Babylon 5 - Episodics (#322)
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Adam Nimoy
Captain Sheridan is surprised by
the arrival of a woman claiming
to be his dead wife Anna. She's
come from Z'Ha'Dum, home of the
mysterious Shadows, and offers
Sheridan a chance to find out what
the Great War is really all about.
They leave for Z'Ha'Dum where
they're greeted by a man called
Justin and Morden, a Shadow agent.
Justin tells Sheridan that while most
races prowling the galaxy a million
years ago have since moved on,
the Vorlons and Shadows remained
behind. The Shadows believe
strength comes from conflict while
the Vorlons are agents of order.
Sheridan realizes that Anna is now
an agent of the Shadows and
summons the White Star loaded
with two nuclear weapons taken
from Babylon 5. As the ship
approaches, Sheridan climbs onto
a balcony overlooking a bottom-
less chasm and hears the voice
of Kosh telling him to jump.
He leaps into the pit just as the
White Star detonates, destroying
the Shadow city.
While the station mourns Sheridan's
loss, Commander Ivanova is faced
with another problem: security
chief Garibaldi is missing, his ship
last seen in a battle with the
Shadows. Has Sheridan survived?
Where is Mr. Garibaldi? Those
answers await in season four...
As the third season of Babylon 5
reached an end, the show's
creator, J. Michael Straczynski,
decided to reveal some of the secrets behind the Vorlon-Shadow
war. The Shadows, who had always
been perceived as the villains, were
merely agents of change while the
Vorlons had been manipulating the
younger races for centuries.
As with many B5 episodes, there
are numerous literary allusions to
be found in 'Z'Ha'Dum,' from 'The
Tempest' to 'The Lord of the Rings'
in which Gandalf falls into a pit at
Khazad-dum. The war between
Order and Chaos has been fought
many times, notably in Babylonian
creation myth, one reason why
Babylon was chosen for the name
of the series.
Giving the show a much-needed
publicity boost was BruceBoxleitner's
real-life wife Melissa Gilbert
playing Anna Sheridan. The couple
allowed one of their own wedding
photos, slightly retouched, to be
used in 'Z'Ha'Dum.' The episode
was directed by Adam Nimoy, son
of Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy, who
shot most of Boxleitner and
Gilbert's scenes after the cast had
been released for the summer.
Boxleitner was the last to leave,
shooting nearly a dozen takes for
his final leap; the actual ten-foot
drop made it a true cliffhanger to end Babylon 5's third season.