Thirdspace is the 3rd movie after the Pilot: The Gathering and In The Beginning. Thirdspace is set in season 4, after the end of the Shadow War and before the war with Earth heats up. It most likely is set during episode 14 “Moments of Transition”. I always believed it was a little bit earlier in the season (around episode “Atonement” but according to “The Babylon Project” it is during this episode. Although it is an entertaining movie it does become clear, at least to me, in regard with all the B5 movies, is that Babylon 5 is at its best as a TV series instead of a movie because of the story-arc, the characters and such. Still Thirdspace was kind of an exciting movie, the fact that there are Babylon 5 movies, is quite extraordinary to me. For me Thirdspace is the my 3rd favorite B5 movie, of course In The Beginning is the best one because it ties into the series, belongs to the story-arc and this is something we fans we wondering about from the very first episode.
It all starts when Ivanova is going back to the “barn” after they’ve effectively ended the raiders when they track something huge in hyperspace. It is an enormous artifact floating around. Ivanova decides to salvage it, to take it back to Babylon 5 they need all available starfury’s and the jump gates have to be widened for the artifact to fit through! Sheridan is quite excited with this find and Delenn points out that he is a bit like a young boy who wants to keep things for himself.
It doesn’t take long before IPX (Interplanetary Expeditions) gets wind of this find, they have spies everywhere and soon a vessel from IPX is requesting to dock at Babylon 5. Sheridan finds this strange because of the embargo, no one belonging to the Earth Alliance is allowed to do business with Babylon 5. Dr. Trent (Shari Bellefonte), leader of this expedition, says that they can go anywhere they want, the rules don’t apply to them it seems. She makes clear that he and his personnel don’t have any idea what they are doing and thus Sheridan makes a deal with Trent, they can do their thing but they are to work with the crew of Babylon 5 and should reveal all of their findings. Plus Trent should help get Babylon 5 get food and supplies to the station because of the quarantine of the station by President Clark.
Meanwhile Lyta feels something strange, she can’t put her finger on, she senses telepathic messages but does not know where they come from but it does not feel good either. People on the station also start to act strange, as if they are one mind. After a visit in the infirmary where she is being checked out by Dr. Franklin. Trent and Sheridan are watching her through a camera in the infirmary and Trent notices Lyta knowing she is being watched. Trent knows that a P5 never would be able to do that. Back in her quarters Lyta gets overwhelmed and writes endlessly upon her wall: There is danger, remember.
Later Zack runs into Lyta in a transport tube, while Lyta isn’t really “there”, Zack begins to talk to her about how he would like a date with her, that he feels something for her and such, all this time she does not really hear him. Great scene, lasts 5 minutes or something and I believe that this was done in one take. This scene also sheds a light on how he reacted to Byron in season 5. He was jealous because still had these feelings for Lyta, great stuff! When Lyta goes away with G’Kar at the end of season 5, you also will see Zack watching her as she walks to their ship.
Meanwhile Trent has ideas what this thing actually is, which she does not want to reveal to Sheridan. She tells her colleague Bill Morishi (Clyde Kusatsu) that she thinks it is, for lack of a better term, Thirdspace, besides normal space and hyperspace, she explains it as you can get somewhere in a split second, no travelling time, also a valuable weapon. She does not want to share the glory, sees it as an opportunity for her next step in her career and she wants that artifact operational as soon as possible! Fun fact, Bruce Boxleitner and Clyde Kusatsu, worked together on the TV show (Frank Buck) Bring ‘Em Back Alive!
Meanwhile the device is disrupting the life on the station, malfunctions, people acting more stranger as time passes. Ivanova has a dream about a big black city, Vir is there also, Vir seems to be more enchanted by the city while Ivanova is more confused about it. Then some creature is nearing and Ivanova is shouting while waking up. Later Vir tells her he had the same dream, it didn’t end well for her in the dream. When the device is finally activated the fighting starts and Zack and his men have a hard time keeping order.
Trent’s colleague Bill has not been influenced by the device while Trent is and she sees him as a possible threat because he is more careful than she is and so she kills him while under the influence of the device. When Ivanova checks in with Trent a little later, Trent lies about how Bill was killed, she blames him but when Ivanova sees he is shot in the back, she knows Trent is lying, a fight starts which obviously Ivanova ends. Meanwhile Delenn and Sheridan visit Lyta in her quarters, Lyta has become a Vorlon vessel that talks to Sheridan and Delenn, a memory of what was before, something put there by the Vorlons, they also had dealt with this device and in their pride and arrogance, they also tried to open that thing. They thought they would meet their god instead they had to fight anti-life beings, they believe they were the only ones who deserved to live. They were able to close it but before they could destroy it, Vorlons who had been taken over by that device moved it to hyperspace, hid it there. When Delenn and Sheridan leave the quarters, the Vorlon memory says: one of many mistakes, so many mistakes.
Sheridan learns from the Vorlon memory it can be destroyed by a nuclear bomb, manned with only a spacesuit he flies to the object thinking how crazy he is for doing this while being in the middle of a warzone. He gets inside and places the bomb, almost being eaten by a big creature, presumably the same kind of creature Ivanova saw in her dream. He manages to escape. The bomb goes off, ships that were about to come through get explodes together with the device. No more ships can come through, they only have to handle the ones that did get through.
When the dust settles, Trent is in Sheridan’s office, feeling remorse about killing her friend and colleague Bill. Sheridan does not bring her up on charges because he realizes she and lots of others on the station, where under the influence of that device. She gives him everything she knows, at least that’s what she says, Sheridan accepts this knowing that she just wants to get out of his office sooner rather than later. He says, he think this most likely was an incident, that something like this may never occur again. Meanwhile we see Lyta looking out at the stars again saying: So many mistakes!
Soundtrack, Official Monthly Magazine & Pocket Books:
I have no doubt that every Babylon 5 fan knows that there have been multiple soundtracks on the market for a lot of B5 episodes. Most of them are still available. A number of B5 movies have also been blessed with a soundtrack! In the Beginning, Thirdspace, The River of Souls and The lost Tales. Most of, if not all, are still available although you might have to pay a steep price for it. I hear you thinking: What about A Call to Arms? Well unfortunately (or not), the soundtrack has never been released on CD, as you most likely know is that the music of the following movies In the Beginning, Thirdspace, The River of Souls and The lost Tales was produced by Christopher Franke. For some reason JMS decided with Crusade to change the sound of the show, by producer Evan H. Chen. And because A Call to Arms was more a less a pilot for Crusade, Even H. Chen also produced the music for that movie. Most fans aren’t thrilled with this choice and in my opinion, it is not in the same league as the music produced by Christopher Franke. So perhaps this is one the reason why there never has been a soundtrack released for A Call to Arms.
Back in the good old days, late 90’s, each month we were blessed with a monthly B5 magazine. In relation to these movies, there are some extensive specials of these movies in the B5 magazine, two parts for each movie, (usually) spread out over two issues. Issue 2 (*restart issue) September 1998 – In the Beginning. Issues 4 & 5 October / November 1998 – Thirdspace. Issues 5 & 6 November 1998 / December 1998 – The River of Souls. Issue 6 December 1998 – The Gathering, incl. 2.0 new version. Issue 8 & 9 February 1999 / March 1999 – A Call To Arms. The specials are very extensive, interesting to revisit this if you have the magazines but haven’t checked them out in a long while. And perhaps for new fans interesting to know that these magazines exist and that there are very interesting movie specials to be read in the old fashioned way! Below you see the front covers of the magazines in question so it is easier to find it.
*The first 9 volumes were released from/for the UK, from July 1998 (Restart Issue #1) they were also released on the North American market, hence restart issue.
If we are talking about soundtracks and monthly magazines, we also have to talk about the Babylon 5 pocket books. There have been lots of B5 pocket books released in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I’ve read a lot of them, probably not all but I’ve read my share. You guessed it, there also have been pocket book releases of the movies, not all the movies but for In The beginning, Thirdspace and A Call to Arms there have been pocket book releases, which I also all read. As far as I know, The River of Souls, although it was probably planned to be released, it actually has never been released, anyway I have never been able to find it. Is there anyone who was able to purchase it? According to the so-called temporary cover it was written by Yvonne Navarro.
Thirdspace is a nice piece of entertainment, as I said before, it is just the icing on the cake that we have a bunch of Babylon 5 movies to rewatch every few years. When they were released in the 90’s, on VHS Tapes, they all had their own covers, most of them were very nice, like In The Beginning, Thirdspace and also A Call to Arms. When they were released on DVD I really hoped the VHS covers would be transferred to the DVD format. For The Gathering and in The Beginning, this was done but unfortunately not for Thirdspace, The River of Souls and A Call to Arms. Just to show you, below you can find the original covers when they first were released on VHS Video. I hope you enjoyed it, next B5 movie blog will be of The River of Souls.