9 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “Between the Darkness and the Light” Spoiler Space”

  1. I recall reading that the opening scene with Garibaldi was filmed for “Intersections in Real Time,” but was bumped forward into this one. I was keeping my eyes peeled this time, and the tell-tale cropped footage (because cross-referencing film across episodes would’ve been too much trouble during the widescreen remaster, apparently) goes much longer than I thought. Garibaldi being sold out by his contact, Garibaldi proving his innocence, and the team planning how they’re going to break out Sheridan all appear to have been shot for the last episode. The first Mars scene we see in full is the one in the tunnels with Garibaldi, Franklin, Lyta, and the resistance agent with the great hair.

    I always wondered how the original version of “Intersections” might’ve been structured with one Garibaldi scene, but I’m really flummoxed by how JMS fit in three. Anybody have any ideas? Maybe there was something in the script books?

    1. I briefly mentioned this in the comments for Intersections, but here’s a recap…

      “A Passing Shadow” (as Intersections is called in the version released in the script books) would have had teaser and first two acts with Sheridan interrogation only, then Garibaldi for all of act three and the first half of act four, and then back to Sheridan for the end of act four and tag. It wasn’t uncommon, though, that the episodes were somewhat rearranged in the editing stage from the script if there were pacing or time issues, like with especially War Without End. And in this case there were severe time issues. Even if the script was just as long as all the other scripts (41 pages, just like for example The Face of the Enemy) the delivered dialogue was so much slower and with more pauses that the interrogation scenes lasted much longer than expected. When the next episode ended up considerably short (with a 43-page script) the solution was obvious.

  2. Little canon-novel tidbit: Sheridan unloading a PPG on that guard is the same way Bester injured his left hand. John probably didn’t get the same permanent nerve damage from being burned either because it was forty years later and PPGs were better about overheating, or because the doctors were right that Bester’s injury was psychosomatic and his hand had actually healed fully.

  3. One of my very favourite B5 related memories is about this episode. Back in the day, before the rise of digital video, the Finnish fan scene got the episodes by mail on VHS tapes from the US, usually as soon as two episodes had been aired (or satellite linked) to fill a tape.

    It had been over four months since Intersections, making it possibly the only proper “season cliffhanger” B5 ever had. I lived in a University Campus and with a couple of friends we heard that a friend of ours, who worked at the University, had a tape with the next two episodes on it. We sneaked into his office and “borrowed” the tape, not telling anyone.

    When we started watching after a few seconds there was a panic that the tape hadn’t been rewinded, knowing that there were two episodes on the tape. That’s the way to start the episode after a long hiatus. Fooled us.

    Of course early the next morning, way before my normal wake-up time, our friend called me asking where the tape was, he had to return it… Well, at least we knew the answer to how far we would go to see the next B5 episode.

    I really hate Lyta’s “I’m gonna sue somebody” rant, one of the most uncomfortable scenes in the entire series, and Ivanova’s “death incarnate” speech is way too over the top, even for Ivanova.

    “Space, Time and the Incurable Romantic” is a really weird short story, and possibly the most controversial piece of canon B5 universe for those who have actually read it. Part of the audience thinks that it’s a very romantic story with a happy ending, while others thinks that it’s creepy as hell. I go with the latter. JMS wrote it himself, and said that he wanted to raise questions and create discussion, so it’s controversial on purpose.

    There was a little more about Earth using Shadow tech in another short story, “Hidden Agendas”, also written by JMS. It tells about Ivanova’s visit to B5 in early 2262 with her new ship, one of the first Warlock class ships named Titans, which uses some hidden Shadow technology.

    1. I’ve read “Space Time and the Incurable Romantic”, and I am firmly with you on Team Creepy. It’s just wrong, to such a degree that it ruins Marcus. So I’ve put it the same category as Highlander II. Not canon. Never happened. I reject this reality and substitute one in which the story is just some random nitwit’s bad fanfic.

  4. My favorite scenes were the beginning torture scene and the rescue. I agree with the podcast hosts there was some over the top lines and deliveries of Ivanova’s broadcast to the Earth Force Advanced Destroyers. But, in truth, because of the compressed nature of the season the advanced destroyers didn’t get enough air time to make those lines strong. It was twenty minutes into the episode they got mentioned and fifteen minutes later they were destroyed. Only the preceding seasons displays of the Shadow’s military might gave any credence to them being tough opponents to the White Stars. If JMS had been able to have a better pace instead of being threatened with cancellation… But I think it is what detracts from some of the lines. Same with Lyta speaking to Number One, or the entire League meeting with Delenn.

  5. Our hosts wondered about what kind of Earthforce crews would be aboard a Shadow Omega.

    Back in the day there were two sets of space combat wargaming rules for Babylon 5. (Published at different times.) Since they were licensed from Warner Bros they can be considered sort of canon, although I get the impression that fact-checking by Babylonian Productions/Warner Bros tailed off over time and the writers had a fair amount of liberty.

    According to both sets, the crews of these Shadow Omegas and perhaps the later Crusade era hybrids were themselves implanted. Since the TV series has already shown us telepaths controlled by Shadow technology, it seems a reasonable interpretation.

  6. With regard to whether or not JMS should have spent more time on Sheridan’s trauma: I think “there wasn’t time” works as an explanation for why JMS doesn’t do this in S4.

    But it is, I think, harder to justify not coming back to it in S5. One can hardly claim that there wasn’t time in the first half of that season to address this. You even have an entire plot about telepaths that could have been used to create a reason to root around in Sheridan’s psyche.

    So I come back to my sense that it’s more that JMS can’t quite bring himself to present Sheridan’s experiences in Intersections in Real Time as something that it’s difficult for *Sheridan* to overcome.

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