Mark Watches ‘Babylon 5’: S01E18 – A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I

In the eighteenth episode of the first season of Babylon 5, a mysterious signal from the planet that Babylon 5 orbits inspires an exploratory mission. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Babylon 5. 

Generally, it’s a little hard to judge two-parters because I’m only seeing half the story, and that’s certainly the case here for “A Voice in the Wilderness,” whose first part introduces a lot of ideas that’ll hopefully be addressed in the next part. But those ideas and plot elements are at least interesting, so I’m eager to see where this is going. LET’S DISCUSS. 


I’m not sure if this will intersect with the other two storylines, but I appreciate that we’re getting some more insight into the spiritual culture of the Minbari. From what I understood of this episode, many Minbari are drawn to certain places or events as their life comes to an end, and they often follow this mythological journey before returning to the Sea. Which, if I recall, is the metaphorical sea of souls. (Or river of souls, as it has been referred to.) So, that makes me think his presence does matter to the events on Epsilon III, the “uninhabited” planet that Babylon 5 orbits. But how? What can he offer? How much longer does he have before he returns to the Sea?


In a further continuation of recent events—and seriously, this casual serialization is proving to be a lot of fun—Mars is now a nightmare. A group of people on Mars—referred to as Mars First—have staged a coup on the planet in order to expel “Earthers” and take Mars as their own. One thing that’s striking to me about how season one has developed is that the world outside of the station is shown to us a lot more than I expected. Granted, we don’t get many scenes or moments from Earth aside from news clips or Babcom transmissions, and it’s fascinating to me that despite that, I still manage to get a solid feel for what life is like in those places. It’s impressive! And because this revolution of sorts on Mars is tied to Garibaldi, it allows the script to approach the issue through a personal lens. 

And that’s where Garibaldi comes in. He panics over the chance that an ex-girlfriend of his is still on Mars and got caught up in said revolution. It’s Talia, though, who assists Garibaldi in trying to make contact with this woman. I am curious if this is because the show is trying to address Garibaldi’s odd relationship with Talia. I still don’t quite get what the writers are attempting with them because their interactions are few and far between, you know? Like, what’s with the elevator thing? Anyway, there’s clearly more to this plot, so I’m gonna save my thoughts on it for the next episode.


Oh, I am trash for the science fiction plot of a place that was previously thought to be abandoned SUDDENLY DOING WEIRD, SUSPICIOUS THINGS. It’s very much like my love of the empty spaceship floating about, or haunted houses, or people entering places deemed lost or inaccessible. (So, basically, Annihilation.) There’s something about the mysterious, forbidden nature of it that instantly gets me interested, and then I need to know what actually happened, and I TAKE THE BAIT EVERY TIME.

Is this episode an exception? HELL NO, IT’S NOT. I wanted to know what that beacon was, why it was buried so deep in the ground, why there was an automated missile defense system protecting it, and why Epsilon III was abandoned. AND THEN THERE WAS THE MYSTERIOUS HOLOGRAM. Oh no, I needed ALL OF THIS EXPLAINED. 

And while that hasn’t happened yet, I am IMMENSELY intrigued by what has happened so far. The fact that this structure was so deep into the planet’s crust was interesting enough, but that thing? I don’t even know what it was. A massive machine? A reactor? How the hell is something that technologically advanced buried so far down? But the biggest shock here is that the being who projected themselves to Sinclair, Mollari, and Ivanova WAS BASICALLY WIRED INTO THE MACHINE ITSELF. Did they power it??? Were they trapped there, forever destined to be a part of the machine until they died? WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT THING?

Who is coming out of the jump gate? WHY HAVE YOU ALL DONE THIS TO ME?

The video for “A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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