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Old August 20th 13, 12:42   #1
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Aborted Reboot

Hey, everybody! Long time no me!

A couple years ago (Around the same time I drifted away from this site), JMS was dropping hints that something big was in the works. Then, typically, nothing.

In surfing around, I found that he spoke frequently of a "Reboot" with Warners, and that he had a good budget and a guranteed full-season deal up front, and he was quite excited about it before it all fell apart.

I've been wondering what he meant by "Reboot." I mean, there's no real reason to remake the B5 series itself, and he's frequently said that no one will ever play G'kar or Franklin again, out of respect to his friends. Those characters are retired. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd go back on his word with something like that. So obviously it couldn't have been a reboot in the sense of what it usually means. He's typically mum on the details.

My hunch is this: it was to be a reboot of everything AFTER B5 itself. Rangers, Lost Tales, Crusade, they're erased from continuity, they never happened, and he'd start with a fresh slate. That's the only thing I can think of that makes any sense.

Whadya' think? Anyone else got any other information?
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Old August 21st 13, 11:31   #2
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Re: Aborted Reboot

I would be very happy for Rangers (JMS seems to hold them in high regard though I saw them as a minor storyline), Lost Tales (cheaply made and not really related to B5 story) and Crusade (too much like Star Trek for my liking and not much interest in the so-called arc of the series) to be erased forever. There are only two scenarios I think that would work for a 'reboot': a story set during the telepath war (my preference) or during the previous shadow war. Anything that does not involve the Shadows or Psi Corps will not work.
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Old August 21st 13, 16:22   #3
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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I would be very happy for Rangers (JMS seems to hold them in high regard though I saw them as a minor storyline), Lost Tales (cheaply made and not really related to B5 story) and Crusade (too much like Star Trek for my liking and not much interest in the so-called arc of the series) to be erased forever. There are only two scenarios I think that would work for a 'reboot': a story set during the telepath war (my preference) or during the previous shadow war. Anything that does not involve the Shadows or Psi Corps will not work.
I think you nailed one of the problems of Crusade. While I liked the show, and very much wanted it to continue, it did feel derivative of Trek. Honestly, the only ship-based shows that don't feel derivative of Trek are BSG and SGU, and SGU was highly derivative of BSG, so that really doesn't count.

It ALMOST felt like "Hey, guys, I completely revolutionized TV SF with my show B5, and now I'm gonna' show that I can do your show better than you can, too."

I don't think there's much left to do with the Shadows, and the Drakh, for all their buildup, were a great big nuthin'. Psicorps is a huge bleeding hole in the narrative, though, I agree. that's got to be handled.

Personally, I'd like a show about the Rangers picking up right after B5, and covering the next 5 years, including the Telepath war. I wouldn't want it to be ship-based. I'd imagine a structure kinda' like the Justice League Unlimited cartoon (If you ever saw it) where you've got 7 principle characters and dozens of secondaries, who go out in different combinations to do various missions. That show was heavily arc-based, too.
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Old August 21st 13, 20:14   #4
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
I would be very happy for Rangers (JMS seems to hold them in high regard though I saw them as a minor storyline), Lost Tales (cheaply made and not really related to B5 story) and Crusade (too much like Star Trek for my liking and not much interest in the so-called arc of the series) to be erased forever.
I would be happy for all traces of Legend of the Rangers and the first half of Lost Tales to be erased forever, but not so with Crusade and the second half of Lost Tales (Sheridan, the Centauri and Galen). IMHO, Crusade was the last, really good thing done in the B5 universe. The second Lost Tales story continues that slightly with Sheridan and Galen's involvement, and connections to Vir.

It would be a shame for the rest of Crusade to never be told in any form. I am dead set against losing the groundwork that was laid in Crusade, PERIOD.
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Old August 21st 13, 21:12   #5
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
I would be very happy for Rangers (JMS seems to hold them in high regard though I saw them as a minor storyline), Lost Tales (cheaply made and not really related to B5 story) and Crusade (too much like Star Trek for my liking and not much interest in the so-called arc of the series) to be erased forever. There are only two scenarios I think that would work for a 'reboot': a story set during the telepath war (my preference) or during the previous shadow war. Anything that does not involve the Shadows or Psi Corps will not work.
I think you nailed one of the problems of Crusade. While I liked the show, and very much wanted it to continue, it did feel derivative of Trek.
When I was watching Crusade, NEVER did it make me think of Trek. Babylon 5 never made me think of Deep Space Nine, because of how they diverged over time, and because the tone was so different. The writing was so different. Sure, the command structure on the Excalibur was similar to the command structure on Trek, but the same can be said for other ship based shows and movies (e.g. the cold war, submarine movie "Phantom"). Big deal! The writing and characters on Crusade were not copies of Trek characters.

Perhaps it's because I've cut all ties with the Trek universe, and no longer care even one tiny bit what happens with the Trek universe, but having watched all of B5 and Crusade and having read all of the B5 novels, when watching Crusade and B5, I'm 100% IN the B5/Crusade universe, not thinking of Trek anything. B5 and Crusade made me see the weaknesses in Trek and have absolutely no further use for Trek at this point. Sure, I may watch an episode of TOS or TNG if it comes on TV while I'm channel surfing, but I don't own any Trek on DVD, and wouldn't spend the money now for even TOS or TNG.


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Honestly, the only ship-based shows that don't feel derivative of Trek are BSG and SGU,
Why? Because BSG and SGU were trashy soap operas that were set in space, and TOS and TNG weren't? BSG (2003+) started out well, but turned completely into crap by Season 3. The transition was gradual but by Season 3's end, I could no longer stand it. I'd been buying the BSG miniseries and Season sets since the beginning, but got so fed up with the backbiting and trashy daytime soap opera nature of it that I sold all of my BSG DVDs. I never liked SGU, SG-1 and SGA yes, but NOT SGU.


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and SGU was highly derivative of BSG, so that really doesn't count.
SGU was awful. BSG turned awful gradually over time. I hold both BSG and SGU in the same LOW regard that I hold Trek DS9, VOY and ENT (Seasons 1, 2 and S4 finale).


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It ALMOST felt like "Hey, guys, I completely revolutionized TV SF with my show B5, and now I'm gonna' show that I can do your show better than you can, too."
I NEVER felt like that, but again perhaps it's because I was so thoroughly immersed in the B5/Crusade story. Crusade never made me think of Trek.

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I don't think there's much left to do with the Shadows, and the Drakh, for all their buildup, were a great big nuthin'
Haven't you read the Centauri or the Technomage trilogies? The only thing in the B5 universe that qualifies as a buildup, to a great big nuthin' was the non-canon B5 novel "Book #5 The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" and if I wasn't a completest, it wouldn't be in my house.


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Psicorps is a huge bleeding hole in the narrative, though, I agree. that's got to be handled.
Other than The Telepath War, it WAS handled in the Psi Corps trilogy of novels. Only The Telepath War was skipped, left for a theatrical release or series of theatrical releases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 View Post
IPersonally, I'd like a show about the Rangers picking up right after B5, and covering the next 5 years, including the Telepath war. I wouldn't want it to be ship-based. I'd imagine a structure kinda' like the Justice League Unlimited cartoon (If you ever saw it) where you've got 7 principle characters and dozens of secondaries, who go out in different combinations to do various missions. That show was heavily arc-based, too.
Not me. I want to see the Rangers forgotten as a show, and Crusade continued in some form. I'll take anything in that respect, even comic books , but I'd vastly prefer non-graphic novels IF I can't have it as a TV series.
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Max Eilerson: "The story of my life. I finally find a city like this, intact, deserted for ten thousand years. Probably contains hundreds of patents that I could exploit and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."
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Old August 21st 13, 23:56   #6
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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IMHO, Crusade was the last, really good thing done in the B5 universe. The second Lost Tales story continues that slightly with Sheridan and Galen's involvement, and connections to Vir.

It would be a shame for the rest of Crusade to never be told in any form. I am dead set against losing the groundwork that was laid in Crusade, PERIOD.
Fair enough. Well, at the very least you'd need to recast and reshoot the whole thing.

Or you could reconfigure the story. That would require more explanation, but it's not at all inconsistent with my "Rangers" idea.
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Old August 22nd 13, 00:20   #7
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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When I was watching Crusade, NEVER did it make me think of Trek. Babylon 5 never made me think of Deep Space Nine, because of how they diverged over time, and because the tone was so different. The writing was so different. Sure, the command structure on the Excalibur was similar to the command structure on Trek, but the same can be said for other ship based shows and movies (e.g. the cold war, submarine movie "Phantom"). Big deal! The writing and characters on Crusade were not copies of Trek characters.
I'll use a more neutral example: SeaQuest DSV was derivative of TNG. Same kinds of stories, equally badly told, the characters were ciphers, the conflicts were artificial. Yeah, it's set in a submarine on earth in the future, but it might as well have been a starship. Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda likewise felt derivative. Not *AS* derivative at first because it had an arc, something Roddenberry always strenuously avoided, but it definitely felt derivative of TNG. TNG was derivative of TOS.

Conversely, if you watch another ship-based SF show from the period of TOS - I'm going to pick Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - it feels NOTHING like TOS. Partially because it's really stupid, but also because there's a fundamental structural difference in the way they tell the stories.

I didn't say JMS was ripping off Trek. I said it was DERIVATIVE of the wave of ship-based shows that appeared in the wake of Trek. And I said it ALMOST felt like he was maybe doing it to show Paramount and all those others how he could do it BETTER than them.

How better to make your enemies burn with shame? Out do them at their own game.

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Perhaps it's because I've cut all ties with the Trek universe, and no longer care even one tiny bit what happens with the Trek universe, but having watched all of B5 and Crusade and having read all of the B5 novels, when watching Crusade and B5, I'm 100% IN the B5/Crusade universe, not thinking of Trek anything. B5 and Crusade made me see the weaknesses in Trek and have absolutely no further use for Trek at this point. Sure, I may watch an episode of TOS or TNG if it comes on TV while I'm channel surfing, but I don't own any Trek on DVD, and wouldn't spend the money now for even TOS or TNG.
I'm with ya' there, brother. I actually only started watching some episodes of Trek again this year. The last one I'd seen before that was the DS9 Tribble ep which was (looking it up) holy crap! 1996! SO 17 years with no Trek. And I only watched that because R2 was nagging me about it. It'd probably been a year since I watched the last thing prior to that (looking it up) Voyager. 1995.

I watched a few old faves, tried to watch some stuff that happened after I left the party, quickly grew bored, and that's that.

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Why? Because BSG and SGU were trashy soap operas that were set in space, and TOS and TNG weren't? BSG (2003+) started out well, but turned completely into crap by Season 3. The transition was gradual but by Season 3's end, I could no longer stand it. I'd been buying the BSG miniseries and Season sets since the beginning, but got so fed up with the backbiting and trashy daytime soap opera nature of it that I sold all of my BSG DVDs. I never liked SGU, SG-1 and SGA yes, but NOT SGU.
Oh, I love Gate! Love it! SGU was admittedly the weakest of the series, but the strength of Gate has always been its ability to re-invent itself and course-correct (Which Trek was never any good at). Season 2 was, on the whole, WAY better than season 1. I totaly get why people didn't like it, though, and I'm not gonna' say they're wrong. It made a bunch of false assumptions about their audience.

As to why BSG (Actually both old and new BSG) were different from Trek, c'mon, do you really need to ask that? The reasons you liked the RDM BSG in the early days were probably because it was so un-treklike. It utterly fell apart in the last couple seasons, and I agree it's unwatchable in retrospect. For a season or so, though, it was the best show on TV. And for 3 seasons, it wasn't.

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I NEVER felt like that, but again perhaps it's because I was so thoroughly immersed in the B5/Crusade story. Crusade never made me think of Trek.
Fair enough. A problem of ship-based shows is that they eventually become ABOUT the ship. I don't like that. I mean, it's ok once, but EVERYONE does it now. One of the things I loved about B5 is that it WASN'T about a ship. Likewise one of the major failings of SGU was that it WAS about a ship.

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Originally Posted by KoshN View Post
Haven't you read the Centauri or the Technomage trilogies? The only thing in the B5 universe that qualifies as a buildup, to a great big nuthin' was the non-canon B5 novel "Book #5 The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" and if I wasn't a completest, it wouldn't be in my house.
Read 'em when they came out. They were ok. Admittedly my memory is fuzzy of them now. However no matter how assured I am that something is canon, I always take it with a grain of salt. If JMS decides to do a new show tomorrow, I gurantee he's not going to say, "Oh, wait, this contradicts something in that piece of shit John Vornhort novel, so we can't do it." He's just going to do what he wants to do, and screw all the books.

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Other than The Telepath War, it WAS handled in the Psi Corps trilogy of novels. Only The Telepath War was skipped, left for a theatrical release or series of theatrical releases.
Which seemed a mistake then, and seems a bigger mistake now.

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Not me. I want to see the Rangers forgotten as a show, and Crusade continued in some form. I'll take anything in that respect, even comic books , but I'd vastly prefer non-graphic novels IF I can't have it as a TV series.
You misunderstand. I don't want "Legend of the Rangers" to become a TV show. That was a turd. I want a TV show based around various teams of rangers, and several central characters, doing things in different parts of the galaxy, including (Among other things) fighting the telepath war.
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Old August 22nd 13, 00:41   #8
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshN View Post
IMHO, Crusade was the last, really good thing done in the B5 universe. The second Lost Tales story continues that slightly with Sheridan and Galen's involvement, and connections to Vir.

It would be a shame for the rest of Crusade to never be told in any form. I am dead set against losing the groundwork that was laid in Crusade, PERIOD.
Fair enough. Well, at the very least you'd need to recast and reshoot the whole thing.
Get the old Crusade cast back, shoot Value Judgements, To the Ends of the Earth and End of the Line, and continue with the remaining (living) B5 and Crusade actors..
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Max Eilerson: "The story of my life. I finally find a city like this, intact, deserted for ten thousand years. Probably contains hundreds of patents that I could exploit and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."
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Old August 22nd 13, 02:24   #9
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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Get the old Crusade cast back, shoot Value Judgements, To the Ends of the Earth and End of the Line, and continue with the remaining (living) B5 and Crusade actors..
Have you SEEN Gary Cole lately? He's an old man. Not to mention the fact that he hated being on the show and evidently everyone hated having him on the show (I'm hesitant to say that, given what I just learned about Michael O'Hare, but that's the impression I'm given, which is why they were gonna' kill him off) Daniel Dae Kim is a big bohonkin TV star with two successful TV series behind him, one of which is legendary. His weekly salary is probably equal to Crusade's entire budget for an episode. David Allen Brooks was looking quite long in the tooth last time I saw him (He's pushing 70). Peter Woodward could do it. Marjean Holden is pushing 50.

What are we supposed to do? Say "Oh, the Excalibur hit a time warp and everyone aged 14 years since the last episode"?

Nah, your best bet would be to recast, with the possible exception of Galen. Build sets that are more-or-less identical to the originals so you can use clever CGI editing to salvage the performances by Lochley and Biggs. The surviving B5 cast could show up on occasion, of course. Easier to hide the aging on the characters wearing a lot of prosthesis. Mira Furlan looks great for her age, and Bruce cleans up well.

For all we know, that's what JMS had in mind. Of course for all we know, what JMS had in mind was capturing the morning dew in a bottle and having it cary him to the moon...
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Old August 22nd 13, 04:02   #10
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Re: Aborted Reboot

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Psicorps is a huge bleeding hole in the narrative, though, I agree. that's got to be handled.
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Other than The Telepath War, it WAS handled in the Psi Corps trilogy of novels. Only The Telepath War was skipped, left for a theatrical release or series of theatrical releases.
The books were more about Bester's fate than the Psi Corps. The war itself was not really covered and could sustain a series if blended with other elements.
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