Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Jan, Sep 4, 2013.
Wow, that's great!! Thanks! PM coming.
I'm not so sure about this one, so I submit it to the TrekBBS overmind. What do we think? Too cute?
Oh and if anyone wants a high-res version of my avatar, here you go.
Oh, that's precious! I know one fan who'll probably want posters made! Talk about your B5 in-joke!
BTW, for those who liked the original T-shirts, there's a Mars version now. Still with profits going to 'Be A Santa' and 'C-Three Foundation'.
That said, while many Rangers are helping out, there are already expenses mounting up and I'm limited in funds these days. So I'm going to be posting some auctions of Very Cool Stuff on Ebay to help defray costs. Seller name is janmschroeder and I hope to have some stuff up later today.
I'm totally fine with Babylon 5 continuing to languish in obscurity. Like many things from my youth, it really doesn't hold up.
The cheap look of the show, more than anything else, is probably holding it back from being aired again.
I take a little issue with you calling it a "cheap look". The graphics do not hold up well, but that's because the technology has gotten so much better in the last 20 years. B5 was cutting edge in its day, it was the first tv show (or one of the first) to use CGI I believe.
But that being said, the story and characters hold up just fine. I don't see it being a problem at all.
Last rerun of B5 in Germany, as far as I know, was in 2011. It's apparently not currently on any channel, though the movies get aired on the occasional holiday.
I like the series, and wish it would receive an upgrade to HD (which is probably the most damaging factor to its current and future fate in syndication), but the "cheap look" goes above and beyond the dated visual effects (which the cropping to make them widescreen only made look worse). The show didn't have the same funds that Paramount made available to Star Trek and it shows in terms of production design and art direction.
Yeah, that's a fair point, I guess my bigger point, which I failed at making well was that the show itself holds up in spite of all of that. 30 years from now Avatar will be garbage because the effects will be old bag and the story was nothing special, but people still watch Star Wars and Star Trek TOS and a lot of other older shows because they are good shows.
I could care less about how wobbly the sets looked, so long as the story and characters were strong. It doesn't bother me with classic Dr Who, Blake's 7, Red Dwarf or even old Trek. The ONLY thing stopping the show from going HD is the CG, which needs to be done from scratch unless someone can track down the old Lightwave scene files. Just the scene files mind, they don't even need the meshes or image maps since they'd have to be redone anyway.
But as Jan has already said, that's not the topic, so let's drop it, yes?
OK, clearly running out of ideas now...anyone!?
That's a very good point. Even if it was picked up for syndication, would it gain a significant number of viewers in its dated state? This isn't about what we think of the show, but about the initial impression a first timer might have.
But an HD upgrade isn't happening, so I wonder if our efforts might be better focused on streaming sites like Netflix? That seems like the perfect venue for older shows, especially ones that lend themselves to binge viewing like B5.
Jan said this campaign is "only about getting Babylon 5 back on television in reruns for now...perhaps with a side order of getting it on streaming sites, later." I'd be much more inclined to support an effort that reversed those priorities.
Because lets face it, streaming is the future of television. As for cable and network, Kosh said it best: "they are a dying people. We should let them pass."
And so will B5 fandom be a dying people if we don't get [off our encounter-suited butts] together and do SOMEthing.
Look at it this way. There are *lots* of channels available in every market, and probably 5 or 10 or more of them might be reasonable candidates for rerunning Babylon 5. They don't have to be low on the dial, they just need to show it where people channel surfing (which I don't think will ever go out of style) can find it. THEN if we also get it up on Netflix or Hulu or some other streaming site, they can use that to catch up once their interest is piqued.
For now, B5 isn't in reruns on television anywhere in the world as far as I've been able to find out but all of 26 episodes are streaming on WBs own site so it seems likely that they might be more inclined to let it go back on television.
For an indication of just exactly the mindset we're dealing with, check out this panel from the Phoenix Comicon 'Fandom Endures' Panel. From about 42:54 to about 50:25, JMS talks about why B5 isn't on TV or streaming. I think we can overcome that if we can just show WB that there's money to be made.
So the question is...who's willing to *do* something? "We must create the future, or others will do it for us."
The fact is if you want your show to have mindshare and build an audience over time in the modern world, you need to get it on Netflix Instant.
Period. (or at the very least, on a couple of competitors, a la Hulu and Amazon Instant, but I think the buzz is with Netflix)
The only place B5 streams is a season and a half... ON WB.COM?
Excuse me while I burst out laughing at that ridiculousness.
Gee what bout the gazillion of people who watch Netflix on their TVs, X-Boxes, PS3s, Chromecasts, tablets, and phones?
It's 2013. Whoever is handling digital distribution (Warners?) needs to get off their ass into modern times.
B5 is an example of a show that is probably not making the studio much money at the moment - maybe lingering DVD set sales, that's it. It's the exact kind of niche show that you make a fair deal with Netflix to put on their service. New fans regularly discover shows like Firefly and Arrested Development via Netflix online.
this notion is hard to get enthusiastic about: "only about getting Babylon 5 back on television in reruns for now...perhaps with a side order of getting it on streaming sites, later". Any campaign should be focused on "getting Babylon 5 on Netflix" first.
To explain further the thought behind this...there are any number of TV channels in every market that might be good candidates to show Babylon 5. If we can get a bunch of those showing it so that potential new viewers can run across it while channel surfing, they're more likely to go looking for more...on Netflix or Hulu or other streaming sites.
There are far fewer streaming sites. And any of them who want to show B5 would be in competition with those 26 episodes the WB is showing so WB isn't likely to offer it to them (and in fact, it used to be on Netflix but got pulled a while back). But if plenty of fans go searching for it, they're (the streaming services) likely to go asking for it. And again, the surest way to get lots of people looking for it is to grow the potential viewer base by getting it on TV.
JMS said that fans need to get organized and get loud. Everybody can run around in different directions if they want but I think it would be counter-productive. This needs to be a long-term strategy, not just one intense push if we're going to get WB to listen.
I don't know anyone who channel surfs anymore. A growing number don't even have cable/dish--myself included. Pretty much all of them that still do watch TV by DVR. They already know what they want to watch at any given time.
These days, I don't think Babylon 5 randomly appearing on television stations will bring any significant amount of new fans... Streaming sites seem like a better route to me too, but I do see the difficulties with that.
Streaming sites are obviously good for another reason: Babylon 5 is a very serialized show. That actually makes it an ideal candidate for streaming as viewers could watch it sequentially and in order.
It doesn't bother you because you're already a fan. No new people are going to stumble across Babylon 5 in 2013+ while channel surfing and stick with the entire crap first season to become fans. And that's assuming they don't catch a random episode out of order and have no idea what's going on. It's not going to happen. Let it die.
The vast vast vast vast majority of people watch tv through network television and cable. We may be slowly heading towards a day where streaming tv overtakes the standard way of watching, especially as technology gets better, and things like the new chromecast become more prevelant, but we are no where close to that being the norm right now. I think a lot of younger people's perceptions are skewed because they can honestly say things like "most of my friends don't even have cable" or "I dont know anyone who channel surfs anymore" because for them its true. But that's because people tend to associate with people like themselves, so their experiences seem the norm, but we're still a ways away. Approximately 25 million people watched the NFL premiere on Thursday night, streaming audiences are nothing close to that right now, they just aren't.
Getting B5 on Netflix would be a GREAT thing, but getting back on tv is equally, if not more important right now if you want to drum up interest.
That's what i was wondering too. Some months ago i put in a DVD of my Friends 10 season box and it looked absolutely horrible on my new HD big screen TV.
How does B5 look on such a TV for the people who own the DVDs? Is the upscaling feature of modern BR players enough to clear up the picture and make it watchable?
If the goal of this #freebabylon5 thing is to cross-over the NFL audience/average viewer into watching a 10+ year old sci-fi show... Then I suggest you prepare for failure.
The vast vast vast majority of the TV audience wants to watch pregnant teens and singing competitions. They have no interest in a 10+ year old, serialized sci-fi show. The only successful sci-fi with the vast vast vast majority of audiences are the wizz-bang explosion fests like Star Trek Into Darkness.
I would love if there was a new boom in Babylon 5 fandom to justify more product. I would definitely try that product just like I bought The Lost Tales. But, this seems ill-conceived, unfortunately.
This is also a fantastic point.
I think that's underestimating the ability of Netflix to attract new viewers in the first place. For many, browsing their Netflix recommendations is the new channel surfing ("Oh you liked Battlestar Galactica? Check out Babylon 5!").
Don't get me wrong, I think it would be great to get B5 back in syndication... But if the long term goal of this campaign is to grow the B5 fanbase, then I think the single most impactful thing we could do is get the show back on Netflix Instant (at least in the US).
And now is the time to make this a top priority. When JMS' and the Wachowski's Sense 8 premiers exclusively on Netflix next year, they're going to promote the hell out of it. If we can make sure B5 is also on the service then, it will appear on everyone's recommendations who check out the new show. If we ride that wave, it could be huge.
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