Elizabeth Lochley

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Elizabeth Lochley
Babylon 5 character
B5 lochley.jpg
First appearance No Compromises
Last appearance Voices in the Dark
Portrayed by Tracy Scoggins
Information
Species Human
Home planet Earth
Affiliated with Babylon 5, Earth Alliance

Elizabeth Lochley is a lead fictional character from the universe of the science fiction television series Babylon 5 and Crusade, played by Tracy Scoggins.

Elizabeth Lochley was a regular in the fifth and last season of Babylon 5, replacing the previous commander of the station, John Sheridan, and filling the role of the character Susan Ivanova.

Lochley featured prominently in the first volume of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales entitled "Voices in the Dark", released on DVD in July 2007.

Personality[edit]

Elizabeth Lochley is a forceful, no-nonsense military leader. She carries herself with a military bearing and in public appears to be the very model of a competent, decisive, and professional EarthForce officer. Although she is an attractive woman, she only shows the more feminine side of her personality in private, during her off-duty hours. Much of her personal drive and ambition comes from her troubled youth and young adulthood, and in private she is always willing to lend a helping hand or offer advice to those who are experiencing personal difficulties and problems. In addition to being married to Interstellar Alliance President John Sheridan for a brief period early in their military careers, she also has a passionate and sexually charged love affair with fellow EarthForce Captain Matthew Gideon, the commander of the Victory-Class starship Excalibur. Despite her hard-earned personal and professional success, however, she is occasionally still haunted by memories of her troubled early years.

Early life[edit]

Captain Lochley had a far from idyllic background. Her father had secretly been a talented painter, but he felt under strong family compulsion to join EarthForce. His dislike of military service, coupled with his deep disappointment at being unable to pursue a career as an artist, led him to become an embittered alcoholic. His severe alcoholism led Elizabeth's mother to abandon her husband and daughter, and her father's inability to manage his life left Elizabeth with that responsibility. Elizabeth eventually sought an escape from this burden and her father's alcoholism by living with her carefree friend Zoe. They both quickly slipped into a life of drink and drugs, and their financial situation deteriorated to the point where they were living in a cheap, cockroach-infested apartment. Tragically, Zoe eventually overdosed on drugs and choked to death on her own vomit; her body was discovered by Elizabeth. Zoe's death/suicide profoundly shocked Elizabeth and she vowed to change her life. She eventually joined EarthForce and never consumed alcoholic beverages or other drugs from the moment she began her military career. In 2262, when she discovered that due to recent personal traumas Michael Garibaldi had suffered a relapse back into alcoholism, she told him of her own previous battles, of how alcohol had given herself, her father and Garibaldi an illusionary escape from their personal troubles, and that he was not alone.[1] She secretly contacted his former lover Lise Hampton-Edgars and convinced her to come to Babylon 5; Lochley hoped that Garibaldi would come to see that confiding in and receiving help from someone he loved was a far better and more practical solution to his woes than an alcohol-induced escapism.

Assignment to Babylon 5[edit]

At the end of Babylon 5's fourth season, Captain Sheridan is relieved of his command. In early 2262, shortly after the Earth Alliance Civil War, he requests Earth to assign Lochley as his replacement. Although she chose not to join Sheridan's rebellion against the corrupt government headed by Morgan Clark, he still trusted her judgment and ability.

The show later reveals that Sheridan and Lochley had been married briefly after graduating from EarthForce Academy. While the marriage didn't work out, they still have a mutual respect and appreciation. She proved to be a strong and capable leader, finding solutions to many crises and coping with the ones that had no solutions.

During the Brakiri Day of the Dead, in which the dead return for one night, the Brakiri on the station purchase a part of it for the night which includes Lochley's quarters. She is subsequently visited by Zoe, who confirms that she had in fact deliberately committed suicide by overdosing on drugs. Prior to this, nobody knew for sure if Zoe's death was an accidental overdose or a deliberate suicide.

It is interesting to note that while the character was a last-minute substitution for Susan Ivanova, Lochley holds the position of Commander of Babylon 5 longer than her two predecessors, Commander Jeffrey Sinclair (who served for approximately two years) and Captain John Sheridan (who served for three years). The series Crusade is set approximately five years after the events of the fifth season of Babylon 5 and show that she is still the Captain, meaning that she serves for at least six years. In addition, she states in Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (set ten years after being assigned to Babylon 5) that she has requested to remain in her position the whole time.

As noted above, Lochley is a semi-regular character in Crusade, where she has a romantic relationship with Matthew Gideon, the Captain of the Excalibur.

The Lost Tales[edit]

For the next chapter in the Babylon 5 story, Lochley is still in command of the station but now holds the rank of EarthForce Colonel. It is unknown whether she and Gideon are still intimate.

During her communication with President Sheridan, Lochley says of Dr Stephen Franklin "Oh, I thought you'd heard. Doctor Franklin went with G'Kar, exploring beyond the Rim." This was filmed in the last quarter of 2006, with actor Richard Biggs (Franklin) having died in 2004 and actor Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) having died in January 2006, several months previous to principal photography on The Lost Tales. Actor Tracy Scoggins, who portrays Lochley, admitted on the DVD commentary to having difficulty to delivering the line, at one point nearly breaking down in tears. The line was a subtle eulogy to both actors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Season 5, Episode 19: The Wheel of Fire