Babylon 5 (1993–1998)
7.3/10
474
4 user
A task force of ground troops led by Dr. Franklin's father General Richard Franklin is assembled at Babylon 5, leading to some friction.

Director:

Jim Johnston

Writers:

J. Michael Straczynski (created by), Larry DiTillio (as Lawrence G. DiTillio)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Boxleitner ... Capt. John Sheridan
Claudia Christian ... Cmdr. Susan Ivanova
Jerry Doyle ... Michael Garibaldi
Mira Furlan ... Delenn
Richard Biggs ... Dr. Stephen Franklin
Andrea Thompson ... Talia Winters (credit only)
Stephen Furst ... Vir Cotto (credit only)
Bill Mumy ... Lennier (credit only)
Robert Rusler ... Lt. Warren Keffer
Mary Kay Adams ... Na'Toth (credit only)
Andreas Katsulas ... G'Kar (credit only)
Peter Jurasik ... Londo Mollari (credit only)
Paul Winfield ... Gen. Richard Franklin
David L. Crowley ... Lou Welch
Ryan Cutrona ... Sgt. Major Plug
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Storyline

A task force of ground troops led by Dr. Franklin's father General Richard Franklin is assembled at Babylon 5, leading to some friction.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1995 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This takes place from June 20 to June 23, 2259. See more »

Goofs

It seems rather strange that the only two people in charge of 25,000 troops are a general and one Sgt. Major. There should have been a lot more officers and non-coms. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: No traffic. No complaints. No noise. Traitors, troublemakers, and ambassadors all tucked snugly in their little beds. I love this time of night.
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Connections

References Babylon 5: Deathwalker (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some Good, Some Bad
2 March 2019 | by themightyservoSee all my reviews

The story-moving parts of the episode are good, and there's some good character development with Dr. Franklin.

But alas, another review, another opportunity to quote Lore Sjöberg's Law of Cinematic Inaccuracy: "Movies get everything wrong. Hacking-based movies are laughable to hackers, military-based movies are laughable to members of the armed forces, and Indiana Jones movies are laughable to archeologists." (Still around on web archive's version of Brunching Shuttlecocks.)

JMS would've benefitted from hiring on a military techincal advisor, or else having pushed one onto the production crew to keep this from looking silly. All it would've taken was an average NCO to trim away the ridiculous.

I'm not going to fault any tactics issues messed up (another reviewer already did that, with spoilers), but I will fault the military culture that isn't understood. The ground force units are undisciplined bordering on absurd.

The lack of uniformity in haircuts gives it away to begin with (seriously, how hard is it to hire actors and actresses with short hair for this sort of thing? even if they're all low-regs?), and with the fact that they're a military force that consists of men and women who look to largely be in their late 20s to early 40s and who seem incapable of promoting.

We're told Dodger, for example, is a PFC. In pretty much all modern land militaries, initial ranks begin at private, with Private First Class being a "promotion" that is typically a gimme. It's a promotion earned in a matter of months, if having to be earned at all. It's the rank that most 18 year olds in the US military achieve simply by being present. It's the "trainee" nametag coming off.

If we're to assume that Earth Force is a volunteer military, the rank and age conflicts prevalent in the cast are silly. If we're to assume they're a conscript military where age is irrelevant, then the discipline issues and trope "motivational" stuff is silly.

There seems to be no Guard force or Shore Patrol at all for the Earth Force unit, leading to unrealistic escalation of conflicts. Troops going on liberty at a friendly port is something militaries have had to deal with for thousands of years, and there are procedures for it that could be acknowledged and still leave room for drama.

I don't consider any of these to be massive faults because the substance of the episode related to the main characters is good (well, without going into spoilers there is a character who's oblivious to something they shouldn't have been especially based on their background that ties in with my military culture complaints, but it's not a dealbreaker) - I do however lament that in a series that otherwise really does good looks at characters and backgrounds that there's such a lost opportunity to actually look at ground force units in a more meaningful way.


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