Intersections in Real Time
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|"Intersections in Real Time"|
|Babylon 5 episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||John LaFia|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||June 16, 1997|
"Intersections in Real Time" is the eighteenth episode from the fourth season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.
Waking up in an Earth Alliance cell, Sheridan finds that he is under interrogation by an unnamed agent, ultimately trying to have Sheridan admit to his war crimes against Earth by signing and reading a prepared confession. The interrogator attempts to use a number of methods to break Sheridan's will, including starving him of food and water and psychological tricks but Sheridan does not break, particularly as the interrogator explains that Earth Alliance does not want him dead. At one point, the interrogator brings in a Drazi prisoner who is willing to go on record to claim that he was complicit along with Sheridan, Ivanova, and Delenn to engineer the revolt against Earth Alliance. Sheridan convinces the Drazi to recant his statement, forcing the interrogator to send the Drazi to another cell, seemingly to be tortured or killed.
After several more days, the interrogator becomes more frustrated with Sheridan's refusal, but Sheridan remains steadfast, particularly after having visions of Delenn. Eventually, the interrogator tells him that this is his last chance, as his superiors have determined that if he does not cooperate, they can virtually create Sheridan's statement. Sheridan refuses again, and several men secure him to a gurney, tying him down and take him away. He is taken to another room, where a hooded person awaits. Men set up a chair, secure Sheridan within it, and set up the gurney as another interrogation table. A new interrogator arrives, and begins asking Sheridan similar questions as the first; the hooded person takes off his mask to reveal that he is the Drazi prisoner he saw earlier. Sheridan gives a weak smile as the interrogation continues.
- Sheridan is still a captive, being methodically and ruthlessly interrogated by Clark's people.
- Wayne Alexander, who plays the Drazi, also played Lorien in the first few episodes of season four, as well as Sebastian the Inquisitor from the season two episode “Comes the Inquisitor” (his first role in the series) and the Narn G’Dan in the season three episode “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place”. He would also go on to portray a Drakh in two more episodes (“Movements of Fire and Shadow” and “The Fall of Centauri Prime”) and the TV movie Babylon 5: A Call to Arms, and as a soul in the TV movie Babylon 5: The River of Souls, playing by far more roles on the series than any other actor.
- 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.