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Recap / Babylon Five Film 02 Thirdspace

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John, whenever something comes into our proximity that has to do with the unknown, your eyes light up like two tiny suns. And do you know what words these two tiny lights spell out? Mine! Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!
Delenn

The crew of Babylon 5 discover a mysterious artifact of unknown origin. The artifact influences the minds of people aboard the station and endangers the lives of everyone aboard. Takes place during season 4 of the Babylon 5 TV series.

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This movie contains examples of:

  • Absolute Xenophobe: The Thirdspace aliens are convinced that they alone have the right to exist, and so seek to destroy every other species they encounter, both in their universe and ours.
  • Alien Geometries: Once the Artifact activates, a jump point into Thirdspace appears in the middle of it. A shot of the side of the Artifact establishes that this jump point does not take up any space in the third dimension. See also Bigger on the Inside.
  • Another Dimension: Thirdspace is an entirely separate universe, and nothing less than Vorlon-level technology can access it.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Vorlon portal. Even before it is opened, a telepathic influence comes through it and pushes people to actually open the portal.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Why the Vorlons built the Artifact. They believed they were superior to the rest of their universe, and sought to move to a higher one.
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  • Believing Their Own Lies: The Vorlon warning left inside Lyta tells Sheridan that the whole mess started when the Vorlons appeared as "beings of light" to primitive races, which began to worship them as gods. In their Pride, the Vorlons began to believe the primitive races were right.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Artifact is, as multiple shots demonstrate, tall and broad, but not very deep. Once it opens, and Sheridan goes inside of it, it is shown to be vast and cavernous.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Eventually happens to most of the station. Not even the Vorlons were immune. The thing was hidden by those that had been taken over by the aliens.
  • Break the Haughty: The Vorlons
  • Combat Medic: Franklin leaves Medbay to help people injured in the Brawl, and ends up fighting alongside Zack to protect a hurt woman.
  • Continuity Snarl:
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    • This film simply does not quite fit anywhere in the show, continuity-wise, which is unusual for a Myth Arc show like Babylon 5. Various issues include the presence and absence of particular characters, Zack Allen's wearing of the new uniform, and the destruction of an entire fighter squadron just not lining up at all in the relatively narrow space of episodes in the fourth season that the film is supposed to fit into, between the Shadow War and the Earth Alliance Civil War.
    • The best-known B5 fan site, the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5, places it during the episode "Atonement", or possibly just before it if the "tailoring" scene in "Atonement" were interpreted as not the initial fitting, but an adjustment shortly after the initial fitting (after all, Zack's uniforms never fit right). And even that is problematic - Vir states that Londo is back on Centauri Prime, but he doesn't seem to have left the station since "The Illusion of Truth".
    • Lyta is shown getting regular work from two men despite later episodes making it clear that she's had no income since the Vorlons left as nobody will hire her since she's a rogue. One possible explanation: businesses couldn't legally hire her but verifying testimony in a personal dispute between relatives may not require such rigor, or the brothers were so exasperated they didn't care.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Word of God admits that they borrowed from Lovecraft.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Commander Ivanova, as usual.
  • Deflector Shields: The Artifact, when activated, is protected by a nigh-impervious shield. Ditto for the ships that begin to exit from it.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: When the Artifact is brought near Babylon 5, several people on the station start dreaming of a strange alien city with a huge Evil Tower of Ominousness in the center. Some, like Vir, admire it and fall under the aliens' control. Susan Ivanova questions it, a monstrous tentacle snakes its way toward her, and she wakes up screaming. The next day, Vir mentions seeing her in his dream, and that she was torn apart and eaten.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Thirdspace.
  • Fainting Seer: Lyta is being plagued by Vorlon memories of what the Artifact really is and faints more than once while trying to warn or stop the others.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: This is apparently part of Lyta's function should the younger races encounter anything the Vorlons accidentally left behind.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Thirdspace aliens. The Vorlons were terrified of them. It took the combined efforts of all the first ones including the Shadows just to drive them out of our universe, which is about all you need to know.
  • Immune to Bullets: The scout ships used by the Thirdspace Aliens are impervious to the weapons mounted on Starfuries, thanks to their Deflector Shields.
  • Infernal Retaliation: A Narn security guard's arm is set on fire during a brawl late in the film. Rather than try to extinguish it, he proceeds instead to beat his opponent senseless with the burning arm.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The Vorlon gateway. They believed that it would allow them to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. But they didn't consider that a door swings both ways, and that in trying to get out something else might get in...
  • Jews Love to Argue: The Rosen brothers. They've been at it for ten years.
  • Love Confession: When Zack encounters Lyta alone in a turbolift he takes the opportunity to tell her he likes her. She, however, is in a Vorlon-induced trance brought about by the presence of the Artifact, and doesn't seem aware of what's going on. Zack takes this to mean she's not interested.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Mind-altering aliens from another dimension who the heroes have to deal with because some of The First Ones got a bit overly confident of themselves and failed to clean up after themselves.
  • Madness Mantra: Lyta keeps repeating, "There is danger, remember." Also crosses with Room Full of Crazy when she writes it all over the walls of her quarters.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Thirdspace bugs.
  • Mutual Kill: During the space battle, a White Star and a Thirdspace scout get into a close fight and blow each other apart in short order.
  • Naval Blockade: The ongoing one between Earth and B5 is mentioned in the opening voiceover, along with the problems in getting supplies its causing.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Vorlons never thought about what might come out when they opened the gate.
    "We were so concerned with getting out, we never stopped to consider what we might be letting in..."
    • And of course, our heroes found it and brought it home with them.
    • IPX deserves special mention, as considering they were the ones who woke up the Shadows on Za'ha'dum, this is now the second race of horribly evil aliens who want to cause death and destruction on a massive scale that they've managed to wake up. Nice going, guys.
  • Nuclear Option: Captain Sheridan's plan, no less. This led to Boxleitner himself nicknaming his character "Nuke 'Em."
  • Oh, Crap!: The Babylon 5 forces and White Stars are already desperately struggling against the aliens' scoutships/vanguard, when the Thirdspace capital ships start to emerge through the gate.
    Ivanova: Oh, give me a break!
  • Pride:
    • The Vorlons, speaking through Lyta, admit this as the cause. They began to believe those who thought they were gods.
    • Sheridan, who thought that B5 had the capability to safely study the Artifact without professional help (he was convinced otherwise by the IPX representative, who rightly pointed out that Sheridan's people might accomplish nothing, or they might accidentally blow themselves up.)
    • The IPX rep earns no points, however, when she proceeds to nearly do exactly that, thanks to the Artifact's influence on almost anyone nearby.
  • Reality Warper: The artifact begins affecting minds and draining power as soon as it enters Babylon 5 space, and that's before it's even turned on.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Heavily inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, according to the producers.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sheridan's plan is nothing if not straightforward, cruising out to the Artifact in a space suit and sticking a nuke to it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Thirdspace aliens.
  • Space Pirates: The Raiders, who appear in the film's intro in a dogfight with Commander Ivanova and Delta Squadron.
  • Starfish Alien: The Thirdspace aliens look like...a beanbag chair on a bunch of tentacles.
    • They were intentionally designed by the producers to be as alien as possible, so that the viewer would take one look at them, and decide that they looked fundamentally wrong somehow.
  • Strolling Through the Chaos: While the forces of Babylon 5 and the Thirdspace invaders battle frantically, Sheridan puts on a space suit and jetpack, picks up a briefcase sized nuke, and flies out alone toward the Artifact to plant the bomb and destroy it. The reasoning is that a single human-sized target isn't likely to be noticed in the pitched battle and would be able to slip through. In the novelization, he even compares it to the pie-fight from The Great Race, which he'd watched with Garibaldi.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Thirdspace aliens are even older and more powerful than the Vorlons were.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Once the Thirdspace aliens are defeated, Lyta morosely comments "One mistake... out of so many, so many others..." What the hell else did the Vorlons forget to pack for their little intergalactic road trip?
  • Those Were Only Their Scouts: The first wave of Thirdspace ships are about the same size as White Stars and seem to be just as powerful. Just a few come through at first, then dozens more start pouring in and it takes everything the B5 crew's got just to hold them off, even with Minbari reinforcements. Then their capital ships start coming through...
    Alpha-6: We can barely hurt those things! We have to hit them four times before they even notice!
    Ivanova: Then you'll have to be four times as accurate!
    Alpha-6: We have to withdraw!
    Ivanova: Negative, this is just the first wave to soften us up for the main fleet! If we can't take these guys, we sure as hell can't take the rest, so keep at it!
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Sheridan expresses this of his own plan, once he sets out to navigate his way through a massive, ongoing fleet battle to sneak aboard the Artifact and plant a nuke, in a dinky spacesuit.
    Sheridan: I have got to be out of my mind...
    • Where most characters would have suffered a Heroic BSoD, or at least an Oh, Crap! moment, Ivanova merely expresses one of these when she realizes that an entire fleet of massive Thirdspace alien warships is about to come out of the Artifact. She seems less worried and more exasperated that the universe has found a new way to torment her. Obviously overlaps with This Is Gonna Suck.
    Ivanova: Oh, give me a break!
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