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Film / Babylon 5: The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark

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The station prepares to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Interstellar Alliance, but Babylon 5 being what it is, things are certain not to go smoothly. Colonel Lochley finds herself seeking the assistance of a priest in order to deal with a demonic possession, and President Sheridan receives an unexpected guest forecasting the destruction of the Earth Alliance in the future if Sheridan doesn't take the life of an innocent Centauri prince.

This was an Anthology Film, meant to be the first part of a series of short films, each following a specific character and each release having a common theme for the stories to follow. Though Voices in the Dark was commercially successful, production of the second part (with Garibaldi and possibly Londo) fell through due to the 2007 Writers Guild of America Strike and ended up being shelved by J. Michael Straczynski due to concerns that the studio would not budget enough money for him to do the Babylon 5 universe justice.

Starring Bruce Boxleitner as President John Sheridan, Tracy Scoggins as Colonel Elizabeth Lochley, and Peter Woodward as Galen.

The film, as presented, is divided into two parts, Over Here, taking place on Babylon 5, and Over There, taking place aboard Sheridan's flagship, the Valen.

The Lost Tales

  • Colon Cancer: The film as a whole is titled Babylon 5: The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark. Now consider that each part was made to be its own smaller film and you end up with constructions such as Babylon 5: The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark: Over Here.

Over Here

  • Batman Gambit: The villain wants to be exorcised... aboard Babylon 5, in hopes that this will result in him being released into the heavens instead of being returned to his banishment to Earth. Lochley manages to figure out what he's up to, and spoils his plan.
  • Demonic Possession: Some poor schlub who works on the station as a technician ended up crossing paths with a demon while visiting Earth on leave.
  • How Unscientific!: Some fans were pretty upset that this fairly hard sci-fi universe suddenly had a literal demon from Hell in it, even though it had previously featured souls and afterlives.
    • Some official source has explained them as energy beings who met up with the First Ones but soon turned out malevolent and were locked away. Essentially, it does in the wizard. Probably for the best.
    • According to background material, their fear of exorcism was a ruse, as part of an elaborate plan to use humanity to escape to the heavens. The exorcism rituals were put in place by the beings themselves, in hopes that one day they would be exorcised in deep space and set free.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: It is mentioned that the Catholic Church has been in decline ever since the Earthers gained the means to interstellar travel.
  • Sadistic Choice: If the priest expels the demon immediately, he will have no proof that the possession happened, and the decline will continue. If he allows the demon to stay in possession of his host, it will actually benefit the church as humanity's belief in the supernatural is restored. Of course, to do so would mean to abandon an innocent man that the priest could have helped, dooming his soul.

Over There

  • Bad Future: Thirty years in the future, the Centauri Republic attacks the Earth Alliance, bombarding Earth from orbit and causing millions of deaths.
  • Big Apple Sauce: We briefly see a futuristic New York City, complete with a distant shot of Central Park and the obligatory immigrant cab driver.
  • Cool Starship: The Valen, Sheridan's flagship. For the most part, it is only shown serving as a VIP transport for President Sheridan. We also get a short scene showing various Centauri and Earther warships in battle, including the Warlock destroyers introduced in A Call To Arms and Crusade.
  • Decadent Court: Briefly deconstructed when the effects of Centauri courtly intrigue upon Prince Vintari's upbringing are discussed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sheridan and Galen both, though Galen is much better at it.
    Vintari (at the controls of a Starfury): "It feels like I'm flying into battle!"
    Sheridan: "Except for that whole 'people shooting at you' part..."
  • Death from Above: The fate of New York City thirty years in the future, via orbital bombardment.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Miss Chambers's camera is a button on her blouse. She claims that her producer had her do that so her interviewees would look at the camera. A lot.
  • Genocide Dilemma: Galen brings Sheridan a vision of the future, and a choice between two undesirable outcomes: He can assassinate the young Prince Vintari, who has done nothing to deserve it, or allow Earth to be devestated in a war launched in thirty years by Emperor Vintari.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Minor example: Prince Vintari reveals himself to be a Fanboy of human starship designs, describing them as being "so elegant, so deadly!". Compared to the very ostentatious Centauri designs, this is as good a description as any of the humans' grey, angular, heavily armed starships.
  • Klingon Promotion: Vintari is third in line for the Throne. He casually mentions that he is targeted for assassination as a result. President Sheridan, dismayed, demands to know who would do such a thing.
    Prince Vintari: Numbers four, five, six, and seven, I'd imagine.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Prince Vintari, due to his parentage and due to his position in the Royal Court: High enough to be a very tempting target, but not high enough to be in the Emperor's inner circle.
  • Noodle Incident: Sheridan's annoyed remarks to Galen imply that not only has Galen tasked Sheridan with unwanted quests on multiple occasions off-screen between A Call To Arms and now, but also that he's not the only Technomage to make a habit of it.
  • Not Hyperbole: Colonel Lochley describes Babylon 5 as a crossroads between Heaven and Hell after the events of Over Here. She then promises to explain everything to President Sheridan after his arrival aboard B5.
  • Official Presidential Transport: Sheridan uses the Valen on his official visit.
  • Parental Abandonment: Prince Vintari's father died under suspicious circumstances. Rumor has it that Vir Cotto was responsible for his death, but the prince seems to waver between believing it or not. That father was none other than crazed Emperor Cartagia, who was the mad emperor before Mollari took the throne whom Vir and Londo had killed.
  • Royal Brat: Deconstructed. Vintari is cold and aloof when first introduced, but it is quickly revealed that this is at least partially due to his constantly living in fear of assassination attempts, both due to his being third in line for the throne, and due to his father having made many enemies before dying under suspicious circumstances of a heart attack while still young. He also reveals to Sheridan that he is very fond of starships, having studied Earth ships in particular. His face lights up like a kid in a candy store when Sheridan invites him along for a flight in a pair of Starfuries. Considering who his father was, however, he turned out pretty well.
  • Space Fighter: The venerable Aurora Starfuries are still in service in 2271, and if Galen's Flash Forward is accurate, they will still be in service in 2301, making for a service record of around 60 years or more since their earliest chronological appearance during the Earth Minbari War in In the Beginning. It is a very good design. NASA wanted to borrow it for a forklift/heavy loader Recycled IN SPACE!. With regular upgrades to engines, weapons and computer systems, there is no reason it couldn't keep on flying.
  • Take a Third Option: Sheridan is told that he must murder the young prince before he has done anything wrong, or else allow the war between the Centauri Empire and the Earth Alliance. Instead, he decides to take the Prince into his own household on Minbar and give him the loving upbringing he was denied on Centauri Prime. Galen freely admits that Sheridan's solution is very workable, even preferable from a moral standpoint. His solution would have been easier though. It's implied that this is exactly the outcome Galen was hoping for.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: "Was that a new dress?"
  • We Used to Be Friends: The current state of relations between Sheridan and Londo, as this happens between the bulk of B5 and the Flash Forward in "War Without End".