Spoilers Babylon 5 Reboot

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by herofhyrule, Apr 15, 2022.

  1. herofhyrule

    herofhyrule Ensign Red Shirt

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    I know there's not a lot to go off of yet, but I'm interested to hear people's thoughts on whether there should even be a reboot and speculation on what could be different and what could be the same.

    Be warned that there will probably end up being spoilers for the original series in this thread, so if you haven't watched it yet (which you really should, it's absolutely brilliant) I'd stay away from this thread.

    Personally, I'm in favour of the reboot. I believe the last official piece of Babylon 5 media was The Lost Tales, which is 15 years old at this point. And with so many of the original cast dead, it would be difficult to make a continuation. It would be possible to go down the route of Star Trek: The Next Generation and have a new crew, but I feel that, compared to Star Trek, Babylon 5 has a bit more of a narrow focus. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Star Trek has a more broad purview, whereas Babylon 5 is about, well, Babylon 5. So I think a reboot's the way to go. And with JMS at the helm hopefully it won't be as polarising as some other reboots.

    As for what I think could be different or the same, here's the official description from The CW, the channel that's making the reboot:

    In a from-the-ground-up reboot of the original series, John Sheridan, an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background, is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space, a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers and alien diplomats at a time of uneasy peace and the constant threat of war. His arrival triggers a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined, as an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us, putting Sheridan and the rest of the B5 crew in the line of fire as the last, best hope for the survival of the human race.

    A lot of this sounds very similar to the original, but there're a few things that stand out to me. The biggest is that the reboot seems to be starting out with Sheridan and completely skipping Sinclair. It's possible Sinclair will still be in the reboot in some capacity, a bit like Pike in the J. J. Abrams Star Trek films, but we'll have to wait and see. The second thing is that Sheridan is described as having a 'mysterious background.' I don't recall this being the case in the original, so I'm interested in where they're going with this. The 'exploratory Earth Company' is almost certainly a reference to Interplanetary Expeditions and the Icarus, but I wouldn't really say they were the direct cause of the war with the Shadows. They woke them up, certainly, but they didn't start fighting immediately. They prepared in secret for a while before openly attacking, so this may be a departure from the build-up of the original series, or it may just be advertising to draw people in with action and fighting.

    I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on this and ideas on what you think should be kept or changed.

    Edit: Sorry, I've just found the other Babylon 5 thread. It didn't turn up when I searched the forums for Babylon 5. I'll take down this thread if the mods want me to, but hopefully it's alright to keep it up since this one focuses on the reboot and the other one is more of a general discussion thread for the show.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2022
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  2. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm torn on the idea of reboots, especially for franchises which have extended a bit past their original series into spin-offs etc. I especially don't like the idea of resetting everything to zero in an attempt to simplify things for new viewers, because that old continuity never really goes away, not if the original series was worth remembering.

    That said, I think if a series told one overall story (or got cancelled trying), then it can interesting to see a reimagining that takes the concept, setting and some of the characters, and makes them its own. The Battlestar Galactica remake jumps to mind as an example of how this can work. Sure it had the advantage of the original series being unfinished and only having one (terrible) spin-off, but Babylon 5 never made it far past its core 5 year story. Despite Crusade and the telepath war we never got to see, I still consider it to be more of a completed tale than an ongoing universe, so I'm actually okay with a new series starting fresh instead of jumping back in 20 years after the last episode or whatever.

    From what I've heard it seems like JMS has no interest telling people a story we already know, so I figure that if anything in the description seems familiar it's probably not exactly what it seems. It makes sense that he'd go back to the more popular of the two commanders, but I wouldn't be surprised if Sinclair made an appearance. Or a character named Sinclair anyway. Personally I hope we get very unfamiliar faces and personalities attached to the familiar names.. or better yet, I hope most have unfamiliar names. We're getting new people either way, so they might as well be new people.

    I mean assuming this actually goes into production at all.
     
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  3. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm good with a new thread--this is a different series.

    I agree that JMS is going to be giving us something very different. It will be interesting how he plays on expectations only to subvert them. I am also betting that he is going to use this series to include elements that he was not able to do in the original series. I'm really excited for this.
     
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  4. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think with the collapse of the CW that this is dead in the water. They need to shop it somewhere else if they don't want to the property. I think it would do well on Paramount+ alongside Star Trek and Halo.
     
  5. No Grave Dug

    No Grave Dug Admiral Admiral

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    Yet another remake of Lord of the Rings (but in space)? ;)
     
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  6. Booji

    Booji Commodore Premium Member

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    I'm very interested in a B5 reboot, but I'm not sure JMS is up to it. The last thing of his I think was any good is season 1 of Jeremiah. Everything I've seen since has not been good, and I'm being kind. If he could pull it off, that's great. However, I'm not against someone else taking a stab at it.
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I'm just not sure I want to see all those beloved characters, played by beloved and dearly departed actors, replaced by new faces.
     
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  8. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm happy for a reboot. I watched it at the time and like two and a 3/4 seasons of it and have often thought a reboot could have some interesting parallel thoughts to the original series without duplicating that series exactly. B5 has long tried to branch out, even from the first season there were plans for a sequel series, and we've had Crusade, Legends of the Rangers, The Lost Tales and several tries at feature films. Being on the CW gives me pause but if they're leaning more towards "Superman and Lois" or "Frequency" then I think that'd be good. I hope they don't just rehash the same beats as the original and more have every season as little stories that are mostly wrapped up because there's no guarantee on five year arcs or anything. Don't do the same Babylon 4 storyline, don't do the same Shadows vs Vorlons, definitely do not have everyone join the Interstellar Alliance. Just stay trues to ideas about loyalty, responsibility, following orders, faith and all that cerebal good stuff.
     
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  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The collapse of The CW?
    Babylon 5 is a WB production, so if this was going to go to a streaming service, it's most likely going to be HBOMax. Which could work out pretty good, because as far as I know they don't have a big space sci-fi show, the closes they have is Raised by Wolves, and based on what I saw of the first season, it's pretty much all planet based.
    While I would love to see them do this as a new show in the original show's universe, I'm curious about a from scratch reboot, just to see what JMS does and doesn't change.
     
  10. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given everything involved, I don't think this reboot happens unless two things happen:
    1) The CW isn't dissolved by whomever buys it
    2) Mark Pedowitz remains in charge of The CW after it's sold
     
  11. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Just found myself wondering... have there been any other cases of TV show creators rebooting their own shows? I'm not thinking of things like the return of Twin Peaks after 25 years, because that used the same cast and continuity as the original, just set years later. What JMS proposes to do sounds as radical a reboot as Galactica. That's kind of an odd thing for someone to do to his own creation.
     
  12. Kaiju

    Kaiju Admiral Admiral

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    The only comparable case I could come up with was in comics, not TV, with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman being co-writer of the IDW reboot which put a radically new spin on the lead characters origin.
     
  13. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Normally the idea of 'reboots' leaves me cold, but B5 has the potential for a good one:

    If the end credits for "Sleeping in Light" are to be believed, the entirety of the original series is a documentary, made after the fact by the Rangers. So we're not actually seeing the events as they happened, just a re-creation of those events.

    Perhaps the reboot WILL be the real events as they transpired?
     
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  14. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That was my idea of how a B5 reboot could go. Another perspective on the same events, aligning perfectly whenever news footage is used, but straying quite far at other times. But it seems like JMS wants to tell a different story instead of retreading the old one.
     
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  15. gweeps

    gweeps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Straczynski told me on Twitter he wouldn't be telling the exact same story.
     
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  16. gweeps

    gweeps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Regarding your spoiler, wow I've seen the series many times and never clued into that theory.
     
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  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Does that imply that the historians originally changed John Sheridan's name to Jeffrey Sinclair, then when the actor playing him in the documentary quit, they said "Screw it, we'll recast him using his real name?"
     
  18. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The mystery of "The One".
     
  19. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that's a new one for me as well.
     
  20. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This notion is directly contradicted by The Deconstruction of Falling Stars.