Soul Hunter Babylon 5

Minbari Mondays, Soul Hunter, and a new doctor on the station

This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.

Here is her fourth report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this fourth report, we move forward just a bit in the same Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, in an incident that saw the arrival of two more new faces. One would leave, for good. The other would be a tremendous force for good, as he already had been, though he was punished for it.  Both new faces remain part of our collective memory, twenty years later. 

Shag toth: when they come, great death arrives with them.

Satai Delenn knew this, but in her capacity as ambassador, all she could do was try to explain.

This report concerns an incident that took place immediately after the Doctor, Steven Franklin, came aboard the famed last of the Babylon stations. As then Lieutenant Commander Ivanova showed the doctor the station, one of these thieves of that which is most precious, may they leave us forever, was being saved by Commander Sinclair.

While Mr. Garibaldi was making his characteristic jokes, Satai Delenn attempted to remedy the great danger in which this creature placed every soul, especially certain classes of Minbari souls. Once again, her situation as ambassador limited her ability to protect all from the danger, even herself.

The doctor, also new to these creatures of nightmare, lost his first race with death as this thief gloated over the passing of one whose soul he did not feel was worthy of saving, as he put it. But removing those souls he claimed to have saved had diminished us all, until …

These thieves see us as jealous and selfish because we made a wall of bodies to stop them from stealing the soul of our great leader, Ducat, at the start of our war with you.

As Lieutenant Commander Ivanova committed the body of your slain ‘lurker’ as you called such people without a home, to the deep, she explained how she understood the ongoing mistakes your people make.  She told the newly arrived Dr. Franklin:

“I am Russian, doctor.  We understand these things.”

When Satai Delenn visited the thief to ask where his collection of souls was hidden, he showed his true nature.  Injuring one of your guards to escape, he followed Delenn, capturing her to start the process of stealing her soul just as one of his fellow thieves arrived at the station, hoping, no doubt, to steal the souls already stolen by the first thief.

In the final analysis, Commander Sinclair saved the soul, not to mention the life, of our great leader Delenn, who then freed the captive souls stolen by the first Soul Hunter, but at a cost.

The commander was brought one step closer to the perilous knowledge of what we made him forget, those ten years earlier, at The Battle of The Line.

The good in this incident was that Commander Sinclair learned another important set of facts that would be crucial to his later role in our society, and also that one more evil was seen and deterred, for your society.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

That was part of Ranger Mayann’s on-going letter: her report on this incident in the history of the Babylon Project  can be seen from another point of view by watching Babylon 5’s  Season 1, Episode 2:  Soul Hunter, which I recommend.

My personal view of this episode is that while it is an important introduction of Dr. Franklin, it is an even better introduction to an important part of the character of Lt. Cmdr Ivanova.  It is also the source of one of my favorite Ivanova quotes, and I am grateful to Ranger Mayann for citing her in this report. 

This has been her fourth report.

Ranger Mayann’s third was from The Firing Line  and her next will be Born to the Purple .


Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts on differences of opinion regarding death, and how they can affect the decisions we make, if you will.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.


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10 thoughts on “Minbari Mondays, Soul Hunter, and a new doctor on the station

    1. Interesting! Thank you for pointing this out, Patti! I never liked this episode, nor the B5 film River of Souls, but now I shall have to go back and resee both of them with a different hat on! 🙂

      I agree that this episode allowed many questions to be raised about respect for beliefs around the afterlife, but I never put much importance on it until you mention it: this had a lot to do with the Minbari ‘surrender’ at The Battle of the Line.
      For the Minbari, the soul, or the afterlife I suppose, seemed to have been of paramount importance, although they do not seem to have a view, or rather, B5 presents a view that feels a bit all-or-none, regarding an afterlife, unless I’ve forgotten (or simply over-focused on the many other questions raised by the series…) something?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think there’s a big ambivalence about this, especially later in the series after some of Sheridan’s events. Considering Straczynski is an atheist, he writes better religious drama than just about anyone else.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ah, that make sense: I think I saw some criticism of the tone after those later events.
          But you are right, he absolutely writes fantastic religious drama, particularly in the upcoming first season episodes dealing with Ivanova, and also, I think, around how some Minbari live their religious values.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Thanks to Violet for her comment:

    “episode 2 was an interesting take on different perspectives about souls and the afterlife. Two well-intentioned cultures, one believing they need to preserve the soul (in captivity) or it will be lost; the other believing the soul should be free to enjoy the afterlife. There are no bad guys really. Just different perspectives 😀
    Aren’t they mostly American voices?”

    My reply:

    “Um, well, yes, they are, in episode 2, mostly American voices, which is probably why I hate this episode so much!
    But I love your take on it: both antagonists feel they are saving souls from a profoundly bad end. But I must disagree: the 1st/main Soul Hunter has no right to kill people in order to get the souls he wants. That, even he recognizes on some level, and his Order certainly recognizes this. But yes, the Order vs. Minbari belief, certainly just diff. pov.

    I’m going to copy this to the correct post, if that’s ok? “

    Liked by 2 people

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