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

In the Beginning

Written by
J. Michael Straczynski

Directed by
Mike Vejar

First broadcast week of
4 January 1998

This story is set between approximately 2246 and 2248, during the Earth-Minbari War.   Londo narrates the story from his position as Emperor in 2278.

Emperor Londo Mollari is asked by two children, Luc and Lyssa, to tell a true story of great battles, heroes and villains.  He chooses to tell them the story of the Earth-Minbari War.

When questioned about the Minbari, Londo Mollari, representing the Centauri on Earth, advises the humans to tread very carefully and not endanger themselves by provoking the Minbari in any way.  The humans ignore his advice and send a small fleet, led by the Prometheus, into Minbari space.  Commander John Sheridan turned down the opportunity to be assigned to that ship as its first officer, electing to remain where he is on the Lexington.

Delenn is about to be sworn into the Grey Council by Dukhat, whom she suspects of having associations with the mysterious and reclusive Vorlons.  After Dukhat decides to investigate Z'ha'dum for rumours of renewed Shadow activity, they encounter the human fleet.  The Minbari open their gunports in a traditional gesture of peace and respect, however the humans, their own scanners blocked by the powerful Minbari technology, assume this to be a sign of hostility and open fire.  Dukhat is killed and Delenn, holding the deciding vote on whether or not to advance or fall back, screams for revenge.

The ensuing war is terrible for the humans.  G'Kar agrees to supply weapons for the humans - Centauri weapons, so the humans and the Narn are free from any retribution.  Delenn discovers that Dukhat had indeed been having secret meetings with the Vorlons, and learns from them that the war must be stopped.  She arranges a meeting between Lenonn, the leader of the Anla'Shock (the Rangers), and a human representative - Sheridan, who had successfully managed to destroy a Minbari war cruiser, the Black Star, in battle.  Londo organizes an assault on the meeting place to prevent any human/Minbari alliance that could ruin the ailing Centauri Empire and Sheridan and his companion, Dr Stephen Franklin, are captured.  They are released when Sheridan assures the hooded Delenn that they did not deliberately sabotage the meeting.

The Minbari prepare for a final assault on Earth, and the humans rally their forces to make a final stand: the Battle of the Line.  Delenn pleads her case to halt the war, and the Grey Council agree to her request to capture a human for research purposes.  Jeffrey Sinclair, on a suicidal attack run on the Grey Council's cruiser, is captured and subjected to interrogation and experimentation.  When Delenn realizes that the humans hold Minbari souls - and Sinclair himself carries the soul of their greatest leader, Valen - the Minbari surrender unconditionally and the human race is saved.  The Earth Alliance President announces the commencement of the Babylon Project to prevent any such misunderstandings and carnage in the future.

Having told his story, Londo sends the children away.  They ask about what happened to Sheridan and Delenn and he tells them that the story is not yet over, and will be told another time.  In fact, he is himself preparing for his final meeting with them...

Notes: This episode features footage used in And the Sky Full of Stars (Sinclair's capture), A Late Delivery From Avalon (Prometheus officer MacIntyre firing upon the Minbari), and Atonement (Dukhat's death).  Emperor Mollari tells his story during the events of the future seen in War Without End, Part II.  Dukhat tells Delenn that if ever she is in doubt, to look upon the face of a Vorlon - something she indeed does in Chrysalis.  Kosh also tells Delenn "We have always been here" - a catchphrase for Kosh, variations of which are heard also in All Alone in the Night, Matters of Honor, Dust to Dust and Interludes and Examinations.  Londo asks Luc "What do you want?", referring back to his own prior experience with the question in Signs and Portents.  According to the novel Legions of Fire #3: Out of the Darkness, the lady supervising the children is Londo's ward and Lord Refa's daughter, Senna.  The novelization of this story names the Earth Alliance President as Elizabeth Levy.

This telemovie had a title change to Last of the Fallen and back again during production.  It was produced prior to Thirdspace but broadcast first.   The soundtrack, by Christopher Franke, is available on CD.  This movie was released on Region 1 DVD in a double-set with the pilot, The Gathering (also available in Australia (Region 4) in NTSC format).

In the Beginning Novelization by Peter David (writer of the episodes Soul Mates and There All the Honor Lies - he also novelized Thirdspace, 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 (Commander John Sheridan); Mira Furlan (Satai Delenn); Peter Jurasik (Emperor/Ambassador Londo Mollari); Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar); Richard Biggs (Dr Stephen Franklin); Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova); Theodore Bikel (Lenonn); Reiner Shone (Dukhat); Michael O'Hare (Jeffrey Sinclair); Ardwight Chamberlain (Voice of Kosh); Robin Atkin Downes (Morann).

The scenes featuring Michael O'Hare were lifted from previous episodes. Theodore Bikel also appeared in TKO, and has also appeared as Sergey Rozhenko, Worf's adoptive human father, in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Reiner Shone and Robin Atkin Downes reprise their roles from Atonement; Downes also played Byron the telepath in Season Five.

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