"I haven't broken the rules in a long time, Doctor. So, I guess...I'm about due."
Born on Earth, Laurel joined Earthforce toward the end of the Earth-Minbari War, though by the time she completed her Academy training, the war was all over. Her first assignment was with Mars Colony Security shortly before the food riots.
Unfortunately, the local command staff was corrupt and if an officer wanted a promotion they had to bribe the sector captain. Laurel refused, and so found herself trapped, unable to get promoted or released from her contract. After a while, she began breaking the rules and putting everyone else’s safety at risk, because she just didn’t care anymore. Then Sinclair came to work at the station. Realizing what she was doing, he got her to instead fight the broken system within the rules. He would make sure she got promoted.
On Babylon 5
By 2257, she had become first officer of Babylon 5, overseeing the arrival of the last of the diplomatic staff. When the Vorlon ambassador Kosh suddenly fell ill and collapsed, she had to relay the news that the Vorlon High Command would not allow them to open his encounter suit to examine him further. Later, she was a deciding factor in getting the resident telepath Lyta Alexander to Scan ambassador Kosh to find out who tried to kill him, something Alexander objected to both professionally and personally. Laurel helped Commander Sinclair and Garibaldi track down the real assassin. Following the assassination attempt on Ambassador Kosh, Takashima was recalled to Earth where she was assigned to a classified mission to the Rim by EarthForce. She was replaced by Susan Ivanova in 2258, who inherited her illicit coffee planter in Hydroponics.
- During post production of ("The Gathering"), some parties at Warner Bros. felt Tamlyn Tomita's line readings were too "strong" making her (in their opinions) unlikeable, unsympathetic and harsh and requested that her dialogue be replaced with something "softer". Though J. Michael Straczynski fought against this note, Tamlyn did eventually have to loop all of her dialogue with a "softer performance." When TNT commissioned a re-mastering and re-edit of the original pilot for a "Special Edition", Straczynski had Special Edition Editor Suzanne Sternlicht restore Tomita's original voice tracks.
- Takashima was intended to be a continuing member of the cast; however Tamlyn Tomita didn't feel comfortable playing a military commander and felt her career would do better if she pursued other kinds of roles.
- The original intention was to have Takashima be the one implanted with the "Control" personality during the time she spent serving on Mars and was complicit in the plot to assassinate Kosh. Later, she would also have been the one to shoot Garibaldi in the back at the end of season one. When Tamlyn Tomita opted out of the show, elements of that character thread were moved across to both Talia Winters and Jack, Garibaldi's second. A vestige of this can be found in ("The Gathering") when the Minbari Assassin enters Del Varner's quarters using Takashima's clearance. Additionally, Takashima was in the ideal position to overlook the breaching pod clamping onto the hull, to delay Sinclair's transport tube, and knew the exact time that Kosh's ship would be docking.
- Though never addressed on screen, Takashima was born on Earth, with very strong ties to home, and had a long-standing relationship with an Earth Alliance "off-world mapper", though that person was away quite a lot of the time.
- JMS post on GENIE - 2/1/1992 2:01:00 PM
- Across Time and Space: The Chronologies of Babylon 5 - Cites: Conjecture from "The Gathering". Assumes Takashima was 20 when she completed EF training, shortly before the Mars food riots.
- The Gathering
- Midnight on the Firing Line
- The War Prayer
- JMS post on CIS - 12/23/1997 2:33:00 PM
- JMS post on AOL - 11/30/1995 7:45:00 PM
- JMS post on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated - 11/11/1994 7:55:00 PM
- JMS post on CIS - 4/16/1996 12:16:00 PM
- JMS post on GENIE - 8/28/1993 8:57:00 PM