Babylon 5: Season 4, Episode 8

The Illusion of Truth (17 Feb. 1997)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 246 users  
Reviews: 3 user

ISN reporters come to Babylon 5 to interview the Command staff, and film them for a documentary. The staff is reluctant at first, but they finally agree.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Biggs ...
Marcus Cole (credit only)
Vir Cotto (credit only)
Lyta Alexander (credit only)
G'Kar (credit only)
Dr. William Indiri
Diana Morgan ...


ISN reporters come to Babylon 5 to interview the Command staff, and film them for a documentary. The staff is reluctant at first, but they finally agree.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

23rd century | See All (1) »





Release Date:

17 February 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place from April 3 to April 12, 2261. See more »


Earth gov previously declared a quarantine on Babylon 5; no earth ships in or out of the station. Earth gov effectively made it illegal to go to Babylon 5. Yet the ISN team just flies into B5 and flies back into Earth space without a problem. See more »


[first lines]
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Figured I'd find you here.
Capt. John Sheridan: Feels strange to have this place so empty.
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: It's the war room. The war is over.
Capt. John Sheridan: Says you. Yeah, the Shadows are gone. But with all that's going on back home, maybe there's some life in the old girl yet...
See more »


References Die Hard (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

A great follow-up to Season 2's " And Now for a Word"
15 January 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Hmmm,'s rather surprising to see that this is a rather poorly rated episode of the series. That's because while the ISN episodes might seem a tad distracting, they do fit into the overall plot of the series very well. Plus, after seeing Season 2's "And Now for a Word", it's a perfect follow-up episode.

In Season 2, a slimy team from the fictional ISN News (like today's CNN) come to the Babylon station trying to create ratings by digging for muck and trying to imply that having the station is a mistake. However, since this episode, a dictatorship has been created by President Clark and ISN was removed from their air because the network, though slanted, wanted to at least try to tell the truth---to a degree. And this was dealt with by having an ISN telecast in Season 3 interrupted by an attack by the Earth Gov troops on ISN! Since this dramatic takeover, the network had been down for months until it suddenly resumed broadcasting and said the whole "takeover" business was not true and the network had been lying due to "subversive elements". Then, they showed an obviously staged interview in which the same reporter that was on the air when the station was attacked said that he and some other malcontents had sabotaged the network! Now, the new ISN is attempting to sneak onto B-5 for a follow-up report. When they are caught, they convince the suddenly dumb Sheridan to allow this--even though they are obvious stooges for the government. And, not unexpectedly, the resulting report is a major "hatchet job" that seeks to discredit the station. But how all this is done is amazingly clever and seems not too unlike news broadcasts today! This and the manipulative power of the media are great topics for the series and make this one of the better episodes of the show. Insightful and well-made--don't underestimate this one!

FYI--A bit of trivia. If you are paying attention to the other news stories on ISN (aside from B-5), you might notice that some "evil malcontents" who are spreading sedition are mentioned. The names of the three listed on the screen are variations on the names of people actually on the legendary "black list" from the 1950s! This is a very clever way of paying homage to people like writer Dalton Trumbo and actor Zero Mostel who were temporarily banned from TV and film due to their political beliefs.

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