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Babylon 5 reboot


JohnC
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Something I never noticed before in the pivotal The Coming of Shadows episode:

 

Spoiler

In the last scene, when Delen plays the message from Sinclair, thanks to the HD remaster you can see her crying. "Hello old friend" indeed.

 

It's funny how much subtle acting must have been missed in the old days of shit looking TV.

 

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And another bit of trivia about Chrysalis:

 

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Apparently Delen was originally supposed to present as male, so would have transitioned to female as well. When I was watching it on this rewatch, the way her change is treated and the struggles with the reaction from her people and other various characters, I started to wonder if that had been the intention, and it turns out it was. Sure it would have been very limited in terms of trans depiction on modern television, but if it had been done at the time it would have been one of the earliest examples on TV. There seems to be a bit of discussion online at the moment of how this might be in a potential reboot.

 

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One thing this rewatch has confirmed: it may still be a little goofy at times, but by God it's still good, and I'm only on Season 2. Maybe it's just now I'm older I'm appreciating certain things or certain character traits more. There's enough subtlety to feel differently about the events in the show when your perspective on the real world has changed too, even if the show was a product of its time.

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Apparently JMS was surprised when Bruce McGill turned up on set as he wanted the one from Die Hard and someone in casting got confused!  
 

Oh and it’s worth checking out the b5 bloopers on YouTube. 
 

Edit twin peaks not die hard 

 

what Could Have Been: J. Michael Straczynskiwrote the role of Major Ryan for Everett McGill, after being impressed with his work on Twin Peaks and meeting him in a restaurant. But, he couldn't remember his first name while talking with the casting director, so he told her to get "that McGill guy". When she suggested he might mean Bruce McGill, who she'd worked with before, he agreed. He only found out his mistake too late. But ever since, he's been sure to emphasize that he thought Bruce did a great job.

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There is a couple of minutes missing from the end of Babylon Squared on the new versions, which is extremely annoying, especially considering there's quite a pivotal scene in it. EDIT: also apparently a monolog is missing from the start of Season 4 after the recap.

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Ye Gods the alien child in Confessions and Lamentations is so unbelievably ugly, Jesus Christ.

 

Spoiler

But I'd forgotten about the end of the episode. What a gut punch.

 

It's also depressing to think how much contemporary relevance it has right now too. Ignorance and misinformation literally killing millions of people in a global plague, many of the same mistakes of history being repeated.

 

It was a MUCH harder watch this time than I remember.

 

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The Long, Twilight Struggle speech gave me goosebumps all over again.

 

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Lol not Sheridan's, that's corny as ever. I mean the absolutely electric G'Kar.

 

One of the absolute best episodes of sci fi TV ever.

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17 hours ago, Benny said:

Ye Gods the alien child in Confessions and Lamentations is so unbelievably ugly, Jesus Christ.

 

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But I'd forgotten about the end of the episode. What a gut punch.

 

It's also depressing to think how much contemporary relevance it has right now too. Ignorance and misinformation literally killing millions of people in a global plague, many of the same mistakes of history being repeated.

 

It was a MUCH harder watch this time than I remember.

 


Is that the one with the virus that wipes out an entire race? Or the one with the religious zealot parents who murder their son after Dr. Franklin operates on him?

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I was thinking- with the massive advances that have been made in astronomy since the original series- if it now time for this reboot (or any space based sci-fi show) to start to assume there isn't much in the way of space-faring civilisations out there in our galaxy- and start to look at an intergalactic solution instead?

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It’s been generally accepted that intelligent life is scarce* in the universe since before the original Star Trek. Enrich Fermi coined his paradox around the same time colour TVs were becoming available, after all. So I think if they could get away with it in the 1990s they can still get away with it now.

 

*Whether actually absent or just hidden.

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The actual story of Babylon 5 isn't really about space travel and space faring itself much though. It's much more of a vehicle to explore real world politics, religion, war and peace. So the jump gate system in the existing series is all the McGuffin they need really.

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B5 can go for in fiction reasons for hidden/depopulated civilisations.  The first shadow war was essentially that.

 

It can also go with social/economic reasons why galactic spanning empires don't happen.  The original series (inadvertently?) did both of these with the Minbari and Centauri.  

 

The above coupled with the galaxy just being big would do the job. 

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

The actual story of Babylon 5 isn't really about space travel and space faring itself much though. It's much more of a vehicle to explore real world politics, religion, war and peace. So the jump gate system in the existing series is all the McGuffin they need really.

 

Exactly, it's the classic "planets as countries" allegory that really demands a universe full of constantly clashing spacefaring races. I don't expect the revival to be any harder SF than the original was in this regard.

 

Even the hardest SF needs one or two absolute whoppers in its foundational world-building anyway.

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I was going to excitedly mention Freddy Kruger’s guest spot before, but the ‘spot the famous bit part’ game was spoiled a bit when someone just posted a list.

 

Oddly though, the actor I remember most was the absolutely godawful ‘English villain’ officer who came to try and take over the command of the station. He spoke like Matt Berry in Darkplace, but with sincerity.

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War Without End in season 3 is oddly the first episode I can think of to have any Star Trek style technobabble to any extent. It's odd but much as I remember loving this two parter, as soon as the show drops the political and religious metaphor stuff for Star Trek made up science, it's curious just how much you miss it, as it's obviously those elements which set it so much apart, and in my opinion, where only Deep Space 9 rivals it.

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I hope they're not going to stray too far from the designs of the original series in the reboot. They're perfect, even with the limitations of the CG technology at the time.

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The Starfury and Omega class destroyer in particular are such great designs.  Obvious Last Starfighter and 2010 references respectively, but even so. 

 

Not sure where they'd go with modernizing the Vorlon ship design.  They're among the ships that need the most work.  Assuming they're even in the new series.  I wouldn't put it past JMS for this to be a completely different show within half a season.

 

They have really interesting modern options for the production beyond space VFX. 


B5 pushed set size really far for their budget, even if it was a bit wobbly.  A Mandalorian style 'volume' would be perfect for the show.  Stuff like the Zocalo could be really bustling.  They can also make more of the curvature of the station, since it's not just forced perspective. They also get views into the centre of the station or outside for 'free'.

 

B5 also pushed makeup pretty much as far as it goes.  They might be able to afford virtual makeup to augment that and make some really alien looking aliens.  I'd have thought a really good full CGI regular cast member is still beyond the scope of a TV show though.  Wouldn't put it past them to try.

 

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On 12/10/2021 at 08:12, davidcotton said:

Babylon 5 drinking game. Every time someone ends the sentence with “hell”, take a shot.  It’s one of those things that once pointed out you can’t help but notice!

 

You might want to delete that post, you could potentially be done for mass manslaughter. 😄

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