The Babylon Project

Born to the Purple is an episode from the first season of Babylon 5, which is collectively entitled Signs and Portents.

Londo's career is in jeopardy when a beautiful slave seduces him and steals a sensitive computer file. Garibaldi investigates an unauthorized use of a restricted communications channel.



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Cast notes[]



Commander Jeffrey Sinclair and Ambassador G'Kar track down Londo Mollari in a strip club, chagrined that he has been avoiding them and putting off negotiations of the Euphrates Treaty. Sinclair and G'Kar temporarily join Mollari, until G'Kar's new attaché Ko D'Ath arrives. An annoyed G'Kar shows her to her quarters, while Londo gets lost in watching the latest dancer on stage, a beautiful young Centauri female. Later, when he goes to his quarters, she is waiting for him in his bed.

Act I[]

Chief Garibaldi learns of an unauthorized use of Gold Channel the previous night. He alerts Sinclair and tells him he will look into it. Sinclair, meanwhile, is impatiently awaiting Mollari along with G'Kar, Ko D'Ath, and Londo's aide Vir Cotto. Telepath Talia Winters is also there, and she is a bit overwhelmed by the strong anger G'Kar and Ko D'Ath are demonstrating. Sinclair speaks with her outside the room a moment, explaining that the Earth Alliance is very interested in a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

Londo, meanwhile, is enjoying a late morning in bed with the dancer, whose name is Adira Tyree. She fawns over him, despite his claim he is nothing more than a "washed up old republican, dreaming of better days." Vir contacts Londo over the communicator, explaining that Londo is over an hour late to the negotiations. Londo tells Vir to convey his apologizes and that he will be there soon. Londo also asks Vir to have some hot Jala waiting for him.

Garibaldi goes to C'n'C to tell Susan Ivanova about the Gold Channel abuse. Ivanova does not seem all that bothered by the apparent security breach. She tells him she will look into it when she can, but in the meantime he should monitor the channel for any more misuse.

Londo arrives for the negotiations in a bright and happy mood, apologizing profusely for his tardiness, and eager to begin the negotiations; telling Vir he is a "treasure" for having his beverage prepared for him.

In her own quarters, Adira is confronted by her alien master Trakis, who owns her as a slave. He asks her why she has not yet stolen Londo's Purple files, and she tries to lie about it being harder than she thought. Trakis explains the importance of the files, and how valuable they are. He mocks her for her status as his slave, and insists she recover the files that night using a mind probe. Trakis taunts a sorrowful Adira that he will grant her freedom as soon as she gets the files – even as he has the Republic "by the throat."

Act II[]

Londo arrives at Adira's quarters later that night, bringing with him a bouquet of Star Laces that he had grown specifically for her. He then offers her a gift: a brooch dating back to the original days of the Republic that belonged to a noble matriarch of House Mollari. Adira tries to refuse it, but Londo insists she take it. Adira is shocked when Londo tells her he has made reservations for them at Fresh Air, surprised that he is not ashamed to be seen with her. Londo explains that while status and appearances mean everything to the Centauri, she means more to him than any of it.

Back in his office, Garibaldi is alerted when another Gold Channel violation occurs. He attempts to track it, but a countermeasure stops his attempt.

Sinclair takes Talia to Fresh Air to reward her for a hard day's work. She tells him Londo's thoughts all day had been intensely erotic. Sinclair points Londo and Adira out across the restaurant, acting like young lovers.

Garibaldi heads back up to C'n'C, explaining to Ivanova that the countermeasure came through I.C.E. and the only thing he was able to determine was the destination was somewhere in the Russian Consortium. However, I.C.E. turns up no unauthorized programs or transmissions. Ivanova teases him that it must be a figment of his imagination.

Back in his quarters, Adira fixes Londo a drink, slipping in a sedative that causes Londo to pass out. Using the mind probe, she gets him to unconsciously speak the password to his Purple files. She downloads them onto a data crystal and quickly flees, leaving behind the brooch he gave her.

The following morning, Londo awakens with a severe headache as Vir arrives. Londo is confused as to what happened, especially when he sees the brooch. Trying to figure out what happened, he tells Vir he should take over in the negotiations temporarily. He bestows full ambassadorial authority on Vir, saying he has full confidence in him while admonishing him not to "give away the homeworld."

Trakis contacts Adira. She tells him she has the files and will meet him in the Zócalo to deliver them. Once she sees him there, however, she runs from him. Trakis tries to follow but loses her.

Act III[]

Trakis finds Londo looking for Adira at her quarters. Trakis explains that Adira is his slave, and tells him she is secretly a Narn agent. He tells him that she has stolen the files and that as her owner, he can be held responsible. He plants a bug on Mollari, and taunts him about being used by her. Londo, overwhelmed with emotion, asks him to leave immediately.

In the negotiations, Vir arrives eager to fulfill his assignment. G'Kar is enraged at the perceived slight, saying he will only return when Mollari is there. In the meantime, he bestows authority to negotiate for the Narn Regime on Ko D'Ath, giving her the same admonition not to "give away the homeworld." Sinclair asks Talia to keep them talking while he tracks down Mollari.

Londo confirms that his Purple files have been copied and goes out to find Adira. Sinclair confronts Mollari about brushing off the negotiations. Mollari confesses to what has happened, and beseeches him for help. Sinclair agrees to help on the condition Mollari will agree to his compromise in the Treaty. Not wanting to file an official report, Sinclair and Mollari go undercover to the club where Adira works. The club is closed at the moment and they are almost thrown out. Sinclair manages to convince the club owner to let them see the dancers. Londo asks the girls if any of them know about Adira. One of them knows she is hiding in Brown Sector, so they head out.

Elsewhere, Trakis overhears the conversation via the bug on Londo. He goes to N'Grath to hire some thugs to delay Sinclair and Londo until he can reach Adira. He agrees and, in Brown Sector, Londo and Sinclair are attacked by two men.

Act IV[]

Sinclair and Londo flee the two hired guns, who pursue only briefly, being quickly alerted that Trakis has grabbed Adira.

Ivanova contacts Garibaldi in his office, alerting him to the gunfire in Brown 7 and asking him to check it out. Garibaldi instead orders a team to go, and has the computer run a new monitor of Gold Channel.

Sinclair tells Londo he can have Trakis arrested, but Londo says that will only mean what has happened would be made public and ruin his career. Trakis could also harm Adira that way, and despite everything that's happened he still cares for her.

Garibaldi's computer alerts him to Gold Channel being used again. He manages to pull up the transmission, which is coming from Earth. It is actually Ivanova herself who has been using the channel to monitor her dying father back on Earth. Her father has come out of a coma, but his health is failing rapidly. He speaks to his daughter for the final time, conveying his regret that he was not a more loving father, and apologizing for any hurt or pain he has ever caused her. He tells her he is and always has been proud of her. Susan watches tearfully as he dies.

Sinclair begins a plan to find Adira. He tells G'Kar he is going to see to it that G'Kar can purchase the purple files from Trakis. Then, Sinclair and Londo ask Talia to help them out. She agrees as long as Psi Corps rules are still observed. They set up Trakis to meet with G'Kar and Talia under the pretense of a deal, but Talia manages to quickly probe his mind and learn where Adira is being held. Trakis, realizing he's been tricked, tries to leave but is immediately knocked down by Londo, who takes back his files. Londo then happily thanks G'Kar for helping to save both his own career and the honor of the Republic. Realizing he's been used, G'Kar storms off.

Garibaldi goes to see Ivanova in C'n'C, and, instead of telling her what he saw, he says she was "right" about the Gold Channel abuses really being a computer error. He offers to buy her a drink, and she tells him she might take him up on it later.

Act V[]

Londo meets with Adira in the customs area, as Adira is returning to her home planet. He tells her Sinclair convinced Trakis to free her. When she turns down his offer to stay, Londo gives her the brooch again, telling her to wear it proudly as a free woman. She promises to come back to him eventually.

Memorable quotes[]

"What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?"

Londo, to Vir

"Don't give away the home world!"

Londo, to Vir, after assigning him to attend the negotiations in his place

"Just don't give away the home world!"

G'Kar, to Ko D'Ath, after leaving her to negotiate with Vir

Behind the Scenes[]

  • During production, 'Born to the Purple' was originally titled 'Amaranth'.[1][2]


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