And the Sky Full of Stars
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|"And the Sky Full of Stars"|
|Babylon 5 episode|
|Directed by||Janet Greek|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||March 16, 1994|
"And the Sky Full of Stars" is an episode from the first season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5. The episode title is derived from a line from Babylon 5's pilot: "…and the sky was full of stars, and every star was an exploding ship — one of ours."
Two men meet aboard Babylon 5, and prepare a device. They gain the help of security team member Bensen, who provides them with a power cell in exchange for paying off illegal gambling debts he owes to avoid scrutiny of the senior staff. That night they abduct Sinclair, secure him in a chair and use the device on him. Sinclair finds that he is trapped within a illusionary environment, with one of his captors demanding to know what happened to him at the Battle of the Line, the final battle in the Earth-Minbari war. Sinclair was in charge of a squadron of fighters that were ambushed by Minbari vessels, and while the rest of his squad was wiped out, Sinclair managed to survive, though having lost a day's worth of memories. His captor wants to know what he saw, to understand why the Minbari suddenly surrendered after Sinclair's disappearance.
Meanwhile, Garibaldi discovers that Sinclair is missing, and orders his security teams to search the station. When he learns Bensen is on one team, and that his gambling debts have been paid off, Garibaldi suspects Bensen knows more about Sinclair's disappearance. Bensen returns to Sinclair's captors and begs for help, but they kill him and throw his body out an airlock, which is later found by the station staff. They narrow down the likely area where Bensen was killed.
Meanwhile, Sinclair struggles to fight off the captor's influence on him, but they ultimate break through to his subconsciousness. After his ship was damaged, Sinclair was taken aboard the Minbari vessel and taken to see the Gray Council, the rulers of Minbar. At the time, Sinclair had no idea of their identities and begged for them to reveal themselves, pulling the hood off one to reveal Delenn. The Gray Council knock Sinclair out, scan him, and returned him to his ship with care, as to be found by human forces. The trauma of reliving the event for Sinclair enables him to escape his bonds in the real world, slamming the device into one, shocking him, and stunning the other one. As Sinclair runs, he is still heavily sedated and experiences hallucinations of the Gray Council instead of the regular station staff and threatens to shoot any that cross his path. Garibaldi sets off to stop him, as well as Delenn. At the Zocolo, Garibaldi tries to convince Sinclair where he is at, but when Delenn appears, he recognizes her. He breaks out of his trace in time to kill his pursuing captor.
Dr. Franklin helps purge the sedatives from Sinclair's body. Learning that Earth's government has taken custody of the surviving captor, Sinclair tries to interview him before he is taken away but discovers he has no memories of what happened. Sinclair goes to see Delenn, who asks if he remembered anything he saw; Sinclair feigns that he had forgotten it and leaves only to record his memories in his personal log that night and ponders why he saw Delenn there. After Sinclair's departure, a Minbari official approaches Delenn to see if Sinclair had remembered anything, and that if he should ever recall his encounter with the Gray Council, she will need to take appropriate action.
- This episode has great significance, as it is the first time that Jeffrey Sinclair begins to move towards understanding his missing 24 hours (mentioned in The Gathering) and realizing the role his identity means he must play, in the future and the past. (See "Chrysalis" and "War Without End", parts 1 and 2.)
- The episode reveals that there is a secret, growing conspiracy within the Earth Alliance to eliminate all alien influence from the planet; this conspiracy will become a major factor in later seasons of the series.
- Delenn is clearly involved in Sinclair's experience aboard the Minbari cruiser.
- First time a triluminary is seen in an episode.
- During his interrogation by the Grey Council, Sinclair asks his captors "What do you want?". That question will have great significance during the series, beginning with the episode "Signs and Portents". Asking this question of the members of the Grey Council results in a bizarre effect where the words are amplified and echoed around the room. Clearly, one cannot ask this particular question of Grey Council surreptitiously.
- The role of Knight Two was originally offered to Walter Koenig, who was unable to accept at the time for health reasons. Walter Koenig was later cast as the recurring character of Bester. The role of Knight Two was then offered to The Prisoner star Patrick McGoohan, who likewise wished to accept, but was out of the country at the time of filming, and had to decline as well.