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Author Topic: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development  (Read 1766 times)

jeff37923

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Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« on: September 28, 2021, 11:03:23 AM »
Direct from Variety.

https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/babylon-5-reboot-the-cw-j-michael-straczynski-1235075236/?fbclid=IwAR1eHIrzPnsuBJZo57iCmb7gCagZeLjO5Wm0__Y6bLOsR9C7m07wIGSMvP0


Direct from J. Michael Strazynski:
Quote from: JMS
J. Michael Straczynski - Hang with JMS
 
To answer all the questions, yes, it’s true, Babylon 5 is now 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 the 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 both fresh and familiar.

To those who have asked why we’re not just doing 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.{/

Ghostmaker

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2021, 11:13:30 AM »
I have no faith in this.

Sorry. Seen too much. I don't know if JMS is woke or not, but I have no confidence either way. Either he's on the woke train, in which case it'll SUCK. Or he's not, at which point he'll get cross-threaded with the wokeists and spend inordinate amounts of time and energy fighting them.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2021, 11:29:48 AM »
Babylon 5 was more hippie dippy and niavely idealistic then friggin STAR TREK.

But for the people that liked that sort of thing, it was made well. Babylon 5 needs maybe a CGI upgrade at most. Reboots are cynical cashgrabs and those that consume them are the kind of person that eats fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Oddend

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2021, 01:41:45 PM »
Direct from J. Michael Strazynski:
Quote from: JMS
the CW

lol

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 01:59:11 PM »
I have no faith in this.

Sorry. Seen too much. I don't know if JMS is woke or not, but I have no confidence either way. Either he's on the woke train, in which case it'll SUCK. Or he's not, at which point he'll get cross-threaded with the wokeists and spend inordinate amounts of time and energy fighting them.

   I think he's on the Woke Train. In any case, as I said on Twitter, the original B5 stood at a precarious balance between greatness and absurdity, and I think any remake is more likely to tumble into the abyss than find itself on solid footing.

    The question is, will he have Sheridan sell his marriage to Delenn to the Shadows? ;)

Ratman_tf

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 02:10:52 PM »
Speaking as a fan who is currently at halfway through Season 5 of a rewatch, I'm not very interested in this.

Babylon 5 was very much a product of it's time. When it was thought that Star Trek was the only sci-fi television show with any staying power, B5 came along and, with great effort, managed to get all 5 of it's planned seasons out, and carve out a fan niche of it's own.
It's planned storyline was revolutionary for it's time, when episodic television was the status quo. (Yes, there are exceptions)
But now? I feel like JMS has said and done everything that he wanted to say and do, and his sequel series and most of the TV movies (excepting In the Beginning) were really a (pun intended?) shadow of the main series. Crusade was terribly clunky, despite having some really great ideas (What's in the box?!?!?) and Legend of the Rangers was downright atrocious.

No, not even addressing whether it's going to be some kind of Woke garbage, Babylon 5, warts and all, is a complete story that's well worth watching, and the chances of a rehash adding anything of entertainment value are slim.

But for fanboy's sake...

Quote
To those who have asked why we’re not just doing 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?

There's 20 years after the end of the series and the decommisioning of Babylon 5 to tell stories in. They shouldn't dig up the bones of old characters. Do something new in the same setting. Only Zak was shown to still be on the station 20 years later, and he can be sidestepped, since the actor is likely not age appropriate anymore. Lockley could have moved on after a few years.
Just to make the point. They don't need to make a rote sequel with the same characters.


« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 02:19:21 PM by Ratman_tf »
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ThatChrisGuy

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 02:13:02 PM »
Direct from Variety.

https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/babylon-5-reboot-the-cw-j-michael-straczynski-1235075236/?fbclid=IwAR1eHIrzPnsuBJZo57iCmb7gCagZeLjO5Wm0__Y6bLOsR9C7m07wIGSMvP0


Seeing "Reboot," "The CW," and "Babylon 5" together is a factory of sadness eclipsing even the Browns.

Edit: screwed up formatting
I made a blog: Southern Style GURPS

Ratman_tf

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 02:21:13 PM »
Babylon 5 was more hippie dippy and niavely idealistic then friggin STAR TREK.

But for the people that liked that sort of thing, it was made well. Babylon 5 needs maybe a CGI upgrade at most. Reboots are cynical cashgrabs and those that consume them are the kind of person that eats fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The CGI got so much better over the course of the series, an update would be great, but cost to return ratio would likely be prohibitive.
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Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2021, 06:46:10 PM »
I don't know if JMS is woke or not, but I have no confidence either way. Either he's on the woke train, in which case it'll SUCK. Or he's not, at which point he'll get cross-threaded with the wokeists and spend inordinate amounts of time and energy fighting them.

There is reason to be optimistic, I think. JMS is one of the few explicitly atheist writers I've encountered who nonetheless groks religious thought and religious people well enough to write them in a serious, non-patronizing and non-offensive manner. That ability is usually incompatible with Woke sensibilities. And JMS has previously demonstrated enough stubbornness to disdain PC sensibilities where they would interfere with the story he wants to tell.

That said, I have to admit that much as I loved Babylon 5 in the '90s and would love to see a version done with everything that could be brought to bear on it now, there's a part of me that kind of wonders, "What's the point?" I know the story of the Shadow War, the secret of the hole in Sinclair's mind, the arc of Sheridan and Delenn, and everything else, and for JMS to overhaul those to the point of being surprising again he will have to lose all the mythic resonance of the original arcs. So I would probably check this out for curiosity's sake but couldn't guarantee sticking with it.
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Lurkndog

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2021, 09:45:17 AM »
I dunno.

On the one hand, I'm worried it might turn into woke garbage, or CW fluff.

On the other hand, though, it is true that B5 had to change course abruptly at a number of points, due to actors becoming unavailable, and threats of early cancellation. It would be interesting to see a version of Babylon 5 that went more according to plan. The show could be tighter overall, and avoid the pacing issues of Seasons 4 and 5.

They could also include elements like the Telepath War that were never filmed for the original show.

It would also be sweet to see a version of Babylon 5 shot with the technology they use for The Mandalorian. There's just so much more you could do.

One thing I haven't seen yet, and it may not be decided yet, is what the budget is going to be like, and how many episodes are going to be in a season, and how many seasons are planned.

Lurkndog

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2021, 09:53:14 AM »
That said, I have to admit that much as I loved Babylon 5 in the '90s and would love to see a version done with everything that could be brought to bear on it now, there's a part of me that kind of wonders, "What's the point?" I know the story of the Shadow War, the secret of the hole in Sinclair's mind, the arc of Sheridan and Delenn, and everything else, and for JMS to overhaul those to the point of being surprising again he will have to lose all the mythic resonance of the original arcs. So I would probably check this out for curiosity's sake but couldn't guarantee sticking with it.

Here's a what-if: If they're going with Sheridan from Day 1, are they going to give him Sinclair's back story?

What will the Sheridan/Delenn arc look like if Delenn becomes human, and Sheridan becomes Valen? Do they go back in time at the end of the show, instead of doing Sleeping in Light?

It could be very different, and in a good way.

Ratman_tf

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2021, 11:20:35 AM »
That said, I have to admit that much as I loved Babylon 5 in the '90s and would love to see a version done with everything that could be brought to bear on it now, there's a part of me that kind of wonders, "What's the point?" I know the story of the Shadow War, the secret of the hole in Sinclair's mind, the arc of Sheridan and Delenn, and everything else, and for JMS to overhaul those to the point of being surprising again he will have to lose all the mythic resonance of the original arcs. So I would probably check this out for curiosity's sake but couldn't guarantee sticking with it.

Here's a what-if: If they're going with Sheridan from Day 1, are they going to give him Sinclair's back story?

What will the Sheridan/Delenn arc look like if Delenn becomes human, and Sheridan becomes Valen? Do they go back in time at the end of the show, instead of doing Sleeping in Light?

It could be very different, and in a good way.

JMS has said, quoted in the first post, that they won't be using the same characters. At least, not as we saw them in the show. I can't imagine them using all the character and plot beats from the original series. I'd expect some really radical departures and changes, otherwise, it's not even a reboot, but a straight remake.
Hell, the new series could have the same kind of issues come up, and get changed mid-series like the original.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 11:29:53 AM by Ratman_tf »
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Lurkndog

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2021, 10:38:01 AM »
I would expect Season 1 to be radically different. For one, the pacing of the original is widely criticized. And two, assuming the Shadows are still the Big Bads, there wouldn't be much point in saving their introduction for the end of season cliffhanger. Everyone will know what's coming.

One big difference is that using a digital projection soundstage like The Mandalorian means you aren't tied down to plywood sets in a hot tub factory. The action can go off-station much more easily. And you can have scenes take place in much bigger spaces inside the station. The nightclub can be a full-sized casino. The bridge of the station can be bigger than a two car garage. The diplomatic spaces can have a proper UN sized auditorium.

Or maybe you keep the station sets small, because B5 is the cheap station they built after Babylon 4 disappeared, but you contrast it with grand spaces everywhere else.

At the very least, you can do the "walking down curved corridors in a station shaped like a drum" shots that 2001: A Space Odyssey did with expensive rotating sets, and B5 had to avoid because they didn't have the budget to do that all the time. 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 10:49:29 AM by Lurkndog »

Pat

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2021, 11:57:10 AM »
Direct from J. Michael Strazynski:
Quote from: JMS
the CW

lol
Unlike the stuffy old Babylon 5, in the nu Babylon 5 everyone is young, hot, and takes off their shirts a lot.

Zelen

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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot in Development
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2021, 04:31:29 PM »
Babylon 5 was more hippie dippy and niavely idealistic then friggin STAR TREK.

What makes you say that? B5 had some pretty dark parts to it between Londo & G'Kar as well as the EarthGov / PsiCorps.


While I enjoyed Babylon 5 for its time, and I'd consider myself a big fan even today, I have no interest in a Babylon 5 remake done by CW or one that adapts to present day political orthodoxy. Not interested, and unless Straczynski and others explicitly state otherwise, I won't even look into it.