Messages from Earth

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"Messages from Earth"
Babylon 5 episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 8
Directed by Mike Vejar
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Production code 308
Original air date February 19, 1996
Guest appearance(s)

Nancy Stafford (Dr. Mary Kirkish)
Vaughn Armstrong (Security Guard #1)

Episode chronology
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"Point of No Return"
List of Babylon 5 episodes

"Messages from Earth" is an episode from the third season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.


Marcus Cole escorts Dr. Mary Kirkish, a former member of Interplanetary Expeditions, to meet with the Babylon 5 War Council about something that is so secretive that Marcus had to initially defend Dr. Kirkish from assassins who don't want her information to be released.

Upon meeting with the War Council, Dr. Kirkish reveals that many years ago, she was part of an archeological dig on Mars that was able to unearth a Shadow ship buried beneath the soil. Her expedition team witnessed as another Shadow vessel arrived days later and finished digging out the first Shadow ship; both vessels subsequently escaped. Kirkish and her team were then dispersed and were told to keep the discovery a secret.

Now, she reveals that another Shadow vessel has been located, this time on Ganymede. However, unlike the ship on Mars, Earthforce is not willing to let go of this one and instead plans to use it by merging a human with it in an attempt to control the ship.

Sheridan takes the White Star to Ganymede in an attempt to destroy the Shadow ship before it can be used. He does this under extreme risk, as the entire Solar system is riddled with early warning systems which will detect the White Star and possibly expose him as a member of the "conspiracy of light" aimed against President Clark.

While en route to the Solar System, Delenn and Sheridan share an intimate moment in the White Star's sleeping quarters. Sheridan tells Delenn a story about how his father helped him sleep prior to a big examination in the Earthforce academy by spraying the roof with water from a hose in order to mimic the effect of rain. Delenn, promptly, orders the White Star acoustics to create the sound of rain so that Sheridan can relax and sleep prior to their arrival on Ganymede.

However, upon arriving, they were unable to stop the awakening of the Shadow ship. Delenn claims that because the human selected to serve as the CPU (or pilot) of the Shadow ship is "unprepared", the merger is flawed, making the Shadow ship "insane." Soon enough, the Shadow ship obliterates the Ganymede base where it was being kept, and then chases the White Star into Jupiter.

Sheridan plans to use the tremendous atmospheric pressures on Jupiter in order to defeat the Shadow ship. He plunges the White Star deep into Jupiter's atmosphere as the Shadow ship gives chase. The Shadow ship's weapon detonates some of the local hydrogen, causing Lennier to think that it's a new weapon.

The White Star bolts out of the atmosphere at the right moment whilst the insane Shadow ship was unable to do so. The ship plunges further into Jupiter's atmosphere where it is eventually destroyed.

On their way out of Jupiter's atmosphere, however, the White Star is intercepted by the EAS Agamemnon. The White Star stays just beneath the atmosphere to avoid the Agamemnon, but the warship continues to attack them in order to force them out. Running out of options, Delenn suggests that they open a jumppoint inside Jupiter's atmosphere. Lennier tries to object to the idea, noting that the jumppoint will cause a tremendous explosion in Jupiter's hydrogen-rich atmosphere. However, they proceed with the maneuver anyway, allowing the White Star to rapidly escape destruction.

Meanwhile, on Babylon 5, members of the Nightwatch grow suspicious about the sudden (and lengthy) disappearance of Captain Sheridan.

It is revealed at the end of the episode that Earthforce claims that the base on Ganymede was destroyed by an "alien ship" (the White Star) which the EAS Agamemnon pursued all the way to Jupiter and then destroyed. Using this incident to fuel paranoia and anti-alien sentiment on Earth, President Clark declares martial law, effectively neutralizing the inquiry regarding his involvement in former President Santiago's assassination as well as allowing him more leg room to implement his xenophobic and totalitarian plans for Earth.

Arc significance[edit]

  • G'Kar, still in the brig, is seen writing what would later be the Book of G'Kar.
  • IPX previously found a Shadow ship on Mars. This will turn out to be the same ship which Earthforce attached a homing beacon to, allowing them to track it to Z'ha'dum and then send an archeological team aboard the Icarus, which Mr. Morden and Anna Sheridan are a part of.
  • The Psi Corps badge presented by Garibaldi hints towards the link between the Psi Corps and the Shadows.
  • The Psi Corps has uncovered another Shadow ship on Ganymede.
  • Sheridan and Delenn take the White Star to Ganymede and destroy the Shadow vessel.
  • It is proven possible to perform a hyperspace jump in atmosphere. Sheridan will use this knowledge in later strategy.
  • President Clark declares martial law throughout Earth Central.


  • This episode refers directly to a storyline of the Babylon 5 Tie-In Comic Book Series, which was released about a year before the episode aired.

External links[edit]