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Babylon 5

subjectzero

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I just saw this. I'm not sure how I feel about a reboot but at least JMS is involved. I would have liked a continuation that picked up with David Sheridan to answer lingering questions like why the great machine was built, anything going on in Vorlon space, and even a continuation of the plague storyline from Crusade.

On the other hand, as near and dear as B5 is to me, it is visually dated and I'm sure there was a bunch of stuff JMS couldn't do that was due to budget restraints. I also want a very different story to be told that remixes the original content in surprising ways. I love Asimov's Foundation series and the new TV show is really, really good and shares the same DNA but is very different. Moore's BSG reimagining also did something similar (although it ended in a whimper).

I'm nervous and apprehensive, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't excited for new B5 material!

UPDATE:

According to /Film, it does indeed sound like they're making something brand new from the source material:

...the reboot revolves around John Sheridan ... an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background, who is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space, a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers and alien diplomats at a time of uneasy peace and the constant threat of war. His arrival triggers a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined, as an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us, putting Sheridan and the rest of the B5 crew in the line of fire as the last, best hope for the survival of the human race.

Read More: https://www.slashfilm.com/616730/ba...e-cw-from-original-creator/?utm_campaign=clip
 
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asterixsmeagol

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Maybe they can do a "Mirror Universe" episode where they go to the "alternate" timeline we saw in the '90s and give us some updates on how things have been going.
 

subjectzero

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Here's what JMS said about it on Twitter:

To answer all the questions, yes, it’s true, Babylon 5 is in active development as a series for the CW. We have some serious fans over at the network, and they’re eager to see this show happen. I’m hip deep into writing the pilot now, and will be running the series upon pickup.

The network understands the uniqueness of Babylon 5 and is giving me a great deal of latitude with the storytelling. As noted in the announcement, this is a reboot from the ground up rather than a continuation, for several reasons. Heraclitus wrote “You cannot step in the same river twice, for the river has changed, and you have changed.” In the years since B5, I’ve done a ton of other TV shows and movies, adding an equal number of tools to my toolbox, all of which I can bring to bear on one singular question:

if I were creating Babylon 5 today, for the first time, knowing what I now know as a writer, what would it look like? How would it use all the storytelling tools and technological resources available in 2021 that were not on hand then?

How can it be used to reflect the world in which we live, and the questions we are asking and confronting every day? Fans regularly point out how prescient the show was and is of our current world; it would be fun to take a shot at looking further down the road.

So we will not be retelling the same story in the same way because of what Heraclitus said about the river. There would be no fun and no surprises. Better to go the way of Westworld or Battlestar Galactica where you take the original elements that are evergreens and put them in a blender with a ton of new, challenging ideas, to create something fresh yet familiar. To those asking why not just do a continuation, for a network series like this, it can’t be done because over half our cast are still stubbornly on the other side of the Rim.

How do you telling continuing story of our original Londo without the original Vir? Or G’Kar? How do you tell Sheridan’s story without Delenn? Or the story of B5 without Franklin? Garibaldi? Zack?

The original Babylon 5 was ridiculously innovative: the first to use CGI to create ships and characters, and among the very first to shoot widescreen with a vigorous 5.1 mix. Most of all, for the first time, Babylon 5 introduced viewers accustomed to episodic television to the concept of a five-year arc with a pre-planned beginning, middle and end…creating a brand new paradigm for television storytelling that has subsequently become the norm. That tradition for innovation will continue in this new iteration, and I hope to create additional new forms of storytelling that will further push the television medium to the edge of what’s possible.

Let me conclude by just saying how supportive and enthusiastic everyone at the CW has been and is being with this project. They understand the unique position Babylon 5 occupies both in television and with its legions of fans, and are doing everything they can to ensure the maximum in creative freedom, a new story that will bring in new viewers while honoring all that has come before.

Onward!
 

TM2YC

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It's a difficult one because of the nature of B5. The massive unfolding 5-year story and the revelations of the past and future was a big part of it. You can't just do those same things again because where is the mystery? On the other hand you can't make it too different because then why not just do a new original Sci-Fi show.

I'd be interested to see what JMS would do with the full potential of having just one main hero as planned, instead of Sinclair... whoops, I mean Sheridan. Imagine if this time it's Sheridan who turns out to be Valen and halfway through the series run they lose to the Shadows, so he takes B5 (not B4) back in time 1000 years and we get a totally different show set in the Minbari past during the first Shadow war, changing the past, to win the future.
 

TM2YC

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Another few thoughts...

Babylon 5 was released in a (largely) pre-internet world. There is no way you could do that same kind of storytelling now, dropping hints from episode 1, that pay off a couple seasons down the line. The internet hive-mind would have every hint analysed a hundred ways within a minute of the episode being broadcast and everything would be spoiled a minute after that. Maybe a few well deployed red herrings would solve that problem?

A casting idea: Bruce Boxleitner as President Santiago?

On the unreliased potential front: General Hague should be a much more prominent and consistent character. He gets mentioned a lot but isn't he only in one or two episodes. That feels weird when you rewatch the show. Ditto G'Kar's awesome aid Na'Toth (IIRC the actress bailed because of the makeup ordeal) and Brother Theo's monks could be a regular feature.

What if the characters from the pilot get brought back for the new show? So Takashima and Kyle, instead of Ivanova and Franklin.

Modern FX technology could allow much more exploration of the B5 interior space. We got scattered scenes in the restaurant, the Japanese garden and the train down the middle (plus a painted view from the office) but it never felt like we ever experienced the full panoramic scope of what was glimpsed. Let's go to these places:

Babylon_5_2-22_34b.jpg


Delenn_in_the_Garden.JPG


The_Gardens01.jpg


Babylon_5_1x05_21.jpg


Babylon_5_2-06_03.jpg
 
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Wraith

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GUYS GUYS GUYS ...(and GALS no doubt)...

The internet DID exist during B5's first broadcast airing AND the place to go is pasted below.

Each week, each episode was dismantled and anaysed...and each week JMJ would actually engage with people on the site and anser questions and the like...IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME...so much so, I ended up printing these all out each week and bound them into season folders...it was AND STILL is an amazing resource that has never been equaled for any series....

SERIOUSLY...Click on ANY episode, and read thru the notes and JMJS Q&A...He kept it boilding away, never gave anything away and gave EXTRA clues and insights into each episode....


SUPERB!!!!!!

E.G. Za'Ha'Dum


AWESOME....WOO HOO
 
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TM2YC

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The internet DID exist during B5

I didn't say it didn't exist. I said it was "a (largely) pre-internet world". Now it's everywhere, in our pockets and every device, a quarter century ago when B5 aired, they were selling VHS tapes to explain to some people what the internet was:


It's not the same world where a few nerds like us were on the net discussing a show in nerdy detail on a niche forum, it's everybody now on countless public social media platforms discussing shows.
 

Wraith

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I didn't say it didn't exist. I said it was "a (largely) pre-internet world". Now it's everywhere, in our pockets and every device, a quarter century ago when B5 aired, they were selling VHS tapes to explain to some people what the internet was:


It's not the same world where a few nerds like us were on the net discussing a show in nerdy detail on a niche forum, it's everybody now on countless public social media platforms discussing shows.
Apols...I overstated the intent, BUT your point is actually well made is the cascade for what now has become a world of "experts in mediocrity" where like minded disinformed, fuel eachother (not just shows) and thus "new facts" take hold, and then the disinformation.... YUK

Meanwhile, back at the Council of Non-Aligned Worlds....
 

lapis molari

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I hope JMS adds a story arc that follows an Explorer Class ship!
We could see life on the Rim, which was mentioned plenty in the past but hardly shown. 🤩
I'd love to see some of the unrealized ideas from Crusade translated to an Explorer ship. :cool:

Here's an artist who made many gorgeous images of the Explorer Class, including:
ryan-begemann-babylon-5-the-edge-by-mallacore-dcs39y0.jpg
 

Wraith

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UNREALISED IDEAS....unrealised ideas...

Dear Lord there were so many...The Trilogy of Books (legions of Fire by Peter David based on JMS notes and outlines etc) dealing with the Centauri Prime aftermath are just genius, thread of which would have gone into future seasons...Alas...
£138!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But we have the books (try Abe Books, bound to be cheaper)...I urge anyone to read them and defy you to not hear Londo say "Mister Garibaldi" in your minds eye...
IMHO the best of the B5 Trilogy books out there.

Superb!
 
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TM2YC

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Just noticed Amazon Prime (in the UK at least) has added a new free-to-view (with commercials) TV/Movie streaming channel called "IMDb TV". Upon browsing the fairly b/c/d-movie heavy catalogue I very quickly noticed they've included all of B5 in it's new remaster, plus all the movies (in SD), Rangers and Lost Tales (no Crusade though). Woohoo!

An appropriate screenshot I took from season 1, episode 1:

51535675752_32fa772f85_o.jpg
 
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Wraith

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I always thought was hilarious...coz the steel bowl is identical to the one my Gran used to make giant Flans/ Crème Carmel with....which I would requisition for....POPCORN!!!!
 

bionicbob

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I think there is unlimited potential in this reboot with JMS at the helm.

In this accustomed age of binged serial storytelling, he can focus on telling a tighter story with less filler. He can pursue storylines that were abandoned or altered in the original run. He can bring in new, fresh ideas and take the characters and concepts in completely different directions. This could be as different as classic BSG is to nuBSG... just hopefully better planned and executed.... lol.

The biggest challenge to me will be recasting Londo and G'Kar .... if they even exist in this version... as those performances were exceptional.
 

addiesin

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Unfortunately, filler is like CW's bread and butter. Show might be good, but I strongly doubt it'll be tight unless it's a limited series kind of thing.
 

Wraith

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Hey… 5 x 10 episodes seasons of 60 mins…

That works for me.

Subjectzero manage to re-tell it all in about 40 hours… so 50 new focused hours could be incredible….
 

bionicbob

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Hey… 5 x 10 episodes seasons of 60 mins…

That works for me.

Subjectzero manage to re-tell it all in about 40 hours… so 50 new focused hours could be incredible….
If it airs on the CW, the average episode length is 41 minutes.

However, again if it airs on the CW, barring it being a complete disaster, it is probably guaranteed a 5-7 season run minimum based on its history with genre shows and demographic market share.
 

TM2YC

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Two more thoughts:

The Catherine Sakai/Anna Sheridan role could be a lot better developed in the remake. So she's more of a regular character that we care about when something happens to them.

The new series cold go the Game of Thrones route and focus much more screen time on the internal politics of Minbar, Centauri Prime, Narn Homeworld, Mars with their own sets of regular characters (with B5 as Kings Landing). The episodes that were set on Centauri Prime during Cartagia's reign were good in that way.
 

Wraith

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As long as JMS has some kind of commitment on the length of the overall run then he can plan…

The season 4 cancellation debacle which led to the hasty restructuring , downgrading the Telepath and Centauri threads and shooting the last episode a year early, was a catastrophe… then they had to rush the Centauri thread in season 5 and dropped /curtailed the telepath thread… all tragic.

It’s amazing B5 turned out as well as it did!

Fingers crossed in this.
 
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Wraith

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...oooo

MUSIC by Christopher Franke please!...seems the last music he did was in fact The Lost Tales 2007!
 
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