Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “Sleeping in Light”

And so we have come to the end of this journey. Five years of amazing storytelling, populated by amazing characters. Four years of us pulling it apart and exploring the things we loved and the things we weren’t sure about.

Here is where you can talk about ALL THE THINGS that happened in “Babylon 5”.

Thank you for joining us. Be seeing you.

24 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “Sleeping in Light””

  1. Congratulations to you on completing your own four years and three months’ arc.

    I would also like to offer my condolences to the Sudderth family at what must be a difficult time for you. I hope that you are bearing up as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

  2. I second what Voord said.

    I was still in high school when “Sleeping in Light” aired, and I never appreciated at the time how special it was to have an outright conclusion/coda to a television series. The only other shows that got even close to such an emotionally satisfying resolution were The Next Generation’s “All Good Things” and Battlestar Galactica’s “Daybreak.” (I know the latter is controversial, but dangit, I loved it!)

  3. Thirded.

    With regards to behind-the-scenes stuff, in addition to the Lurker’s Guide, the JMSNews archive, and various magazines of the time, there were also Jane Killick’s season-by-season guides, which are sort of analogous to the “Companion” books released for The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. They’re a collection of interviews organized episode-by-episode.

    Also, the best resource for production design and VFX history on the show is Tom Smith’s “B5 Scrolls” website, a collection of email interviews he conducted several years ago that clear up a lot of hearsay, conjecture, and exaggeration that was floating around on-line. He’s planning a final revamp of the site, but most of the interviews are still available on the current version, and he also posted a lot of interesting tidbits and rare photos and 3D renders on his facebook page. http://b5scrolls.com https://www.facebook.com/B5Scrolls

  4. Well done! Congratulations on 5 years.

    I don’t get Steven’s haterade for ‘Deconstruction’ thought. It was one of my favorite episodes, probably because it was a picaresque journey through the future…

  5. Thank you so much for the best B5 rewatch podcast I’ve heard, you’ve definitely earned the break before Crusade. In three months it will be 20th anniversary of the original airing of Sleeping in Light, so not too bad with the timing.

    I admit I can be quite sentimental and love some melodrama, but if there ever was 45 minutes of TV that can make me cry every single time it’s Sleeping in Light. And this still happens after 20 years of rewatches.

    I can only imagine if the episode is just corny and soapy for someone who hasn’t seen the entire series, or isn’t as invested in the show as I am. There’s the full weight of five years of story and characters that I know better than any other piece of fiction, and even though the series itself is supposed to be a slice of life, and makes a good point that life goes on, there’s a strong sense of finality, especially with Babylon 5’s destruction. It’s just as much a character of the show as Sheridan or Delenn.

    What can I say, my favourite TV series finale.

    And about behind the scenes, an interesting piece of history is the famous original B5 document, the one JMS wrote after having his idea in the shower in 1988. It’s not a story outline or a detailed plan, but more like defining tone and some concepts and ideas. It was released years ago, and the original page is missing the actual document, but an archived copy is still available at https://web.archive.org/web/20150523045833/http://www.cafepress.com/b5books/6587738

    I also have to recommend a very interesting three-and-a-half hour Television Academy interview, which covers pretty much all of JMS’s career in addition to B5: https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/j-michael-straczynski

    And about getting an interview, JMS has given interviews to at least two B5 podcasts that I’ve listened to, so it probably doesn’t hurt to ask him. At least I would absolutely love to hear first-time viewer’s questions, the approach would probably be a bit different from us old-timers.

    1. Considering how many story ideas I’ve had in the shower or driving home, i understand all to well!
      Thanks for the link btw.

      …. I do wish I had found each of these podcasts and spoiler forums heard ago when they started though!

  6. – My condolences and love to the Sudderth Family. Thinking of yous.
    – This episode was brilliant.
    – Now that I think about it, B5AG deserves an award nomination somewhere.
    – I looked at ten podcast award sites. All recently closed except The Upgradies, hosted by Jason Snell.
    – When Stephen asked about legacy writings, my mind went off to academic journals and humanities essay books, the like of which Slayage did for Buffy. Are there any?
    – Apart from the comments. You folk have been great, every one of you, for reassessing. Even when the chat has jarred (which was rarely), my thoughts were provoked and my passion fired every time. Thanks.

  7. Thank you hosts!

    For Stephen, the two books The Babylon File and The Babylon File volume 2 by Andy Lane are a good outside look at Babylon 5 and does contain info about the production process.

  8. I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. I hope that your family and friends are with you all to support each other in this sad season.

    Thank you to all our hosts for the hard work that you put into this enjoyable and informative podcast. It has been fun rewatching the series with you, and I hope to join you again for the appendices.

  9. Thank you guys for taking me on the B5 journey again these last years! I see JMS regularly states on twitter that he turns down podcast interviews due to not wanting to choose one over another – I do hope he eventually picks one and that you guys are the one! Great stuff.

  10. Have loved your podcast. So insightful. Been following it from the start. This year it filled the haiatus left by Dr Who.

    Do carry on with the spinoffs.

    Presented a paper recently at international ancient warfare conference about Straczynski’s reception of Ancient Rome and the depiction of Roman virtus/virtue as depicted in B5. Cicero very significant. Had a great time.

    Am in 7th heaven tonight as B5 being re-broadcast in UK on Sky One starting 29 October. Can’t wait. Hopefully it will be original broadcast format and not cropped. I already own that version. So now I can relisten to you from series 1 ep 1.

  11. A few years ago, I took a job working remotely for a company in California (I live in Colorado). Once a month, I fly to Palm Springs airport, watching an episode (or two) of B5 on the flight. Every time I drive out of the airport, I play the corresponding episode of the podcast. (If I think about driving out of the parking lot, the podcast theme song plays in my head). On my trip there last month, I was saddened to realize that with “Sleeping with Light”, this part of my travel routine has come to an end.

    Babylon 5 is literally my favorite TV show of all time. Your podcast gave me a great excuse to watch it all again. While the special effects didn’t hold up over time, the story and the characters did. And some of the themes are (unfortunately) more applicable now than ever. Your podcast made it so much more fun and interesting. I even learned to like and appreciate season 5!

    Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into the podcast!

  12. I just learned that Larry DiTillio passed away two weeks ago, and thought that someone should bring it to people’s attention here — although I have no idea how many people are still checking in from time to time. I believe that he wrote more episodes of Babylon 5 than anyone else apart from JMS, and some (Born to the Purple, for instance) are quite important in setting the tone for the show in its first two years. He also did a great deal of other TV writing, especially in animation, and was also a significant figure in role-playing games.

  13. I just found this recently. You see, I had not thought to even look for this kind of podcast before. Then my wife found a West Wing Podcast that went episode by episode breaking down the events that happened in that episode.
    It got me to wondering if there was a similar podcast out there for B5. Low and behold, I found three. I listened to the first three episodes of each to get a feel for which I would enjoy the most, and yours won out! Though I’m also listening to one of the other two as well. The third one just did not mesh well with me.
    But anyway, I just wanted to thank you for creating this series. It’s gotten me inspired to watch the series again (for the sixth time through now!).
    I just gotta say, Sinclair deserves more love than he got from you lot! =D

  14. Crusade Audio Guide on the horizon??

    As incentive I will begin posting Crusade quotes randomly in discussion sections.

    John Matheson: [seeing Galen in the transporter] You like going nowhere at 120 miles an hour?
    Galen: Of course, that is man’s natural condition.

  15. If anyone is still checking in here, even occasionally, I thought that someone should post the sad news that Mira Furlan has passed on.

    I think it’s fair to say that Ms. Furlan was one of the essential actors of Babylon 5, without which it is very hard to imagine the story being a success across its five seasons. She was also a genuinely courageous and inspiring human being, who was forced to leave her native Croatia at the beginning of the ‘90s because she refused to stop acting in Serbia.

  16. Well, I suppose since I come back here from time to time to post news, and this is definitely news…


    We don’t know how it’s going to turn out, and I personally don’t expect that it will mean as much to me as the original Babylon 5 did in the 1990s. But I’d hope that we can all feel happy for J. Michael Straczynski that he finally has this chance to revisit his creation, something that he has spoken about wanting to do many times over the years.

  17. Any chance of doing the other movies and Crusade? I just finished my rewatch with you guys. Listening to the last pod now 🙁 much appreciated for doing this!

  18. I was listening to an old episode of Random Trek featuring Shannon, and I was reminded of the joy I felt listening to your podcast. I started when you only had a bit more to go, and I caught up before Sleeping in the Light. Thank you, and I hope to hear a bit more from you in the future!

  19. Since I’ve been posting Babylon 5 news here when it exists, and we had the biggest news in a long time just now:

    So we are definitely getting new B5, for the first time since The Lost Tales — and it being animated has the big advantage that we can have the familiar and beloved actors (aside from those who have sadly passed away) doing voices without tying the story to being set 25ish years after the end of the original.

    Personally, I am very curious to see *what* aspects of Babylon 5 it is to which JMS has chosen to connect this new story, whatever it is.

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