The Caretaker wrote:
I was reading on a B5 forum a while ago about this issue and some were certain that the original film cans were either missing or had been "attacked" by rats, making a TNG-type restoration impossible. Where they got this information from I have no idea. If we are worried about the CGI in DS9 causing a headache for Blu Ray I have no idea how Warners would cope with recreating all the CGI shots for B5.
Blame the people owning the B5 film stock for not taking care of it more carefully like Paramount has done with Trek. Also the people that did all the original visual effects and had that information are now gone, along with everything they did. They would have to start from scratch with completely new effects.
The studio probably doesn't think it is worth the cost to do a completely new remastering for B5.
If Warner Bros. were to do a straight-up release of the series right now on Blu-Ray, virtually none of the current effects work would hold up in 1080p resolution. This is because the majority (if not all) of the original digital effects files were dumped out of computer memory years ago at Foundation Imaging and Netter Digital, and would have to be completely recreated from scratch for any future high-definition release.
Were those same files still available today, they could be upconverted to HD (according to JMS). But they aren't, sadly.
Watching the show nowadays via DVD on our 60" HDTV, the live-action stuff still looks pretty good; most of the space stuff, unfortunately, does not. If Warners were to simply dump the existing transfers onto BD, the resulting mess would be excruciating -- the space-battles would look like junk, resolution-wise, still locked in 480p (or below).
When you check out the recent B5: The Lost Tales
movie, the VFX work was produced in high-definition, and it looks amazing. God forbid the main series itself should ever actually look this great. For Babylon 5
to continue to have any sort of realistic future and shot at rediscovery, it desperately needs a TOS/TNG-style visual makeover.
Warner Bros. has grossed close to a billion dollars from this show on DVD sales alone. The audience-base is still out there, and they know it. If they release it on Blu-Ray tomorrow strictly as-is, it'll be a debacle.