Babylon 5

Season 1 Episode 14

Signs and Portents

Aired Monday 7:00 PM May 18, 1994 on
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A Centauri noble comes to Babylon 5 to transport an important Centauri relic in Londo's possession back to the homeworld. A mysterious man visits all the alien ambassadors asking them an unusual question.

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  • Fascinating

    Call it a 9 out of interest.

    It would seem that I'm in a minority on this site in that I'm watching this show for the first time and reviewing as I go along. Whilst most others are reviewing with existing knowledge of what's to come and saying things like "this is an important episode that sets the wheels turning for x, y and z". I'm not fully reading them all as some appear to be packed with spoilers.

    I can only judge it on how excited it makes me to see what's to come, and I'm most intrigued by the "Vision" and also the ongoing story of Sinclair. He's a fascinating commander -an ordinary down-to-earth man, so why was he chosen? I'm itching to find out! This is looking really.... quite epic. And that's a good impression to give.

    Most curious with the "what do you want?" guy as well. I've had high flyer types ask me the same question and I always struggle to find an answer other than "for you to leave me alone" too :)

    Random observations about the ambassadors: Kosh needs a better walk than the hilarious little waddle he was doing in this episode. And it never ceases to amuse me how the "Worf" character of the series, G'Kar, is actually incredibly camp!moreless
  • Signs and Portents

    Signs and Portents was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Babylon 5. This was a classic episode of Babylon 5. There was a great story, introductions to new characters, intriguing drama, and action. I enjoyed watching this episode and thought the story's were interesting. I liked the way the writers blended the story lines introducing the shadows into the series via a mysterious man aboard Babylon 5. There was a lot of character development as well as plot development in this episode. The music in this series deserves praise as well, and it was part of making this episode classic and engaging. I look forward to watching more Babylon 5!!!!!!!moreless
  • A turning point...

    This episode really marks the position when everything turn. It is very enjoyable episode itself but the storyline it opens, the effect it will have on future events - it is huge. It with "Geometry of Shadows" can really be called story settelers. And I adore them.

    I very much enjoyed the dynamic of this episode - the whole motion. Like the title suggest - this episode gives us the signs and portents for future - Delenn and the symbol on her forehead, then Kosh damaged countershot. Londo yelling what he wants.. It could be said that this will lead to the fall of Centauri Prime (if not Adira)..

    Very special and important episode.moreless
  • The coming of the Shadows kicks Babylon 5 to a whole new level

    In many ways this episode is the proper start of the story arc that will go on for five seasons. Much of what has been going on so far is developing the characters, the various alliances and some of the backstory - all of this is pulled together in this episode that I rate as the best so far.

    The core story revolves around an ancient Centauri artifact, how Mollari gets hold of it, and how it then becomes part of a kidnap plot (which in itself has a double-cross involved). But there is so much more going on in the background that lays massive foundations for the overall story.

    1. We get the first glimpse of the mysterious Mr Morden with his 'what do you want?' questioning. He finds a malleable contact in Mollari, but is clearly known in very different ways by both Delenn and Kosh.Hmmmm

    2. For the first time we see the Shadow ships. Later we learn how the Shadows are connected to Morden.

    3. Sinclair makes further progress, with the help of Garibaldi, on discovering the real truth behind his missing 24 hours and his appointment to Babylon5 at the behest of the Minbari government.

    4. There is dark and brooding atmosphere over this episode (hence' Signs and Portents) with prophecies in abundance, including the future destruction of the station. This sets the tone for a lot that follows later.

    Looking back on this episode now from the perspective of having seen all five seasons, it is incredible just how much that later pans out is set up by this one episode.

  • what do you want?

    and here it beings?. the arrival of the sinster mr mordon.

    as here arrival on the station he gos and asked the ambassador a single question " what do you want.? " a powerful force of interstellar mercenaries. the shadow men threaten babylon 5 with total destruction after a merciless campaigne of piracy in the station's vicinity and ambassador londo plots to retrieve a long lost sacred artefact, the eye, in a bid to depose the centaurian emperor. meanwhile there are terrifying signs and portents that babylon 5 may soon suffer the fate of the prevoious other four babylon space stations.moreless
Gerrit Graham

Gerrit Graham

Lord Kiro

Guest Star

Fredi Olster

Fredi Olster

Lady Ladira

Guest Star

Whip Hubley

Whip Hubley

Raider #1

Guest Star

Ed Wasser

Ed Wasser


Recurring Role

Marianne Robertson

Marianne Robertson

Dome Tech #1

Recurring Role

Ardwight Chamberlain

Ardwight Chamberlain


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • G'Kar: What do I want? The Centauri stripped my world. I want justice.
      Morden: But what do you want?
      G'Kar: To suck the marrow off their bones, and grind their skulls to powder.
      Morden: What do you want?
      G'Kar: To tear down their cities, blacken their sky, sow their ground with salt. To completely, utterly erase them.
      Morden: And then what?
      G'Kar: ...I don't know. As long as my home world's safety is guaranteed, I don't know that it matters.
      Morden: I see. Well, thank you very much for your time, Ambassador. Good day.

    • Londo: All right. Fine. You really want to know what I want? You really want to know the truth? I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the galaxy. I want to see the Centauri stretch forth their hand again and command the stars. I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power. I want to stop running through my life like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look back or to look forward. I want us to be what we used to be! I want...I want it all back, the way that it was. Does that answer your question? (leaves)
      Morden: Yes. Yes it does.

    • Londo: Take the famine as a blessing, Ambassador - a weeding out of the excess population.
      G'Kar: One more comment like that, Mollari, and you will become part of the excess population.

    • Morden: I've been out of circulation. Spent the last few years doing some exploration out on the rim.
      Customs Guard: Find anything interesting?
      Morden: Yes.

    • Lady Ladira: The Shadows have come for us all.

    • Sinclair: Morning, Lieutenant Commander. Problem sleeping?
      Ivanova: Sleeping is not the problem. waking up...that is the problem. I've always had a hard time getting up when it's dark outside.
      Sincalir: But in space it's always dark.
      Ivanova: I know. I know.

    • Ivanova: Why does my mouth always taste like old carpet in the morning?
      Computer: Unknown. Checking medical log.

    • Kosh: Leave this place. They are not for you. Go. Leave. Now.

    • Londo: Let me buy you a drink! Let me buy you an entire fleet of drinks!

  • NOTES (2)

    • When Ladira has her first vision, in the background is a electronic bulletin board with various events, including a "Mojo Mind Rave." "Mojo" is the nickname of visual effects artist Adam Leibowitz.

    • Norman Corwin, one of J. Michael Straczynski favorite writers, did a radio drama called "On a Note of Triumph." This B5's episode title is considered a homage to this radio production which examined the WWII's cause, toll, and postulated effect on history and mankind. The quote from the show was "Signs and portents! It was no furtive tapping on the window sill at night, But clamorous pounding in the public square."