Messages from Earth

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"Messages from Earth"
Babylon 5 episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 8
Directed byMike Vejar
Written byJ. Michael Straczynski
Production code308
Original air dateFebruary 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.


At the request of Garibaldi, Marcus locates and brings Dr. Mary Kirkish to Babylon 5. A former member of Interplanetary Expeditions, she needs to relay information to the War Council as her life is at stake. Even after arrival on the station, Marcus must fend off an attack on her life. Once escorted to safety, Dr. Kirkish explains that seven years prior she was on an expedition to Mars when they found the remains of a Shadow spacecraft. After alerting Earthforce and waiting for reply, they witnessed a second Shadow ship come, excavate and reactivate the other ship before departing. Subsequently, everyone on her expedition was sent off on separate missions, and now most are either dead or missing. This belies the claim that Earthforce had no idea about the ship taken from more recent footage. Dr. Kirkish also warns them that they have found another ship on Ganymede, which they are presently experimenting with, and fears there will be more trouble should they activate it.

Delenn promises to find safety for Dr. Kirkish on Minbar, but Sheridan now worries about this other ship and decides to go on a top secret trip in the White Star to try to stop the experiments. He instructs Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin to cover for him for the few days that it will take to travel back to the solar system, and is surprised when Delenn offers to come along. On arrival in the solar system, they hear broadcasts from Ganymede and set course there, but they are too late. The human researchers have sent a human subject into the Shadow ship, causing the ship to reactivate in a crazed mode. It immediately attacks and destroys most of the Ganymede base before flying off. Sheridan orders the White Star to attack the ship, enraging it and making it follow the White Star. Sheridan then orders them to drive the White Star into the atmosphere of Jupiter, knowing the intense pressure and gravity will potentially be inescapable. Just at the point of the White Star's failure, Sheridan has them pull out; the Shadow ship is unable to brake and is destroyed as it falls into the gravity well. As they are about to leave the atmosphere, the White Star is attacked by the battlecruiser Agamemnon, Sheridan's old command. The Agamemnon demands the alien ship stop and be boarded, but Sheridan refuses to allow that, nor for them to fire on the vessel. Instead, he comes up with a dangerous plan of opening a jump gate just at the upper levels of Jupiter's atmosphere, far enough in so that the Agamemnon cannot track them but as to avoid igniting the hydrogen. They successfully jump away and return to Babylon 5.

While Sheridan and Delenn are away, the Night Watch on Babylon 5 step up efforts to track down any dissidents to Earthforce as more people start to question President Clark's suspicious illness that allowed him to escape the destruction of Earth Force One that killed his predecessor. Zack is put in an uncomfortable position of being asked to report on the oddities of the command staff, including Sheridan's brief absence.

Shortly after Sheridan returns, they receive word from Earth's news channels that the destruction of the Ganymede base was blamed on the alien spacecraft that the Agamemnon saw, and that because of this President Clark has declared martial law on Earth and all of its colonies.

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]