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Babylon 5 Reboot in 2016

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

According to this article http://http://www.blastr.com/2009/11/babylon_5_creator_reboots.php Babylon 5 is going to make its big screen debut next year. He says its a plan to work the older storyline but in a new way - I am not sure how the storyline would work given the original show ran for 5 seasons and 110 episodes.

 

Lets wait and see what he comes out with.. Meantime he is remaking Forbidden Planet and a netflix show to boot.

post #2 of 57
I've lost track of the number of times JMS has told us a B5 movie would be out the following year.
post #3 of 57

B5 was and still is one of the best sci-fi TV series of all time and hasn't been matched since.  I'll be revisiting B5 this Summer for the first time in ages and I can't wait. 

 

Still a vastly underappreciated series that truly was a science fiction epic.

post #4 of 57
Yes.

(Until Season 5.)
post #5 of 57

As I see it.  The pilot movie and Season 1 serve as B5's prologue, Season 2-4 as the main story and Season 5 as the epilogue. Also, the status of B5 getting another season after 4 was up in the air until the last minute so that's why it played out the way it did.

 

Would rather have a sequel set 500 years after the events of the original show.  It's such an interesting universe I would love to see it revisited again.

post #6 of 57
I realize JMS had to wrap everything up in Season 4 -- which is exactly why he ought to have let the show end on a (very) high note rather than peter out the way it did (fuck you, Byron).
post #7 of 57

Let it go, man. Let it go.

post #8 of 57

The Psi War could/should have been a highlight of S5 but...we got what we got.

 

One interesting thing about Babylon 5, the Message Board for that show was off the charts brilliant, in all honestly maybe more highbrow than the show deserved. (I think JMS monitored it and definitely posted there a lot).  You had discussions of ancient Babylonian religion and Zoroastrianism etc.

 

I contrast that with threads on Game of Thrones (which does sometimes pose some deeper questions about ethics, religion etc.) and even Mad Men, which pretty much amount to speculating on future plot developments and exclamations over one character fucking or fucking other another character.

 

The Web has not evolved...well.

post #9 of 57

Like I said before I consider Season 5 an epilogue, which is bookended with the great SLEEPING IN THE LIGHT series finale. As for the board for that show I wasn't on the 'Net regularly until the late 1990s after the show was done.

 

THE LURKER'S GUIDE TO BABYLON 5 is still up and running. Great resource for people new to the show as well longtime fans.

post #10 of 57

Sooo...better or worse than Deep Space 9? Is it the kind of thing where you have to know which episodes to skip so you don't get sick of it?

post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

Sooo...better or worse than Deep Space 9? Is it the kind of thing where you have to know which episodes to skip so you don't get sick of it?

 

Tough. I think both are equally worth your time if you've not seen either although I tend to prefer B5 over DS9. Season one of B5 has some weak spots (O'Hare, for example, doesn't make for a particularly interesting lead and Bruce Boxleitner, who replaces him from season two onward, has twenty times the charisma) but seasons two through to four are really great. If you ever watched Lost and despaired at the way in which mysteries were obviously introduced with little to no forethought as to how they'll be paid off, you won't get that here. Questions posed in season one are answered in the subsequent seasons, and the answers are almost always satisfying. It lives up to its aim at being a novel told on television. Season three's finale, Z'ha'dum, was one of my favorite season finales for a very long time. I remember my initial viewing of it some years back, and being blown away by those final few minutes. The Shadows are one of televisions best villains.

 

DS9 is also very good, though. It doesn't aim quite as high as B5 but the characters are wonderful and, much like B5, the later seasons are enhanced by the long-running storyline of the background being foregrounded. I used to think that Next Generation was my favorite Star Trek show until I binge-watched DS9 about two years ago. It's probably my favorite Star Trek show now.

post #12 of 57

Some kind of B5 reboot could be interesting as a second draft kind of thing. It's hard to imagine a movie not feeling heavily watered down, though, and if he plans to keep the characters certain cast members would be hard to replace.

 

A new series set in the same continuity could also be interesting. But the problem there is always going to be: how do you follow up a story that big? There's a reason Tolkien never tried to top Lord Of The Rings.

 

To be honest I think I'd rather see the money spent polishing up the original series to HD standards.

post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

Sooo...better or worse than Deep Space 9? Is it the kind of thing where you have to know which episodes to skip so you don't get sick of it?

 

Better than DS9 in every conceivable way. It takes a season and a half of great world building as well as character development and some well planted seeds before the story really takes off and does it ever take off. It's well worth sticking it out because you will be rewarded unlike other recent shows.  It's the science fiction version of Lord of the Rings and nothing this epic has been attempted on TV since. 

 

DS9 is a Star Trek show without any clear direction from season to season. B5 is a science fiction novel with a beginning, middle and end that unfolds over five seasons. It's fantastic stuff.

 

I can't recommend B5 highly enough. 

post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headless Fett View Post 

 

DS9 is a Star Trek show without any clear direction from season to season. 

Never saw B5 so I won't comment on that show (even though I'll watch it eventually), but I disagree on DS9 not having a clear direction. They do spend time building up the arcs for each character (major and supporting) and the Dominion War storyline is slowly unraveled by each season. DS9's serialized storytelling helped make it my favorite Trek show. 

post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravi View Post
 

Never saw B5 so I won't comment on that show (even though I'll watch it eventually), but I disagree on DS9 not having a clear direction. They do spend time building up the arcs for each character (major and supporting) and the Dominion War storyline is slowly unraveled by each season. DS9's serialized storytelling helped make it my favorite Trek show. 

 

I came along to DS9 later as it reran on the sci-fi channel up here in Canada and I admit it was a grittier Trek than we had seen before, it was still Trek to me.  B5 didn't benefit from being in the timeline of a beloved universe or ILM for it's special effects. It was a grown up, original science fiction novel on TV that had may have had a smaller budget but against all odds it succeeded.

 

The scope of the story and the universe it unfolds in really set the bar high for any show to come after it.  In my opinion none have and probably never will.

post #16 of 57

Love, love, love B5... Watched it growing up alongside DS9 and B5 definitely wins in my book. The idea of a reboot scares me because as much as I want more Babylon 5 there's the risk of making something terrible like Legend of the Rangers or that direct-to-video thing that came out most recently...

 

Babylon 5 also wins by default by not having a wedding episode.

post #17 of 57

I was lucky to have an independent channel here that showed B5 in the 1990s and holy shit was it ever excruciating waiting for a new episode during the Shadow War storyline.  Another thing that I have to give B5 credit for is depicting space combat with real(ish) physics.  B5 was truly ahead of it's time.

 

WB could care less about B5 outside of DVD sales so the likeliness of a reboot is highly remote and that's fine by me.  

post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headless Fett View Post

Like I said before I consider Season 5 an epilogue, which is bookended with the great SLEEPING IN THE LIGHT series finale.
An epilogue puts the story to bed. It doesn't meander aimlessly and then suddenly launch a hundred new storylines in the last five episodes that it never intends to resolve.
post #19 of 57
I was hanging out with Bruce Boxleitner a couple weeks ago. True story.

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post #20 of 57

Sounds cool, I'll jump into B5 soon. I'm getting hyped for the Sense8 premiere next week, so I'd like to see what that creator's style is all about.

 

Forgot to mention I already finished DS9 a couple years ago, I enjoyed most of it.

post #21 of 57
If you get over the ropey acting at the beginning, the occasional set and effects limitations and the odd flat episode you'll enjoy a very well constructed, fairly sophisticated and exciting space epic, the likes of which only occasionally come along. For my money it's as much of a progenitor of the modern golden age of TV as anything else and has direct lineage to stuff like Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones in trail blazing sci fi and fantasy as viable subjects for "serious" long form story telling on TV. It can be goofy as hell, but a lot of the key cast are consistently top notch and the writing in seasons 2-4 (and sometimes 1 and 5) explore interesting themes as well as bridging the epic and personal very effectively.

Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas pretty much own the thing, though. Their combined storylines are like the Odd Couple played out on a Galactic scale.
post #22 of 57

I've watched a few episodes of the 1st season,  of course it's easier since this is my third go around so it's pretty easy to get through, and what really strikes me now about B5 is how adult it was in dealing with the characters, the setting and technology.  Of course I appreciate it even more now as I've gotten older.  


Edited by Headless Fett - 5/30/15 at 6:44pm
post #23 of 57
The episode with Brad Dourif as a guest star (like most times) was a gem.
post #24 of 57
I was (and am) a huge fan. Back during the original run, I religiously videotaped every episode starting from the beginning (even edited out commercials!). The prospect of the originally-proposed Novel For Television intrigued me during the sci-fi magazine hype surrounding the pilot: JMS promised the opposite of a never-ending, episodic deep space franchise. And he delivered.

Until Season Four. After countless time slot changes and near-cancellation every season, B5 was officially given the axe. So JMS had to collapse the arc in order to wrap it all up. As a result, Season Four is a powerhouse. Not an ounce of fat. I defy anyone to watch it, even now, and not find themselves sucked in.

But then the offer came in from TNT and Season Five was commissioned. The story was over. Claudia Christian left the show amidst a lot of internet scandal. The budget was slashed. So rather than go out with a bang, an extended epilogue was tacked on. This was an opportunity -- such as it was -- to explore events previously hinted at (such as the state of things on Centauri Prime during "War Without End"). Instead, we got that terrible episode with the pointless space battle seen through the eyes of the janitors, or the one where the Minbari ranger-in-training learns to stand up for himself. We get soap opera that never goes anywhere (Lennier loves Delenn, Sheridan was married to Lochley for a week). Even the movies, which were the perfect place to explore matters off the main timeline (as was the case with IN THE BEGINNING), were completely irrelevant.

This is made all the worse by setting up stories -- at the end of the series! -- that are never resolved. Lennier is a traitor! Londo leaves a Keeper for Sheridan's son! The Telepath War is brewing! Garibaldi vs Bester! And then.......it ends.........with the door open for CRUSADE. Wait, what? A spin-off? I thought this was a novel for television rather than a deep space franchise?

Then CRUSADE gets cancelled. Presumably, plot threads were carried over there to be tied up. Nope. Not now. And now on top of that, the whole Earth Has Been Poisoned By The Drahk storyline is unfinished, too. So when JMS gets the go-ahead to do another pilot film for Syfy, what does he do? He just sets up another Ancient Evil MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SHADOWS! plot for LEGEND OF THE RANGERS........which is subsequently left to die on the vine. The DVD series LOST TALES sounded like it might wrap some of this up, but all we got was that "Exorcism on Babylon 5" thing they put out.

It lost its way. When the idea was to tell an epic tale over five seasons with a distinct beginning, middle and end, it was tight and focused. Once the idea of action figures and comic book tie-ins came along, it went off the rails.
post #25 of 57

Yeah, that network brouhaha really screwed over Season 5.  I wonder what might have been if it hadn't been axed.

post #26 of 57

A full reboot could be interesting, and would free the franchise from having to invent yet another Ancient Evil Worse Than the Last One. I'd hope for some appearances from the old cast though.

post #27 of 57

I was just going back through the original cast and was shocked by Jason Carter (Marcus Cole)'s picture. The guy must have gone through a lot over the years because he's aged quite quickly.

post #28 of 57

Am I right in remembering Jerry Doyle went on to become some kind of ranting right wing shock jock?

post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

I was just going back through the original cast and was shocked by Jason Carter (Marcus Cole)'s picture. The guy must have gone through a lot over the years because he's aged quite quickly.

I think it's just the ageing effect of having a grey beard and long grey hair. If you look at his eyes, they are older, but not decrepitly so.

post #30 of 57

From Jason Carter's IMDB page trivia! section.

 

"When he first joined the Babylon 5 cast he was afraid he would have to wear a skintight bodysuit. When given his Ranger uniform he was ecstatic, and declared that he could easily play Hamlet while wearing it."

 

Er...Hm. I don't. Eh?

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post
 

I think it's just the ageing effect of having a grey beard and long grey hair. If you look at his eyes, they are older, but not decrepitly so.

 

I suppose. It just seems as though he's aged much quicker than the others in the cast. Someone on his IMDb forum (as reliable a source as it may be) commented that the death of Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin) hit Carter really hard, and that he's supposedly been in a deep depression for several years which stopped him working. Depending on how true that is, it's another possible explanation. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post
 

From Jason Carter's IMDB page trivia! section.

 

"When he first joined the Babylon 5 cast he was afraid he would have to wear a skintight bodysuit. When given his Ranger uniform he was ecstatic, and declared that he could easily play Hamlet while wearing it."

 

Er...Hm. I don't. Eh?

 

That is.... bizarre. 

post #32 of 57

I don't see what's bizarre. Everyone else is wearing jumpsuits, and he gets a doublet and a cape. Could work for any time period.

post #33 of 57

I can't see him wearing it for Hamlet but I'll certainly agree with you about it in the context of the other characters' uniforms. 

post #34 of 57
Considering his character is Space Lancelot by way of Space Aragorn, I don't see why the quote is so confusing.
post #35 of 57
Just sounds so precious. A no jumpsuit rule but giddy as a school girl to be dressed in a cape in a sci fi show.

Maybe I'm just a misanthrope. Or perhaps it's just a Brit thing.
post #36 of 57

Or maybe he was carrying an extra few pounds and the cape covered that up? I know it works for me when I go out on the town...

post #37 of 57

Just finished the Season 2 episode "A Spider in the Web" and had completely forgotten about the Bureau 13 storyline!  Loving this re-watch so far.

post #38 of 57
Too bad that it's never brought up again, and that the "Sheridan as conspiracy theorist" thing disappears in a puff of smoke.
post #39 of 57

I'm after season 2 episode 16, the one where we learn a little more about the smug guy with the shadowy friends.

 

Season 2 has been a little hit and miss so far, about 50/50 between great eps and slightly dull ones. I'm fully on board for the full ride though.

 

I actually liked the first captain quite a bit, and most of his season. The pilot movie was pretty good at getting me sucked in, too.

 

The early episode (the first one they filmed, I think?) Infection started out boring, and ended up amazingly hilarious. Sinclair's verbal showdown with the ancient supermutant was like Original Series Shatner on meth. It seemed they were still working out the kinks with that one...

 

O'Hare gradually gelled after that, and had some great moments in his final episode.

 

I read that it was only recently revealed by JMS that O'hare left the show because of his struggle with schizophrenia.

 

Anyways, I'm loving the show when the scripts are on target. It's the kind of sci fi show that's carried by the character drama and ideas, not by the visuals and production design, which I dig. The make up and costumes are decent for the budget and time period, though.

 

It's hilarious to see the things from this show that were ripped off in later years. In Mass Effect, the balcony views inside the Citadel look identical to the view from the garden in B5. There is also the containment suits with beings inside that no one outside their race has ever seen. The concept of an Earth-hosted space station where all the different alien races can congregate has probably been done in plenty of sci fi novels before (and DS9), but the way Mass Effect does it is extremely similar to B5.

 

Oh, and in the last episode, Sheridan goes down below and hangs out with some weird robed creatures that sing a Gregorian chant thing that sounds exactly like the Halo theme, haha.

post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

I'm after season 2 episode 16, the one where we learn a little more about the smug guy with the shadowy friends.

 

Mr. Morden has a pretty great arc.

post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

 

Mr. Morden has a pretty great arc.

Probably my favorite, none main cast member...except possibly, Bester.  I'm also a huge fan of B5.  Thanks for the memory jog...I really need to give this show a full rewatch!

post #42 of 57

Just finished Season 2 last night and that season finale "The Fall of Night" is where shit starts getting real. 

 

Such a great show.

post #43 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

This is made all the worse by setting up stories -- at the end of the series! -- that are never resolved. Lennier is a traitor! Londo leaves a Keeper for Sheridan's son! The Telepath War is brewing! Garibaldi vs Bester! And then.......it ends.........with the door open for CRUSADE. Wait, what? A spin-off? I thought this was a novel for television rather than a deep space franchise?

 

Untrue. A few very minor things left unresolved, maybe, but most of the major so-called "mysteries" are cleared up during the course of the main five-year TV series:

 

1.  David was rescued from his Keeper -- as we know directly from the TV show itself. In 2278 ("War Without End, Part 2"; In the Beginning), the year David turns 16 and gets the urn Londo left with Sheridan in 2262, Sheridan and Delenn are on Centauri Prime for a clear reason. Delenn later tells Sheridan "[our] son is safe." Londo releases the pair, despite his Keeper and the Drakh occupation.

 

In 2281 ("Sleeping in Light"), the Sheridans are all alive and well and living on Minbar. Vir is Emperor of the Centauri, free to come and go as he pleases, drink to his heart's content, and not only are his people once again members of the Interstellar Alliance (or at least working with it), but he himself is welcome as a guest in the Sheridans' home. David Sheridan is away on a training mission with the Rangers. Is everything totally spelled out? No. But is it obvious that both the Drakh and the Keepers have finally been dealt with? Yes.

 

2.  Regarding the Telepath War: It's long been an open secret that JMS has been saving that story in case there is ever a big-screen B5 movie. It is the last major story that could be told in two hours, stand on its own, and involve most of the original cast.

 

3.  Lennier: See #2, above.

 

4.  The part of Crusade that aired only left a couple of open questions -- what ship killed Gideon's old destroyer; what is the Apocalypse Box; and how, when, and under what circumstances is the plague cured. The *real* arc of the show, which we wouldn't have glimpsed until the end of the first season, was something else entirely.

 

It was bound up with the legacy of the Telepath War, Earth's involvement with black projects derived from Shadow Technology, the Technomages, and the Excalibur going renegade from EarthGov. All of this was very Earth-centric, and tied to Gideon and his crew.

 

5.  And as far back as 1991 (right after first selling the show to Warner Bros., and long before ever going into actual production), JMS talked about how a B5 spinoff series was always in the cards one way or another, something he was planning for, another story he wanted to tell in that universe.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

But then the offer came in from TNT and Season Five was commissioned. The story was over. Claudia Christian left the show amidst a lot of internet scandal. The budget was slashed. So rather than go out with a bang, an extended epilogue was tacked on. This was an opportunity -- such as it was -- to explore events previously hinted at (such as the state of things on Centauri Prime during "War Without End"). Instead, we got that terrible episode with the pointless space battle seen through the eyes of the janitors, or the one where the Minbari ranger-in-training learns to stand up for himself. We get soap opera that never goes anywhere (Lennier loves Delenn, Sheridan was married to Lochley for a week). Even the movies, which were the perfect place to explore matters off the main timeline (as was the case with IN THE BEGINNING), were completely irrelevant.

 

The story you suggest has already been told in the Centauri Trilogy, written by Peter David. JMS wrote the outlines for three trilogies published by Del Rey Books, all "filling in" details from the series, all stories he *did not intend* to tell onscreen. (At the time he wrote the outlines, he was preparing Crusade for TNT, and also in talks with Warner Bros. about a B5 theatrical film, so it seems clear that he fully expected to be able to tell further stories in film or television even as he was deliberately leaving others, including the "urn" story, to the books.)

 

In 2281 ("Sleeping in Light") Centauri Prime is free, Vir is Emperor, and David Sheridan is training to be a Ranger -- presumably Keeper-free. So the important part of the story (to the degree that David Sheridan is important *at all* as an individual) was told in the show itself, even without the novels. David himself is a fairly passive participants in these events, which are really only important in the context of the larger Centauri/Drakh crisis. I don't think that David's part would, in and of itself, make a very interesting story.

 

The whole point of doing the novels was to tell stories that couldn't be told as part of the series, or which would be too expensive/time-consuming/too "inside baseball" for feature films or future TV projects. Don't forget, the trilogies were outlined while Crusade was still gearing up, and were intended to complement it.


Edited by Leto II - 7/11/15 at 10:16am
post #44 of 57

   Quote:

Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

Until Season Four. After countless time slot changes and near-cancellation every season, B5 was officially given the axe. So JMS had to collapse the arc in order to wrap it all up. As a result, Season Four is a powerhouse. Not an ounce of fat. I defy anyone to watch it, even now, and not find themselves sucked in.

 

(Based upon the various Babylon 5 script books published by JMS over the years:)

 

If Season 5 had been a "lock" from the start (i.e., renewed before TNT's last-minute pickup):

 

Every TV season, a certain percentage of viewers are sampling shows that are new or at least new to them, deciding what they're going to watch on a given night and time. So JMS always tried to start each season off a little "slower," with a couple of mostly stand-alone stories and shows that could explain some backstory in small doses so that new viewers could get up to speed without being overwhelmed. (This is exactly how S1, S2, S3, and S5 begin. S4 is really the only exception)

 

So, Season 4 would have stretched the mystery of Sheridan a bit more, given us one or two "calm before the storm" episodes showing the effect of the Shadow War and the search for the First Ones, and then plunged us into the climax of the war.

 

JMS originally penciled "Into the Fire" in as a two-parter on the schedule, but he says he changed his mind when he sat down to write it, since it mostly would have been the exact same identical story simply padded out with another big battle or two. Then the focus would have shifted to the brewing Earth and Minbar Civil Wars, concluding with Sheridan's interrogation in "Intersections in Real Time" as the Season 4 cliffhanger.

 

The major difference in this alternate universe is that this mysterious guy named Byron would turn up on B5 during the fourth season, and start quietly establishing his colony of telepaths on the station without anyone quite noticing during the last five or six episodes of the season. We'd see the teeps in the background, and they'd be involved in "B"- and "C"-stories, and thus become a much more organic part of the storyline -- and be established while the station was still an independent entity, before EarthGov took over again and re-established Psi Corps' authority over the Human teeps there.

 

Again, things would have ramped up a little slower at the start of Season 5, going into the final three or four concluding Earth Civil War stories/episodes at the beginning of the season, to let newbies catch up with the universe. Ivanova would still have been mortally injured battling Clark, and Marcus would have died saving her. Ivanova would have taken command of B5 on Sheridan's recommendation, but their relationship would have changed.

 

With Clark gone, Ivanova would suddenly be a symbol of EarthForce, healing the wounds of the Civil War. As Earth's representative, she'd find herself at odds with President Sheridan over some issues -- a new and uncomfortable position. She'd especially be conflicted about the Teep Colony, and want its members to leave the station.

 

Because Byron's teeps are rogues, Capt. Ivanova would legally be required to report them to Psi Corps....regardless of her personal feelings. As the responsible commander, Ivanova would not lightly ignore the law. Sheridan's decision not only to keep the colony going on B5, but to use the teeps as undercover agents would not only put her in an impossible position professionally, it would also put the entire station and its mission at risk.

 

Add to this her attraction to Byron himself, whose cause she admires, and who -- at least superficially -- reminds her of Marcus. This emotional confusion would lead her into a brief affair with Byron...but she'd soon realize that Marcus really was her last chance at true love. (I wonder if Byron would have used her and betrayed her, as Talia 2.0 had.) Certainly Ivanova's latent telepathy would have come center stage, and a thread opened way back in S1 finally paid off.

 

In the end, when the teeps turn to blackmail and hostage-taking, it would be Ivanova who would have had to call in Bester and the Corps to end the crisis. (...Imagine the irony.) Byron's fate and their brief, doomed love affair certainly would've served to put the wounded, bitter Ivanova of "Sleeping in Light" into much greater perspective.

 

Lyta would have been somewhat starstruck by Byron, and probably more than a little in love with him, but he would have focused on Ivanova until it was too late, either out of cynical self-interest or genuine affection. Unrequited love is a major theme of B5. Still, that would have served to put Lyta in the ideal position to become his heir and successor, and to carry on his work, still eventually leading up to the eruption of the Telepath War.

 

That's mostly it. As JMS said when he realized early on that Season 4 was probably going to be it, he could look at his S4 and S5 outlines, which comprised 44 episodes. Drop 5 standalone episodes from each, and you've got 34. Do "Into the Fire" in one show, you've got 33. Shift all the Teep material into S5, and you lose the equivalent of 6 more. Now you're down to 27.

 

Do the Minbari Civil War in fewer episodes, drop some "B"- and "C"-stories and other subplots, and you find that you can end the major story-threads and still get to "Sleeping" without doing violence to the storyline if you have to end in S4, because nobody will miss the stuff you don't introduce. OTH, if you do get a S5, you can start fresh telling the story of the first year of the Alliance, Londo's fall, and setting up the Telepath War story that he hoped might follow Season 5 in one way or another.

 

In any event, it turns out that the biggest problem he had was Claudia Christian's almost-literally-last-minute decision not to return for S5. He simply didn't have time to totally restructure his S5 outline, not given that he was already on deadline for the first scripts and the start of pre-production as soon as the cast all returned from the U.K. (where they were attending a convention).

 

He had to come up with a totally new commander, introduce her, alter the Lyta/Byron dynamic, and blend it with the growing Centauri story. (Which was there right from the beginning. For much of what most people remember as "the Teep arc," the Teep-story is actually the "B"-story in episodes that primarily focus on other issues, and the whole thing only runs eight episodes total.)

 

That weakened that section, as did the simple absence of the latent teep Ivanova. Four years of history was supposed to pay off in that part of the season, and the main character wasn't there. Under the circumstances, I'm surprised the whole thing is as great as it actually is.

post #45 of 57
Saying that a Peter David book series or a feature film made twenty years after the series ended (if ever) is an acceptable substitute for the in-series resolution that JMS swore up and down he'd give us is like saying that the Clone Wars cartoon is an acceptable substitute after treading water for two thirds of the Star Wars prequels.
post #46 of 57
Except JMS actually did give us that in-series resolution. The only truly important aspect of it as far as onscreen drama was concerned was showing Londo's defiance of his Keeper, him allowing Sheridan and Delenn's escape, and his and G'Kar's final deaths. Everything else of secondary note (including the fact that the Drakh were ultimately defeated and that David Sheridan escaped) was communicated in onscreen dialogue either in "War Without End" or in "Sleeping in Light."

Again, the full tale of the Drakh defeat on Centauri Prime was never one that JMS ever planned or promised to tell onscreen -- and nowhere in his extended series notes are any such plans laid out, either. He left this story to the canonical novels for a reason.
Edited by Leto II - 7/15/15 at 3:30pm
post #47 of 57
Sorry, man. I followed this show religiously for five years, videotaping and re-watching it as it went; and even now, years removed, raising a glass to Lennier or quoting "David is safe" does not, in any way, satisfy the fact that story lines were clearly set up to be told within the context of a five-year Novel For Television, and then weren't.

Clearly our views on this differ, but I know I wasn't the only one who was perfectly willing to forgive dropped threads when the story was hastily wrapped up at the end of Season 4 due to necessity; but felt less charitable after an interminable fifth season in which half the episodes were standalone, and the other half concerned with setting up new arcs rather than resolving the ones floating in limbo.
post #48 of 57

We'll probably never hear the last word on how Claudia Christian's contract got dropped.

post #49 of 57

Still on my first watch, so I've skipped over most of the last few posts.

 

Season 3 had a lot of awesome stuff. The secession was probably the height of intensity, and the end of the season was killer.

 

I'm really struggling with the middle of season 4, though. The momentum has just up and died. The Doc hanging out with the blonde robot resistance leader, whatever the hell is going on with Girabaldi, Delenn's coma inducing journey through Minbari politics...ugh. I imagine it'll get better, but this rough patch is down there with some of the Season 1 episodes.

post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post

Still on my first watch, so I've skipped over most of the last few posts.

Season 3 had a lot of awesome stuff. The secession was probably the height of intensity, and the end of the season was killer.

I'm really struggling with the middle of season 4, though. The momentum has just up and died. The Doc hanging out with the blonde robot resistance leader, whatever the hell is going on with Girabaldi, Delenn's coma inducing journey through Minbari politics...ugh. I imagine it'll get better, but this rough patch is down there with some of the Season 1 episodes.

Season Three had the greatest cliffhanger (haha) of any show, ever.

I'm surprised that you find Season Four rough in the middle -- for my money, all twenty-two episodes charge forward at a brisk pace.

How did you feel about the resolution of the Shadow War?
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