The Gathering / In the Beginning / Thirdspace / River of Souls / A Call to Arms


Written by
J. Michael Straczynski

Directed by
Jesus Treviņo

First broadcast
19 July 1998

This story takes place during Season Four, presumably shortly after the episode The Illusion of Truth.

Dr Elizabeth TrentAfter combating a raiding party, Ivanova's Starfury squadron discovers a huge derelict artefact in hyperspace and arranges to have it transported back to Babylon 5.  Lyta also begins to experience strange visions of violence and death aboard the station.  Sheridan intends to keep the secrets of the artefact for the himself and the station, however the other races also wish to be involved in its exploration, and the arrival of Dr Elizabeth Trent from Interplanetary Expeditions also confuses matters.

The object begins to drain power from the service robots, building up power within itself.  As Lyta's visions of destruction get worse (causing her to snub Zack Allen's sincere attempts at asking her out), some of the population of the rest of the station begin to have shared dreams of an alien "city" - and they all automatically feel that it is linked to the artefact.

Dr Trent surmises that the artefact is a new form of jumpgate, opening into Thirdspace, a new dimension where interstellar travel can become instantaneous.  She defies Sheridan's orders to keep the secrets of her findings for herself - even going behind his back to order the object to be fully powered up to expedite her research.  It begins to sap power from the station itself, and inciting acts of random violence amongst the station population.

The Starfuries begin an assault against the artefact, just as other objects begin to emerge from it.  Sheridan and Delenn talk with Lyta, channelling a race memory from the Vorlons revealing the origin of Thirdspace - a failed experiment of theirs that unleashed powerful and evil forces from within the new dimension.  These new beings are intent on destroying all life that is not of their own.  Lyta shows Sheridan a method of destroying the gate.  While the Furies, White Stars and Minbari cruisers combat the ships that emerge from the gate, a space-suited Sheridan flies across the battlefield into Thirdspace and faces the beings lurking there to plant a nuclear warhead.  The gate explodes before the largest of the enemy ships can emerge.

Lyta's vision of deathNotes: Zack's attempt to "chat up" Lyta refers to his interest in her in Epiphanies and Moments of Transition - a relationship that definitely fizzled by Strange Relations; this scene was actually scripted later as a filler.  The events of Lyta's adventures into Vorlon space and subsequent conditioning are recalled (Passing Through Gethsemane).  The character Deuce makes an appearance here - he was first seen in Grail, and is also in the novel Voices.

This telemovie was broadcast after but produced before In the Beginning.  The soundtrack, by Christopher Franke, is available on CD.

Thirdspace Novelization by Peter David (writer of the episodes Soul Mates and There All the Honor Lies - he also novelized In the Beginning, authored the Legions of Fire novels (The Long Night of Centauri Prime, Armies of Light and Dark and Out of the Darkness), and is also the author of many Star Trek novels).

Main Cast: Bruce Boxleitner (Captain John Sheridan); Claudia Christian (Commander Susan Ivanova); Mira Furlan (Ambassador Delenn); Richard Biggs (Dr Stephen Franklin); Jeff Conaway (Security Chief Zack Allen); Stephen Furst (Vir Cotto); Patricia Tallman (Lyta Alexander); Clyde Kusatsu (Bill Morishi); Shari Belafonte (Dr Elizabeth Trent); William Sanderson (Deuce).

Tracy Scoggins had auditioned for the role of Dr Trent before being given the role of Captain Lochley for Season Five.

The Gathering / In the Beginning / Thirdspace / River of Souls / A Call to Arms