bound by the rules and regulations of the Psi Corps.  She sells her
telepathic services to businessmen and occasionally assists the station
personnel.  Talia was raised and trained by the Psi Corps, meaning that that
organization is her family.  Last year, she was visited by an old teacher who
had undergone a Psi Corps experiment.  He altered her, giving her telekinetic
abilities and possibly other powers as well.  He also warned her of the
changing nature of the Corps; she is now not entirely sure she trusts its

ii. Ambassadors

AMBASSADOR LONDO MOLLARI                    Peter Jurasik

The representative of the Centauri Republic.  Londo views Babylon 5's mission
as something of a sham, with limited chance of helping his people regain their
lost glory and sense of purpose.  He has a biting, cynical sense of humor.
Without realizing it at first, Londo has struck a bargain with the Shadows,
who are working to advance his career and restore the Centauri to their past
splendor, asking in return only the granting of an unspecified "favor" at some
point in the future.  It is a bargain he is already beginning to regret, but
the restoration of his people means so much to him that he feels it's worth
the price.

AMBASSADOR DELENN                           Mira Furlan

Represents the Minbari.  A member of the Minbari ruling body, the Grey
Council, she came to Babylon 5 posing as a simple ambassador to study humans
after the discovery that some of them carry Minbari souls.  She was offered
the leadership of the Council but turned it down, instead returning to Babylon
5 to play a role in a prophecy involving a struggle between darkness and
light.  Once back, after consulting with the Vorlon ambassador, she used a
mysterious device to transform herself into a bizarre half-Minbari, half-human
hybrid.  She claims she undertook the change to act as a bridge of
understanding between humans and Minbari; whether that's the real reason or
not, only she knows.

AMBASSADOR G'KAR                            Andreas Katsulas

Represents the Narn Regime.  Though ambitious and often antagonistic, G'Kar is
extremely spiritual, and his knowledge of ancient scripture has led him to
realize that an ancient race has come back to help the Centauri rebuild their
empire.  He has even survived an encounter with the shadows, but none in his
own government or the Babylon 5 council admit to believing him.  G'Kar is
well-read, deeply spiritual, and extremely intelligent.

AMBASSADOR KOSH NARANEK                     Ardwight Chamberlain (translation)
                                            Chris Franke (voice effects)
                                            Jeffrey Willerth (in the suit)
                                            and animatronics

After a year and a half on the station, Kosh and his people are still an
enigma, and Kosh seems to prefer it that way.  With the coming of the Shadows
-- Kosh is one of the few who seem to know about them -- he has started
attending council meetings, though his reasons for coming to Babylon 5 are
still unknown.  Kosh communicates through a complex sequence of musical tones,
translated into English by a device on his encounter suit.  When he speaks,
his words are few and sound cryptic, but often have a strange truth to them.
Kosh's quarters are filled with a dense atmosphere of methane and other gases;
whether he needs it or is using it to make himself less accessible is an open
question.  Even when he's receiving visitors there, Kosh wears his suit.

========    b. Supporting Characters (also in the opening credits)

iii. Ambassador assistants

LENNIER                                     Bill Mumy

Delenn's aide, recently of a monastery on the Minbari homeworld.  He reveres
Delenn as an almost holy figure and accepts her transformation without
question.  Still something of an innocent thanks to his isolated upbringing,
Lennier is slowly learning the ways of diplomacy.  First appears in "The
Parliament of Dreams."

VIR COTTO                                   Stephen Furst

Diplomatic Attache to Ambassador to Londo.  Generally timid and unsure of
himself, Vir occasionally works up the nerve to confront Londo about the
dangerous path he's following by dealing with Morden.

NA'TOTH                                     Mary Kay Adams

A female Narn, assistant to G'Kar.  She is one of the few whom he's told about
his discovery that an ancient enemy is on the move.  Fiercely loyal to G'Kar,
she prefers the direct approach rather than G'Kar's subterfuge and deception.

iv. Humans

LIEUTENANT WARREN KEFFER                    Robert Russler

Head of Zeta Squadron, the newest of Babylon 5's fighter wings.  Keffer leads
many of the excursions away from the station, when the presence of a
command-level officer isn't required.  Keffer's family is back on Earth.
First appears in "Points of Departure."

========    c. Recurring and Past Characters

|  This section  lists  characters  |
|  that are seen from time to time  |
|  on Babylon 5.   Characters that  |
|  have appeared in the past,  and  |
|  may have some relevance  to the  |
|  current season, are listed here  |
|  as well, to provide context.     |


The commander of Babylon 5 and representative of the Earth Alliance for its
first two years of operation.  Shortly after the death of President Santiago,
Sinclair was recalled to Earth and assigned to a new post, as the first human
ambassador to the Minbari (cf. comic "In Darkness Find Me.") He had been named
commander of Babylon 5 at the insistence of the Minbari, who captured him
during the Battle of the Line and scanned him.  Delenn is certain Sinclair has
an important destiny (cf. "Soul Hunter," "A Voice in the Wilderness, part 2.")
This is borne out by the brief glimpse into the future in "Babylon Squared,"
in which he was the leader of an army of light fighting in a great war.


When President Santiago was killed in an "accidental" explosion, Clark took
office and immediately began his own agenda.  He personally assigned Sheridan
to his position, unaware of Sheridan's interest in fighting the mounting
corruption in Earth government.  Not much of an advocate of Babylon 5's
interests.  First appears in "Chrysalis."

ALFRED BESTER                               Walter Koenig

A Psi-Cop, one of an elite unit of the Psi Corps whose function is to track
down rogue telepaths, among other things.  Perhaps in part because of his P12
psi rating -- more than twice as high as Talia's -- he seems to have risen to
a position of some importance in the Corps.  Bester ruthlessly pursues his
agenda, which most of the time is the same as the Corps'.  First appears in
"Mind War."

MORDEN                                      Ed Wasser

Little is known about the human agent of the Shadows.  He is able to
communicate with them directly, and is one of the few who know they've been on
Babylon 5.  Never a major player, he is always ready to talk to Londo and pass
messages to and from his "associates."  Delenn and G'Kar have met him, but
only Delenn has any idea who he is.  Morden is meticulously polite, but
nonetheless is a menacing presence who can casually discuss the deaths of tens
of thousands of Narn as easily as most people talk about the weather.  First
appears in "Signs and Portents."

JACK                                        Macaulay Bruton

Garibaldi's seemingly naive and loyal assistant until he shot him in the back
on New Year's Eve when Garibaldi discovered a conspiracy to assassinate
President Santiago.  Garibaldi identified him as his assailant, but he
disappeared while being transferred to earth for prosecution.  Possibly
associated with the Psi Corps.  First appears in "Mind War."

LOU WELCH                                   David Crowley

One of Garibaldi's lieutenants.  First appears in "Survivors."

ZACK ALLAN                                  Jeff Conaway

One of Garibaldi's lieutenants, Zack is earnest and trustworthy, if not
necessarily the brightest person on the station.  After the arrest of
Garibaldi's old aide for attempted murder (cf. "Revelations,") Zack has risen
to a new level of importance in Garibaldi's staff.  First appears in "A Spider
in the Web."

LORD REFA                                   William Forward

A ruthless, unprincipled Centauri noble with whom Londo is cooperating in a
bid for power.  First appears in "The Geometry of Shadows."

LYTA ALEXANDER                              Patricia Tallman

Babylon 5's first commercial telepath, rating P5, in her early thirties or
late twenties.  She was transferred off the station shortly after examining
Kosh, presumably due to her newfound knowledge of the Vorlons.  First appears
in "The Gathering."

DRAAL                                       John Schuck

The steward of the vast machinery below on Epsilon 3.  He is a Minbari who was
looking for a new purpose in life when he heeded the call to replace the
caretaker of the planet, immediately declaring it off-limits to all until the
time was right.  First appears in "A Voice in the Wilderness" (part 1) and
originally played by Louis Turenne.


Subject: 5.  The Story So Far

|  This section contains  spoilers  |
|  for season 1 of Babylon 5.   It  |
|  contains  no spoilers for  this  |
|  or subsequent seasons.           |

The first season, titled "Signs and Portents," introduced the players and plot
elements of the five-year saga.  The Psi Corps is shown to have a very strong
control of the government back home.  Commander Sinclair's involvement in the
sudden Minbari surrender in their war with Earth ten years before is partially
explained, and it is clear that Delenn is more than just an ambassador on
Babylon 5.  A strange man named Morden does a favor for Londo Mollari, who
doesn't realize how dearly he will pay for that favor.  The planet under
Babylon 5 turns out not to be lifeless, but its caretaker does not want any
visitors.  Babylon 5's predecessor, Babylon 4, which had mysteriously
dissapeared just after going online, appears again, and is being yanked
through time to serve as a military base for a war in another time; a much
older Sinclair seems to be involved in that war.  Finally, on New Year's Eve
of 2258, Delenn, acting on a prophecy, builds a device which produces a
physical transformation for her; the Earth Alliance president is assassinated
and it appears that the political climate back home is getting worse; and
Londo calls upon his new friend and his mysterious associates to wipe out a
Narn base which will plummet the Centauri and Narn into war.


Subject: 6.  Past and Current Episode Reference

|  This section contains brief de-  |
|  scriptions  of episodes  up to,  |
|  and including, the current sea-  |
|  son.   These entries do contain  |
|  minor spoilers, enough to iden-  |
|  tify the episode title based on  |
|  its storyline.                   |


Season 2: "The Coming of Shadows"

* Points of Departure
  Sheridan arrives; a long-missing Minbari ship appears at Babylon 5.

* Revelations
  Sheridan's Sister visits the station; Delenn's change is revealed.

* The Geometry of Shadows
  Technomages visit Babylon 5; Ivanova must calm fighting Drazi factions.

* A Distant Star
  An explorer starship is lost in Hyperspace; Dr. Franklin advises nutrition.

* The Long Dark
  A lurker is terrorized by powerful alien that has escaped a sleeper ship.

* Spider in the Web
  "Bureau 13" sends an operative to B5, putting Talia in danger.

* Soul Mates
  Londo's three wives visit the station; Talia's ex-husband visits as well.

* A Race Through Dark Places
  Psi-Cop Bester returns to track down an underground railroad for telepaths.

* The Coming of Shadows
  Londo initiates war with the Narns as the Centauri emperor visits B5.

* Gropos
  Foot Soldiers are stationed on B5 as Franklin is reunited with his father.

* All Alone in the Night
  Sheridan is held captive on an alien ship; Delenn's fate is under decision.

* Acts of Sacrifice
  Ivanova attempts to impress a new species; G'Kar asks for support.

* Hunter, Prey
  Garibaldi and Franklin must find a fugitive with sensitive information.

* There All The Honor Lies
  Sheridan must defend himself against accusations of a Minbari.

* And Now For a Word
  A TV Newsmagazine pays a visit to B5 amidst Narn/Centauri strife.

* In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum
  Sheridan discovers Morden's connection with the Shadows; Nightwatch begins.

* Knives
  Londo must duel an old friend; Sheridan is hit by hallucinations.

* Confessions and Lamentations
  A deadly plague breaks out over the Markab population.

* Divided Loyalties
  Lyta Alexander returns with accusations of a traitor on Babylon 5.

* The Long, Twilight Struggle
  Londo initiates a decision that will end the Narn-Centauri war.

* Comes the Inquisitor
  An inquisitor arrives to question Delenn's belief in her destiny.

* The Fall of Night
  Sheridan goes against Earth's stance on the Centauri; Keffer finds a shadow.


Subject: 7. Credits and Legalese

This text file may be distributed online, in complete or excerpted form, as
long as acknowledgement is made to the authors, and the URL of the current
version of this file is indicated. (see top of document.)

The Babylon 5 Frequently Asked Questions List part (D) is Copyright 1996-97 by
Dan Wood and Steven Grimm.  Acknowledgement is made to J. Michael Straczynski,
previous FAQ maintainer Lee Whiteside and to excerpted contributions from the
Babylon 5 online libraries.

Currently maintained by Dan Wood (
Comments, suggestions, etc. are always appreciated.

This text file was edited on QUED/M text editor running on a Macintosh.

If you maintain an online B5 service, I can send you each FAQ update.  I don't
have the resources to send updates to individuals, so please don't ask.

----------------------    "In a manner that would have left the robber barons
Dan Wood           <*>     of the late 19th century gaping in absolute awe,        Microsoft is approaching something unprecedented:     a monopoly that could well own the choke points of
----------------------     tomorrow's commerce and communications."

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