The Technomages are a group of sentient beings from the fictional Babylon 5 universe. The technomages shown in the television series are primarily human, but in the "Technomage Trilogy" books, apprentices and mages of other races including Centauri are named. They are described as using "science to create the appearance of magic". Galen, a Technomage, was a regular character on the spin-off series, Crusade.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Technomage powers
- 3 Characters
- 4 On television
- 5 In books
- 6 Games
- 7 References
In the "Technomage Trilogy" of Babylon 5 novels, it is revealed that the technology in question consists of bio-technological implants, and that the process of installing the implants and adjusting to them is excruciatingly painful. The presence of these implants means that technomages are effectively cyborgs. Eventually it is also revealed that the technology was supplied by the Shadows who originally had plans to turn them into warriors of chaos and destruction. Unbeknownst to all but a few technomages, these technorganic implants were created by kidnapping a member of the same species as a candidate and using their body as an incubator; this process was excruciatingly painful, took years to complete, and culminated in the implants being forcibly extracted from the incubator resulting in their death. This was first done on the young of a race of similar age to the Minbari who were called the Taratimude, who eventually became extinct, but not before spreading the Technomage order to other races including humans.
It appears that EarthForce black ops was attempting to create its own Technomages, which was to have been expressly spelled out in the final episode of the first season of Crusade, but as the show was canceled after only 13 episodes it was never filmed.
Technomages are shown to have many different powers over the course of both Babylon 5 and Crusade. Such powers include being able to cast a shield around their bodies to absorb damage or contain atmosphere in hostile environments, hurl fireballs, generate holograms, cloak themselves in invisibility, and establish real-time communication with another Technomage regardless of distance.
Technomages may choose to establish a "place of power" for themselves, such as a particular planet. In doing so, they develop a strong connection with that place, and to some extent, a dependency on that connection.
Through the course of the "Technomage Trilogy", Galen and Isabelle uncover several energetic, primal abilities that underlie the conventional mage abilities and relate to their connection with the Shadows. Isabelle discovered a spell that allows mages to intercept the communications sent to Shadow agents like Morden or the Drakh.
The Primal Abilities of the Technomage Implants are as follows. Invisibility, Communion with the Shadows ("base" for the Communication spell), Shadow Skin (a type of energy shield), Destruction Sphere ("base" of the Fireball "spell"), Healing, Access to "Tech" outside of the Mage, and a type of energy blast (Access to "Inner Tech"). Galen stated these were the only ones he's discovered, bringing the "Base" or Primal spell count to seven.
Notable Technomages who have appeared on screen and in novels include:
The first Technomage character to appear onscreen. Played by Michael Ansara, Galen's teacher as well as a friend of his father, and one of the mage Elders as of 2259. When young Galen's technomage parents died in a starliner fire, Elric adopted Galen and began mentoring him as an apprentice. Elric was also the major technomage character from the original Babylon 5 series (appearing in the season 2 episode "The Geometry of Shadows") shown to be leading the Technomage order to a hiding place beyond the rim of the galaxy. Galen indicates later in Crusade (episode "The Long Road") that Elric died not long after reaching the hiding place, confirmed later in the Technomage Trilogy novels.
Played by Peter Woodward, a major character appearing throughout the Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade, and the most powerful of the current remaining technomages. With the exception of the Babylon 5 season 2 episode "The Geometry of Shadows", the technomage stories in the B5/Crusade universe tend to be focused around Galen. Galen has "become one" with his tech by discovering the technomages' Shadow legacy (a fact known only to a handful of technomages), learning how to interact with his technology directly rather than through the complicated spell systems used by his fellow mages; while this knowledge makes him immensely powerful, it also makes him a very unsettling force to the mage leadership, as no other mage is nearly powerful enough to flay him (forcibly remove his implants). As of 2262 Galen is one of only two known mages (the other being Alwyn) to not be in the hiding place, choosing when it suits him to help John Sheridan, Matthew Gideon and the Excalibur crew in their quest to find a cure to the Drakh virus. In reality, Galen is primarily concerned with Shadow technology falling into the wrong hands - namely, both the Drakh and Earthforce Special Weapons Division - and understands that he may well be the only person alive capable of preventing it. In the year 2271 Galen contacts President Sheridan to warn him that the Earth will be destroyed in 30 years' time unless Sheridan intervenes now.
Played by Edward Woodward (Peter Woodward's father). The only known surviving technomage to have stayed behind to fight the Shadows, Alwyn was a close friend of Galen's parents and became an uncle figure to Galen after their deaths. Boisterous, loud, rebellious, hard-drinking, gambling and womanizing, Alwyn takes great delight in being everything that a good technomage should not be - while simultaneously drawing both the ire and admiration of his fellow mages. When the technomages fled the galaxy in January 2259, Alwyn broke with the order in contempt of their decision to hide; he then began engaging a guerrilla campaign against the Shadows' minions, playing (alongside Galen, who left the hiding place to fight) a pivotal role in the outcome of the Shadow War. After the war, Alwyn returned to his place of power on Regula 4 (Crusade episode "The Long Road"), as of 2267 still disgusted that his fellow technomages refuse to come out of hiding.
Played by Sophie Ward, Galen's dead "love"; he makes it clear that their relationship was not a "marriage" as we would understand it, but they nevertheless shared an intensely deep emotional and sexual relationship. Galen blames himself for Isabelle's violent death at the hand of traitor technomages, a death that could possibly have been prevented had Galen used the Spell of Destruction against the explicit orders of the Elders. Galen later hijacks the Excalibur in order to take Isabelle's ashes to the newly located Well of Forever, a sacred place buried in hyperspace sought by Isabelle all her life. While this act has given Galen some closure, Isabelle's fate continues to torture Galen.
The Technomage of the Taratimude (the first race to receive the Shadow implants) who codified the Order's teachings one thousand years before the time of the 2259-2261 Shadow War. While Wierden is dogmatically held in the highest respect in the Order, Wierden's legacy is only partly based on true history - in many ways and for several reasons, historical revisionism has rendered the story of Wierden into little more than a fairy tale, and a significant amount of unflattering truth regarding Wierden has traditionally been held an extremely close secret by the mage Elders.
Other notable mages include Kane, Gwynn, and Finian, who made appearances in Peter David's "Legions of Fire Trilogy", and Blaylock, Burrell, Carvin, Ing-Radi, Kell, Herazade, Elizar, and Razeel, who made appearances in the "Technomage Trilogy".
The script for the unproduced Crusade episode "The End of The Line" contains a scene with Galen conversing with a Technomage called Deek, who appears to be in a position of power among the Technomages. However, this character is not mentioned anywhere else.
- War Zone (featuring Galen)
- The Long Road (featuring Galen and Alwyn)
- The Well of Forever (featuring Galen and mentioning Isabelle)
- The Path of Sorrows (featuring Galen and Isabelle)
- Racing the Night (featuring Galen)
- The Memory of War (featuring Galen and a technomage avatar)
The Memory of Shadows is the cancelled Babylon 5 movie that was intended to shoot in 2005, it would have featured Galen and a rival technomage Tyrell.
- Voices in the Dark (featuring Galen)
- Babylon 5: Legions of Fire - The Long Night of Centauri Prime by Peter David (featuring Kane, Gwynne and Finian)
- Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages - Casting Shadows by Jeanne Cavelos (featuring all technomages)
- Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages - Summoning Light by Jeanne Cavelos (featuring all technomages)
- Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages - Invoking Darkness by Jeanne Cavelos (featuring all technomages)
Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game
The Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game by Precedence Publishing (also called B5:CCG) has cards representing several Technomages. The Premier and Deluxe editions have an Elric card, while the Crusade edition contains cards for Alwyn, Blaylock, Galen (with alternate artwork here), Genius Loci, and Isabelle.
Babylon 5 Role-Playing Game
- Babylon 5: The Technomages Fact Book by Bruce Graw (RPG Supplement), Mongoose Publishing (featuring all technomages)
- Babylon 5: Crusade by Chris Blackmoor (RPG Supplement), Mongoose Publishing (featuring Galen)