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The Never-Ending Reboot Debate

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  • The Never-Ending Reboot Debate

    Carrying a conversation over from Facebook because a comment particularly struck me. The gist of it was that you couldn't possibly want a rebooted or reinterpretted B5 unless you really hated the original. That made no sense to me at all. But I know that there are folks here who feel that the show should never be rebooted and others that feel that it should and yet others who will wait and see one way or another. So I thought I'd ask here where there can be some serious discussion:

    What do you think about any theoretical potential re-boot or reinterpretation of Babylon 5?

    It would be interesting if you'd add comments as to why or why not you'd like to see it.
    12
    Never under any circumstances
    8.33%
    1
    Maybe - if JMS is in control
    0%
    0
    Maybe - depends on who they cast
    0%
    0
    Yes - if JMS is in control
    75.00%
    9
    Yes - even if JMS isn't involved
    16.67%
    2
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    I'm well known for being entirely on board if JMS is in complete control. That said, I think it's a valid concern as to whether B5 would lend itself to current trends of shorter seasons and binge watching. I always loved the 'off format' episodes that, IMO, were often the best at fleshing out the characters. But if a new B5 were to be done in a 10-12 episode season, I fear that those episodes wouldn't be possible and some of the richness of the characters might be lost. Thoughts?
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jan View Post
      I'm well known for being entirely on board if JMS is in complete control. That said, I think it's a valid concern as to whether B5 would lend itself to current trends of shorter seasons and binge watching. I always loved the 'off format' episodes that, IMO, were often the best at fleshing out the characters. But if a new B5 were to be done in a 10-12 episode season, I fear that those episodes wouldn't be possible and some of the richness of the characters might be lost. Thoughts?
      WOW!!!!! I didn't even think about it in those terms. Uggggh shortened season seems soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wrong, unless the seasons are only three months apart.

      But yeah weird how my brain didn't even and can't even think about a season of B5 only being ten to twelve episodes, unless they are two hour episodes.

      Having said that I did just hear that THE ORVILLE has shortened their upcoming season from 11 episodes to 10, but each episode should be over 70mins long. That would work for B5.
      Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

      Comment


      • #4
        More B5 is always welcome, and since JMS mapped the B5 timeline from the First Ones through Sol going nova, it should be easy -- and am trying to be vague and NOT Suggest Show Ideas -- to do another series In the B5 Universe without rehashing what we've already seen. B5 told us Londo's Story, and that took place (mostly) in a single planetary system during the five year period. There is still the rest of the galaxy and several million years to visit. Would be a toss up whether JMS opts to re-tell Londo's story in a different fashion or use what-has-gone-before as a lead into the Next Great Story.
        (At least I think that is what Zathras might say. No, not Zathras, the other one - Zathras.)

        Wouldn't be worried about JMS trying to make a series fit with 2020s viewers vs 1990s viewers as he was always ahead of the game. My poor brain is mush, but didn't he mention somewhere that he thought print media was decades ahead of what was being shown on screen? What would interest me most would be how 2020s JMS would craft the series vs 1990s JMS. Ex: He mentioned in the recent TWWG events that he was now able to write that book since he has "more tools" as a writer, and if he could wring out B5 in the 90s, would be amazing to see what he could do with another thirty years of experience. Although would be concerned with pesky Suits getting in the way and changing things to turn a silk purse into sow's ears. It could be said that "Infection" and "Grey 17" weren't exactly at the top of things, but likewise we had "Severed Dreams" and "Sleeping in Light" (to name only two) which were amazing.

        Personally would prefer to see something new, but guess Brother Alwyn might say that if JMS opted to redo the B5 arc in 2020, odds are he would use his decades of additional experience to Build It Better.
        Last edited by LateArrival; 07-18-2021, 10:15 PM.
        "This is not a clear and present danger? I must read the rule book again."

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        • #5
          I'd take a reboot / re-imagining. The way JMS described it last time this came around was that it wouldn't be the same show done over. It would explore new angles and shake things up. I'd be open to other writers having more input. For example look at all the quality work someone like Jane Espenson has done on BSG and Buffy, people always cite the showrunner as key, but she wrote a lot of the classic episodes for those shows.

          I'd love to see JMS as showrunner / occasional writer on key arc episodes and a team of competent writers who could bring other ideas to the table. Hell, I'd even be open to another creative running it with JMS as consultant like Lucas did with the Star Wars EU. Would have to be someone that loved the show and understood the feel though.

          I feel like new blood / talent is always a good move if the fit is right.
          Last edited by Ubik; 07-19-2021, 05:23 AM.
          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

          Kosh: Good!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to see something in the Babylon 5 Universe. It doesn't actually need to take place on Babylon 5. Life on a warlock class destroyer, as an example.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kraig View Post
              I'd like to see something in the Babylon 5 Universe. It doesn't actually need to take place on Babylon 5. Life on a warlock class destroyer, as an example.
              Yes there is an entire Universe that could be explored off, or even on, Babylon 5 that wouldn't have to involve the main cast. They could build an entire series around stories happening within the same timeframe that don't necessarily involve the main cast, but are effected by the original main arc. Or that take place in the times between, like an alternate Crusade story that happens at the same time as the Excalibur mission or something that happens in the ten years before or after THE LOST TALES. There are so many possibilities that don't even have to deviate from the main original arc while not being forced to include, though preferably would include, some of the original cast. And I fully believe there is the ability to have some or all of these stories happen on the station because it is so large.
              Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Looney View Post

                Yes there is an entire Universe that could be explored off, or even on, Babylon 5 that wouldn't have to involve the main cast. They could build an entire series around stories happening within the same timeframe that don't necessarily involve the main cast, but are effected by the original main arc. Or that take place in the times between, like an alternate Crusade story that happens at the same time as the Excalibur mission or something that happens in the ten years before or after THE LOST TALES. There are so many possibilities that don't even have to deviate from the main original arc while not being forced to include, though preferably would include, some of the original cast. And I fully believe there is the ability to have some or all of these stories happen on the station because it is so large.
                If it's new TV, I think it has to be accessible to people who have never seen the show. You can have cool nods to lore and easter eggs for long time fans, but anything new has to be a ground zero for new viewers. This is the challenge, I think.

                As we've seen, if you lean too much into just pleasing the old guard / fandom, it can turn out badly. Anything new would have to stand on its own merits.
                Last edited by Ubik; 07-20-2021, 01:12 PM.
                Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                Kosh: Good!

                Comment


                • #9
                  New B5 content is always welcome by me! BUT I don't want them to redo the original content, it was good just the way it was. Leave it alone!
                  Milkman
                  www.mhoc.net

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ubik View Post

                    If it's new TV, I think it has to be accessible to people who have never seen the show. You can have cool nods to lore and easter eggs for long time fans, but anything new has to be a ground zero for new viewers. This is the challenge, I think.

                    As we've seen, if you lean too much into just pleasing the old guard / fandom, it can turn out badly. Anything new would have to stand on its own merits.
                    Yeah I don't know if I agree from the standpoint that it seems like a more interesting challenge to make something new that fits into the old. Something that has direct connection, but also stands on its own. THE MANDALORIAN has some loose connections, but it also has firm ones as well. My thinking is something that mentions and is tied to the original, but is parallel. Maybe you do a direct connection at some point with a Sheridan or Ivanova or Lyta or Bester and so on showing up. Of course, where you might see an issue is the "old guard" getting upset that the new doesn't have more direct connection, like regular appearances by Sheridan or Ivanova or Lyta or Bester and so on. In a lot of ways reboots are a lose / lose, but we've never seen JMS do one.
                    Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Looney View Post
                      In a lot of ways reboots are a lose / lose, but we've never seen JMS do one.
                      Mostly true, but the BSG reboot was wildly popular and (mostly) pretty damn good. Arguably an SF show that went mainstream. I think I'd rather B5 'the next generation' than B5 'the reboot'. Although, I guess TNG is kinda a soft reboot of TOS Trek. Kinda...

                      We always have the original series... so I'm up for experimentation.
                      Last edited by Ubik; 07-22-2021, 01:11 AM.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes this is definitely a never ending debate. Battlestar Galactica was a good example of how something can be re-imagined, yet have many of the common themes, chartacters, etc. as the original series.

                        I would be in the camp of favoring something, as long as JMS would be at the helm and given the free reign of writing what he envisions for the series. We've seen so many examples of studio interference with a wide range of shows, and the shows quickly end before their run. In the case of Crusade, it ended even before it aired.

                        I often think how much we could have lost in the way of story telling, had Babylon 5 been cancelled after only 13 episodes. No Shadow War, No Earth Civil War, No Narn/Centauri War, none of the great character story arcs, etc.

                        Even if JMS doesn't actually write any potential new series himself, at the very least, I would hope that he would be insisting on being the Creative Consultant/Executive Producer of the series.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ubik View Post

                          BSG reboot was wildly popular and (mostly) pretty damn good.
                          I disagree, but that is a debate for another thread.....But because I don't really want to debate and I think I've mentioned these feelings a time or two before ...........

                          BSG (2004)
                          SEASON ONE (Might be the best Season One of all time.)
                          SEASON TWO (Okay, but starting to lose their way.)
                          SEASON THREE (Hmmmm what is going on? Really liking parts early on and hating parts as they move further in, but definitely confirmed they have no plan and know not what they are doing.)
                          SEASON FOUR (Off The Rails nightmare leading into a ridiculous joke of a finale.)

                          [Disclaimer - I do think the show had outstanding performances from everyone involved, but the material REALLY let them down. I mean we are talking a HUGE missed opportunity at greatness.]

                          I'm pretty passionate about how the show let me down..
                          Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Looney View Post

                            I disagree, but that is a debate for another thread.....But because I don't really want to debate and I think I've mentioned these feelings a time or two before ...........

                            BSG (2004)
                            SEASON ONE (Might be the best Season One of all time.)
                            SEASON TWO (Okay, but starting to lose their way.)
                            SEASON THREE (Hmmmm what is going on? Really liking parts early on and hating parts as they move further in, but definitely confirmed they have no plan and know not what they are doing.)
                            SEASON FOUR (Off The Rails nightmare leading into a ridiculous joke of a finale.)

                            [Disclaimer - I do think the show had outstanding performances from everyone involved, but the material REALLY let them down. I mean we are talking a HUGE missed opportunity at greatness.]

                            I'm pretty passionate about how the show let me down..
                            Yeah, I totally agree. I was willing to cut them some slack, but S4 was pretty bad and the finale was total nonsense.
                            Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                            Kosh: Good!

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