AB Review #117

Episode: 1/17 - Legacies
Production #:115
Director: Bruce Seth Green
Writer: D. C. Fontana
Cast:John Vickery (Neroon)
Grace Una as (Alisa Beldon).

Synopsis
The corpse of a Minbari leader is stolen while a young girl begins to exhibit telepathic powers. Winters and Ivanova argue over what is best for the child.

Review:
Let me firstly say that Una gave a magnificent performance in the episode - this was perhaps one of the perks in a slightly "shakey" episode which appears to be unsure about what it should be. I have always had the utmost respect for Fontana and she captures the conflict between Ivanova and Winters well but yet this doesn't feel like the Babylon 5 we know and love. It may APPEAR to be a darker episode but the idea of a dark episode is to encourage fear and mystery, the former being completely lost in the episode.

The darkest part of the script is the Ivanova "my mother was killed off my drugs, day by day" speech. That's how low this script sinks. If it was not for the highly talented cast I would condemn this script (almost) completely. The truth is that it only worked because the cast tried so hard in this episode. The guest stars turn this into an enjoyable affair with wonderful customs being displayed such as the glass coffin which looks stunning...

It appears that Fontana is still not *into* the spirit of the series - this appears to be the problem with most of the non-JMS scripts so far.

What makes this script stand out is the wonderfully childish view that Beldon displays - this improves the episode greatly! Fontana can be given a credit for creating such a lovely character. She is now ALMOST forgiven for the story. The *MAIN* problem in my opinion is the cardboard dialogue between Winters and Ivanova, a problem which may be to do with the actresses. The other problem is that there is NO mystery - after a minute of the crime taking place you have figured out what has happened (not exactly but you have an idea)...

Please note that I MAY have to withdraw my arguements after I see Babylon Squared - this is a problem with a next-day review...

Legacies was originally supposed to be the episode after BSq, I can't tell whether some of the plot holes that I would complain about are explained - if not I'll stick them in and re-post...

The voice distortion was really cool. I wish someone had a .wav file of it...

Perhaps the interesting point to make is how well this will fit into the arc. As an individual episode - this sucks (sorry, is slightly below average), as an arc episode it appears to fit in with what we already know. This has to raise it's grade. I'll be interested to re-watch this episode at a later date...

The music isn't noticeable and Na'Toth is back (woohoo), now we need Londo and G'Kar. Is there such a thing as a Na'Tothism?

Rating: 5.5/10 - Very important to the arc (Chrysilis is the last episode of this series and there was a reference to this in the episode).

Cult TV'S Rating: *** out of *****
Talia Winters and Ivanova conflict over an orphaned telepath while the corpse of a Minbari War Hero is stolen. Another episode which works better when re-visited.

Andy's Star Trek comparison
Possibly TOS will have an original plot, I can't offhand think of a similar ep. in the plot respect.
No humour of which to speak - bring back LONDO!!!! (Or G'Kar, or Vir Cotto)
This one was tense for a while, consider it to be as tense as Eye of the Beholder (TNG).
I enjoyed this episode about as much as I enjoyed Equiblium.

Points for Discussion (no spoilers for future episodes):
1. What is the significance of the word "chrysalis?" - is it a Minbari word?
2. How was Delenn able to sense that she was being probed?
3. What happens to Beldon?
4. Is Delenn gaining power?

We Learn Here:
The Grey Council ordered the surrender at the Battle of the Line.
Many among the Minbari warrior caste do not approve of the surrender, a fact which has caused something of a rift between the religious and warrior caste.
Either the mother's caste takes precidense over the father's or the Religious is deemed to take precidense over the Warrior caste.
The Earth-Minbari war began due to the death of Duhkat.
The war was regarded as a crusade by the Minbari (fight for the faith)
One war-leader commited suicide rather than obey the surrender ruling.
Telepaths are regarded in the same way the Gurus of Hinduism are regarded - with respect and although they are not payed people will give them food, drinks, shelter, and clothing to help them with their gift (I had to do Hinduism last term in RE).
The Narn laws do not prohibit slavery.

Facts About The Show:
This was a free-lance script

Andy's theories:
Perhaps the fact that I can write down some theories for this episode is why I gave it a slightly higher mark than I said it deserved? Anyway, the friction between the Religious and Warrior castes appears to be being replaced by Religious superiority. This could indicate that the Grey council is becoming more religion orientated - I don't know, but then this section isn't about knowing but guessing. I would hazard a guess that this won't do much to help with the Minbari-Earth situation but will rather just strengthen the Religious caste-Earth relationship! It appears in this episode that Winters is the friendlier of the two women, Ivanova strongly disliking Winters. This COULD mean that Winters is going to make the first move towards friendship (after buying Ivanova coffee).
Finally I can only guess that the Narn are REALLY desperate for telepathic skills but they haven't approached the Centauri yet, I can but hope for a scene in which G'Kar and Londo discuss how to go about breeding Centauri-Narn telepaths... Speaking of which we haven't seen a Centauri or Vorlon telepath yet (I would guess that Kosh has ESP but not mind reading abilities). Will we soon? (Note - this is a rhetorical question)...

Character Ratings (out of *****):
Sinclair - *
Ivanova - *
Dr Franklin - ***
Garibaldi - ***
G'Kar - Not Featured
Londo - Not Featured
Delenn - ****
Kosh - Not Featured
Vir - Not Featured
Lennier - Not Featured
Winters - **
Na'Toth - *****


Andrew Brack 1998