"Well, maybe it's a learning experience for you." "If it is, it's a hell of a painful one." "Ain't no other kind."
REVIEW: Broadcast in the summer separating the two parts of "The Fall of Centauri Prime", Thirdspace actually takes place some time during Season 4, in between the Shadow and Earth Wars. Continuity is actually a little fugly, but if you're willing to accept the station had this big thing happen to it which was never mentioned again, and the odd wrong uniform snafu, then the telefilm is a cool, if disposable, done-in-one story with gorgeous effects, a creature designed by praised SF artist Wayne Barlowe, and gives the audience a chance to see Ivanova again. The trouble with a story that takes place in the recent past is figuring out how to make it relevant without contradicting anything. There are two key revelations on this front. One is the Vorlons' big mistake - their Tower of Babel - in trying to enter another universe and almost unleashing the apocalypse on the prime universe. The "artifact" used to do so was lost in hyperspace and been found again, an interesting parallel to the Shadow technology now floating about and causing problems. As above, so below, you might say. The other reveal is loquacious Zack telling Lyta he's in love with her, a bombshell she isn't aware of because the artifact or Vorlons have taken her over. He thinks he's been rejected and that's that, no continuity trouble. Apparently, this was a last-minute addition required because the movie ran short, but it's the kind of thing it should have been doing more of - building up characters that had been neglected while the larger stories were going on.
Taking to heart the fact it's a movie gives the production permission to wow us with visuals and plenty of action. We see maintenance bots and construction Furies like never before. The artifact is this huge, ancient thing that begs to be opened - Sheridan the benched explorer comes back to the surface, and Delenn teases him, but in the end, he WILL be the first/only man to go inside. There's some dogfighting involving the long-forgotten raiders, strange shared dreams of alien cities (could have done without Vir's sex stuff though, thankyew), etc., but the key sequence is of course the big blow-out at the end. It's at once ridiculous and epic to see Sheridan, in nothing more than a spacesuit, navigating through the massive battle. Once again, his solution is to nuke the problem, but at least there's a strategy to getting that done. How a blast that destroys the ships in its wake only pushes a spacesuited guy away like that isn't too believable, but it's not like they can kill off Sheridan, right?
Ivanova gets enough to do that we're not left unsatisfied, playing her as a fine commander, smart detective and good fighter. (What's wrong with most of the fight choreography, though? That huge brawl on the lower decks felt rather limp.) The oft-neglected Lyta also gets a big role, even if she's really playing out some Vorlon programming much of the time. I suppose it's a good episode generally for telepaths (apparently Vir has the gene too). One of these is Deuce, William Sanderson's criminal character from Grail. Cool to see familiar faces like this. Less successful is Shari Belafonte as Elizabeth Trent, a character that works fine as an over-ambitious foil for Sheridan who leaps to conclusions without justification because, well... because she's apparently read the script. Surprisingly, she isn't killed by the end of Thirdspace, but instead makes a 180 degree turn. Something about questioning her ethics. Well fine, I suppose that helps sweep the incident under the rug so that it doesn't get referenced again. So shush.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium - It looks cool and works as a one-off, one that might even work with audience who know little-to-nothing about B5, but it's produced in such a way that it can be isolated from the greater story very easily. Which means it's entirely jettisonable.