3 | Season
4 | Season
5 | Crusade
Guide to Babylon 5 CD
It's been said that Season 4 stops quite abruptly, due to the uncertainties over whether there would be a fifth Season. No Compromises manages to start off Season 5 neatly, and I was pleasantly surprised by Tracy Scoggins as Captain Lochley. Considering that I was expecting the worst, and probably many others have, since there is no other Ivanova, Tracy Scoggins seems to fit the part of Captain of Babylon 5 fairly well.
I'd like to deal with the matter of the assassin first. It seems pretty amazing that he managed to kill the Gaim ambassador, get on the station with a firearm, use his PPG in the quarters where it should have been picked up, and that he actually captured a Starfury. It's not so amazing when you think that it's already been said that he's an expert infiltrator.
There's the matter of Byron. You can tell that this man is going to play a major part in forthcoming episodes, and that's not just because you saw the sequence in Deconstruction where the telepaths are holding Garibaldi hostage. Anything concerning telepaths on Babylon 5 hasn't been a particularly happy issue, and I've a feeling this one won't be either. A colony of telepaths is bound to cause some concern among the human residents of Babylon 5. Exactly how many of them there are is something we don't know yet. Sheridan's decision to allow the telepaths to establish a colony was clearly altered by the fact that his life was saved by the boy. He's overstepping his turf, and really it is Captain Lochley's decision.
About Captain Lochley - this women doesn't stand any nonsense, and has some well set views. Unfortunately, you've already got Garibaldi on the station who used to do that, and when you've got two people like that on the same station well, you've already seen what happened. Hopefully they'll manage to work together instead of being so confrontational. One question: where was Captain Lochley during the inauguration? She might have been busy being the Captain, and I felt it should have been her handling the crisis, not Zack or Garibaldi.
The new intro is great, but the end sequence with JMS' name on the back of the station is terrible. Yes, I've heard that he said that he earns the right to put it there, and that it's not as if the letters are really on the back of the station, but even so, it still looks terrible. As do the PPG shots. When the telepath boy sees Sheridan being shot, it looks as if a big ugly splotch of red has been drawn onto the screen. The CGI in No Compromises is wonderful, but can't they apply it to the PPG shots?
The music of the intro isn't what we've usually had, that is, based on the same theme as Seasons 1 to 4, but it makes for a good change. JMS himself believe it showed the programme becoming more mature. Listening to it, however, makes me think it would suit Crusade more than Babylon 5.
After the messages from the assassin, I agree with Sheridan's stance. If someone wanted to kill him enough, all the security in the world wouldn't protect him, so being among the people won't put his life at any more risk. And so we see the title of the episode surface; No Compromises. From Deconstruction we know that Sheridan will stick to his ideals, even though it'll get him into trouble.
All in all, a solid first episode for Season 5, and a good first show for Captain Lochley.
The beginning of the telepath colony is going to provoke reams of discussion in the newsgroups, and no doubt it'll be at the forefront of Babylon 5 is future episodes.
Not an award winning episode, but good nonetheless.