Babylon 5 Reboot

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Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by TimothyC »

JMS has posted on twitter that he's working with the CW to do a reboot of Babylon 5. He is very clear that this would be a reboot and recasting rather than a continuation (he brings up that some of the various actors and actresses that have died over the years since the show's ending). I for one, do no think this was on anyone's 2021 bingo cards.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Solauren »

Huh.

I had 'Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future' down on my Bingo card.

I wasn't expecting Babylon 5 for another few years yet.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by LadyTevar »

1. It's good that it's JMS. Maybe he'll have the creative control to do it like he WANTED TO last time.

2. It's still going to be a reboot, with different faces for beloved characters. They're gonna be heavily judged against what/who came before.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Batman »

I'm of two minds about this. One the one hand I'm always in favour of more SciFi and especially more B5. On the other hand, seing B5 without the familiar faces, and possibly without the familiar characters just doesn't seem right
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Solauren »

Batman wrote: 2021-09-28 05:21pm I'm of two minds about this. One the one hand I'm always in favour of more SciFi and especially more B5. On the other hand, seing B5 without the familiar faces, and possibly without the familiar characters just doesn't seem right
It worked for Star Trek (Abrams Trilogy)
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Batman »

Not for me. Oh it earned the right to use the 'name' and it turned out a lot better than I initially expected but to me it will never be real Star Trek
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Lost Soal »

LadyTevar wrote: 2021-09-28 04:41pm 1. It's good that it's JMS. Maybe he'll have the creative control to do it like he WANTED TO last time.

2. It's still going to be a reboot, with different faces for beloved characters. They're gonna be heavily judged against what/who came before.
He had the creative control last time. What he was lacking was the budget and technical ability to implement certain ideas such as Delenn's transition.
The only two real times that the network impeded was their insistence on the Warren Keffer character and when the blocked him from casting Michael York as Sheridan
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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Batman wrote: 2021-09-28 06:22pm Not for me. Oh it earned the right to use the 'name' and it turned out a lot better than I initially expected but to me it will never be real Star Trek
No, but with reboots it may be the "real" one for a whole new generation of people. You and I can fire up the nostalgia glasses when we see it, but a younger viewer today might not be able to do so.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Batman »

And they shouldn't have to. If they're happy with this iteration of Trek groovy. All I'm saying is that I'm not
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by bilateralrope »

Two of the tweets that stand out:
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.
Trying to do something different gets me more interested than redoing the original with a new cast and better special effects.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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bilateralrope wrote: 2021-09-28 10:32pm Two of the tweets that stand out:
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.
Trying to do something different gets me more interested than redoing the original with a new cast and better special effects.
I saw that a well, and yes, it's a good way to go about it. Like a lot of good SciFi, his stories were based on things going on at the time in the world, politics, social issues. He's got a lot more material to move on now, even if a lot of the Real World Issues are stubbornly sticking around. It's HOW he can approach the issues now that will make/break the story.

As for SFX and CGI, he's got so much more he can do! Yes, his physical effects for a lot of the creatures can still work, like the Vorlon Containment Suits, but it'd be nice to see the Shadows interacting more, and not being mostly static effects standing behind Morden.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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Gandalf wrote: 2021-09-28 09:18pm
Batman wrote: 2021-09-28 06:22pm Not for me. Oh it earned the right to use the 'name' and it turned out a lot better than I initially expected but to me it will never be real Star Trek
No, but with reboots it may be the "real" one for a whole new generation of people. You and I can fire up the nostalgia glasses when we see it, but a younger viewer today might not be able to do so.
This, completely. Now, Star Trek from the 60's has actually aged pretty well in part because of restoration and enhancement of the special effects over the years. But B5 is downright unwatchable to me because everything looks like dogshit! Its not just the CGI, though even at the time there were better looking video games. The set design is also pretty uninspired considering the show is supposed to take place on an O'Neil cylinder crossed with a Bernal sphere. Yet few scenes actually take place in those habitat sections, so it all looks like a blander version of DS9's sets. At least DS9 gives the architecture an alien flair to it. I also can't stand the sound track; I can't really explain why, but it just doesn't work for me either. And then there is all the actors who phoned in their performance, resulting in characters who come off as downright wooden or corny or both. Frankly, the only people I see praise it are old SF nerds who seem to really put on the nostalgia goggles rather than considering how newer viewers would approach the material. Even the fact that it was ahead of its time in having a myth arc is no longer special. Period. Whatever they do with the reboot, it needs to drag the script out of the '90s and improve on... well, everything.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Isolder74 »

This looks promising but begs the question who will be the best person to play Garibaldi? He needs to be strong but subtle.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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Formless wrote: 2021-09-29 05:29pm
Gandalf wrote: 2021-09-28 09:18pm
Batman wrote: 2021-09-28 06:22pm Not for me. Oh it earned the right to use the 'name' and it turned out a lot better than I initially expected but to me it will never be real Star Trek
No, but with reboots it may be the "real" one for a whole new generation of people. You and I can fire up the nostalgia glasses when we see it, but a younger viewer today might not be able to do so.
This, completely. Now, Star Trek from the 60's has actually aged pretty well in part because of restoration and enhancement of the special effects over the years. But B5 is downright unwatchable to me because everything looks like dogshit! Its not just the CGI, though even at the time there were better looking video games. The set design is also pretty uninspired considering the show is supposed to take place on an O'Neil cylinder crossed with a Bernal sphere. Yet few scenes actually take place in those habitat sections, so it all looks like a blander version of DS9's sets. At least DS9 gives the architecture an alien flair to it. I also can't stand the sound track; I can't really explain why, but it just doesn't work for me either. And then there is all the actors who phoned in their performance, resulting in characters who come off as downright wooden or corny or both. Frankly, the only people I see praise it are old SF nerds who seem to really put on the nostalgia goggles rather than considering how newer viewers would approach the material. Even the fact that it was ahead of its time in having a myth arc is no longer special. Period. Whatever they do with the reboot, it needs to drag the script out of the '90s and improve on... well, everything.
B5's budget was miniscule. Half that of DS9 per episode.

A lot of the things you're talking about they just wouldn't have been able to afford.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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Isolder74 wrote: 2021-10-02 01:17pm This looks promising but begs the question who will be the best person to play Garibaldi? He needs to be strong but subtle.
Ooo... there's a fun guessing game. Who should they get to star in it?

Garibaldi -- Jensen Ackles? He's got that mix of strong/subtle asshole/friend.
Londo -- I'm thinking Matt Smith. As the Doctor, he showed he can be hugely expressive, but his role as Prince Phillip showed his drama chops.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Batman »

Remember, this is a 'reboot', not a 'retelling'. Which if any of the familiar characters can we even expect back?
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by Gandalf »

They'll probably have the main characters, but tinker with the characterisations a bit to make them fit in the new story mould. So there will probably be a Londo and G'Kar, but who knows what they'll be like as characters?
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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I wouldn't assume any specific character is even coming back.

Considering that the original still has some of the best space battles in any TV show or movie, I will be very interested to see what they can do with modern CGI and a decent budget.

It be a nice wink to the original if the intro went something like this:
"It was the dawn of the forth age..." reboot dialog here "... the name of the place is Babylon 5"
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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Vendetta wrote: 2021-10-02 05:37pmB5's budget was miniscule. Half that of DS9 per episode.

A lot of the things you're talking about they just wouldn't have been able to afford.
You know what, I don't care. No fandom seems to hide behind that excuse more than B5 fans. Star Trek didn't always have the budget to realize their grandest ideas, but realized that budgetary limitations are also creative limitations and worked within that. The Brog for instance were originally supposed to be an insect like species, but the budget wasn't there to realize such creatures onscreen. So they went with cyborgs instead, and the show was better for the change. B5 didn't do that, though, they tried instead to make JMS's script work despite the budget, which is why they went with CGI for instance. But there is no getting around the fact that the CGI aged like milk. The sets are underwhelming compared to what seems to be promised by the station's design; so just redesign the station to set expectations better! Sure, it means what few scenes they did have that were set inside the habitat cylinder would need to be changed, but that just frees up money to dress up the sets they used more frequently to look less dull.

The money excuse certainly doesn't excuse the lackluster performances from many of the actors. You don't need the most expensive names in Hollywood, but you do need a director who can bring out the best in the actors you have. And besides, some of the actors they had were actually pretty well known in the business, like Walter Koenig. So I just don't buy it.

And I don't know what it is about the music I don't like, but good music certainly isn't that expensive. By DS9 it was a long time since Rick Berman fired the guy who composed TNG's first three seasons and 90% of all scenes were stock music. It still sounded... fine? I can't complain about it, is what I'm saying.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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Biggest issue is that it's for the CW. Just compare something like Doom Patrol to the current batch of CW superhero shows, there's no comparison, the CW is terrible. This needs to be on a no limits streaming platform.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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This is a random wish listing thing but B5 scrolls has some stuff with the original designers of the Omega that described how they originally wanted a complex gimbal on the back that accommodated maneuvering a centrifuge, and that originally it had starfuries launching from the rotating section, firing gigaton charges from the big guns on the front, and so on.

I want to see that Omega.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

Post by FaxModem1 »

It can be good, but it'll really depend on how they go about it. Having the characters of Michael Garibaldi and Zack Allen might be problematic considering how much culture had changed regarding law enforcement since the 1990s.

Other things might need to he reexamined. Common opinions on things like healthcare, homelessness, and other issues which were not as prominent or viewed in the same way in the 1990s as they are in the 2020s, but are a big part of the setting of B5 and how 'grounded' a setting it is. JMS notes back in the day that in the 80s and 90s, Trek was all there was, and B5 was a step against that.

Which today is actually rather old hat, as The Expanse, BSG, Firefly, Altered Carbon, Dark Matter, and other shows have all showed a 'realistic ' or 'grimdark' setting. Having a show in which people die every othe episode, things go wrong, or the setting is dystopian is the norm for science fiction. Hell, even Star Trek is grim and gritty.

Nowadays, making something optimistic in a future setting would be going against the grain.
Meest wrote: 2021-10-03 05:56am Biggest issue is that it's for the CW. Just compare something like Doom Patrol to the current batch of CW superhero shows, there's no comparison, the CW is terrible. This needs to be on a no limits streaming platform.
On equal note, compare The 100 to the rest of CW fare, where the cast is still plenty of pretty 20 and 30 somethings, but they explore a lot of concepts, and try to give them their due. The writing is leagues better than anything the Arrowverse has given.

My main question is how will it stand out when things like Foundation, The Expanse, and even Star Trek going for a grim dark setting nowadays.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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I don't really think B5 rates as grimdark, or even especially gritty, in its original incarnation.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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I'd rather have captain power tbh.
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Re: Babylon 5 Reboot

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His Divine Shadow wrote: 2021-10-08 06:51am I'd rather have captain power tbh.
And easily updatable to be applicable to todays culture.
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