What happened to Dral? If this "artifact" was supposed to be such a big threat, and Dral is supposed to see everything for quite some distance, why didn't he see it and blow it out of the sky when he saw it as a threat?
I don't think they wanted to use him too much b/c he would solve way too many problems. Then he becomes the guy that can fix everything which doesn't leave too much for the rest of the cast. They used him for what they needed him for and dropped him from doing anything else.
<table bgcolor="#000000" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0"><tr bgcolor="#000000"><td bgcolor="#000000" id="spoiler"><font color="#000000">Just like in Zahadum they say that communication is being jammed so they can't reach draal. Wouldn't he know that the shadows are there?</font></td></tr></table>
The Shadows were probably jamming Draal too. Don't forget, the tech is way behind the Shadows, and the Thirdspace aliens. Varn's race were not First Ones when the machine was built, maybe they became immortal later and that was part of Varn's sacrifice, to remain mortal and wait for a new custodian.
We also know that Draal fears the shadows enough to stay clear, he advises Ivanova to do so in Voices of Authority, so the Shadows can obviously exert some kind of influence over the Great Machine's custodian. Would you risk finding out?
Furthermore the Great Machine would not have been able to hold out against the shadows for ever. If Babylon 5 fell, it would be necessary for future generations to take advantage of it's abilities. It should not be used in that kind of emergency, if B5 had fallen, once activity in the area had died down, don't you think the Shadows would have sent a planet killer on a covert mission to wipe it out?
The Great Machine will survive at least another 500 years barring accident, it will be interesting to see what else it was used for, did the Excalibur send a shuttle down at some point for instance?
After being pushed to the limit (by delivering Babylon 4 into the past) it may simply be that the Great Machine is partly broken, in dire need for spare parts or fuel (perhaps just charging its batteries, but that may take centuries).
After all, we did see Zathras commenting (to the other Zathras) that one must not disturb Draal. I think he said something like "Draal is having enough trouble operating the Machine".
Perhaps when the Shadows came, and when the Thirdspace incident happened, the Machine was already out of prime condition. Incapable of gathering the energy to fight, still capable of providing communications services.
Besides, with the Shadows it truly appeared that their equivalent of the Machine (the Eye) was technically more advanced and presumably more powerful. Something you don't want to invite or provoke.
These are good points that Lennier and Galahad brought up. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
I'd like to add another theory. Perhaps Sheridan didn't want to rely on Draal for everything. Maybe he wanted to fight his own battles. I know he kept the Great Machine in reserve in case they needed it, but I think Sheridan would only have gone to Draal in the most direst of situations.
Just like in Zahadum they say that communication is being jammed so they can't reach draal. Wouldn't he know that the shadows are there?
If you look at the episode, you can see how the vessels are all around the station and what is more important, they seem to spin around it. So even if Draal knew (which I think he did) that the Shadows were about to attack the station, he couldn't do anything because no matter what, his powerful weapons could have destroyed the stations along side with the Shadow vessels.
Btw, the last half of Thirdspace sucks. IMO. As always.
Though I agree with the other comments ... this is just another possibility about Draal during Thirdsapce ... the artifact might have been out of reach of where the Great Machine's weapons could do any serious damage. I've always gotten the impression the jumpgate was at least several minutes from the station itself (they didn't seem to comment on it much in later seasons - just skimmed over for the sake of time and screen - but I remember a few times ships coming out the jumpgate and station personel had plenty of time to do things before the ship came close). We've often seen other jumpgates in other systems pretty far from the major colony or world there (makes sense since it gives you time to react if an unfriendly ship or fleet comes out). We only ever saw the Great Machine attack ships in close orbit - though I think B5 was also in range - but the jumpgate and where they parked the artifact might not have been. Even the Vorlon planet killer was in close orbit around a planet before it fired and its weapon was much more powerful. So Draal might not have been any more effective (plus it was Vorlon and enhanced by the Thirdspace aliens was quite strong) than the first Starfurry squardron to engage.
Of course we do know the Great Machine could influence an area of space three hours from B5 and Episilon 3 but ... might be a different sort of range than any weapons ...
Do we know where the jumpgate is? It does appear to be a distance away ... and we've never seen it itself in orbit around the planet like B5 is many of its shots. Though if the jumpgate is not in the same orbit as B5, it would have a different orbital speed and thus not always be the same distance to B5 and even at times on the opposite side of the planet - which can't be good. Maybe this was just one of those things we use dramatic liscense for ...
Like the point about the Shadows swarming the station preventing accurate attack from Draal.
It could be used to exlpain the Thirdspace problem too, Epsilon 3 used a weapon similar to a shadow slicing weapon, and it took a single ship out with ease. however that ship was not ray shielded. It would be taking an immense gamble to assume Epsilon 3 could carve through to the artifacts hull and blow it apart before a full scale invasion swamped normal space. Again, there were a lot of Alliance vessels zooming about that could have easily been struck by accident.
The Great Machine always seemed to me to be just a plot device to enable the heroes trip back in time. The theory of the original outline, the one where Sinclair stayed and Sheriden never entered the story, Sinclair would have defeated the Shadows by the end of season 4, retook Earth season 5, left his wife Delenn in charge of the ISA, and then used Draal to send him and B4 back 1000 years into the past to take his place as Valen and ensure victory in the future. All the evidence of his and Delenns relationship is there in the first season (i forget episode titles, apologies): the 'wedding' ceremony, the intimate touch of Delenns hand in BABYLON SQUARED but missing in WAR WITHOUT END; Catherine Sakie as the xenoarcheologist, etc. Sorry to go a bit off topic, but perhaps JMS realised Draal had served its storytelling purpose and avoided the issue later? Theres a lot of unanswered questions.
Did anyone else think Season 4 was a bit rushed?
Actually, if you read up on JMS's posts you'll find that that whole marriage ceremony was a red herring, and what intimate touch are you talking about? First of all, to assume that a touch of affection automatically means "ooh they've got something together goign on," is just plain stupid. Characters can show affection of friendship too.
RED_BAZ means the bit where Sinclair takes the helmet off the blue suit in Babylon Squared, you see Delenn's hand touching his arm. It's not shown in exactly the same way when we reach the flip side in WWE.
Personally, I'm glad Sinclair was able to utter the words "I've found her!" He had enough poop, from one end of a millenium through to another.
I think the reason the children of Valen were persecuted and driven away is because Valen got it together with HER again, Minbari marrying outside their own kind at that stage may well be frowned upon. Not saying anymore in case you don't know... do not know, so cannot say LOL.
Apparently towards the end of Delenn's life, she goes off wandering in search of Valen, or so jms said. I don't think the vorlons have Valen in cold storage, if you go back to Soul Hunter in season 1, Delenn claimed to have seen Valen in a temple on Minbar, there are sort of dodgy/pretty ropey hints she mistook Sinclair for being him, when he rescues her. I think Valen is in a similar condition to Sheridan, but for different reasons. That's how he appeared to Delenn.
I'd like to think this mini quest of the ageing Delenn, would be similar to Franklin's walkabout, that she travels the whole galaxy looking for clues to what happened to him, and then she returns to the temple disappointed at finding nothing.
In the temple, she starts to die, and it's at that moment, in her last most intimate seconds that Valen returns to see her off or something, that'd be a nice end.
Until Sheridan shows up with a similar idea and says oi what are you doing with my Mrs! /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
"Actually, if you read up on JMS's posts you'll find that that whole marriage ceremony was a red herring, and what intimate touch are you talking about? First of all, to assume that a touch of affection automatically means "ooh they've got something together goign on," is just plain stupid. Characters can show affection of friendship too"
A fair point; I haven't read JMS posts on it, but I was suggesting that the way the story could have been originally set up, an alternate outline (SFX magazine did an article a couple of years ago on this very subject and presented the evidence a bit more clearly than I am, since I'm goin on memory and coffee).
Sinclair could have fufilled the same role as Sheriden in both the Shadow War and Earth. Anna Sheriden had a similar job to Sinclairs girlfriend; Sinclair and Delenn could have developed the romance that would have come to an emotional climax that was SLEEPING IN LIGHT, when he travels back into the past to become Valen. Theres lots of echoes in the series between characters, and the roles they could have played if they had stayed (Lyta and Talia another example). Its a possibility.
one thing, the artifact was draining B5 power supply, so it's reasonable to assume that it was draining Epsilon 3 as well.
One thing i would have liked to see, was Epsilon 3 using it's beam weapon only when all the ships start firing at the shield, to allow sheridan entry, it would have made that artifact look so much more powerful if Epsilon 3's beam was needed to assist there to make the hole.