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Old August 10th 14, 00:14   #11
KoshN
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Re: How would you reboot B5?

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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
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.

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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
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.





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NO to original actors playing different roles (It wouldn't be right!)
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
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.
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Old August 10th 14, 04:15   #12
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Re: How would you reboot B5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
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!
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Old August 10th 14, 04:28   #13
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Re: How would you reboot B5?

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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.
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Old August 10th 14, 04:30   #14
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Re: How would you reboot B5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshN View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
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 View Post
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 View Post
NO to original actors playing different roles (It wouldn't be right!)
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi Cop View Post
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.
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Old August 14th 14, 00:11   #15
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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).
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Old August 14th 14, 05:42   #16
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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.
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Old August 14th 14, 10:19   #17
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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.
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Old August 17th 14, 02:22   #18
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Re: How would you reboot B5?

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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?
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Old August 18th 14, 08:49   #19
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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.
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Old August 18th 14, 21:59   #20
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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.
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