I did not want to like Captain Elizabeth Lochley. Really, I didn't. I was sure she would be no Susan Ivanova, I didn't like the producers assuming that they could just throw a new woman at us to balance the gender status quo, I resented the casting of an actress as famous for being a babe as for her previous work, and after her first appearance - no-nonsense, uniformed, hair in a bun - it looked to me like there was some subtle parodying of Voyager's Captain Janeway going on (she was originally Elizabeth as well, before the writers changed her to Kathryn). I did not really intend to give Lochley a chance.
Well, guess what? I like her. Quite a bit. It's too soon to know what kind of contribution she will make to Babylon 5, and impossible to predict how the loss of Ivanova will diminish the series, but I look forward to Lochley's appearances and I don't have any real criticisms of her character so far. I was aggravated to discover that she'd been married to Sheridan - there are too damn many women on that station who owe too much professionally to Sheridan - but it's clear that she's qualified for the job, she's not afraid to disagree with him in principle or to his face, and they have nice dramatic tension. She also has great chemistry with Garibaldi and I've loved the way she's handled Bester. I'd like to see her interact more with other women - her scenes in "Day of the Dead" with her suicidal roommate Zoe were very moving. In particular, I'd like to see her and Delenn talk more, since the personal and ideological tension could be quite wonderful.
I don't even mind the "babe" aspects of Captain Lochley. I rolled my eyes the first time we saw her in her underwear - she sleeps in less than anyone else I can think of on the series - but she comes across as pretty natural about her appearance, shrugging into her uniform as she steps into the lift and fiddling with her hair to make sure it looks as professional as it's supposed to. She doesn't have Janeway's former starched artifice or present dowdy demeanor, she's not as showy as Delenn's Minbari dress and emotional histrionics often require her to be. Lochley seems to deal well with tension, and realistically - she shows fear, she gets angry, but not in front of the enemy. I miss Ivanova a lot, and I have reservations about this season of Babylon 5, particularly the roles for women (don't even get me started on Lyta), but Lochley's keeping me tuned in.
Babylon 5 Reviews