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This is a listing for characters associated with the Earth Alliance that appear in the Science Fiction series Babylon 5. Visit here for the main character index.

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The Earth Alliance

    Humans in general 

Everywhere humans go, they create communities.

  • The Determinator: The Human-Minbari War is filled with this. Despite the technological disadvantage and many Curb Stomp Battles, the human race fought tooth and nail against the Minbari. As Londo said when describing their efforts to others:
    Londo Mollari: The humans, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another race would surrender to despair, the humans fought back with even greater strength. They made the Minbari fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have never seen anything like it. They would weep, they would pray, they would say goodbye to their loved ones and then throw themselves without fear or hesitation at the very face of death itself. Never surrendering. No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable could help but be moved to tears by their courage…their stubborn nobility. When they ran out of ships, they used guns. When they ran out of guns, they used knives and sticks and bare hands. They were magnificent. I only hope, that when it is my time, I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes at the end. They did this for two years. They never ran out of courage. But in the end…they ran out of time.
    • Do Not Go Gentle: During Londo's narration above we are shown examples of how hard they fought back, including a Starfury chasing and shooting down a Minbari fighter just as two or three other Minbari were shooting at it from behind, a Nova-class dreadnought ramming a Minbari warcruiser in spite of being shot by the same warcruiser at least three times before the contact, and a unarmed human fighting a knife-wielding Minbari warrior, punching it after being downed and still trying to stand up and fight after being knifed in the heart.
    • Also the reason Sinclair gives Delenn when she asks "Why Babylon 5?"
    Sinclair: Because when something we love is destroyed, we rebuild it. Again and again and again, until it stays.
  • Deus ex Nukina: Lampshaded in one of the novels, where it is stated that while the humans lag behind in many other areas, their nuclear weapons are quite capable, provided they can get one close enough to an enemy they would otherwise be unable to defeat conventionally.
    • This is exactly how Sheridan was able to destroy the Black Star in Earth's only real victory in the Earth/Minbari War.
    • It's joked that while Narn and Centauri have their Cool Sword(s), and Minbari have their not-so-Simple Staff, the human National Weapon is nuclear warheads.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humanity has a number of issues here.
    • Paranoia about telepathy is so extreme that any human confirmed to have telepathic abilities is basically stripped of all their civil rights and given three choices: go to prison for the rest of their lives, receive regular injections of telepathy-suppressing drugs that cause Major Depression over the long term or join the Psi-Corps, which amounts to a form of slavery.
    • Humanity's penchant for "building communities" is something of an informed attribute. Babylon Five is a unique example of a multi-species community built by humans. Otherwise, aliens are not shown as having a significant presence on human colonies. Hostility towards the idea of "alien influences" corrupting humanity formed a large part of President Clark's public appeal despite his otherwise glaringly unconstitutional actions.
  • The Government: Earthgov proves to have surprisingly open-ended powers, largely because it has the backing of Earthforce and the Psi-Corps.
  • Government Conspiracy: Too many over the course of the show to list.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: Pervasive in Earthforce, where many military commanders ignored the fact that Clark's actions (especially dissolving the Senate) were unconstitutional and simply carried on with following his orders. Since he was secretly in league with the Shadows, this meant not joining the rest of the Younger Races in the fight against them.
  • Humans Advance Swiftly: Subverted: their advanced technology was almost completely obtained from alien sources, with the Human parts being either the way they use it or later improvement after they finally understand how it works.
  • Humans Are Diplomats: The whole purpose of Babylon 5 is to solve interstellar disputes diplomatically. It failed.
  • Humans Are Special
    • Debatable; while lots of awesomeness is done by individual humans, humans as a group come off poorly at times.
    • More like Humans Build Communities. Delenn even notes how any species could have made B5 but allowed only their own kind inside and maybe a few others, while humans would let anyone in and form bonds with them in one form or another.
    • Most cases of this trope are specifically from alien viewpoints; Delenn seems especially prone to this view. And Londo admired humans' Determinator tendencies even in the face of a Hopeless War.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The majority of Human technology originally came from alien sources: jump technology and its support technologies, tachion relays, and energy weapons and high-powered spaceship thrusters were sold by the Centauri as a backfired attempt of their usual attempt at establishing a technological and economical stranglehold (Earth Alliance already had the latter two, but the Centauri provided more advanced ones); pulse weapons are an offshoot of captured Dilgar technology, and in-story current thrusters and armour come from the same source; during the Earth-Minbari War they bought weapons from the Narn Regime (who themselves reverse-engineered most of them from captured Centauri tech), and were given the heavy particle cannon technology by the Drazi (who were unable to help in person); later, the Minbari explained them how to make Artificial Gravity when Earth agreed to join the ISA, completing Earth's own attempts at reverse-engineering it from gravity generators scavenged during the Dilgar War, and Earth's use of neutron weapons in the Crusade era most likely comes from Minbari neutron weapons scavenged from the battlefield during the Earth-Minbari War (as the Minbari are the only ones to use them); even Earth's famed Interceptors, capable of shoot enemy fire from the sky and wipe out enemy fighters, comes from devices scavenged on an abandoned alien starship (mixed with Centauri-derived particle weapons and a similar but grossly inferior Human technology). Earthforce was absolutely obsessed with obtaining alien technology for study and reverse-engineering, even going so far as to muck around with Shadow tech probably best left alone. Interstellar Expeditions is a Mega-Corp whose major business is exploring alien planets looking for technology that can be salvaged and studied. Most of the human race's rapid advancement is based on the fact that there are lots of races more advanced than them and from whom they can obtain technology that would normally take them centuries to develop on their own.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Under Clark, the solution to problems like homelessness, crime, and poverty basically consists of blaming it on the mentally unstable and pretending those issues aren't issues at all.
    Matsune: You understand that sometimes before you can deal with a problem you have to redefine it.
    Sheridan: But you can't deal with the problems by pretending they don't exist.
    Matsune: There's no need to embarrass our leaders by pointing out the flaws in our society that they're aware of and dealing with in their own way.
  • Most Viewers Are Human: The chief role of humans often seems to be to provide someone to identify with.
  • Mutant Draft Board: Psi Corps.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Especially by Minbari. And yet some among the Minbari admire them.
  • Point Defenseless: Averted: their Interceptors are capable of easily swatting down entire swarms of attacking fighters and casually shoot down enemy fire. Still, they can be overwhelmed by sheer weight of fire (like an attack from multiple warships or a single Centauri battlecruiser), and Minbari weapons pass through the gauntlet with ease.
  • Secret Police / State Sec: Night Watch. Also elements of the Psi Cops.
  • Space Navy: EarthForce Naval; most of the main characters are EFN (as opposed to the EarthForce Marine Corps seen in "GROPOS," and the likely EarthForce Corps of Engineers officers in "Babylon Squared").
  • United Space of America: There are still individual nations and the Earth Government is based in Geneva, Switzerland.... yet most of the Earthers we see in the series are American.
    • More to the point, culture and political organization seem geared to be familiar to an American viewer—and of the core cast, only Sheridan and Franklin are reasonably clearly understood to be American, with Garibaldi being borderline. Ivanova is Russian (her American accent is handwaved by her having attended boarding school in the US) Sinclair and Garibaldi are Martian: Garibaldi is definitely of Italian-American ancestry (he appears to have been born in NYC and his grandma was a Boston cop), but he considers Mars his home, while Sinclair is ethnically British (his ancestors were pilots in the Battle of Britain) and was born on Mars. Marcus is of course from some mining colony and of English descent.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: The coup by Clark and the rebellion that followed.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Battle Of The Line, a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Heartwarming, and Sacrifice. Especially after this scene with the President's Final Speech.
    • Subverted, as well. The Minbari casually wiped out most of the defenders effortlessly, then proceeded to surrender without explanation. It had the effect of making many Earthers feel that The Line was a Senseless Sacrifice.
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    John J. Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sheridan_3518.png
For justice, for peace, for the future... we have come home!

  • 2 + Torture = 5: Averted.
  • Badass Baritone: An authoritative, gravelly voice seems to be a requirement for running the station.
  • Badass Beard: Grows one (he was a prisoner at the time) just in time to remove Clark from power and become President of the Interstellar Alliance, and apart from one incident some years later (in a flash-forward), seems to have decided that facial hair worked just fine and kept it since then.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Typically a jovial guy who always has a smile on his face, but the times when he loses it are scary.
  • The Butcher: The Minbari call him "Starkiller," for his hand in the destruction of the Black Star, using what they considered underhanded tactics. In the third season finale, he earns that nickname twice over, destroying the White Star by loading it up with nukes and having it dive into the Shadows' capital city.
  • Came Back Strong: After he returns from being missing in action, he is more enigmatic and no-nonsense.
  • The Captain
  • Catchphrase: "My father told me: Never start a fight. But always finish it."
  • The Chessmaster: he's acknowledged in-universe to be one of the finest tactical minds of his generation, and it's no Informed Attribute. He's almost always one step ahead - if not more.
  • The Chosen One: The One Who Will Be.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He's not above using tactics that could be considered underhanded if it gives him an edge against an otherwise vastly superior enemy. Examples include mining asteroid belts with nukes (twice), using a distress signal to lure a ship onto aforementioned nukes, ordering the crew of a White Star to fall on their sword so that the enemy will not realise the intelligence they capture in the process is a plant, and using telepaths mutilated by the Shadows as living weapons to jam enemy warships' computer systems.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: His destruction of the Black Star was the only real victory Earth ever had in the entire Earth-Minbari War.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Though a far cry from Garibaldi, he has his moments. In one notable case, he's talking to Ivanova before attending to an unsavory task. When Ivanova asks if there's anything he needs, he responds "A glass of whiskey, a gun, and two bullets."
  • Defensive Feint Trap: Once with the Black Star, and more then once later including the first kill of a Shadow vessel. Garibaldi actually states this as one of Sheridan's talents. "He can take an inferior defensive force and turn it into a superior offensive force."
  • Deus ex Nukina: When All You Have Is a Hammer...... He uses nuclear warheads to deal with superior enemies on no fewer than four occasions. You'd think his enemies would have picked up on that by now... except that he never deploys his warheads using the same strategy twice.
    • First he mined an asteroid field and lured a more powerful opponent into the kill zone with a distress signal (which falls just short of a full-on case of Playing Possum due to the ship actually being damaged and in distress).
      • This apparently makes him unpopular with said opponents after the war; never mind that destroying a presumably helpless enemy ship is just as (if not more) despicable an action ...
    • Later he fitted a small ship with a pair of warheads and programmed it to crash into an enemy city as an improvised cruise missile.
    • On the third occasion, he once again mined an asteroid field, but baited his enemies into the kill zone with false intel regarding a new major base (this one is actually quite a bit more complicated than that, as he had to lure two separate and mutually-hostile enemies into the mine field at the same time).
    • Finally he gave up all pretense of subtlety and took a nuke and a space suit and attached it to the target himself in the midst of a heated space battle. Even he had to admit that this last plan was a little nuts.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In the Into the Fire episode of Season 4, Sheridan tells both the Vorlons and the Shadows to "get the hell out of our galaxy". And they obeyed. Granted, Sheridan had Lorien on his side, but the Vorlons and the Shadows were under no obligation to obey him either.
  • Fan Nickname: John "Nuke 'em" Sheridan. (Originally used by Boxleitner.)
  • The Fettered: He will do the right thing, even if it means going to war against his own people.
  • The Good Captain
  • Heroic Archetype
  • Heroic Sacrifice: His trip to Z'ha'dum, which he knew was "almost certainly a trap", in a mistaken belief that this might avert some of the tragic events revealed to him when he became Unstuck in Time in the future in "War Without End". And then bringing the nukes down on the Shadow seat of power, and himself.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Dan Randall, the pro-Clark journalist, portrayed Sheridan as negatively as he could in order for Clark to excuse military action against Babylon 5. Randall portrayed Sheridan's helping of aliens and humans as an attempt to conduct medical experiments to create hybrid aliens; being subject to alien influences; and arming an alien invasion fleet in order to "make them understand" (a prime example of quote mining from Randall).
    • 100 and 500 years later, Sheridan is once again subject to this.
  • Hypocrite: In protest of Clark's declaration of martial law on Earth, he secedes and declares independence. However, he declines to form any sort of new governing body for the station and retains ultimate authority over every aspect of its government, making him essentially a military dictator. This is brought up to him a couple of times by people who don't like him. However, considering he was a Military Governor who was upholding the Constitution of the Earth Alliance and B5 is a military base, it is not hypocritical for him to maintain the original concept of the station intact. He is not giving the station over to the alien governments who use it. Once the reasons for the declaration were removed from power, it is likely he would have returned into the Earth Alliance, or then made changes to the governing body of the station. The colonies only made a new government once there was no hope in Earthdome agreeing to their demands. There always remained the chance for Clark to be removed from power.
    • It crops up again when he becomes President of the Alliance. The Rangers and White Star Fleet are loyal to him (or his wife) personally, rather than to the Alliance itself; in a way that Clark could only have dreamed of. Luckily he's a really nice guy and doesn't abuse this.
    • While Sheridan was happy to exploit the tactical advantages provided by telepaths, especially Lyta Alexander, he never showed a serious interest in helping them, or doing something about the corruption in Psi-Corps (still run by Shadow and Clark allies even after the Earth Civil War). This would eventually escalate to the Telepath War. Even though he had, via the ISA, the means to at least get human telepaths out of Earth-ruled space and to safer planets. In particular he treated Lyta as a tool, to be called upon when needed and then just as quickly dismissed, and did not give her any formal role in his new government nor help her personally despite the many times she helped save his life. This actually extended to pretty much all telepaths; despite the aid of countless volunteer telepaths in the Shadow War, he chooses to use dozens of Shadow-modified telepaths as suicide bombers to non-lethally neutralize a fleet of ships in the penultimate battle of the Earth Alliance Civil War - ships that had repeatedly bombed civilian targets, slaughtered fleeing refugees, and were enforcing a starvation blockade on Mars.
      • This actually ends up saving his ass during the final battle for Earth; Clark's final act before shooting himself in the head is to turn Earth's orbital defenses on the planet itself, and Sheridan begins a Suicide Attack to keep one from firing on Earth's most populated area... then one of the enemy ships he thus spared shows up Just in Time to destroy the satellite.
    • For a guy who leads a rebellion against a corrupt authority, he gets really petty when his own authority is questioned. He give Garibaldi all kinds of crap for criticizing him after quitting his staff. When Lyta decides not to let Bester pick through Zha'Ha'Dum for tech to save his blip lover, he threatens to turn her over to Psi Corps. When a bunch of rogue telepaths challenge the Alliance's un-rewarded use of telepaths in the Shadow Wars, he actually does call the Psi Corps and give them free reign to hunt them down — and most of them die in the ensuing struggle. When Lyta puts her foot down and says she's not going to submit to continued second-class treatment, he puts a gun to her head. Sheridan will strap a nuke to his chest and carry out suicide bombings for his allies — but if you disrespect his authority he will make your life a living hell.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • "Swamp rat".
    • Among the Minbari, Sheridan is known as "Starkiller" for his famous defeat of their flagship, the Drala Fi ("Black Star" in English). The name becomes a Multiple Reference Pun after he also causes the destruction of The White Star.
  • The Kirk
  • Lethal Chef: Delenn can't seem to add enough salt to Sheridan's flarn to make it edible.
    • Source material indicates that the Minbari have a poor sense of taste, and make their food very spicy as a result. Sheridan possibly made it to suit his personal taste, unaware it'd taste like cardboard to Delenn.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Ivanova. They'd walk through fire for each other, but their relationship is purely platonic.
  • Messianic Archetype: Which gets him a What the Hell, Hero? from Garibaldi, who was brainwashed to have his paranoia and distrust of authority enhanced by Mr. Bester.
  • Military Maverick: Subverted. His appointment to Babylon 5 was approved by Clark's government because all the available evidence indicated that he was not a Military Maverick, but rather a staunch loyalist. Unfortunately for them, he was staunchly loyal to the Earth Alliance Constitution, as opposed to being loyal to the government that was failing to follow that Constitution.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: He adheres to the second part of the quote: "if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Called out on this by several other characters, most notably Londo in a Bad Future. Sheridan has a really bad habit of letting new problems keep him from following up on existing ones.
    • While he did indeed liberate Earth from President Clark, many of Clark's political allies remained in positions of power throughout the Earth Alliance; they permit a fairly competent assassin to take a shot at him at his inauguration, do a lot of Bothering by the Book over their newly-freed colonies, and a couple hundred years later start a war that knocks Earth back to the "A Canticle for Leibowitz"-level of civilization.
    • Sheridan openly calls out Bester on his obvious plans to start a war between mundanes and telepaths. He does virtually nothing to prevent it however. Just the opposite in fact. Removal or restructuring of Psi Corps is not one of his post-civil war demands of Earthgov, which leaves evil Psi Cops like Bester in charge. At the same time, Sheridan seems determined to be a hindrance to the Telepath Resistance, offering them no support once he no longer needs them to help fight the Shadows. He likewise basically cuts Lyta loose, forcing her to make deals with Bester, Garibaldi and G'kar to both support herself and the resistance.
      • To be fair, after the end of the Earth Civil War, he wasn't exactly in a position to demand the dismantling of the Psi Corps.
    • The Drakh nearly kill Delenn, and there was strong evidence that they were behind both the sudden resurgence in Centauri aggression, as well as the "Keeper" that was used to control Captain Jack of the Mars Resistance. Sheridan himself actually witnessed them fleeing Za'ha'dum right before it self-destructed. But despite all of this he does not seem to make them a major priority, at least until they attempt a direct attack on Earth with a Shadow planet killer, and even then he had to be drawn into action by Galen.
  • Noodle Incident: Two come up in the same episode. He refuses to explain how he got the nickname Swamp Rat, and the threat of an embarrassing story is enough to stop him from revealing one about another character.
  • Nose Art: His personal Starfury has a full-wing Eagle paintjob. In the fourth season, he had the Babylon 5 emblem painted on the hull of his flagship during The Earth Alliance Civil War.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: In "Lines of Communication" Sheridan walks in on Ivanova in her nightgown and just starts talking, ignoring her dress. She even has to note she needs to get dressed before they leave and he reacts with as much interest as someone saying "Okay, just let me turn off this light." Ivanova is perturbed (and a bit insulted) by this.
  • Pals with Jesus: To Kosh.
  • The Plan
  • Playing Possum
  • The Power of Love: Allows him to defy death because he loves Delenn that much. Damn the Shadows, he's going to be with the woman he loves and nothing is going to stand in his way. Not even the entire universe.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone
  • Punctuated Pounding
  • Rage Against the Mentor: He finally snaps at Kosh for forcing him into fighting a war against an inscrutable and horrifyingly powerful enemy, but refusing to provide any direct help in ignorance of the rules of engagement that existed between the Vorlon and the Shadows that prevented such confrontations. Eventually he manages to cajole the reluctant Kosh into providing a much-needed victory to consolidate the alliance they're trying to build again ignorant that the true cost of it would be Kosh's life, and the reason Kosh had been so resistant was he was afraid to die
  • Red Baron: Sheridan was this to the Minbari, being the only Earthforce commander to destroy a Minbari capital ship.
  • Screw Earthgov, I'm Doing Whats Right: Though, from his point of view, he was trying to enforce the rules of the EarthGov Constitution. President Clark broke the rules first.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Despite his many positive qualities, he can also be a touch petty at times. At one point, he is ordered to pay rent on his quarters or move out. He pulls money from the station's military readiness budget to pay the rent, claiming that the station's readiness depends on him getting a good night's sleep.
  • See You in Hell
  • The Southpaw: Because his actor is left-handed.
  • Stay with the Aliens
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To be fair, his similarity was in role rather than in personality. Sinclair was a very quiet, reserved, diplomatic type, whereas Sheridan is more of a soldier with a rather more extroverted personality. You can think of him as being the Kirk to Sinclair's Picard.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Orders Ivanova to put one out on the Voice of the Resistance as part of a gambit to get a number of alien worlds to accept patrols by the White Star Fleet in their territory. The denial was actually true, there really as nothing of note going on in the sector Ivanova mentions in her broadcast, but deliberately denying it makes the others think that somebody is trying to hide something from them
  • Take a Third Option
  • Take Five: Averted and Played Straight, depending on the circumstances.
  • Taking You with Me: His plan to strike the Shadows a critical blow at Z'Ha'Dum involved crashing a White Star full of nukes on his own location.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: How he and Delenn ultimately ends the Shadow War
    Sheridan: Good morning Gentlemen, it's time for your wakeup call
  • They Do: With Delenn. A relationship built on mutual respect, trust, and shared interests, that had its ups and downs but was a lifelong love match on both sides? What a novelty!
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Lawful. Always. It's why President Clark recommended him to command Babylon 5. However, Clark failed to notice that changing the laws before his eyes does not impress him. Sheridan's entire stance during the Earth Alliance Civil War is that Clark is the one breaking the law, and he hammers home the very accurate point that following an illegal order is itself illegal.
    • This starts to bite him in the ass afterwards, as he really doesn't see the Psi-Corps as "unlawful" - just corrupted. Thus, he and his new government drop the ball repeatedly over the next five years, only intervening on the side of the telepath resistance when the Corps makes a Card-Carrying Villain attempt to conquer the Earth Alliance.
  • Touched by Vorlons: And by Lorien
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Loves his fresh fruits and veggies, especially oranges. When he first arrived on B5, he was practically squeeing over the existence of the hydroponic gardens.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: Justified, as he is the military governor of Babylon 5 and really does have absolute authority over the stationnote 
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Later revealed to have been planted on Babylon 5 to investigate the conspiracy around President Santiago's death.
  • Unstuck in Time
  • We Will All Be History Buffs in the Future
    • Lampshaded in the fifth season, where an assassin taunting Sheridan says that he understands Sheridan is "a bit of a history buff." His primary areas of interest seem to be The American Civil War and World War II.
      • Being interested in the Civil War makes sense, given that according to supplemental material, he's a descendant of Civil War General Phillip Sheridan.
  • Working with the Ex: With Lochley in Season 5.
  • Your Days Are Numbered

    Jeffrey David Sinclair (Michael O'Hare) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sinclair_5603.jpg
Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-Tzu, and Einstein, and Morobuto, and Buddy Holly, and Aristophanes... All of this... All of this... Was for nothing. Unless we go to the stars.

  • Absentee Actor: Was Put on a Bus after the first season, due to both character writing problems (JMS stated that he felt he wrote Sinclair into a box) and issues with the actor (the network didn't much care for him, and it was revealed posthumously that he had started suffering mental health issues during season 1 which compromised his ability to fill such a major role). He would turn up again a couple of times afterward in the series, including an appearance in one of the TV movies years later using recycled footage.
    • There was another reason that didn't become known publicly until revealed by JMS at Babylon 5's 20th Anniversary Reunion at Phoenix Comicon 2013. O'Hare was suffering from a physical brain condition that caused him to have bouts of schizophrenia, to the extent where he believed he was receiving private messages in newspaper articles, similar to mathematician John Nash's problems as depicted in A Beautiful Mind. O'Hare discussed this with JMS, and JMS agreed to keep it a secret until O'Hare passed away. note 
  • Ace Pilot: Though he doesn't get to show it very often, due to his job (Ivanova and Garibaldi are both far more likely to mix it up in dogfights) he is the latest in a long family tradition of fighter pilots. During the Battle of the Line, he was able to take down a Minbari fighter despite the signficiant technological and numerical advantage they had (in return for that one fighter, his entire squadron was wiped out).
  • Alien Abduction: Was captured and held captive for 24 hours by the Minbari during the Battle of the Line, and the Minbari mysteriously surrendered shortly afterwards. The reason was that during their study of Sinclair they discovered that he had a "Minbari soul", so continuing the war would violate their Minbari do not kill Minbari rule
  • All There in the Manual: The canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows ties up Sinclair's storyline (and his romance with Catherine Sakai) where the show simply didn't have room to.
  • Badass Baritone
  • Badass Normal: Manged to defeat Neroon in hand-to-hand combat despite being jumped in a dark room. At the time it didn't seem too impressive but as the series went on and we saw how capable Neroon was, as well as how much stronger than humans Minbari are, it's become quite an impressive achievement.
  • Bothering by the Book/Exact Words: Displayed an uncommon ability to use Earth gov's Exact Words to accomplish exactly the opposite of what they wanted him to.
  • Brainwashed: But only enough to wipe out his memory of the missing 24 hours.
  • The Captain: Technically a commander in rank, but follows the role.
  • The Chosen One: The One Who Was
  • Decoy Protagonist: Unintentional however, thanks to the Absentee Actor.
  • Dork Knight: Yes, he's captain of the most important space station in the galaxy. Yes, he's sent back in time to become Valen. Yes, he can out-Rules Lawyer Earthgov itself. But above all that, he is, first and foremost, a complete dork.
  • Dull Surprise: Michael O'Hare is often accused of it; he was a stage actor who never quite got comfortable working in front of cameras, and it shows.
  • He Knows Too Much: Delenn had orders to take appropriate action if he showed signs of remembering.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Travelling back in time to become Valen, basically leaving Humanity and all that was familiar to him for an alien society in a different age, with no reasonable hope of ever returning to it. Plus (Fridge Logic perhaps) he had to live the rest of his life very carefully following what history had laid out about Valen, lest he disrupt the Stable Time Loop.
  • In Harm's Way: Puts himself in a lot of dangerous positions he really has no reason to. It's hinted it's his Survivor Guilt speaking, and Garibaldi eventually calls him out on it mid-season 1.
  • I Shall Taunt You: A few times.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: "There is a hole in your mind". His inability to account for a 24 hour block of time during and after the Battle of the Line effectively ended his career advancement, due to (unprovable) suspicions that he had cut a deal with the Minbari, or that he had been reprogrammed as a Manchurian Agent by them.
  • Liberator From the Future: He goes back in time to become this for the Minbari.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: Implied to be what allows Catherine Sakai to find him in the past.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He is Delenn's great-great-great-[great*n]-grandfather.
  • The Masochism Tango: His relationship with Catherine Sakai consisted of years of on-again, off-again, have-sex-then-one-of-them-leaves frustration before they decided to have a go at things for real.
  • Messianic Archetype
  • Mighty Future Human
  • Military Brat: Fourth generation military. Knight #2 states it was smart money he'd make Admiral on his pedigree alone; but then along came The Line.
    • Sinclair proudly states at one point that his family has been fighter pilots since the Battle of Britain.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Everything is seriousness business with Sinclair. It sets off alarm bells right away when a shapeshifter takes his form in "Gathering": he blows up the wide-angle lens with a toothy, creepy grin.
  • Put on a Bus: An interstellar bus to Minbar.
  • Raised Catholic: He used to study in a Jesuit school, which explains his generally mellow and spiritual attitude about the universe.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The Put on a Bus was due to his actor leaving the show between seasons.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Due to his (repeated) tendency to speak his mind when not appropriate, his back story contains this. A lot. His promotion to the head of Babylon 5 came as a surprise to pretty much everyone at Earthforce (including him, given the huge list of people who were ahead of him), but they accepted it because the Minbari were part contributors to the station and got a provision that they had say in who got in. So his assignment to Babylon 5 is a large aversion, though his history is not.
    • He states in one episode that after speaking frankly in an interview with a reporter, he got assigned a post so remote that "you couldn't find it with a hunting dog and a Ouija Board."
  • Rules Lawyer: His primary tactic in dealing with interference from EarthGov and with problems generally. He frequently uses both human and alien laws and rituals to defuse conflicts/get what he wants.
  • The Seer: time travel helps at this.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: His experience as a survivor of the Battle of the Line is one of his main character points.
  • Stable Time Loop
  • Survivor Guilt: His entire squadron was wiped out at the Battle of the Line except for him. To make things worse, he has no memory of how he survived.
  • Take a Third Option: His default solution for practically everything.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: The canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows reveals that he met Catherine Sakai when he was her flight instructor at Earthforce Academy.
  • Time Travel
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: Justified, for the same reasons as Sheridan.
  • Warrior Poet
  • Worthy Opponent: To Delenn when they first met.
    • And to the Minbari in general. Neroon expresses admiration for him, and his special ability in the card game is to undo damages to the human-Minbari tension levels.

    Susan Ivanova (Claudia Christian) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ivanova_59.png
Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out!

  • Ace Pilot: Practically begs for the chance to go on patrol several times in the first two seasons, and shows just what she's capable of by taking on an entire contingent of Raiders alone (after sending her wingman back to the station). Ivanova returns none the worse for wear after an offscreen battle (although her Starfury is pretty beat up).
  • The Alcoholic: Highly functioning, but still. Possibly more of a problem drinker, but still her drinking has been a problem from time to time.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The Trope Namer.
  • Badass Boast: Has a habit of these, from "Ivanova is God." to "God sent me."
    • Though after the former case, she looks up and apologizes, saying she was on a roll.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With both Talia and Marcus.
  • Bi the Way: Annoyingly, we only really got a confirmation that Ivanova and Talia were in love after the fact — because Straczynski knew the executives would crucify him if he actually had them kissnote  which was considered but remained unfilmed.
    • Hints do appear previously. They lounge around in Ivanova's bedroom an awful lot.
    • Most blatantly, in Talia's final episode, Susan has invited Talia to stay in her quarters, since Talia's are undergoing maintenance. At one point, there's a shot of Talia waking up, and reaching an arm across the bed and realizing Susan isn't there. While it's possible they would have been sharing a bed completely platonically (it's not like Susan's quarters on a space station, where cubic meters are at a premium, has a guest bedroom), the framing of the shot is totally "I expected to wake up with you, but you were gone."
    • Word of God is that they did in fact have sex off screen.
    • Claudia Christian claims that the entire subplot may have been as a result of her preemptively warning JMS off of making her character, an ambitious career military officer, dependent on a man as a Love Interest, but joking that she'd be fine with a female lover for her character.
  • Blasphemous Boast: The "Ivanova is God" bit. Almost immediately afterwards, she glances upwards and apologizes for that bit.
  • Cartwright Curse: People who she's romantically attracted to have an unfortunate tendency to turn out to be evil, or get killed, or both.
  • Characterization Marches On: The first few episodes have her using overly formal speech patterns characteristic of someone for whom English is not their first language, which the show quickly relaxed on.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Talia and Marcus. An ultimately tragic example, as each time she defrosts just in time for the other person to die.
  • Determinator: Tends to approach any problem with dogged stubbornness. While Sinclair will outwit his opponents and Sheridan will lure them into a carefully laid trap, Ivanova has found that refusing to give her enemies an inch while attacking them unrelentingly works just fine.
  • Got Volunteered: This is how she winds up as the Voice of the Resistance.
  • Informed Judaism: Downplayed. She was born and raised Jewish—her family's rabbi even visits the station once—but in the episodes where it comes up, it's made fairly clear that she isn't exactly observant (not bothering to keep kosher, for instance). Though she is seen lighting a menorah near the end of one season (the seasons cover chronological years in real-time, so tend to end in late December).
  • Iron Lady
  • Knight in Sour Armour
  • Lady of War: Ivanova lacks the inspirational genius of Sheridan or the unconventional thinking of Sinclair, but she is a formidable officer in her own right due to her unrelenting tenacity.
  • Large Ham: On occasion, though not nearly as large a ham as some of the other characters.
  • Like Brother and Sister: She and Sheridan are very close, though their relationship is purely platonic, and they certainly bicker like siblings on a regular basis, but they're also True Companions who'd do anything for each other.
  • Lost in Translation: Played hilariously when Ivanova bitterly curses, only to find out that "Ah, hell!" means "continuous fire" in her crew's language.
  • Married to the Job: And the job is jealous.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: With Marcus.
  • Mission from God: For her last Badass Boast, she declared that God had sent her to dispatch her foes. She is nearly killed at the end of the battle by a wayward piece of debris, but not before her force has dispatched the enemy fleet.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When she shows off what she has learned from her studies of the Minbari language. Delenn discretely issues an order to the Minbari crewmembers of Ivanova's ship that anyone who is caught laughing at her heartfelt attempts will be severely punished. (Her Minbari is shown to have improved by a later episode.)
    Ivanova: Ah, hell...
    (The White Star starts firing at nothing in particular)
    Lorien: "Ahel" means "continuous fire" in Minbari.
  • Nose Art: Her Starfury has a red star and a double-headed Russian Eagle.
  • Number Two: For the station, being the second line officer aboard for most of the series.
  • One of the Boys: You would almost, but not quite, think that Gender Is No Object is at work here. That's how well Ivanova blends in.
  • Opposites Attract: With Marcus. She's a no-nonsense officer Married to the Job, he's a unapologetic goofball.
    • Also applies to her relationship with Talia, a telepath and member of the Psi Corps, which is an organization Ivanova despises.
  • Public Service Announcement: Particularly during the fourth season, Ivanova can be seen issuing these over the Babcom system, including updates about systems endangered by the ever-expanding Shadow War. Leads directly to Voice of the Resistance, below.
  • Photographic Memory: Or rather, Eidetic memory. It's said to be one of her vital skills as a strategist. For example, in one epsiode she recalled a once-heard Minbari phrase perfectly, despite not speaking the language at the time she heard it. In another, she memorizes the long list of all EarthForce personnel killed in a battle in order to say that they were burying people and not statistics.
  • Rank Up: She begins the series as a lieutenant commander, but Sheridan bumps her up to full commander the first week he's aboard. After rejoining EarthForce in the season four finale she's made a captain and Put on a Bus to command a Warlock-class destroyer. In the Distant Finale she's a General.
  • Reality Subtext: Ivanova wears a single earring in memory of her older brother, killed during the Earth Minbari War. Claudia Christian actually wore that earring in memory of her little brother, who was hit by a car when they were kids (the other earring was buried with him).
  • Red Herring: After the actress who played Sinclair's second-in-command in The Gathering wasn't able to return for the series, JMS had let slip online that he had planned on her being a traitor. As a result, many fans assumed Ivanova would take over that role, and he happily fed them subtle hints throughout the first season that she may be a traitor. Said fans were completely blindsided when the traitor turned out to be Garibaldi's second, who up until that point had been a minor background character.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: And expects to. She considers pessimistic outlooks to be Russian by nature and commends people for them. Sheridan even calls developing a greater degree of pessimism "taking Ivanova lessons."
  • The Spymaster: She prides herself on knowing about everything happening aboard the station. Including all of the relevant details on the Rangers' mission on B5, when Sheridan and Garibaldi were supposed to be the only EarthForce personnel who even knew of their existence on the station. Similarly, when Doctor Franklin tries to run an unauthorized free clinic in Downbelow, Ivanova finds out easily. When Ivanova doesn't know about something happening aboard B5, then you can worry.
  • Team Mom: Played with; she's the first one to tell Franklin to stop pushing himself and get some rest before he puts his patients in jeopardy. While this is logically part of her command responsibilities, Ivanova is also the one to whom Delenn turns for advice on hair care and menstrual cramps (neither of which Minbari women typically have to deal with) and to whom Vir turns for advice on 'the facts of life' when his Arranged Marriage to Lyndisty crops up (given that he's probably too embarrassed to talk to Londo and there are no Centauri women of equivalent status on the station). She also lets Corwin down very easily when he confuses a personal interview intended to sound him out on his stance on the Clark regime for a date. For a proven hardass, she can be quite empathetic.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Sheridan. She's made it clear on numerous occasions that she would rather die than betray Sheridan.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Marcus.
  • Voice of the Resistance: In mid-season four she starts acting as the news anchor for The Voice of the Resistance, Sheridan's broadcast to counter Clark's anti-B5 propaganda. Sheridan picked her for the job because he was impressed with how she performed reading news bulletins when the Vorlons and Shadows started blowing up planets.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With both Talia and Marcus.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Claudia Christian broke her ankle in a skiing accident during Season Two, and this was explained as Ivanova being injured after being caught in a brawl between Green and Purple Drazi. (The fan rumour that she was injured during the filming of that scene is false.)
    • During the commentary track for that episode, Claudia Christian points out that the scream Ivanova gives when the Drazi lands on her (when the "injury" supposedly happened) as being quite real (as said actor landed right on her already-broken leg quite heavily.)
  • You Are in Command Now:
    • At least four times in the space of three years, in fact, though it never happens in the heat of battle.
    • During the transmission from the alternate future in "Babylon Squared" Ivanova is in command, delivering an increasingly panicky distress call after Sheridan was killed offscreen and the Shadows are overrunning the station.

    Michael Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) 

"Thin air." Why is it always "thin air"? Never fat air, chubby air, mostly-fit-could-stand-to-lose-a-few-pounds air.

  • Ace Pilot: Though out of the Power Trio, he is the least likely to get into space battles, due to his primary job being to lead Station Security.
  • Adorkable: How else can you describe someone who has a framed picture of Daffy Duck hanging over his bed?
  • The Alcoholic: He's portrayed as a recovering alcoholic who once used alcohol as an escape from his problems and now tries to remain absolutely tee-total on the grounds that once he starts drinking, he doesn't know when to stop. He does fall off the wagon on a number of occasions during the series. His status as a recovering alcoholic also informs his relationship with Stephen Franklin when he starts to descend into Stim addiction.
  • The Atoner: Spends a large chunk of the latter half of season four trying to win back the trust of his former friends for his role in getting Sheridan captured by Clarke's forces whilst under PsiCorp influence
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He learns everything he can about the crew, including his senior officers. As a result, he's very good at predicting their behavior on a day-to-day basis. Case in point: During season 1, every time Talia got in a lift, Garibaldi was already inside.
    • In "Deconstruction of Falling Stars" a holographic simulation of Garibaldi 500 years after the events of the main series retains his analytical skills and basic personality, resulting in holo-Garibaldi hacking Politdivision Central and revealing their plans to the opposition. Unfortunately his actions result in humanity nuking itself back into the Middle Ages with the ensuing conflict.
      • Fortunately, this is probably SLIGHTLY better then the alternative, which would be everyone except the Orwellian guys being nuked PAST the middle ages...
  • Bald of Awesome: Played for Laughs on a couple of occasions. Ivanova strongly suspects (but prefers not to inform Garibaldi) that his hair loss was due to a prank played by a smuggler he had crossed paths with in the past.
  • Berserk Button: Bester has become a living button for him by Season 5.
  • Big Damn Heroes: On several occasions. It does help that all of the station's security personnel answer to him, allowing him to bring The Cavalry with a single call.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Is the victim of a very subtle variation of this trope. Garibaldi is captured by Shadows and taken to a PsiCorp facility at the end of Season 3, where they had planned to implant a sleeper-personality like the one Talia had, but decided that he would be just as useful with only minor tweaks to his normal personality. They redirected his natural scepticism and paranoia against his former allies, and ultimately set him up to help eliminate a troublesome industrialist with an anti-telepath agenda, as well as setting Sheridan up to be captured.
  • Chef of Iron: He's got a few Italian dishes down, his signature dish is Bagna càuda, which he claims to have learned to make from his father.
  • Cool Bike - His beloved, antique Ninja ZX-11 motorcycle. Which appears in only one episode and is never spoken of again.note 
  • Cowboy Cop: Zig-Zagged. Out in the "real world" of Babylon 5, he'll play things fast and loose, but in his Chief of Security office, he plays things by the book. He knows he'll never be able to completely clean up Downbelow or prevent all crime everywhere on the station, but by keeping his ear to the ground and his options open he can deal with the really threatening stuff.
  • Da Chief: Head of station security.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It doesn't matter how high Your rank is or how threatening you are - Garibaldi has a snarky one-liner prepared for You.
  • The Determinator: JMS in a commentary track compared Garibaldi to a pitbull, refusing to let go of a problem until he's solved it. Increased Up to Eleven by Bester to make him sniff out an anti-Telepath conspiracy.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Garibaldi is a Type 1, particularly toward Talia.
  • Drink Order: Water, straight up. And sometimes "afterburner whiskey".
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Boy does he ever, going from a black-listed alcoholic cop on Mars to rescuing and marrying his true love and becoming one of the most powerful businessmen in the Earth Alliance.
  • Face–Heel Turn (See Manchurian Agent)
  • Fan of the Past: He's a huge fan of old Looney Tunes cartoons, including having a Daffy Duck wall hanging and Nose Art on one of his Starfuries.
  • Fantastic Racism: He doesn't typically trust Telepaths easily, though this is more an extension of his Properly Paranoid nature, and not helped at all by Bester repeatedly dropping in to make a mess of things.
  • Inspector Javert: Becomes this to Bester's Val Jean in the novel Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester. Granting that Bester is guilty of the crimes he for which he is wanted, Garibaldi becomes so obsessed with finding him that he nearly becomes He Who Fights Monsters because he refuses to believe that Bester could settle-down and live a quiet life or reform. The irony is that Bester almost manages it, hiding in Paris and falling in love with a non-Teep woman after building a life for himself under an assumed identity and he only returns to his old ways after the manhunt Garabaldi is financing starts getting too close.
  • Knight In Sour Armor
  • The Lancer: To Sinclair.
  • Manchurian Agent (in Season 4)
  • Meaningful Name: A subtle in-joke for history nerds. He's named after 19th century Italian freedom fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi, who led a rebel volunteer force called "The Red Shirts" during the Risorgimento. "Red Shirts" is also slang for the disposable soldiers in science-fiction shows, after the red-shirted crewmen in Star Trek who famously had a habit of getting killed off. As the head of station security, Garibaldi is the leader of B5's Red Shirts.
  • Military Brat: His father was a Gropo, serving under Doctor Franklin's father. His mother was a cop on earth, making this trope play double-duty.
  • Nose Art: In early seasons, his personal Starfury had a tiger painted on the center of the wing. In the fifth season, he is briefly seen piloting a Starfury with Daffy Duck painted on the side.
  • Off the Wagon: Briefly in "Survivors", and for a longer period of time in season five.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: During an episode where he's protecting Talia from a murderer he lets her enter a client's quarters without checking them first and simply waits outside, guess who was inside?
    • Also in Dividied Loyalties he instantly and completely trusts Lyta Alexender despite Lyta not being on the station long enough to establish trust during her previous visit and nobody has ever gained his trust instantly before or after. Not to mention his distrust of telepaths in general.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": His computer password is "Peekaboo", because he knows that nobody would assume that the infamously paranoid security chief would use something so laughably easy to guess.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Except for the fourth season. At least, until his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Saigon...he can't believe he's still in Saigon. Or Chinatown, or Toontown, or Mars, for that matter. Garibaldi has a little 'private investigator' arc running in Season 4, which ends with his return to Mars.
  • Properly Paranoid: Garibaldi's paranoia is an in-universe legend.
  • Recovered Addict: At the start, and after he relapses in the last season he gets back on the wagon.
  • Refuge in Audacity: One of his specialties. Tries to rescue Captain Sheridan from a secret prison on Mars by walking up in uniform and identifying himself by name. It almost works too, except that the guards are Too Dumb to Fool.
    Garibaldi: And what kind of chief of security would I be if I let someone like me know things I'm not supposed to know?
  • The Southpaw: Because his actor is left-handed.
  • Supreme Chef: The man can cook, given proper ingredients. When Franklin tries Garibaldi's bagna càuda, he is impressed.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Mars. That place nearly killed him three times already, and he swore he'd never give it another chance. "Humans have no business being there." Wade tries to relax him by remarking about how it was named for the God of War. (Doesn't work.)
  • Written-In Infirmity: Jerry Doyle suffered a broken wrist during the filming of the battle sequence in "Severed Dreams". The visible effects were then very naturally explained as the character suffering the same injury.

    Stephen Franklin (Richard Biggs) 

People come to doctors because they want us to be gods. They want us to make it better - or make it not so. They want to be healed and they come to me when their prayers aren't enough. Well, if I have to take the responsibility, then I claim the authority too.

  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Despite having a full staff at his disposal, he will take on an insane patient load because he feels that responsible. This leads directly to his addiction problems.
  • The Conscience: Franklin regards his medical oath as far more important than his oath to Earth Force and is quite willing to remind others of their duties to greater causes than their government.
  • Determinator: After he is stabbed, then tormented by a hallucination of himself for all of his failures, he decides that he wants to live, mistakes and all.
  • Dr. Jerk: For a while when he was abusing stims. And other times when he's being insufferable because he believes he's right.
  • Dying Alone: Defied and averted. The Good Doctor does not want his terminal patients going out this way. He orders his staff to give the terminally ill and mortally wounded all the care, attention, and medication they would give the living until they no longer need it.
  • Functional Addict: Has a lampshaded addiction to stims that runs for the better part of a season before it becomes a problem.
  • Insufferable Genius
  • The Medic: A Combat Medic, specifically. When trouble ensues, he usually ignores orders to stay out of danger, and can be found in the middle of the worst violence looking for people who need help. He has no problem beating people into the deckplate if he has to protect himself or his patients.
  • Medlab Hottie: If his luck with the ladies is any indication. And if you ever saw Richard Biggs out of his Medlab smock or EarthForce uniform, you'd realize he was buff.
  • Military Brat: His father is a General in the Earthforce Marines. He was inspired to become a doctor after his father's life was saved by a doctor on the opposing side (that doctor was killed by his own government for aiding the enemy).
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: At least twice, his attempts to do good fail, in at least one case making things worse. After one such attempt backfires, he lampshades his tendency to do this.
  • The Pornomancer: Despite being a bit of a pompous blowhard and not really putting any serious effort into it, he can charm the ladies out of their dresses like nobody's business.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given by a hallucination of himself, as he's crawling through down-below with a knife wound. Doubles as a Rousing Speech by the very end.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Franklin will do what he believes is right, and to hell with the consequences. A few examples:
    • During the Earth-Minbari War, he destroyed his files on Minbari anatomy, rather than turn them over to R&D to develop biological weapons, feeling his oath to save lives was more important than his oath to follow orders. He spent the rest of the war in jail as a result of this.
    • In "Believers," he performs a life-saving operation on a young alien, in defiance of direct orders from his commanding officer, and against the wishes of the patient's parents. the parents then kill the boy, believing that the boy's soul had left his body, leaving an empty shell behind.
    • A later episode shows that he's running a legally-questionable free clinic in Downbelow, to treat those who can't afford to receive regular medical treatment.
    • It's later revealed that the free clinic doubles as a false front for an Underground Railroad smuggling telepaths who've escaped the Psi-Corps.
  • Trust Me, I'm an X
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    Elizabeth Lochley (Tracy Scoggins) 

My first CO once told me: "When someone asks you why you took on a job, the worst answer you can give is 'Because a friend asked me to.'" I should have listened. This place is one long exercise in frustration.

  • The Alcoholic: She uses her secret past as an alcohol and drug abuser to get Garibaldi back on the wagon.
  • Amicably Divorced: She was married to Sheridan briefly. Their marriage burned out fast. Their friendship didn't.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It's revealed in "Day of the Dead" that as a teenager she ran away from home and became a drug-addicted hooker for a while.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Refused to join Sheridan against Clark during the Earth Alliance Civil War. Her being chosen to command Babylon 5 was done as a fig-leaf gesture to the government back on Earth.
  • Nose Art: Her Starfury features a Phoenix.
  • Rules Lawyer: Manages to temporarily prevent Mr. Bester from arresting a colony of rogue telepaths by citing an Earth Alliance health regulation. Commander Sinclair would have been proud.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Ivanova, who would have become station commander in Season 5 if Claudia Christian had remained on the show.
  • Word Of Bi: Neil Gaiman confirmed that the Les Yay in her scenes with Zoe in "Day of the Dead" was intentional.

    Zack Allen (Jeff Conaway) 
  • Ascended Extra: He was first created just because JMS was a big Taxi fan and wanted to help Conaway through a rough period. Then he just kept getting more to do.
  • Big Brother Is Employing You / Signed Up for the Dental: He joins Nightwatch because he thinks it's just fifty credits per week for work he's already doing. He starts getting an inkling that this might have been a mistake as early as "The Fall of Night", when he witnesses the arrest of a shop owner for "sedition", and by the middle of season three, he has serious misgivings.
  • Butt-Monkey: In season two, Zack's major function is to be the Earthforce security agent who gets knocked out by the alien. Notably, both G'Kar and Lennier take him out at different points.
  • Da Chief: After Garibaldi resigns.
  • The Everyman: While he doesn't quite have the blank slate qualities usually associated with this trope, Zack is essentially an average guy way over his head, trying to do the right thing.
  • Greek Chorus: JMS stated that Zack was written to be this; see The Everyman above.
  • Heel Realisation: Midway through season three, he realizes his mistake in joining Nightwatch.
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Lyta Alexander. Given how she later develops, he was probably lucky.
  • Number Two: To Garibaldi, after the last guy to hold the job shot Garibaldi in the back, up until Garibaldi resigns in Season 4.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Jeff Conaway was a vocal advocate of the show even before he was cast in it.
  • Sherlock Scan: A wannabe crime lord remarks that Zack was able to learn a lot just by casually examining a dead body found Downbelow.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the final two seasons, when he takes over as head of station security, he gets notably more serious and more competent.
  • You Did the Right Thing: Both Night Watch and the command staff assure Zack of this when he's used as a double agent in one episode. He finds it less than comforting. Especially since he was a Double Agent at the time, and both sides were saying the same thing to him.

    Warren Keffer (Robert Rusler) 

It was jet black, a shade of black so deep your eye just kind of slides off it. And it shimmered when you looked at it. A spider, big as death and twice as ugly. And when it flies past, it's like you hear a scream in your mind.

  • Ace Pilot: Executive Meddling wanted a character of this type.
  • Book-Ends: The season premiere and season finale both feature him taking part in the defense of the station from an alien warship. Also, his second episode and his final episode both feature a Starfury pilot being killed in Hyperspace.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Ignores Commander Ivanova's orders not to continue his obsessive search for the mysterious black ship that he encountered in Hyperspace. Finding that ship is the last thing he ever does.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Intentionally given little purpose, but a fake high profile, heroic job.
  • Sacrificial Lion: The character looked to become a supporting regular. Then he was fed to the Shadows.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Due to being created through Executive Meddling, and the actor apparently not getting on with the established cast.
    • Was apparently a nice guy, though. JMS still felt REALLY guilty about killing him like that...still did it.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Because Executive Meddling demanded a "hot shot ace pilot character," and JMS absolutely hates characters like that, he was killed off the very instant JMS realized the executives were no longer paying any attention to what he was doing.
  • You Are in Command Now: Ends up in command of Zeta Squadron despite being only a Lieutenant, due to the squadron commander being killed during a mission in Hyperspace.

    David Corwin (Joshua Cox) 

"Okay, activate defense grid. Launch all Starfuries, and if they move, shoot 'em. If they don't move, shoot twice; they're probably hiding something."

  • Adorkable: The scenes involving him trying to buy and give roses to Ivanova, and his ownership of a Love Bat, especially.
  • The Apprentice: Tends to serve as Ivanova's right-hand man and unofficial protegé in later seasons.
  • Character Development: Starts out in Season 1 as a generic Earthforce officer with no name and a dorky, wallflower personality, ends up in Season 5 as Babylon 5's XO and almost a male, Lighter and Softer (and, well, still dorkier) version of Ivanova (see above quote).
  • Deadpan Snarker: He gets in a few zingers on Commander Ivanova, then quickly gets back to work before she can retort.
    Ivanova: If I get through this without going completely insane, it will be a miracle of Biblical proportions!
    Corwin: Well, there goes my faith in the Almighty.
  • The Generic Guy: Tends to be written as representing the viewpoint of the average, ordinary Earthforce officer in comparison to the larger-than-life, destiny-laden main characters.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: When he is promoted to Lieutenant, Ivanova and Sheridan decided to get to know him better, to decide if they can bring him in on their conspiracy. When asked if he would disobey an order if it wasn't in the best interests of Earth, he states that he doesn't feel it would be his place to determine that. When the command staff do decide to break off from Earth, however, he sides with them against President Clark.
  • Number Two: In season five.

     President William Morgan Clark (Gary McGurk) 
The Vice President of the Earth Alliance at the start of the series, he takes over after President Luis Santiago dies in the explosion of EarthForce One in the season one finale. He soon begins curtailing civil rights and instituting progressively more fascist and anti-alien policies, culminating in season three's double Wham Episode "Point of No Return" and "Severed Dreams" with a declaration of martial law, ordering the Senate's dissolution, and the bombardment of civilian targets on Mars. This prompts Sheridan to declare Babylon 5's independence from Earth Alliance. It's revealed not long before this that he plotted Santiago's assassination with the Shadows' involvement.

In season four he finally goes too far in ordering refugee transports from Proxima III shot down, triggering a Roaring Rampage of Revenge by Sheridan and allied forces. They fight his loyalists all the way back to Earth, where Clark shoots himself to avoid capture.

  • Ambition Is Evil: His entire life and tenure, all he wanted was to put himself in charge, and saw nothing wrong with any method to get there.
  • Big Bad: For most of season four, once the Shadows were taken care of. His dictatorship was already a major antagonist before that.
  • Characterization Marches On: Clark has a scene in the first issue of the comic, in which he is actually quite gracious and accommodating to Sinclair and offers him help without any obvious benefit to himself.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: He had no ambtion beyond absolute power over all mankind, he just wanted the position for its own sake, consequences be damned.
  • Driven to Suicide: He shoots himself in the head with a ppg rather than let himself be arrested.
  • Evil Chancellor: Well, Evil Vice President to Santiago.
  • Fat Bastard: Described as such by Susan Ivanova in "Midnight on the Firing Line", when she refers to his "several chins".
  • Fantastic Racism: Little is known about Clark's values (such as they are), but his hatred of aliens appears genuine. The irony was that, in reverse-engineering Shadow tech, he became a puppet for alien influence just like he accuses Sheridan of being.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Clark does have a handful of scenes, but they're short and after he becomes Big Bad full time he's only seen killing himself. Word of God is that he was supposed to be an idea more than a character.
  • If I Can't Have You...: "Two words: Scorched Earth"
  • Invisible President: For the most part. For all his plot-importance he appears only four times across four seasons, three of them on Video Phone.
  • Irony: Clark wanted Sheridan in charge of Babylon 5 because he saw him as a mindless jarhead who would be blindingly loyal to EarthGov. The same man eventually became his biggest enemy.
  • Klingon Promotion: He arranged Santiago's assasination with the Shadows and the Psi Corps in order to become president himself.
  • Madness Mantra:
    the aScension of the ordinary man
    the asCension of the ordinary man
    the ascensiOn of the ordinary man
    the ascension of the oRdinary man
    the asCension of the ordinary man
    tHe ascension of the ordinary man
    the ascEnsion of the ordinary man
    the ascension of the orDinary man
    thE ascension of the ordinary man
    the Ascension of the ordinary man
    the ascension of the oRdinary man
    The ascension of the ordinary man
    tHe ascension of the ordinary man
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Naturally, considering the fact he's a dictator. Banning not considering you the greatest human who lived and will ever live is an absurd violation of free speech, and "illegal" doesn't even begin to describe executive orders suspending the Earth Alliance Constitution, unilaterally dissolving the legislature to avoid impeachment, and ordering military action against dissident colonies, but until La Résistance is breathing down his neck, he's too drunk with power to give a shit.
  • Shout-Out: The scene in which he's sworn as President of the Earth Alliance was modeled after Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn aboard Air Force One after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • Sore Loser: Rather than own up for what he's done, he shoots himself in the head with an energy weapon, after programming Earth's defensive sattelites to rain particle-beam fire down on Earth itself.
  • The Starscream: To President Santiago.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To both the Shadows and Psi Corps, to varying degrees.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He certainly tries, and his propaganda machine is much spotlighted, but by the time all is said and done a good chunk of the population is set against him anyway. Also, there's a waiting line to oust/assassinate him. Psi Corps, the Mega-Corp executives and assorted members of the Senate are all working on plots to get rid of him. They're all annoyed with Sheridan, mostly because he is jumping to the front of the line.

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     President Susanna Luchenko (Beata Pozniak) 

"Well, Captain, you've caused quite a stir. Half of Earth Force wants to give you a kiss on the cheek and the Medal of Honour. The other half wants you taken out and shot. As a politician you learn how to compromise, which by all rights means I should give you the Medal of Honour, then have you shot."

An Earth Alliance senator for the Russian Consortium, she is named acting president of Earth Alliance after Clark shoots himself, and remains in the job through season five and into Crusade's timeframe.


     Catherine Sakai (Julia Nickson) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/catherine_sakai_2a_9034.jpg
The dance goes something like this. We meet, renew acquaintances, talk about old times at the Academy, you ask about my aunt, I ask about your brother, we lie about not missing each other, and then we end up in bed together.

  • Ace Pilot: She's an independent surveyor, with the skills to navigate hyperspace alone in a comparatively tiny and defenseless surveying ship.
  • All There in the Manual: The canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows ties up her story and Sinclair's in much more detail than was ever seen on the show proper, thanks to Sinclair being largely written out after the first season.
  • Love at First Sight: Admits that she fell in love with Jeffrey Sinclair at first sight.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: After she and Sinclair are reunited while he is the Ambassador to Minbar and she starts training as a Ranger, she gets pulled into a time rift. The comics miniseries In Valen's Name reveals that she and Sinclair do find each other in the past, after he has become Valen.
  • Love Will Lead You Back: No matter what happens, she and Sinclair always know they'll end up back together.
  • The Masochism Tango: Her quote essentially sums up their pattern for years before she and Sinclair finally decided to have a go at things for real. Unfortunately, the day he asked her to marry him, President Santiago was assassinated, Sinclair was recalled to Earth, and it wasn't until they found each other on Minbar a thousand years in the past that they were finally able to get married.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Carolyn Sykes in the pilot.
    • She in turn is replaced by Anna Sheridan. The original intent was for Catherine to go missing over Z'Ha'Dum and return as a Shadow puppet, except this no longer made sense once Sinclair ceased to be a regular
  • Teacher/Student Romance: She fell in love with Sinclair while he was her flight instructor at Earthforce Academy. The feeling was mutual.
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