Erika and Chip are on opposite ends of the spectrum. One only has eyes for David Warner. The other would prefer a date with a na’ka’leen feeder than to watch “Grail” again. How does Shannon hold it all together? And who’s our special musical guest? (That last one’s easy. It’s the fantastically anthemic rockers out of Wisconsin, Sunspot! Check them out at sunspotmusic.com.
J. Michael Stracynski once described certain B5 episodes as “WHAM” episodes, episodes that kicked the series arc forward or had otherwise momentous events. “And the Sky Full of Stars” was the first. This is a bigger one. Or so Chip repeatedly and excitedly enthuses. To paraphrase Mr. Morden, “So tell me what ya want, what ya really really want.”
Union-busting and horticulture come together in a surprisingly good mixture, as the Dockworkers’ Guild, an officious Senate negotiator, Londo and G’Kar combine to give Sinclair his worst 48 hours yet. There’s a lot of stubble and open-collar acting, but also an intriguing look at the world behind the space station. Won’t you join us for “By Any Means Necessary”?
“Podcasting again, Uncle Mike?” Garibaldi has a Really Bad Day, but that’s peanuts compared to what almost happens to the Earth Alliance President. We reflect on what happens when Ivanova and Kemmer let their hair down, Garibaldi lets his guard down and Sinclair just tries to be everyone’s Dad.
(Got spoilery thoughts about this and future episodes of Babylon 5? You know where to go.)
Chip: “This is such a depressing (but good!) episode, I’m thinking about editing in a medley into the podcast somewhere to sort of lift our spirits. You know, The Partridge Family theme, Pharrell’s ‘Happy,’ that Ren and Stimpy ‘Happy Happy Joy Joy’ song…”
Jason Snell, host and leader of The Incomparable family of podcasts and this B5AG‘s special guest: “You’re all class, Chip.”
(Note from Chip: There will be no happy medley in the podcast. Not even Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Because my co-hosts are assassins of joy. But we had a great conversation with Jason about “Believers”!)
Na’Toth goes nuts. Earth makes a deal for immortality. A genocidal maniac plots her greatest revenge. And a good cigar is a Cuban. It’s “Deathwalker,” wherein one of the quieter races on the B5 Advisory Council flexes its muscle and Talia contemplates leaving the service industry. Who’s on Team Abbut?
Radio Free Skaro‘s Steven Schapansky joins Shannon, Chip and Erika as we explore what someone new to Babylon 5 makes of “And the Sky Full of Stars,” probably the first “WHAM!” episode of the series. Sinclair’s character arc kicks into high gear as the mystery of the Battle of the Line is foregrounded, and your hosts and guest talk about the surrealism, The Prisoner, director Janet Greek and of course our regular Sinclair Check. Then we “space” Steven, leap into spoiler space and read Universe Today.
Like the Mark Twain short story itself (included as bonus audio at the end of the podcast), its namesake B5 episode “The War Prayer” is in no way, shape or form subtle. Find out what Erika, Shannon and Chip thought of this first foray into the B5 universe for legendary Star Trek writer D.C. Fontana.
We’ve got our first guest co-host, and he’s a doozy: please welcome Chicago Sun-Times columnist and podcaster Andy Ihnatko to the B5AG Advisory Council, as we tackle “Mind War.” The telepath storyline expands significantly with the introduction of the PsiCops and Bester, and for a second straight episode G’Kar and the Narns shed their Klingonish cloak as Catherine Sakai drives into a rough part of town. Come for the peek into a possible future for humanity; stay for the Jerry Lewis impression.
So many fishies, gods by the bushel, curiously attached spectacles and little red fruit: it’s an episode that Shannon and Chip thought would be a perfect jumping-on point and Erika kinda dreaded. Welcome to “The Parliament of Dreams”!