Babylon 5

Season 1 Episode 7

Mind War

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Mar 02, 1994 on
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A rogue telepath with exceptional powers takes refuge on Babylon 5, and two PSI Cops arrive to capture him. Catherine Sakai heads to Sigma 957 to survey it for Quantium-40, ignoring G'Kar's grave warnings.

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  • Boy are Psi Corps creepy

    Good stuff, and here we have Walter Koenig succeeding with playing a fairly nasty guy and without giving us constant reminders of Chekov. He didn't remind me of Chekov at all apart from knowing it was the same actor, which is good news.

    A little slow in places in my view, but nice to have some more background into the telepaths, and boy do I have a feeling that guy's little "gift" to Winters will come back to bite her somewhere down the line. (Just what was he playing at!). I look forward to learning how she'll handle her new ability.

    Also enjoyed G'Kar's rescue effort here and his little speech about ants. Quite thought provoking.moreless
  • The best episode so far!

    Probably the best episode so far I think is a good description for this one. We gain more knowledge about telepaths and are introduced to the Psi Cops. The episode focuses on Jason Ironheart a rouge telepath who arrives on Babylon 5 while running from the Psi Corps. Ironheart is a former mentor and lover of Talia Winters and so comes to her for help. He is pursued by tow Psi Cops who describe as extremely dangerous and ask the Commander for help tracking him down. The lead Psi Cop is called Bester and he will appear quite a bit in future episodes. There is also a sub-plot focusing on Catherine Sakai going to survey an uncharted world known as Sigma 957despite G’Kar’s warning that it is not a safe place.

    This is the first example of what the show is really capable of and is a great episode. Walter Koenig has come a long way since his Star Trek days and plays Bester with just the right amount of menace. We also see a completely different side to G’Kar as he ends up saving Catherine’s life and there is more to be learnt about Talia in this episode as her character is explored a bit deeper.moreless
  • Mind War

    Mind War was a really great episode of Babylon 5. I enjoyed watching this episode because it was full of character development, action, and drama. I think this episode had a great story line, interesting characters, and cool special effects. There was a lot going on this episode which introduced viewers to the Psi Cop Bester. It was nice to learn more about telepaths and their place in the universe. I liked how the Narn saved The Woman from Sigma 957 after she had an interesting encounter with an unknown race. I also enjoyed the ending where Talia received a gift from a friend. I look forward to watching more Babylon 5!!!!!moreless
  • Telepaths - one of the greatest magic and mystery on that universe.

    This is one of the first episodes where telepathy gets so great importance and we are opened to the great mystery of this universe. And this episode introduces as the endless possibilities of that ability and Jason is great example - the way he is over everyone, and Bester - very well written char and even with his first appearance he makes an outstanding performance.

    And also G'Kar and Sakai.. their conversations on this episode and G'Kar's sentence: "Noone here is exactly what they appear". And Sakai's trip to that planet and first encounter with those forces what later have great important.

    Great episode.moreless
  • The best episode of season one so far...

    Pulling together two major plot strands and laying solid foundations for the story arc, this is a terrific episode and a marked step up from the so-so previous episode.

    The first major story is about telepaths. A damaged and scared telepath (who just happens to be a former mentor and lover of Talia Winters) arrives on Babylon 5 hotly pursued two Psi-Cops. The lead Psi-Cop is played by Walter Koenig and will become a recuring character - he is always worth watching, a potent mix of menace, duplicity and vulnerability. The second PsiCop is equally devious, and much easier on the eye, but doesn't last to the end of the episode! This is our major introduction to the Psi-Corps and Jason reveals much about their long term plans and secret agenda that will come to play a larger and larger part in the series.

    The second story is about Sinclair's girlfriend Catherine going on to some distant planet to do a survey, despite dire warnings from G'Kar. In fact G'Kar is genuinely concerned and arranges for Narn rescue ships to follow Catherine. We are introduced to the Shadows, who will become the main bad guys for the next two seasons. G'Kar is played brilliantly here - a wonderful mix of sage wisdom and wry humour - it is clear that he knows a lot more than he is revealing at this time! His warning that we should stay out from under the feet of the Shadows is tragically ironic, given later events...

    A great episode which really begins the whole story arc properly and tells us that Babylon 5 is going to be about so much more than what happens on the station itself.moreless
William Allen Young

William Allen Young

Jason Ironheart

Guest Star

Felicity Waterman

Felicity Waterman


Guest Star

Julia Nickson

Julia Nickson

Catherine Sakai

Guest Star

Michael McKenzie

Michael McKenzie

Narn Captain

Recurring Role

MaCaulay Bruton

MaCaulay Bruton

Garibaldi's Aide

Recurring Role

Marianne Robertson

Marianne Robertson

Dome Tech #1

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The ship that disabled Catherine Sakai's ship and sent it into a decaying orbit appears later in Season 4 and is identified as belonging to one of races known as "The First Ones".

    • Goof: When Talia tries to move the penny with her mind, the penny is first shown heads down, then heads up as it begins to move.

    • Continuity: After Jason arrives in his quarters he pours himself a glass of water. But when the mindquake hits shortly thereafter, the glass falls over and there is no water in it.

    • Revealing Mistake: In the original airing, during the pre-title sequence, a binary star can be seen through Jason's ship. This was fixed in subsequent US reairings but still exists in the international releases.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Ironheart: You can not harm me. You can not harm one, who has dreamed a dream like mine.

    • Bester: Be seeing you, commander.

    • Sakai: (After G'Kar had sent ship to save her) Just one question. Why?
      G'Kar: Why not?
      Sakai: It's not an answer.
      G'Kar: Oh, yes it is. It's simply not an answer you like or the answer you expect. There's a difference.

    • Kelsey: (after Ivanova disparages the Psi-cops) You're not helping the situation.
      Ivanova: Lady, you are the situation.

    • Bester: Mr. Ironheart is no longer what you or I would consider entirely human.
      Sinclair: Then what is he?
      Bester: We don't know.

    • Ironheart: Only one in every thousand humans has telepathic abilities. Only one in every ten thousand telepaths has telekinetic abilities. And half of them are clinically insane.

    • Ironheart: (to Talia) Because in this business, whoever has the strongest telepath, wins. The military wants to scan the enemy. The enemy wants a telepath strong enough to block the scan and we want someone who can cut through the block.

    • Sinclair: What kind of covert operation?
      Bester:That information is on a need-to-know basis, Commander. And you don't need to know.

    • Ivanova: And Psi Cops? What are you rated?
      Kelsey: P12. Someone has to keep an eye on the rest.
      Ivanova: Yes, but who watches the watchmen?

    • Bester: (About Psi-corps) Since we bear a greater responsibility, we are afforded greater latitude, in the interest of efficiency.

    • Kelsey: There are rules and there are rules, Commander.

    • Bester (after Bester reads his mind, Garibaldi gives Bester a dirty look and thinks something at him): Anatomically impossible, Mr. Garibaldi. But you're welcome to try. Anytime. Anywhere.

    • G'Kar: Let me pass on to you the one thing I've learned about this place, "No one here is exactly what he appears. Not Mollari, not Delenn, not Sinclair ... and not me."

    • Ivanova: Good ol' Psi-Corps. You never cease to amaze me, all the moral fiber of Jack the Ripper. What do you do in your spare time, juggle babies over a fire pit? "Oops, there goes another calculated risk!"

    • Jason Ironheart: Good-bye commander. I will see you again, in a million years.

    • Bester: That's a lie.
      Sinclair: Yes it is. What's your point?

    • Bester: We had our orders.
      Sinclair: Mister, I don't care if you had a personal message from God, complete with stone tablets. You lied to me.

    • G'Kar: Narns, Humans, Centauri ... we all do what we do for the same reason: because it seems like a good idea at the time.

    • Jason Ironheart: We all thought Psi Corps was controlled by the government, but that's changing. The Corps is starting to pull the strings behind the scenes; they're more powerful than you could begin to imagine. Telepaths make the ultimate blackmailers ... The Psi Corps is dedicated to one thing: control. Control over telepaths, the economy, the courts, over matter, over thought itself.

    • Talia (on life as a telepath): It's like staying in a hotel room where you can just hear the people talking next door. You can try and shut it out, but it's always there. The key is not to eavesdrop unless you're invited... casual thoughts are very easy to block, but strong emotions have a way of slipping through... Do you know what it's like when telepaths make love, commander? You drop every defense, and it's all mirrors, reflecting each others' feelings, deeper and deeper, until somewhere along the line your souls mix, and it's a feeling so profound it makes you hurt. It's the only moment in a telepath's life when you no longer hear the voices.

    • Sinclair: Get out of my head!

    • G'Kar: No one here is entirely what they seem ... not Mollari, not Delenn, not Sinclair, and not me.

    • G'Kar: There are things in the universe billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless; and if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants. And we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know. We tried. And we've learned that we can either step out from underfoot or be stepped on.
      Sakai: That's all you know?
      G'Kar: They are a mystery. And I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders left in the universe; that we have not yet explained everything. Whatever they are, Miss Sakai, they walk near Sigma 957, and they must walk there alone.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Psi Cops: The term "PsiCops" is a deliberate allusion and in-joke by Straczynski to CSICOP, The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. This real-world organization publishes the Skeptical Inquirier and investigates reported incidents of the paranormal ... including telepathy.

    • Ivanova: "Who watches the watchmen?"
      Ivanonva alludes to Juvenal, the Roman satirist and poet who wrote Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? which related to husbands watching their wives to keep them from having affairs. The phrase has seen much popular use, primarily in the DC comic maxi-series Watchmen.

    • Alfred Bester: Straczynski named Bester after science fiction author Alfred Bester, who wrote a variety of books about telepathy. One of them, The Demolished Man, featured a Guild of telepaths, a nicer version of Psi-Corps. In the Psi-Corp novel trilogy, it is specifically established that Bester's mentor gave him the name in honor of the science fiction writer.

    • Bester's salute, an "okay" circle of thumb and forefinger held before the eye and his utterance of the words "Be seeing you", is in addition to being an homage to the TV series The Prisoner, (J.M. Straczynski's favorite show), the salute is also the "sign of the fish." Early Christians used this as a secret greeting and identification sign to identify their fellow members.

    • Jason Ironheart: You can not harm one who has dreamed a dream like mine.
      This is a Ojibwe (Native American) prayer of protection against one's enemies.

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