The legendary Neil Gaiman made his American television debut writing the only episode of B5 not authored by Joe Straczynski since late Season 2. Was this mystical character piece too much of a departure from the “house style”? What the heck was Morden doing in Lennier’s quarters? We bring back the Space Mob’s biggest fan, first-time B5 watcher Steven Schapansky, for a fresh look at a story by a pre-American Gods and Coraline storyteller.
What happens when a sci-fi show that has made it to the last of its planned seasons lands one of the hottest writers in comics to pen an episode?
You get a Babylon 5 episode that goes to some interesting places.
Here you can talk about Neil Gaiman’s “Day of the Dead” and the things that came before it.
Here we can freely talk about the fallout from Lochley actually selling a part of the Babylon 5 station to the Brakiri when the Drazi had put in an offer first. And also Rebo and Zooty’s stellar careers as politicians, ushering in an era of peace that lasted centuries.
Or, you know, true spoilers from “Day of the Dead”.
This episode has epic ’90s computer matte compositing of a balcony, set to a particularly stirring Christopher Franke score!
Oh, and Garibaldi does the secret agent thing, hamstrung by his return to the bottle; G’Kar becomes the Narn Pope; Franklin gets a job offer (name-checking a character not mentioned in 99 episodes), and Londo inadvertently fingers his own government. Just another ordinary day in the life of Babylon 5–in our 100th episode!
Here’s the big thing we commented on as we recorded the podcast: this is the first time in ages, it feels like, that we’ve had the whole core cast involved in the story. What’d you think? No spoilers!
Now that we’re done with the Byron arc, what do you think about the stuff set up in “The Ragged Edge”?
We shall not see the likes of that hair again.
So we can’t spoil anything about Byron’s future, because, well. But what does this coda to the telepath crisis imply for the rest of the season, and is it paid off?
It’s the end of the Byron arc, in dramatically tragic fashion–which means it is of course time for our own harbinger of doom, Jason Snell, to return to delight in misfortune.
The two threads–the telepath colony crisis and the secret Centauri attacks on ISA ships–get pulled tighter together, with an unexpected rescue of Na’Toth (the real one!) and an entirely expected return of Bester. We’d call it the calm before the storm, but it’s not very calm….