Babylon 5, Season 2: The Coming of Shadows

Babylon 5 (1993-1998), created by J. Michael Straczynski, is a science fiction television epic about Babylon 5, an Earth-governed space station built to promote harmony between interstellar civilizations. It is unusual in its focus on a story arc wh… more »

[Sheridan's "good luck speech" upon taking command of Babylon 5]

John Sheridan:
When I was 21, I visited Tibet. I went to see the new Dalai Lama. Uh, you do that sort of thing when you're 21 and the son of a diplomatic envoy. We had a simple dinner. Rice, raisins, carrots-steamed, not boiled-and green tea. When it was over, he looked at me and said, "Do you understand?" I said no, I didn't. "Good beginning," he said. "You'll be even better when you begin to understand what you do not understand." After reading some of your reports, I begin to understand what I don't understand about Babylon 5. But I couldn't wish for a more capable and skilled group of people to learn from. It was an early Earth President, Abraham Lincoln, who best described our current situation. He said…

[he gets interrupted by a security alarm]

. . .

Sheridan:
[delivering the rest of his speech to an empty C&C] It was an early Earth president, Abraham Lincoln, who best described our situation. "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to the occasion. We cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves. The fiery trial though which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation. We shall nobly save or meanly lose our last, best hope of Earth." [He looks around with a satisfied smile.] Five minutes to spare.

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