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Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-back-on? dept.

Television 252

Ars Technica reports that "J. Michael Straczynski will shortly begin work on a rebooted big-screen version of his 1990s sci-fi TV series [ Babylon 5]." From the article: According to JMS's latest announcement, the new script will be targeted at a 2016 theatrical release and will be a reboot of the series rather than a continuation. This is necessary for both dramatic and practical purposes—the series was in regular production from 1994-1998, and the cast has simply aged too far to credibly play themselves again during the series’ main timeline. Additionally, several of the foundational cast members — Michael O'Hare, Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, and Jeff Conaway — have passed away. ... The movie rights to the Babylon 5 property remain in JMS's hands, but the creator is hopeful that this time around, Warner Bros. will choose to finance the film instead of passing on it. Nonetheless (at least according to TV Wise), JMS is prepared to fund the movie through his own production company if necessary — something that wasn't a possibility ten years ago — suggesting that B5 will in fact come to the big screen at last.

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And so it begins... (4, Funny)

I'm just joshin (633449) | about 3 months ago | (#47641931)

The avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

Re: And so it begins... (1)

Ian Holdsworth (3075953) | about 3 months ago | (#47641975)

Getting sick of reboots! But atlast one I fancie. I do hope JMS keeps the scope and grandure in there. obviously the new cast will have to put up with the specter of the curse of babylon 5

Re: And so it begins... (4, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 months ago | (#47642013)

At least he had a good story on the TV series, which really was important. A lot of the CGI effects were at the time decent but today they wouldn't measure up. At least the CGI effects were in most cases only backdrops, so it didn't really matter that they weren't fully realistic. A good thing was that it held stories within the grand story.

The story itself did leave a lot of threads to follow outside the station with several untold stories. The technomages are still a bit of a mystery, who are they actually, and what were their origins?

Gideon: I thought you said you never hold a grudge.
Galen: Well, I don't. I have no surviving enemies... at all.

Re: And so it begins... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 3 months ago | (#47642141)

The story jumped the shark at the end. I'm sorry, as much as I loved Babylon 5, it simply doesn't stand the test of time when you watch it in your 30s rather than as a teenager. It was awesome at first, a character driven Sci-Fi show, and then Sheridan came back from the dead with a Messiah Complex. Delenn always had one of course, even the Vorlons were smart enough to know that (watching Jack the Ripper torture this character flaw out of her was priceless, too bad it didn't take for the long term) as they set her up as their Emissary or whatever the hell she was. What really irked me was the human characters betraying their oath to Earth and going native after they had kicked Clark out of office. The Whitestar fleet or at least one example thereof should have been turned over to Earthforce R&D after the war, but that would required Sheridan to surrender power, so of course it didn't happen.

There's also the complete mess that was Season 5, though here I cut JMS some slack because he was kind of screwed when it looked like the show was getting the axe. The most important piece of back story was pretty damned stupid, the Minbari have thousands of years in space but start a war of annihilation (a pathetic one at that, only 250,000 deaths in two years of war, JMS needs to read about the Eastern Front....) over a botched first contact? Then they stop the war because of some religious nonsense?

In fairness the show did have highlights, Garibaldi was the best human character I think (he was Babylon 5's Chief O'Brien) flawed in every way and very easy to relate to. Londo and G'Kar never jumped the shark, their respective stories stand the test of time. Even the stupid parts (the Earth-Minbari War) had highlights, the President's speech towards the end of "In The Beginning" still chokes me up when I watch it, and the way JMS wove all of the stories together was amazing.

Re: And so it begins... (2)

qpqp (1969898) | about 3 months ago | (#47642215)

It is also the only sci-fi series (AFAIK), where the characters have to go take a dump.

Re: And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642425)

I'm pretty sure the Doctor goes into a Porta-john fairly often. Supposedly it's smaller on the outside.

Re: And so it begins... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47642233)

I know it's difficult, but the series arc works better if you ignore season 5.

Re: And so it begins... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 3 months ago | (#47642365)

Except that the series jumped the shark when Sherdian came back from the dead, which was always part of the arc. Season 5 is best viewed as a collection of disparate standalone stories, of which there are actually a few redeeming ones.

Re: And so it begins... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#47642795)

Except that the series jumped the shark when Sherdian came back from the dead, which was always part of the arc.

FWIW, I never saw it that way. With the powerful races that are in play by that point in the show, it needed someone from the younger races to do something that appears miraculous from our perspective to put us in the same league and make the final outcome to the main plot arc credible. What happened to Sheridan was that something, and it was clear from well before the critical event that the older races knew and understood things about what was happening that the younger races in the show and, by extension, we as the viewers did not, so personally I didn't find it either out of character or a random deus ex machina twist.

Season 5 is best viewed as a collection of disparate standalone stories, of which there are actually a few redeeming ones.

There I definitely agree. JMS didn't get to finish things quite the way he'd hoped, with the potential cancellation after season 4 obviously causing some reordering and early resolution of major plotlines, and things like losing a major cast member for related reasons that they couldn't fix in time when they did get the green light for season 5. However, a few of the individual episodes in season 5, particularly the ones that looked at the station and characters we had become so familiar with from a very different perspective, were some of the best single episodes of the whole series IMHO. There's a great little moment at the end of "A View from the Gallery", where something happens just in time, and it puts the often grand themes and seemingly awesomely powerful characters we normally see in the show in a very different light.

I wonder whether a reboot of the main series is the best way to go, though. It's hard to believe anyone could play characters like G'Kar and Londo with the brilliant individual performances and wonderful chemistry of the original actors. I can watch the new Star Trek films and enjoy a big space fight with the best of them, but I don't see Kirk and Spock, I see a different ship, a different crew, and a very different (read: Hollywood) style. It's more like ST:TNG compared to ST:TOS, a familiar environment but different characters and stories. I'm not sure trying to retell the original B5 story with a bigger screen, a bigger budget, bigger SFX, and none of the original magic is a winning move (although if there's anyone who could pull something like that off, JMS would be the one, and if they manage some exceptional casting as well then it might be worth watching).

Re: And so it begins... (1)

marsu_k (701360) | about 3 months ago | (#47642679)

Actually you only need to ignore the first half of season 5 (the whole "Tragedy of the Telepaths" subplot was more a tragedy of the viewers), but I think there are some great episodes in the latter half. "Fall of Centauri Prime" is a personal favourite of mine.

Re: And so it begins... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47642869)

Actually you only need to ignore the first half of season 5 (the whole "Tragedy of the Telepaths" subplot was more a tragedy of the viewers), but I think there are some great episodes in the latter half. "Fall of Centauri Prime" is a personal favourite of mine.

You're right. I was looking at it from a story arc perspective rather than a quality perspective.

I wonder if there is a way to reorder that fits the best episodes of season 5 in appropriate places in season 4. Then we could still get the "far in the future" ending, which was an excellent way to end the series.

Re: And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642363)

I have yet to watch any tv-series that doesn't turn to shit after three seasons.

At least B5 lasted longer than most animes that usually only have content for four or five episodes that then gets recycled several times/season or dragged out with filler content.

Re: And so it begins... (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47642397)

So, wait, you're upset that the characters were flawed? Aliens acted in ways that made little sense? That's what made the show good - no one was perfect, the "good guys" did stupid shit too, and not everyone seemed rational. I liked it.

But yeah, season 5 had little to offer.

For me the show's attraction was watching Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik, and Stephen Furst playing against one another, and the arcs of their characters. Londo discovering morality too late to do anything but suffer for his sins, G'Kar discovering what it means to be a religious leader (some of JMSs best writing IMO), and Vir showing that even in the most corrupt society, a strong moral compass serves you well in the long run.

Re: And so it begins... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#47642847)

Totally agreed about the G'Kar/Londo/Vir storylines. The non-human characters often got the best personal storylines and character development in B5, because the human officers (and Delenn as a notable exception to the non-human rule) tended to be tied up in moving the main plot arc forwards much of the time. Lennier was another non-human who had a diverse range of relationships with other characters and developed well through the series, at least until his completely implausible Toby Ziegler style character transplant near the end.

Re: And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47643079)

Totally agreed about the G'Kar/Londo/Vir storylines. The non-human characters often got the best personal storylines and character development in B5

Isn't this true for most science fiction? Different races or societies are often ideas taken to their extreme. This allows the writer to explore those concepts and ideas by letting them play out.

Re: And so it begins... (4, Insightful)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 3 months ago | (#47642915)

As somebody who got INTO Babylon 5 in his 40's, I disagree; Babylon 5 was the best program on TV ever. (Barring, of course, the hot mess that resulted from the on-again/off-again cancellation of Season 5.) There were a few discontinuous episodes in Season 1, but seasons 2-4 were like old soap operas; you didn't dare miss an episode, or you wouldn't be able to catch up.

Even though I generally despise "reboots" of old favorite stories, I'm glad that JMS is doing it, and I wish him the best of luck in it.

Re: And so it begins... (2)

Mascot (120795) | about 3 months ago | (#47642981)

I'm sorry, as much as I loved Babylon 5, it simply doesn't stand the test of time when you watch it in your 30s rather than as a teenager.

I watched it for the first time in my 30s and still found it absolutely brilliant. Just sayin'.

Re: And so it begins... (3, Informative)

mrbester (200927) | about 3 months ago | (#47642549)

The CGI was groundbreaking and a great deal more than just "backdrops". Every ship, planet, piece of debris, weapons fire as well as the interior of various parts of the station was made on *Amigas* with zero model shots. When they had enough money for a small render farm they could create large space battles in real time.

They kept the details secret even though big names like ILM and Paramount wanted to know how the hell they did it with so little equipment and a shoestring budget (we didn't see the battle of Wolf 359, only the aftermath and even that was a few years later because it was too expensive to make). They released old methods to the big studios on a seasonal basis: Mars Attacks used Season 2 quality, ST:Voyager used Season 4.

Yes, the effects look dated. Because they are. But no one else could do what they did 20 years ago.

Re: And so it begins... (3, Informative)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about 3 months ago | (#47642761)

If you want to know about the technomages then read the books about them. There is a trilogy by Jeanne Cavelos. Most of the books in the series are pretty good and fill in the gaps that were left by the series.

Re: And so it begins... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642207)

atlast? fancie? grandure?

Are you a retard?

Re: And so it begins... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47642371)

He could also be George R. R. Martin.

Re:And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642119)

So... what 2000s /2010s series will be rebooted (but should not)?

Just trying to get a jump on writing angry things to post in 10-20 years while I still remember the originals....

Falling Skies. That is all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642189)

Falling Skies. That is all.

Re:And so it begins... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47642809)

So... what 2000s /2010s series will be rebooted (but should not)?

If the currrent trend continues, I'd say "all of them".

Re:And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47643137)

So... what 2000s /2010s series will be rebooted (but should not)?

Temptation Island

yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47641933)

yay :D

Netflix Time Now? (4)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | about 3 months ago | (#47641939)

Maybe they could get around to putting the series up on Netflix so that the rest of the world, other than hardcore scifi nerds, will get a chance to view it and be ready for when it comes to theaters?

Re:Netflix Time Now? (4, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 3 months ago | (#47642025)

It's a reboot, not a continuation. It starts from the beginning, so you don't have to see the TV series in order to watch the movie.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

RoninRodent (3689685) | about 3 months ago | (#47642047)

It looks pretty awful on anything with a HD resolution these days so that probably wouldn't help it.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

TheLongshot (919014) | about 3 months ago | (#47642105)

Unfortunately, there isn't anything they can do about that without a huge infusion of money. Basically, they lost all of the FX material and it would all have to be redone from scratch. That's the problem with a relatively low-budget production.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (2)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 3 months ago | (#47643083)

Unfortunately, there isn't anything they can do about that without a huge infusion of money. Basically, they lost all of the FX material and it would all have to be redone from scratch. That's the problem with a relatively low-budget production.

Even if they still had the material it would have to be redone - low polygon count models and low res textures don't make good HD images.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#47642219)


It looks pretty awful on anything with a HD resolution these days so that probably wouldn't help it.

So does Star Trek (TOS, heck even some of TNG) but people still love watching them for the stories and they always make the Netflix most-popular lists.

And, heck, arguably B5 has a better story than Trek ever did.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | about 3 months ago | (#47642351)

And, heck, arguably B5 has a better story than Trek ever did.

Star Trek had a story? What made B5 great was that there was a story arc. Star Trek never seemed to have any continuity from one episode to the next.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642521)

Star Trek had a story? What made B5 great was that there was a story arc. Star Trek never seemed to have any continuity from one episode to the next.

No prime-time TV show from that era had a story arc. IIRC, the first one was "Hill Street Blues" over a decade later.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 3 months ago | (#47643109)

And, heck, arguably B5 has a better story than Trek ever did.

Star Trek had a story? What made B5 great was that there was a story arc. Star Trek never seemed to have any continuity from one episode to the next.

TNG had story arcs from season one, but they were never the focus.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (2)

quantaman (517394) | about 3 months ago | (#47643123)

And, heck, arguably B5 has a better story than Trek ever did.

Star Trek had a story? What made B5 great was that there was a story arc. Star Trek never seemed to have any continuity from one episode to the next.

Different kinds of story.

Star Trek at its best was short fiction told in space. The main characters left to themselves would be fine, but external events turned them into foils against which the actual story unfolded. After the story they'd generally reset so the next episode could tell a new story.

B5 was a character drama told in space. The main characters left to themselves generated the story. They had to evolve in order for the story to advance.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

oogoliegoogolie (635356) | about 3 months ago | (#47642229)

They FX look old, they don't look awful. I look thru the 90's CGI and see that the fights are some of the best directed, edited, musically scored battles ever.
I still get goosebumps and my heart pounds when I watch the fights when B5 seceded from the Earth Alliance, the Shadow War, the battle to free Proxima, the fight with the Centauri vessel when B5 was protecting the Narn cruiser (the sweeping camera arc showing the B5 interceptors intercepting the Centauri shells) among many others.
That being said, I always thought that the PPG's look silly.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (0)

lokedhs (672255) | about 3 months ago | (#47642101)

You mean "the rest of the US" I presume? I'm constantly amazed that people are not aware of the fact that Netflix is not available outside the US (and with few exceptions, most countries have no streaming video services at all).

Re: Netflix Time Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642129)

Outside of the US, Netflix is available at least in the Nordic countries.

Re: Netflix Time Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642383)

Doesn't have anything near to the same content or functionality as Netflix in the US.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 months ago | (#47642271)

We are aware because you mention it every single time that netflix is mentioned. What you fail to realize is that we don't care. it is your problem, not ours. Perhaps you should treat it as such?

Re:Netflix Time Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642605)

Welcome to 2014. Netflix is operating in 41 countries, among them Canada, Mexiko, the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and later this year Germany.

Re:Netflix Time Now? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47642419)

Maybe they could get around to putting the series up on Netflix

All the discs are available, last I looked. I don't know why you'd look for anything on the vast wasteland that is Netflix streaming - there's nothing there but tumbleweeds and Netflix-original stuff.

But it's awful! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47641945)

So, so awful...

Re:But it's awful! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47641983)

Well at least it might not have those terrible, jarringly out of place CGI scenes and horrid actors (Andreas Katsulas and Peter Jurasik excluded).

...but there are already films (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 3 months ago | (#47642017)

The whole point behind babylon 5 was the huge story arcs...two great ones. I will watch the movie...but I don't care like I would about a series. Its a shame too as there is not many "in space" series at the moment.

Re:...but there are already films (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47642481)

It was also very dependent on the cast. It takes a lot for the audience to relate to guys in alien costumes, even SF nerds like me. I'm doubtful the magic will happen again.

Wow, a lot of the cast died so young - Jeff Conaway to drugs, Andreas Katsulas to smoking, Richard Biggs at 44 to a heart condition. Good to see Stephen Furst still going (aside from playing my favorite character on B5, he successfully changed his dangerous lifestyle during the B5 years, losing almost 100 pounds).

But whatever else goes wrong, at least the fighters "in space" won't fly like jets. Did any other SF TV series or movie get that right? The space battles are still cool to watch, aging effects and all, just because it makes some physical sense.

Re:...but there are already films (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about 3 months ago | (#47642907)

BSG is the only other series that comes close with the physically accurate dogfighting. The Vipers are still *designed* like jets, but they don't fly like them.

Re:...but there are already films (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 3 months ago | (#47642865)

The whole point behind babylon 5 was the huge story arcs...two great ones. I will watch the movie...but I don't care like I would about a series.

Perhaps a B5 movie could be a launch for a B5 multimedia universe like the Marvel Universe. The tie-in between the theatrical movies and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show is excellent.

Sci-Fi, fantasy, and comic book are excellent genres for a character-driven TV series with tie-in theatrical movies for the big events that need that kind of FX budget. Even some action/adventure could benefit from this. Imagine a "James Bond universe" where the TV series doesn't have Bond in it very much at all. It could still be very fun, and build up the plot to a movie.

This was the best... (2)

McLae (606725) | about 3 months ago | (#47642035)

This was the best series on TV. And best of all, of you watch on DVD, you see the hints and snippets that point to later plot threads. I cannot count the many times I realized the current plot started 3 episodes ago, but now is the main action. And best of all, this was the first series to kill off 'major' characters, after three of four episodes to get you familiar with the poor lamb. Now common, this was the first with the guts to start. Oh, and the strong women (I found my own Ivanova!!)

Re:This was the best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642187)

This was the best series on TV. And best of all, of you watch on DVD, you see the hints and snippets that point to later plot threads

JMS was always adamant that you showed the gun sitting on the desk before you picked it up and shot someone later in the scene. JMS had the entire (5 year) arc outlined before being green lit. Adjustments had to be made along the way, since reality happens. But JMS made sure that the Signs and Portents were there from the beginning.

Re:This was the best... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 3 months ago | (#47642541)

That was one of the great things. It not only had Chekhov's gun, it also had Chekhov.

Re: This was the best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642731)

Amen. About a year ago I watched the whole thing for the first time since it originally aired. It was amazing to see the stories develop over time. Sure, parts are dated, the fourth season was rushed, and the fifth was unnecessary, but damn it was a well-written show!

Re:This was the best... (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 3 months ago | (#47642803)

"And best of all, this was the first series to kill off 'major' characters"

That's not true. Off the top of my head, MASH killed Henry Blake, and that was probably the first time a major character was killed off in a major series (other than a cast member dying). It was much more sporadic before the 90s, but it did happen.

Re:This was the best... (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 3 months ago | (#47642921)

That's not true. Off the top of my head, MASH killed Henry Blake, and that was probably the first time a major character was killed off in a major series (other than a cast member dying).

In the case of McLean Stevenson, he quit the show, and instead of just writing his character out, they killed him. This is no different from any other show where the actor's off-screen circumstances (death, etc.) caused the show to have to write around it.

On B5, however, characters that you grew to love (like Marcus) were "dead men walking" from the first second they appeared on screen, because that's what JMS had already written. AFAIK, B5 really was the first to kill off characters as part of the planned plot where the actor had front of the show credit. It's still rare today partially because those actors get paid more money because of union rules, and partially because studios and networks want a more stable cast they can sell to advertisers. Mostly, the "planned deaths" are a supporting character. Person of Interest is one of the few recent shows I can think of that killed off a truly major character, and didn't do it at the end of a season.

Re:This was the best... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47642853)

This was the best series on TV.

The more you like a show, the more you should hope no one decides to revive it.

Noice! (2)

dicobalt (1536225) | about 3 months ago | (#47642083)

This series deserves a reboot and maybe even more seasons, let's go Doctor Who on this thing.

Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642103)

Narrator: By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal.

Narrator: By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal.

Narrator: By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal.

Narrator: By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal.

Narrator: By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal.

Narrator: By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal.

What's a reboot? (2, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 3 months ago | (#47642131)

I loved B5. I hate reboots, at least as I understand the word. I have no problem with replacing the actors. That happens frequently in movie franchises. James Bond has been played by a number of actors, and even the gender of a major supporting character was changed in that franchise without calling it a reboot. In my mind a reboot is when the producers and/or director want to take advantage of the name and existing fan base, but decide to do two other distasteful things: First, change key story concepts that have already been established, and second, they usually want to retell yet another origin story. Why is this being called a reboot, and is JMS calling it a reboot himself or are others just misusing the term? I'll gladly go see a new B5 movie (and I really don't go to many movies), but I'll avoid a B5 reboot like I would avoid an Ebola infected missionary. If JMS wants to tell a completely different Sci-fi story then I would welcome that too, but he should not reuse the B5 name, If he wants to pick back up story telling in the B5 universe then he shouldn't try to tear down what has already been done.

On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

Re:What's a reboot? (4, Interesting)

Snard (61584) | about 3 months ago | (#47642251)

I would say that "reboot" can mean different things, in much the same way that "Zathras" can refer to more than one individual, depending on how you pronounce it :) There is the one you describe (change the story line / concepts), but I think it's also possible to simply retell the story, or perhaps tell "more of the story" (i.e. start a bit earlier in the arc, or give additional background). Our technology has changed a bit since 1994 (I mean, gad, we were still running Windows for Workgroups back then!) so it makes sense that we can better imagine the future from this perspective. I respect JMS and believe he would not tamper with the core precepts in the series. And while there are lots of faithful fans who remember the original series, there is also a huge audience of people who aren't familiar with the original series & would enjoy an excellent space opera.

Re:What's a reboot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642491)

Our technology has changed a bit since 1994 (I mean, gad, we were still running Windows for Workgroups back then!)

Windows 3.11 was brand new at that time. Most software was better on DOS than Windows or on a system that had a GUI for a longer time (Amiga, Mac, Atari...)

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 3 months ago | (#47642579)

While there were at least 12 Zathrases, all were played by Tim Choate...

Re:What's a reboot? (3, Insightful)

GNious (953874) | about 3 months ago | (#47642253)

I heard they wanted to do a reboot of Star Trek, which I guess could be interesting ... I mean, it's been 12 years since a Star Trek movie was last released.

Re:What's a reboot? (2)

msk (6205) | about 3 months ago | (#47642437)

True, and it looks like we'll never have another Star Wars movie.

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47642839)

True, and it looks like we'll never have another Star Wars movie.

Probably you whooshed me, but Disney bought rights in 2012 and has the first of a sequel trilogy in production and scheduled for release next year.

(Then we'll probably get presequels...)

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

msk (6205) | about 3 months ago | (#47643011)

*Whoosh*

There hasn't been a Star Trek movie in twelve years. There won't be another Star Wars movie as long as J.J. Abrams is attached to it. He should stick to the (mediocre) things he does best.

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 3 months ago | (#47642439)

I heard they wanted to do a reboot of Star Trek, which I guess could be interesting ... I mean, it's been 12 years since a Star Trek movie was last released.

I know this is heresy but I liked B5 better than most of the Star Wars and Start Trek stuff.

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 3 months ago | (#47642477)

I know this is heresy but I liked B5 better than most of the Star Wars and Start Trek stuff.

I officially sanction your position. It is not heresy, it's truth. There is certainly Star Trek which is better than anything in B5, but "most" of Star Trek is far inferior.

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

WCLPeter (202497) | about 3 months ago | (#47642539)

On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

One of the problems with trying use the original actors in the film is that a significantly large number of them, including Tim Choate [wikipedia.org] , are dead. Though I do agree with you, Zathras was one of my favourites too.

I'm shocked really at how many are gone - since I have fond memories of the show its really hard to think that 20 years is all that long ago but I was watching a video of the Babylon 5 20th Anniversary Reunion at the Phoenix ComicCon filmed in 2013 a few months ago and they had a Video Memorial [youtube.com] showing all the fallen stars of B5 and was surprised at how many were gone.

It makes sense that they want to restart with a new cast and I trust JMS to do it right - I doubt we'll see "Old Sheridan" meeting up with "New Sheridan" like "Old Spock" / "New Spock", unless Boxleitner happens to be playing Sheridan's father in the episode.

Re:What's a reboot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642655)

He also played Zathros and Zathrus.

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 3 months ago | (#47642939)

Here is an interesting example. Macross the anime series and Macross the movie (DYRL). The movie differs a lot from the series, the explanation is that it is a movie in-universe loosely based on what happened during the human-Zentraedi war.

This could be something similar. An in-universe movie about what happened 2258-2261.

Re:What's a reboot? (1)

glwtta (532858) | about 3 months ago | (#47643077)

Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras

Don't forget he also played my favorite character: Zathras.

Re:What's a reboot? (2)

quantaman (517394) | about 3 months ago | (#47643101)

I loved B5. I hate reboots, at least as I understand the word. I have no problem with replacing the actors. That happens frequently in movie franchises. James Bond has been played by a number of actors, and even the gender of a major supporting character was changed in that franchise without calling it a reboot. In my mind a reboot is when the producers and/or director want to take advantage of the name and existing fan base, but decide to do two other distasteful things: First, change key story concepts that have already been established, and second, they usually want to retell yet another origin story. Why is this being called a reboot, and is JMS calling it a reboot himself or are others just misusing the term? I'll gladly go see a new B5 movie (and I really don't go to many movies), but I'll avoid a B5 reboot like I would avoid an Ebola infected missionary. If JMS wants to tell a completely different Sci-fi story then I would welcome that too, but he should not reuse the B5 name, If he wants to pick back up story telling in the B5 universe then he shouldn't try to tear down what has already been done.

On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

I'm not opposed to the idea, but it's important to remember that it's no guarantee of success. Consider all the elements that can cause a TV show to fail, cast, characters, writing, concept, plots, etc. With the reboot you're starting out on familiar ground so you avoid a lot of potential pitfalls, but you still have a big risk of making a dud.

The original B5 was great, but to be honest it's not doing anything anymore. The people who watched it have already extracted all of the joy they can, and the small minority of people who will watch it in the future will be thrown off by the clunky 90's style writing and special effects.

If there's a chance they can take the concept and try to tell it again, leveraging on the mythos of the old story, I say great. It will probably fail but even if it does I don't see it doing any harm.

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642135)

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man,
        He robbed the Glendale train,
        He stole from the rich and he gave to the poor,
        He'd a hand and a heart and a brain.

        Well it was Robert Ford, that dirty little coward,
        I wonder how he feels,
        For he ate of Jesse's bread and he slept in Jesse's bed,
        And he laid poor Jesse in his grave.

        (chorus)
        Well Jesse had a wife to mourn for his life,
        Three children, [now] they were brave,
        Well that dirty little coward that shot Mr. [Mister] Howard,
        He laid poor Jesse [Has laid Jesse James] in his grave.

        Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
        He'd never rob a mother or a child,
        There never was a man with the law in his hand,
        That could take Jesse James alive.

        Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
        He'd never see a man suffer pain,
        And with his brother Frank he robbed the Chicago bank,
        And stopped the Glendale train.

        It was on a Saturday night and the moon was shining bright,
        They robbed the Glendale train,
        And people they did say o'er many miles away
        It was those outlaws, they're Frank and Jesse James

        (chorus)
        Now the people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death,
        And wondered how he ever came to fall
        Robert Ford, it was a fact, he shot Jesse in the back
        While Jesse hung a picture on the wall

        Now Jesse went to rest with his hand on his breast,
        The devil will be upon his knee.
        He was born one day in the County Clay,
        And he came from a solitary race.
        (chorus)

Don't want it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642203)

B5 was really about the 5 year stoyr arc and its branches. Rather than rehash the thing into a short movie, would be better to take some point in the arc and make a huge movie of it.

Unless... you start with a huge movie at the battle of the line and plan to make a 5 (or insert number here) movie arch to create the 5 seasons..

I always hoped someone would make a movie of the battle at Wolf 359 - seems to me that there would be so much to work with within that heroic battle complex (I know, Wolf 359 is ST - But I digress)

No sequel - No Hollywood Accountants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642447)

Spoiler Alert they all died.

Fuck me (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 3 months ago | (#47642217)

please dont reboot!!!! A continuation of the world but no fucking reboot.

Re:Fuck me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642421)

Would you rather have:

Babylon 6

Crusade

Babylon 5 Special Edition (like Star Wars)

Babylon 5 rebooted

Babylon 5 TMP

Me: none of the above

It may be too late, (2)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#47642225)

"Guardians of the Galaxy" was not a sequel or a reboot.

It suggests as well that audiences have grown more than a little weary of "dark" sci-fi and fantasy.

As much as I admire B5, I think its time may have passed.

Re:It may be too late, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642263)

I disagree, I would like to see a reboot with special effects on par with Lexx [wikipedia.org] . Screw that, I wish they just made 'Lexx: The motion picture' instead.

Re:It may be too late, (2)

Wraithlyn (133796) | about 3 months ago | (#47642393)

B5 was full of lighthearted moments and humour (admittedly less so towards the end). Thinking about Londo going "but in purple... I'm STUNNING" still cracks me up just thinking about it. Or G'Kar getting drunk with the grail seeker "They made a very satisfying.. THUMP when they hit the ground". Lennier and Vir commiserating, "they never listen...". Or Sheridan's terrible jokes.. "Kosh who?" / "Gseundheit!". I could go on all day. :)

Sure there was a serious, epic plot underlying it all.. but you can say the same thing about Guardians. I mean, let's not forget that Ronan's goal was to murder billions of innocent people.

What about Babylon Park? (1)

oogoliegoogolie (635356) | about 3 months ago | (#47642235)

It would be nice to see some new episodes of that.

More Shadows, less Psi's (1)

Horshu (2754893) | about 3 months ago | (#47642261)

Seasons 1-4....awesome. Season 5...not so much. The movies...didn't even watch them.

Re:More Shadows, less Psi's (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642401)

Thirdspace and In The Beginning are like excellent B5 episodes, scaled appropriately to fit the time. You're missing out if you're not watching them.
A Call to Arms is like a very good B5 episode, and you'd also be missing out by not watching it. Great story and great CG in all three of those.

The reason Season 5 is not like the other seasons was that B5 was under threat of cancellation around season 4, so JMS tried to fit the story into seasons 1-4, and create the final episode of season 4. Cancellation did not happen, so JMS extended the story in season 5.

Re:More Shadows, less Psi's (4, Informative)

Wraithlyn (133796) | about 3 months ago | (#47642415)

They thought they weren't getting a Season 5, which is why they rushed to resolve all the major plots by the end of S4, leading to a rather underwhelming S5.

So what you say is true, but not really their fault.

Re:More Shadows, less Psi's (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 3 months ago | (#47642949)

You absolutely ought to watch "In the beginning".
It is awesome. In fact, better than most B5 episodes.

Kickstarter? (1)

bungo (50628) | about 3 months ago | (#47642265)

If Kickstarter worked from Veroncia Mars, then I don't see why it wouldn't work for B5.

I'd pay the cost of a DVD/Blu-ray if fund it, it I could get a disc as a reward.

Before you go rushing off to support JMS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642273)

Consider the man's idiotic self-justifications [comicsalliance.com] for his work on "Before Watchmen" despite Alan Moore's non-participation.

Shorter JMS (to clarify, a paraphrase of his meaning rather than a direct quote):

"See, people get fucked in this industry all the time. It's the nature of the business. The creators of Superman got fucked. The industry could fuck me if they wanted to. And I, for one, am proud to be one of the dicks DC Comics is using to fuck Alan Moore."

And I say this as a fan of Babylon 5, and with no particular familiarity with or affection for Moore's work.

Re:Before you go rushing off to support JMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47642459)

What did you expect? He is the guy who 'fucked' over his own readers on one of his earlier comic series 'Rising stars' by refusing to finish it. When he claimed he was being fucked over.

Re:Before you go rushing off to support JMS... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 3 months ago | (#47642687)

As another fan of B5, who in general hates JMS, I think you are miscaregorizing that article. Skimming it, it sounds likes Alan Moore never wanted to do anything with Watchmen, ever again, and never wanted anything done with them. But fortunately he did not own Watchmen so eventually they went around his back. It sounds to me, after skimming this article for 5 seconds, that Moore was just being a huge childish dick: "its mine and no one else is allowed to play with it". Now JMS has done his own things to sabotage B5, so it is perfectly legitimate to hate him as well in my books.

An Uncoditional Truth (1)

MIchael Vester (2855763) | about 3 months ago | (#47642343)

There is but one absolute and unconditional truth in the universe, Babylon 5 was the greatest television show ever.

Re:An Unconditional Truth (5, Funny)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 months ago | (#47642841)

No. There is another.

"Ivanova is god."

The Jackson-Hobbit Syndrome in reverse (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 months ago | (#47642391)

So JMS wants to take a story originally told in over 4700 minutes, and condense it down into a 120-minute feature film (or is he thinking a series of five of them)? What could possibly go wrong?

Seriously, one of the things that makes B5 a classic of the genre was the way it gradually unfolded an epic tale over the course of five years. Sure, there were a lot of B sub plots and C plot-of-the-week elements that didn't contribute directly to that overall storyline, but they provided the texture that made the A plot matter. For example, the viewers cared about the fate of the Centauri because they'd come to know (and seen the transformation of) Londo and Vir; without that, they're just a bunch of space vampires. To be honest, I'm not really a big fan of the soap-opera approach to storytelling that's become fashionable in hour-long TV dramas and monthly superhero comics... but B5 was a rare example of how it works. Without that format, without that scope, it would become just the Reader's Digest edit of The Lord of the Rings in Space.

Re:The Jackson-Hobbit Syndrome in reverse (1)

BellyJelly (3772777) | about 3 months ago | (#47643047)

My thoughts exactly. There is no way you could compress the whole B5 story arc into several movies, never mind one, without cutting out everything that gave the series it's depth and texture. I get why people complain about series 5, but I think that was partly because JMS didn't think he would make it that far. After series 1 and 2 taught you about the B5 universe and it's characters, and built up the sense of foreboding that something bad was coming, I thought the way the momentum built during series 3 and 4 was excellent.

In breaking news (5, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 months ago | (#47642441)

J.J. Abrams is signed to direct. He's never seen a single episode of the TV show, but he's sure that, if he uses enough lens flare and explosions, no-one will ever notice.

Re:In breaking news (2)

glwtta (532858) | about 3 months ago | (#47643059)

Just... fuck you.

I'll pass (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 3 months ago | (#47642723)

Yes, I enjoyed Babylon 5, but then stuff like Crusade, the Ranger movie, and that "Lost Tales" compilation happened. I'll probably put this new movie in my Netflix queue, but I won't be running out to buy a theater ticket or anything.

Last Exit to Babylon (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 months ago | (#47642743)

Speaking of Babylon, I wouldn't mind seeing a movie of Roadmarks [wikipedia.org] . In the mean time, perhaps I'll dig the book out of the closet and re-read it...

Hopefully he will do it right... (1)

trparky (846769) | about 3 months ago | (#47642775)

Hopefully he will do the job in more than one movie. Say, one movie leading up to the Shadow War, then another movie that is the Shadow War, and then a third movie showcasing the results after the Shadow War.

B7 (2)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 3 months ago | (#47642929)

Any word on the proposed Blake's 7 movie? That one show that deserves a resurrection.

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