|“||You're splitting that hair mighty thin, John||„|
|~ MacDougan to Sheridan|
Edward "Mackie" MacDougan was a character featured in two fourth season episodes of Babylon 5.
He was portrayed by Richard Gant.
An officer in EarthForce, MacDougan was an instructor at the academy while John Sheridan was a student there. He would train his students to do more than mindlessly follow orders, to think for themselves. He would become a mentor to Sheridan and many other officers in EarthForce.
By 2261 MacDougan had risen to the command of the EAS Vesta. In mid 2261 he was ordered to enforce the Earth Alliance blockcade of Proxima III after that colony broken away in protest of the dictatorial President Morgan Clark. After receiving orders authorizing EarthForce to fire upon civilians, MacDougan went to great lengths to avoid carrying out such orders.
After learning that Clark's forces had attack and killed about 10,000 civilians, John Sheridan decided he had to act. Sheridan's forces confronted the task force at Proxima III, which included the Vesta. MacDougan broke radio silence to try to talk Sheridan out of a confrontation, but Sheridan was adamant that EarthForce allow the colony their freedom.
During the battle MacDougan came to the conclusion that the orders from Clark were in fact illegal, and refused to fire on Sheridan's forces. Task force commander Trevor Hall promoted first officer Robert Philby to Captain and ordered him to remove MacDougan from command. Philby attempted to remove MacDougan from command, but the rest of the crew forcibly postponed Philby's promotion and placed him under arrest. MacDougan declared the Vesta non hostile.
A few moments later Commander Sandra Levitt relieved Captain Hall of his command of the Heracles and stood down. MacDougan and the surviving commanders met Sheridan on his ship where Sheridan gave them three options, return home, stay to protect Proxima III from further retaliation, or join Sheridan. MacDougan decided to join Sheridan in his quest to remove Clark from power.
MacDougan fought alongside Sheridan throughout the remainder of the war. EarthForce began spreading the lie that MacDougan and his crew had been killed and the Vesta was manned by Minbari, and warned that others who tried to surrender to Sheridan would meet a similar fate. One such Captain who believed the lies was Leo Frank of the EAS Cadmus , but MacDougan's voice was enough to convince Frank to stand down.