The Illusion of Truth


Episode 76: The Illusion of Truth (Season 4, Episode 8)

Synopsis: In which an ISN reporter comes to the station to film what he totally pinkie swears will not be an anti-Babylon 5 propaganda hit piece, and Sheridan falls for it again.

Elia Kazan and the Oscars:

Magic Kid I:

Magic Kid II:

The “Equality vs Equity” image.


Henry Darrow:

“Helsinki Syndrome” was (accidentally?) referenced in the film “Die Hard” so this is either continuing the tradition of misnaming Stockholm Syndrome or a nod to that occurrence. Given that it was a vapid news anchor who said it in “Die Hard” I suspect it was intentional there, and intentional here as well.

Into the Fire

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Episode 74: Into the Fire (Season 4, Episode 6)

Synopsis: In which Londo makes the right decision for once, and exeunt the First Ones, stage left.

Do I really need to link to any of the Marvel movies here, people? I didn’t think so.

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Shadipur? What the hell was I thinking. The final Padishah Emperor was Shaddam Corrino IV. Take away my nerd card! Time to re-read the series (six books ONLY). Regardless, the Empire of the Known Universe appears to only occupy a small part of the Milky Way galaxy.

Zeta 2 Reticuli was, of course, identified by Betty Hill as the home star system of the classic grey aliens that abducted her and her husband in 1961.

“Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” was a strange cry uttered by shuggoths in HP Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness


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The Long Night


Episode 73: The Long Night (Season 4, Episode 5)

Synopsis: In which Sheridan lays a trap and the reign of Emperor Cartagia comes to an abrupt end.

Dương Văn Minh, the final President of the Republic of Vietnam.

A fellow named Vittorio Emanuele would be the King of Italy today had the monarchy not been abolished in 1946,_Prince_of_Naples

Here was the full title of his father, Umberto II the last king (and suck it, Joffrey):

[Name], by the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, King of Italy, King of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia, Duke of Savoy, count of Maurienne, Marquis (of the Holy Roman Empire) in Italy; Prince of Piedmont, Carignano, Oneglia, Poirino, Trino; Prince and Perpetual Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire; Prince of Carmagnola, Montmellian with Arbin and Francin, Prince bailiff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri and Banna, Busca, Bene, Bra, Duke of Genoa, Monferrat, Aosta, Duke of Chablais, Genevois, Duke of Piacenza, Marquis of Saluzzo (Saluces), Ivrea, Susa, of Maro, Oristano, Cesana, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero and Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi over Tegerone, Migliabruna and Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane and Lanslebourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià, Agliè, Centallo and Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, Count of Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, of Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, Sant'Antioco, Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Ozegna, delle Apertole, Baron of Vaud and of Faucigni, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, of Lomellina, of Valle Sesia, of the Marquisate of Ceva, Overlord of Monaco, Roccabruna and eleven-twelfths of Menton, Noble Patrician of Venice, Patrician of Ferrara.

Romania is a little trickier since King Michael I only had daughters and the royal constitution did not recognize women in the line of succession, even though Michael named his eldest daughter Margareta as his heir. Margareta today claims the title “Custodian of the Crown” although her cousin via her father’s illegitimate half brother lays claim to the title as well.

The end of British rule in Palestine:

The end of British rule of India:

The US occupation of Haiti:

Bryan Cranston:

Falling Toward Apotheosis


Episode 72: Falling Toward Apotheosis (Season 4, Episode 4)

Synopsis: In which Londo begins to enact his desperate plan, and the time has come to say farewell to the new Kosh.

Warning: eye-related body horror right up top. Of course, nobody ever reads these notes so hope you enjoyed that folks!

From David Sedaris’s “Santaland Diaries”: “Snowball just leads elves on, elves and Santas. He is playing a dangerous game.”

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A Kheldian from City of Heroes in “space squid” form:

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The Summoning


Episode 71: The Summoning (Season 4, Episode 3)

Synopsis: In which the Vorlons strike back, G’kar endures, and there are many happy returns.

Room 101/Two Minutes Hate/Goldstein! Goldstein! Goldstein! - a very 1984-heavy episode this week (the book and film, not the sub-par Van Halen album).

Warning: Trek digression starting about 12 minutes in. Mostly slagging on TNG interior design and costuming nightmares.

Max the Cat appears briefly in the background at about 20 min.

Whatever Happened To Mr Garibaldi?


Episode 70: Whatever Happened to Mr Garibaldi? (Season 4, Episode 2)

Synopsis: In which G’Kar falls into the hands of the Centauri and Captain Sheridan lingers between life and death.

It’s possible that the title of this episode is a nod to Alan Moore’s classic “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”

Cats in sci-fi (includes movies which we weren’t examining, or Jonesy would definitely have been #1):

As always, I flubbed the Tears in Rain reference: “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Lord Baltar’s robotic assistant was, of course, Lucifer. Bit on the nose there, Larson.

The Hour of the Wolf


Episode 69: The Hour of the Wolf (Season 4, Episode 1)

Synopsis: In which everyone must come to terms with the loss of Captain Sheridan, and Londo is recalled to the Centauri Imperial court.

February 2015 in New England. Thankfully we don’t have anything like that this year.

Season 3 Wrap Up


TNotP Season 3 Show Notes

Episode 68: Season 3 Wrap-Up

Jon’s Top 5 Episodes:

5) War Without End

4) And the Rock Cried OUt, No Hiding Place

3) Passing Through Gethsemane

2) Severed Dreams

1) Z’ha’dum

Chris’s Top 5 Episodes:

5) Z’ha’dum

4) Interludes & Examinations

3) Passing Through Gethsemane

2) Severed Dreams

1) Point of No Return

Jon’s Bottom 3 Episodes:

3) Grey 17 Is Missing

2) Exogenesis

1) A Late Delivery from Avalon

Chris’s Bottom 3 Episodes:

3) A Late Delivery from Avalon

2) Exogenesis

1) Voices of Authority

Princess Allura was apparently a the pilot of the Blue Lion on Voltron: Defender of the Universe, which Chris hasn’t thought about in more than 30 years. Thanks, brain! (Brain? Brain? What is brain?)

Any fans wishing to show us their appreciation:

Shadow Dancing


Episode 66: Shadow Dancing (Season 3, Episode 21)

In which Dr Franklin’s walkabout comes to an abrupt end and a major battle is fought against the Shadow fleet.

Crunchy Wheat! Nicely Sweet!

Raw vfx shots from B5 season 3:

Moar ship porn. Rocket Science vfx for The Expanse (probably some spoilers):

Heat Miser and Snow Miser:

Martin Stein’s death from Legends of Tomorrow

Oliver and Diggle have it out on Arrow:

Actresses who have played Catwoman, in order:

Does not include voice actors from animated features or Maggie Baird, who played Selena in the Birds of Prey tv series YES I WENT THERE!

And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place


Episode 65: And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place (Season 3, Episode 20)

Synopsis: In which Sheridan and Delenn analyze the patterns behind the Shadows’ attacks and Londo moves against an enemy to gain power in the Centauri court.

Francois Giroday, who portrayed Minister Virini

How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

A Clockwork Orange and “Singing in the Rain”

Necross the (Ha Ha Ha) Mad -  I had to dig into my comics collection and take a pic of this page, it’s such a deep cut I couldn’t even find it on the internet anywhere.

The doctor from “The Cage” was Dr. Boyce  The actor, John Hoyt, was in the film “The Conqueror,” in which John Wayne plays Genghis Khan (woof! Not even going there!). Ninety of the film’s 200 cast/crew members contracted cancer afterward. And we thought B5 was cursed!

Grey 17 Is Missing


Episode 64: Grey 17 Is Missing (Season 3, Episode 19)

Synopsis: In which Garibaldi hunts down a mystery, and Delenn faces a challenge to her leadership of the Rangers.

1990s Doomsday cults? I’m stayin’!

Branch Dividians

Aum Shinrikyo

Heaven’s Gate - Tragic, and maybe our “favorite” UFO cult

Order of the Solar Temple

Max the Cat shows up at about 13:30.

Duns Scotus, 13th century theologian and hair splitter quo maxime:

Eruv -

War Without End


Episode 63: War Without End (Season 3, Episodes 16 & 17)

Synopsis: In which Jeffrey Sinclair returns and the fate of Babylon 4 is revealed.

Do I need to lnk about Lucy and Ethel?

Creature Double Feature was a Saturday afternoon staple for those of us growing up in the Boston area in the 70s:

Summaries of JMS’s intended original plan, where we can see what the show might have looked like had Michael O’Hare stuck around and get Sinclair all the way through, including the spin-off show Babylon Prime. Interesting stuff here, but lots of spoilers if this is your first time through the show. Bringing B4 forward to be the new station in the spinoff is similar to what Jon has discussed with a sequel show to B5, set 1000 years down the road.

Max the Cat makes a brief appearance at about 10:45. I know you’ve all been wondering what was up with him.

Seriously, you do not want to get Chris started on the history of the Legion of Super Heroes, particularly in the post-Crisis/pre-Zero Hour era.

The film Predestination is an adaptation of the story “All You Zombies” by Robert Heinlein and is the most brain breaking time travel I’ve encountered yet.

Looper is up there in the running though.

Star Trek’s “Tomorrow is Yesterday” is a great episode, setting aside maybe the bit about the ship’s computer being reprogrammed to be more “feminine.”

DS9’s “Past Tense”,_Part_I_(episode)

Star Trek: Discovery’s “Calypso” Chris is probably wrong here, I can’t find any evidence that Aldis Hodge’s character is actually joining the regular show, sadly.

Legends of Tomorrow is the most bonkers show on television.

El Ministerio del Tiempo

Travelers season 3 drops in March 2019. Yay!

Dark season 2 is currently in production

San Dimas High School Football Rules!!

12 Monkeys - the film, not the series, is also a great time travel mind bender:

Time After Time:

And Somewhere in Time:

TNG’s “Parallels” featuring Riker with an even more glorious beard than usual

Credo, the board game of the Council of Nicea. Complete Jon and Chris-bait.

Aleph Mattresses. Not our sponsor...yet.

World of Warcraft’s Draenei:



Episode 62: Walkabout (Season 3, Episode 18)

Synopsis: Dr. Franklin tries to find himself, Sheridan tests the Shadows’ weakness, and we meet the new Kosh.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God:

Four hundred Vulcans cried out...and were suddenly silenced.

The Vorlon Ulkesh appeared in the novel

Jeffrey Willerth was the performer in the Kosh suit(s)

He seems to have been primarily a producer (and an Associate to Producer on B5) more than an actor/puppeteer, which makes the subtlety of his performance even more noteworthy.

Let the record show that I (Chris) did not buy into a new miniatures game while in California.

Three cheers for John Mundy!



Erica Gimpel:

JMS apparently does have a text on Foundationism. I’d love to get a look at that.

JMS on religion in science fiction:

Interludes and Examinations


Episode 61: Interludes and Examinations (Season 3, Episode 15)

Synopsis: In which Captain Sheridan convinces Kosh to take a more active role in the war, and Mr Morden returns.

“The Back Nine” is a golf reference. Somehow I (Chris) always thought it was referring to the last nine acres of farmland you had left to plow. See the things you learn listening to podcasts, kids?

The Gaim’s helmet resembles the helmet worn by Morpheus, Lord of Dreams in Neil Gaiman's Sandman

The Baader-Meinhof Group and Baader Meinhoff phenomenon (aka frequency illusion)

The Symbionese Liberation Army (“Symbionese” referring to symbiosis)

Canadian plan for preemptory US invasion in 1921

Homer Simpson’s spirit guide was a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash. But Chris was conflating that with Homer’s guardian angel, who appeared to him in a form of Colonel Klink.


Ship of Tears


Episode 60: Ship of Tears (Season 3, Episode 14)

Synopsis: In which Bester seeks Sheridan’s help in stopping the Shadows and G’Kar is brought into the conspiracy.

What We Left Behind - the Deep Space 9 retrospective documentary

"Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives” by Pat Harrigan

"Henry Gale" from Lost - his real name was Ben Linus (portrayed by Michael Emerson Good lord I hated him.

"Brain, brain, what is brain?" Jon dropped some Spock's Brain on us and I didn't catch it. Not sure who is the more shameful in this situation.

Screen Memories -

There are many different types of possible subspecies of Grey aliens

A Late Delivery From Avalon


Episode 58: A Late Delivery from Avalon (Season 3, Episode 13)

Synopsis: In which a man claiming to be Arthur, King of the Britons, arrives on Babylon 5

Note: This episode was intended to go after “Sic Transit Vir,” which we will examine next week.

There are a lot of Monty Python and the Holy Grail references here, I’m not going to link them all. Same for the references to Arthurian lore and historical study.

I will however strongly recommend the “Arthur Dies at the End” series of retellings of Mallory’s “Le Mort de Arthur” by my (Chris) friend Jeffrey Wikstrom. Very funny and irreverent.

Do not get Chris started on stirrups in the movie Gladiator.

The “Camelot 3000: comics series:

MASH’s finale, “Farewell, Amen and Amen”,_Farewell_and_Amen

Logan’s Run

The postal worker was portrayed by Michael Fagan. I was confused because he’s listed with a name in the credits, “Emmet Farquaha,” but I don’t think the name was ever spoken in the episode.

Attentive listeners may recall that the film Apollo 13 was beat out for a Hugo award in 1996 by the Babylon 5 season 2 episode “The Coming of Shadows.” JMS was certainly aware of the film.

The board game “This War of Mine” is a harrowing experience. Cannot recommend it enough.

Shoeless Joe:

Ceremonies of Light and Dark


Episode 57: Ceremonies of Light and Dark (Season 3, Episode 11)

Synopsis: In which the dust settles from the past few episodes and everyone gets spiffy new uniforms!

Domo Arigato

Halfway there:

Suebi and Etruscans and Greeks, oh my!

In Our Time - the best history/science/culture/everything podcast out there:

“People with terrible ideas often think they’re going to work.” -

The Dollop podcast

Don Stroud:

“Tomorrow is Yesterday” is the classic Star Trek episode where the computer keeps referring to Kirk as “dear.”

“Are we the baddies?”

Buck Rogers uniform:

An aside, but Gil Gerard (Buck) and Felix Silla (Twiki) are still friends and hang out. That feels nice.

And in conclusion YOGA PANTS ARE NOT PANTS. Come at me, haters!