Babylon 5 was a highly unusual television show for many reasons. Most famously, it proposed to tell a highly-involved story over the course of five years, and more amazingly it was able to do so. While it has become common (some would say trendy) in recent years for shows to feature tight continuity and multi-season arcs, Babylon 5 did it when no one thought it could be done, and set a standard of excellence in doing so that other shows have tried, and failed, to reach.
The ultimate strength of any TV show is its characters, and B5 features consistent characterization and genuine, multi-year character development as people change in response to the changes in the galaxy around them. This is very much due to the efforts of series creator J. Michael Straczynski, who wrote 91 of the show’s 110 episodes, notably a continuous 59-episode run that included the entire third and fourth seasons.
Babylon 5’s women are of particular note, as Straczynski set out to tell a story about people, regardless of whether they were human or alien, male or female. Not only do the women of Babylon 5 prove themselves to be as strong, smart, courageous, dedicated, and occasionally ruthless as their male counterparts, but no comment is made about this within the show – it is simply taken for granted.
In this series, I will look at each of the major female characters, and some minor ones, with an emphasis on how the writing consistently treats them as characters who happen to be female, rather than as female characters. Since B5 is driven so strongly by its story arc, I will endeavor to avoid spoilers, but will include season-specific spoiler warnings when necessary.