Babylon 5: Season 2, Episode 5

The Long Dark (30 Nov. 1994)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 241 users  
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A sleeper ship is found adrift near the station, where a deadly force awaits.

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Title: The Long Dark (30 Nov 1994)

The Long Dark (30 Nov 1994) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Richard Biggs ...
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Talia Winters (credit only)
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Vir Cotto (credit only)
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Lennier (credit only)
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Warren Keffer (credit only)
Mary Kay Adams ...
Na'Toth (credit only)
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Mariah Cirrus
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Amis
Jennifer Anglin ...
Alien #1
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A sleeper ship is found adrift near the station, where a deadly force awaits.

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23rd century | See All (1) »


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30 November 1994 (USA)  »

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There were plans to bring Amis back as a recurring character, but it didn't work out. See more »

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[first lines]
Capt. John Sheridan: What've you got?
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: We picked up a weak signal coming out of deep space.
Capt. John Sheridan: Not using the jump gate?
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: No, and it's using a frequency I've never heard before.
Capt. John Sheridan: Alien?
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Not exactly.
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Babylon 5 -- The Long Dark
4 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

So it is possible Babylon 5 has brought aboard a "darkness" unknowingly and the "ravings of a kook" (Dwight Schultz; wild and crazy are his specialty), at first taken with a grain of salt, just might be correct. An Earth explorer ship called the Copernicus, carrying a human female in cryostasis, has a petrified corpse with all his organs removed (as if something reached into him and jerked them out), and this soon happens on the B5 where an alien was treated as a "snack", the same way. That corpse was the husband of another crew member on the Copernicus, Mariah (Anne-Marie Johnson, of the television show of In the Heat of the Night), and Dr Franklin starts to fall in love with her. Mariah is a suspect in her husband's murder, but it's obvious by how he died (and that she was in suspended animation helps cast suspicion elsewhere), she's not looking good for his murder. The minor romantic subplot of Mariah and Franklin aside (it just never quite materializes into something special; too much else going on), this is quite an excellent showcase for Schultz (with duel parts on both B5 and Star Trek: The Next Generation, he found a good place in sci-fi) and seeing one of The Shadows killed by Captain John Sheridan and company provides a little satisfaction considering what these beings typically do to others on the show. This episode also touches on something I wish had been pursued a bit more but isn't: the past converging with the present as a ship from centuries ago makes its way to Babylon station offering history for Sheridan to get giddy about and a passenger on board seeing a different time than she could have ever imagined. I briefly thought about the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "The Neutral Zone", where Earthlings are found in a damaged ship in cryogenic chambers by the Enterprise crew, reacting to their surroundings with wonder and amazement as a possible threat to the Federation (the Romulans) are introduced significantly. I think The Neutral Zone did a better job of establishing both plots and giving them time to evolve, while "The Long Dark" is more concerned with the war-scarred Amis (Schultz) trying to tell others about The Shadows, enduring ridicule and mockery. I loved Garibaldi's sympathy towards Amis, realizing (as he also suffered) that this supposed lunatic may not be so off-the-wall in his pleas to those on the station. "The Long Dark", to me, is really another minor paragraph in a larger story regarding The Shadows, but each side-plot is necessary as a little piece to a grander master-novel. I think where this truly excels is at depicting the trauma that happens to war vets who return home so damaged that finding themselves a place to exist is rather difficult. Schultz, I think, does well by illustrating just what The Shadows can do through how their "feeding" (taking from humans, draining them and leaving a little of themselves in their victims) from human victims. Like Amis, Mariah can "feel" The Shadows alien killer and this episode allows us to see what they sense, what they can somewhat see. Siphoning a bit at a time from Amis and Mariah is presented as grueling and horrifying. I think there were two good stories to be told here, and not enough episode to really provide them what they deserve. Still a solid bit of sci-fi entertainment. Too bad Amis wasn't used on the show with any regularity; he seems like a fun character.


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