Babylon 5 - Episodics (#312)
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Michael Vejar
"A Late Delivery From Avalon"
A man claiming to be Arthur,
King of the Britons, arrives on Babylon 5. Although Franklin
worries about the man's mental health, 'Arthur' finds a sympathetic ear with Marcus.
He's also befriended by G'Kar who
joins the good fight Down Below
and is knighted by Arthur.
Meanwhile, Sheridan offers the
members of the League of Non-
Aligned Worlds a deal: they can
continue trading on Babylon 5 if
they agree to contribute to the
Franklin uses DNA testing to
discover that Arthur is actually
David MacIntyre, a former gunnery
sergeant on board the Earth ship
that fired on the Minbari, causing
the Earth-Minbari War. That guilt
has created a new personality, but
when Franklin confronts him with
the truth, Arthur/MacIntyre
retreats into a catatonic state.
Marcus and Franklin finally realize
that MacIntyre has arrived on
Babylon 5 on the fifteenth
anniversary of the day he fired on
the Minbari ship and now hopes to
absolve himself of that guilt. Franklin uses Delenn to pose as the
Lady of the Lake and accept from Arthur the sword Excalibur, the
symbol of his guilt. Now at peace,
he's sent to Narn where he will be
revered as a wise man and help to
organize the resistance.
One of the most important
influences on Babylon 5 is the
heroic epic; in this case, the
Arthurian legend. In 'A Late Delivery
From Avalon,' Writer J. Michael
Straczynski even makes a few
lighthearted comparisons between
B5 and Camelot.
Playing Arthur/David MacIntyre
is British actor Michael York,
whose numerous film roles include Cabaret, Logan's Run and The Island
of Dr. Moreau. York had reportedly
been a frontrunner for the role of
Captain Sheridan which eventually
went to Bruce Boxleitner.
Straczynski decided to write
'A Late Delivery...' in a slightly
different, 'more artsy' style. He
also requested that the music
have a Celtic influence with the
use of more natural instruments.
The episode provides even more of
the back story for the Earth -
Minbari War. MacIntyre was the
gunnery sergeant on the Earth ship
that started the first battle, and
it's his deep-seated guilt that
creates the Arthur persona; an apt
commentary on veterans'
post-traumatic stress syndrome.
On a lighter note is Garibaldi's
running battle with Babylon 5's Post
Office to claim a package containing
various Italian delicacies. Some
things never change, even in the
Marcus's 'Who is Morgana Le Fey?'
turns out not to be a throwaway
line after all, as we discover a few