And the Sky Full of Stars

Episode 9 “And the Sky Full of Stars” (Season 1 Episode 8)



Synopsis: In which Commander Sinclair is abducted by anti-alien “enhanced interrogation technique” enthusiasts who prove to be staggeringly incompetent at their job. But despite their efforts, the commander begins to recall some surprising details about what happened to him at the final battle of the Earth-Minbari War.


The title of the episode is a reference back to a painful soliloquy Commander Sinclair made in “The Gathering” about the Battle of the Line.

The Prisoner was a British tv series that ran in 1967-1968, starring Patrick McGoohan (who was also the co-creator) as “Number Six” - a secret agent who had resigned from his agency and was then kidnapped and swept away to the mysterious “Village.” Over the course of 17 episodes a series of handlers known only as “Number Two” attempt to break Number Six and get him to reveal the real reason why he resigned. The show bounces around from traditional espionage to trippy 1960s sci-fi to anti-war counterculture. Really, if you haven’t ever seen it you should check it out. I don’t think it’s on any of the streaming services currently but it’s only $30 on Amazon/iTunes and it well worth the money.


There was a 2009 remake by AMC that...isn’t very good.


Patrick McGoohan was only in four episodes of Columbo? Seems like a lot more. For all your Columbo-related podcast needs check out “Just One More Thing


Mind control techniques used by Jim Jones and other cult and cult-adjacent groups:


The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Chain of Command” (with Picard’s classic “THERE...ARE...FOUR...LIGHTS!”) aired in December 1992. All Picard must do is admit that there are five lights, despite what he knows to be true. That one little admission - that was all that was needed. The theory being that once you have extracted one simple, seemingly irrelevant concession from the victim the camel’s nose is under the tent if you will, and it makes it easier for the victim to make further concessions.


The Prisoner episode “Living in Harmony” is an homage to Western films, including a twist on the opening credits where Number Six rides into town and slams down his sheriff's  badge and gun. In the episode Number Six refuses to carry a gun, which was seen as too anti-war by executives at CBS, and the episode was not aired in the US during the initial run of the series.


The Earth-Minbari war lasted from 2245-2248.


All the headlines seen in Garibaldi’s “Universe Today” newspaper are transcribed at the always essential Lurker’s Guide:


Judson Scott, star of the short-lived 1980s show The Phoenix. While it only got 5 episodes (and the pilot was shown almost a full year before the second episode - sound familiar?) I [Chris] remember watching and really loving it. Scott, as “Bennu of the Golden Light,” was some ancient alien type dude with an amulet that amplified his psychic powers.  I guess he was also in some Star War film or something, I dunno.