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

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

  1. Joe Washington

    Joe Washington Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2009
    Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    What aspects of the original show would be changed in this remake? Which aspects would you rather be changed? How gritty do it think it would be? Would it take the same kind of risks in storytelling the way Battlestar Galactica did? Would be the relationships between the characters be portrayed more realistically and develop more organically? Would be the humor less chessy and more sharp and witty like Joss Whedon's brand of humor in his shows?

    Let the discussion begin. :)
  2. Tulin

    Tulin Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 2, 2003
    With the most wonderful man in the world!
    No Joss Whedon humour.

    If I were making a re-imagined B5 here is something I'd do.

    We were promised this galaxy-wide war early on and what we got, though quite grand, never seemed to live up to that. One way of getting around really expensive CGI would be to do some kind of scroll(I am thinking like the one they did at the beginning of "Emissary" for DS9)with reports from various sectors and quadrants. You show brief, couple of second clips of fleets, squadrons of soldiers going into battle(again, CGI but BRIEF)and, through the written word, you convey SWEEPING and VAST conflicts.

    I always envisioned this for B5 but never felt the displayed depictions of "WAR!!!" were extensive enough. You don't need much - you just to convey that it is affecting EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.
  3. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

    Oct 24, 2005
    ...is insane. --JMS
    I don't think that Joss' banter/humor would lend itself well to B5. And while I agree with Tulin that a redone B5 could better show the scope and scale of B5, I'd hope that the new show would *not* follow the BSG style of space battles. B5 gave us a feeling for the strategy of the battles while BSG gave us shakey-cam shoot-em-ups.

    That said, I don't think it's anywhere near time to re-imagine B5. It's just been off the air for 10 years and is still pretty fresh in people's memories.

  4. Auriq

    Auriq Captain Captain

    Sep 6, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    If Babylon 5 *had* to be remade (and frankly, I don't think it should be), then maybe remake it along the lines of Gareth Williams A Dark, Distorted Mirror.


    I found it about 5 years ago and was amazingly impressed with it's different take on Babylon 5.
  5. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

    May 15, 2002
    I would only accept a remake with one condition: It must star Maggie Egan as Jane. If she's involved, I'm there. If not? No frelling way.
  6. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 1999
    I thought one of the things that made B5 the best show ever made was its perfect tone. It managed to be funny and serious without one compromising the other. BSG, on the other hand, was unrelentingly dark and too much of a downer. While I would like to see the action/budget level stepped up a notch on B5 I wouldn't touch its tone for a second.
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Moncton, NB
    My one request, my ONLY request: Get better actors for the minor characters and guest stars, less hammy ones.
  8. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 15, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The only way that I would support a remake would be if we got to see JMS' original plot line (sans cast changes) put on screen.

    Otherwise there is no point. The reason that BSG really worked was that it took the original premise of the old TV show far more seriously than the old show ever could. In essense it lived up to the potential that was originally missing. B5, on the other hand, largely did what it set out to do. Not only that, it managed to do so while being incredibly literate and nuanced in its storytelling/imagery. Plus B5, while having some questionable acting, mostly from Michael Ohare and Bruce Boxleitner, the rest of the cast was SUPERB. I do not think that anyone could replace Mira Furlan, Peter Jurassik, Andreas Katsulas and Jerry Doyle. Andreas Katsulas alone could never be replaced.
  9. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2001
    Bonney Lake, WA
    I'd say one of B5's weaker aspects was the attempted humor. It worked about half the time. If someone like Whedon (or someone who's worked with him) were involved, I'd think they could at least clear that up. Probably shouldn't be the showrunner though.
  10. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Moncton, NB
    Some of that was due to wooden acting during the humor. Whedon at least could cast actors who knew how to get a good laugh as well as play serious.
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    It might actually be good.

    Most of B5's actors were quite good - possible exceptions of Christian and Doyle. If Boxleitner, Furlan or Katsulas ever seemed wooden it was due to the severe deficiencies of the material. The women found the sexual innuendo particularly embarrassing to play simply because it was so ham-handed and juvenile.
  12. Joe Washington

    Joe Washington Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2009
    Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    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.

    Yes, BSG was a dark show but a lot of that darkness would be needed once the show gets into President Santiago's assasination, the Narn-Centauri War, the Shadow War, etc.

    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?
    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?
  13. Procutus

    Procutus Admiral Admiral

    Feb 6, 2002
    Trapped in the Library
    Having just started rewatching the series again, I'm of the opinion that a remake or re-imagining of this show isn't necessary, certainly not at this time. While far from flawless, B5 was a great show and told a pretty damn good story. Though the first season was slow at times, it was necessary to get to where JMS was taking us. I liked the characters the way they were protrayed and am just as happy to live with the show the way it is.

    BTW, though the sale concludes today, Best Buys was offering each season at $20 apiece. Just picked up Season 2 yesterday, which will keep me watching for a while.
  14. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

    May 19, 2001
    Columbus, Ohio
    Why does everything have to remade into Battlestar Galactica, B5 is fine just the way it is.
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 1999
    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?

    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).

    If you recast the roles, either approach would work. If you don't recast the roles - erg. You pretty much have to.
    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.
  16. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 14, 2004
    Babylon 5 worked on so many different levels, setting many multiples of tones, depending. Heroic, gritty, noble, etc. I'm for more stories with the original cast at this time more than a remake, though a remake would be good at some point.

    JMS is a very talented creator, but he does need someone to help keep his ego in check.
  17. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2000
    San Diego
    Bullshit! Galactica laid out fairly detailed plans for every major battle in the show. The strategies were clever, and played out in interesting ways. How can you not love the Battle of New Caprica?

    B5's CGI was a bunch of ass, there's a reason why Star Trek still used models in 1993. It got better with time, but seriously, video games on Xbox 360 look better than some of the early B5 stuff.

    There's not much point to remaking B5, it was still really good, and it told its story. The CGI in the show strikes me as one of its biggest weak points, and really, they went through and redid FX shots in Star Trek: TOS, so you'd have to think they could fix B5 if they really wanted to. The actors were uneven to say the least, but by redoing the show it would be hard not to lose something as far as G'Kar and Londo are concerned. Then again, both of the white guy leads in B5 were pretty terrible in the acting department. I think done right, a complete recast would be a net gain.

    If you did go to the trouble to completely redo the show, I'd just take the basic background and outline that JMS created, and completely kick JMS off the show. Let a talented team of writers (ones that can actually write dialogue) handle it from there. I don't know if I'm qualified to say who would be the best show runner for the reboot, but I KNOW it's not JMS.
  18. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    I watched this show for the first time last summer. Since then, I have watched it straight through 2 additional times. I fell that much in love with it.

    Now, I'm not saying that a reboot wouldn't be good and/or better than the original, but I honestly don't know how I would feel about it happening, especially with a darker BSG-type tone. One of the things that I loved about B5 was that there was still a light-hearted side to every character, even when times were tough. The same could not be said of BSG.

    I feel like some of B5's charm would be lost if done in a different style.
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    A remake would need a bigger budget. More money to afford better visual effects, more money to afford a live orchestral score, and more money to afford everything from longer shooting hours, better guest actors, less clunky set design, etc.

    I could pick apart story turns I didn't like, unfortunate cast departures, etc., but that's a different can of worms. Babylon 5 was great for what it was-- a science fiction epic made on a shoe-string budget. If you're going to make it again, do it with the money the concept deserves, or just leave it be, because the way the series used every single penny is unlikely to be repeated.
  20. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 14, 2003
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    not sure what you're getting at here - Garibaldi was a recovering alcoholic so while he didn't hit the turps like Tigh, Sinclair taking Garibaldi to B5 is exactly the same as Adama taking Tigh aboard Galatica. Maybe not the smartest move at the time but there as friendship, loyalty and a last chance as a major factor.

    Haven't watched B5 in while but think Garibaldi might of even crawled back into the bottle (or maybe just came damn close).