- Bruce Boxleitner as Captain John Sheridan
- Claudia Christian as Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Ambassador Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth
- Robert Rusler as Lieutenant Warren Keffer
- Andreas Katsulas as Ambassador G'Kar
- Peter Jurasik as Ambassador Londo Mollari
- Kim Zimmer as Cynthia Torqueman
- Christopher Curry as Senator Ronald Quantrell
- Granville Ames as Psi Cop
- John Christian Graas as Johnny
- Leslie Wing as Johnny's Mother
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are John Sheridan, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Stephen Franklin, Delenn, Londo Mollari, and G'Kar.
On the ISN network host Cynthia Torqueman introduces a special segment entitled "36 Hours on Babylon 5." She rehashes the recent history of the station, calling attention to the difficulties and dire projections associated with its launch.
The first video clip of the news team's approach to Babylon 5 sets the report's dramatic tone. An altercation between Narn and Centauri transport ships ends with the Narn transport firing upon and destroying the Centauri transport.
In Bay 1, the emergency teams work quickly to save the wounded Centauri crew members as Cynthia explains the situation to the viewers. She attempts to interview Dr. Franklin and Captain Sheridan at the scene, who both respond without commentaries.
In the following interviews, Ambassador Mollari claims the Narn are escalating the conflict into neutral zones in order to strike at the Centauri unprovoked, while ambassador G'Kar claims Mollari is lying and the attack was justified.
Several slice-of-life interviews with various passengers and crew members follow, including Eduardo Delvientos, Franklin and Sheridan.
G'Kar later issues an official statement by the Narn Regime, explaining the cause for the attack on the Centauri transport which they suspect was carrying weapons of mass destruction intended for the front lines of their war with the Narn. He also threatens with that if the Centauri continue to use Babylon 5 as a waystation for their weapon transports, then Narn will ultimately attempt to shut the station down if necessary.
As the new's interview segment continues, Cynthia asks Senator Quantrell whether Babylon 5, with its excessive interest in non-human issues, is worth the investment. He gives the station a somewhat hesitant praise, citing its necessity after the Earth-Minbari War. Senator Quantrell says that Earth Alliance has re-built its military, now vastly superior to what it was during the Earth-Minbari War, and if the war where to occur again "today" that the outcome would go very differently, hinting that the Earth-Alliance would be capable of now even defeating the Minbari. ISN reporter Cynthia agrees with Senator Quantrell and says that due to the vastly improved technology of Earth forces, the greater use of Babylon 5 largely lies in its economical benefits, a position hotly rejected by Captain Sheridan who states that the EA lacks the military power to realistically fight a war against the Minbari Federation, Centauri Republic, not to mention the Vorlon Empire.
An interview with Cmdr. Ivanova shows that HAZMAT teams are investigating the debris of the Centauri transport in order to verify G'Kar's statement. Cynthia's subsequent interview with Garibaldi is interrupted by a call from Ivanova about the HAZMAT report: "We've got a problem."
Cynthia attempts an interview with Ambassador Kosh, but is given the cold shoulder.
A following interview with Ambassador Delenn begins friendly enough, at first, with questions of Minbar and its people's culture and languages. However, the questions become increasingly personal and uncomfortable (even hinting on antagonism): regarding Delenn's new appearance, and how humans – particularly those who lost family and friends during the war – would view her assuming a Human/Minbari hybrid form as presumptuous, a question which upsets Delenn. The interview is interrupted by a call to session of the Advisory Council.
The results of the investigation reveals that the destroyed transport was indeed carrying fusion bombs, ion cannons, Mass drivers, and heavy-energy weapons. At session, G'Kar calls for the remaining Centauri transports to be searched and their weapon cargo to be impounded, to which Mollari angrily declares that the ships will defend themselves against any such attempts.
Suddenly, the room lights momentarily dim and faint detonations are heard. Ivanova links in to report that the Narn and Centauri ships have opened fire on one another just outside the station, shown on external viewers.
Inside the station, residents are directed to the station’s shelters, while outside, the Narn and Centauri forces continue firing, beginning to engage the station's fighter pilots as well. Disregarding the threats of war from both ambassadors, Captain Sheridan order the Earth forces to open fire on the Narn and Centauri vessels with the aim to disable them. Within seconds EarthForce disables both the Narn and Centauri ships, with the remaining Narn and Centauri forces surrendering to the Earth Alliance.
Cynthia interviews G’Kar and Londo on the source of the conflict between their peoples. Both argue the historical perspective of their race.
In C'n'C, Ivanova oversees the search of the transports before being interrupted by the arrival of a Centauri Cruiser. Londo links in to C'n'C issuing an ultimatum: if the Centauri transports impounded aren't released and the search stopped, the cruiser will blockade Babylon 5. Any ships entering or leaving the station's area will be fired upon and detained.
A public service announcement of the Psi Corps follows.
The Centauri cruiser holds position outside the perimeter of Babylon 5 while the debate between the two sides continues in the council chambers. Torqueman tries to interview Sheridan and G'Kar as they leave the room. Later, Senator Quantrell comments on how the presence of Babylon 5 may be drawing Earth into an alien conflict, which they shouldn't interfere with.
EarthGov refuses the demands of the Centauri cruiser. Captain Sheridan prepares to bluff the Centauri ultimatum by sending an auto-piloted transport past the cruiser, threatening retaliation for any aggressive actions. The transport passes by the cruiser unharmed and the Centauri link in to talk.
The celebrations in C'n'C are cut short by the arrival of a Narn Heavy Cruiser which immediately proceeds to engage the Centauri craft. In the resulting fight the Centauri cruiser is destroyed and the Narn cruiser is heavily damaged. The Narn craft attempts to escape through a jump point before succumbing to the damage with its engines - a reaction with the jump point.
Torqueman concludes the segment of "36 Hours" by stating that, while Babylon 5 is definitely a dangerous place and will continue to be a source of controversy and conflict, it should also be given more time to fulfill its purpose.
Torqueman's final question is whether B5 is worth it. Most people respond yes, G'Kar is uncertain, and Quantrell says it is yet to be seen. Sheridan appeals to the idea of making a better world by building the future.
"What do I hope for? I hope to get through this interview without getting fired, how's that for a start?"
- – Michael Garibaldi
"Sovereign rights of any race end when they threaten innocent lives."
- – Delenn
"There are humans for whom the words "never again" carry special meaning, as they do for us."
- – G'Kar
- John Sheridan agrees with G'Kar's opinion of military power. Sheridan does not mention the Narn Regime as a military threat. In "Chrysalis" G'Kar states that Earthforce is one of the militaries that could have destroyed the outpost. Both agree with the military power of the Minbari Federation, Centauri Republic, and Vorlon Empire.
- The Narn-Centauri War continues to go badly for the Narn Regime. According to ISN, the Narns have lost six of the previous seven major engagements.
- Interplanetary Expeditions, which is shown to be one of the segment's sponsors, had previously been mentioned in ("Infection") as financing expeditions to worlds along the Rim, including Ikarra VII. At the time Franklin was unable to find any information on them, so it appears they have since begun to foster a public image.
- David Corwin, a recurring character since "Signs and Portents," is finally given a name and rank (Second Lieutenant).
- References are made to the Minbari Assassin, his activities, and repercussions (e.g. a bomb that blows out two levels and a near attack by the Vorlon Empire, as seen in "The Gathering").
- Eduardo Delvientos makes a brief reappearance, his first and only since "By Any Means Necessary" where he is interviewed as a member of the Dockers Guild and makes reference to the strike over budget cuts during the previous year (the subject of said episode).
- President Morgan Clark is said by his own internal polling agency to have risen in popularity, having set his policies on focusing more on the needs of Earth, a promise he made shortly after assuming the Presidency in "Chrysalis".
- Senator Hidoshi is no longer a member of the Earth Senate.
- The events depicted in this episode presumably occurred several weeks before the ISN broadcast. The broadcast would occur after both "Knives" and "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum."
- Near the end of the Psi Corps commercial, something flickers across the screen. Pausing at that moment reveals a subliminal message: "The Psi Corps is your friend. Trust the Corps." It is a continuing display of the Psi Corps' efforts to persuade telepaths into their ranks.
- Ambassador Delenn's visible grief and regret when the reporter confronts her with the death toll in the Earth-Minbari War (250,000 humans) is more understandable in light of later revelations about her personal role in the war ("In the Beginning", "Atonement").
- This episode, along with the other 21 from Season 2 have been released on DVD with extensive Special features.
|Babylon 5 Season 2 "The Coming of Shadows"|
|<<< Previous Season • "Points of Departure" • "Revelations" • "The Geometry of Shadows" • "A Distant Star" • "The Long Dark" • "A Spider in the Web" • "Soul Mates" • "A Race Through Dark Places" • "The Coming of Shadows" • "GROPOS" • "All Alone in the Night" • "Acts of Sacrifice" • "Hunter, Prey" • "There All the Honor Lies" • "And Now For a Word" • "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum" • "Knives" • "Confessions and Lamentations" • "Divided Loyalties" • "The Long, Twilight Struggle" • "Comes the Inquisitor" • "The Fall of Night" • Next Season >>>|
|Babylon 5 franchise|
|Babylon 5 & Crusade Episodes by Season|
|Signs and Portents • The Coming of Shadows • Point of No Return • No Surrender, No Retreat • Wheel of Fire • Crusade: Season 1 • Unfilmed Episodes|
|The Gathering • In the Beginning • Thirdspace • River of Souls • A Call to Arms • The Legend of the Rangers • Voices in the Dark|
|Novels • Comic Books • Short Stories • Reference books • Magazines|
|DVD Releases • VHS Home Video • The Official Guide to Babylon 5 • Babylon 5: Into the Fire|