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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

No, this is not an out of season April Fool's joke.

https://deadline.com/2021/09/babylon-5-series-reboot-j-michael-straczynski-development-cw-1234845022/

A new version of the Emmy-winning space opera television series Babylon 5 is in the works. The CW has put in development Babylon 5, described as a “from-the-ground-up reboot” of the critically acclaimed 1990s series, from original series creator J. Michael Straczynski and Warner Bros. Television.

Written by Straczynski, the reboot revolves around John Sheridan (played by Bruce Boxleitner in the original series), 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.


I want to hope but I think I'm more afraid. Afraid that there will be a Season One prom episode and the feud between G'kar and Lando will be either an ex-lover's quarrel or an intergalactic love triangle with them and Delenn or possibly Vir.
   
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 warboss wrote:

I want to hope but I think I'm more afraid. Afraid that there will be a Season One prom episode and the feud between G'kar and Lando will be either an ex-lover's quarrel or an intergalactic love triangle with them and Delenn or possibly Vir.


In fairness, the Vir/Londo/G'Kar love triangle was absolutely a thing in the original series too.

CW is a weird place for this to land, and the criticism/confusion/wariness is certainly warranted. But given how virulently anti-B5 certain people at Warner have historically been, there's a *HELL* of a behind the scenes story as to how this got green lit.
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






OK, I’m actually up for this.

Babylon 5 is of course brilliant in terms of its story telling, and indeed somewhat pioneering in the “five year story told over the same number of years” approach in an environment of One And Done episodic shows.

And since it’s day, TV has genuinely matured, to the point audiences are quite happy with in-depth “we actually need to pay attention to this” political and police procedural thrillers etc.

Plus B5’s original SFX whilst again pioneering for their time, haven’t aged well at all.

I’m…genuinely up for this, especially as it’s JSM’s baby and he’s coming back.

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I can see a lot of people having a lot to say about this...

I watched all of Babylon 5 about 10 years ago, and found it to be a poor man's Deep Space 9. Probably because I had just finished watching the entirety of Deep Space 9 just before it. I know that's not a very fair comparison, the two shows are not particularly similar.

I won't be watching it to start off with, maybe if Season 1 gets good feedback I'll give it a go. As with most reboots I don't expect this show to last long either.
   
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Gathering the Informations.

CW is a bit less weird than you might think for a spot that this landed.

Between Wellington Paranormal, The Outpost, The 4400, and some more stuff...there's a bit of more grownup things going on now.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

I'd second that B5s CGI hasn't aged well, heck I recall one of the first major space fights in the series almost looks like they raided the random objects for screensavers and threw them up as super alien space ships.

That said I don't know, I think in a way its hard to have a series follow something like that because the actors made the series and their characters. Trying to replace that is tricky because any originality on the part of the actors and story can appear like its not being authentic; whilst remaining steadfast authentic can stifle story telling at times and character growth.

However they could, in theory, retell the story and follow the original timeline and plot that was outlined. Don't forget the series set itself up with a whole "He's the One" angle which had to be significantly adjusted after the first season and they lost the original lead actor (captain of B5).


Having the original writer on board does give hope that they could go that pathway. It would at least give them some new angles without actually "changing" the style of the original.

The risk is it could end up like the Battlestar remake - going wildly off-base to the original story and perhaps changing the very nature of core characters.

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Assuming this isn't horribly mishandled, I'm also up for it, even enthusiastic. I love the original, but hopefully this time there won't be as many Weekly Filler Episodes and well..the visuals really haven't aged well. up to date ships that have more than 10 polygons each would be delightful to see.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut





Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

 Kanluwen wrote:
CW is a bit less weird than you might think for a spot that this landed.

Between Wellington Paranormal, The Outpost, The 4400, and some more stuff...there's a bit of more grownup things going on now.


I will admit that I haven't kept up with the CW over the past decade so hopefully my fears are at least partly unfounded. If I see a cast of supposed teenagers in charge of the station and there is even a hint of an intergalactic prom, I reserve the right to kvetch.
   
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UK

I really enjoyed both DS9 and B5 and would enjoy seeing it come back or be redone.

I thnk the ships looked and look good - especially the more alien ones - Shadows, Minbari, Vorlons and the league races.

The risk is it could end up like the Battlestar remake - going wildly off-base to the original story and perhaps changing the very nature of core characters.


Having enjoyed BSG in its orginal form I absolutely loved the modern BSG - if they did a new B5 show to the same standard that would be fantastic.


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Austria

why it has to be always a reboot

just make a sequel or prequel as the story is changed anyway

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

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Because they already did that (and most of it was garbage). Plus 2/3rds or so of the original cast are dead.

I think folks also forget how much narrative acrobatics happened behind the scenes after Michael O'Hare was unable to continue after S1. The story JMS originally wrote and what ended up getting produced were wildly different.
   
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 kodos wrote:
why it has to be always a reboot

just make a sequel or prequel as the story is changed anyway


Not with Babylon 5. They tried sequels. They were awful.

The base story is kind of universal. It’s a saga of the ages but set in space. And as our world has changed over the intervening 25 or so years, it’s a story with new legs and fuel, new events and history to reflect and interpret.

The ending itself bears repeating ad infinitum. We Don’t Need You Trying To Force Us Into A Binary Option. Bugger Off And We’ll Find Our Own Way, For Better Or Worse.

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Austria

If you take the tried sequels as baseline than the reboot will be unwatchable

and yes, taking the original story, alter it a bit to get modern day US focused social context and here you go with a terrible reboot

this can be done with a different story in the same universe as well without changing to source material to the worse

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

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SoCal

I’m pretty optimistic so far.

The main reason why B5’s sequels couldn’t work is because B5 tells the story of the universe-changing events for that millennium, giving us enough glimpses forward and backward in time to get a feel for how momentous those events were. You can’t then follow it up with some big universe-changing story that has the same characters and keep it true to the series. Even setting it a hundred years later would have issues, since we have a general idea of how things should go based on the events of the original series.


   
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UK

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
 kodos wrote:
why it has to be always a reboot

just make a sequel or prequel as the story is changed anyway


Not with Babylon 5. They tried sequels. They were awful.

The base story is kind of universal. It’s a saga of the ages but set in space. And as our world has changed over the intervening 25 or so years, it’s a story with new legs and fuel, new events and history to reflect and interpret.

The ending itself bears repeating ad infinitum. We Don’t Need You Trying To Force Us Into A Binary Option. Bugger Off And We’ll Find Our Own Way, For Better Or Worse.


Agreed re the sequals!

There are alot of stories that could be told or expanded upon - and who knows different choices and paths might be taken.....

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"I will admit that some Primachs like Russ or Horus could have a chance against an unarmed 12 year old novice but, a full Battle Sister??!! One to one? In close combat? Perhaps three Primarchs fighting together... but just one Primarch?" da001

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Austria

 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
I’m pretty optimistic so far.

The main reason why B5’s sequels couldn’t work is because B5 tells the story of the universe-changing events for that millennium, giving us enough glimpses forward and backward in time to get a feel for how momentous those events were. You can’t then follow it up with some big universe-changing story that has the same characters and keep it true to the series. Even setting it a hundred years later would have issues, since we have a general idea of how things should go based on the events of the original series.

knowing how a story ends is less of an issue if the story telling as good
setting a shown on Valen, or the civil war from the far future would give enough possibilities

not talking about a Spin-Off small series set during the time of great event covering a niche but a real sequel telling the story of great events in the future

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

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I would bet good money this never happens.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
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 Frazzled wrote:
I would bet good money this never happens.


Possibly, but it must be fairly far along to do any kind of announcement.

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Dubious. I love the orignal four seasons. But it was mostly on the strength of the actors, most of whom are dead now. The quality of writing flailed a bit, and never really broke out of genre cliches. It's main strength in that area was going for a real story rather than episodic 'nothing ever changes.'

Would rather something new, than another attempt at 'rebottling lightning' reboot.

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Decrepit Dakkanaut





Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

Yeah, for a contemporary of DS9, B5 really had a mummy's curse on the cast. I think of the main characters only about a quarter of the actors are still alive. Only two DS9 main cast have passed away in the same time period.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/27 23:44:31


 
   
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B5 being one of my very favouritest series ever, this makes me apprehensive… on the other hand, I assume that Mr Morden will be all for a second crack at taking the station down and corrupting the Centauri elite

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Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

 Flinty wrote:
B5 being one of my very favouritest series ever, this makes me apprehensive… on the other hand, I assume that Mr Morden will be all for a second crack at taking the station down and corrupting the Centauri elite


I don't think it likely that Morden will survive as is. That seems to me to be the obvious gender swap. Frankly I'm ok with that (unlike usually) as gender was never even a minor consideration for the character.
   
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New Jersey, State of Perfection

I am stoked. Babylon 5 is the greatest of the scifi franchises but was relegated to the trash heap of third rate nerd cons by poorly aged SFX and costuming combined with WBs own internal parochial squabbling.

JMS has matured considerably as a designer and a visionary since then, so I have high hopes that he will surpass himself and push farther, though I wonder what hes got up his sleeve to make the new series as revolutionary as the original - he can't really rest on that whole "continuous saga told over several seasons" bit anymore, thats par for the course in television these days, and he'd be hard-pressed to go any more woke or progressive than he did with the original series.

But really all what I want is for the ships to look cool and for a bitchin' B5 fleet scale tabletop minis game to come out of this.

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Gathering the Informations.

Straczynski's Twitter feed wrote: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!


Some words from JMS...
   
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Southeastern PA, USA

 Overread wrote:
The risk is it could end up like the Battlestar remake - going wildly off-base to the original story and perhaps changing the very nature of core characters.


Maybe not the best example since original BSG was strong on concept but very, very weak on execution. I remember seeing it again for the first time on the SciFi channel maybe 10 years later and I couldn't believe how poorly it held up. nu-BSG is such a better show on every level -- stories, performances, characters, dialogue, etc.

I think JMS sounds spot-on for what this new B5 needs to be. Different and not more of the same ol' to serve fans.



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I love every word of that post. Im sure some people are going to kneejerk at the mention of BSG though, lol

EDIT - Damn, beaten to the punch.

Personally, loved the BSG reboot, much better than the original IMO

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/28 00:48:58


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Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
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Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Never saw much B5. I do remember the show had good music.

And this will never not be cool:


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Denison, Iowa

The Omega Destroyer is so iconic for this franchise. They better not screw with the design too much for the reboot.

Not to make another BSG reboot parallel, but I hope the reimaging of the ships is like they did for that show. A little less cheesy sci-fi and more gritty realistic sci-fi while paying an homage to the original designs.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/28 01:22:35


 
   
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 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Never saw much B5. I do remember the show had good music.

And this will never not be cool:



Every time I see that, I wonder how a ship with such a huge centrifuge deck can make a u-turn that fast without overstressing the frame.

Of course, if it could physically be done, that speech would inspire me to do it...

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Austria

I add this as my favourite quote





regarding the BSG reboot, at least from what I have seen/heard/talked the opinion differs a lot in US and EU and and while being liked on the first run it failed to become a classic here (with the original being considered to have aged much better than the reboot)

with the main problem of the original that they were forced tov switch from TV-movies to 1 episode per week on the fly with less money (and in Europe the show kept the movie style on first release and re-runs with episodes re-cut into 3 feature films)
were the main problem of the reboot is that they had no real plan for the ongoing plot or a detailed pre-planned start/middle/end for a 5 season show (that the last season was not available in German speaking countries for a long time as the channel broadcasting it could not afford to buy it while had a contract that it is not released on home media before they have showed it, did not really helped either)

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

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