Babylon 5

Season 4 Episode 8

The Illusion of Truth

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Feb 20, 1997 on
out of 10
User Rating
114 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A team of ISN reporters arrives at the station wanting to do a story about Babylon 5. Sheridan refuses at first, but finally agrees on the theory that at least a small part of their side of the conflict will be shown.

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  • You just think "I can't watch!"

    That's not a criticism per se. But you do know straight away how it's going to go - that the reporter would be lying about being on their side in any way, and that they'd use soundbites, strawmen and plain fabrications to spin their side of it. The only mystery is in how good a job they'll do of it (and the answer: far too good!)

    Helsinki Syndrome? I thought it was Stockholm? I've seen it used as an argument for all sorts of things (usually when someone is mocking an Apple user, and things like that).

    One of the more interesting subtle points here is that they're under accusation of being controlled by aliens, but in the case of Garibaldi that may indeed be the truth... interesting.

    Worth a watch just to see the ever polite and patient Lenier finally get irritated and headbutt something.moreless
  • Different sides of truth

    Oh.. That is episode that has a very good point.. how everything can be told by the side of the teller and how we are so acceptable what is said in news and so.. without really knowing if things are like that.

    Even with that thought.. and knowing that it rises a very good point, it was not episode what was easy to watch. It was very frustrating and the way the truth god tangled and played.. as I said. Not easy to watch, but for sure, had a point.

    And it had some lead in to the whole campaing to come I think.. They realized in B5 that they have to get their story out or people will only hear the version Clark administration offers.moreless
  • The Illusion of Truth

    The Illusion of Truth was a really great episode of Babylon 5. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it touches upon how media and the news specifically can be manipulated and used to control populations of people. This is one of the better episodes of this season since the Shadows and Vorlons left known space. I also enjoyed watching the news broadcast within the episode as if it was a normal news channel on tv. I thought this episode definitely takes things to another level. I look forward to watching the next episode and seeing how Babylon 5 will deal with the aftermath of this broadcast!!!!!!!!moreless
  • I hate fictional reporters.

    God this reporter was a jackass. What is it about screenwriters ability to really nail those jackass reporter types in their scripts. I think the only time it didn't turn out badly for the interview subjects was in the new BSG, when D'Anna Biers character was introduced. Of course she turned out to be a Cylon, but still, the story turned out well for the crew. Otherwise you get chopped up misrepresentations like this. I wanted to reach through the screen and strangle him before he got more than two minutes into his broadcast. Makes me hate all news except The Onion, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. And that confession they ran at the beginning was straight out of McCarthy's Red Scare. Hell, they even used the same last names as some of the Hollywood 10 and others named in front of the HUAC (Yes, I'm a media dork). And what the hell was that in Garibaldi's interview? That was messed up. And apparently President Clark sent troops to burn down Sheridan's parents home and kidnap his father. Not cool, and not wise.moreless
  • return of ISN

    theres a couple of amusing scenes in this episode one where londo tells the captain that his quaters are cold.and when lennier head butts a camera. and zac shoots a camera.captain sherdian has always known that isn the interstellar news network, is the corrupt mouthpiece of the evil earth goverment, but when an isn reporter turns up at the station to make a fair broadcast about babylon 5, sheridan foolishly relents.the broadcast turns out to be a pathetic travesty,portraying babylon 5 as a place were humans are the subject of cruel and terrifying experiments and suffer terrible depravations.if this was not bad enough, sherdian"s father has gone missing too.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Factual Error: The newscast misspells Yuri Gagarin's last name; it was spelled "Gargarin" on the screen.

    • Factual Error: Dr. Indiri, played by Henry Darrow, states that Sheridan is suffering from Helsinki Syndrome and that's why he's helping the Minbari. Stockholm Syndrome is the actual term for a hostage that begins to identify with one's captors.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Sheridan: I thought we had seen the worst of it with the Shadows, the Vorlons, the War... But there's something much worse. Reporters.

    • Sheridan: We have an open door policy-
      Ivanova: And an open airlock policy.
      Sheridan: Commander...
      Ivanova: Sorry.

    • Alison Higgins: To celebrate this latest victory against the tyranny of a fanatical few who have endangered the lives of our citizens, Clark proclaimed today a planetary holiday. Curfew has been extended two full hours until 9 PM Earth standard time, so go out and enjoy.

    • Sheridan: There is no force in this galaxy that can stop what we have done here together. Nothing will be able to stop us.

    • Sheridan: With Clark, anything that gets in the way disappears.

    • Londo: When I said my quarters were cold, I did not mean: 'Oh, I think it's a little chilly in here, perhaps I'll throw a blanket on the bed.' No, I said it was cold! As in: 'Oh, look, my left arm has snapped off like an icicle and shattered on the floor.' This is highly inappropriate, Captain.
      Sheridan: You are right. There are several other parts of your body I much rather see snapped off.

    • A Mysterious Voice: (to Garibaldi) You work for no one but us. You work for no one but us. You work for no one but us. You work for no one but us. Us. Us. Us! Us!

    • Sheridan: Commander, did you threaten to grab a hold of this man by the collar and throw him out an airlock?
      Ivanova: Yes I did.
      Sheridan: I'm shocked! Shocked and dismayed. I'd remind you that we are short on supplies here. We can't afford to take perfectly good clothing and throw it out into space. Always take the jacket off first. I've told you that before. (to the ISN reporter) Sorry she meant to say "Stripped naked and thrown out an airlock." I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

  • NOTES (6)


    • Historical Reference: Producer's Confession.
      The confession of the producer strongly resembles confessions acquired by the House Un-American Activities Commission in the United States in the 1950s.

    • Character Names: Parks, Beth Trumbo, Adrian Mostel, and Carleton Jarrico.
      These names are likely references to actor Larry Parks, film producer Dalton Trumbo, actor Zero Mostel, and writer Paul Jarrico. They were entertainers who were blacklisted in Hollywood for their political views. Allegedly they had communist sympathies.