Although it has been claimed that this episode was inspired by the series The Prisoner, and many other sources, J. Michael Straczynski has explicitly denied drawing inspiration from any other source.
This episode is very similar to the dungeons in the Ministry of Love from the novel 1984. In 1984 prisoners are kept in cells without windows and are subjected to torture used to break down their psyche and brainwash them into love for the party and confessing to crimes against the state. Sheridan is tortured to sign a confession of crimes against EarthGov and to embrace President Clark's regime. Room 17 is similar to 1984's Room 101 where prisoners are taken to meet their worst fears. Additionally the interrogator who questions Sheridan reveals that after he signs the confession Sheridan will be set free, and after he is forgotten he will be killed silently. The same thing happens to everyone who is released from the Ministry of Love in 1984. This is to prevent them becoming martyrs.
This is the only episode of the series that, not counting the opening credits, has no scenes at all on B5 (both interior and exterior shots).
Bruce Boxleitner is the only member of the regular cast to have a speaking part in this episode. Mira Furlan is the only other member of the cast to appear outside of the opening credits and clips from the previous episode.
With reference to the series' five-year story arc, this episode was originally intended by Straczynski to end Season Four. However, because the fifth season could not be confirmed by Warner Bros. in advance, the story was brought forward in order to wrap up the ongoing plots in the event of the show being cancelled.