Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

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Elheru Aran
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-11 04:41pm

Lost Soal wrote:
2018-07-11 02:45pm
The orginal stock does exist, its just locked in a vault a Warners & the guys in charge want it to die because they had no say in its original run due to it airing through PTEN. Every show that was on PTEN has apparently been given the same treatment
Wow. That is one hell of a dick move. B5 was a popular enough show, I thought, that one would think they would stand to make some decent money by re-releasing it at better quality than is currently available. I mean, I don't know that it was like Star Trek levels of pop culture consciousness, but it should be up there as far as 90s sci-fi shows go, right?
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Lost Soal » 2018-07-11 05:19pm

I remember JMS stating sometime in mid 2000's tha the DVD's had made about half a billion.

https://freebabylon5.com/frequently-asked-questions/
Q: Why isn’t Babylon 5 available in reruns?

Short answer: Because, due to corporate in-fighting at Warner Bros., they simply don’t make it available.
Long answer: From the ‘Fandom Endures’ panel at Phoenix Comicon on May 25, 2013:
JMS: “The problem we have currently…it’s still on the air overseas. It still airs in the UK, in Australia, Germany, France, everywhere else but the US. And the problem is, even with availability online or on DVDs is that you have to go looking for it. Think about it. Where Star Trek took off in syndication, you might have been flipping through channels and you’d happen to land on a channel where Kirk’s fighting a Gorn and you think, “What the hell was that?!” and you stick around and watch the episode, and gradually you become acclimated to it. The only way to find the show in the US is to go looking for it.
The reason for that is petty beyond belief. When we started out, there was the PTEN network that was our first home on television syndication. And that was outside of Warner Bros. Television. Warner Bros. Television is like the big TV shows and the sitcoms and the Law & Orders and all that kind of stuff. And these [PTEN] executives said, “We want to make television, too. We’re part of Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution, we want to have shows”. And these guys [Warner Bros. Television] hated those guys [PTEN]. “It’ our job to create television, not your job. You’re just syndicated, you just set things up. What the hell do you think you’re doing?” And that enmity was there from Day 1 and persisted for the entire run of the show which is why all of the PTEN shows were kind of bastard children to Warner Bros. Television, particularly us because we did well which really pissed off the guys [at Warner Bros. Television].
When we went off the air finally, they couldn’t have been happier. They were looking for five years to shut us down. They seriously tried to sabotage the show numerous times but they couldn’t pull it off because the fan support was there. And once we were done, they scooped it and said “This is not part of Warner Bros., we’re not concerned about it. Put it online to help drive other platforms, to drive AOL or drive the online [content?], or drive Warner Bros. network online. But to actually acknowledge their own show, that it had any integrity or importance? Fuck no. And those people are still there dragging their heels.
It’s my abiding hope that over time the fans will gather up and say, like ‘Free Mars’, free Babylon 5. And start the fan movement to put it back on the air again. That may have a long term effect of making them aware of it. Because it’s now been put aside by the guys in charge being “below our notice”. It makes money for them. You know it made half a billion dollars in DVD sales, of which I’ve never seen a penny, nor has most of the cast.
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-11 07:26pm

That's relatively peanuts, but, this was only the mid2000s.
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Lost Soal » 2018-07-12 03:53am

That's on top of a show which made a profit every season in its first run as that was a condition of it continuing.
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Ivanova is always right.
I will listen to Ivanova.
I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God.
AND, if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out! - Babylon 5 Mantra

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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-12 02:15pm

Yeah, there's really not much other way to see it but petty assholery at this point. At least they let it be released on Prime, so that's something for US viewers.

Out of curiosity: this used to be common knowledge (more or less) around here back in the 00s, but it's long since escaped my memory... where does B5 rank firepower-wise? IIRC it's more or less on a par with Trek?
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-07-12 02:26pm

The story I heard around season 5 was:
- First the plan was for the end of season 4 to be the torture episode.
- Then season 4 had to be compressed due to JMS being convinced that he had no hope for season 5.
- He learned that season 5 was happening. He wrote up a plan for season 5. Which he left in a hotel room and the cleaner threw it away.
- He then had to rush out a new plan.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-07-09 07:29pm
(mostly because I want to see more of that magnificent dick Mr. Bester),
Which of Walter Koenig's performances do you think is better, Bester or Chekov ?

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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-12 02:48pm

Bastard's, definitely.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Col. Crackpot » 2018-07-12 03:46pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-07-12 02:15pm

Out of curiosity: this used to be common knowledge (more or less) around here back in the 00s, but it's long since escaped my memory... where does B5 rank firepower-wise? IIRC it's more or less on a par with Trek?
The warhead that destroyed the Minbari Blackstar was low megaton range IIRC. Nobody had shields except the Vree. Most folks lacked artificial gravity. So safe to say most races ranked well below Trek.

Though I do remember the Shadows performing planetary bombardment on the level of an Imperial Base Delta Zero with a cloud of missiles. Their beam weapons looked a little weak, so the ancient races were somewhere between Trek and Wars maybe.

Also, what a blast from the past. I’m ashamed to admit, but 15 years ago my one and only fanfic contribution to this board was a B5 vs TMP era trek story I never finished. Fun memories. Totally forgot about that.
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by NeoGoomba » 2018-07-12 04:00pm

Oh man, yeah. Kind of brings us all back a bit.

*Adagio For Strings plays as we all remember countless iterations of "Whitestar vs. Defiant" threads*
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-12 05:14pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-07-12 02:26pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-07-09 07:29pm
(mostly because I want to see more of that magnificent dick Mr. Bester),
Which of Walter Koenig's performances do you think is better, Bester or Chekov ?
Koenig had way more to do as Bester. As Chekov he oscillated between support guy and comic relief.
NeoGoomba wrote:
2018-07-12 04:00pm
Oh man, yeah. Kind of brings us all back a bit.

*Adagio For Strings plays as we all remember countless iterations of "Whitestar vs. Defiant" threads*
You could do a good Ken Burns doco about old SDN threads. I'd love to see some old posts read by Morgan Freeman and Sam Waterston.
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Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Col. Crackpot » 2018-07-12 05:56pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-12 05:14pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2018-07-12 02:26pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-07-09 07:29pm
(mostly because I want to see more of that magnificent dick Mr. Bester),
Which of Walter Koenig's performances do you think is better, Bester or Chekov ?
Koenig had way more to do as Bester. As Chekov he oscillated between support guy and comic relief.
NeoGoomba wrote:
2018-07-12 04:00pm
Oh man, yeah. Kind of brings us all back a bit.

*Adagio For Strings plays as we all remember countless iterations of "Whitestar vs. Defiant" threads*
You could do a good Ken Burns doco about old SDN threads. I'd love to see some old posts read by Morgan Freeman and Sam Waterston.
Wong posts deserve a reading by none less than Neil Degrasse Tyson. An annoyed Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Ubiquitous » 2018-07-13 07:07am

What a show B5 was at the time. It was a big part of my childhood. Sadly the SFX have not stood the test of time, and regretfully the acting and 'feel' of the show have not aged well either. But at the time it was awesome. What a golden age for TV sci-fi the late 90's/early 00's were.
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-07-13 12:24pm

There is a lot of charm in that cheesiness. And honestly, I don't diss the CGI because it's pretty obvious that it's only the way it is because they were limited by their budget and mid-90s computer processing power, as opposed to some modern blockbusters that dump tens of millions of dollars into the latest technology and still look like ass.

And as hammy as the acting is at times, I think the writing has definitely stood the test of time. Plus, there are also a lot of really legitimately good performances throughout the show from the main cast, frequent guest stars, and even some one episode cameos.

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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-13 12:34pm

I mean... the CGI is pretty bad, occasionally SoD-breaking because it's just so blatant. Looks like something out of the FIRST Wing Commander. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but still. Part of the problem is that because of the poor transfer to whatever format they use for TV reruns, that bollocked a lot of the digital effects-- there are comparison pictures out there. Recordings of the original broadcast actually look better, twenty-ish years down the road.

Apparently they were actually using even Amiga computers to run early season CGI... so, yeah. There was a very distinct ceiling in what they were able to achieve, but to give them due credit, considering all the obstacles they had, they did a pretty reasonable job with what they had on hand. The effects did improve somewhat as time went on, the last battle above Earth for example looks considerably better than say the Shadow attack upon the Narn base in the first episode. For all that, thank Valen we don't watch that show for the effects...
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Re: Old TV Show: Babylon 5 Now on Prime

Post by SpottedKitty » 2018-07-15 09:37pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-07-13 12:34pm
Apparently they were actually using even Amiga computers to run early season CGI... so, yeah.
The Amiga Video Toaster, IIRC. I used to follow the B5 Usenet newsgroups while the show was in its original UK run, and there were occasional mentions that the VT was used to generate the SFX for the pilot episode. Can't remember what was used for the regular series episodes; probably Lightwave, it was beginning to have really impressive-looking capabilities about then.
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