Babylon 5 - Episodics (#411)
"Lines of Communication"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by John Flinn

With Franklin and Marcus working with the rebellion on Mars, Delenn decides to investigate a series of attacks on the border of Minbari space, and Sheridan comes up with a plan to combat Earth propaganda by launching a 'voice of the resistance' broadcast with Ivanova as the source. Franklin tell the rebels that if they cooperate with Sheridan, Mars will finally be recognized as an independent state. In space, Delenn's Whitestar tracks down the alien ships responsible for the attacks, who identify themselves as Drakh. A black-clad Drakh emissary boards the Whitestar. His race offers protection in return for being allowed to settle on deserted worlds on the Minbari border. Delenn realizes the aliens are former allies of the Shadows, forced to evacuate their home on Z'Ha'Dum, and uses the Whitestars to destroy their fighters and mother ship. Despite their victory, Delenn knows that a problem now exists on Minbar. As Sheridan transforms the war room on B5 into the new voice of the resistance headquarters, Delenn tells him she must return home to rebuild the Grey Council. A civil war begins heating up on Min- bari, and Babylon 5 fans get their first look at the villainous Drakh in the fourth-season episode, 'Lines of Communication.'

The episode was directed by the show's director of photography John Flinn, who had previously directed such episodes as 'TKO,' 'Soul Mates,' and 'The Long Twilight Struggle.' Flinn is probably best known to viewers for his appearances as the obnoxious man in 'Grail' and later, 'Matters of Honor.' Playing the Drakh emissary was Jean-Luc Martin, a performer from the Cirque du Soleil, who had the challenge of bringing the heavy costume to life. At one point, Martin actually suffered an electrical shock resulting from the wires running through the suit. Unfortunately, series creator J. Michael Straczynski wasn't entirely happy with the look of the Drakh, which were eventually going to become major adversaries on Babylon 5, and its spin-off series, 'Crusade.' The visual FX department was asked to add a distortion effect to the character in post-production, which made it appear the emissary was phasing in and out of reality. The Drakh would eventually be redesigned for their later appearances in the series.

Joe Nazzaro

Go Back