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Five-Minute "The Illusion of Truth"

by Sa'ar Chasm

Ivanova: Things are quiet.
Sheridan: Too quiet.
Ivanova: Will you relax? Since we promoted Zack to replace Garibaldi (spits), we've had no major incidents.
Sheridan: I really wish you'd stop saying things like that.

Zack: Break it up! Break it up! What's the problem here?
Security Guard: This passenger won't let us search his luggage. The manifest says it contains 1 major incident, a dozen
moderate nuisances and a gross of minor annoyances.
Zack: So break it open already. (camera floats out) Well, this is what I least expected.
Randall: Smile, you're on Candid Camera.

Franklin: Captain, that cargo of frozen telepaths destined to become the central cores of Shadow vessels that we intercepted with Bester's assistance...
Sheridan: Why are you telling me all this? I was there.
Franklin: Because there has to be a gun on the wall in Act 1.

Sheridan: How do I know you'll report the truth and not a load of propaganda?
Randall: Please, we both know that truth is only skin deep.
Sheridan: You mean beauty.
Randall: But beauty is truth!

Garibaldi: Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.
Lennier: There aren't any cats on the station... except for the cat people from Felis 9.
Sheridan: Ah, Lennier, excellent. I have a proposal for you. This is Mr. Randall. I was hoping that you'd be able to show him where all the interesting parts of the station are at.
Lennier: I thought it was incorrect in your language to end a sentence with a proposition.

Lennier: You are in a turbolift. There is a hallway north of you.
Randall: N.
Lennier: You are in DownBelow. There is a turbolift south of you and a hallway north of you. There are some Lurkers here. There is some Incriminating Footage here.
Randall: Look Lurkers.
Lennier: The Lurkers look like out-of-luck humans.
Randall: Take Incriminating Footage.

Londo: NINJA!
Sheridan: GAH!
Londo: Now that I've got your attention, why are my quarters so chilly?
Sheridan: Because of rising costs associated with open rebellion, we've switched the heating systems in all the living quarters to run on the personal warmth and charisma of their occupants. If you're cold, it's your own damn fault.

Randall: Perhaps you'd care to enlighten our viewers, Captain, on why you threw away a promising career and turned your back on your home and everything you care about.
Sheridan: That's not quite what happened. Our message is simply a warning to vile President Clark: flee as soon as you are able, and we'll be there in the morning...
Sheridan: I've been talking for ten minutes, and you've had the camera on Delenn the whole time.
Randall: We're still working from the "beauty is truth" angle.

Randall: Hi there. Dan Randall, ISN. Care to grant an interview?
Garibaldi: I'd rather not, Dan.
Randall: Please, you're the last of the original command crew. You can at least tell us what those early days were like.
Garibaldi: Well, it was long ago and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today...

Sheridan: What's with the TV dinner, Commander?
Ivanova: It's something of a tradition. Whenever there was an important event on TV during dinner, my grandmother would let us watch it while eating.
Sheridan: That explains the aluminium TV tray, but did she usually serve Swanson's Frozen Roast Spoo?

Randall (anchoring): Good evening. Before we get to the main story, we present some filler, such as this dissident we haven't been torturing:
Guy: Caring, love and real kindness inspire sympathy among misguided, often-opressed, confused overwrought writers.
Randall: How sincere. I'm sure there wasn't a secret message in that at all.

Randall: And now for something completely different. The first rule of journalism is, truth and falsehood are interconvertible.
(exterior view of the station)
Randall: You'll notice the alien warship up on blocks with its hood open. It's clear from this that Captain Sheridan is being influenced by alien rednecks.

Randall: And now we turn to our own xenophobopsychology expert. Professor, do you think our viewers should lash out randomly at those who look different from them?
Professor: Yes I do, Dan.

Randall: Perhaps you'd care to enlighten our viewers, Captain, as to the nature of your sinister and evil plans?
Sheridan: Our (edit) war (edit) flee(edit)t(edit) is (edit) in(edit)v(edit)in(edit)s(edit)able.

Randall: And now, some damning accusations from a former friend and colleague of Captain Sheridan, presented here for your viewing pleasure.
Garibaldi: It's like he thinks he's Jesus, or something. Just last week I caught him walking across the lake in the arboretum, and you don't want to know what he did to the olive oil in my quarters. He'd better be careful, or he's gonna get nailed.
Randall: Prophetic words, no doubt. What you're about to see may shock you, but not awe you.

Randall: I'm here in MedLab, where we've replaced these cryostasis units filled with unknown people with Folger's crystals. Let's see if Dr. Franklin notices.

Randall: Doctor, perhaps you'd care to tell us about what's in the cryounits.
Franklin: Cryounits? I don't know anything about cryounits.
Randall: What about those ones?
Franklin: What ones?
Randall: The ones behind you, below the gun on the wall.
Franklin: (looking) Oh, *those* cryounits. Those are, uh, not mine. They were here when I moved in.

Randall: This neatly illustrates the Second Rule of Journalism: evasion tends towards a maximum (but the interviews tend to fall apart after that).

Randall: And now, another comment from our expert. Professor, do you think our viewers should put on women's clothing and hang around in bars?
Professor: Yes I do, Dan.

Randall: Finally, we come to the most sobering aspect of this whole story. It's clear that Captain Sheridan has had his mind poisoned against his people by alien brainwashers... we think. This is the Third Law of Journalism: you can't get the absolute truth. However, in the absence of any contradictory information, we're reasonably sure what we've shown you tonight is as close to the truth as we can get. Goodbye, and goodnight.

Delenn: Well, that was nice. The camera got my good angle. I don't remember him asking those questions, though. Do you, John? John?
(Sheridan turns off the TV at Ludicrous Speed)


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This fiver was originally published on February 2, 2006.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of stuff in here is copyrighted by Babylonian Productions. I doubt they'll mind, but if they do, I'll just sic Alexander the Great on 'em.

All material © 2006, Steven Maguire.