Re-Boot of Babylon 5

kamandi

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There were some heavy hitters in the writer's room that JMS won't have for a remake*. He didn't make B5 by himself. Harlan Ellison wrote some of the best stories and won't be there this time. Peter David, Neil Gaiman, D. C. Fontana, and David Gerrold were contributors and we've lost a few of them as well.

Above all I just don't trust Hollywood to get it right any longer.

* I'm tired of the term "reboot" for shows. Computers get rebooted. Movies and TV get remakes.
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There were some heavy hitters in the writer's room that JMS won't have for a remake*. He didn't make B5 by himself. Harlan Ellison wrote some of the best stories and won't be there this time. Peter David, Neil Gaiman, D. C. Fontana, and David Gerrold were contributors and we've lost a few of them as well.

Above all I just don't trust Hollywood to get it right any longer.

* I'm tired of the term "reboot" for shows. Computers get rebooted. Movies and TV get remakes.
True, but he wrote the Majority of B-5 by himself.

Harlan contributed a lot of concepts and ideas as well.

He is sorely missed by me as well as many, many people, AND is happilly missed by as many, if not, more!
 

Metaluna mutant

Sr Member
I'm more interested in how JMS will handle the longer term mysteries that made the bulk of the plot of the original series.

The biggest questions -- What happened to Babylon 4, why was Sinclair spared at the Battle of the Line, why did the Minbari surrender, who are the Shadows, what exactly are the Vorlons doing, whats up with Telepaths, and whos steering Earth's slide into Fascism -- were the core of the series.

I'm presuming it will be all new mysteries, aliens, motives and stories - like the Star Wars or the MCU cherry picking what it wants from decades of books and comics to make new stories and discarding what it doesn't like or feels is outdated.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
I don't even want to think about the PC and woke that might be present in the new B5... :ninja:

Well it kind of depends on how it's done. If it's preachy and treats the audience like we're all racist/misogynistic/whateverphobic little kids, it will fall on it's face immediately. If it's done how a lot of scifi like ST and the original B5 (somewhat) did and makes you think about an issue in a new way in the guise of scifi, it can work. Of course modern Hollywood reverts to the former because it thinks we're all kids who have to be forced into a certain mindset/belief and it is totally transparent, which is why that doesn't work. I think The Falcon & the Winter Soldier did a good job of showing prejudice/racism without making it look like they were calling the viewer a racist. That's how you do it.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
"Listen to me, it will be fine."
annasheridan.jpg
 

Solo4114

Master Member
A couple of observations here.

1. While I would have loved to see the old series continue, it's been 20 years since the show ended, and half the cast is dead. Any continuation would, itself, be a "soft reboot" anyway, because you'd end up with a whole new cast as the focus, with all new problems and drama and the like. From a financial perspective, a hard reboot makes perfect sense. B5 is a niche property. It's well regarded by a cadre of scifi fans, but it isn't even universally known outside of that. If you weren't around when it was on, it's completely obscure. I convinced my wife to watch it (and she loved it, by the way) back in 2017 or so, and she'd never heard of it. She was born in the mid-80s. On the other hand, she'd heard of Star Trek, Doctor Who, and other sci-fi giants. I reference her because she's the kind of audience that Warner Bros. wants to capture: people who don't know the property but are open to new sci-fi shows. You aren't going to get those people with a continuation of the old series, especially one that requires prior knowledge to fully appreciate. You just won't. And that means that it wouldn't be greenlit, and B5 would continue to languish in relative obscurity. And that's not even touching on the people who knew of the show but were more loyal DS9 at the time and therefore wouldn't watch "The other space station show." A continuation was never, ever going to happen.

2. I would likewise love to see the old show get the love and care it deserves for an F/X overhaul. Much of that would be impossible (I think the composite CGI/Human shots simply cannot be restored because the original components don't exist), but some improvements would be nice. I think the best bet for that happening is if this new show does well. It would prompt interest in the old one, which might finally convince WB to spend the money on restorations.

3. I trust Joe to do good work. If he's given a sufficient budget and free reign in the creative process, this new show will be good. It'll be different, but it'll still be good. Joe's an incredible storyteller. All we need is for the network to not get in his way too much. Even then, he's enough of a seasoned hand that I think he can navigate network requests.

4. Speaking of the network, you guys should be overjoyed that this show will be airing on CW. Why? Because CW is going to be the friendliest, most tolerant network for a show like this. And the reason behind that turns on the economics of television production. CW is itself a division of WB. WB holds all the rights to the B5 IP. That means that, right off the bat, WB doesn't have to pay to acquire the rights to develop the show. Out of the gate, it is cheaper, and money spent on the show is actually money spent burnishing an existing WB property. Second, while there is always the individual production company making the show (e.g., Greg Berlanti's production company for his various CW shows, Babylonian Productions for the original show), the CW almost always produces its own content and is underwriting that show. They're the deep pockets. That's not always the case with network TV. For example, Brooklyn 99 originally aired on Fox, but was produced by Universal Television, which is itself an NBC/Universal property. When Fox canceled the show, NBC picked it up to air seasons 6-8. CW, on the other hand, develops the vast bulk of its shows "in-house." And when that happens, networks tend to be a lot more forgiving of less-than-stellar ratings. My guess is that B5 will struggle initially. It's not quite a natural fit for the CW, which is often associated with teen dramas or the Berlantiverse version of DC. But most of the Berlantiverse shows are winding down, and the network is looking for new content. (It's also got more stuff than just that, but not everyone's aware of it.) My guess is that CW wants to shift its reputation a bit and branch out in terms of its content, thereby expanding its audience. But regardless, it you look at the history of CW shows, they tend to stay on the air for multiple seasons, usually ending on their own terms. There are some exceptions, of course, but CW is very, very forgiving of its shows.

5. For those concerned about there being an "agenda" to this upcoming show, let me reassure you: there absolutely will be an agenda. How can I say this with such certainty? Because the original absolutely had an agenda. If you think it was politically neutral, you were either not paying attention or easily swayed by the kewl sci-fi aspects. B5 is a story of good vs. evil, and it has a very, very clear political point of view which it ties into that struggle. One side is good, the other is evil, and B5 is 100% clear as to who's on which side. So, yeah, there's likely to be an agenda. There always was. Now, admittedly, some of the CW shows handle their agendas in a pretty ham-fisted way, to the point where even if you agree with them, you may find yourself exasperated at the on-the-nose nature of them. But that's also a different production company and a different writing team, so I would hope we'll see a better approach -- especially if JMS himself is writing the bulk of the show.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
5. For those concerned about there being an "agenda" to this upcoming show, let me reassure you: there absolutely will be an agenda. How can I say this with such certainty? Because the original absolutely had an agenda. If you think it was politically neutral, you were either not paying attention or easily swayed by the kewl sci-fi aspects. B5 is a story of good vs. evil, and it has a very, very clear political point of view which it ties into that struggle. One side is good, the other is evil, and B5 is 100% clear as to who's on which side. So, yeah, there's likely to be an agenda. There always was. Now, admittedly, some of the CW shows handle their agendas in a pretty ham-fisted way, to the point where even if you agree with them, you may find yourself exasperated at the on-the-nose nature of them. But that's also a different production company and a different writing team, so I would hope we'll see a better approach -- especially if JMS himself is writing the bulk of the show.

I don't have a problem with politics or some other agenda being injected into a movie or tv show. It's more about how it's done. Right now Hollywood likes to treat viewers like stupid racist/misogynist/homophobic/etc kids rather than adults and it comes across as condescending and being talked down to. Good scifi, like the original ST or B5, can make you look at social or political issues in a new way in the guise of scifi and it works. I just don't like when it starts off "Hey racist, let's show you how much of a horrible person you are!"
 

Cephus

Sr Member
I don't have a problem with politics or some other agenda being injected into a movie or tv show. It's more about how it's done. Right now Hollywood likes to treat viewers like stupid racist/misogynist/homophobic/etc kids rather than adults and it comes across as condescending and being talked down to. Good scifi, like the original ST or B5, can make you look at social or political issues in a new way in the guise of scifi and it works. I just don't like when it starts off "Hey racist, let's show you how much of a horrible person you are!"

There's a difference between an internal agenda and an external one. B5 had an internal political design that was relatively consistent throughout. What people complain about are the shows that constantly preach about real world issues to viewers. I can think of three shows that went insane over racism against black officers, Prodigal Son, Lucifer in the final season and most recently, The Rookie, where they just crowbarred the issue into the show out of the blue when it had never existed before they decided to get "woke". Prodigal Son got cancelled immediately thereafter, Lucifer was already cancelled, it was just trying to get woke points before it died and the ratings for The Rookie are in the toilet following season 3. These shows are supposed to be escapist entertainment. Hollywood has forgotten what escapism entails. It means keep your damn political agenda to yourself.
 

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