What if a BSG-styled remake of Babylon 5 was made?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Joe Washington, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. D Man

    D Man Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Tropical Minnesota
    Well, it was VERY successful in terms of being a wonderfully entertaining and meaningful show to me and the other fans who loved it, so I don't care about whatever you perceive SyFy's standards to be. It survived for four seasons and told a complete story, and I loved it all the way through. :)

    I was also a big fan of B5, but I don't know if a remake (nuBSG style or otherwise) would really work for the show. Unlike the original BSG which doesn't really have much at all going for it, in my opinion B5 has many iconic and un-changeable components, including Katsulas and Jurasik as G'kar and Londo, "If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die," Koenig as Bester, and I'm even even a sucker for the infinite cheese-factor of lines like "now get the hell out of our galaxy!"

    I wish it were possible to tweak and change a few things about the original B5 like some acting/casting choices, some cheesy dialogue, so-called "comedy" scenes, and a few general story ideas...but overall I think B5 is great enough on its own that it won't ever really need a reboot. JMS's ego produced a great show in the end, even if it also prevented it from being an amazing show.
     
  2. Joe Washington

    Joe Washington Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Location:
    Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    Digificwriter: Let's so you could know, I just sent an email to your account.
     
  3. Tulin

    Tulin Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    With the most wonderful man in the world!
    Hear, hear!!!!!!

    In fact, can we not mention that show in this thread anymore?
     
  4. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Location:
    OmahaStar
    Someone didn't bother watching the pilot for this series, did they? If someone did watch it, they would have heard the line "I was there at the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind." Someone would have noticed that every time there was a voice over - especially season finales - the voice was speaking of the *past* as though this was a future history.

    As Londo once said, "I can only assume you have not been paying attention!"
     
  5. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    ...is insane. --JMS
    Now, Omaha, I was paying attention (though I didn't see the pilot the first time around) and I did notice that the opening sequences were all in the past tense but I never guessed that the entire series was supposed to be a documentary from the future of the B5 universe (not bothering with spoilers since the very nature of the thread assumes familiarity with both shows).

    That said, I honestly don't understand Babaganoosh's claim that the whole series was spoiled for him. After all, we did know that we weren't actually tuning in to the future every week, right? So if we were already aware of watching actors and actresses, what harm was the added layer? Especially since it obviously didn't intrude on your enjoyment the first time you saw it.

    Jan
     
  6. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    The Bay Area
    Moreover, it doesn't negate the events of the series. It still "happened" in that fictional universe whether or not we saw it unfold in real time or from a historical perspective. The idea that it was an ISN documentary doesn't mean that Babylon 5 was the dream of an autistic boy looking into a snow globe.

    In any case, the documentary/docudrama/whatever wasn't very overt other than in the opening credit narrations and some of the "captain's log" narratives. Something that was there, as JAN says, to add another layer.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    The fact that the series was revealed to be a documentary of sorts neither added or subtracted to the whole for me. The revelation just felt gratuitous, almost as if it was uttered only in order to have a diagetic reason for the crew photographs that flash in the final seconds.

    I don't know why you're emphasizing the fact that the series is often narrated in the past-tense, Omaha. This fact informs us that the characters are recounting their story after the fact, but it doesn't predicate that the entire series had to have been a fictional recreation. It strikes me as an unneeded layer of fiction that serves no real purpose except to provide one last "gee-whiz" to the audience.
     
  8. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    That's exactly how I view it. It's no more a part of the series than the idea that blue text floats in space and through the hallways whenever the crisis of the week begins. Nor do I believe that everyone on Babylon 5 has a psychological condition which results in all of their memories lacking color.
     
  9. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Randyland
    Agreed completely. as far as "dark and and gritty" goes, B5 is as dark as sci-fi should get. Every copy of New Galactica should be burned, and it's producers should be put into therapy.

    Okay, rant over. That said, B5 is perfect as is. No need for a remake.
     
  10. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Disagree. There is no limit, on light or dark. A story should be as light or dark as needed. B5 worked. BSG worked.

    Blade Runner was BSG dark, but the story would not have been enhanced by lightening it.
     
  11. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Location:
    On my ship the Rocinante
    Ahh.... but B5 is grey. It stands between the candle and the star. Between the dark and the light......

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Ah man are you kidding? How much more awesome would Blade Runner have been if he had a goofy alien sidekick who was always falling down and knocking stuff over??? If only :D
     
  13. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Location:
    OmahaStar
    And that's when I killed him, Your Honor.
     
  14. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    ...is insane. --JMS
    When the darkness comes, know this: You are the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
     
  15. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Missile Command
    A NuBSG-style remake?

    -Hokey mythology.

    -Pretentious self-importance.

    -Morally grey characters.

    -Sometimes spotty CGI effects

    How exactly would it be different?
     
  16. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Or a chimp in a robot dog suit.

    :D
     
  17. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    The Bay Area
    There are many similarities aren't there. I've said before that if Babylon 5 was the Hill Street Blues of science fiction, as JMS once said, then nuBSG is NYPD Blue of SFTV.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    Good for Fox & Universal - maybe they were onto something worthwhile. But it never got made, so it does me no good. And if RDM stole intellectual property from someone, then someone better call up their lawyers and sue. What difference does it make to me?

    As ever, ratings have no correlation to quality.
    Me too. Or a make of Crusade, since they never even got started.

    Only if he's Jar-Jar and the guy who kills him is Gaff. With a flashlight. :evil:
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  19. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    North Ryde, NSW
    Yes, we had a similar thread here about six months ago, and I made a similar point. Remaking B5 is a fundamentally different endeavor from remaking classic BSG or classic Trek. The question is, what exactly is it about the original that you like, that you're trying to remake? In the latter cases, you're rebooting the characters and the premise into a new story or series of stories.

    But in the case of B5, what drew many people to it was the particular story that was being told. You're going to redo that very same basic story all over again, in 100+ hours of TV spread out over 5 years, but just update it in certain ways? I find it hard to believe that you'd be able to find a group of writers who are willing to write about 6000 pages of scripts over that length of time for a story that is not their own. I really don't think it would work.

    You also have to keep in mind that a lot of the drawing power for arc-heavy shows like nBSG and Lost is the fact that viewers want to keep coming back to see how the story will unfold. If they already know the basics of the story, they're not going to keep coming back for five years in the same numbers. There isn't going to be the same level of online discussion and speculation about where the story is going as there would be for something original.

    The only way I can see a B5 remake happening would be if it really was "B5 in name only" where someone takes the concept of "UN in space", along with some character reimagining on some of the more popular characters, but then does the show with a completely original story which bears virtually no resemblance to the original.
     
  20. Joe Washington

    Joe Washington Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Location:
    Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    Yeah, you're right about the story being predictable if the series is redone word for word. But that wouldn't be a true remake. A true remake would be, yes, an updated version of that story but to make the story more of its own entity too, the characters would have to be altered in some ways that wouldn't be too fundamental like Starbuck being turned into a woman yet keeping the same cocky, maverick attitude as the original Starbuck.

    And some new plot twists would have to put in the story to give some unpredictability like in the sequel to the original Battlestar Galactica (Galactica 1980), the fleet reaches Earth they've been looking for only it was the planet of that present. But in the NuBSG, when the fleet reaches the Earth they've been looking for, it turns out to be a nuked wasteland. It wasn't until the end of the series that they reach our Earth, which wasn't that of our present but of our prehistoric past.

    And you're right about how hard it would be to do 100 hours of TV for this show and to get a group of writers willing to do it. But if I were to do a Babylon 5 remake, each season wouldn't be 22 episodes long. Each season would be 13 episodes long. Less filler yet some space for a few non-arc episodes.