Synopsis: In which the funeral tour for a Minbari war hero arrives at the station, re-opening old wounds, and a “young” telepath explores options for her future


D.C. Fontana has been writing tv since Moses was in short pants. She pitched the idea for this episode, which was the only one of the season that came from an outside source rather than JMS.

The Babylon 5 wikia informs us that there are 3 Minbari castes: Warrior, Religious and Worker. Which I guess makes sense, because someone has to do the actual day to day stuff.

Grace Una’s IMDb page doesn’t list her date of birth (and there’s not a lot of other hits about her online) but there’s no WAY she’s even remotely 14. What was Mary Jo Slater thinking?? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0880923/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Narn (Narns? I see the plural both ways. I prefer “Narn” though) are not reptilian in nature, based on a few minutes of internet digging. So I’ll go with the “the Narn brains are structured in such a way that they have no natural telepaths and thus are hostile environments to other telepaths.”

The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Night Terrors” (Season 4, episode 14) is, according to the website TechRepublic, behind only “Shades of Grey” (the Ur-clip episode) and “Sub-Rosa” (something about a ghost possessing Dr Crusher) as the worst. TNG. episode. ever.  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/geekend/the-five-worst-star-trek-the-next-generation-episodes-ever/

Fist of the North Star: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142371/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_47

Neal Robinson is not listening.


The War Prayer

Episode 8 “The War Prayer” (Season 1, Episode 7)


Synopsis: In which an “Earth First” terrorist movement spills over to the station, tensions rise between humans and aliens, and we learn that Ivanova has terrible taste in men.




Stormfront was founded in 1995, after season 1 of B5, but organized “us first, screw you people who are different” groups are as old as humanity itself, sadly. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/stormfront


The racial issues underpinning Brexit are well documented. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/29/frenzy-hatred-brexit-racism-abuse-referendum-celebratory-lasting-damage


They took our jobs! http://southpark.cc.com/clips/104259/they-took-our-jobs


Irish immigration to the United States in the 1840s-1850s, and the following anti-Irish sentiment. http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/america.htm Can you imagine the kinds of invectives directed at various immigrant and refugee groups being aimed at the Irish today? It seems absurd. How will history judge us 150 years down the road?


The rise of the Know-Nothing party has definite echoes in our current political climate. This passage from Abraham Lincoln is interesting:


“Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid,” Lincoln continued. (I have retained his spelling and capitalization.) “As a nation, we begin by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”



The dinner scene from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The dialogue is quite forced to generate the conflict, but note that it is Walter Koenig’s Chekov who really puts his foot in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2TDf9XU09k


The constantly referenced Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/007.html


A Journey to Babel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_Babel  For a B5 podcast, we sure do talk a lot about Star Trek...

Removal of the prohibition against main characters being in conflict with one another in Star Trek: Discovery (there we go again…) http://ew.com/tv/2017/06/23/star-trek-discovery-rules/


The Ruby Ridge standoff was in August 1992.

The World Trade Center bombing happened on February 26, 1993.

The siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco happened in February-April 1993.

The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was on April 19, 1995.


“The War Prayer” first aired on March 9, 1994, so definitely all of these events except the Murrah Building bombing were in the zeitgeist at the time of its writing and production. (Chris mistakenly said the Ruby Ridge standoff contributed to the Branch Davidian situation - he meant that it was a motivating factor behind the Oklahoma City bombing. The perils of googling while podcasting, one’s tongue is often faster than one’s brain).


Tristan Rogers, who plays the unfortunately named “Malcolm Biggs,” veteran of a thousand soap operas, also played a character named “Manly Biggs” on an early 1990s show called “Super Force.” It ran for 48 episodes. Maybe that’s where Jon knows him from? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098917/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_29


When Jon mentions an actor who has shown up in The Dark Knight, Gotham, Arrow, and Supergirl he may be referring to David Dastmalchian, who was not in Gotham or Arrow but was on The Flash (who can keep track these days?) and was also in Ant-Man and Twin Peaks: The Return. A modern genre film/tv “That Guy” for sure! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2810287/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t47


Soul Hunter


Episode 3 “Soul Hunter” (Season 1, Episode 2) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0517692/?ref_=ttep_ep2

Synopsis: In which a mysterious alien, a hunter of souls if you will, comes aboard the station. We are introduced to Doctor Stephen Franklin, gain some insights into Mimbari religious doctrine and learn that Ambassador Delenn may not be what she seems.

Lurker’s Guide page on the episode: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/002.html

JMS on Delenn’s originally intended gender ambiguity:

“We'd originally planned to go for a more vague sexuality for Delenn; a male physically and primarily in the voice, on top of the natural female movements one gets from an actress. In post-production, however, we couldn't get the voice to sound as good and male as we'd wanted. In addition, a couple of convention showing of a rough cut saw people responding VERY strongly to her voice as it was, so we finally decided to let it stand and change the one reference to "he" to "she," and that was the end of it.” http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/000.html

Chris, discussing the theory of soul-vat recycling, referenced “Richard Bachman” but meant “Richard Bach.” Bachman is, of course, a pseudonym used by Stephen King to write such works as “Thinner” and “The Running Man.” It would have been much more interesting to see King’s take on the migration of souls, so perhaps this was just wishful thinking.


Claudia Christian and Walter Koenig were at GenCon in Milwaukee in 1999.  

The Shell Game scam: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_game

The Babylon 5 station is listed as 5 miles long and 2.5 million tons. An Imperial Star Destroyer is approximately ⅛ the size. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/01/25/how-much-would-it-realistically-cost-to-build-an-imperial-i-class-star-destroyer/#1f3b3c44390d

Commander Sisko’s conversation with Quark:

Commander Benjamin Sisko: My officers, Bajoran engineers, all their families depend on the shops and services of this promenade. If people like you abandon it, this is going to become a ghost town. We need someone to step forward and say "I'm staying. I'm rebuilding". We need a community leader, and it's going to be - you, Quark!

Quark: [guffaws] Community leader!

William Morgan Sheppard: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0792003/?ref_=tt_cl_t12