Babylon 5- the series

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
Hi
I have just finished watching the 5 season series of Babylon 5 (B5), and I have to say WOW!

If you like sci-fi and politics, THIS is the show for you! I just wanted to start a topic on it, because I was wondering how many people have actually watched this show. I would like to further discuss the show and some topics it raises, but I’m afraid I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, (I HATE when someone spoils a good show).

I will however post here several quick thoughts that come to mind regarding B5 and some of the messages they have presented.

1) The Narn and Centauri conflict… (remind anyone of Palestinian and Israeli conflict?)
2) Interesting races, the Shadows and the Volrons (which are imo higher dimensional beings)
3) Earth, and the still running corruption happening within Earth-gov.
4) Psycore & Night-Watch
5) Discusses issues of time travel.

I’m looking forward to a great discussion of thoughts and opinions regarding the show.

Nina
 

domi

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Nina,

I have enjoyed watching B5 as well (have not seen all seasons). Definitely darker in mood than Deep Space 9. Mostly seen reruns.

Favorites:
- character: G'Kar
- episode: The Fall of Centauri Prime (Ep 18 from Season 5). This episode I remember as being very good (and tragic as far as the story).

Did you ever see the spin-off series Crusade? I only saw a few episodes of it, but found the "techno-mage" concept very interesting (reference to 4th density ?)
Of course I could never look at Gary Cole the same way again after his role in Office Space.

You may like the following: http://www-fi3.starwreck.com/
This parody has a lot of references to B5, Crusade, Star Trek. A good laugh. Worm holes are called "maggot holes".


Dominique.
 

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
domivr said:
Hi Nina,

I have enjoyed watching B5 as well (have not seen all seasons). Definitely darker in mood than Deep Space 9. Mostly seen reruns.

Favorites:
- character: G'Kar
- episode: The Fall of Centauri Prime (Ep 18 from Season 5). This episode I remember as being very good (and tragic as far as the story).
Yes, episode 18 in season 5 was very interesting indeed. I must admit that in the first season when Londo Molari was introduced and through out the seasons he was my LEAST favorite character. I HATED his character and what he did to the Narns. But near the end of season 5, I actually began to ‘feel’ for him, especially his last dialog with G’kar (episode 18-season 5) before being taken over by the Drakh.

My favorite characters are:
1) Captain/President John Sheridan
2) G’Kar
3) Londo Molari
4) Lyda Alexander

domivr said:
Did you ever see the spin-off series Crusade? I only saw a few episodes of it, but found the "techno-mage" concept very interesting (reference to 4th density ?)
Of course I could never look at Gary Cole the same way again after his role in Office Space.

You may like the following: http://www-fi3.starwreck.com/
This parody has a lot of references to B5, Crusade, Star Trek. A good laugh. Worm holes are called "maggot holes".
I don’t have TV cable/ Sattleite so I don’t watch TV, that’s why I haven’t heard about the show Crusade. But I will check it out, and I will check out the link too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts…
Nina
 

Keit

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I have just finished watching the 5 season series of Babylon 5 (B5), and I have to say WOW!
Well, those are VERY esoteric series :-) (highly recommended)

Narn and Centauri conflict… (remind anyone of Palestinian and Israeli conflict?)
Yes indeed. I (an Israel resident) find it similar enough. I think that a creator (Michael Straczynski) ment it to be that way.

2) Interesting races, the Shadows and the Volrons (which are imo higher dimensional beings)
The shadows (spider like) - big, huge hint. Learn the dynamic - they work similar. But Vorlons...too much gloss. They are not STO. They are just more "right". That's why "third man/party" is played.
I find "the Inquisitor" as a good indicator for survival (Vorlan) intentions.

For the best character, I'll chose - Londo Molari. The most compicated character of the story. Use your heart to understand it.

But what really got my heart was a sentence said by "technomage": "We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers". We truly are.

My favorite characters are: 1) Captain/President John Sheridan
For a long time I found him also my best character. But he is a soldier :-) So Ivanova... (yes, I liked her alot, I am also Russian, you know.) Today I prefer Garibaldi, with his mottor "trust no one" :-)
 

Keit

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Definitely darker in mood than Deep Space 9
Deep space 9? Actually, sometimes I found it darker :)
They we discredited for the lack of "rating". Fans demanded "next generation" action. But a "dominion" and "founders" have much more sence today. Do you remember a speech of "female founder"? She said something like: "The solids gave us so much pain, there is a time to return this pain. Because if we will not dominate them, they will hurt/dominate us." So, maybe they gave us a clue... As in Animatrix we had another clue: "So the human was an architect of his own demise"..
Maybe it's all connected to a "choice". We were lead to make a wrong choice, as we are lead to it now. Wake up.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Straczynski is working on a reboot of the series.
The beloved Babylon 5 is getting rebooted, and series creator JMS is running the show

We thought it would never happen, but here we go
By Sean Hollister@StarFire2258 Sep 27, 2021, 4:03pm EDT

In 1994, J. Michael Straczynski (Sense8, Changeling) brought the world a science fiction show like nothing we’d ever seen. Babylon 5 told a single five-year story, filled with foreshadowing, deep political intrigue, and characters who grew and evolved, at a time when most TV shows still reset the agenda after every single episode. He wrote the vast majority of the award-winning show himself, and it appears he may be about to do it again — Warner Bros. Television is now in development on a “from-the-ground-up reboot” of Babylon 5 with Straczynski as writer and showrunner, designed to air on the CW.

Here’s the full description Warner Bros. provided to The Verge:

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.

That’s pretty much a dead-on description of the original show, minus some big surprises. So as a long-time fan myself, I have extremely mixed feelings!

In one sense, it’s pretty exciting because Straczynski told fans for years that Warner Bros. wanted nothing to do with the show ever again. “They literally told my agent ‘We have no plans, and no intentions, of letting anything else be done in terms of television with Babylon 5,’” he tweeted in 2018, and that seemed to be that.

Won't work. They literally told my agent "We have no plans, and no intentions, of letting anything else be done in terms of television with Babylon 5." And a kickstarter wouldn't pay for even a fraction of a season. That won't change for years, when those execs are dead/gone. https://t.co/NZ80WiIIcR
— J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) April 20, 2018

So if Warner Bros. and Straczynski have now abandoned their feud and might expand on the intriguing universe JMS built nearly three decades ago, that’s pretty exciting. But if it’s just a straight reboot rather than a sequel or spin-off, one aimed at the CW at that, it makes me wonder why bother — particularly when the excellent original series has a newly remastered version you can stream on HBO Max and purchase via Amazon and iTunes since January of this year.

A few hours after we published this post, Straczynski tweeted his answer:

To answer all the questions, yes, it’s true, Babylon 5 is in active development as a series for the CW. We have some serious fans over at the network, and they’re eager to see this show happen. I’m hip deep into writing the pilot now, and will be running the series upon pickup. The network understands the uniqueness of Babylon 5 and is giving me a great deal of latitude with the storytelling.

As noted in the announcement, this is a reboot from the ground up rather than a continuation, for several reasons. Heraclitus wrote “You cannot step in the same river twice, for the river has changed, and you have changed.” In the years since B5, I’ve done a ton of other TV shows and movies, adding an equal number of tools to my toolbox, all of which I can bring to bear on one singular question: if I were creating Babylon 5 today, for the first time, knowing what I now know as a writer, what would it look like? How would it use all the storytelling tools and technological resources available in 2021 that were not on hand then?

How can it be used to reflect the world in which we live, and the questions we are asking and confronting every day? Fans regularly point out how prescient the show was and is of our current world; it would be fun to take a shot at looking further down the road. So we will not be retelling the same story in the same way because of what Heraclitus said about the river. There would be no fun and no surprises. Better to go the way of Westworld or Battlestar Galactica where you take the original elements that are evergreens and put them in a blender with a ton of new, challenging ideas, to create something fresh yet familiar. To those asking why not just do a continuation, for a network series like this, it can’t be done because over half our cast are still stubbornly on the other side of the Rim.

How do you telling continuing story of our original Londo without the original Vir? Or G’Kar? How do you tell Sheridan’s story without Delenn? Or the story of B5 without Franklin? Garibaldi? Zack?

The original Babylon 5 was ridiculously innovative: the first to use CGI to create ships and characters, and among the very first to shoot widescreen with a vigorous 5.1 mix. Most of all, for the first time, Babylon 5 introduced viewers accustomed to episodic television to the concept of a five-year arc with a pre-planned beginning, middle and end…creating a brand new paradigm for television storytelling that has subsequently become the norm. That tradition for innovation will continue in this new iteration, and I hope to create additional new forms of storytelling that will further push the television medium to the edge of what’s possible.

Let me conclude by just saying how supportive and enthusiastic everyone at the CW has been and is being with this project. They understand the unique position Babylon 5 occupies both in television and with its legions of fans, and are doing everything they can to ensure the maximum in creative freedom, a new story that will bring in new viewers while honoring all that has come before.

Onward!

I should add that the remastered version still has its issues. Engadget has a great story about why the original Babylon 5 will never look its best, partly due to aging CGI that might have looked groundbreaking at the time. Some of the early episodes feature hamfisted plots, scenery-chewing actors and a general lack of subtlety, and I can see how they might turn off a modern audience used to shows like The Expanse. (Straczynski certainly still seems to feel the first season is worth it, and I think you’d lose a lot by skipping it.)

And while the remaster’s 4:3 transfer does an excellent job of cleaning up old artifacts and counteracting the bonkers decision to zoom in on the low-quality CG (see examples above and below), the noisy footage still doesn’t necessarily look great on a 4K TV.

Still, there’s never been a better time to watch Babylon 5 in the modern era than this remaster, which is so much better than the DVDs. You just might want this guide to the agreed-upon proper viewing orders since HBO Max and co. seem to have ordered the episodes in a new way entirely.
 

dredger

The Living Force
I finished to watch the 5 seasons and liked it. Even if GFX/CGI special effects are quite poor/old, i noticed an improvment from year to year, in 1993/94 when they started season 1, I remember it was the begining of democratization of special 'CGI' effects and the technology was rapidly improving, I was +/- following it at this period (thanks to video games).

My preferred character is G'Khar, but i liked many. Londo is a "difficult" one, but finally, I much attach to him too, his fate is kinda dramatic.

I also read what happened to the canceled new series named Crusade (or Babylon 5 : Crusade) from the same author J. Michael Straczynski, but the series was hardly canceled in the middle of season 1, when 5 seasons were planned. Visibly, this is TNT who messed up and finally Straczynski dropped all - there's a book which was written about this. The book is named "Crusade: What the Hell Happened?", here's a description of the book (and also a summary of what happened) :

If i mention this broken series/project, it's because the pitch was ... interresting.
In 1999, in order to launch this new series, which follows the 5y of "Babylon 5", they released a movie named "Call to Arms", and at the end of the movie, the attack vs earth is stopped (sorry for the spoiler), but the aggressors release/spread on earth a bioweapon that, after early analysis, would take 5y to infect all the earth's population and after a few mutations is expected to kill all the inhabitants ... and as it's high-advanced technology, they say that they would not have sufficient time to find a vaccine (this remembers me something ^^), but they have 5 years to search the universe in their unique & brand new ship named Excalibur to discover a remedy/solution.
What i had in mind is that the author of this series, Mr Straczynski, looking at the many spiritual insights in the original Babylon 5 series ... was someone kinda "connected" i would say. And this new series "Crusade" which was hardly canceled was maybe not canceled by hasard ... I mean, what about if Straczynski would have helped humanity with this 5y series to be more aware about deadly space virus that could do harm to human's population ? I mean, why not thinking that Straczynski and his "stories" was considered as "dangerous" for some forces, early 2000, and this lead to petty tyrant(s) at TNT who finally succeeded to sabotage it !? Is it common that a series is hardly canceled in the middle of a season ? Usually, they finish the season, try to find a viable end, and when it happens it's because it has no success, but in this case, the producer was not a newbee, and Babylon 5 had a reasonable success and a community who wanted a sequel !? I found it strange, this "idea" came to my mind while reading how brutally this sequel was canceled, and with what we know, about STS playing with time as they wish, why not ?

In the link i posted above, here's one of the topic listed, a complain from Straczynski about what TNT wanted to make of this new series :
The context in which JMS referred to the series as CRUSADE: 90210.
... in reference to the Beverly Hills 90210 series - this simple fact says a lot. Imagine "Babylon 90210" .... ah ahhhhh euhhh :scared:

I also found a section of a forum for Babylon 5, here is the link :
... and while browsing it i saw a thread about Mila Furlan, the actress who was playing Delen, passed away last year. (and visibly, many other main actors already). Someone release a 5m video mainly with scenes of the series when she says good (spiritual/esoteric) things (good trailer if you hesitate to watch it), but the most touching part is the end of this clip, during a public event related to the series (still on going in 2021), she mentionned that her life was broken when she started the series and that this 5y experience helped her a lot, and you can see it or feel it the way she express, how she turn to Jerry Doyle (alias Michael Garibaldi), it's ... i mean, i just finished the 5 seasons and I liked this character in the series, and watching the real human behind who seemed to be a nice person and who is now away, well this simply touched me 😢. Here's this tribute clip to Mrs Furlan :



At least, I have a question i can't answer ...
About the Vorlons, let's say they are from 4D : they look like STO but are not (as Keit wrote above). I was wondering if 4D beings are whether STO or STS, or are still considered as STO candidates (or STS) ? I means, we could say that if yes, the Vorlons are STO candidates but they still have to learn not to interfere (or to restrain to) with lower beings ...

Thanks @hlat that you have re-posted on this very old thread and that i hasardously (or not) clicked on the link to learn about this series i never heard about before 2022 :-)
 
Top Bottom