Babylon 5 - Episodics (#209)
"The Coming Of Shadows"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Janet Greek

G'Kar is outraged that the Centauri emperor is about to arrive on Babylon 5, and decides to assassinate him at a reception. His plan is interrupted when the emperor collapses and is taken to med lab, where he asks Dr. Franklin to carry a message for him. He wishes to apologize to G'Kar on behalf of the Centauri government for their treatment of the Narn people. Meanwhile, Londo is plotting with Lord Refa to strengthen their position in the Centauri court. He agrees to contact Morden, who sends the Shadow ships to destroy a Narn outpost. Knowing his people will soon be at war, Londo is shocked by G'Kar's invitation to join him for a drink. When the emperor dies, any chance for peace is lost. Meanwhile, a Ranger arrives on the station with a message from Jeffrey Sinclair, who warns Garibaldi about the impending darkness. G'Kar discovers the Centauri treachery and comes after Londo, but is stopped by Sheridan. At a hastily convened council meeting, G'Kar announces the Narn and Centauri people are now at war.

Widely considered one of the classic episodes of Babylon 5, 'The Coming of Shadows' won a coveted Hugo Award for Best Dra- matic Presentation. The episode's title, which is also the umbrella title for the second season, has more than one meaning. Taken literally, it refers to the monstrous aliens who would become the major villains of the series, but it also alludes to the beginning of the Narn-Centauri War, which begins in this episode. 'The Coming of Shadows' featured veteran character actor Turhan Bey as the Centauri emperor, who dies before seeing his plans for peace come to fruition. Bey would later return to Babylon 5 in the fifth season, playing a Minbari teacher in the episode 'Learning Curve.' Another surprise is the long-awaited return of Jeffrey Sinclair, seen briefly in a prerecorded message to Garibaldi. The episode is a personal highlight for Peter Jurasik who plays Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari, and Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar, the Narn ambassador. Both actors also had to play older versions of their characters in a flash-forward sequence that showed their fate 20 years in the future, which required a good deal of extra time in the makeup chair

Joe Nazzaro

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