Babylon 5 - Episodics (#222)
"The Fall of Night"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Janet Greek

As the Centauri Empire continues to expand its influence, Fredrick Lantz from Earth's Ministry of Peace arrives on Babylon 5, along with Mr. Welles, a Nightwatch representative to investigate the conflict. When Captain Sheridan gives sanctuary to a crippled Narn war ship, a Centauri cruiser shows up to destroy it, and Sheridan is forced to defend his station and the Narn ship. The Centauri vessel is destroyed, to the annoyance of Lantz, who's actually been sent to sign a non-aggression pact with the Centauri, and orders Sheridan to make a public apology.
Elsewhere, Warren Keffer leaves his fighter squadron to track down a Shadow ship discovered in hyperspace. The Shadow vessel eventually senses its pursuer and destroys Keffer's ship, but not before a recording buoy has been dispatched.
Back on B5, while en route to the assembly, Sheridan finds a bomb planted on his transport, and is forced to leap out into the station's low-gravity interior. As he plunges to his death, Ambassador Kosh finally reveals himself as a winged deity- seen differently by the various alien races- and rescues Sheridan.
Even as the residents of Babylon 5 discuss the incident, Centauri aggression grows, Nightwatch activity increases, and Keffer's discovery is finally made public...

As the second season of Babylon 5 reached its climax, series creator J. Michael Straczynski's story arc took a somewhat downbeat turn, with dangers from within (the Nightwatch) as well as without (The Centauri and of course, the Shadows) continuing to make their presence felt. In sharp contrast was the long-awaited appearance of Ambassador Kosh's outside his encounter suit, seen by the inhabitants of B5 as a positive, almost religious omen for the future.
The director for 'The Fall of Night' was Janet Greek, who had worked on a number of previous arc episodes, including the Hugo Award-winning, 'The Coming of Shadows' earlier that season. The episode featured a few familiar faces, including Roy (Beauty and the Beast) Dotrice who played Fredrick Lantz, and John Vickery playing a human for the first time as Mr. Welles- Vickery had previously appeared in the series as the Minbari warrior, Neroon.
Creating the various guises of Kosh was a huge task, not only for the make-up artists at Optic Nerve who spent weeks creating countless designs for the now-revealed ambassador, but also for the FX team at Foundation Imaging, who had to create much of his glowing, angelic form in post-production. The result was an eye-opening sequence that viewers wouldn't soon forget...

Joe Nazzaro

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