- When General Lefcourt addressed the fleet at Mars, he
didn't bother repeating Clark's propaganda about Sheridan's forces
being under alien influence. That could be a sign that few people
in Earthforce really believed it anyway, so there was little point
maintaining the pretext. Or it could have been a result of his
knowledge of Sheridan; that might lead him to believe that Sheridan
would take up arms against Clark of his own free will.
- Both Sheridan and Lefcourt were in charge of Omega-class
destroyers, and they both displaced the destroyers' usual captains.
- The device Franklin placed on Lyta was most likely the
one he mentioned developing in
"The Exercise of Vital Powers."
He claimed to be working on a repeater to help broadcast her thought
- The formation of the assault team on Mars was planned
oddly; all the top-ranking people were together in a single
group (Garibaldi, Number One, Lyta, and Franklin,) which would
have been disastrous if they'd failed to take over the outpost.
However, it's not an arrangement without merit: Franklin and
Lyta obviously had to be together for him to hook her up to the
device, and Number One probably wanted to keep an eye on both
Garibaldi and Lyta.
- After her bad treatment at the hands of Sheridan and
company, treatment which forced her to reassociate herself with the
("The Exercise of Vital Powers,")
Lyta was surprisingly willing to put herself on the line yet again.
Has her arrangement with Bester made her comfortable enough to set
aside her past annoyance with Sheridan and the B5 crew, or does she
simply believe so strongly in the cause that she's willing to
disregard personal considerations?
- Marcus viewed several log entries from Franklin. The
first referred to the death of Cailyn, Franklin's lover in
The second might have referred to Marcus' recovery from his
fight with Neroon in
"Grey 17 Is Missing,"
although at that time Franklin was on walkabout and thus couldn't
have recorded the log entry -- a possible gaffe. It couldn't have
referred to any event before
"Ceremonies of Light and Dark,"
since Franklin was wearing his Army of Light uniform.
The third, of course, was in reference to the use of the alien
healing machine on Garibaldi in
Franklin's flashback recounted
These log entries paralleled Marcus' own dilemma. The first dealt
with the death of a woman Franklin cared about. The second (assuming
it truly referred to
"Grey 17 Is Missing")
was the last time Marcus was willing to give up his life for a woman
he cared for, namely Delenn. And the third message was a warning about
the consequences of what Marcus was contemplating.
- The phrase on Clark's suicide
note ("The ascension of the ordinary man") is a cipher, but it might
have some discernable meaning. The theme of death leading to
ascension is common in religion; perhaps the "ordinary man" referred
to the innocent civilians who'd be killed by the defense platforms,
and Clark believed they'd ascend to heaven.
There's also an echo of Cartagia's belief that his involvement with the
Shadows would allow him to ascend to godhood; though Cartagia's belief
was rooted in Centauri religion (other emperors had been elevated to
godhood, as noted by Vir in
it's possible Clark believed the same was true of himself.
It's also possible that "ordinary" referred to non-telepaths: by
scouring Earth's surface, a mundane was determining the fate of his
evolutionary superiors, thus ascending above them.
- How did the Senator know so quickly what Clark had done,
and how much damage the particle beams could cause Earth? One
possible answer to the second question is that the potential
danger to Earth might have been discussed in the Senate, for
example while debating funding of the defense platforms. And
perhaps the control panels on Clark's desk made it obvious
that he'd turned the defense platforms against Earth, though the
implication is that she guessed his plan simply from the words
- It's odd that the Agamemnon was the only ship available
to destroy the last defense platform, since only moments earlier it
was in the midst of a swarm of other friendly vessels. Obviously
this was a matter of artistic license, but why couldn't one of the
Minbari cruisers, for example, have fired a beam weapon at the
platform from a distance?
- Now that Sheridan's forces have removed Earth's defenses
to a large extent -- the orbital platforms are all gone, many ships
have been destroyed, and the advanced destroyer group is no more --
an aggressive alien government, perhaps the Drakh
("Lines of Communication")
might consider this an ideal time to try to attack Earth or some of
its colonies. Sheridan may have to station some of the White Star
fleet and/or the League ships at Earth to help make up for the damage
his campaign has done and ensure Earth's security.
- On the other hand, after Earth has had a chance to build
up its forces again, it may be far in advance of the rest of the galaxy,
even the Minbari. Assuming Sheridan relinquishes command of his
fleet to Earthgov now that Clark is out of the picture, Earth will
have both Vorlon and Shadow technology at its disposal. Given that
some progress has obviously been made in integrating Shadow technology
("Between the Darkness and the Light")
it's not implausible that the Vorlon technology in the White Stars --
not to mention their Minbari components -- could be analyzed by the
same researchers. Will the Minbari stand for that if it's attempted?
How much do they value their current technological edge over the other
parallel between Greek myth and Sheridan's command of the Agamemnon
has further resonance here, especially the variant in which Agamemnon's
daughter Iphigenia is saved from death by Artemis. Marcus, a
has brought Ivanova back from the dead (assuming the alien device
does in fact successfully revive her.) What parallel, if any, there
will be with the rest of the myth -- Iphigenia living the rest of her
life in a distant temple, far from her family -- remains to be seen.
- The episode seemed rushed.
Okay, one general response here...people are seeing rush where in many
cases there is NOT a rush. Look, pay attention here: WE'RE IN THE
FOURTH ACT OF THE EARTH CYCLE. Like the fourth act of an episode, you
have to really start cranking. You want it to be at white-heat once
you hit the ground.
What's in Endgame, and most of Between... was always going to be there,
with or without a 5th season. I made my trims in the period PRIOR
TO these episodes, for the most part.
This is the culmination of something we've been building now for three
years, and I'm going to make it as damned fast-paced as I can.
So don't go into this assuming it was rushed...it's *fast*, and that's
the difference here.
People complain when we do character stories that the arc isn't moving
fast enough...people complain that it's moving too fast when the arc is
in full gear...sombody get a concensus going here, okay?
- How did you fit so much into one hour?
It's one of those things I don't know if I can explain adequately,
or sensibly. A lot of it is totally instinctive, I don't sit down
and think about it, I just do it. But to dissect...part of it is
the intensity of the scenes, I think. Strong emotion extends
time, stretches it; if you've ever been in a major traumatic
situation, a few minutes can seem like hours. The more you can
put your character into a situation of intense emotions, and
create those same emotions in the viewer, you will in effect slow
down perceived time.
Also, there's the matter of context here. If you've set something
up in prior episodes, in something like "Endgame" there's no
set-up which means exposition and chews up time; you go right for
the high point in the story bell-curve, and you stay there. So
the part you're used to seeing take only a few minutes at the end
of an episode becomes almost the entirety of the episode; same
- What is Earth Standard Time? GMT?
Yes, EST = GMT.
And this episode wasn't rushed; it's what you do when you're
bringing any story to its climax. It's like watching Aliens, going
away before the last 20 minutes, coming back and saying, "Well, it
moved awfully fast." It has to, you're in the big moment. No, there
isn't time for everything, there is NEVER time for everything, there's
always stuff we might want to see...but what's in Endgame is what was
always going to be in Endgame. If I'd known there would be a 5th
season at the time, I still would've written it exactly the way it was
The collapsing was done for the most part *long* before we ever
got to this part of the season.
It's just fast because that's what you need to do at this point.
- A hideous amount of rendering power and time went into
that episode, and the result is all there on-screen. The only bigger
CGI feast is in the prequel, which is approximately 21% EFX, most of it
pure CGI and composites.
- The Mars surface effects looked different.
Actually, most of the prior mars shots were done by an outside
contractor, who's been doing such shots for the history of the show.
NDEI's boys wanted a chance to do them, and did so.
They're not bad...we still need to improve a bit on the movements, and
the camera still moves a bit too fast, which gives it that computer-y
feel...but overall, not bad.
How long did those shots take to render?
Quite a lot, I understand.
- Has Mars' air pressure been increased so pressure
suits are no longer needed?
My feeling is that there's been some small terraforming, which
has helped a little, but there's still a long way to go.
- One thing we've noted is that there's been some minor
terraforming on Mars over the 175 or so years we've been there. It's
still a hostile climate, but not as bad as it is right now.
- Shouldn't moving around the surface of Mars look
odd due to its lower gravity? Or has its gravity been increased
No, there was no change to the gravity...what should we see to
show that the gravity was still less? Someone like Garibaldi is still
going to weight about 75 pounds, so he's not about to go around
floating or bouncing, that's pretty solid. I don't see many
13-year-olds walking around like they're on the moon....
- "If you had time to spare in the episode (ho ho), you
suggested the different ratio of inertial mass to weight by having
character's feet skid out from under them when stopping, bouncing off
walls while turning corners, overbalancing on turns, or catching things
they had dropped two seconds after dropping them. Maybe tossing a CGI
Except, of course, this would've looked awfully silly on camera.
BTW, remember that Number One and Garibaldi, as well as Lyta,
have experience with living on Mars, so they would automatically
- Wouldn't the ship's quartermaster notice a frozen
In something like this, you don't move unless you have the main
quartermaster at the Mars base ON YOUR SIDE. You stuff it all into
cargo loaders and crates, and ship it up. Have you ever seen military
shipments? I looked into this, and security for big crates like this
is done *at the point of shipping*.
- "What was needed was at least talk of a major Mars
resistance attack occuring at the same time to draw off the security."
There was. Go back to the scene on the Apollo when the first
word of attacks comes in...it says specifically that they're hitting a
number of places *including* a White Star hitting that particular base.
- How did Marcus contact B5 through the
Because Marcus sent the signal to B5 before the fleet jumped
into hyperspace, leaving Mars, toward Earth. We in hyperspace for the
result, the search being concluded based on what was downloaded.
- Why didn't Sheridan send another ship after
You don't send a ship away to chase one person when you're
going into a battle. You don't KNOW what ships you are and
aren't going to need. In theory you took everything you had
because you thought you needed it. Yeah, Marcus was a friend,
but a lot of friends would die this day. You think he would
put Marcus's situation ahead of the fleet? Isolate one ship
and risk it to go after him? Ever been in the military? You
talk about it, but what you propose doesn't make sense. Would
Patton have sent back a tank because somebody fell behind? No.
- Garibaldi's betrayal didn't have any lasting
You're right in terms of what Garibaldi did and didn't do, and we've
avoided the ultimate repercussions in other places for other things
(he said vaguely, not wanting to post spoilers)...but you can only do
that so far, and if you go further you start cheating. You also
remove the dramatic impact of the actions of your characters if they
do not have consequences.
Why did Marcus have to do what he did?
In this case, it ties very much into this
character's background...and would, in another universe in which CC
decided to stay, have spun out into some rather interesting
- "Well, unless its a coincidence, the "circled doodled
message left by
madman after he commits suicide" is VERY similar to what happens in Dr.
Strangelove. Again, maybe its JMS's homage to Kubrick (like the "2001"
style spacesuit that appeared in a second or third season episode, I
forget which, of B5)."
Just to clarify this....
Re: the note...the script as written calls only for the finding
of a note with the words "scorched earth" on it. It was John
Copeland's idea to do the note as shown, and yes, he's said quite
openly over on AOL that it was his nod to Strangelove. (John directed
Re: the suit...that wasn't an intentional 2001 nod...we went to
Modern Props to get a space suit for Babylon Squared, and the only one
they had on hand that would work for us was one left-over from 2010,
which I asked the folks in costume to change as much as
possible...though it was pretty much what it was regardless. So that
one wasn't intentional.
- What did Sheridan mean by "ramming speed?"
You are in a space ship, in a vacuum, heading toward target X. You
understand that it takes time to transfer energy and movement toward
another plane, so you go at X-speed toward that object if you want the
option of applying thrusters and angling away from the object before
you slam into it.
If, on the other hand, you *want* to hit the object, and you have no
interest in holding back your thrusters to allow you to diverge from
the target in the amount of space remaining between you and it, you
proceed at Y speed, with your thrusters putting out their maximum
amount of fuel.
Y = ramming speed.
- "...the symmetry and symbolism in how you structured that
final battle. The story of Babylon 5 basically started with the Minbari
fleet coming to Earth to destroy it at the Battle of the Line. To
have the Minbari fleet return to Earth, not to destroy humanity, but to
save it, especially along side Earth fighters and capital ships was
Noticed that little touch, did you....?
What goes around, comes around.
- How did the Apollo monitor Sheridan's situation if
communications were being jammed?
The jammers are set up to cut off communication OUTSIDE MARS
ORBIT. That's what was said, that the jammers cut in once they
were past Mars (for security purposes). The same thing was
said in Lines Of..., where Franklin was having a hard time
getting word to B5 *past the Mars jammers*. Further, if all
communications were cut off in Hyperspace, inside Mars orbit,
then you couldn't have had ship-to-ship communications to tell
Sheridan ABOUT Marcus, could you?
- Lefcourt does not think that his job is to set policy
or overthrow presidents. The military executes orders that emanate
from the head of the government, through the chain of command. Once
that chain of command was changed, the orders were no longer valid.
- Why wasn't Clark allowed to present his point of
view, even at the end?
I tried to do it through his lieutenants and plenepotentiaries (hope I
spelled that right, I'm too tired to get the dictionary down). ISN
gives you his point of view, ditto for Nightwatch, MiniPax, others. I
think if I had him just saying it out loud, it would diminish him much
the way that repeated exposure to the shadow vessels gradually removed
their mystery and menace. Less is more.
- About the return of the old ISN anchor
"I've been thinking about the rapidity of her return to ISN. I agree
that there wasn't time to break her out of prison and get her old
dressing room back for the morning news"
When the Soviet Union fell, and the prison doors were thrown
open, a number of reporters who had fallen out of favor with the Party
and were sitting in cells walked out, went across the street, and went
on the air within a matter of hours.
Humans are resilient and determined sorts.