Babylon Squared

Synopsis: In which the lost Babylon 4 station reappears as mysteriously as it vanished, we get a glimpse of the future, and Delenn gets an exciting new job offer.



One of many lists of “essential” X-Files episodes:


The commentary from JMS that Babylon 4 was built using scraps leftover from the first 3 stations is at the always excellent Lurker’s Guide:


The Enterprise-C. Still the best in the line.

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Babylon 4. I definitely like the look of this one better than 5, sad to say.


The Philadelphia Experiment/Al Bielek/Montauk. Beware: Rabbit Hole Ahead

The Doctor Who episode that sent Chris into a fit of rage:

Barry Allen (CW TV series version) is very likely the stupidest person who has ever travelled through time in any form of media.


“Time and Punishment” from The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror V:

John Wesley Shipp - best. Flash. Ever.


Also, Shipp was born in Norfolk, VA. Where did the USS Eldridge allegedly reappear during the Philadelphia Experiment? NORFOLK, VA! And his last name is SHIPP!! Coincidence?? Or should I not be drinking while writing show notes???

“Yesterday’s Enterprise” timeline:

Looper timeline, diagramed with straws:


“Assignment Earth”

“Cause and Effect”

“Trials and Tribble-ations”

“Far Beyond the Stars”

“The Visitor”

Bill and Ted’s  Excellent Adventure Wyld Stallyns!!!

The Timeline of River Song:


“The Year of Hell”,,_Part_II_(episode)



At the time of this recording I had not yet seen the film Predestination (based on a Robert Heinlein story “All You Zombies”). It may be the most messed up time travel movie ever.


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??

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.

Fist of the North Star:

Neal Robinson is not listening.



Episode 16: Grail (Season 1, Episode 15)

Synopsis: In which a seeker comes to the station on a legendary quest and ends up inspiring others to great deeds. And at the end of the day there is a lack of boom.

David Warner is a goddamn legend. There’s no other way to say it.

6:55 - that’s Chris’s cat Max yelling in the background. He does that now and then for absolutely no good reason. The timing was just too perfect to the conversation to edit it out.

The proper pronunciation is “Rahj-al-gool” not “Rayj-al-gool.” I will brook no dissent in this matter, regardless of how wonderful your abs might be, Mr. Amell.


David Icke is a proponent of a theory that an alien race of shape-shifting reptoids (who may or may not be from the center of the earth, I may be conflating my crackpots there) has infiltrated the highest levels of human society, perhaps most notably the British monarchy. I believe the technical term for him is “nutter.”

But this, and the alien abduction court case in the episode, allows me to include this picture of my favorite Centauri:

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Jerry Doyle hosted The Jerry Doyle Show on the Talk Radio Network  from 2012 until his death in 2016.

Navratan Korma is a delicious northern Indian curry made with various vegetables, fruits and nuts in a golden sauce, and not an alien species that sucks away life force. Probably.

Third Stage Guild Navigator:

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Tor Johnson was one of the stars of Ed Wood’s gloriously terrible Plan 9 from Outer Space.


Much like the Loch Ness Monster and various Bigfoot encounters, the story of the Marie Celeste occupied a huge chunk of my mental real-estate in the 1970s, thanks to too many hours of watching In Search Of.

William Sanderson is nearly peak-level character actor. He pops up everywhere, and places that he doesn’t you *think* he’s there. Chris swears he was in Westworld but apparently not. Conflating with Deadwood perhaps?

Christy Marx (, the writer of this episode and creator of Jem & the Holograms (the live-action film of Jem apparently came out in 2015,

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends ran from 1981 to 1983 and inexplicably teamed the wall-crawler with former X-Man Iceman and newly created character Firestar. June Foray was the voice of Aunt May, but despite this the show was somehow really, really terrible.

We had a fairly long discussion about the 2001 Josie and the Pussycats film which had to be cut because of problems with Chris’s mic, but do check it out. Solid fun and an AMAZING soundtrack, with Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo doing the vocals for the Josie songs, and it should definitely NEVER be confused with Spice World.





Synopsis: In which one of Garibaldi’s old friends visits the station and fights for the dignity of humanity or something. And Ivanova has to come to terms with the death of her father.



“Walker Smith” was the birth-name of famous boxer Sugar Ray Robinson


IMDb gives this episode a 5.6/10 rating. “Infection” got a 6.3. gives “TKO” a more generous 6.7, but it’s still the lowest rated episode there. It’s all up from here folks!


Rabbi Koslov was portrayed by Theodore Bikel, who had a long career of great performances. We’ll see him again in  Babylon 5: In the Beginning in a different role


Bikel was the voice of Aragorn in the Rankin and Bass animated film Return of the King. Here is the grimly funky “Where There’s A Whip There’s A Way.”

And here’s Bikel as Aragorn in the scene where he faces down the Mouth of Sauron. This is what we had to work with in the 70s/80s kids. And don’t even get me started on Casey kasem as Merry.


We talked about One World Government and how we didn’t foresee Americans giving up their sovereignty back in Episode 11: Believers.

By Any Means Necessary

Synopsis: In which a fatal accident in the space-docks leads to a labor dispute on the station. Earthgov sends in their best negotiator, who is actually a really terrible negotiator. And Londo is an ass to G’Kar because, well, Londo.

First off folks, there’s a weird echo in our recording this episode, and we deeply apologize. One of the mission statements of The Name of the Pod is to have decent audio quality. Nothing turns us off a podcast quicker than bad audio. We didn’t notice it at the time of recording and we tried to remove it later on but no luck. It’s not up to our own personal standards, and we hope you will soldier through. It’s still a good discussion.

After watching this episode we had the feeling that this was not an accurate representation of a labor dispute, but our good friend Bill has been involved with unions and organized labor as part of his work for many years so we felt he could provide insights into the workings of protests/strikes/negotiations/whathaveyous. Because we at The Name of the Pod strive for verisimilitude* in all things.


*a word used only by people who have never put in an honest day’s work in their lives.

Bill raises a very good point that there’s no real institutional reaction to a fatal accident on the station. No NTSB, no OSHA.  Very strange on a government funded station that has had its four predecessors tragically lost.

Orin Zento, the EarthGov “negotiator,” was played by John Snyder, who also played “Soul Hunter #2.” That should have been our first warning.

The question of where the line between military and civilian power falls on the station is an excellent one. So far in season 1 it has been murky at best - Sinclair certainly seems to display the authority to arrest people and to do pretty much whatever he wants wherever he wants. Are there limitations to the military staff’s powers, and if so by whom are they set and enforced? Are Garibaldi’s security folks - the ones in the grey-brown uniforms instead of the blue - civilian police or military? We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on future episodes with regards to these questions to see if they’re ever really addressed.

Containers is a great podcast about global trade and transportation. Check it out.

Guild leader “Neeoma Connally” (totally a space-name) was played by Katy Boyer who I think did a fine job. She’s had a long career including being Tim Robbins and John Cusack’s grouchy flatmate in the fantastic movie Tapeheads.  There’s your IMDB corner, since we couldn’t squeeze one into the episode.

Providence, RI is just over 20 square miles. Babylon 5 is 5 miles long but certainly not 4 miles wide (or even 2 miles high by 2 wide if we want to get all fancy and third dimensional).  The station is probably closer in size to Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Which I’m sure will mean a lot to people who aren’t us.

I’m not even going to try to sort out the whole geometry of Narn light years vs Earth light years and the light getting to the station just now. It’s just not worth it.