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Babylon 5 reboot

EricBall

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I watched Babylon 5 when it was first on TV and I have every episode recorded on VHS.  One of these days I'll digitize them so I can enjoy them rather than the "widescreen" versions.  Babylon 5 was great TV - each episode and season told a story which was then part of the story told by the entire series.

 

But a reboot doesn't compute IMHO.  Part of the reason B5 was great TV was JMS.  He had the vision for the entire series, the backstory, and the ability to change plans when required due to cast, production company and whether there would be a next season.  JMS also had the experience to know how important it is to come in under budget (something which doomed Firefly).

 

So JMS is being given the green light to do a reboot of B5.  But a big part of B5 was the knowing that each episode was part of the larger whole - even if you couldn't see it yet.  Simply retelling the same story with new actors and better SFX would remove much of the enjoyment as you'd know how the story is going to end before it even started.  But if JMS's plan is to tell a different story, then it's not really Babylon 5.

 

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B5 is one of my favorite shows. The widescreen version could have looked great considering they planned ahead and actually filmed all the live action at 16:9. The horrific crop & scale that they did for any CGI scenes for the DVD set ruined it for me, I couldn't even make it through a rewatch of season 1.  

 

The series was recently remastered using 4:3, it looks awesome. If you have HBO Max it's available there, or via digital download from Amazon or iTunes. Sadly no physical version of the remaster is available.

 

More info in this topic, including discussion about the reboot:

  

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I feel the same way.  I think JMS is just hard up on cash to be returning to the well like this and it may just damage his legacy, not to mention devaluing the contribution of so many dead actors (B5 having had more cast deaths than any other property of a similar era).  Fact is he has never had any real career of note beyond B5.

 

 

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I think time will tell.  At least this is not a reboot by someone else who may not understand B5.  Of course, he may do a Lucas and make changes just for the sake of making a change.

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I, for one, am optimistic about this particular reboot.  As great as the original Babylon 5 was back in the day, it hasn't proven to have much popularity beyond it's original audience.  So it really could use some kind of return to make it more relevant and interesting to younger folks.  (If you don't agree, that's fine... enjoy your VHS/DVD/new remasters of the classic 90's show!)  A sequel series is sadly out of the question as far too many of the original cast are sadly no longer with us.  (And we already know the final fates of many of the characters anyway.)  So a reboot just makes the most sense.  The ideas and themes are likely to remain very much in play in this reboot, but JMS will have a chance to improve on things that he feels didn't work out as well as he preferred the last time, as well as enjoying the benefits of far better CGI and a chance to engage with more modern ideas.  Yeah, it could easily go poorly... you just never know how things will shake out... but I certainly will be giving it a chance with the hope that B5 will have a long and successful new life.

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On 9/30/2021 at 3:44 PM, SpiceWare said:

 

B5 is one of my favorite shows. The widescreen version could have looked great considering they planned ahead and actually filmed all the live action at 16:9. The horrific crop & scale that they did for any CGI scenes for the DVD set ruined it for me, I couldn't even make it through a rewatch of season 1.  

 

The series was recently remastered using 4:3, it looks awesome. If you have HBO Max it's available there, or via digital download from Amazon or iTunes. Sadly no physical version of the remaster is available.

 

 

Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware there was a 4:3 remaster available.  I think I might be getting an early Christmas present.

 

The crime was the decision to go ahead with widescreen versions when it wasn't possible to re-do the VFX.  Unfortunately, there was a huge push to avoid black bars when HDTV was new.

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42 minutes ago, EricBall said:

Unfortunately, there was a huge push to avoid black bars when HDTV was new.

 

Sadly there still is. TV channels like MeTV (which is now in HD here in Houston) often zoom and crop old series like The Waltons. The Waltons was remastered, and John Boy does look pretty sharp in HD, but would look even better if his head wasn't cut off at the top.  Wow - didn't know The Waltons was being redone.

 

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