Lyta Alexander is a character from the fictional universe of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5, played by Patricia Tallman.
Lyta was introduced in the pilot episode "The Gathering" as a telepath assigned to the Babylon 5 space station by the Psi Corps, a fictional organization providing support to telepaths and monitoring their activity. However, she did not appear in the remainder of Season One due to a dispute concerning Tallman's salary . Lyta's role in the series was largely taken up by Andrea Thompson, who was cast as Talia Winters, a telepath who took over Lyta's responsibilities in the station. In the script it was implied that the latter had to be replaced, as she had made telepathic contact with Kosh, the ambassador of the secretive Vorlon Empire. After Thompson left the series due to disagreements regarding the amount of screen time given to her character, Lyta returned as a recurring character in Seasons Two and Three, and became a regular cast member from Season Four onward. Her character simply resumed the dramatic arc once intended for Thompson.
Lyta Alexander was born on December 10, 2225. In the series' pilot, she is described as a sixth-generation telepath, although she points out that telepathy may have been running in her family undetected even earlier, since telepaths were not monitored before that generation. In the book Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps, it is established that her lineage can be traced from her great-great-great grandmother, Desa Alexander, through Brenna Alexander and Michele Alexander to Lyta's grandmother Natasha Alexander, who was an aide to Psi Corps's then director Kevin Vacit. It is also stated in the book that the matrilineal tradition amongst families of telepaths was that the mother's unmarried name was carried forward to the children, which explains why generations of female telepaths, such as Lyta Alexander and Talia Winters, all carry their surname down the generations.
In the series it is stated that Lyta was trained by the Psi Corps, and that she briefly interned with the Psi Cops division. After an incident whilst accompanying Alfred Bester, she transferred to commercial work. Originally, Alexander was a P5, or a telepath of average strength. In 2257, she was assigned as Babylon 5's first commercial telepath. Soon after arriving at the station, she scanned Vorlon Ambassador Kosh, in violation of the wishes of the Vorlon government, in order to try to discover the identity of his attacker.
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