The Timeline Guy
- May 27, 2004
Bass said:I've not read any of the novels or comic books. But we should really call this show Dibylon 5.
Some of the novels aren't even canon, technically, but for the most part fit in between episodes of Seasons 2-4 ok enough for me to be the true completist, obsessive compulsive I am.
But really, The Shadow Within is considered official B5 canon and covers Anna Sheridan, Mordin, and and Icarus crew and their mission to Zha'ha'dum and encountering the Shadows.
To Dream in the City of Sorrows is also official canon, and while the framing story picks up after the Season 3 episode "Grey 17 is Missing", most of the book covers Sinclair's becoming ambassador to Minbar and revitalization of the Rangers, Marcus' training, what happened to Catherine, etc. The flashback portion basically parallels Season 2.
The Passing of the Techno-Mage trilogy covers Galen's training under Elric (the main Techo-Mage in "The Geometry of Shadows" who gave the prophetic warning of Londo's hand reaching for the stars), how he met and lost Isabelle (seen in flashbacks in Crusade), and how Galen discovered the truth about Techo-Mages:
their tech is Shadow technology and their survival is dependent on the Shadows
The Legions of Fire trilogy picks up following the show's conclusion and runs into the late 2270's (concurrent with the framing story from In the Beginning and Sheridan's flash-forwards from War Without End), exploring Londo's manipulations by the Drakh, Vir's rebellion and sabotage against the Drakhs' buildup of Centauri forces, and the wrap-up of the storyline concerning the urn that Londo gave Sheridan and Delenn for their son on his sixteenth birthday.
And the Psi-Corps trilogy explores the discovery of telepaths, the beginning of Psi-Corps, and Bester's early years at the PC training facility, his early years as a Psi Cop all the way up to his first appearance on the show in early Season 1. The final book in the trilogy explores Bester's later years, picking up in 2271 and following Garibaldi's hunt for Bester in revenge for Bester messing with his mind and forcing him to betray Sheridan in Season 4.
The comics are ok, nothing spectacular. The events of the first arc (#1-4) pick up immediately after Season 1 and show Sinclair's trek to Earth, receiving the Ambassadorial position, traveling to Minbar and being accused of trying to assassinate Dukhat's replacement. #5-8 are mostly a flashback tale set to a framing story of Garibaldi and Keffer stranded on a Centauri colony. The flashback tells of Garibaldi and Sinclair's first meeting, them being crashed on the surface of Mars, and their discovery of the Psi-Corps base running tests on telepaths and the crashed Shadow ship, which were both referenced in the series itself. #9-10 are disappointing, telling of a story involving an assassin trying to kill G'Kar and his plot to hide getting him and Garibaldi trapped in B5's core. #11 was basically a Psi-Corps history and documentary in comic form.
There was also a three issue mini-series called In Valen's Name, another story involving the time traveling B4 station and offered insight into Sinclair's role as Valen. There was also a short, 6 page B5 mini comic included as a pack in with some copies of The Lost Tales, which tells of Franklin buying a ship to explore the Rim, and G'Kar going with him, both spreading their names and legends as heroes. The comic was also a way of explaining Franklin and G'Kar's absense during The Lost Tales (though technically unnecessary since Franklin was presumably still on Earth and G'Kar was regularly gallivanting around known space during those years). Still, it's really meant as a tribute by JMS to Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs, and it does that very well.
Did you ever read any if the 6 short stories? The magazine issues they were published in are notoriously hard to find, and I even had a hell of a time finding them online, but managed it and printed them out to add to the collection. Most run through Season 5 or after the show's conclusion, and offer stories including Ivanova's whereabouts in early Season 5, Londo's early days as Emporer, G'Kar and Lyta escaping a planet alive through a gestalt bacteria capable of mind control, Garibaldi and Lyta discovering a Vorlon lab where the genetics for telepaths were altered, a tale involving Alisa--the teenage telepath from Season 1--finding G'Kar's daughter, and the final one picks up several centuries after the show's end and follows a revived Marcus finding a way of bringing Ivanova back to life.
I really need to get around to posting my version of the B5 timeline.