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Old April 26 2009, 06:23 PM   #15
Temis the Vorta
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Re: What if a BSG-styled remake of Babylon 5 was made?

The original BSG was awful and couldn't be brought back without serious changes.

The original B5 was fine, and shouldn't be altered to a great degree. But it could use some fine-tuning. The main issues I see are:

1. JMS' ego. It's not like it's a big secret that the guy has an ego, so I guess this isn't being rude, right? I think he could profit from having collaborators to help reduce the annoying tics he has in his writing. Especially in that recent collection of new B5 stories, which bored me half to death, it was obvious that JMS has lost focus, and meanders around self-indulgently and doesn't get to the point quickly enough. Apparently he thinks anything w/n the B5 universe is inherently fascinating. Sorry, that's never the case with anything. You still need to work to hold the audience. Also, he's always had an annoying tendency to write villains as petty, mindless thugs - a very boring sort of antagonist - just so the hero can look all the more like Sir Gallahad. That tendency should be squelched wherever it raises its head.

2. Money. The recent B5 stories were produced on a shoestring, and it certainly showed. What's the point of doing anything if the production values are so bad as to be distracting? Even if the acting and writing were top-notch, they would be undercut by the horrible SFX. It's hard not to notice that, especially in sci fi.

3. Nostalga. Dragging the original B5 actors back into the picture is not the best idea. Many of them weren't all that hot to begin with (Boxleitner in particular) and some of the better ones sadly are no longer with us. I'd be unsentimental about it and either recast the roles (if TOS can do it successfully, everyone should be able to - Kirk and Spock are among the most un-recastable characters ever) or come up with all-new characters. How about everyone's favorite never-realized idea, the Telepath Wars, with Zach Levi as Alfred Bester and Claire Danes as Lyta Alexander, plus some new characters?

When I say a BSG-styled remake, I'm not just talking in terms of action. I'm talking in terms of realistic characters with human flaws and dimensions. Like, imagine Garibaldi being more like Colonel Tigh with both his drinking problem and his unwavering loyalty to his friend and CO.
I never thought of Garibaldi as being anything but realistic. Maybe he wasn't quite as showy and ready with witty quips at every turn, like Tigh, but his alcoholism was believable and well presented. He seemed like a perfectly real character to me.

I don't know who these "unrealistic" people or events are that you saw in B5. Within the context of space opera, it stuck me as real and not corny or contrived like some shows I could mention (cough*Stargate*cough).

What about Sinclair? Would he still have in the show? Or would have Sheridan being the commanding officer of Babylon 5 from the very beginning and have someone like Delenn and Sheridan's son be the one destined to become Valen?
If you recast the roles, either approach would work. If you don't recast the roles - erg. You pretty much have to.
And how would you portray Sheridan and Delenn's relationship in this remake? Would it have the feel of Adama and Roslin's relationship that starts off as a bit hostile and untrusting and grows into a strengtening bond of love and trust?
Sheridan and Delenn's relationship was fine the way it was developed. And when were Adama and Roslin actively "hostile"? They had differences in governing philosophy, sure, but that stemmed organically from the situation rather than being a personality conflic. If the plotline made it necessary that Sheridan and Delenn be at odds, then I suppose they would be. A remake shouldn't follow along the same plotline, since we've already seen that, so that's all an open question.
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