Susan Ivanova Character Profile
Susan Ivanova was the executive officer of the Babylon 5 station during the show's first four seasons. She was played by Claudia Christian.
Susan Ivanova was a dedicated career officer. She had a sardonic demeanor and attributed her cynicism to her Russian heritage.
Note: This is a complete biography of Commander Susan Ivanova. Therefore, it contains spoilers for Seasons One through Four of Babylon 5. The biography is written in chronological order, so if you are watching Babylon 5 for the first time you can safely read the early parts of this article and stop before you reach the sections that would reveal events that you haven't seen on the show yet.
Susan Ivanova was born on 30 August 2230 in St. Petersburg in the Russian Consortium. Her mother, Sofie, was a telepath. In 2236 the Psi Corps discovered her secret, and she chose to take Sleeper drugs to suppress her telepathic abilities. Her only other choices were to join the Psi Corps or go to prison. Susan was also a very weak telepath. To hide her abilities, the family moved her between schools and taught her to always keep her secret. The Sleepers destroyed Sofie's will and personality, and after ten years she took her own life. Susan never forgave the Psi Corps for what they did to her mother.
Susan's brother, Ganya, died fighting in the Earth-Minbari War. Susan was left with only her father, Andrei, for family.
Andrei did not approve when Susan joined EarthForce on her 17th birthday in 2247. She graduated from Officer Training School in 2279 and was posted to Io in 2250 where she worked with John Sheridan for the first time.
Susan was transferred from Io to Earth in 2253. In 2255 she was transferred off the planet. She didn't see an open sky again for several years.
The Lieutenant Commander
In 2258, Susan Ivanova was appointed to replace Laurel Takashima as Jeffrey Sinclair's first officer on Babylon 5. Her primary duty was to run the Command & Control section, monitoring the station and controlling incoming and outgoing traffic. She also led Starfury squadrons to defend Babylon 5 and hunt for raiders.
Susan illegally used the station's Gold Channel communication system to speak with her father, Andrei, after he was admitted to the hospital in March 2258. He died shortly after speaking with her.
Ivanova served Sinclair faithfully. When she was threatened with a required telepathic scan, Sinclair found a way to avoid it. When he learned that her father had died since she came to Babylon 5, he sat Shiva with her.
Ivanova commanded Babylon 5 from Sinclair's recall on 3 January 2259 until John Sheridan's arrival on 8 January 2259.
Captain Sheridan arranged Ivanova's promotion to Commander shortly after arriving on the station, and it became effective on 22 February 2259. Her new duties included diplomatic responsibilities. Ivanova found a creative solution to the violent Drazi political process by tricking all Drazi on the station into becoming members of the same faction. She successfully negotiated a treaty with the Lumati, outsmarting the ambassador with his own arrogance when she learned that the Lumati method of sealing an agreement is with sex.
During 2259, Ivanova grew closer to Talia Winters. Just as Talia was about to be invited into Sheridan's Conspiracy of Light, Lyta Alexander came to the station. When Lyta said that she could find the mole on Babylon 5 by sending a telepathic signal to the command crew, Ivanova became enraged again. She did not want a telepath inside her head because it would reveal that she was a very weak telepath herself. She was probably not even a P1 and was only able to detect a scan and put up a rudimentary block. Talia spent the night with Ivanova, and their relationship became physical. Lyta discovered that Talia was the mole, and Ivanova realized that she had finally opened herself up to another person only to be burned again.
Susan Ivanova took an active part in the Shadow War. In February 2260 she used the Great Machine on Epsilon 3 to search for First Ones and later traveled with Marcus Cole in a White Star to recruit First One help. She joined Ambassador Sinclair and others in August 2260 for a journey through time to steal Babylon 4 for use in the first Shadow War 1000 years earlier. When Sheridan was lost on Z'ha'dum in December 2260, Ivanova helped hold the alliance together until his return. She joined Ambassador Delenn and Lyta on a failed rescue mission to Z'ha'dum. Ivanova led the White Star fleet in numerous battles against the Shadows and Vorlons.
Ivanova established a playful sparring relationship with the Ranger Marcus Cole, who was obviously enamored with her. She made a game of rejecting his advances.
After the end of the Shadow War, Ivanova became the Voice of the Resistance, broadcasting the truth about President Clark's atrocities to Earth colonies from Babylon 5. This included evidence of President Clark's involvement in the assassination of President Santiago that Ivanova found in the records of the Great Machine. When Sheridan was captured during the open rebellion against Earth in October 2261, Ivanova took command of the fleet and seemed fully capable of carrying out Sheridan's plan. Ivanova led the fleet to several victories against President Clark's forces. Her last victory was against a group of advanced Earth ships incorporating Shadow technology. She was mortally wounded and sent back to Babylon 5 where she was expected to die.
Marcus Cole returned to Babylon 5 on November 4 and used an alien healing device to transfer his energy to her. She awoke to find him dead at her side. Ivanova was heartbroken that she never returned Marcus' affections and realized that she may have lost her one chance at love. She ordered Marcus' body to be cryogenically frozen, vainly wanting to believe that there was some chance to save him.
As his last act before resigning from EarthForce, Sheridan promoted Ivanova to Captain. Ivanova took command of the Titans, one of the first new Warlock class destroyers, on 1 January 2262 and left Babylon 5 to give herself time to deal with her feelings.
Immediately after taking command of the Titans, Ivanova began to suspect that Shadowtech was incorporated into its design. Three weeks later she made an unscheduled trip to Babylon 5 where the Vorlon-influenced President Sheridan confirmed her fears.
With the help of President Sheridan and Lyta Alexander, Ulkesh's Vorlon ship was moved from Babylon 5 to the Titans and interfaced with the ship's control system. The Vorlon ship defeated the Shadowtech and removed any chance of Ivanova's control of the ship being compromised.
Susan Ivanova rose to the rank of General in EarthForce, but inevitably found herself with a desk job. She became increasingly disenchanted with her position.
When Babylon 5 was decommissioned, she ordered Marcus Cole's cryotube shipped to Minbar.
Ivanova was resentful that so many of her friends had died. She still mourned Marcus and knew that Sheridan would be gone soon.
Susan Ivanova joined Sheridan and his other friends on Minbar in January 2281 shortly before his death. At President Delenn's request, Ivanova took over Sheridan's position as Ranger One, or Anla'shok Na, the leader of the Rangers on 20 January 2281.
Ivanova served as Anla'shok Na for the rest of her life. She was well-respected, and under her leadership the Rangers grew to include people from every member world in the Interstellar Alliance. She never married.
Over the years, she visited Marcus' cryotube occasionally. Near the end of her life, she reaffirmed her order that Marcus' body was to be maintained until a way to revive him was found.
Shortly before she died, recordings of Ivanova's memories and neural pathways were created. This image of her mind, known as her Voice, was eventually stored at the Sirius Nine Neural Archives.
After her death, Ivanova's body was interred in Memorial Park in the Minbari capital city of Yedor. Many monuments were raised to her memory. President Delenn ordered that fresh flowers were to be placed at her crypt each day.
Three centuries later, a revived Marcus Cole created a clone of Ivanova and used her Voice to restore her memories up to her injury during the Earth Civil War. He marooned them on an uninhabited paradise world and convinced her that she had merely lost a few weeks of memory as a result of their crash.