Working on Babylon 5 was quite an experience. Although I have worked on
Broadway, in movies, and in TV, this was my first full-time TV series and
my first venture into science fiction. What little I knew about the genre
when I began the show, I learned from my son, Ben. For years he'd taken me
into comic-book shops and bookstores, looking for all the items children
collect--books, cards, caps, etc. What I discovered on Babylon 5, however,
was quite different.
Working in TV is not all that dissimilar to working on stage. You
follow the instructions of the director, learn your lines, hit your mark,
and do the best job you can with the material. You try to discover who the
character is that you are portraying and make that character come to life,
for you and the audience. With Babylon 5, however, computer graphics are a
large part of the overall production. While standing in front of a blue
screen, you must use your imagination to "see" the creature in "Grail,"
the massive machine on Epsilon 3 in "A Voice in the Wilderness," and the
destruction of Babylon 5 in "Babylon Squared." You can get some idea of
the image from the director, but it's still very much up to you to make
the scene believable.
During that first year of Babylon 5, I was fortunate to work with some
truly talented people--including David Warner in "Grail," Theodore Bikel
in "TKO," and Morgan Sheppard in "Soul Hunter." They were generous with
their insights and advice about the acting profession.
I learned a lot while working on Babylon 5. Joe Straczynski has put
together a wonderful story, and working with people like John Flinn, Mira
Furlan, Richard Biggs, and Bill Mumy made the experience a very enjoyable
one. When I returned to the set to make "War Without End," the cast made
me feel right at home, and I very much enjoyed working with Bruce
My favorite episodes are "By Any Means Necessary," "Babylon Squared,"
and "And the Sky Full of Stars." I like these episodes not only because I
had a lot to do in them, but also because each had a significant part to
play in the overall story. While "By Any Means Necessary" is not truly an
arc story, it gives you a lot of insight into the character of Commander
Going back to Babylon 5 for "War Without End" last year was somewhat
like completing a journey--Sinclair's return from Minbar, taking Babylon 4
back in time to fight the Shadows, transforming into Valen. Joe
Straczynski has worked very hard to tell this story, and I am happy to
have been a part of it.
Excerpted from Babylon 5: Signs and Portents by Jane Killick. Copyright © 1998 by Warner Bros.. Excerpted by permission of Del Rey, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.