09 February 2015

B5 Review: River of Souls



The River of Souls is a more in-depth look at the Soul Hunters following their first season introduction and seeing how they react to the realisation that they made a huge mistake when they moved to save an entire race from extinction.

Garibaldi comes to Babylon 5 to meet a doctor whose research Edgar's Industries has been funding. Dr Bryson has discovered a large orb which he has brought with him and believes holds the key to life eternal - the purpose of his research. While he doesn't yet realise it's been influencing him, he manages to make contact with a life form inside the orb and soon learns that there are many more like it trapped inside.

A Soul Hunter arrives to retrieve the orb and Lochley becomes involved in trying to set the souls free. Even dying for a split second and communicating with one of the alien inhabitants who informs her of the mistake the Soul Hunter's made in 'saving' their race.

Among all this Lochley is informed of a holo-brothel operating in Down-below which is causing concern among its clients and is even threatened with legal action after Zack investigates. Not merely a secondary storyline to be ignored, the holo-brothel ends up becoming central to the storyline when the beings inside the orb use the holo technology to 'free' themselves from their imprisonment.

I actually liked River of Souls much more than I remembered. It was great to see Lochley in command and handling the situations on her terms without Sheridan and the others to really get in the way. The story pushes our beliefs about faith with the Soul Hunter's believing they are doing what's right by preserving those on the brink of death but this is in the face of those who believe that there is some sort of afterlife, such as Heaven. 

There's very little action compared to the other telemovies in the series, especially compared to Thirdspace but I thought the story was a little better and as said above, I really appreciated seeing Lochley handling things on her own along with Lt Corwin.

Rating: 6.5/10

From here we go to one of the least favourite entries (according to the fans) in the B5 universe, The Legend of the Rangers...