The Babylon Project

A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II is an episode from the first season of Babylon 5, which is collectively entitled Signs and Portents.

The situation heats up when an Earthforce heavy cruiser arrives to "protect Earth's interests", and the fusion reactors on Epsilon 3 start going out of control. They may blow up the planet and Babylon 5.



Also starring[]


Guest starring[]


Cast notes[]



Continued from Part I...

The EAS Hyperion, an Earthforce Hyperion-class heavy cruiser, arrives at Babylon 5. Captain Ellis Pierce contacts C'n'C and declares that he is assuming control of the situation.

Act I[]

The alien brought back from Epsilon III is being monitored in Medlab. Dr. Franklin was able to temporarily stabilize him, though he remains unconscious. Sinclair checks on him before meeting with Captain Pierce in his office. Pierce explains that the Office of Planetary Security, having been alerted to Sinclair's find on Epsilon III, ordered his ship to Babylon 5 to ensure no one but the Earth Alliance could stake a claim to the potentially revolutionary technology on the planet. Sinclair is not pleased about the situation, blames Pierce for stirring up trouble by his "show of force" and promises his stay will be brief.

An ISN broadcast explains that President Santiago is stepping up the force required to quell the rioting on Mars. Michael Garibaldi, still distressed about the situation, listens despondently to the broadcast from a cafe in the Zócalo. When a patron begins to disparage Mars, suggesting a nuclear solution to the rioting, Michael loses his cool and physically assaults the man.

Sinclair contacts Senator Hidoshi to help him get Pierce back down. Sinclair refuses to share his absolute authority of the sector with Pierce barring any direct order from the President. Hidoshi is unsympathetic, until Sinclair threatens to resign in protest, after which he promises to do what he can. After he hangs up with Hidoshi, he gets a link from Lt. Comm. Ivanova calling him to C'n'C.

Once there, Ivanova explains that a wing of Starfuries launched from the Hyperion is heading for Epsilon III. The planet's defense network is escalated from the last attempt and prevents any ships from getting through. Sinclair contacts Pierce and lies about a jamming device he supposedly had to get through the defense grid, hoping it will discourage Pierce from any more efforts to land. Ivanova also tells the commander that as soon as the ships began to approach the planet, the station detected a massive series of artificial disruptions near the planet's core. She warns that if the disruptions continue to grow, they will result in the total destruction of the planet – and Babylon 5.

Act II[]

Sinclair meets with Ivanova and Garibaldi to go over the situation. The station's sensors have since confirmed that Epsilon III contains a series of massive fusion reactors that are all moving towards a critical state which will destroy the planet. They discuss evacuation, which would take a minimum of 3-5 days. Ivanova is convinced the reaction is a booby trap to prevent the planet from falling into the wrong hands, and Sinclair supposes the alien had something to do about keeping it in check. She informs the commander that Captain Pierce is still insisting on trying to get a team down. Sinclair decides to wait 12 hours, and if things have not improved then he will have to order the evacuation.

Londo Mollari corners Ivanova to inquire about the situation, demanding to be "cut in" on what is happening. Ivanova simply brushes him off with a cryptic description of what's actually going on there.

Delenn continues to show her old mentor, Draal, around the station. Suddenly, Draal hears a voice calling his name, and they head off in the direction it came from.

Sinclair goes to check on Garibaldi. He heard about the incident on the Zócalo and has come to offer his friend some support. Michael is frustrated about how out of control he is over the situation on Mars and terrified something has happened to Lise. Sinclair promises to call in some favors to try and find something out for him. He also has a favor to ask. If they have to evacuate, clearly not everyone will make it out: Sinclair asks him to make sure Ivanova escapes. Garibaldi promises to get her off, even if he has to drug her to do it.

Delenn and Draal find their way to Medlab and find the alien (Varn), met by Franklin trying to keep them out. Draal insists that Varn is the one who has been calling to him. Dr. Franklin insists that is impossible, as he has never regained consciousness. Just at that moment, however, Varn awakens. Varn warns them that the planet will explode if anyone approaches it, without "another."

Arriving in C'n'C, Sinclair is informed that Varn is awake and has confirmed their "booby trap" theory. Despite this, the Hyperion is about to launch another expedition. Sinclair contacts Pierce, insisting he stand down. When Pierce rebuffs him, Sinclair threatens to attack the Hyperion's ships if they approach, arguing that he has nothing to lose since the planet is blowing up. Pierce angrily backs down, canceling the launch. Immediately afterward, a large alien ship comes through the jumpgate and fires a beam at the station and the Hyperion.

Act III[]

The energy beam is a scanning technique, one that accesses the communication and language files of the station. The ship's captain, Takarn (an alien of the same race as Varn) contacts the station and the Hyperion. He explains that his people have been searching for Epsilon III for five hundred years and were alerted to the beacon that went off a few days earlier. They insist the planet belongs to them and that they will take it if necessary, killing anyone who stands in their way. They give a 10 hour ultimatum. Pierce immediately responds, giving them a 9 hour ultimatum to withdraw.

Sinclair goes to see Varn in Medlab, who while frail is now fully awake. Varn explains that Takarn and his people were cast out centuries ago. He explains that the Great Machine on the planet was hidden from them, and that he has been the guardian living in the "heart" of the Machine for five hundred years, even while the rest of his people on the planet have died off. He insists the station belongs "to the future" and that the outcasts must not take control of it. He further explains that the planet will destroy itself without a guardian (a fail safe mechanism). When Sinclair asks him how to prevent the explosion, however, he passes out again. Dr. Franklin confirms that Varn is dying, and speculates that as he began to die, his control of the Machine wavered, resulting in the original seismic disturbances the station detected.

Next, Sinclair meets with Delenn and Draal. Draal confirms that he saw a vision of Varn, much as Sinclair also saw him the night before he went to the planet. After he leaves, Delenn talks to Draal about how he mentioned "another." They both understand what he was asking, and what it means. Just then, they are met by Londo Mollari, who asks to talk to them.

Pierce (from his ship) contacts Sinclair. Both the ship and the station are being jammed by Takarn's ship. Pierce suggests launching a preemptive strike on the ship, coordinating the firepower of his ship and the station. Sinclair reluctantly agrees and the two begin to prepare.

Londo explains to Delenn and Draal that Varn had appeared to him as well. He agrees to help them, aware that one of them will not be coming back.

In C'n'C, Ivanova clears a Centauri shuttle to launch. After it is clear of the station, she is contacted by Garibaldi, who warns her that Varn has been taken by someone from Medlab. The Centauri ship diverts from its course and begins heading for the planet. The shuttle is in fact being piloted by Londo, who has Delenn, Draal, and Varn aboard (unknown to anyone else). Takarn contacts the station, enraged over the ship defying him. His ship opens fire on the shuttle, the Hyperion, and the station. Starfures are launched and the Battle for Epsilon III commences.

Act IV[]

As the battle gets underway (with Takarn's ship splitting into three different units), C'n'C monitors Londo's shuttle (with the blast doors closed). This time, the planet's defense systems do not fire, allowing the shuttle to get through. Garibaldi, in a different shuttle, contacts C'n'C and explains that he is going after the first shuttle. Londo manages to pilot his atmospheric shuttle down into the chasm below, followed a few minutes later by Garibaldi's shuttle.

Varn is helped back to the heart of the Machine, and Garibaldi is surprised to find the two ambassadors on the planet. Draal explains that he is to take Varn's place as the Guardian. Garibaldi is opposed to the idea, but they insist it is the only way.

The battle begins to go badly for Babylon 5, but suddenly a massive energy burst erupts from the planet. Draal appears as a hologram to each of the three combatants. He explains that the planet belongs to none of them. He entrusts the safekeeping to the area to the Babylon 5 Advisory Council, imploring that the planet must be kept isolated and off limits. He further warns that its defenses are now fully active and any ship attempting to land will be destroyed. Takarn's ship ignores this order and begins moving towards the planet. A massive energy beam erupts from the planet, obliterating all three components of the ship.

Back on Epsilon III, Delenn says her good-byes. Varn explains that Draal will experience great wonders, as his thoughts will be able to reach out across the universe.

Act V[]

The Hyperion is about to move out. Pierce contacts Sinclair one last time, apologizing for exceeding his authority. The ship then jumps out. Sinclair is then informed by Ivanova that they have finally been successful in getting in contact with someone on Mars.

Garibaldi is contacted by Sinclair in his quarters. Sinclair explains that they have gotten a hold of Lise Hampton (injured but alive) and that she is standing by to talk to him. Garibaldi is relieved and has her put through. Lise is grateful that Michael was concerned about her, but when Michael suggests coming to see her, she tells him that she has gotten married and that they are expecting a baby in September. Michael is crushed, but congratulates her.

Later, Garibaldi is in the Observation Deck, staring off into space. Delenn approaches him. When Garibaldi asks why she did not inform anyone of what she and Draal had learned, she explains that if she had, she knows that Sinclair would have been the one to insist on becoming the new guardian. This she could not allow, as "his destiny lies elsewhere." She is well aware, too, that Londo will eventually call in the favor he gave her. Garibaldi wishes her a good night, and afterward Delenn looks down to the planet and wishes the same to Draal.

Memorable quotes[]

"Who says the good ol' days are gone, eh?"

Londo Mollari

"So if we go down there it blows. If we don't it blows anyway, just a little later. It's a good thing I'm Russian. We're used to hopeless situations..."

Susan Ivanova



  • The magic word Garibaldi is using is the name of the wizard Shazam who gives DC Comics' Captain Marvel his powers whenever Billy Batson, the Captain's alter ego, calls the wizard's name which thus becomes a magic word.
  • The confrontation between the station and the Hyperion foreshadows the conflict between Sheridan's forces and President Morgan Clark's regime, as it shows the willingness of B5's commanding officer to go up against his own people.

Image Category[]

Category:Images by episode (A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II)

DVD release[]

This episode, along with the other episodes from season one, has been released on DVD with extensive special features.

External links[]