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-   -   How would you reboot B5? (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=42546)

Republibot 3.0 July 31st 14 15:02

How would you reboot B5?
 
Just as a thought experiment, how would you reboot B5, if it were up to you? What would you keep from the original show? What would you jettison? What would you invent? How would you recast it? What format would it be in? Would it be a modern netflix heavy-arc like "House of Cards," or use the "Lostback" formula, or what?

Ideas can be as elaborate or as realistic as you like. I'm just interested in how you'd do it if you had the firm commitment from a studio who'd leave you to your own devices.

KoshN July 31st 14 15:24

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
I wouldn't. I'd reboot Crusade.

Republibot 3.0 August 1st 14 17:34

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 449778)
I wouldn't. I'd reboot Crusade.

Ok, how would you reboot crusade? I wouldn't do it as-filmed. I'd have it based on Tuzanor, or maybe even out of B5 (As a hub, not the main base) with a squadron of White Stars (All interchangeable).

It'd be primarily about 7 or 10 rangers, who'd get sent out in various combinations, based on their respective skills, and the only B5 cast who'd be a regular would be Delenn. We'd bump into the others, though.

It'd start off immediately after "Objects at Rest," with a season of planet-of-the-week adventures, the Rangers getting involved in creatign the peace and all. Then the Telepath Crisis would start, and take up most of the 2nd seson. (It started earlier than Lyta was expecting). I'd have the Drakh Plague/War start during the Telepath Crisis, and continue after the crisis is resolved, and we'd segue into whatever it was that JMS had planned as the main storyline of B5.

That's how I'd do it.

ranger phil August 1st 14 21:12

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
I would love Joe to reboot B5 based on his original concept. (well i seem to remember sinclair was due to make it through the series and travel back in time to become valen, although i could be wrong). Make it as grim and as dark as hell. Set a more adult theme. Make the shadows and Vorlons really scary. Don't hold back. Show us the Icarus (or another different ship) arriving at z'ha'dum and what 'really' happened to the crew (as in the shadow within sort of thing). Show us what happens to those 'chosen' by the vorlons. Just expand on what we know. Tweak it a little storywise.

KoshN August 2nd 14 04:08

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
I'd reboot Crusade using the existing Crusade scripts except War Zone, and as many of the original actors as possible. Matheson (DDK in H50V2) would have to be re-cast, and probably Gideon as well. I'd love to have Gary Cole back as Gideon. Peter Woodward as Galen and Carrie Dobro as Dureena and Tracy Scoggins as Lochley are must haves. Bester would unfortunately have to be re-cast (Maybe not? Hair dye and makeup?).. Brooks should be back as Eilerson. It wouldn't bother me if they re-cast Dr.Chambers.

I'd modify Appearance and Other Deceits to remove all trace of the uniform change. I'd pick one uniform Gray/Red or Black and stick with it.

Republibot 3.0 August 2nd 14 15:13

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger phil (Post 449806)
I would love Joe to reboot B5 based on his original concept. (well i seem to remember sinclair was due to make it through the series and travel back in time to become valen, although i could be wrong).

Politely, you're wrong. The whole "Valen" arc was introduced as a way to write O'Hare out of the series. It was not part of the original draft. I have a pretty detailed outline for the original concept of B5, if you'd like me to link you to it.

The "Dark" angle is interesting. I don't think it's the way I'd go, but it's got potential. I think that's the sort of thing that might be sort of "Naughty" for today's audience, though. If it had happened during the BSG/SGU era, that totally would have been a hit. Nowadays? People seem to like it sunny with occasional scattered clouds of "Oh my God!" (See: Doctor Who.)

Also - and this has nothing to do with you, and please don't think of this as a criticism in any way, 'cuz it's not intended as one - it's worth noting that we are in the middle of the longest stretch without a space-based TV show since the early 1980s. We've gone three years without one now.

Republibot 3.0 August 2nd 14 15:17

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 449809)
I'd reboot Crusade using the existing Crusade scripts except War Zone, and as many of the original actors as possible. Matheson (DDK in H50V2) would have to be re-cast, and probably Gideon as well. I'd love to have Gary Cole back as Gideon. Peter Woodward as Galen and Carrie Dobro as Dureena and Tracy Scoggins as Lochley are must haves. Bester would unfortunately have to be re-cast (Maybe not? Hair dye and makeup?).. Brooks should be back as Eilerson. It wouldn't bother me if they re-cast Dr.Chambers.

I'd modify Appearance and Other Deceits to remove all trace of the uniform change. I'd pick one uniform Gray/Red or Black and stick with it.

So straight forward reboot. Change nothing, just a do-over, and resign yourself to having a somewhat older cast. Doable. Certainly the most efficient way, as you've got all that stuff written, and a working model to compare it to.

You could still use Bester with no problems. Walter is in good health (Better, he says, than when he did B5, as he's really taken pains to exercise and diet stuff following his heart attack), and remember: the character was always older than he appeared. (In the books, he's in his 70s). His present baldness could simply be part of his cover. He is on the lam, after all. Fugitives do tend to change their appearances.

Republibot 3.0 August 5th 14 03:18

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
My preference is a solid, self-contained series as a reboot, of course, but I have occasionally entertained the notion of three overlapping full-length series. In my most fanwankerly of daydreams, I think I might like something like this:

* A Starship-based series.110 episodes, five seasons.

* Babylon 5, a space station-based series, 110 episodes, five seasons. This would start at the same time as the third season of our starship-based series, and run concurrently with it.

* A rangers-based show. 110 episodes, five seasons. This would start at the same time as the third season of Babylon 5 and the final season of the Starship-based show.

The individual series would take place in the same universe, would overlap somewhat in time, and have occasional crossovers, but they'd basically be independent standalone series. One could watch just B5 or just "Ranger" or just "Starship" and have a complete story without having to watch the other two shows to know what was going on.

So we're looking at 15 years/ 330 episodes of a franchise, but owing to the overlap, it'd all take place in 9 seasons. A hellish production schedule, I know, but TNG/DS9/Voy and SG1/SGA proved it's at least possible.

So why do it?

Well, firstly it'd be fun. You want to see more of the B5 universe, this could show it from several different perspectives, all of which could compliment each other.Case in point: the first two seasons of B5 are prettty slow, not because they're bad, but because it's a new universe and it takes forever to bring people up to speed. If we dumped those 'unusual alien encounter' episodes into "Starship," it frees up a lot of space for more interesting arc-based station eps.

The perspective stuff is the thing that most interests me, though. Imagine this:

"Starship" is our first show. We get planet-of-the-week stuff, but done modern non-cheezy style, unlke Trek. Just bringing a B5 sensibility to a simple trek-style venue would be a revolution.

So season 1, season 2, and then in season 3 B5 starts. Season 4 of Starship is season 2 of B5. Season 5 of Starship is season 3 of B5, which puts it in the middle of the earth civil war. Looking for a way to end your starship series? How about it's involved in the attack on B5 itself, and gets blown up? Some characters die, some are taken prisoner on the station, and then sent off to prison camps. THat's one HELL of a ballsy way to end a series. Added to which, we'd get to explore the EA civil war from BOTH SIDES simultaneously, which would be all kind of fun!

Season 5 of "Starship" would also be season 3 of B5, and season 1 of "Rangers," which would be a show about rangers. White stars, rangers running missions, fighting the shadows, recruiting new members. So for a year there, we've got the final season of "Starshiip," the middle year of B5, and the first year of "Rangers" all going at once. Again, this allows us to show different perspectives on the same conflict. The rangers can't understand why B5 is so distracted by the Civil War and not spending enough time on the Shadows, for instance, or a zillion other interesting things.

Babylon 5 would end at the end of its 5th season, 2 years after "Starship" ended, and 2 years before "Rangers" ends. This would allow us to see a kind of progression from a human-centric show to galactic civilization, and do cool stuff along the way.

It is completely unreasonable to assume anyone would pony up the dough, but as long as I'm daydreaming, this is my best-possible reboot situation. What do you think?

Psi Cop August 9th 14 10:49

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
NO to focusing on the Rangers (remember TLOTR?)
NO to retelling the same story (the beauty of B5 was not knowing what was coming)
NO to Technomages (not relevant enough)
NO to continuing Crusade (boring story which is why it failed)
NO to original actors playing different roles (It wouldn't be right!)

YES to ignoring the book continuity and telling the universe after the end of original B5
This means:
Casting of original actors wouldn't matter because the series would be set in the future and age is no issue
Tell the stories that weren't ended on screen:
1) Telepath War and future of Psi Corps/Lyta's resistance
2) Centauri Prime under the Drakh (WWE was a possible future as was Babylon Squared - see Coming Of Shadows (the telepath escort) and Point Of No Return (Lady Morella))
3) Earth/Mars post Clark
4) Rebuilding of Narn
5) Mimbar after civil war

At least I can then get over watching Sleeping In Light and thinking - 'But what about this?...What about that?

JonFrain August 9th 14 21:13

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
1) Shortened seasons, the only filler episodes would be there to provide a break from the serious arcs, think the episode with the fly in Breaking Bad.

2) Writing team - JMS is great but he does have some shortcomings that trusted writers could help improve (humor and dialog). JMS has final say but even David Chase and Vince Gilligan recognized the value of a writing team.

3) Darker, more adult storytelling. Return to Sinclair as the center.

4) Solid production values with a real budget.

4) Unsure on composer. I loved Franke's score but I'm not sure his musical style holds up today. Bear McReary may be a better choice but he'd have to avoid sounding like BSG.

KoshN August 10th 14 00:14

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to focusing on the Rangers (remember TLOTR?)
NO to retelling the same story (the beauty of B5 was not knowing what was coming)

AGREED.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to Technomages (not relevant enough)
NO to continuing Crusade (boring story which is why it failed)

YES to Crusade and the Technomages!

Crusade failed because of the IDIOTS at TNT-Atlanta!!! Crusade was cancelled before even one episode was aired. Without TNT interference/meddling, it could've gone five seasons. If TNT had allowed Crusade to go to Sci-Fi, it very likely would've continued and ran for five seasons if Warners and SCI-Fi/Universal could've gotten over ownership issues and came to a compromise.





Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to original actors playing different roles (It wouldn't be right!)

Agreed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
YES to ignoring the book continuity and telling the universe after the end of original B5
This means:
Casting of original actors wouldn't matter because the series would be set in the future and age is no issue
Tell the stories that weren't ended on screen:
1) Telepath War and future of Psi Corps/Lyta's resistance
2) Centauri Prime under the Drakh (WWE was a possible future as was Babylon Squared - see Coming Of Shadows (the telepath escort) and Point Of No Return (Lady Morella))
3) Earth/Mars post Clark
4) Rebuilding of Narn
5) Minbar after civil war

At least I can then get over watching Sleeping In Light and thinking - 'But what about this?...What about that?

No, KEEP book continuity.

Film "The Shadow Within" as a two hour big budget, theatrical movie, and recasting needs would be minimal. Use Henry Cavill as Sinclair.

Republibot 3.0 August 10th 14 04:15

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to focusing on the Rangers (remember TLOTR?)
NO to retelling the same story (the beauty of B5 was not knowing what was coming)
NO to Technomages (not relevant enough)
NO to continuing Crusade (boring story which is why it failed)
NO to original actors playing different roles (It wouldn't be right!)

YES to ignoring the book continuity and telling the universe after the end of original B5
This means:
Casting of original actors wouldn't matter because the series would be set in the future and age is no issue
Tell the stories that weren't ended on screen:
1) Telepath War and future of Psi Corps/Lyta's resistance
2) Centauri Prime under the Drakh (WWE was a possible future as was Babylon Squared - see Coming Of Shadows (the telepath escort) and Point Of No Return (Lady Morella))
3) Earth/Mars post Clark
4) Rebuilding of Narn
5) Mimbar after civil war

At least I can then get over watching Sleeping In Light and thinking - 'But what about this?...What about that?

I would be happy with that list. Not EVERYTHING on it do I agree with, but there's more than enough there to overshadow my reservations. Good job!

Republibot 3.0 August 10th 14 04:28

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonFrain (Post 449900)
1) Shortened seasons, the only filler episodes would be there to provide a break from the serious arcs, think the episode with the fly in Breaking Bad.

2) Writing team - JMS is great but he does have some shortcomings that trusted writers could help improve (humor and dialog). JMS has final say but even David Chase and Vince Gilligan recognized the value of a writing team.

3) Darker, more adult storytelling. Return to Sinclair as the center.

4) Solid production values with a real budget.

4) Unsure on composer. I loved Franke's score but I'm not sure his musical style holds up today. Bear McReary may be a better choice but he'd have to avoid sounding like BSG.

I like full-length seasons. Filler can be problematic, but it can also be used to do major worldbuilding and also character development. Arc-wise, this isn't a probem. Let's take the example of "Longmire," which tells a great 13-episode arc-heavy series. This ends on a cliffhanger and does another one next year. There's no reason, however, why they couldn't do a 13-ep Arc, and then start ANOTHER 13-episode arc following that in the same year, with a cliffhanger at episode 9. The next season picks up the 2nd arc at episode 10, and on episode 14 we get a NEW 13 episode arc.

Or do two 11 episode arcs, with a 22-episode subpot to tie 'em together.

"Dark" is kind of done. I don't mean that to be dismissive or argumentative or anything, it's just that it was a trend, and it's sort of played out now. There hasn't been a dark space-based show since SGU went off the air 3 or 4 years back, and there hasn't been a SUCCESSFUL dark space based show since the end of the 3rd season of BSG. You could try it, you could maybe even pull it off, but you're working against current trends. Actually, making a space-based show at the moment is bucking trends. We're in the longest space-drought since 1987

Bear McReary is my go-to compser, as well. He can do a lot of different styles, and the BSG sound would suit some (Imagine crazy Narn fight scenes!)

Failing that, another interesting thing to do would be to go leitmotif, with a different theme for each major character, and a few overall themes. Have all that done by one composer. I don't care who. I'll throw a name out there, not that we could afford him: Vangelis.

So Vangelis does season 1 ONLY. Season 2, we hire a new composer. The new composer picks up where Vangelis left off. Still leitmotif, but he puts his own spin on the existing themes. A couple of Van's themes are retired. A couple new themes for new characters are introduced. Again, I'm just throwing names out here, so let's say Mike Oldfield as he's the only one I can think of at the moment, but I don't really want him.

Season 3, same thing: New composer, same music, but with his own spin, some new themes, retire a few from sesons 1 and 2, etc. Say Danny Elfman, whom we could not afford.

Season 4: same thing: Use Bear.

Season 5: Same thing: Use, I dunno, whomever it is that does the Airbender/Legend of Korra music. He's awesome.

That way you get evolving music on every level. Prohibitively expensive, but interesting.

Republibot 3.0 August 10th 14 04:30

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 449905)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to focusing on the Rangers (remember TLOTR?)
NO to retelling the same story (the beauty of B5 was not knowing what was coming)

AGREED.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to Technomages (not relevant enough)
NO to continuing Crusade (boring story which is why it failed)

YES to Crusade and the Technomages!

Crusade failed because of the IDIOTS at TNT-Atlanta!!! Crusade was cancelled before even one episode was aired. Without TNT interference/meddling, it could've gone five seasons. If TNT had allowed Crusade to go to Sci-Fi, it very likely would've continued and ran for five seasons if Warners and SCI-Fi/Universal could've gotten over ownership issues and came to a compromise.





Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
NO to original actors playing different roles (It wouldn't be right!)

Agreed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi Cop (Post 449892)
YES to ignoring the book continuity and telling the universe after the end of original B5
This means:
Casting of original actors wouldn't matter because the series would be set in the future and age is no issue
Tell the stories that weren't ended on screen:
1) Telepath War and future of Psi Corps/Lyta's resistance
2) Centauri Prime under the Drakh (WWE was a possible future as was Babylon Squared - see Coming Of Shadows (the telepath escort) and Point Of No Return (Lady Morella))
3) Earth/Mars post Clark
4) Rebuilding of Narn
5) Minbar after civil war

At least I can then get over watching Sleeping In Light and thinking - 'But what about this?...What about that?

No, KEEP book continuity.

Film "The Shadow Within" as a two hour big budget, theatrical movie, and recasting needs would be minimal. Use Henry Cavill as Sinclair.

I can think of several ways to do the Rangers and Crusade well, essentially by conflating the two. I think they were just poorly done. In the case of Crusade, it was rather misguided, and in the case of LOTR, it was just badly thought out.

hypatia August 14th 14 00:11

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Is my memory playing tricks on me, or did JMS say that he wanted Delenn's character to start off being male, and to turn female after the transformation?

That would make an interesting reboot possibility for some actor (of either sex).

Alluveal August 14th 14 05:42

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Since the OP is interested in B5 (and not spinoffs) will address that.

Feature film length?

I'd probably like to see something that has to do with the Battle of the Line. A great springboard for future films (or a series spinoff). And it can provide a pretty self-contained story, imho. Two issues with this:

I could see for that is that it would be a bit anticlimactic if they stick to the original story that Sinclair being brought aboard the Minbari ship is what ends the war. (And that might open up a pretty big can of worms that could not be resolved in a single sitting.)

Also, there's no "Babylon 5" in this story. At the end, they might create "Babylon 1."

But, the Earth/Minbari war would make for great cinema. Great intrigue. An introduction to the Minbari as the ass-kicking aliens they are. And mankind at the brink of extinction.

Another possibility is that they begin as the series begins in a sense. A space station that opens up. People don't think it will last. Sabotage (similar to that of The Gathering).

Issue here is retreading pretty familiar/old ground.

When you boil the concept down: it's like NATO in space. An "act 0" might show the building and destruction of the first 4 Babylon stations. In my head, I see the intro to Serenity. Things summed up fairly quickly. Then we begin in media res in some way. Some crisis.

And the rest... who knows.

Just thinking out lout. :D

Springer August 14th 14 10:19

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
I'm still extremely iffy over the idea of a reboot and want to see new things, not old things revisited, but if we have to have a reboot then either go with the original Babylon 5/Babylon Prime premise, or go with what the sequel series was going to be before we got Crusade, which is about building an empire and the role of the Rangers. I can see the empire-building plot line being particularly intriguing, visiting different worlds, political intrigue, wars, etc. It could easily become a 'Game of Thrones' in space.

I see no reason to dispose of Chris Franke but if we really wanted a new sound, then what about Ramin Djawadi, who has done some impressive stuff on GOT (even more impressive considering he was originally one of Hans Zimmer's clones). Jean Michel Jarre has also expressed an interest in film composing, and remember his father was a very famous film composer. Not Bear McCreary though – his Europa Report is a fine score, but his music for BSG felt like just a lot of percussion and ill-fitting celtic sounds. I'm not sure it's Vangelis' style to do leitmotif? But like Jarre he would be interesting. But yeah, leitmotif was something I felt was missing from Franke's score and if the reboot was to be even more character-oriented than the original show, then leitmotif becomes more and more important.

Republibot 3.0 August 17th 14 02:22

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Springer (Post 450033)
I'm still extremely iffy over the idea of a reboot and want to see new things, not old things revisited, but if we have to have a reboot then either go with the original Babylon 5/Babylon Prime premise, or go with what the sequel series was going to be before we got Crusade, which is about building an empire and the role of the Rangers. I can see the empire-building plot line being particularly intriguing, visiting different worlds, political intrigue, wars, etc. It could easily become a 'Game of Thrones' in space.

I see no reason to dispose of Chris Franke but if we really wanted a new sound, then what about Ramin Djawadi, who has done some impressive stuff on GOT (even more impressive considering he was originally one of Hans Zimmer's clones). Jean Michel Jarre has also expressed an interest in film composing, and remember his father was a very famous film composer. Not Bear McCreary though – his Europa Report is a fine score, but his music for BSG felt like just a lot of percussion and ill-fitting celtic sounds. I'm not sure it's Vangelis' style to do leitmotif? But like Jarre he would be interesting. But yeah, leitmotif was something I felt was missing from Franke's score and if the reboot was to be even more character-oriented than the original show, then leitmotif becomes more and more important.

I just don't like Franke. I just don't. Even at his best, with other people, I think he's weak. I don't like Hans Zimmer at all. Alf Claussen, though...! <G> Bear is a much more well-rounded composer than you'd think, if you check out his soundtracks for other shows. Basically he picked up a (crappy) score halfway through production and was told to fix it and make it all world-beat multicultural. With his limited resources, he did awesome.

Vangelis doesn't do leitmotif, which is kinda' why I thought it would be interesting for him to try. The idea of different composers doing their own variations on themes over the course of the series doesn't intrigue you a little bit?

Ubik August 18th 14 08:49

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Okay, here goes… My B5 reboot would be something like this:

-We start from essentially the same point as the original B5 series. The universe is roughly the same, all our favourite key alien races are present and correct with representation on the station. I’d leave some wriggle room for re-modelling the look of the races, but nothing too drastic. The crux of the series is similar, in that we are primarily concerned with the consequences of the older races interfering with the affairs of the younger races. My focus would be on the Telepath War as the main conflict, essentially replacing the Shadow War as the main arc. This would not be the same Telepath War alluded to in the original B5. It plays out differently. Hence, it would give viewers something new to chew on. More on this later…

-I’d cast all new actors, with the occasional cameo appearances from the original cast in other roles, but nothing major, more of a wink and nod to fans of the original.

-New characters throughout. Our new cast would still occupy the same archetypal roles as our old favourites, but would have new backstories, motivations and personalities. So, for example, we’d still have a Narn ambassador, but he or she would be different to G’Kar. Same goes for the rest of the cast. I’d also definitely also have an openly telepathic member of the station crew, just to complicate things later on down the line.

-In term of visual approach I would opt for that wonderful murky noir vibe that so prevalent in ‘The Gathering’, especially the moodier lighting and ‘lived in’ feel of the station. With the exception of the ‘interstellar disco’ C&C, I loved the look of The Gathering, B5 felt far less sanitised and more dangerous. Down below should feel genuinely threatening and down and out. It always felt a bit corny on the show.

-Provide more detail as to the motivations of the Shadows and Vorlons. Not just Chaos vs Order, because that never really worked for me. It seemed too simplistic. I would also focus more on ‘things done by proxy’ to achieve their aims, manipulating the younger races.

-No Shadow War. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt. The first shadow war would still be a relevant point of reference though.

-To replace the tension of the shadow war, the main conflict would be the telepath war, which could also encompass the Earth civil war, with B5 breaking away from Earth, but for entirely different reasons. The Shadows and Vorlons both have a vested interest in the outcome of the telepath war. The Shadows, inherently fear telepaths, whilst the Vorlons use them for their own devices, as a method of monitoring and influencing the younger races. Telepaths would be the crux of the conflict in the arc, with other plot lines running alongside this.

Telepaths would remain a Vorlon creation, something which is common knowledge from the outset. The first Earth telepaths are the only humans to have ever returned from Vorlon space, acting as ambassadors and advance scouts, before the Vorlons finally commit to having a presence on B5. They are initially treated with suspicion and are closely monitored upon their return to earth. After their arrival, more telepaths begin to appear on Earth. Like any minority group, there’s a storied history of inequality, violence and hardship. The Psi-Corps is founded to regulate things, and by in large is a force for good. This of course, changes over time. Like all institutions it becomes corrupt and power hungry.

So, these initial telepaths are intended to forge a link between the Vorlons and humans. The same is true of the other younger races, who have also seen telepaths appear amongst their own people. As a hidden agenda, these telepaths also serve to keep the younger races in check and function (unbeknownst to themselves) as spies for the Vorlons. In much the same way as Sheridan retained a piece of Kosh, all telepaths have a small shard of Vorlon consciousness within them. This allows for a link between telepaths and Vorlons, meaning they can also be manipulated by the Vorlons. This includes full mind control, without the subject having any knowledge of it. Any given telepath is essentially a Vorlon sleeper agent.

-Slowly but surely, and with the help of the Psi-Corps, telepaths become a force to be reckoned with. They establish political ties and gain leverage within government. Through secretive selective breeding, they push P ratings beyond their known limit. Telekinetics also begin to emerge. Psi abilities become like a form of currency, used as political bargaining chips between governments and businesses. The Shadows witness the growing power of telepaths and begin to infiltrate governments and the Corps in order to take steps to counter the threat.

-The turning point comes when the Corps succeeds in removing the ‘Vorlon shard’ from their telepaths. That small speck of Vorlon presence, it transpires, is not responsible for granting telepathic abilities. These abilities prove to be present on the genetic level, which brings about altered brain chemistry to ‘unblock’ latent telepathic abilities. The removal of the Vorlon shard is initially taboo amongst telepaths, as the Vorlons have long perpetuated the myth that this is what grants telepathic powers.

This revelation splits telepaths into two factions, those who don’t believe in severing themselves from the Vorlons (they see the link as sacred), and those who want complete unfettered freedom from any controlling force. ‘Shard removal’ becomes widespread, with millions flocking to the Corps to undergo the procedure. Slowly but surely, things get out of hand. The Corps become a political power to be reckoned with and begins to aggressively pursue its own agenda. The Vorlons realise they have lost control of their own creation but are reticent about taking action. They are opposed to the use of military force, hoping to eventually turn the tide and coax back those telepaths lost to the Corps. The Shadows, on the other hand, have no qualms about acting with deadly force.

-The conflict escalates quickly, with different races responding with varying degrees of force. Governments fail to differentiate between ‘shard’ and ‘non-shard’ telepaths. What ensues is tantamount to genocide. B5 becomes the only place that retains any kind of neutrality and flies in the face of Earthgov policy, who are now see all telepaths as public enemy no. 1.

-As the conflict intensifies, and seeing no clear way out, the Shadows unleash a bio weapon, one that targets telepaths only. Millions die, but a core group of telepaths survive thanks to the efforts of Babylon 5 and the Vorlons. The Shadows and Vorlons withdraw to secret locations, going into exile, their locations unknown. Thus leaving the younger races to fend for themselves and clean up the mess they created.

-The anti-telepath virus mutates on Earth, creating a deadly plague with a ticking clock to find a cure. This segues the series into a Crusade style scenario, shifting the show to a mix of space exploration aboard an advanced fleet of White Stars, and ongoing events on B5. There could even be an element of ‘going after the Shadows and Vorlons’ to hold them accountable for their actions and demand they help.

-I’d employ a capable writing team, with JMS exec producing and overseeing the arc. Someone like Jane Espensen should definitely figure in this equation. The main reason for this, I’d want more naturalistic dialogue, and less silly humour. JMS is great at story and characterisation, but his dialogue is often a tad clunky.

One interesting thing that emerges from all this is how attached I am to the original series. It’s really hard to re-imagine B5 without feeling a bit dirty for doing so. I realize whilst typing this out that any reboot really HAS to depart from the original plot or there’d be zero dramatic tension. If a feature film does make it, I hope to see new fresh ideas, not old ones recycled.

ranger phil August 18th 14 21:59

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
If it's going to be 'Babylon 5' then it has to have 'Babylon 5' in it. What is the point of calling a movie 'Babylon 5' if it's about something else entirely?

Theres enough story in that 5 year arc to rip a chunk out and make a feature.

Republibot 3.0 August 18th 14 23:21

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Ubik....that's....wow. That's pretty damn good! I'm impressed, I genuinely am. In however many years I've been tooling around on here - what, four, five? Anyone know? - that's the best proposal I've read.

In 2010 they did a live-action version of "Space Battleship Yamato" in Japan. The task was to tie up like 13 hour TV series in a 2 hour movie. There was no way to please everyone. What they decided was "This is a standalone. There will be no sequels. Not even if we want them." This simplified things massively. Then they grabbed a few cool characters they liked from the 2nd series, and stuck them on board here, where they actually helped. They held to the basic plot, and were OCD about it where it mattered, but were wildly divergent where they felt it didn't. The most gutsy aspect of this were the bad guy aliens, who, ahem, I wont' even tell you what they did. It was the kind of thing that should have made me scream, but in the altered context I was like, "Yes, this works. This makes sense."

Basically, they were faithful to the details where they mattered, faithful to the spirt when the details didn't matter, and went their own way whenever they could get away with it. And it ended up being pretty good.

Your pitch sounds kinda' like that.

Republibot 3.0 August 18th 14 23:23

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger phil (Post 450077)
If it's going to be 'Babylon 5' then it has to have 'Babylon 5' in it. What is the point of calling a movie 'Babylon 5' if it's about something else entirely?

Theres enough story in that 5 year arc to rip a chunk out and make a feature.

Which raises the question we've all been avoiding: Do we wanna even call it Babylon 5?

Would the name recognition even help at this point, or would it be a hinderance as we're kinda' on the ash heap of pop culture history? Might be best to just call it something completely new, and assume no built in audience.

ranger phil August 19th 14 06:50

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
"J. Michael Straczysnki has announced plans for a Babylon 5 feature film, which is expected to enter production in 2016.

Speaking at San Diego Comic Con last week, Straczsynki announced that he would soon be sitting down to write a Babylon 5 feature film, which is envisioned as a reboot of the iconic sci-fi series. JMS said that he plans to get the script locked down by the end of 2015 and the film would then enter production the following year in 2016.

Next to nothing is known about the plot for this Babylon 5 feature film, beyond the fact that it is a reboot of the concept seen in the series. That said, J. Michael Straczynski has stated that he would like to use cast members from the series, such as Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan, in new roles in the feature film. “I’d love to see Bruce as the President of the Earth Alliance”, he said."

http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2014/08/baby...duction-start/

As I said. So many stories you could rip out the 5 year arc and rejig for a movie.

Ubik August 19th 14 08:47

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 450078)
Ubik....that's....wow. That's pretty damn good! I'm impressed, I genuinely am. In however many years I've been tooling around on here - what, four, five? Anyone know? - that's the best proposal I've read.

In 2010 they did a live-action version of "Space Battleship Yamato" in Japan. The task was to tie up like 13 hour TV series in a 2 hour movie. There was no way to please everyone. What they decided was "This is a standalone. There will be no sequels. Not even if we want them." This simplified things massively. Then they grabbed a few cool characters they liked from the 2nd series, and stuck them on board here, where they actually helped. They held to the basic plot, and were OCD about it where it mattered, but were wildly divergent where they felt it didn't. The most gutsy aspect of this were the bad guy aliens, who, ahem, I wont' even tell you what they did. It was the kind of thing that should have made me scream, but in the altered context I was like, "Yes, this works. This makes sense."

Basically, they were faithful to the details where they mattered, faithful to the spirt when the details didn't matter, and went their own way whenever they could get away with it. And it ended up being pretty good.

Your pitch sounds kinda' like that.

Thank you. I guess this is what happens when I get bored at work. It just seemed to me that some of the major plot points would necessarily have to change, otherwise where’s the fun for us old school fans?!

I really must check out the live action Yamoto film, sounds like its worth my time. Japanese nationalism in space always did appeal!

Ubik August 19th 14 09:21

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger phil (Post 450077)
If it's going to be 'Babylon 5' then it has to have 'Babylon 5' in it. What is the point of calling a movie 'Babylon 5' if it's about something else entirely?
Theres enough story in that 5 year arc to rip a chunk out and make a feature.

Good point. I suppose it really depends where JMS mind is at as to the ‘reboot’. Logically, I would assume he want to use this as a fresh start, so he can set a new baseline and then expand on it from there. The film could lead into a new TV series, with WB blessing, or it could be a series of films, which seems more likely. It all depends on where JMS wants to take it. To be a success, I think it has to start with a clean slate, essentially ignoring current continuity. No new audience is going to watch 5 years worth of TV to appreciate a feature film. Same was true of Serenity in relation to Firefly. Although, I will say this… it annoyed me deeply that all the characters were set back to square one. Rich, well rounded characters from the show characters had become ‘angry sarcastic captain’ and ‘crazy girl’. However, I understand why it needed to be done, and it was still amazing the film was made at all. As SF fans, we so often have to settle for less than what we deserve!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 450079)
Which raises the question we've all been avoiding: Do we wanna even call it Babylon 5?

Would the name recognition even help at this point, or would it be a hinderance as we're kinda' on the ash heap of pop culture history? Might be best to just call it something completely new, and assume no built in audience.

Good point. Most of the enduring pop culture references to B5 are sadly, overwhelmingly negative. ‘Babylon 5 was a big pile of shit’ from SPACED is one that gets quoted ad nauseam. In the context of the episode it’s very funny, and is totally on the mark in terms of geek culture / comic shop type banter. But, it doesn’t really help the cause. Then there’s The Big Bang Theory, which constantly rubbishes the show via Sheldon. It’s the old Trek vs B5 thing. For the record I absolutely loathe The Big Bang Theory, it’s about as funny as Friends was, i.e. NOT FUNNY AT ALL. It’s an awful co-opting of geek culture with no real respect for it. Anyway, that’s probably a thread unto itself. Then there’s the reference in Breaking Bad, which was fairly neutral, only meant to indicate the character loved SF TV. It was a nice in joke for those who knew Cranston had been in B5.

So, on that evidence, maybe the B5 ‘brand’ doesn’t really help that much. If the general response it garners for your average punter is ‘wasn’t that show really shit?, will it do a feature film any favours?

Conversely, you have to factor in all the fans of the original series. Those people like us, who have very fond memories of the TV show and want more. I know the size of the B5 fandom pales in comparison to say Trek, but we are a passionate bunch and I’ve converted plenty of friends by sitting them doing and binge watching the show.

I tend to think the film will have the same spirit of the B5 we love and know, but will differ in interesting ways. So, it should probably retain the tagline, Babylon 5.

This thing better get made, so we can find out! Although, I will have enjoyed the discussion it generated even if it doesn’t.

Republibot 3.0 August 20th 14 01:50

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
@ Ubik

Space Battleship Yamato is pretty awesome. The live-action movie is a little too long and a little too talkie, and perhaps a littel too influenced by the RDM Galactica, but I came out of it dropjawed because of how low my expectations were (I read the Disney treatment fro 20 years ago for their abandoned project) and just how much clear love they had for it. I don't mean useless Star Trek: The Motion Picture love, I mean actual, functional, "We have to have this, and this, and this, those two things would be cool, anything else we can ditch, and these seven new things have to be here, otherwise there's n o point"

Republibot 3.0 August 20th 14 01:56

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Ubik said >>>Good point. I suppose it really depends where JMS mind is at as to the ‘reboot’. Logically, I would assume he want to use this as a fresh start, so he can set a new baseline and then expand on it from there. The film could lead into a new TV series, with WB blessing, or it could be a series of films, which seems more likely. It all depends on where JMS wants to take it.<<<

One of my kids had an interesting comment the other day: "Just make a movie with a cool name. Make it something new that no one's ever heard of before, just a cool-seeming space adventure that everyone goes into cold. Then, halfway through, have President Sheridan turn up on TV and give a speech, or something. Nothing major. It's a self-contained story that happens to be set in the B5 universe, but it's got no direct connection to anythign we've seen before. If fans catch it, cool. If not, who cares? If people are interested, they'll look into B5. If not, again, who cares? You made a good movie."

I thought it was neat.

UBIK said: >> Same was true of Serenity in relation to Firefly. Although, I will say this… it annoyed me deeply that all the characters were set back to square one. Rich, well rounded characters from the show characters had become ‘angry sarcastic captain’ and ‘crazy girl’.<<<

Yeah, I was pretty disappointed by that movie, too.

KoshN August 23rd 14 13:41

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger phil (Post 450077)
If it's going to be 'Babylon 5' then it has to have 'Babylon 5' in it. What is the point of calling a movie 'Babylon 5' if it's about something else entirely?

Theres enough story in that 5 year arc to rip a chunk out and make a feature.

It'd be called "Babylon 5: __________________________" to indicate that the setting is that of the "Babylon 5" universe.

Ubik August 23rd 14 23:11

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
I'm still disappointed we don't yet have a continuity correct B5 porn parody. Trek has one... grumble... :lol:

KoshN August 24th 14 17:55

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450126)
I'm still disappointed we don't yet have a continuity correct B5 porn parody. Trek has one... grumble... :lol:

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

JonFrain August 24th 14 19:55

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450129)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450126)
I'm still disappointed we don't yet have a continuity correct B5 porn parody. Trek has one... grumble... :lol:

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

I think JMS held onto hopes of addressing that story and the telepath war on screen somehow. Now it's too late.

Ubik August 24th 14 20:20

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450129)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450126)
I'm still disappointed we don't yet have a continuity correct B5 porn parody. Trek has one... grumble... :lol:

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

Maybe those audio dramas will happen EVENTUALLY! (not sexy ones... the ones JMS promoised with the rest of the Crusade WTHH books)

KoshN August 24th 14 22:19

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonFrain (Post 450130)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450129)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450126)
I'm still disappointed we don't yet have a continuity correct B5 porn parody. Trek has one... grumble... :lol:

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

I think JMS held onto hopes of addressing that story and the telepath war on screen somehow. Now it's too late.

That's why I wish we could have it in novel form, I could imagine the actors as they were in 1999. For new roles, I'd cast appropriate actors who I think would fit, e.g. Eric Etebari as Elizar in the Technomage trilogy.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450131)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450129)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450126)
I'm still disappointed we don't yet have a continuity correct B5 porn parody. Trek has one... grumble... :lol:

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

Maybe those audio dramas will happen EVENTUALLY! (not sexy ones... the ones JMS promoised with the rest of the Crusade WTHH books)

In the fullness of time, I guess. It's been almost 15 years since Crusade's last episode was shown in first run. Hopefully, it won't take another 15 years for the the rest of the Crusade What the HELL Happened books to come out.

Ubik August 24th 14 23:11

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450132)
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonFrain (Post 450130)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450129)

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

I think JMS held onto hopes of addressing that story and the telepath war on screen somehow. Now it's too late.

That's why I wish we could have it in novel form, I could imagine the actors as they were in 1999. For new roles, I'd cast appropriate actors who I think would fit, e.g. Eric Etebari as Elizar in the Technomage trilogy.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 450131)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 450129)

I'm disappointed that we haven't had a continuation and resolution of Crusade in ANY form and that TNT-Atlanta hasn't been swallowed by a sinkhole.

Maybe those audio dramas will happen EVENTUALLY! (not sexy ones... the ones JMS promoised with the rest of the Crusade WTHH books)

In the fullness of time, I guess. It's been almost 15 years since Crusade's last episode was shown in first run. Hopefully, it won't take another 15 years for the the rest of the Crusade What the HELL Happened books to come out.

Given the pace and amount of projects JMS is tied into, I think it could be a while! :confused: I'm not even that fussed about the rest of the WTHH books (even the first one felt like a bit of a stretch to me, and too padded out), but those audio dramas, I definitely like to hear them.

Jan August 25th 14 17:33

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Keep in mind that the audio dramas will be for the two unproduced JMS scripts only - not new material.

Jan

KoshN August 25th 14 17:43

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 450140)
Keep in mind that the audio dramas will be for the two unproduced JMS scripts only - not new material.

Jan

To the Ends of the Earth

and

End of the Line.


Yeah, they can't be new material in Babylon 5 or Crusade because Warner Brothers owns all of Babylon 5 and Crusade except theatrical movie rights.

butlerd August 25th 14 20:01

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
I honestly don't know. I really can't think of anything that could have been done better in the original series other than the SFX, which IMHO weren't the most important part of the original series. While I would love to see more B5 and would love to see it on the big screen with even cooler modern day SFX, I'd prefer it to be a continuation of the original series rather than a reboot. I mean, how can one improve on an already basically perfect show? And there are still plenty of unexplored areas of the series such as the Telepath War and Drakh War that don't exist on screen. While one or two roles might need to be recast (i.e. Dr. Franklin, G'Kar), it could still be done and the age of the key actors/actresses shouldn't matter a whole lot since both events happen in the near-to-far future of the series. The obvious problem, however, is drawing in enough new viewers and maintaining the fans. As somebody else suggested, rebooting Crusade wouldn't be such a bad idea since it barely got started. It's one thing to take a failed TV show like Battlestar Galactica and reboot it decades later and make it a success. I don't know how you can take what was a relatively successful show that had five seasons and several TV movies and add anything more to it other than telling more related stories. *shrug*

I don't know how JMS plans to reboot B5 into a movie-length feature film.

Ubik August 27th 14 11:10

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by butlerd (Post 450144)
I honestly don't know. I really can't think of anything that could have been done better in the original series other than the SFX, which IMHO weren't the most important part of the original series. While I would love to see more B5 and would love to see it on the big screen with even cooler modern day SFX, I'd prefer it to be a continuation of the original series rather than a reboot. I mean, how can one improve on an already basically perfect show? And there are still plenty of unexplored areas of the series such as the Telepath War and Drakh War that don't exist on screen. While one or two roles might need to be recast (i.e. Dr. Franklin, G'Kar), it could still be done and the age of the key actors/actresses shouldn't matter a whole lot since both events happen in the near-to-far future of the series. The obvious problem, however, is drawing in enough new viewers and maintaining the fans. As somebody else suggested, rebooting Crusade wouldn't be such a bad idea since it barely got started. It's one thing to take a failed TV show like Battlestar Galactica and reboot it decades later and make it a success. I don't know how you can take what was a relatively successful show that had five seasons and several TV movies and add anything more to it other than telling more related stories. *shrug*
I don't know how JMS plans to reboot B5 into a movie-length feature film.

B5 was without doubt one of the best SF series ever made, but it definitely wasn’t perfect. I won’t go into the ins and outs of where I think it fell down, but we all know the show had its flaws. I mean, I kinda love those flaws too, because they’re part and parcel of the B5 experience, but flawed it was.

However, the main point I wanted to make was that I don’t think a reboot would necessarily be about improving upon the old show, or putting things to right that JMS wasn’t happy with. I don’t think he’s interested in that type of ‘George Lucas-esque’ revisionism. I’m speculating here, but I think JMS would keep the basic premise and universe, but he’d be telling a different story, with twists and turns even a seasoned B5 fan wouldn’t see coming, I think JMS has too much respect for B5 for it to be a ‘do over’. Everything he’s said so far, seems to indicate something more inventive than what we consider a ‘reboot’ to be.

I also tend to feel that some events left untold were meant to stay that way. When I get to really thinking about it, I’m unsure if the Telepath War would make that interesting a film or mini series. There’s not an awful lot of mystery or suspense to be had there, and I never really had any burning desire to see it explored in that much depth. If the Byron arc was anything to go by, JMS really didn’t have that much in the way of quality material relating to telepaths.

IF, for instance, the Telepath War had been worked into the overall arc of B5, it might have been quite good, but the interest would lie in how it affected the crew of B5 and the station as a whole. As a stand alone entity, not so much. I did my best to re-imagine it as a central conflict in my Reboot proposal earlier in this thread. See what you make of that.

hypatia August 31st 14 04:26

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
If there is a reboot, does that mean the whole Sinclair-becomes-Valen thing?

I always found that to be one of the most amazing parts of the show. And one of the best plot twists, ever.

Ubik August 31st 14 14:38

Re: How would you reboot B5?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 450202)
If there is a reboot, does that mean the whole Sinclair-becomes-Valen thing?

I always found that to be one of the most amazing parts of the show. And one of the best plot twists, ever.

Hard to say really... It's anyone's best guess what the arc would be. I'm still convinced JMS wouldn't be content to simply tell the same story again. Although, a LOT of his B5 themes and material does get recycled into his earlier comics work, sometimes almost verbatim.


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