Babylon 5 is an American space opera created by writer and producer J. Michael Strazcynski, who also wrote 92 of the 110 episodes that aired. He has said that it had “always been conceived as, fundamentally, a five year story, a novel for television.” It premiered on January 26, 1994 into direct syndication.
The series takes its name from the Babylon 5 station, a five mile long and a mile wide spaceship that uses rotating sections to create artificial gravity. It provides living quarter’s environments for all the species that live and work on the station as well as providing breathing equipment for humans to tolerate the different environments. The first three Babylon stations were destroyed through sabotage or accident. Babylon 4 disappeared exactly 24 hours after it came on line. Aside from humans, the chief races are the Minbari, Narns, Centari and Vorlons, each race has an embassy staff that lives on the station. Minor races include the pak’ma’ra’, Vree, Drazi, Markab, Brakari and others make up the League of Non Aligned worlds. Other more malevolent races like the Shadows will appear later in the five year run.
The series takes place between the years 2258-2262. Earth has just emerged from an accidental war with the Minbari where the Earth was on the verge of defeat until the Minbari suddenly ceased aggression for reasons that would not become obvious until later. Each year has its arc and theme that runs though out each year with over all themes that run throughout the series, including universal ideas such as good vs. evil, religion, war and peace, sacrifice and addition.
There are a number of main characters that are pivotal to the overall story. These include:
A large number of special and minor characters also drive the story at various times and have varying degrees of impact on the series main characters. These include nefarious Psi Corp head Alfred Bester and the sinister Mr. Mordon.
The series ends with the death or departure of all the main characters and Sheridan makes one final visit to that station 19 years after leaving to run the Alliance, and he dies onboard only to encounter the First Ones who take him away to parts unknown. It is Strazcynski himself who switches off the lights on Babylon 5 before it is demolished.
The following series of articles will take a look at each of the above characters, looking into what makes them tick and follows them through their individual journeys.