The Geometry of Shadows
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|"The Geometry of Shadows"|
|Babylon 5 episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Mike Laurence Vejar|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||16 November 1994|
"The Geometry of Shadows" is an episode from the second season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.
Vir fixes Londo's hair as Londo and Refa scheme. The command staff learns that the Green Drazi and Purple Drazi have a global brawl every 5 years to determine the Drazi leadership for the next 5 years. When Ivanova attempts to resolve the conflict, she learns that the distinction between the two colors of Drazi is totally random. Right before the brawl, the Drazi draw a colored sash out of a barrel and join that colored faction. One sash of each color has a leader pendant tied to it; whoever draws that pendant becomes the leader of that color of Drazi.
Ivanova gets a broken foot attempting to settle the Drazi dispute: when she removed one of the Drazi's sashes and put it on a Drazi of the opposite color, a brawl ensued.
Londo gets in trouble with the Technomages and ends up apologizing.
Ivanova is kidnapped by the Green Drazi in order to lure the Purple Drazi into a deadly trap disguised as peace negotiations, but Garibaldi rescues her. While attempting to resolve the dispute again, she casually takes the Green Leader's sash, and notices that the Green Drazi have begun following her orders. According to the Drazi, the rules governing aliens in the conflict are caught up in committee, so it is unclear whether aliens can become Drazi leaders by taking the sash from a leader (those present seem inclined to allow it). She then uses her power over the green Drazi to prevent their further conflict.
The Technomages are allowed to leave the station.
- First appearance of the Technomages.
- The Technomages stop at Babylon 5 on their way to an unknown destination, traveling to avoid an (at the time) unknown future conflict.
- Londo asks the Technomage if he will have to spend the rest of his life paying for one little mistake. This is a subtle reference to the path that started with his relationship with the Shadows.
- Londo Mollari receives a prophecy from the Technomage Elric, who tells him that he sees "a great hand reaching out of the stars, and billions of voices calling your name." Mollari is surprised, and asks, "My followers?" Elric replies solemnly, "Your victims."
- Introduces the character of Lord Refa.
- Londo's prestige rises, a result of the destruction of the Narn outpost in Quadrant 37.
- When conversing with Elric, Sheridan says, "If we went back in time a thousand years and tried to explain this place to people, they could only accept it in terms of magic," foreshadowing Babylon 4 being transported a millennium back in time and becoming a part of Minbari mythology.
- The script had to be revised when Claudia Christian broke her foot. The scene was added in which her character, Susan Ivanova, was trying to negotiate a peace between two warring factions of Drazi when the Drazi group exploded into a brawl, and she injures her foot when the Drazi pile on top of her.
- While not all Technomages are human, all the Technomages in this episode are human.
- Elric is a name most closely associated with Michael Moorcock's fictional character, Elric of Melniboné. Moorcock commented on the usage of his character's name within Babylon 5:
"I don't mind, since the Elric reference is clearly straight homage, and I'd do the same myself in the circumstances. It stops a long way short of being plagiarism, which I tend to pursue with my big black sword! Also when you've been around as long as I have and done as much work, you have to get used to your ideas becoming standard generic tropes. It means I have to work harder all the time, of course, to come up with stuff which no longer uses tropes I regard as my own (law, chaos, balance, say -- the multiverse, as such, and so on) and this is probably good for me, too!"
- Elric's warning to Vir is almost verbatim from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in which Gildor Inglorion makes the statement to Frodo Baggins (speaking about Gandalf). See original quote.
- O'Callaghan, Scott (2000-11-02). "Babylon 5 - 'Geometry of Shadows'". Space.com. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- Babylon 5 - Moorcock's Miscellany