Babylon 5 S2: The Coming of the Shadows (1994-1995)

The second season of Babylon 5 managed the magic feat of exchanging one of the most important characters without too much ado. Other shows have been broken by something like this, but somehow it worked out quite well. One good reason was how the stuff handled the exchange. Ivanova had worked under Sheridan, so she trusted him already and the people who watched the show and who immediately liked him could fall in line with her response. Those who where less enamored by him could fall in line with Garibaldi who was more suspicious about him. Another aspect that helped was that Sinclair wasn’t just killed off screen, but still an important aspect of the setting.

Again, the show is quite good. There are some clunkers in the second season, like in the first, but overall it’s still extremely enjoyable. I really like the pacing, you really have the feeling things develop toward a big goal, but not with haste. Everything takes exactly the amount of time that is needed. The slow reverse in the positions of Londo and G’Kar, the growing threat of the shadows, the worsening of the situation on Earth.

Another aspect I really like about the show is how it manages to be quite spiritual without being religious. That’s something that seems an entirely unique aspect of the show, something that with this depth has rarely achieved in prose SF or other SF show for example. Sometimes the show manages to go over board, for example the episode with the guy searching for the grail, but overall I really like the emphasis on the search for meaning without trying to preach a special dogma.