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Babylon 5: The Gathering

In the series opener, the representatives of the five major space powers (the Earth Alliance, the Minbari Federation, the Centauri Republic, the Narn Regime and the Vorlon Empire) are coming together at Babylon 5, to form a standing committee to resolve disputes instead of resorting to war.

When the final ambassador, a Vorlon named Kosh, falls ill upon arrival, the human leader and the Babylon 5 station commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, is accused of trying to kill him.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x0
Airdate: Monday February 22nd, 1993

Starring Roles
Patricia TallmanPatricia Tallman
As Lyta Alexander
Tamlyn TomitaTamlyn Tomita
As Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima
Johnny SekkaJohnny Sekka
As Dr. Benjamin Kyle

Guest Stars
Blaire BaronBlaire Baron
As Carolyn Sykes
John FleckJohn Fleck
As Del Varner

David SageDavid Sage
As Business Man #2
Marianne RobertsonMarianne Robertson
As Hostage
Paul HamptonPaul Hampton
As The Senator
Ed WasserEd Wasser
As Guerra
Haley McLaneHaley McLane
voiced Computer
Steven R. BarnettSteven R. Barnett
As Eric Hazeltine
Billy HayesBilly Hayes
As Traveler
Linda HoffmanLinda Hoffman
As Dome Tech #2
Robert Jason JacksonRobert Jason Jackson
As Dome Tech #3
F. William ParkerF. William Parker
As Business Man #1

Jeffrey WillerthJeffrey Willerth
As Ambassador Kosh
Greg AronowitzGreg Aronowitz
As Minbari Assassin
Main Cast
Michael OMichael O'Hare
As Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
Jerry DoyleJerry Doyle
As Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
Mira FurlanMira Furlan
As Delenn
Peter JurasikPeter Jurasik
As Londo Mollari
Episode Notes
According to her IdentiCard, Lyta was born 12/10/2225, is a P5, Sixth Generation (She says in the episode that it goes back further than that -- but that's when Psi Corps started tracking telepaths), and registered with Psi Corps 10/18/2252. License ID is N617CC860

This TV movie introduces the characters of Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O'Hare), Delenn (Mira Furlan), Michael Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle), Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik), G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas) and Lyta Alexander (Patricia Tallman).

Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi) and Mira Furlan (Delenn) are the only actors to appear in both the first pilot ("The Gathering") and the series finale ("Sleeping in Light").

Ed Wasser (Guerra) would later play the recurring character Mr. Morden on the series.

Episode Quotes
Londo: (opening narration) I was there, at the Dawn of the Third Age of Mankind. It began in the Earth year 2257, at the founding of the last of the Babylon stations, located deep in neutral space. It was a port of call for refugees, smugglers, businessmen, diplomats and travellers from a hundred worlds. It could be a dangerous place. We accepted the risk because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. Babylon 5 was a dream given form, a dream of a galaxy without war, where species from different worlds could live side by side in mutual respect. Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations.This is its story.

Commander Sinclair: Guerra, you know the rules about crossing species. Stick with the list.
Guerra: What are you, a bigot or something?
Commander Sinclair: No, but, obviously, you've never met an Arnessian before. After they finish, they eat their mate.

Lyta: One last thing, Commander. Why is it called Babylon Five?
Sinclair: Babylons 1, 2 and 3 were sabotaged and destroyed. Number 4 vanished without a trace 24 hours after it becoming operational. To this day, no one knows what happened to it.

Delenn: This is from your world?
Commander Sinclair: It's a Japanese Stone Garden...since we need so much land for hydroponic crops and oxygen reclaimation, setting this aside was tough. One of the designers called it "a pool for zen skinnydipping: all you can do is think about doing it."

Delenn: On my world, there are books -- thousands of pages -- on the power of one mind to change the universe. But none say it as clearly as this [Japanese Stone Garden].

Delenn: Do you not have files on the Vorlons?
Commander Sinclair: Absolutely. Very large files. There's nothing in them, of course....How much do you have?
Delenn: More than you, it would seem...Naturally, it's all classified.
Commander Sinclair: (smirks) Naturally.
Delenn: (holding out a data card) Here is a copy of everything I have. It may be of use. If anyone asks, say "it fell from the sky."
(She smiles at his stunned lack of response as he takes it)
Delenn: I imagine I would be quite astonished by this breach of security.
Commander Sinclair: Why? I mean, the war between us has been over for almost ten years but there are still a lot of people on either side who'd hang both of us for this kind of...
Delenn: (interrupting, pleasantly mysterious) Commander. You know everything about your Stone Garden. But clearly, you have not spent nearly enough time looking at it. Good day.

G'Kar: Why won't you accept the facts? Who was the only one of us missing from the welcome party when Kosh arrived? Londo Mollari!!
Delenn: And why would the Centauri Republic want to kill Ambassador Kosh?
G'Kar: What better way to prop up a fading empire than to start a war? They've been trying to join forces with the Earth Alliance for years. A mutual enemy would serve that purpose very well!
Delenn: And if your assumption is correct, and Mollari is the assassin, what would you suggest?
G'Kar: An alliance, between our governments. Yours is the oldest of the five federations, ours is the youngest. Technologically you are centuries ahead of everyone else. We have unlimited manpower and the will to use it! Can you imagine what we could achieve together?
Delenn: I can. Which is why it must never be allowed to happen.

Delenn: Your perceptions are colored by your history with the Centauri. As former slaves of that government, you would seize any opportunity to raise a force against them!
G'Kar: We were never slaves!! Our world was invaded, our people...
Delenn: The word was ill-chosen. My apologies. But my decision stands. (dismissively) Thank you, for coming, Ambassador...
G'Kar: (enraged) Raaaah! I should have known better than to waste my time! You're even worse than the Centauri! They are beyond the dream of conquest! But you!! You had the Earth Alliance on its knees!! One more stroke, and you would have defeated them! But you surrendered. Why?
Delenn: We had our reasons.

Garibaldi: Who'd want to kill the ambassador?
Londo: Mr. Garibaldi. It's a big universe. If I knew who did it, I would tell you. I'm not here to make trouble. Do you know why I am here...? I'm here to grovel before your wonderful Earth Alliance, in the hopes of attaching ourselves to your destiny, like... what are those fish called on your planet that attach themselves to sharks?
Garibaldi: Remoras.
Londo: Yes. You make very good sharks, Mr. Garibaldi. We were pretty good sharks ourselves, once... but somehow, along the way, we forgot how to bite.There was a time when this whole quadrant belonged to us! What are we now, twelve worlds and a thousand monuments to past glories... living off memories, and stories.Selling trinkets. My God, man... we've become a tourist attraction.

Laurel Takashima: We understand your concerns...
Lyta: Do you? It takes years to train for a P5 classification, and half of those who try burn out or end up vegetables. I'm not going to throw all that away.

(Sinclair has just told Ambassador G'Kar that he has implanted a nanotech location transmitter in G'Kar's body)
Garibaldi: Think they'll ever find that transmitter you slipped G'Kar?
Commander Sinclair: Noooo. Because there isn't one.
Garibaldi: There isn't? Wait...
Commander Sinclair: I lied. I figured if there were a transmitter, sooner or later, they'd find it and remove it. But if I just told them there was, they'd keep looking...indefinitely.
Garibaldi: Commander, do you have any idea of the tests they'll put him through, the things they'll do to him, trying to find a transmitter that's not there?
Commander Sinclair: Yes. (smiles wickedly) Come on.
(Sinclair walks away)
Garibaldi: There are some days I just love this job...

Episode References
Sinclair: [Babylon] Number 4 vanished without a trace 24 hours after it becoming operational. To this day, no one knows what happened to it.

This mystery will be revealed in a later episode.

G'Kar: (enraged) Raaaah! I should have known better than to waste my time! You're even worse than the Centauri! They are beyond the dream of conquest! But you! You had the Earth Alliance on its knees! One more stroke, and you would have defeated them! But you surrendered. Why?
Delenn: We had our reasons.

This mystery, too, will be dealt with in a future episode.

The setting for the show is an O'Neill colony, or space habitat, as opposed to a classic "space station". Instead of a tight, enclosed, shiplike space used by a 2001-style space station, an O'Neill cylinder is a large close-ended tube hundreds of meters across, with an atmosphere, which is rotated to provide a centrifugal force replacement for gravity. It provides a fairly good approximation of earthlike conditions, even to the point where a sufficiently large one can have its own form of weather.

Gerard K. O'Neill was a theoretical physicist who, teaching at Princeton in the 1970s, posed a question of some of his students: "Is the surface of a planet really the right place for an expanding technological civilization?" The notions revealed by his students led him to believe that the answer was no. He also assigned his students the problem of doing basic structural analyses of large-form space habitats. To his surprise, they did not require any special materials and the design constraints were well within known specifications for earthlike structures. The end result was the now-classic book, The High Frontier, which details basic concepts and justifications for creating such colonies in near-earth space, most particularly at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points of the Earth-Moon orbit.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorJ. Michael Straczynski
Executive ProducerDouglas Netter  |  J. Michael Straczynski
ProducerRobert Latham Brown  |  John Copeland  |  John E. Hudgens
Co-ProducerRichard Compton
Associate ProducerSusan Norkin  |  George Johnsen
Production DesignerJohn Iacovelli
EditorSkip Robinson  |  David W. Foster  |  Lisa M. Citron  |  Suzanne Sternlight
CastingSteve Brooksbank  |  Mary Jo Slater  |  Fern Champion
MusicEdgar Rothermich
Music EditorEdgar Rothermich
Costume DesignerAnne Bruice
HairstylistMyke Michaels (1)  |  Tracy Smith (1)
Make-upTania Wanstall  |  Rob Sherwood  |  Cinzia Zanetti  |  John Wheaton  |  Ron Pipes  |  Nik E. Carey  |  Greg Funk  |  Fionagh Cush  |  Will Huff  |  Jeffrey S. Farley  |  Myke Michaels (1)  |  Everett Burrell  |  Mike Measimer  |  Tegan Taylor  |  John Vulich  |  Matthew Jorgensen  |  Mark Alfrey  |  Gabriel De Cunto  |  Liz Dean
GripDean Jackson  |  Kenny Yakkel  |  Jeff Bova
Key GripJohn JW Warner  |  Rick Stribling
Camera OperatorRalph Watson  |  Chuck Whelan (1)  |  Howard Block
Set DesignerKarl J. Martin
Set DecoratorDaniel Saks
Property MasterDark Hoffman
Production AssistantBrian Barney  |  Clark Credle
Script SupervisorHaley McLane  |  Chris O'Connor
Assistant EditorMarla K. Bechtel
Re-Recording MixerLiz Sroka  |  Terry O'Bright  |  Peter S. Carlstedt
Story EditorLarry DiTillio
StuntsJoey Box  |  James Jude Courtney  |  Rick Avery  |  Mike Gunther  |  Charlie Brewer  |  Matt Birman
CinematographerJohn C. Flinn III
Conceptual ConsultantHarlan Ellison
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