The Geometry of Shadows

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"The Geometry of Shadows"
Babylon 5 episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 3
Directed by Mike Laurence Vejar
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Production code 203
Original air date November 16, 1994
Guest appearance(s)

Michael Ansara (Elric)
William Forward (Refa)
David L. Crowley (Lou Welch)

Episode chronology
← Previous
Next →
"A Distant Star"
List of Babylon 5 episodes

"The Geometry of Shadows" is an episode from the second season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5. The episode is notable because it includes the first appearance of the Technomages.


Vir fixes Londo's hair as Londo and Refa scheme. The command staff learns that the Green Drazi and Purple Drazi have a global brawl every 5 years to determine the Drazi leadership for the next 5 years (a reference to the Nika riots of Constantinople). When Ivanova attempts to resolve the conflict, she learns that the distinction between the two colors of Drazi is totally random. Right before the brawl, the Drazi draw a colored sash out of a barrel and join that colored faction. One sash of each color has a leader pendant tied to it; whoever draws that pendant becomes the leader of that color of Drazi.

A group of Technomages pass through Babylon 5 en route to the galactic rim.

Ivanova is promoted from Lt. Commander to Commander, though she immediately begins feeling anxiety once she realizes she's been assigned to resolve the Drazi conflict.

Garibaldi recovers further from his wound, with Sheridan encouraging him to stay on as head of security.

Ivanova gets a broken foot attempting to settle the Drazi dispute: when she removed one of the Drazi's sashes and put it on a Drazi of the opposite color, a brawl ensued.

Londo gets in trouble with the Technomages and ends up apologizing.

Ivanova is kidnapped by the Green Drazi in order to lure the Purple Drazi into a deadly trap disguised as peace negotiations, but Garibaldi rescues her. While attempting to resolve the dispute again, she casually takes the Green Leader's sash, and notices that the Green Drazi have begun following her orders. According to the Drazi, the existing rules do not address aliens becoming involved and the changes are caught up in committee. The Drazi who are present default to accepting Ivanova as their leader, and she uses her new authority to require all Drazi on the station to dye their scarves purple.

The Technomages are allowed to leave the station.

Arc significance[edit]

  • First appearance of the Technomages.
  • The Technomages stop at Babylon 5 on their way to an unknown destination, traveling to avoid an (at the time) unknown future conflict.
  • Londo asks the Technomage if he will have to spend the rest of his life paying for one little mistake. This is a subtle reference to the path that started with his relationship with the Shadows.
  • Londo Mollari receives a prophecy from the Technomage Elric, who tells him that he sees "a great hand reaching out of the stars, and billions of voices calling your name." Mollari is surprised, and asks, "My followers?" Elric replies solemnly, "Your victims."
  • Introduces the character of Lord Refa.
  • Londo's prestige rises, a result of the destruction of the Narn outpost in Quadrant 37.
  • When conversing with Elric, Sheridan says, "If we went back in time a thousand years and tried to explain this place to people, they could only accept it in terms of magic," foreshadowing Babylon 4 being transported a millennium back in time and becoming a part of Minbari mythology.

Production details[edit]

  • The script had to be revised when Claudia Christian broke her foot. The scene was added in which her character, Susan Ivanova, was trying to negotiate a peace between two warring factions of Drazi when the Drazi group exploded into a brawl, and she injures her foot when the Drazi pile on top of her.[1]
  • While not all Technomages are human, all the Technomages in this episode are human.[2]

Literary References[edit]

  • Elric is a name most closely associated with Michael Moorcock's fictional character, Elric of Melniboné. Moorcock commented on the usage of his character's name within Babylon 5:

"I don't mind, since the Elric reference is clearly straight homage, and I'd do the same myself in the circumstances. It stops a long way short of being plagiarism, which I tend to pursue with my big black sword! Also when you've been around as long as I have and done as much work, you have to get used to your ideas becoming standard generic tropes. It means I have to work harder all the time, of course, to come up with stuff which no longer uses tropes I regard as my own (law, chaos, balance, say -- the multiverse, as such, and so on) and this is probably good for me, too!"[3]


  1. ^ O'Callaghan, Scott (November 2, 2000). "Babylon 5 - 'Geometry of Shadows'". Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved February 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Babylon 5 - Moorcock's Miscellany Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]