101: The Needs of Earth

Written by
J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by
Mike Vejar
First broadcast
18 August 1999

Gideon's pleasure at discovering Eilerson's penchant toward inter-species pornography is curtailed when the Rangers provide information about a fugitive of justice from Miradi VII holding the planetary records of his race.  To find him and get the information would mean breaking into Praxis 9 colony - outside Alliance jurisdiction - to capture him before the Miradi government can reapprehend him.  Dureena accompanies Gideon on the mission to help him break into the main dome, where they retrieve the captive Natchok Var and his container of datacrystals.  Leaving the planet, the Excalbur is pursued by the Miradi, who offer to negotiate peacefully with Gideon.  They want to retrieve the information at whatever cost.  Var himself wants to pass on the records to the person he finds most worthy to have them - and after perusing the Excalbur's files he decides to give copies of them to Gideon and surrender himself to his people.  Var is transported alone aboard a second shuttle - which is destroyed by the Miradi ship.  Dr Chambers discovers that the vital "information" is all of Miradi's artistic works - music, poetry, stories.  The race had decided to abandon all such pursuits as decadent and subversive, preferring instead to enhance knowledge and power.  Var wanted to preserve his people's works - and while Gideon dismisses the mission as fruitless toward the needs of Earth, Dr Chambers feels that for a culture to truly survive it needs such inspiration to preserve hope.

Guest Cast: Tony Amendola (Natchok Var), Bill Mondy (Nix).