AB Review #110

Episode: 1/10 - Believers
Production #: 105
Director: Richard Crompton
Writer: David Gerrold
Cast: Silvana Gallardo (Dr. Maya Hernandez)
Jonathon Kaplan (Shon)
Tricia O'Neil (M'Ola)
Stephen Lee (Tharg)

Synopsis:
Dr Franklin needs to perform an operation to save a boy's life but he can't due to the boy's religious beliefs.

Review:
"Believers" is the best episode of Babylon 5 so far in my opinion - I needed to get that off my chest. It had a BRILLIANT plot and the guest stars were excellent.

The first point I have to make is that David Gerrold has written an excellent script, worthy of the best sci-fi writers. He handles the characters brilliantly and creates a fantastic piece of art - Casualty (sorry non-US viewers, substitute ER for Casualty) meets Babylon 5.

The episode featured a great soundtrack that supplemented the episode brilliantly. It featured a mixture of music but most was tense and added to the dark atmosphere that this episode creates.

The alien race is fascinating and one which should be expanded on. Their culture is fascinating and is one which Gerrold has crafted excellently. The direction by Crompton is EXCELLENT - it is definately well done and he seems to be in total control of the cast while at the same time, simulating terror and panic to perfection.

Perhaps the perculiar ending is what makes this episode so memorable. It really is quite a sad ending and certainly gives you something to think about. Which way would it have been better for the boy to go in?

Finally there is an excellent B-Plot line - the Ivanova plot was well done if not a bit short. This is simply THE episode to watch and enjoy...

Rating: 10/10 - The best episode so far. Buy the video as you get Deathwalker as well (that ep got 8\10 from me).

Cult TV'S Rating: ***** out of *****
Dr Franklin tries to save a dying alien boy, but is hampered by the family's religious beliefs. Babylon 5 meets ER in an unforgettable piece of SF television.

Andy's Star Trek comparison
Sons of Mogh (DS9) has a similar plot idea but is carried out in a different way. The quality of the production is around equal to Sons of Mogh (DS9) There are a few lighter moments but not many. I would say that parts of this were very tense but other areas were very relaxed. Best compared to Honor Among Thieves (DS9 - I bought this ep today) I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed Little Green Men (DS9), The Killing Game (Voyager), and Our Man Bashir (DS9)

Points for Discussion (no spoilers for future episodes):
1. What does Kosh mean in his speach to the two parents?
2. Why are Earth Central attempting to evade any decisions coming their way?

Andy's theories:
This episode proves that the alien races are out, only for themselves.
The Narn appear to be getting nastier while the Centauri are appearing more care-free. This may indicate that the Narn are preparing for something. The Centauri appear to be relaxed. Security is often the reason for relaxation so why are they feeling so secure? Are the Narn in danger from the Centauri? This would make more sense than the Narn attempting to attack Centauri Prime. Perhaps Londo knows something that is going to secure his safety?

Character Ratings (out of *****):
Sinclair - *****
Ivanova - ****
Dr Franklin - *****
Garibaldi - *****
G'Kar - *****
Londo - *****
Delenn - *****
Kosh - **** (I don't like the Vorlons that much!)


Andrew Brack 1998