Midnight on the Firing Line

Series 1 - Episode 2 Midnight on the Firing Line



“The year is 2258, the name of the place is Babylon 5.” So begins the much-loved “space opera”, occasionally described as being “like Hill Street Blues in space”, a complex drama that ran for five seasons in the mid-1990s, and which is now beginning a rerun from the very start on Watch.

Looking back at the first episode 20 years on, it’s inevitably dated: compared with sophisticated dramas like the later Battlestar Galactica or Firefly, the dialogue’s stilted (inevitably there’s a lot of exposition), characters come in or out every two minutes, and the effects are clunky.

Creator J Michael Straczynski always conceived Babylon 5 as a serial, and the scene is set straightaway: the attempt to keep the peace between alien and human races after terrible wars, and the inevitable hurdles along the way. In this first episode, an attack on a peaceful planet leads to rising tensions between the Narn and Centauri. But who is actually responsible? And can attempts at mediation possibly work?


The Narns launch an unprovoked attack on a peaceful Centauri colony, and raiders target transport ships near the station.

Cast & Crew

Londo Mollari Peter Jurasik
G'Kar Andreas Katsulas