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This page outlines the different viewing orders suggested over the years and compares them in detail.

Fortunately Babylon 5's original broadcast order doesn't significantly disrupt the viewing experience, so viewers looking for a hassle-free option can safely watch the show's five seasons in the original broadcast order, DVD order, or HBO Max order without major issues and leave the ardent fans to sweat the details. Also the TV movies and spin-offs (apart from the pilot movie The Gathering) are not integral to the main story so they can safely be left until after the main show.

(Note the Crusade spin-off original broadcast order does have significant issues and it's usually recommended to watch in an alternative order - the All-Inclusive order is probably the least controversial but that and other suggested orders are discussed in more detail below.)

Having said the above, there are a handful of minor continuity issues in the original broadcast order (discussed in more detail below). During the show's original broadcast the showrunner, J. Michael Straczynski (jms) was very engaged with the online fan community and gave a running commentary on the production of the show. His comments revealed some episodes had had their originally planned airing orders rearranged for various reasons. Based on these comments (as well as evidence within the episodes themselves) changes to the original airing order have been put forward to enhance the viewing experience in different ways.

Viewing order table[]

The three most frequently cited viewing orders are detailed below - click the column headers to sort the table. More detailed comparisons of the different orders can be found in later sections.

Episode name Original Broadcast order Original Broadcast numbering Original Broadcast date Lurker's Guide order Historical Database order Historical Database story dates
The Gathering (Pilot) 1 1993-02-22 2 1 2257-01-03 to 2257-01-08
Midnight on the Firing Line 2 1x01 1994-01-26 3 2 2258-02-28
Soul Hunter 3 1x02 1994-02-02 4 3 2258-03-02 to 2258-03-03
Born to the Purple 4 1x03 1994-02-09 5 5 2258-03-22 to 2258-03-25
Infection 5 1x04 1994-02-16 6 4 2258-03-08 to 2258-03-09
The Parliament of Dreams 6 1x05 1994-02-23 7 6 2258-03-30 to 2258-04-03
Mind War 7 1x06 1994-03-02 8 9 2258-04-24 to 2258-04-26
The War Prayer 8 1x07 1994-03-09 9 7 2258-04-03 to 2258-04-07
And the Sky Full of Stars 9 1x08 1994-03-16 10 8 2258-04-11 to 2258-04-13
DeathWalker 10 1x09 1994-04-20 11 11 2258-05
Believers 11 1x10 1994-04-27 12 12 2258-06
Survivors 12 1x11 1994-05-04 13 13 2258-06
By Any Means Necessary 13 1x12 1994-05-11 14 10 2258-05
Signs and Portents 14 1x13 1994-05-18 15 19 2258-08-03 to 2258-08-05
TKO 15 1x14 1994-05-25 22 20 2258-08
Grail 16 1x15 1994-07-06 16 18 2258-07
Eyes 17 1x16 1994-07-13 17 21 2258-09
Legacies 18 1x17 1994-07-20 23 17 2258-07
A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I 19 1x18 1994-07-27 18 14 2258-06
A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II 20 1x19 1994-08-03 19 15 2258-06
Babylon Squared 21 1x20 1994-08-10 20 16 2258-07-12 to 2258-07-13
The Quality of Mercy 22 1x21 1994-08-17 21 22 2258-09
Chrysalis 23 1x22 1994-10-26 24 23 2258-12-30 to 2259-01-01
Points of Departure 24 2x01 1994-11-02 25 24 2259-01-08
Revelations 25 2x02 1994-11-09 26 25 2259-01-12 to 2259-01-19
The Geometry of Shadows 26 2x03 1994-11-16 27 26 2259-01-25 to 2259-02-05*
A Distant Star 27 2x04 1994-11-23 28 27 2259-01-30 to 2259-02-02*
The Long Dark 28 2x05 1994-11-30 29 31 2259-06
A Spider in the Web 29 2x06 1994-12-07 30 28 2259-03
Soul Mates 30 2x07 1994-12-14 32 30 2259-05
A Race Through Dark Places 31 2x08 1995-01-25 31 29 2259-03-14 to 2259-03-17
The Coming of Shadows 32 2x09 1995-02-01 33 32 2259-06-13 to 2259-06-17
GROPOS 33 2x10 1995-02-08 34 33 2259-06-20 to 2259-06-23
All Alone in the Night 34 2x11 1995-02-15 35 34 2259-07
Acts of Sacrifice 35 2x12 1995-02-22 36 35 2259-07
Hunter, Prey 36 2x13 1995-03-01 37 36 2259-07
There All the Honor Lies 37 2x14 1995-04-26 38 38 2259-08
And Now For a Word 38 2x15 1995-05-03 39 39 2259-09-16
In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum 39 2x16 1995-05-10 41 40 2259-09-24
Knives 40 2x17 1995-05-17 40 37 2259-08
Confessions and Lamentations 41 2x18 1995-05-24 42 41 2259-11
Divided Loyalties 42 2x19 1995-10-11 43 42 2259-11-24 to 2259-12-02
The Long, Twilight Struggle 43 2x20 1995-10-18 44 43 2259-12-03 to 2259-12-10
Comes the Inquisitor 44 2x21 1995-10-25 45 44 2259-12-19 to 2259-12-20
The Fall of Night 45 2x22 1995-11-01 46 45 2259-12-18 to 2259-12-24
Matters of Honor 46 3x01 1995-11-06 47 46 2259-12-27 to 2260-01-09
Convictions 47 3x02 1995-11-13 48 47 2260-01-13 to 2260-01-14
A Day in the Strife 48 3x03 1995-11-20 49 48 2260-01-15 to 2260-01-16
Passing Through Gethsemane 49 3x04 1995-11-27 50 49 2260-01-18 to 2260-02-04
Voices of Authority 50 3x05 1996-01-29 51 50 2260-02-05 to 2260-02-07
Dust to Dust 51 3x06 1996-02-05 52 51 2260-02-28 to 2260-03-01
Exogenesis 52 3x07 1996-02-12 53 52 2260-03-10 to 2260-03-13
Messages from Earth 53 3x08 1996-02-19 54 53 2260-03-18 to 2260-04-08
Point of No Return 54 3x09 1996-02-26 55 54 2260-04-08 to 2260-04-10
Severed Dreams 55 3x10 1996-04-01 56 55 2260-04-14 to 2260-04-15
Ceremonies of Light and Dark 56 3x11 1996-04-08 57 56 2260-04-16 to 2260-04-18
Sic Transit Vir 57 3x12 1996-04-15 59 57 2260-06-30 to 2260-07-05
A Late Delivery from Avalon 58 3x13 1996-04-22 58 58 2260-07-11 to 2260-07-12
Ship of Tears 59 3x14 1996-04-29 60 59 2260-07-24
Interludes and Examinations 60 3x15 1996-05-06 61 60 2260-08-03 to 2260-08-05
War Without End, Part I 61 3x16 1996-05-13 63 61 2260-08-09
War Without End, Part II 62 3x17 1996-05-20 64 62 2260-08-12
Walkabout 63 3x18 1996-09-30 62 63 2260-08-16
Grey 17 is Missing 64 3x19 1996-10-07 65 64 2260-11-26 to 2260-11-30
And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place 65 3x20 1996-10-14 66 65 2260-12-07 to 2260-12-11
Shadow Dancing 66 3x21 1996-10-21 67 66 2260-12-14 to 2260-12-19
Z'ha'dum 67 3x22 1996-10-28 68 67 2260-12-19 to 2260-12-25
The Hour of the Wolf 68 4x01 1996-11-04 69 68 2260-12-28 to 2261-01-06
Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi? 69 4x02 1996-11-11 70 69 2261-01-08 to 2261-01-14
The Summoning 70 4x03 1996-11-18 71 70 2261-01-11 to 2261-01-18
Falling Toward Apotheosis 71 4x04 1996-11-25 72 71 2261-01-19 to 2261-01-20
The Long Night 72 4x05 1997-01-27 73 72 2261-01-22 to 2261-01-24
Into the Fire 73 4x06 1997-02-03 74 73 2261-01-23 to 2261-01-30
Epiphanies 74 4x07 1997-02-10 75 74 2261-02-01 to 2261-02-15
The Illusion of Truth 75 4x08 1997-02-17 76 75 2261-04-03 to 2261-04-12
Atonement 76 4x09 1997-02-24 78 76 2261-04-26 to 2261-05-05
Racing Mars 77 4x10 1997-04-21 79 77 2261-05-11 to 2261-05-13
Lines of Communication 78 4x11 1997-04-28 80 78 2261-05-13 to 2261-05-16
Conflicts of Interest 79 4x12 1997-05-05 81 79 2261-05-17 to 2261-05-19
Rumors, Bargains and Lies 80 4x13 1997-05-12 82 80 2261-05-19 to 2261-05-21
Moments of Transition 81 4x14 1997-05-19 83 81 2261-05-20 to 2261-09-01*
No Surrender, No Retreat 82 4x15 1997-05-26 84 83 2261-09-02 to 2261-09-04
The Exercise of Vital Powers 83 4x16 1997-06-02 85 84 2261-09-06 to 2261-09-08
The Face of the Enemy 84 4x17 1997-06-09 86 85 2261-10-17 to 2261-10-22
Intersections in Real Time 85 4x18 1997-06-16 87 86 2261-10-23 to 2261-10-27
Between the Darkness and the Light 86 4x19 1997-10-06 88 87 2261-10-27 to 2261-10-31
Endgame 87 4x20 1997-10-13 89 88 2261-11-01 to 2261-11-04
Rising Star 88 4x21 1997-10-20 90 89 2261-11-03 to 2261-12-31
The Deconstruction of Falling Stars 89 4x22 1997-10-27 91 130 2262-01-02 to 1,002,262*
In the Beginning (TVM) 90 1998-01-04 1 128 2245-2249 [Flashbacks]

2278-12-24 [Framing story]*

No Compromises 91 5x01 1998-01-21 92 90 2262-01-13 to 2262-01-17
The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari 92 5x02 1998-01-28 93 91 2262-01-20 to 2262-01-21
The Paragon of Animals 93 5x03 1998-02-04 94 92 2262-01-30 to 2262-01-31
A View from the Gallery 94 5x04 1998-02-11 95 93 2262-02-12 to 2262-02-13
Learning Curve 95 5x05 1998-02-18 96 95 2262-05-17 to 2262-05-22
Strange Relations 96 5x06 1998-02-25 97 96 2262-05-23 to 2262-05-24
Secrets of the Soul 97 5x07 1998-03-04 98 97 2262-05-25 to 2262-05-28
Day of the Dead 98 5x08 1998-03-11 103 94 2262-02
In the Kingdom of the Blind 99 5x09 1998-03-18 99 98 2262-05-27 to 2262-05-31
A Tragedy of Telepaths 100 5x10 1998-03-25 100 99 2262-06-16 to 2262-06-18
Phoenix Rising 101 5x11 1998-04-01 101 100 2262-06-19
The Ragged Edge 102 5x12 1998-04-08 102 101 2262-06-20 to 2262-06-23
The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father 103 5x13 1998-04-15 104 102 2262-06-24 to 2262-06-29
Meditations on the Abyss 104 5x14 1998-05-27 105 103 2262-07-13 to 2262-07-15
Darkness Ascending 105 5x15 1998-06-03 106 104 2262-07-23 to 2262-07-30
And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder 106 5x16 1998-06-10 107 105 2262-07-31 to 2262-08-06
Movements of Fire and Shadow 107 5x17 1998-06-17 108 106 2262-08-09 to 2262-08-14
Thirdspace (TVM) 108 1998-07-19 77 82 2261-06*
The Fall of Centauri Prime 109 5x18 1998-10-28 109 107 2262-08-14 to 2262-08-18
Wheel of Fire 110 5x19 1998-11-04 110 108 2262-08-19 to 2262-08-21
The River of Souls (TVM) 111 1998-11-08 113 111 2263-06-08 to 2263-06-13
Objects in Motion 112 5x20 1998-11-11 111 109 2262-09-01 to 2262-09-05
Objects at Rest 113 5x21 1998-11-18 112 110 2262-09-06 to 2262-09-11
Sleeping in Light 114 5x22 1998-11-25 115 129 2280-12-28 to 2281-01-20
A Call to Arms (TVM) 115 1999-01-03 116 113 2266-12-17 to 2266-12-30
War Zone 116 1x01 1999-06-09 128 114 2267-01-01 to 2267-01-05
The Long Road 117 1x02 1999-06-16 120 115 2267-02-27 to 2267-03-02
The Well of Forever 118 1x03 1999-06-23 122 125 2267-07
The Path of Sorrows 119 1x04 1999-06-30 125 122 2267-06
Patterns of the Soul 120 1x05 1999-07-07 124 124 2267-06
Ruling from the Tomb 121 1x06 1999-07-14 126 123 2267-06-15 to 2267-06-16
The Rules of the Game 122 1x07 1999-07-21 127 126 2267-07
Appearances and Other Deceits 123 1x08 1999-07-28 129 116 2267-03
Racing the Night 124 1x09 1999-08-04 117 119 2267-05
The Memory of War 125 1x10 1999-08-11 119 117 2267-03-30 to 2267-04-01
The Needs of Earth 126 1x11 1999-08-18 118 118 2267-04
Visitors from Down the Street 127 1x12 1999-08-25 121 120 2267-05-13 to 2267-05-14
Each Night I Dream of Home 128 1x13 1999-09-01 123 121 2267-05
To Live and Die in Starlight (TVM) 129 2002-01-19 114 112 2265-03
The Lost Tales 130 2007-07-27 130 127 2271-12-24 to 2271-12-30

*story dates which overlap multiple shows.

Frequently cited viewing orders[]

Most suggested orders generally trace back to one or more of the below three, each of which have their own pros & cons:

Original Broadcast order[]

The order in which everything was originally broadcast in the US - this matches the order on the DVD boxsets and on some streaming platforms (see later for differences on HBO Max).

Commentary: For the most part this order doesn't disrupt the viewing experience, however there are a handful of minor continuity issues which, based on comments from jms, seem to arise from a small number of episodes having had their positions shifted for production reasons:

Lurker's Guide Master List[]

This order comes from the very popular fan site The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5, which was maintained during the show's original broadcast and collated jms' comments on Usenet and other online services.  One of the outputs of the site was the "Master List": a re-ordering of the original broadcast order, taking into account comments from jms indicating when episodes had had their positions changed due to production issues (e.g. delays in finalising CGI). The Master List page claims (without citation) that jms had given his blessing to the adjustments for Season One and Two.

Features: This order moves 7 episodes within the show's five seasons, based on comments from jms (described in more detail in later sections) addressing the continuity issues described in the previous section.  It also inserts some of the TV movies within the run of the show, although not consistently - some are inserted chronologically but others are listed separately from the main show as spin-offs.

Commentary:

  • The major point of debate is the placement of the prequel TV movie In the Beginning at the start of the viewing order. This is based on a post from jms suggesting it gives a stronger start for new viewers - it was originally broadcast at the start of the show's re-run by TNT. However because the movie deals with some plot elements which don't appear until later in Seasons One and Two, many prefer to preserve the experience had by original viewers and for it not to be watched first.
  • Additionally the order is not entirely consistent as it chose to ignore some comments from jms which indicate a change to the planned order (for example the placement of Mind War, four episodes in the second half of Season One and the position of Passing Through Gethsemane). Moreover one of the order's changes debatably creates a new continuity issue.
  • Some also prefer not to interrupt the flow of the final episodes of Season Five by inserting TV movies within them, as this order does.

Historical Database[]

During the run of the show Terry Jones (user b5historyman) began compiling the Babylon 5 Historical Database. This involved scouring each episode (and other B5 media) to pick out references to events past & future, as well as establishing dates for events within the show itself where possible - including a presentation of the episode order based on where they occurred chronologically.

During Season Five, after being sent a copy of the chronology, Fiona Avery (Babylonian Productions' Reference Editor) asked to use the Database as an in-house document to support the production of the show, and later updates were made in collaboration with Babylonian Productions and jms.

The chronology was published in The Official Babylon 5 Magazine, and again later in the book Across Time and Space. The latter also included a less in-depth chronology compiled independently by I. Marc Carlson (which placed the finales, TV movies & spinoffs in the same positions as the Historical Database, but makes no adjustment to the broadcast episode order within each season). In an introduction to the book, Fiona Avery said "both [timelines] have the authorization of J. Michael Straczynski".

Some notes for the episode ordering rationale in the Historical Database have been released by the author here. Note the episode order presented is an approximation of a "true" chronological viewing order, as some episodes include flashback/forward scenes within them.

Features: This order repositions 14 episodes within the show's five seasons, based on evidence from the episodes and other media (described in more detail in later sections). Most significantly it moves the Season Four & Five finales outside their respective seasons, based on the chronological setting of their framing stories. The TV movies & spin-offs are inserted within the run of the show, again based on the time frame of their setting.

Commentary: Although this gives the order in which events occurred 'historically' according to this authorized internal production document, whether this always presents the best viewing order depends on individual taste.

  • For example in Season Five, Day of the Dead is placed before Learning Curve by the historical analysis, but this has the effect of revealing the nature of Lochley's connection to Sheridan with an off-hand comment in Day of the Dead, which can then make the playing out of that as a mystery across Learning Curve & Strange Relations seem a bit redundant.
  • Similarly for the Crusade episode Ruling from the Tomb, the historical analysis places it after Each Night I Dream of Home.  This is due to dating cues within the episodes, but has the effect of Lochley & Gideon seeming to introduce themselves to one another despite having already met.
  • The Historical Database order doesn't correct one of the continuity issues in the original broadcast: in Sic Transit Vir we see Drazi & Vree ships patrolling the station, but the Babylon 5 defense treaty isn't signed until the next episode (A Late Delivery from Avalon).
  • For the TV movie Thirdspace, some prefer the placement suggested by the Lurker's Guide instead of the more complex placement borne out by the historical analysis (it places the Minbar-based scenes of Moments of Transition before Thirdspace but the station-based scenes of Moments after Thirdspace.)
  • As with the Lurker's Guide Master List, some also prefer not to interrupt the flow of the final episodes of Season Five by inserting TV movies and Crusade within them, despite their chronological timing. Similarly with the Season Four finale (The Deconstruction of Falling Stars) some prefer the original placement (since parts of the episode follow directly from the previous one) rather than moving it out of position for chronological reasons.

'Hybrid' viewing orders[]

In the years since the show's broadcast, some have chosen to pick different elements from the frequently cited orders. Some examples:

blackcoatcowboy's order: Posted on the b5tv.com forums in 2009. The episode ordering within each season, the placement of Thirdspace, and the ordering for Crusade match the Lurker's Guide; whereas the Season Four & Five finales, and the remaining TV movies have been placed as per the Historical Database.

Alkibiades410's orders: Posted on the b5tv.com forums in 2016. Their "preferred continuity" order matches the same mix of Lurker's Guide & Historical Database order as suggested above by blackcoatcowboy, except that it places In the Beginning first and uses a different ordering for Crusade (discussed later).  Their "chronological" order mostly matches the Historical Database order but instead opts for the Lurker's Guide placement for In the Beginning, Thirdspace and Day of the Dead.

In 2020 the Grey Sector blog suggested a viewing order placing In the Beginning in original broadcast order, Thirdspace as per the Lurker's Guide, and the remaining spin-offs after the main show in chronological order.

Ideal Intended order and Ideal Chronological order: Based on the above fan discussions, the Ideal Intended order is an enhanced version of the Lurker's Guide order which adds three personal preference decision points and uses an improved Crusade order. The Ideal Chronological order is an enhanced version of the Historical Database order which makes five changes across Seasons Three, Four, Five, and Crusade. These community created orders are located here.

Focused Story order: Some prefer to focus on "the story of the last of the Babylon stations" as the story told across the five seasons of the main show. This then considers the spin-offs separately - almost as 'short stories' set in the same world as the main 'novel' of the show - viewing them after the main show (in chronological order) to avoid breaking up the pacing of the main series. The exception is In the Beginning which connects directly to the overall story of the series and can sit well as a prologue (although as with the Lurker's Guide, a first-time viewer starting with In the Beginning is debatable - they may instead prefer to watch it chronologically at the end of the other TV movies to avoid any spoilers).

Distinctive viewing orders[]

More recently there have been viewing orders suggested which take more radical approaches:

HBO Max: The streaming service HBO Max presents the episodes in original broadcast order for Seasons Three through Five. However for Season One four episodes are in different positions (including the two moved by the Lurker's Guide) - whether by accident or design, this order matches an online post from March 1994 by jms written after only the first eight episodes had aired, describing the planned schedule for the remainder of Season One. For Season Two, again four episodes are in different positions but here HBO Max seems to follow the episodes' internal production numbering (which in many cases matches the changes in the Lurker's Guide order). Unfortunately in the case of Divided Loyalties and The Long, Twilight Struggle the change creates a minor continuity issue.

Modified Production order: As a part of a Kickstarter update for his upcoming book All Alone in the Night: The Making of Babylon 5, Jason Davis detailed his suggested viewing order based on the episodes' internal production order (with some adjustments for auctorial intent). This gives a very different order for Season One, while the changes for Seasons Two through Five are generally consistent with the Lurker's Guide Master List.

Character Arc order (Season One only): This order was created by user gs4291 in 2020, with the original aim of constructing a self-evident episode order for Season One without having to default to the original broadcast order (as most other re-orderings do). After finding internal story continuity only gave half the data points needed for a 'complete' ordering, they then also looked at how characters' interactions change over the course of the season. The final result is intended to not only set up and pay off plot developments in the most rewarding way, but also to give the most satisfying arc of character development to as many characters as possible. The detailed analysis behind the order can be found here.

Visual Evidence order (Season One only): This order was put forward by redditor avn3 in 2021 (in this post and later updated in this post) which considers the episodes as evidence, as if videotapes of actual events. Since these events must have happened in some particular order, the smallest clues may need to be found to rearrange them properly. 'Hard evidence' is prioritised, which may be as little as a title in a newspaper or a monitor in the background.

Detailed viewing order comparisons[]

TV movies & Spin-offs[]

While there is some debate around the ordering of episodes within each season (see later sections), the majority of the viewing order debate is around when to view the Season Four & Five finales and the Babylon 5 TV movies/spin-offs. This section compares the following orders:

Note 1: Since The Gathering is the series pilot it goes at the start of Season One in all suggested orders
Note 2: Since A Call to Arms is a backdoor pilot for Crusade it goes at the start of Crusade in all suggested orders
Note 3: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight where the different orders agree

Episodes/Movies Original Broadcast Lurker's Guide Historical Database Focused Story order
The Gathering & Season One 1 1 1 1
Season Two 2 2 2 2
Season Three 3 3 3 3
Season Four (Eps 1-8) 4 4 4 4
Season Four (Eps 9-14) 6 6 6 6
Season Four (Eps 15-21) 8 8 8 8
S4E22 The Deconstruction of Falling Stars 9 9 27[0. 1] 9
In the Beginning (TVM) 10 0[0. 2] 25[0. 3] 0 / 25[0. 4]
Season Five (Eps 1-17) 11 11 11 11
Thirdspace (TVM) 12 5[0. 5] 7[0. 6] 19[0. 7]
Season Five (Eps 18-19) 13 13 13 13
River of Souls (TVM) 14 16[0. 8] 16[0. 9] 20[0. 7]
Season Five (Eps 20-21) 15 15 15 15
S5E22 Sleeping in Light 18 18 26[0. 10] 18
A Call to Arms & Crusade 22 22 22 22
The Legend of the Rangers (TVM) 23 17[0. 11] 17[0. 12] 21[0. 7]
The Lost Tales 24 24 24 24


References

  1. Since the framing story of The Deconstruction of Falling Stars is set 1,000,000 years in the future.
  2. Based on this comment from jms: "If [as a first-time viewer] you want to play it as a strict mystery, then no, probably don't go near [In the Beginning]... but frankly, if I were going to start someone off on B5, I'd definitely want to start with ItB, which sort of skims in and out of the overall storyline in a beautiful fashion.". The ambivalence is due to the movie containing some spoilers for events in the first four seasons.
  3. Since the framing story of In the Beginning is set in 2278.
  4. In the Beginning works very well as a prologue to the main story, but if a first-time viewer wants to avoid some spoilers this ordering would place it last, after the other spin-offs.
  5. This analysis places Thirdspace between The Illusion of Truth and Atonement based on Franklin and Delenn's appearances. This assumes Zack's uniform fitting in Atonement is a re-fitting.
  6. The Historical Database places the Minbar-based scenes of Moments of Transition before Thirdspace but the station-based scenes of Moments after Thirdspace. This also assumes Delenn returned from Minbar, took part in the events of Thirdspace, then went back to Minbar before later returning to Babylon 5 again in The Face of the Enemy.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Moving the spin-offs after the main series to avoid interrupting the flow of the main story.
  8. River of Souls placed after Objects at Rest, based on this online comment from jms saying River of Souls was originally planned to air two weeks later.
  9. River of Souls placed after Objects at Rest, since chronologically River of Souls takes place after Objects at Rest but before The Legend of the Rangers
  10. Since Sleeping in Light is set in 2281. Note that, if viewed in this order, the beginning of The Lost Tales includes a spoiler for Sleeping in Light.
  11. The reasoning behind this placement is not clear - it is consistent with the placement of River of Souls, but inconsistent with the placement of Crusade and The Lost Tales.
  12. Since The Legend of the Rangers is set in 2265.


The Gathering & Season One[]

There's less of an obvious through-line tying the first season together since the story hadn't yet got to the point where each episode flowed directly into the next. As a result there's more space for fans to find details within the episodes which suggest alternative orders. This section compares the following orders:

Note: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight the places where the different orders agree

Episodes Original Broadcast Lurker's Guide HBO Max Historical Database Character Arc Visual Evidence Modified Production
The Gathering 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Midnight on the Firing Line 1 1 1 1 1 1 1[1. 1]
Soul Hunter 2 2 2 2 2 2 2[1. 2]
Born to the Purple 3 3 3 4.3[1. 3] 4.3[1. 4] 4.3[1. 5] 4.3[1. 2]
Infection 4 4 4 4 4 4 4[1. 6]
The Parliament of Dreams 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Mind War 6 6[1. 7] 6 8.3[1. 8] 11.7[1. 9] 6 6[1. 10]
The War Prayer 7 7 7 7 4.2[1. 4] 4.2[1. 4] 4.8[1. 2]
And the Sky Full of Stars 8 8 8 8 9.5[1. 11] 4.7[1. 12] 4.7[1. 2]
DeathWalker 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Believers 10 10 10 10 10 10 4.5[1. 2]
Survivors 11 11 11 11 11 15.5[1. 13] 8[1. 2]
By Any Means Necessary 12 12 12 8.7[1. 8] 12 12 12
Signs and Portents 13 13 11.5[1. 14] 21[1. 15] 21[1. 15] 13 13
TKO 14 21.3[1. 16] 17[1. 14] 21.3[1. 17] 20.3[1. 18] 12.5[1. 19] 17[1. 2]
Grail 15 15 15 20.8[1. 20] 5.5[1. 21] 15 5.5[1. 2]
Eyes 16 16 16 21.5[1. 22] 21.5[1. 23] 16 21.5[1. 2]
Legacies 17 21.8[1. 24] 21.8[1. 14] 20.5[1. 24] 20.5[1. 24] 21.8[1. 24] 12.5[1. 2]
A Voice in the Wilderness I 18 18 18 18 18 18 18[1. 25]
A Voice in the Wilderness II 19 19 19 19 19 19 19
Babylon Squared 20 20 20 20 20 20 15[1. 2]
The Quality of Mercy 21 21 14[1. 14] 21.8[1. 22] 11.3[1. 26] 19.5[1. 27] 14[1. 2]
Chrysalis 22 22 22 22 22 22 22[1. 28]


References

  1. Although Midnight on the Firing Line was the third episode to enter production, the script was actually the first written.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Based on the episode production order.
  3. Born to the Purple placed after Infection assuming the Narn-Centauri negotiations referred to in Infection as happening "next Tuesday" are the ones which take place in Purple.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Born to the Purple placed after The War Prayer to smooth out perceived inconsistencies in the development of Ivanova & Garibaldi's early relationship: so their antagonistic moments in Prayer come before the turning point in their relationship in Purple (discussed in more detail here). This also aims to make Londo's early character development more consistent so that Shaal Mayan confronting Londo about the absence of love throughout his life in Prayer comes before his relationship with Adira in Purple (discussed in more detail here).
  5. Born to the Purple placed after The War Prayer based on the newspaper headline in Purple referring to Home Guard attacks on Earth embassies, which were referred to in Prayer.
  6. Although Infection was the first episode to enter production, the script was actually the third written.
  7. Although the Lurker's Guide order is based on jms' comments, Mind War is not moved despite this comment from jms that it was originally intend to air as "episode 10 or so" until the studio decided to move it earlier.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The specific reasoning behind the placements of Mind War and By Any Means Necessary is not described in the published sources. It is perhaps due to the mention of a budget meeting in Mind War and the station budget being finalised in Means, although the reasoning for placing both between Sky and DeathWalker is not described.
  9. Mind War placed after Survivors to better serve G'Kar’s character development: by consistently presenting him as the series' apparent antagonist, it gives greater impact to the 'twist' of his selfless act in Mind War - discussed in much more detail here.
  10. Based on the episode production order, note this comment from jms that Mind War was originally intend to air as "episode 10 or so" until the studio decided to move it earlier.
  11. And the Sky Full of Stars placed after DeathWalker so Jha'dur's taunt to Sinclair about the "hole in his mind" acts as a setup for Sky instead of a back-reference which isn't paid off.
  12. And the Sky Full of Stars placed just after Born to the Purple - since Garibaldi is reading the same newspaper in both episodes, it's assumed they must be sequential.
  13. Survivors placed after Signs and Portents as Zeta Wing were not used for the all-or-nothing Battle of Babylon 5 in Signs, therefore they're assumed not to have been delivered to the station yet. And Survivors placed after Grail because a background monitor in C&C lists the passengers of transport Von Braun, including "Gajic, Aldous". The same screen appears in Grail and also lists the location of the transport as Bay 7 so apparently for some reason it was delayed and is still docked on the station in Survivors.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 This placement by HBO matches with this post from jms written after the first eight episodes had aired, describing the planned episode schedule for the remaining episodes.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Signs and Portents placed after Legacies based on Delenn having built only the first tier of the chrysalis device in Legacies, but having built the first two tiers in Signs - screenshots. This also makes sense from a character development perspective - in the original order during the discussion with the Grey Council in Squared over whether Valen's prophecy is at hand, it's incongruous that Delenn doesn't mention that she was recently visited by a Shadow agent in Signs (discussed in more detail here). This placement (combined with placing Legacies after Babylon Squared) requires the assumption that the pilot killed in Squared is a different pilot than the one who briefly appears in Signs, despite being played by the same actor (who also plays a security guard in Season Three...).
  16. TKO is placed towards the end of the season, based on this comment from jms describing how TKO and The Quality of Mercy were accidentally switched by the studio (although Quality is kept near its broadcast position). However this post from jms suggests TKO's originally planned episode position was actually #17 before the switch, as restored in the HBO Max order.
  17. TKO placed after Signs and Portents as TKO is said to have happened "several months" after the death of Ivanova's father in Born to the Purple. Purple is dated in the Historical Database to March 2258 and Signs has a date given in dialogue of August 2258.
  18. TKO placed just before Legacies to give consistency to the development of Ivanova and Sinclair's personal relationship: the tone of their conversations in Legacies and Eyes are more personal and confiding than in other episodes. Placing TKO before these conversations then makes Sinclair's attendance of Ivanova's father's shiva the catalyst for this shift in their relationship (discussed in more detail here).
  19. TKO placed earlier as it only happened "several months" after the death of Ivanova's father in Born to the Purple.
  20. Grail placed between Legacies and Signs and Porents based on an assertion that a partially-built chrysalis device appears in the background of Delenn's quarters, however this is not clear - see screenshots here
  21. Grail placed before DeathWalker to keep Kosh more of an unknown in Grail, thereby making the suggestion that he might be sucking out lurkers' brains (slightly) more believable. Grail placed before Sky as Sinclair and Delenn's interactions in Grail work better to establish their initial relationship as 'old friends', and so give a bigger impact to the revelations in And the Sky Full of Stars (discussed in more detail here).
  22. 22.0 22.1 The reasoning for placing Eyes just before The Quality of Mercy is not described in the published sources - it is perhaps done on the assumption Delenn's absences in the two episodes are continuous (although this assumption is not made for DeathWalker).
  23. Eyes placed after Signs and Portents as Ben Zayn refers to the Minbari government's selection of Sinclair, which he and Garibaldi discovered in Signs.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Legacies placed after Babylon Squared based on this post from jms stating a preference for this, referring to "one little detail". This is likely a reference to the triluminary (reinforced by the last comment on this page), which Delenn receives at the end of Squared and is used by Delenn's agents in the events of Legacies.
  25. The absence of the chrysalis device in Delenn's quarters is explained by the assumption Delenn has moved the device into her bedroom, as seen later in Chrysalis.
  26. The Quality of Mercy placed before Mind War so that stories presenting Londo as the 'clown' of the show all take place before Mind War, thereby giving more weight to G'Kar's suggestion that Londo is "not exactly what he appears" (discussed in more detail here).
  27. The Quality of Mercy placed earlier as it takes place only "six months" after Lennier's arrival in The Parliament of Dreams but should also be some time after Grail because Ombuds Wellington has since had time to grow a beard.
  28. Although Chrysalis was the twelfth episode to enter production (to allow more time for post-production), it was written as the season finale.


Season Two[]

The storytelling starts to become more serialized in Season Two and a number of significant turning points in the premise of the show mean there's much less ambiguity to episode ordering compared to Season One - the focus is more on correcting for post-production delays. This section compares the following orders:

Note: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight the places where the different orders agree

Episodes Original Broadcast Lurker's Guide HBO Max Historical Database
Points of Departure 1 1 1 1
Revelations 2 2 2 2
The Geometry of Shadows 3 3 3 3
A Distant Star 4 4 4 4
The Long Dark 5 5 5 8.5[2. 1]
A Spider in the Web 6 6 6 6
Soul Mates 7 7 7 7
A Race Through Dark Places 8 6.5[2. 2] 6.5[2. 3] 6.5[2. 4]
The Coming of Shadows 9 9 9 9
GROPOS 10 10 10 10
All Alone in the Night 11 11 11 11
Acts of Sacrifice 12 12 12 12
Hunter, Prey 13 13 13 13
There All the Honor Lies 14 14 14 14
And Now For a Word 15 15 13.5[2. 5] 15
In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum 16 16 16 16
Knives 17 15.5[2. 6] 15.5[2. 3] 13.5[2. 7]
Confessions and Lamentations 18 18 18 18
Divided Loyalties 19 19 19 19
The Long, Twilight Struggle 20 20 18.5[2. 8] 20
Comes the Inquisitor 21 21 21 21
The Fall of Night 22 22 22 22


References

  1. The Long Dark placed after Soul Mates because a human Ranger can be seen in the background of one scene. Based on details from the canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows this places Dark in June 2259, three months after humans were allowed to enter the Rangers in February during that novel. A Race Through Dark Places has an on-screen date of March 2259. Mates is dated to May 2259 in the Historical Database, though the specific reasoning for this is not stated in the published sources.
  2. A Race Through Dark Places placed before Soul Mates based on this and this comment from jms - the network decided to air an additional episode, and since Race needed more post-production work Mates was aired out of order instead. The difference can be seen in Talia Winters' story: in Race she discovers the truth about Psi Corps and then in Mates talks about "being part of an organization that scares the hell out of [her]" and that she "doesn't want to be a part of" Psi Corps. However an alternate argument can be made for the original broadcast order: in Mates Ivanova helps Delenn deal with her unmanageable new human hair, and in Race Delenn's hair is elegantly styled for her dinner with Sheridan.
  3. 3.0 3.1 HBO Max appears to be listing the Season Two episodes by their internal production numbering - in this case, by accident or design, this gives the same result as the Lurker's Guide order.
  4. The specific reasoning for placing A Race Through Dark Places before Soul Mates is not given in the published sources - it is perhaps because the episodes originally aired in this order in the UK, where the author of the Historical Database is based.
  5. HBO Max appears to be listing the Season Two episodes by their internal production numbering. This placement of And Now For a Word before There All the Honor Lies doesn't have a significant impact on the viewing experience.
  6. Knives placed before In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum based on this comment from jms that Knives was delayed due to time needed to complete CGI animation. The original intention was for Sheridan's hallucination in Knives to be a reminder about Anna Sheridan and then for Shadow to pay that off by picking up her storyline.
  7. Knives placed before There All the Honor Lies based on Franklin saying Sheridan was on the Agamemnon "seven months ago", putting Knives in early August 2259. Hunter, Prey is dated to July 2259 in the Historical Database, though the specific reasoning for this is not stated in the published sources. And Now For a Word has an on-screen date of September 2259. Honor is dated to late August 2259 in the Historical Database, though the specific reasoning for this is not stated in the published sources.
  8. HBO Max appears to be listing the Season Two episodes by their internal production numbering - unfortunately moving The Long, Twilight Struggle before Divided Loyalties creates a continuity issue: in Struggle Delenn refers back to her conversation with Sheridan about profanity from Loyalties. With the episodes flipped this line now makes no sense.


Season Three[]

The serialization ramps up even more so in Season Three, so again there is even less debate about the episode order. This section compares the following orders:

Note: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight the places where the different orders agree

Episodes Original Broadcast Lurker's Guide
Matters of Honor 1 1
Convictions 2 2
A Day in the Strife 3 3
Passing Through Gethsemane 4 4
Voices of Authority 5 5[3. 1]
Dust to Dust 6 6
Exogenesis 7 7
Messages from Earth 8 8
Point of No Return 9 9
Severed Dreams 10 10
Ceremonies of Light and Dark 11 11
Sic Transit Vir 12 12
A Late Delivery from Avalon 13 11.5[3. 2]
Ship of Tears 14 14
Interludes and Examinations 15 15
War Without End, Part I 16 16
War Without End, Part II 17 17
Walkabout 18 15.5[3. 3]
Grey 17 is Missing 19 19
And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place 20 20
Shadow Dancing 21 21
Z'ha'dum 22 22


References

  1. Although the Lurker's Guide order is based on jms' comments, Voices of Authority is not placed before Passing Through Gethsemane despite this post from jms confirming they were originally intended to air in that order, but CGI post-production delayed Voices (also mentioned in the third comment on this page). The reason given for not adopting this modification is "since the events of [Voices] tie into the beginning of Dust to Dust, and aren't mentioned at all in Gethsemane, the initial airing order is actually an improvement.". The Modified Production order chooses to follow the production order, rather than the broadcast order.
  2. 'A Late Delivery from Avalon moved before Sic Transit Vir based on this comment from jms that Vir was moved earlier for broadcast to allow time to finish special effects on Avalon and to position Michael York's appearance for a ratings "sweeps" week. The modified order makes continuity-sense as the Babylon Treaty is signed in Avalon and then Drazi & Vree ships are seen patrolling the station in Vir. This change is also made in the Modified Production order.
  3. Walkabout placed before War Without End based on this comment from jms stating Walkabout was initially planned to go first, but the production order was changed to avoid the two parts of War being split across four months. However this change creates two possible continuity issues: (i) in Interludes and Examinations the Vorlons attack the Shadows openly; then in War Without End Marcus says there hasn't been a Shadow attack since the Vorlons got involved; and then in Walkabout we see the Shadows attacking Drazi ships. If you flip War and Walkabout Marcus' comment makes no sense. (ii) Also jms has confirmed the Vorlon who arrives in Walkabout (dubbed "Kosh II" in fan circles) is the same Vorlon residing on Minbar (named Ulkesh Naranek in the canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows) who we see at the start of War Without End. Therefore if you flip the original broadcast order then Ulkesh travels from Minbar to Babylon 5 in Walkabout; then flies back to Minbar to deliver a couple of cryptic lines to Rathenn in War Without End; then presumably goes back to Babylon 5 to continue as ambassador. While this is possible it seems a bit odd for Ulkesh to be bouncing back and forth like this.


Season Four[]

At this point the show has reached 'peak serialization': the story of each episode flows directly into next and there is no debate around the ordering of the episodes themselves. Opinions only vary on how (or if at all) to integrate the TV movie Thirdspace, as previously discussed in the TV movie section. This section compares the following orders:

Note: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight the places where the different orders agree

Episodes Original Broadcast Lurker's Guide Historical Database
The Hour of the Wolf 1 1 1
Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi? 2 2 2
The Summoning 3 3 3
Falling Toward Apotheosis 4 4 4
The Long Night 5 5 5
Into the Fire 6 6 6
Epiphanies 7 7 7
The Illusion of Truth 8 8 8
Atonement 9 9 9
Racing Mars 10 10 10
Lines of Communication 11 11 11
Conflicts of Interest 12 12 12
Rumors, Bargains and Lies 13 13 13
Moments of Transition 14 14 14
No Surrender, No Retreat 15 15 15
Exercise of Vital Powers 16 16 16
The Face of the Enemy 17 17 17
Intersections in Real Time 18 18 18
Between the Darkness and the Light 19 19 19
Endgame 20 20 20
Rising Star 21 21 21
The Deconstruction of Falling Stars 22 22 n/a[4. 1]
Thirdspace (TVM)[4. 2] n/a[4. 3] 8.5[4. 4] 14.5[4. 5]


References

  1. Placed outside Season Four, at the very end of the chronological order, since the framing story of The Deconstruction of Falling Stars is set 1,000,000 years in the future.
  2. As discussed in the TV movie section, the Focused Story order advocates watching the TV movies separately from the main run of the show, to avoid breaking up the flow of the story.
  3. Thirdspace originally aired during Season Five, between Movements of Fire and Shadow and The Fall of Centauri Prime.
  4. This analysis places Thirdspace between Illusion of Truth and Atonement - Franklin's presence places it before his mission to Mars (which runs from Atonement to Conflicts of Interest) - and it can't come after that mission since by the time he returns, Delenn has left for Minbar and Delenn appears in Thirdspace. Since Zack is wearing a black Army of Light uniform in Thirdspace, it must come after Illusion as he is wearing security greens in that episode - this assumes Zack's uniform fitting at the start of Atonement is a re-fitting after the damage from Thirdspace.
  5. The Historical Database places the Minbar-based scenes of Moments of Transition before Thirdspace but the station-based scenes of Moments after Thirdspace. This also assumes Delenn returned from Minbar, took part in the events of Thirdspace, then returned to Minbar before later returning to Babylon 5 again in The Face of the Enemy.


Season Five[]

Here the show remains at 'peak serialisation' - the only debated episode position is the one not written by jms. Also opinions vary on how (or if at all) to integrate the TV movie River of Souls, as previously discussed in the TV movie section. This section compares the following orders:

Note: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight the places where the different orders agree

Episodes Original Broadcast Lurker's Guide Historical Database
No Compromises 1 1 1
The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari 2 2 2
The Paragon of Animals 3 3 3
A View from the Gallery 4 4 4
Learning Curve 5 5 5
Strange Relations 6 6 6
Secrets of the Soul 7 7 7
Day of the Dead 8[5. 1] 12.5[5. 2] 4.5[5. 3]
In the Kingdom of the Blind 9 9 9
A Tragedy of Telepaths 10 10 10
Phoenix Rising 11 11 11
The Ragged Edge 12 12 12
The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father 13 13 13
Meditations on the Abyss 14 14 14
Darkness Ascending 15 15 15
And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder 16 16 16
Movements of Fire and Shadow 17 17 17
The Fall of Centauri Prime 18 18 18
The Wheel of Fire 19 19 19
River of Souls (TVM)[5. 4] 19.5 21.5[5. 5] 21.5[5. 6]
Objects in Motion 20 20 20
Objects at Rest 21 21 21
Sleeping in Light 22 22 n/a[5. 7]


References

  1. The original broadcast position of Day of the Dead is incongruous as Londo & G'Kar leave for Centauri Prime in Strange Relations but then are on the station in Day of the Dead. Also In the Kingdom of the Blind is said to take place the day after Secrets of the Soul but Day of the Dead was placed in-between them.
  2. Day of the Dead placed after The Ragged Edge based on this comment from jms that it was originally planned to air in slot 513 (which 'translates' as S5E12 due to a quirk of the Season Five production) and on this comment describing how Day of the Dead was moved earlier to accommodate the NBA playoffs. Since Londo & G'Kar return to the station in The Ragged Edge their appearance in Day of the Dead is no longer inconsistent. There is a potential continuity issue: in Day of the Dead Garibaldi blames the incident on "the telepaths" which was probably intended as a reference to Byron's group (the episode was written after the first four Season Five scripts had been completed) despite them no longer being on the station after Phoenix Rising.
  3. Day of the Dead placed before Learning Curve: since Londo & G'Kar are on-station in Day of the Dead it is placed before their departure for Centauri Prime in Strange Relations. Also Relations starts the immediate morning after Curve so Day of the Dead must come before Curve as well. The decision to put Day of the Dead before Londo's trip to Centauri Prime (as opposed to after as done in the Lurker's Guide order) is based on a number of factors (based on this online post): (i) a newspaper headline in Day of the Dead reads "Narn Consulate Opens On Mars Amid Controversy"; (ii) according to an article in The Official Babylon 5 Magazine Volume 2 Issue #1, Mars was formally declared independent in March 2262; (iii) the assumption is the controversy is due to the consulate being opened before the formal independence - therefore Day takes place in the early part of the season. Note that, as a viewing experience, this has the effect of revealing the nature of Lochley's connection to Sheridan with an off-hand comment in Day of the Dead, which makes the drawing out of that as a mystery across Curve and Relations a bit redundant.
  4. As discussed in the TV movie section, the Focused Story order advocates watching the TV movies separately from the main run of the show, to avoid breaking up the flow of the story.
  5. River of Souls placed after Objects at Rest, based on this online comment from jms saying River of Souls was originally planned to air two weeks later.
  6. River of Souls placed after Objects at Rest, since chronologically River of Souls takes place after Objects at Rest
  7. Placed later in the chronological order, outside Season Five, since Sleeping in Light is set in 2281.


A Call to Arms & Crusade[]

The viewing order for Crusade is notoriously tangled - some background to its short but troubled production can help: the opening episode was originally planned to be Racing the Night and production began with the Excalibur crew wearing gray & red uniforms. After five episodes had been filmed (with another five scripts in hand), the network called for a production hiatus to make changes. These included a costume change to more functional black uniforms and a mandate to write a new opening episode introducing the characters in a more conventional style. To make sense of the uniform changes, it was planned to:

  • start the series with a number of 'black uniform' episodes, including the new opening episode
  • have an episode in which the the uniforms were changed to gray/red
  • air the originally filmed five 'gray/red uniform' episodes
  • have an episode in which the uniforms were changed back to black
  • air the remaining 'black uniform' episodes

After the production hiatus, eight episodes were filmed with the black uniforms, including the new opening episode (War Zone) and the first 'bridging' episode, explaining the change from black to gray/red uniforms (Appearances and Other Deceits). Of the other three completed scripts, the next to be filmed was the 'gray/red to black' bridging episode (To the Ends of The Earth) but before filming began the network called for production to cease and shortly afterwards the show was cancelled. This section compares the following orders, each of which attempt to reconcile the above:

Original Broadcast[]

The order in which the episodes were originally broadcast in the US - since the second 'bridging' episode wasn't produced, the decision was taken to air all the 'black uniform' episodes in one block, followed by the 'gray/red' episodes. This was despite many of the 'black' episodes being written with the intention of being aired after the 'gray/red' block. While some episodes had dialogue re-dubbed to try and get them to fit in this new order, a number of continuity problems couldn't be avoided:

Script order[]

This is the order in which the scripts were originally written (originally without any thought to costume changes) which perhaps gives a guide to how the stories were originally planned to progress before the network's intervention (detailed in Volume 2 of the Crusade: Other Voices script book series and reproduced at b5books.com/crusade-episode-viewing-order).

Rerun Broadcast[]

A few years after the original run, the Sci Fi Channel acquired the rights to air Crusade and (being familiar with the controversy) asked jms in what order he would like them to air the episodes. In this post he outlines his rationale: choosing to ignore the costume changes in favour of better introducing the story and characters (at least "as best [he] could remember it when they called"). This places the 'gray/red' episodes at the start with the 'black' episodes mixed in the middle & end. War Zone & Appearances are placed right at the end, outside the run of the other episodes, reflecting that they were only written to accommodate mandates imposed by the network. This order is adopted by the Lurker's Guide Master List.

Historical Database[]

This is the order in which events 'historically' occurred according to the authorized internal production document, the Historical Database. This retains War Zone as the first episode and places the 'gray/red' episodes in the middle as originally planned, with the majority of 'black' episodes then coming after. The placement of Ruling from the Tomb is not preferred by some as it leads to Lochley and Gideon introducing themselves to each other, despite having met two episodes earlier.

All-Inclusive[]

Published in Volume 2 of the Crusade: Other Voices script book series (and reproduced at b5books.com/crusade-episode-viewing-order), as compiled by its Senior Editor Jason Davies: "with the publication of all the extant Crusade material, a new all-inclusive order, interpolating all the various episodes, scripts, outlines and notes in to a cohesive whole, was needed to make sense of the series as it now stands." - Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2 p361. This also places the 'gray/red' episodes in the middle, taking the events of unproduced episodes into account.

Note 1: Since A Call to Arms is a backdoor pilot for Crusade it goes at the start in all suggested orders
Note 2: Although not strictly relevant for a viewing order, the three completed but unproduced scripts help explain the placement of some episodes in the All-Inclusive order.
Note 3: numbering in the below table is not always continuous - the intention is to highlight where the different orders agree

Episodes Original Broadcast Script Rerun Broadcast Historical Database All-Inclusive
A Call to Arms (TVM) 0 0 0 0 0
War Zone 1 20 20[6. 1] 1 1
The Long Road 2 17 11 2 2
The Well of Forever 3 14 12.5 19[6. 2] 19[6. 3]
The Path of Sorrows 4 15 15 15[6. 4] 4[6. 5]
Patterns of the Soul 5 18 14 18[6. 6] 18[6. 7]
Ruling from the Tomb 6 19 15.5 15.5[6. 8] 1.5[6. 9]
The Rules of the Game 7 16 16 20[6. 10] 16[6. 10]
Appearances and Other Deceits 8 21 21[6. 11] 8 8
Racing the Night 9 9 9 11.5[6. 12] 9
The Memory of War 10 10 10 10 10
The Needs of Earth 11 9.5 9.5 11 9.5[6. 13]
Visitors from Down the Street 12 12 12 12 12
Each Night I Dream of Home 13 13 13 13 13
To the Ends of The Earth (script only) n/a 22 n/a 22[6. 14] 14[6. 15]
Value Judgements (script only) n/a 23 n/a 23 23[6. 3]
End of the Line (script only) n/a 24 n/a 24 24


References

  1. As per this jms post: "I separated War Zone from the rest because structurally, that's a story I would never have told if there wasn't a gun to my head."
  2. The Well of Forever placed after the 'gray/red uniform' block since in Well Gideon refers back to Galen describing the Excalibur as "family" in The Memory of War. The specific reasoning for placing Well after Patterns of the Soul is not described in the published sources - it is perhaps to keep Ruling from the Tomb and Patterns close together as they are both dated to June 2267.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Because the All-Inclusive order integrates the unproduced scripts, The Well of Forever is placed just before the unproduced episode Value Judgements so "ideal contrast is provided by placing Matheson's trial by Mr Jones... immediately before his encounter with Bester." - Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2 p368
  4. The reasoning for placing The Path of Sorrows after the 'gray/red uniform' block is not described in the published sources.
  5. The Path of Sorrows kept before the 'gray/red uniform' block to establish the mystery of the destruction of the Cerberus before that storyline is further developed in the unproduced episode To the Ends of The Earth.
  6. Patterns of the Soul placed after the 'gray/red uniform' block based on the use of the nano-virus shield, which was discovered in The Memory of War.
  7. Patterns of the Soul placed after The Rules of the Game since "Lorka 7 provides a promising destination for the Excalibur crew, which can then be undercut by General Thompson's orders to divert to Theta 49 in Patterns." - Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2 p.368
  8. Ruling from the Tomb placed after the 'gray/red uniform' block due to the gray/red episode Visitors from Down the Street having on-screen date of May 2267 and a banner in the background of Ruling having a date of June 2267. The inconsistency between Lochley and Gideon knowing each other in Each Night I Dream of Home but then re-introducing themselves to each other in Ruling is explained as due to Lochley being "distracted by unfolding events". Ruling placed just before Patterns of the Soul since Ruling is dated to June (based on the banner) and the colonists on Theta 49 in Patterns are said to have left Earth six months after the plague was released (which is dated to January, based on it being the anniversary of the foundation of the Interstellar Alliance).
  9. "Ruling from the Tomb is placed second, which is consistent with the urgency of assembling a large conference and Gideon's assertion that if there were a saboteur aboard his ship, it would have been blown up "weeks ago"." - Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2 p367
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Rules of the Game placed after the 'gray/red uniform' block so Gideon's visit to Babylon 5 follows Lochley's invitation in Each Night I Dream of Home.
  11. jms placed Appearances and Other Deceits outside the main ordering since the episode was written to explain the studio-mandated costume changes, which this order chooses to ignore in favour of story and character development.
  12. Racing the Night placed after The Memory of War based on this comment from jms that Racing "was written to take place about 5 months after the Drakh attack", whereas in Memory the ISN broadcast states the planetary quarantine is entering its fourth month. The reasoning for placing Racing after The Needs of Earth is not described in the published sources.
  13. The Needs of Earth placed before The Memory of War to "do as little damage as possible to Staczynski's original intent" - Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2 p367.
  14. To the Ends of The Earth placed late in the order as the date is given in dialogue as September 2267, despite the script starting with the crew in gray/red uniforms, being said to have be wearing them for "almost two months".
  15. To the Ends of The Earth placed (as intended before the series' cancellation) to bridge between the 'gray/red uniform' episodes into the second block of 'black uniform' episodes - at the start of the script the gray/red uniforms are written out of the show.


Other Crusade orders[]

Some other viewing orders for Crusade have been suggested:

blackcoatcowboy's 2009 b5tv forum post includes some orders for Crusade:

  • the "Chronological Order" matches the Historical Database, except Ruling from the Tomb is moved earlier (before Appearances and Other Deceits) to rationalize the sequencing of Lochley & Gideon's encounters.
  • the "J Michael Straczynksi's Order" matches the Rerun Broadcast order in the table above.

Alkibiades410's 2016 b5tv forum post describes a number of episode orders for Crusade:

  • the "Alternate Chronological Order" matches blackcoatcowboy's "Chronological Order" above
  • the "JMS Intended Broadcast Order" matches the Script order in the table above
  • the "JMS Preferred Chronological Order" is the Script order but with The Needs of Earth & The Memory of War switched as per the Historical Database
  • the "Sy-Fy Broadcast Order" matches the Rerun Broadcast order in the table
  • the "Chronological Order" matches the Historical Database
  • the "All-Inclusive Chronological Order" matches the All-Inclusive order
  • the "Preferred Continuity Order" matches the All-Inclusive order except the last 3 episodes follow the Historical Database
  • the "JMS 'Fan Prodded' Chronological Order" has no citation for its source, but is the Rerun Broadcast order with the last 2 episodes instead placed first
  • the "JMS' TNT Impacted Order" is taken from Volume 2 of Crusade: Other Voices and is based on production documents circa January 1999 before the show was cancelled (described at b5books.com/crusade-episode-viewing-order).

In 2016 the Grey Sector blog made a comparison of a number of orders for Crusade including the Original Broadcast, Rerun Broadcast, Historical Database, and All-Inclusive orders (although it mistakenly ascribes the Lochley/Gideon continuity errors to the All-Inclusive order). It also includes a "Continuity Order" which came from a now-removed Wikipedia page - it generally matches the All-Inclusive order except Ruling from the Tomb & The Rules of the Game are each two positions later. Additionally the blog proposes an "Expanded Pure" order, which has a similar concept to the Script order but instead places the 'black uniform' episodes in chronological (i.e. Historical Database) order.

Page Changes[]

Note: Before making significant changes to this page, please be sure to first discuss them on the talk page, to ensure the changes have a consensus with other Babylon 5 fans on Fandom.

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