Babylon 5 reboot!

Is anyone else looking forward to a possible reboot of b5 by the original creator?
It’s been a long time since I watched the series but it’s one of my favourites. The effects haven’t aged well but the story is still amazing. It’s going to be on the cw in America which airs the arrowverse shows so hopefully it will be allowed to be dark like arrow was. I would prefer a continuation but I am still optimistic that it will be good. I am still waiting for a sledgehammer reboot but this will do for now.


Looks like JMS and WB have finally worked out their differences. It’s been so long that I’ll believe it when I actually see it on the silver screen, but I’m cautiously optimistic.


Sheridan was played by Bruce Boxleitner in the original series, with the ensemble cast also including Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, and Richard Briggs. At this time, none of the original series stars are attached to the project.

Could be because most of them are dead.


Well they did all the ships on computer but that might be one step too far.

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Unfortunately, this is true. Of the main cast, only Bruce, Claudia, Jason Carter (Marcus Cole), Pat Tallman (Lyta Alexander), Bill Mumy (Lennier) and Peter Jurasik (Londo Mollari) are still with us. I think most of them would be game, but so many storylines were so perfectly wrapped up, it would take contortions to bring anyone back. But I can’t imagine a full reboot.

Ugh. I got to know Rick Biggs and Jerry Doyle pretty well through the convention circuit, and I’m sad now.


@Oak These days, not doing spaceships on a computer is unusual (I’m looking at you, Razorcrest), but when Babylon 5 first aired it was cutting edge stuff — regardless of how well (or poorly) the effects have aged since. It was also one of the earliest shows to make extensive use full greenscreen sets for CGI backgrounds, back when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was still using glass matte paintings. And shots were framed so that conversion from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratio in the future would be trivial once the U.S. settled on an HDTV standard.

It’s a true pity that Warner Bros. didn’t take care to properly archive the data files at the time, something JMS bitterly complained about. The recent remastered HD versions were forced to upscale all the original VFX footage from the ‘90s instead of rerendering them, and the reboot is going to have to recreate all the CGI models from scratch.

(Edit) @Oak Despite the drastic improvements in the past few years in de-aging CGI (for living actors) and deep fakes (for the living or the dead), I’d rather see the original roles recast in a reboot, too.

@LadyStarblade With luck, we might get cameos by some of the survivors.


While I think Babylon 5 is (somewhat) ripe for a reboot, I am just not sold that we will get something of the quality that Ronald Moore did with Battlestar Galactica than we will the reboot/continuation of Knight Rider (for example). I hope it goes well and is successful, but I think a continuation of the original series would be preferable in my opinion.


@RRRob - Totes…I can see pretty much any of them being up for a cameo, but not knowing if this is a full reboot or just taking place in the same universe might determine that. If the former, hell yeah – I want Claudia as President of Earth or something - but the latter? After Sleeping In Light, it would take some contortions.


Per the Variety article:

Original series creator J. Michael Straczynski is onboard to write the project. He will also executive producer under his Studio JMS banner. Warner Bros. Television, which produced the original series, will produce the reboot.

The new iteration of the sci-fi series is described as a “from-the-ground-up reboot.” (emphasis mine)

I agree, though JMS as an executive producer should have some say in things. I did pull up the IMDB entry for the new project to watch, though (a) it’s completely blank at the moment, and (b) initial information will likely be behind the IMDbPro paywall.


Claudia is just about the right age… Maybe even Mumy, though he’s in his late sixties now.


It sounds like a terrible, terrible idea.

So it’ll probably be really good, I’m usually wrong on this kinda stuff!


On the syfy website it says that it will be a reboot starting from when Sheridan comes aboard. Obviously this could change but that’s meant to be the idea for now.


Complete reboot, eh? I am of two minds…it could be a fascinating new spin…but there’s the fine line to tread between honor and desecration, LOL. I’ve had a couple shows rebooted that I hated with the passion of an imploding StarFury.

But we’ll see. JMS is pretty good about these sorts of things. Cautious optimism!


I saw a lot of people complaining that it was on the CW. But I am PUMPED. I love the original series. My boyfriend and I made the space station, Ivanova’s Star Fury and the Whitestar itself!

Personally I would want a reboot over a continuation. So many of the actors have since died that I can’t really see what they could continue from. Plus, isn’t Sheridan’s life supposed to be over by this point? I’m really looking forward to the Delenn storyline. I think after working on Sense8, Staczynski is probably feeling more prone to doing her original gender change. That would be cool to see. If it’s different, then changes can only improve the story.


Babylon 5 has been stuck in a decades-long holding pattern due to ill-will and split ownership rights between WB and JMS, and I’m glad to see that both parties have reached a compromise that allows the franchise to finally move forward again. That being said, I’d love to know if JMS obtained any guarantees from WB about a minimum number of episodes per season, minimum number of seasons, fallback to streaming-only on HBO Max if broadcast on the CW doesn’t work out, a Gizmoplex-ish option if HBO Max streaming falls through, etc. Burned once twice (Crusade!), twice thrice shy, after all. It’d be a shame for Babylon 5 to finally get a proper reboot (fingers crossed!), only to have the plug pulled a season or two in.

Heck, the memory of Crusade has me wondering if any threads from that series could be woven into Babylon 5 earlier this time around, perhaps even as part of the core narrative. There’s no reason the Shadows couldn’t deploy the “Drakh” plague themselves to force nudge Earth into their corner, after all. A Babylon 5 reboot with Crusade elements could be very interesting. Apocalypse Box, anyone? :smiling_imp:

JMS created Babylon 5 with a five season long overarching narrative, and was fortunate to reach the four season minimum needed to tell it. There’s a reason season five feels more than a bit… tacked-on. The series was cancelled after a full-length fourth season was fully commisioned, permitting the core narrative to be concluded, albeit in a compressed fashion. Then the series received a last-minute renewal for a fifth season, and that led to some… improvisation.


Might be hard to get Mumy on board:

because he really hated the make-up. Also, since he’s practically rolling in dough, if they think they can get him to do it because he needs the money, they mighta oughta thinka gain:


Yeah, B5 needs a guarantee, and IDK if CW can offer that. But the story and character arcs are the heart of the thing more than the individual episodes.

I will be interested to see what they can do with a good budget and updated technology. Although the CGI on The Flash and other CW shows has definitely been glaring. It’s impressive for TV, but well short of movie level. It just stands out nearly as much as it would if they’d drawn a cartoon monster and cartoon debris next to the live actors and tried to pass it off as real. You can do that in Roger Rabbit or Space Jam because you’re acknowledging that they’re cartoons. It doesn’t work otherwise. It’ll be a major upgrade over the 90s effects, but IDK if modern viewers will be willing to accept it. Unlike the 90s, viewers now have been trained to expect better.

Still, the focus is on character development. So hopefully that will overshadow the effects.

Funny thing is that DS9 was a blatant ripoff of B5. JMS pitched this idea to the network: We do a sci-fi series on a space station and have the aliens come to you. You can have all the futuristic exploration, but on a fraction of the budget because you don’t have to build new sets and costumes every week. That also gives you room to develop characters relationships over the long term because you have all the aliens interacting with each other every week. The network turned him down. So he went and shopped it elsewhere. Which took a while. In the meantime, the network turned around and developed that pitch into DS9 without paying JMS a penny.

DS9 was beautiful. It was able to do more in some ways than B5 because it had more of a budget. And the familiar Trek branding helped. I do wish they’d been more attentive to the overall story arc. “Let’s look at the underbelly of the Federation. Let’s add money for the first time. Let’s show how things break down under stress. Let’s explore what it looks like when the Federation goes to war.” Really cool. And then… the war only exists when it’s relevant to this week’s episode? Otherwise they’re just gallivanting around and playing in the Holosuite like they always do with zero mention of it? sigh It’s my favorite Trek show, but it had the potential to be so much more than it was.

Anyway… Back to the topic at hand. The reboot will depend on the show runners. I think CW has shown that they can make a good show and keep it going for years and give it room to grow and develop. They’re certainly willing to actively push progressive ideas. B5 could be a good fit for them. JMS certainly knows what he’s doing. So that’s a good sign.

I think starting fresh makes sense. Most of CW’s audience is not going to be familiar with a show from 30 years ago. (Yes, I recognize the irony of bringing up that point on an MST3K board. But CW tends to aim for a much younger target demographic.) I think a chance to just start over in a new universe and let things play out differently could be great for both old fans and new.

But… we’ll see what develops.


I’m curious: If you liked the original, why on earth would you want to re-do the series with the same cast and storyline? Even if none of the original actors had aged?

If you’d like to see the CGI updated, well, they did that with “Star Trek”. 's okay.

I don’t really get this passion for remaking things that people liked and doing it for the people who liked them in the first place.


JMS oft recounts his run-ins with producers and networks’n’such and at the end of many of those tales, as he tells it, he’s high tailed it, because of principle. If he’s on board then maybe he’s made sure that nobody can come in and screw around with things. Especially not how what he says went down with Crusade.


I know, right? I get that they may be aiming for a Battlestar Galactica-style reboot, just throwing out almost everything and starting from scratch. But why? If you want to tell new stories in that universe, why not just do it? Maybe set it in a different era. Maybe set it in the same era with recast characters.

Personally, I consider the value of the “freedom” of creating in a blank slate universe to be far outweighed by the goldmine of content and source material that comes with an established universe. There’s still plenty of room to play.


Given how Starbuck and Boomer got reimagined into chicks, that could mean that JMS could go back to his original idea where Delenn was to start out the series as a dude before transmorfrofying into the hybrid lady.