310: Severed Dreams

Directed by
David J. Eagle

First broadcast week of
1 April 1996

Major Ryan brings the Alexander to Babylon 5 to flee Earthforce ships loyal to President Clark.  It is followed soon after by the Churchill, under the command of Captain Sandra Hiroshi.  Sheridan contemplates their position - Orion 7 and Proxima 3 have both declared independence to escape President Clark's illegal orders and the command staff vote to do the same.  Delenn visits the Grey Council to berate them of their ignorance of prophecy and taking no action in the Shadow War - and when she leaves the Worker and Religious Caste go with her, breaking the Council.  When ISN reports of the uprising against Clark they are violently taken off the air.  The Agrippa, Roanoke and Nimrod arrive to combat the "rebellion" but when all looks lost, even to the sacrifice of the Churchill, Delenn returns with a fleet of Minbari warships and drive the Earthforce ships away.  A Minbari Ranger informs Sheridan that many of the non-aligned races have allied themselves with the Shadows and declared war on each other.

Notes: Babylon 5 is now an independent state, and Sheridan refuses to wear his Earthforce uniform (see Ceremonies of Light and Dark for the solution).  Delenn breaks the Grey Council because of its inaction against Valen's prophecies of the Shadow War - but the breaking of the Grey Council is also apparently part of prophecy itself.  The Alexander was General Hague's ship (see Points of Departure and All Alone in the Night) but Hague himself was killed in a previous battle, leaving Major Ryan in command.  ISN is off air until Ship of Tears.  Following the loss of nearly 30% of Babylon 5's Starfuries in the battle, they take on board Starfuries from the destroyed Churchill.  Delenn mentions that only one man has been able to defeat a Minbari warship - Sheridan (mentioned in Points of Departure and seen in In the Beginning).  The Great Machine on Epsilon 3 is recalled (A Voice in the Wilderness).

This episode received the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Babylon 5's second - see also The Coming of Shadows), defeating the films Independence Day, Mars Attacks!, Star Trek: First Contact, and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Trials and Tribble-ations War Without End and Z'ha'dum also received enough votes to be nominated but Straczynski asked for them to be withdrawn.  The soundtrack of this episode is available on Babylon 5 Volume Two: Messages From Earth, and also as an individual release.

Guest Cast: Robert Foxworth was due to return as General Hague but was unavailable at the time due to his appearances in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Homefront and Paradise Lost).  Major Ryan was played by Bruce McGill, who appeared in both the pilot and final episodes of Quantum Leap amongst other various films and television appearances.  Rance Howard appears as David Sheridan (see also Interludes and Examinations, Rising Star).