Subject: Babylon 5 FAQ (E): Setting for season 3
    Date: 13 Dec 1997 10:08:51 GMT
    From: Babylon 5 FAQ 

Archive-name: tv/babylon-5/setting/season3
Frequency: bi-weekly
Last-modified: 20 March 1997

|  BABYLON 5 FAQ, part (E):         |
|  Setting for season #3            |
|                                   |
|  A guide for viewers who wish to  |
|  catch up to the events  leading  |
|  up to  season 3,  "Point of  No  |
|  Return."  This is the year 2260  |
|  in the opening credits.          |
|                                   |
|  This holds SPOILERS  for season  |
|  1 & 2 episodes, and descrip-     |
|  tions of season 3 settings.      |
|  DO NOT READ unless you are now   |
|  watching SEASON 3 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.  It failed.

    But, in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater:
    our last, best hope... for victory.  The year is 2260.  The place:
    Babylon 5.
        -- Commander Ivanova


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 has failed in its mission.  War has erupted, and is quickly pulling
all the major races in.  The station's original mission of peace may have
failed, but it has become something greater: a chance for victory.  The
alliances formed are recent, though, and the players may not be ready to win
the war.  Meanwhile, the Earth goverment back home seems to have its own
agenda, and will likely not be of any help in the fight against the darkness.


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.  The corrupt administration of the EA, led by President
Clark, has connections to the sinister activities of the Psi Corps, a
government agency that tracks and trains human telepaths and increasingly
seems to be running the government rather than serving it.  An Orwellian
agency called Night Watch is stifling any signs of dissent, carting people off
to be reeducated if they don't cooperate.  Earth has taken a questionable
stance by allying itself with the expansionist Centauri Empire, hoping to save
its own skin by allowing the Centauri to roll unhindered over the lesser races
Earth once saved.  Babylon 5's commander, Captain Sheridan, along with a small
group, is covertly and subtly working to covertly wrestle control away from
the current administration, bolstered by evidence that President Clark was
directly involved in the assassination of his predecessor.

========    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 and friendship with humanity, though how long that
will remain the case is uncertain.  The balance of power in the Minbari ruling
body, the Grey Council, has shifted in favor of the warrior caste, many of
whom are none too happy about the surrender to Earth twelve years earlier.
(Only the Council and a few outsiders know that the war was ended when the
Council discovered that some humans carry Minbari souls.) The Minbari have
been a major power for well over a millenium, and were instrumental in the
defeat of the Shadows, an ancient enemy, when they last rose up a thousand
years ago; many are now preparing for another confrontation.

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

The Centauri Republic, only months ago a fading empire, is currently on an
expansionist path.  A deal with unknown forces enabled Ambassador Londo
Mollari to regain much of their past glory.  It seems only a matter of time,
though, before the deal runs its course and the Centauri find out its price.
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 Centauri Emperor is a puppet, completely
under the thumb of several royal houses who have risen to ascendancy with
Londo's help.

========    d. The Narns

Once a major power, the Narn Regime has been recently conquered in a brutal
assault by the Centauri, especially humiliating since they were unwilling
subjects of the Centauri Republic a hundred years ago and had broken free of
their control.  Former ambassador G'Kar, one of the few who knows that the
Centauri aren't working alone, leads a resistance movement from Babylon 5, but
his chances of reclaiming his homeworld seem slim.  Narns have a reptilian
appearance and are easily provoked.  The strict new rules imposed by the
Centauri (including the death of the killer's family if any Narn kills any
Centauri) have forced them to move carefully.

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

Very little is known about the Vorlon Empire.  The Vorlons are an ancient
race, the last remaining member of a group of elder races known as the First
Ones who ruled the galaxy millions of years ago.  The Vorlons have visited the
lesser races for eons, possibly manipulating many of them for their own
purposes.  The fact that Vorlons appear as holy figures of legend to the few
onlookers who see them outside their encounter suits -- different figures to
different observers, no less -- seems to support that.  The Vorlons are
ancient adversaries of the Shadows, and it's to help wage war against them one
last time that the Vorlons remained behind when most other First Ones went
away.  They are able to project images into people's minds, no doubt part of
the reason for their subjective appearance.

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

The Shadows are a dark power, ancient beyond even the Vorlons.  They have
fought fierce wars against the First Ones across millions of years.  The last
Great War against the Shadows was ten thousand years ago; after that, perhaps
thinking the Shadows destroyed, most of the First Ones departed.  A thousand
years ago the Shadows rose again, and were defeated by an alliance of the few
remaining First Ones and others, including the Minbari.  Now, with no First
Ones other than the Vorlons to oppose them, their victory seems certain; what
their ultimate goals are, nobody knows, except perhaps their human
representative, Morden.  The Shadows generally choose to make themselves
invisible, though some can sense their presence anyway.

========    g. The Rangers

The Rangers are an underground "army of light," comprised of Humans and
Minbari, formed to gather information and perform covert operations in the war
against the Shadows.  Organized with the help of Minbari Ambassador Delenn,
Sinclair (former Babylon 5 commander and current Earth ambassador to Minbar)
and Captain Sheridan, the Rangers have pledged their lives to fight the coming
darkness.  Rangers are identified by a pin which depicts elements of human and
Minbari appearance.


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, though since his appointment he has generally gotten along with
the Minbari.  Working with a General back home, he is involved in a
"consipiracy of light," a covert effort to wrestle control away from the
corruption spreading in EA government.  When he found out that the Shadows
were responsible for the loss of his wife Anna, he pledged himself to help
defeat them.  Along with Delenn, Sheridan is in charge of the Rangers on
Babylon 5.

COMMANDER SUSAN IVANOVA                     Claudia Christian

Second in command and in charge of the day-to-day operations, along with some
ambassadorial duties, on Babylon 5, Ivanova is an ambitious career officer,
hoping one day to command B5 or her own starship.  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.  Having poor success in
relationships, most recently in losing Talia, she is not an easy person to get
to know.  Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and raised abroad on Earth, Ivanova
is a latent telepath, "not even a P1," but has spent her life hiding her
talent from Psi Corps after their legally-mandated drug treatments drove her
mother to suicide.  She is a member of Sheridan's "conspiracy of light."


In charge of security on Babylon 5.  Though he has a troubled past, bouncing
from position to position and trying to overcome alcoholism, he seems to have
found his home on Babylon 5.  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 two years ago by his own second-in-command while he was
investigating the death of President Santiago.  He is working with Sheridan in
the fight against the corruption on Earth, and assists in dealings with the
Rangers.  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.  Bordering on the
obsessive, Franklin overworks himself frequently, to the point of abusing
medical stimulants to keep himself going.  He 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 serves on an
"underground railroad" for telepaths who do not want to be found by the Psi
Corps; he is also part of Sheridan's work against the corruption back on
Earth.  In his middle thirties now, he spent years hitchhiking through space,
offering his medical services in exchange for the opportunity to examine new
life forms.

ii. Ambassadors

AMBASSADOR LONDO MOLLARI                    Peter Jurasik

The representative of the Centauri Republic.  Once on an inconsequential
assignment, Londo has become one of his government's most powerful figures due
to a Faustian bargain struck with new "friends" he knew nothing about, a deal
that has spun far out of control.  With their help, and the help of a few
other ambitious Centauri, his government decimated the once powerful Narn
Regime.  Once jovial and indulgent, Londo is now deadly serious as he comes to
realize what the consequences of his association with the Shadows really are.

AMBASSADOR DELENN                           Mira Furlan

Represents the Minbari.  Once a member of Minbar's ruling body, the Grey
Council, she lost her position after her controversial decision, following a
prophecy, to undergo a transformation that gave her human characteristics.
Religious, with a strong sense of fate and justice, she believes that she is
the chosen one, who will lead in the upcoming fight against the Shadows.

G'KAR                                       Andreas Katsulas

The ambassador of the Narn Regime when there was a Narn Regime to represent,
G'Kar is now a refugee in exile, wanted by the Centauri Republic.  Sheridan
granted him asylum on Babylon 5, which G'Kar is using as a base of operations
from which to organize a movement to retake his homeworld from the Centauri.
With limited resources, his authority challenged by the other Narn, G'Kar's
position is truly desperate.  Ironically, he was among the first to realize
that the Shadows were helping the Centauri, but nobody heeded his warnings.
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

In order to save Sheridan's Life, Kosh finally has shown himself outside of
his encounter suit, which he would wear even in his own methane-filled
quarters when receiving visitors.  Kosh is still very much an enigma; to many
species, he appears as a holy being of light -- an angel, for instance.  Kosh
has taken a great interest in Sheridan, and is attempting to train him for the
upcoming fight against the Shadows.  He 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.

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

iii. Ambassador assistants

LENNIER                                     Bill Mumy

Delenn's aide, recently out of a monastery on the Minbari homeworld.  He
reveres Delenn as an almost holy figure and accepts her physical
transformation without question.  He has pledged his life to her, in fact, and
is perfectly willing to die by her side.  Still something of an innocent
thanks to his isolated upbringing, Lennier has learned some of the art of
diplomacy during his tenure on Babylon 5.  First appears in "The Parliament of

VIR COTTO                                   Stephen Furst

Diplomatic Attache to Ambassador Londo.  Vir feels strongly that the choices
Londo has made over the past year and a half are taking the Centauri down a
self-destructive and morally wrong path, and he's getting less and less shy
about expressing that opinion to Londo.  He feels somewhat powerless in his
position, close to the major decisions but always on the sidelines.  He is
being groomed for career advancement, although that may be just Londo's way of
getting him out of the way.

iv. Humans

MARCUS COLE                                 Jason Carter

A Ranger permanently stationed on Babylon 5, he oversees the flow of
information from rangers stationed in the area.  Often flamboyant and acerbic,
Marcus has picked up the Minbari language and fighting skills from his tenure
on Minbar.  He has taken a liking to Commander Ivanova, though she's
approaching the relationship with more than a little caution.  Unlike many
Humans who felt a calling to become a Ranger, he says he joined their number
only after his brother was killed by Shadows.

ZACK ALLAN                                  Jeff Conaway

Garibaldi's principal lieutenant, Zack is earnest and trustworthy, if not
necessarily the brightest person on the station.  He is a member of the
Nightwatch, though he's having second thoughts now that he sees how it's being
used to persecute and harass innocent people.  First appears in "A Spider in
the Web."

========    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.  Officially, he's on the Minbari homeworld as
Earth's ambassador, but his main function is as the head of the Rangers.
Sinclair is of special importance to Delenn, and though she hasn't fully
explained why, it's likely he carries a Minbari soul of some stature.  A
glimpse into the future when he was head of Babylon 5 revealed that he will be
involved in the theft of Babylon 4, and will possibly be witness to the
eventual destruction of Babylon 5 at Garibaldi's hands.


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

A member of the same expedition Sheridan's wife was on, Morden was captured by
the Shadows and now works for them.  He is often accompanied by one or two of
them, though they're invisible to most people.  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.  And, it appears that he is involved with the
dark activities going on back on Earth as well.  First appears in "Signs and

BROTHER THEO                                Louis Turenne

A Dominican monk, establishing residence on the station to study the religious
beliefs of alien races.  Willing to trade the services of his order for the
ability to stay on the station.  First appears in "Convictions."

JACK                                        Macaulay Bruton

He was Garibaldi's seemingly loyal assistant until he shot him in the back as
soon as 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."

LORD REFA                                   William Forward

A ruthless, unprincipled Centauri noble with whom Londo is cooperating in a
bid for power.  Refa and his cohorts are more or less in charge of the
Centauri Republic; the Emperor is simply a figurehead who follows their lead.
As Londo has grown uncomfortable in his dealings with his mysterious allies,
Refa has taken to dealing with them himself.  First appears in "The Geometry
of Shadows."

(Second) LIEUTENANT DAVID CORWIN            Joshua Cox

Third in command in C&C, after Sheridan and Ivanova.  Corwin is shy but
well-intentioned, a loyal officer.  First appears in "Signs and Portents."

LYTA ALEXANDER                              Patricia Tallman

A former Psi Corps telepath -- the first one assigned to the station, in fact.
Three years ago she scanned Ambassador Kosh, an experience that left her
forever altered, though she has told nobody the full extent of it.  Shortly
thereafter she was recalled to Earth for questioning.  Now she's on the run
from the Corps, even working to expose some of its machinations.  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 become caretaker
of the planet.  He has offered his services in the upcoming Shadow War as well
as in Sheridan's "consipiracy of light."  First appears in "A Voice in the
Wilderness" (part 1).

TALIA WINTERS                               Andrea Thompson

Operating as Babylon 5's resident telepath for nearly two years, Talia left
the station when her unwilling involvement in a classified Psi Corps
experiment was exposed and changed her forever.  Her whereabouts -- or her
fate -- are not known.


Subject: 5.  The Story So Far

|  This section contains  spoilers  |
|  for seasons 1 and 2 of  Babylon  |
|  5.  It contains no spoilers for  |
|  this or subsequent seasons.      |

After B5's commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, is reassigned, Captain Sheridan takes
over command of the station, unaware of his fate.  G'Kar realizes that there
is a new race lurking in the shadows.  Delenn emerges, transformed to be half
human, though not fully explained.  The mystery of the Minbari surrender is
finally revealed:  The Minbari discovered that Minbari souls were being reborn
in humans.  The situation on Earth is getting worse; an unknown "Bureau 13" is
working in the background and the "Night Watch" program is stomping down on
dissidents; meanwhile, Sheridan is part of an underground movement to gain
control back from the corrupted government; he brings his trusted officers
into the fold.  On the eve of an historic speech that would have prevented a
Narn-Centauri War, Londo calls upon his unknown agents to attack a major Narn
colony, starting the war.  The mysterious shadows behind the Centauri
brutality are finally revealed to Sheridan; it has been known that this
ancient race has been building up strength; Delenn and Kosh enlist Sheridan to
help in the upcoming war against the shadows.  The Centauri, with the aid of
the shadows, end the war with the Narn decisively by bombing the Narn home-
world "into the stone ages."  The Centauri soon begin annexing other worlds,
Kosh has finally revealed himself, and a shadow has been caught on camera.
The Great War is begun.


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 3: "Point of No Return"

* Matters of Honor
  Earth investigates reports of shadows; Sheridan is given a new ship.

* Convictions
  Somebody is planting bombs in populated areas on the station.

* A Day in the Strife
  G'Kar is told to go home; an alien probe arrives at the station.

* Passing Through Gethsemane
  Lyta is back; A peaceful monk is confronted by violent images.

* Voices of Authority
  Earth sends B5 a political officer; Ivanova goes to contact some Old Ones.

* Dust to Dust
  Bester returns in search of drug smugglers; G'Kar has a revelation.

* Exogenesis
  Alien parasites are invading the bodies of lurkers.

* Messages from Earth
  An archeologist brings a tale of shadows which leads Sheridan to Jupiter.

* Point of No Return
  Nightwatch attempts to take over the station; a Centauri prophetess visits.

* Severed Dreams
  Clark tries to seize Babylon 5, forcing Sheridan to declare independence.

* Ceremonies of Light and Dark
  Delenn is held hostage; New uniforms for the crew.

* Sic Transit Vir
  Vir discovers he has a betrothed, who is not as innocent as she seems.

* A Late Delivery from Avalon
  King Arthur appears on Babylon 5, but he may not be who he claims.

* Ship of Tears
  Bester is at odds with the Shadows; G'Kar joins the B5 war council.

* Interludes and Examinations
  Confrontations with the shadows begin; the shadows retaliate against Kosh.

* War Without End I
* War Without End II
  Sinclair returns to pull Babylon 4 1000 years through time.

* Walkabout
  Franklin leaves to find himself; Sheridan tests out a Shadow weakness.

* Grey 17 is Missing
  Garibaldi investigates a missing level; Delenn is appointed Ranger One.

* And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
  Londo uses Vir in a plot against Lord Refa; Religious leaders arrive on B5.

* Shadow Dancing
  The forces of light attempt a preemptive strike against the Shadows.

* Z'ha'dum
  Sheridan goes to the homeworld of the Shadows.


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 (E) 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.

----------------------   "Saying Windows 95 is equal to Macintosh is
Dan Wood           <*>    like finding a potato that looks like Jesus and       believing you've witnessed the second coming."    --Guy Kawasaki
----------------------    BOYCOTT MICROSOFT: 

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