August 11, 2014
There have been rumblings about Babylon 5 coming back to life for a while now, and creator J. Michael Straczynski has heard the call — and he’s already working on a script.
TVWise is reporting that Straczynski is actively writing a script, with hopes to wrap a final draft by the end of 2015 and ramp up production in 2016. The project is reportedly a reboot of the Babylon 5 concept, and not a continuation of the original series, which ran from 1994 to 1998.
The report notes that Straczynski hopes to reuse some of the original cast members, such as Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan.
Thanks to some shrewd negotiating, Straczynski actually owns the film rights to the franchise — so he isn’t beholden to getting a particular studio to sign on. But he is apparently hoping Warner Bros. (the studio that produced the original series) might be interested once the script is complete. You know, assuming it’s good.
If Warner Bros. doesn't bite, Straczynski apparently aims to finance the film through his own Studio JMS, though that might be a tall order to bankroll an $80-100 million sci-fi epic. But considering the franchise’s name cachet with genre fans — not to mention the fact that studios are mining just about any brand they can get their hands on these days — you’d think someone would be interested in co-producing.
Regardless, we’re psyched to hear some new Babylon 5 could be on the horizon, and we can’t wait to see how the franchise might be interpreted in the modern day. What would you like to see from a new Babylon 5 tale?
Not sure I'm happy with a REBOOT, I'd rather have him (JMS) continue the story in the B5 universe. That said, I'm really glad there is going to be some new Babylon 5 in the near future.
March 19, 2014
Via a Dutch Blu-Ray forum I found this link in which says that WB is considering a B5 upgrade to Blu-Ray. It's a post from late last year but I wanted you to know that it's apparently not impossible! I thought this could never happen with B5, still a long shot but the fact that WB is considering it, makes me smile! According to them upscale isn't even possible because it's on Video Tape, so they really would need to transfer it to HD, like they did with Star Trek: The Next Generation! See complete post below:
George Feltenstein, Senior Vice-President for Theatrical Catalogue Marketing at Warner Brothers (translation: he's one of the guys in charge of the DVD and Blu-Ray department) has recently confirmed that the company are actively looking into the possibility of re-releasing Babylon 5 on Blu-Ray. Feltenstein acknowledged that this would be expensive and possibly impractical, but that the B5 fanbase is large enough to warrant making the effort.
Babylon 5 aired 110 episodes (and seven TV movies, including the pilot) between 1993 and 1998, with additional TV movies being made in 2001 and 2007, as well as a short-lived spin-off series called Crusade which ran for 13 episodes in 1999. Though it enjoyed solid ratings for most of its run, Babylon 5 was never the ratings juggernaut that the various Star Trek shows were. However, its critical acclaim was immense, often eclipsing that of its contemporary Star Trek shows. It won two back-to-back Hugo Awards in 1996 and 1997, as well as various Emmies for its cutting-edge CGI effects work. The original series was released on DVD in 2003 and 2004 and according to some sources has made over $500 million in worldwide sales for Warner Brothers.
Like most US TV shows of the time, Babylon 5 was recorded on film but mastered - having special effects, music and sound effects added - on video tape. Video tape cannot be upscaled to high-definition resolution, preventing the show from being upscaled as-is and released on Blu-Ray. Instead, the only way to upscale the entire show is to go back to the original film elements, extract a HD image and then re-edit each episode from scratch. Whilst the original audio tracks can be re-used, the special effects would also all have to be remade from scratch and edited back in. In the case of Babylon 5, which sometimes had 100 CGI shots per episode, this would be extremely expensive and time-consuming.
However, last year CBS began re-releasing Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-Ray and put the show through this extremely laborious process. Each season takes over four months (and closer to six for the first couple) and $9 million to bring up to scratch. The Blu-Ray re-releases have been extremely successful and wildly acclaimed, and some of the same personnel are now allegedly working on a similar Blu-Ray re-release for The X-Files for next year, whilst the ST:TNG team is rumoured to be moving straight onto Deep Space Nine (which has many more CGI shots) once TNG is completed early next year. Warner Brothers have certainly been monitoring the situation and the sales to judge whether it is worthwhile to pursue a similar process for Babylon 5.
The viability of this plan would depend on the original film stock having been stored in good conditions. According to rumour, the Babylon 5 pilot episode's film has been damaged in storage, initially by flooding and later by rats getting into the facility. The status of the rest of the show is not known. If it has all been stored, then upgrading the show's live action scenes to HD will be relatively quick and easy. More complex are the CGI scenes and composite scenes (scenes mixing live action and CGI, including every time a PPG weapon is fired), which would need to be completely redone from scratch. The cost of this may be too much to be practical. Still, it's encouraging to know that WB are at least looking into the matter.
January 26, 204
On the day Babylon 5's first season started 20 years ago, I found the #FREEBABYLON5 Space City Con Panel on YouTube. Here you can find out what you can do, also in your own country, to create awareness for Babylon 5. Ask TV networks, or perhaps Netflix, to air Babylon 5. You get all kind of tips, you can help #FREEBABYLON5 with valuable info which they can use to keep up the fight. If we ever want to see somehting new of Babylon 5, or blu-ray's or whatever, Babylon 5 needs to be back on TV, needs to be back on people's mind, needs to be available to anyone to see.
If you watch the video you will also learn that a few years back Babylon 5 was very close to a reboot, right after The Lost Tales! #FREEBABYLON5 already won it's first victory because TV station WATCH, god bless them, heard about the campaign and asked if they could air Babylon 5! So in the UK B5 is already re-running and rightly so of course. At the moment WATCH is one of the very few who is re-running this fantastic sci-fi show and needs to become way more! Watch the video and see what you can contribute to the cause.
What is really easy to do, is when you are a member of Netflix, call them or chat with them and simply ask for Babylon 5. If a lot of people do this they will have no choice but to try and get Babylon 5 so it will be available on Netflix, like Farscape, Stargate Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica (in the Netherlands) is now. I just did it myself, I chatted with someone from Netflix and asked them to make Babylon 5 available on Netflix.
January 16, 2014
A campaign to bring back Babylon 5, back to TV. More than one reason of course, one because Babylon 5 belongs on the TV and not dusting away on some shelve and lying on a shelve won't bring in large amounts of new fans. Only a few at a time, hearsay, being told by a friend etc.
This campaign tries to bring back B5 on the airwaves and that is the only to get renewed interest in the TV Series which perhaps contributes to the arise of a new Babylon 5 series. So visit this website, #FREEBABYLON5, become a facebook follower, become a Twitter follower, become a member of the YouTube channel and if you have a few bucks extra, donate some to help the cause, but above all, make people aware of this fantastic tv series.
Of course this all started with the message from Straczynski you can read in the post below this one, were JMS asks the help from the fans to get Babylon 5 back to tv. I myself am a BIG Babylon 5 fan, currently re-watching it for the 10th time approximately and that won't be the last time. In two weeks, January 26, it is exactly 20 years ago (1994) since Babylon 5 started with it's first season. On that day I will upload a #blog dedicated to this fantastic TV series.
September 5, 2013
J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of the show, has taken to social media and is urging fans to start a campaign for a network to start re-running ‘Babylon 5′ in order to get new fans. He isn’t pushing for new episodes, he isn’t pushing for a reboot, he’s pushing for the show to get into syndication again to try and find new fans. From that point he thinks the sky is the limit. Of course this isn’t the first time he’s hoped that ‘Babylon 5′ would continue.
Being limited to only 144 characters per tweet, Straczynski decided to further elaborate on Facebook:
To the online backing and forthing…some hard facts. Because Babylon 5 isn’t on the air in the US anywhere, it’s impossible for the show to add new viewers except one at a time, friend to friend, or if you’ve heard about it enough to want to shell out the money for the DVDs. Casual viewers can’t stumble across it while channel surfing. (As we all know, after Trek was canceled for poor ratings, it found its audience in syndication.) So in answer to the photo below, either WB has to be convinced to release the show somewhere, or a network like Syfy or Chiller or another along those lines has to be prompted to pick it up. If not, quite honestly, and without any way to add new viewers, the show will eventually slide into obscurity. This ain’t something I can do, or even directly participate in. It’s up to the fans now.
Babylon 5 back in syndication is not something I was hoping for but if it would help reboot the show I am all for it. I fear this will not happen, Space oriented series seem dead right now, wish I could be more positive but that isn´t possible right now unfortunately. We only can keep hoping.
May 29, 2013
It's no secret that a saddeningly long list of Babylon 5 actors are no longer with us. But there is a secret about one of them that has never been told and it's a secret that Straczynski solemnly promised to keep until the time was right.
In 2012, Michael O'Hare, who played the original Commander of Babylon 5, Jeffrey Sinclair, passed away. During his life, however, fans were unaware of the fact that he suffered from delusions and paranoia due to mental illness. That was the real reason he left the show after only one season. Straczynski explained how O'Hare struggled, how he was barely able to come back for a two-parter to close his character's story, but above all, that O'Hare wanted people to know the truth after his death.
And the most important truth of O'Hare's struggle with mental illness is that he loved the fans, that they were what sustained him during the difficult times in his life. Here's an audio clip of Straczynski's exact words:
Very few things can both break and mend a heart at the same time, but O'Hare's story does exactly that. And the respect JMS pays to O'Hare's memory shows an unwavering empathy not just for that one man, but indeed for anyone who has ever struggled the way he did.
Almost the entire reunion panel is just like this -- recounting story after story of all these beautiful performers' lives. If you've got the time, we recommend sitting down and listening to the whole thing.
May 26, 2013
When Babylon 5 started 20 years ago I only caught it at the end of season 1. I immediatly was impressed and started watching week after week. Unfortunately in my country, B5 was broadcast very erraticly so I started purchasing the VHS video tapes which were being released in the UK. I bought them all, every tape, every episode, every movie. I was seriously hooked to this series, still am in fact. I currently am watching it again, for the 10th time or so. Back in the day it was almost impossible to be a Star Trek fan and a B5 fan, I loved both, I love B5, I love DS9 also, still do, they are both my favourite TV series to date.
This weekend there is a Babylon 5 reunion in Phoenix (US), I wish I could be there, it also makes you realize how many of the cast and crew past away already. Don't think there is a Tv series out there from the same time period who already lost this many cast and crew members. See also the video 20th Anniversary Convention Memorial, you will be shocked how many have past away already!
For sci-fi fans who have never seen Babylon 5, you are missing something incredible, you really need to check this out, you really need to see it, it's one big story, it's very addictive. Babylon 5 will forever be my favourite tv series, nothing can ever change that, 20 years and for me, only Star Trek: DS9 can measure up, I like the Battlestar Galactica remake, I love all Stargate series but Babylon 5 (and DS9) will always be my favourite (s)!
September 29, 2012
Really sad to hear but Actor Michael O’Hare, who played Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in the first season of Babylon 5 (and reprised the role in the two part “War Without End”) among various other TV appearances and a New York stage career, passed away today at the age of 60, after having suffered a heart attack on Sunday and remaining in a coma since. That is the fifth actor who played a major role in Babylon 5 that passed away! Richard Biggs, Andreas Katsulas, Tim Choate & Jeff Conaway went before him!
July 13, 2012
J. Michael Straczynski has been all around the comic book world, working on some of the biggest titles, for some of the biggest companies. The writer has also done a fair amount of work in television, feature films, and video games, and tonight the writer announced the launch of Studio JMS.
Studio JMS is designed to bring all of Straczynski’s projects under one roof.
"Straczynski will run the studio with Patricia Tallman, who has done her share of acting in horror and sci-fi films, and appeared in Babylon 5 as an actress. For the past decade, she ran Talent To Go as creator and co-owner. They have a number of initiatives that include an ambitious feature that will mark his directorial debut."
Deadline has an extensive report on Straczynski’s activities including a web series for MTV.com, two television series, at least one movie, and a partnership with Image Comics to bring back Joe’s Comics.
“I’ve always dreamed of creating a mini-studio where I can put all of that work under one roof, telling stories that I want to tell and which can be spun up between various platforms: comics that can become TV shows, TV shows that can become movies, and movies that can become comics.”
This sounds like something that is right up Straczynski’s alley, and should allow him to work more on his own properties, which should give him more of a reason to continue with projects he controls.
Source : http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/
June 25, 2012
I was searching for new news items and Blastr.com is one of the sites I always go to. To my surprise my eye caught on "The Image of the Day". It was a B5 picture which I recently found on Facebook Babylon 5 Behind the Scene stuff and added it to the Babylon 5 Gallery. When I clicked on it I saw to my surprise it was linked to this site! What a pleasant surprise that was! Click on the Picture to go to the "Image of the Day" from Blastr.com.
November 16, 2011
Babylon 5 is one of the most well-known SF TV shows in history. Five seasons, 7 movies and also a spin-off TV show were created. What's not common knowledge to everyone is that there are a certain number of pocketbooks written about Babylon 5. Most of them are still available, although in some cases you have to take some effort. See below for a overview:
A Book per season, every episode is being commented on, also what happened behind the scenes, recommended, it's still available online
Babylon 5 Movies : In The Beginning; Thirdspace; River Of Souls & A Call To Arms
For 4 movies there have written pocketbooks also. The stories are the same for the most part, but there are some differences, a little more details in the books.
Somewhere during season 2, before “Divided Loyalties” , the government wants to split the Psi-Corps from the military and wants to privatize it. Convention for this split will be held on Babylon 5 after there was a bomexplosion in the hotel were this convention was going to be held originally. Talia Winters is the coördinator. After another bomexplosion intended to kill Bester, Talia is pointed as the main suspect. Also focuses on the relation between Talia and Garibaldi.
During season 2 between episodes “Point of Departure” and “Divided Loyalties”. Ivanova receives a message about a friend of hers who’s in trouble. She goes out to look for him but runs into Raiders. When she returns to the station she finds out her friend has been killed and she’s the main suspect.
Garibaldi & Ivanova go to Narn with Na’Toth who is outraged and in search for Blood Oath. They enter a cold and frightening world. The Narn Blood oath turns against them and suddenly they are the hunted.
Story is split in 3 parts : Prologue is a story about the spaceship EAS Amundsen which is the ship that fires the first shots during the Earth-Minbari war where Dukhat dies. Part 2 : The Narn who occupy Tuchang, under the leadership of G’Kar and the last part about Clarks thoughts about punishment for aliens who have commit crimes against humanity. His goal of course to get more power.
The Touch of Your Shadow, The Whisper of Your Name
Babylon 5 is in choas, the races are fighting each other. Every person on the station has to deal with it. Then an entity reaches Babylon 5. Some call it an illusion because the system isn’t able to track it. Some regard it as evil entity, others see it as a God! [A lot like Thirdspace]
Babylon 5 is gearing up for a peace conference between the Narn and the Centauri. A race, known as TLL come to Babylon 5 and ask for help. Nobody is willing to help them. G’Kar is worried that because the Narn invaded the TLL Homeworld, the peaceconference will not continue. Meanwhile Ivanova leans that her brother was a spy for an alien race during the Earth-Minbari war.
The Shadow Within [recommended!]
Anna Sheridan joins the crew of the Icarus and they go to a planet called Z'ha'dum. They wake up an ancient race who were dormant for about a 1000 years. The crew does not trust each other because of everybody has his or her own agenda, amongst others the agendas of Psi-Corps en Earth Force. Eventually there is only one person Anna thinks she can trust…Mr. Morden.
Set in de beginning of season 4. G’Kar and Mollari have made a deal. G’Kar helps Londo get rid of Emporer Cartagia and Mollari frees Narn and returns their Homeworld. Problems arise when a group of Narns want to rescue G’Kar. Is Vir the only one who can intervene?
To dream in the City of Sorrows [Recommended!]
Commander Jeffrey Sinclair has been relieved of his duties as station commander of Babylon 5. He immediately becomes ambassador on Minbar. Sinclair is thrown into a whole new world in which he’s not allowed to have contact with his former friends and collegues and also not with his fiancé Catherine Sakei.
The Passing of the Technomages 3/3
1. Casting Shadows
2. The Summoning Light
3. Invoking Darkness
Three books about the Technomages during the Shadow war. Particurly Galen has a major part in it.
The Legions Of Fire 3/3
1. The Long Night Of Centauri Prime
2. Armies Of Light And Dark
3. Out Of The Darkness
3 books who focus on Centauri prime after they have split from the Interstellar Alliance.
Centauri is in ruins and Emporer Mollari is nothing more than a puppet to the Drakh who want only want one thing, that is the destruction of the Interstellar
The Psi-Corp Trilogie 3/3
1. Dark Genesis - The Birth Of The Psi-Corps
2. Deadly Relations - Bester Ascendant
3. Final Reckoning - Fate Of Bester
3 books about the beginning of the Psi-Corps, here you’ll find out how the Psi-corps become such a powerfull force. Also you’ll read about the faith of Bester.
November 14, 2011
During the "Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski" panel at the 2010 New York Comic Con, Straczynski revealed “I said to Warner Bros. a while back, 'When you’re ready to do something real with 'Babylon 5,' either a big-budget film or a TV show, if you want to do one of those two things, call me, otherwise don’t bother me.' About a month ago the phone rang. I don’t know where this is gonna go yet, but when they call you, there’s something going on. I can’t tell you what it is yet and it may not go anywhere, but there is movement in the tall grass.
May 27, 2011
Jeff Conaway, who starred in the classic sitcom Taxi and played Kenickie, the coolest member of the T-Birds, in 1978’s Grease, was taken off life support today after two weeks in an overdose-induced coma. He was 60. In recent years, he was best known to television audiences as a reality star, first on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club, and then on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, where the extent of his dangerous addiction to painkillers and alcohol became sadly evident.
Viewers were also introduced to his deeply dysfunctional relationship with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Vikki Lizzi, who had snuck some vodka into the treatment facility inside a VitaminWater bottle, among other enabling acts. It was Lizzi who discovered Conaway unconscious in his home on May 11 and dialed 911. She was reportedly the one fighting to keep him on life support, leading his family to file a retraining order against her earlier this week. Hopefully Conaway’s death can bring the two sides together. Poor Jeff Conaway. Got a raw deal.