Lyta Alexander

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lyta Alexander
Babylon 5 character
B5-lyta-alexander-300.jpg
First appearanceBabylon 5: The Gathering
Last appearanceObjects in Motion
Portrayed byPatricia Tallman
In-universe information
SpeciesHuman
Home planetEarth
Affiliated withPsi Corps
Vorlons
Telepath Underground Railroad

Lyta Alexander is a character from the fictional universe of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5, played by Patricia Tallman.

Role in Babylon 5[edit]

Character arc[edit]

In the series' pilot, Lyta is described as a sixth-generation telepath, although she points out that telepathy may have been running in her family undetected even earlier, since telepaths were not monitored before that generation. In the series it is stated that Lyta was trained by the Psi Corps, and that she briefly interned with the Psi Cops division.[1] After an incident whilst accompanying Alfred Bester,[2] she transferred to commercial work. In 2257, she was assigned as Babylon 5's first commercial telepath.[3] Soon after arriving at the station, she scanned Vorlon Ambassador Kosh, in violation of the wishes of the Vorlon government, in order to try to discover the identity of his attacker.

In Season Two, Lyta's experience with the Vorlon ambassador permanently changed her. She was recalled from her assignment a few weeks later and questioned regarding her encounter with Kosh. Interrogated for months by the Psi Corps, she eventually escaped and joined the Mars Resistance. While underground, she uncovered information regarding a mole among the Babylon 5 command staff, and returned to the station in late 2259 where she revealed Talia Winters as an unwitting mole for secret forces in EarthGov and Psi Corps.[1] In season 3, Lyta travelled to the Vorlon homeworld, one of the few known humans to do so and live. There, she was modified by the Vorlons, given gill-like implants to allow her to breathe in a Vorlon environment, the ability to "carry" a Vorlon consciousness, and tremendously increased telepathic and psychokinetic powers. Even she did not initially realize the full potency of her new abilities. She returned to Babylon 5 as an aide to Ambassador Kosh.[4]

In Season Four, Lyta was key to eventual resolution of the Shadow War on Coriana 6, serving as the vessel through which Sheridan and Delenn confronted the elder races and forced them to leave the galaxy.[5] Immediately after the Shadow War, she was part of the expedition to the Shadows' homeworld of Z'ha'dum. Using unknown abilities and implanted instructions from the Vorlons, she triggered the destruction of the planet to spite Alfred Bester and to prevent Shadow technology from falling into the wrong hands.[6] However, after the conclusion of the Shadow War, she found herself unwelcome and had difficulty finding employment. She would go on to play a decisive role in the end game of the Earth Civil War, triggering the Shadow-modified telepaths smuggled aboard Earth ships to disable the fleet at Mars.[7]

In Season Five, Alexander became romantically involved with Byron, revealing to the telepaths that they had been created by the Vorlons as weapons for their war with the Shadows. After Byron's death, Alexander was inspired by his cause to create a homeworld for telepaths, and became the leader of a movement sponsoring violent resistance against the Corps. Lyta also began to more thoroughly explore the abilities the Vorlons had given her. She was eventually arrested aboard Babylon 5 for supporting terrorism by John Sheridan.[8] Alexander then struck a deal with Michael Garibaldi to help her avoid prosecution, as well as provide funding for her cause. Former Narn Ambassador G'Kar took her with him on a mission of exploration.[9]

Characterization[edit]

The character of Lyta Alexander has been subject to literary analysis, for example in the dimension of feminine identity.[10]

Conceptual history[edit]

Lyta was introduced in the pilot episode "The Gathering" as a telepath assigned to the Babylon 5 space station by the Psi Corps, a fictional organization providing support to telepaths and monitoring their activity. However, she did not appear in the remainder of Season One due to a dispute concerning Tallman's salary.[11] Lyta's role in the series was largely taken up by Andrea Thompson, who was cast as Talia Winters, a telepath who took over Lyta's responsibilities in the station. After Thompson left the series due to disagreements regarding the amount of screen time given to her character,[12] Lyta returned as a recurring character in Seasons Two and Three, after Capt. John Sheridan took over as station commander, and became a regular cast member from Season Four onward. Her character simply resumed the dramatic arc once intended for Thompson's.

Lyta does not appear in any of the canonical material released since the end of the series. It is strongly implied in Crusade and some of the canonical novels that her actions (both on Babylon 5 in 2262 and afterward) led to the Telepath War of the mid-2260s, in which she was killed. According to Straczynski,[13][14] Lyta was intended to appear in the Crusade episode "The Path of Sorrows" as part of a flashback, but Tallman's salary negotiations failed. The scene as aired featured an unnamed telepath who died striking against the Psi Corps. Whether or not this was intended to be Lyta, Straczynski confirmed Lyta did die in such an attack. In the aforementioned script book, Straczynski wrote that both Lyta and Lennier were killed in the explosion of Psi Corps Headquarters in a major battle of the Telepath War. Hints about her death had also been stated by Straczynski in posts to the Babylon 5 newsgroup,[15] and in the final novel of the Psi Corps Trilogy by J. Gregory Keyes.[16]

Reception[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Divided Loyalties," Babylon 5. 1995-10-11.
  2. ^ "The Face of the Enemy," Babylon 5. 1997-06-09.
  3. ^ "The Gathering," Babylon 5. 1993-02-22.
  4. ^ "Passing Through Gethsemane," Babylon 5. 1995-11-27.
  5. ^ "Into the Fire," Babylon 5. 1997-02-03.
  6. ^ "Epiphanies," Babylon 5. 1997-02-10.
  7. ^ "Endgame," Babylon 5. 1997-10-13.
  8. ^ "Wheel of Fire," Babylon 5. 1998-11-04.
  9. ^ "Objects in Motion," Babylon 5. 1998-11-11.
  10. ^ Elyce Rae Helford (May 30, 2000). Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 231–. ISBN 978-0-7425-7969-9.
  11. ^ Tallman, Patricia.Pleasure Thresholds Archived July 20, 2018, at the Wayback Machine.2011
  12. ^ http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-69 Archived September 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Originally posted to newsgroup rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated on 2000-11-23.
  13. ^ Originally posted to newsgroup rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated on 1999-10-07.
  14. ^ Originally posted to newsgroup rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated on 2001-03-21.
  15. ^ Originally posted to newsgroup rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated on 2001-04-03.
  16. ^ Keyes, J. Gregory. Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester, p. 228. New York: Del Rey, 1999.