Babylon 5 - Episodics (#310)
"Severed Dreams"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by David Eagle

The Earth Alliance destroyer "Alexander" - a flagship for the rebellion - and Churchill arrive at Babylon 5 following a massive battle in which General Hague has been killed. Sheridan cuts off all communication with Earth and makes plans for the inevitable attack by Earth Alliance forces. Delenn goes to the Grey Council and accuses them of ignoring the prophesies regarding the Great War. The council falls apart when members of the Religious and Worker castes decide to follow her. When Mars is attacked after refusing to implement martial law, Proxima 3 and Orion 7 declare independence in protest. Sheridan and his command staff vote to support them and sever ties with Earth. Within hours, several Earth Alliance destroyers arrive with instructions to seize control of B5 and place its officers under arrest. A pitched battle follows, inside the station as well as outside. Babylon 5 and its allies manage to repel the attack, only to face more arriving Earth Force Destroyers. Just when the situation appears hopeless, a fleet of Minbari cruisers show up led by Delenn. She instructs the EA ships to leave or be destroyed, and they withdraw. The battle is over, but the war against Earth continues...

Babylon 5 finally severs its ties with Earth in this explosive episode nominated for the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The title previously known as "A Dream Given Form," refers to B5 itself. 'Severed Dreams' was easily one of the show's most ambitious episodes. With hundreds of CGI shots to complete, the finished product was delivered just two hours before its satellite uplink. In addition to its elaborate space battles, the episode features a powerful hand-to-hand fight sequence between station security forces and invading Earth Force personnel. Actor Jerry Doyle broke his arm during the fray but insisted on finishing the final shot. Among the familiar faces in 'Severed Dreams' are Bruce (Animal House) McGill as Major Ryan, and Kim (St. Elsewhere) Miyori as Captain Hiroshi. Noticeably missing is Robert Foxworth's General Hague; when Foxworth jumped ship to work on Deep Space Nine at the last minute, writer J. Michael Straczynski simply killed off the character with a few lines of dialogue. Mira Furlan gives a standout performance in 'Severed Dreams,' which parallels real-life experiences in her native Yugoslavia. The similarities were unintentional, according to Straczynski who remembers the actress reading the script and asking, " long did you live in Yugoslavia?"

Joe Nazzaro

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