"You've got quite a brother there, Liz. I can't tell you how lucky I feel sometimes, even when he's not here. I just-- Someone said that love knows no borders...and ours certainly proves the point."
- – Anna Sheridan, 2256
In November 2256, Anna was asked by Dr. Chang to join him on an expedition aboard the Icarus, an IPX exploratory ship. Partly funded by Earthforce New Technologies, the Icarus's mission was to find and survey a newly discovered planet out on the Rim, codenamed Alpha Omega III. Unknown to Anna at the time, IPX sent the Icarus there after specifically tracking a Shadow vessel found buried in Syria Planum to that world. During the journey to the Rim, Anna befriended Dr. Morden, a fellow xeno-archaeologist on loan to IPX from Earthforce New Technologies. On January 3, 2257 after setting down on the planet, the crew came into contact with the newly awakened Shadows.
The Shadows offered the crew members a choice: serving them willingly or unwillingly. It appears the Shadows destroyed the Icarus when attempted to escape. Anna was among those who refused, but rather than have her killed, the Shadows placed her inside one of their ships - as they used living beings as their central processing units.
Anna was the controller of one of the Shadow vessels involved in the Battle of Quadrant 37. Before coming out of Hyperspace, she had received her orders from The Eye to first destroy the ships in orbit and then subsequently destroy the outpost below. She, along with the other Shadow vessels, made sure that all structures had been completely obliterated.
Once the Shadows learned who she was and her connection to Captain Sheridan in 2260, they removed her from the vessel, but she had been inside the ship for so long her personality had been completely destroyed. This led to a new personality being created and planted inside Anna, one that was utterly dedicated to the Shadows and their mission.
"So, you can work with us or...
Or you'll do to me what you did to Anna?"
- – Justin and John Sheridan, 2260
At the end of 2260, Anna was sent to Babylon 5 to bring John Sheridan to Z'ha'dum following the Shadows' defeat at the Battle of Sector 83. Unaware that the crew of B5 knew how the Shadow vessels operated, she agreed to be inspected by Dr. Stephen Franklin. Franklin quickly determined what had happened to her, and John could sense that the woman he married was truly gone. Nevertheless, he went along with her to Z'ha'dum. Leading him inside the Shadows' capital city, she introduced him to Justin and along with Morden, the three explained the war from the Shadows' perspective.
After calling them out on what they did to Anna, John attempted to flee, but Anna and several Shadows pursued him to the balcony outside of the capital city overlooking the edge of a great abyss, appealing to John to come back with her. Instead, he leaped into the chasm. Anna died when the White Star came crashing down into the city, detonating two 500 megaton Thermonuclear devices, shrieking out the war cry of a Shadow ship as her death approached. She was so near than must have been killed in the blast. Morden said "I survived the blast because I wasn't as near as others", implying than he was speaking of Anna.
Behind the Scenes
- Anna Sheridan first appeared on a message recorded to Elizabeth Sheridan prior to her death in "Revelations" played by Beth Toussaint. When the time came for Anna to appear again, Beth Toussaint wasn't available and actress Melissa Gilbert (Bruce Boxleitner's then real-life spouse) was cast in her place. Gilbert's first appearance as Anna was in War Without End, Part II, though only her shadow and voice were featured in that episode before being fully revealed at the very end of "Shadow Dancing," and throughout the episode "Z'ha'dum".
- In addition to these appearances, Melissa Gilbert also re-shot Anna's message to Elizabeth Sheridan from "Revelations", which was cut together with the original footage of Bruce Boxleitner for a brief flashback scene in "Z'ha'dum". In the DVD commentary for that episode, J. Michael Straczynski slyly refers to the scene as a piece of "Soviet Revisionism" and mentions the possibility of inserting the re-shot footage into "Revelations".
- A photo of Melissa Gilbert also appeared in "In the Beginning", and her image was also used to portray Anna on both of the two different covers of Jeanne Cavelos's novel "The Shadow Within". The wedding photo seen in "Z'ha'dum" was from Bruce and Melissa's actual wedding.