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Babylon 5 Movie Starts Filming in April 397

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-else-can-we-make-a-movie dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to comingsoon.net, the first theatrical Babylon 5 movie, "The Memory of the Shadows" starts filming in April. The story was written by series creator J. Michael Straczynski."
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Babylon 5 Movie Starts Filming in April

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  • excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Libertarian001 (453712) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:03AM (#11039682)
    woot

    best...sci-fi...series...ever
    • by Bifster (697408) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @03:17AM (#11040006)
      best...sci-fi...series...ever

      Not quite.

      Clearly the best Sci Fi series ever is: Firefly [scifispace.com] :)

      Seriously, if you haven't seen Firefly, rent all 4 disks from Netflix or something, you won't be disappointed. My favorite episode is the last on the disks: Objects In Space. All 9 main characters are interesting, complex, believable, and bounce off each in a manner consistent with their personalities. The action is great, plots are fairly unpredictable, and the writing is packed full of sharp humor.

      For alternate opinions, check out the reviews of the Firefly DVD's on Amazon: 1200 reviews, average rating: 5 stars

      B5 I'd say would be close behind on the rating scale overall... Mostly I think for it's ambition, and intricate tapestry of dramatic plotlines.

    • by 6079_Smith (676623)
      best...sci-fi...series...ever

      Shatner! This is betrayal!
    • Sigh.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrshowtime (562809)
      Sigh...
      B5 was really good in some places, really not good in other places. Firefly had 12 episodes, four of which I saw which were not entertaining whatsoever and Farscape never seemed to catch my interest, even though I love Sci-Fi and the Muppets. Personally, I liked Lexx, as insane as it was, more than any other of the aforementioned series.

      The best Sci-Fi series EVER, would have to be Dr. Who. Dr. Who was doing EVERYTHING before EVERYONE else and has the best villains ever. Heck, Dr. Who even inven
  • pre-emptive mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:03AM (#11039683)
    Steven Beck will direct a big screen adaptation of the popular sci-fi TV series Babylon 5. The movie, titled The Memory of Shadows, is intended for theatrical release and was written by series creator J. Michael Straczynski. Production Weekly reports that the project starts filming this April in the UK.

    In "Shadows," the technology of the ancient and extinct Shadow race is being unleashed upon the galaxy by an unknown force, and Earthforce intelligence officer Diane Baker, whose brother was recently killed in a mysterious explosion, it out to find out who is behind the intergalactic conspiracy.

    Joining her is Galen, a techno-mage who has been charged with keeping the technology out of the hands of those who would abuse it.
  • Question ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:07AM (#11039700)
    From the article:

    Joining her is Galen, a techno-mage who has been charged with keeping the technology out of the hands of those who would abuse it.

    I don't recall, but isn't he the guy from Crusade? I only saw two episodes but that name sounds familiar.
    • Re:Question ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Abel29A (598776) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:15AM (#11039748)
      Thats correct. Galen was the techno mage...

      Which lead me to fear this film will be more Crusader than Babylon5, and I for one did not really find the whole Crusader spinn-off that great.

      It became to much of a Star Trek clone.....(One ship travelling through space encountering weird aliens...)

      Wheres the fun in that? B5 was all about grand campaign and universe-spanning alliances.

      BTW. The First B5 movie is really great(The one dealing with Earth-Minbari War). The other two less so.

      • Re:Question ... (Score:3, Insightful)

        In the beginning and "A call to arms" were both great... The rest of the movies, less so, but still good compared to most trek movies (especially considering they were made for tv movies and only cost like a million each or something lol)...

        I hope he can pull off making this movie as badass as some of the best episodes in the series (severed dreams, into the fire, endgame, etc etc!!!)
        • Third Space? Excellent movie. They made the Third Space aliens look horrible (floating manta rays, essentially), but that aside, it really grips you.
          • hmm, i guess i should download it and watch it again... (i have not seen the legend of the rangers, so i cant say if i liked htat or not)
            • Re:Question ... (Score:3, Insightful)

              by lightknight (213164)
              Bah, Legend of the Rangers sucks. Watched it completely, hated it. It was so...typically Star Trek-esque, I mean "explore new worlds, encounter new species, blah". That gets old.

              What you need is a stationary place for things to develop. DS9 was ok in this regard, but Babylon 5 was great. I mean, things developed. I want nothing more than to see an episode of Babylon where Lita (augmented telepath) returns, removes the mind block from Garibaldi, and watch as Garibaldi does something truly evil to Bester. I
      • Re:Question ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by ionpro (34327) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:25AM (#11039783) Homepage
        There were actually five Bab5 movies (/me fires up the FTP client):
        I: In the Beginning (Earth-Minbari War, editorialized by Londo)
        II: Thirdspace (Set Between winning the Shadow War and the assault on earth, the B5 crew finds a portal to another dimension left by the Vorlons)
        III: The River Of Souls (Elaboration on the Soul Keeper concept introduced in one of the first episodes)
        IV: The Legend of the Rangers -- which, by the way, I quite liked. I think it's been much maligned. Ranger movie
        V: A Call To Arms -- this set the backplot for the spin-off Crusade.

        These were all TNT (?) Movies of the Week.
      • by Card (30431) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @05:05AM (#11040316) Homepage
        I for one did not really find the whole Crusade spin-off that great. It became to much of a Star Trek clone. (One ship travelling through space encountering weird aliens...)
        JMS's weakness is that while he seems to be very good at the episodic ~42 minute format, his movies aren't that well paced at ~90 minutes. Further, he tends to drop very subtle hints about things that will feature in the plot much, much later (3 - 5 years wasn't unheard of with B5).

        This means that while the pilot movies are filled with action, they tend to appear shallow and sometimes confusing to the casual viewer. Only further developments in the main story or careful analysis of the pilot will give you some clues. Let me give an example.

        The B5 pilot The Gathering is filled with action, lots of characters and a convoluted plot. In the end it appears that "the bad guy" is G'Kar, having smuggled the assassin on the station. Well, yes. Except that G'Kar wasn't behind the turbolift sabotage. Working in the background, Lt. Commander Takashima was trying to escalate this conflict into a full-scale war. See See Lurker's Guide [midwinter.com] for an analysis. This plot point would later be rearranged and used in 2nd season.

        The similarities in A Call to Arms and Legend of the Rangers suggest to me that the man has a massive story thought out; one which probably would last another 5 seasons and which he would like to tell us eagerly.

        Early on, B5 was compared to Trek, but it turned out to be something different. I suspect that Crusade wouldn't have been your Trek clone, either. Myself, I can hardly wait for the movie and the eventual TV series.

      • Re:Question ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Darren Winsper (136155) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @07:28AM (#11040737) Homepage
        Crusade was buggered over by TNT. Anyhow, keep in mind that the first season of B5 was episodic and only hinted at what was to come. Crusade was the same; JMS actually planned to have the ship find the cure early in the second season, discover some massive plot involving earth and shadow technology and end up essentially on the run from Earth Force.
      • Re:Question ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by mfarah (231411) <miguel@far a h .cl> on Thursday December 09, 2004 @08:28AM (#11040931) Homepage
        Thats correct. Galen was the techno mage...

        Which lead me to fear this film will be more Crusader than Babylon5, and I for one did not really find the whole Crusader spinn-off that great.

        It became to much of a Star Trek clone.....(One ship travelling through space encountering weird aliens...)

        Wheres the fun in that? B5 was all about grand campaign and universe-spanning alliances.



        The thing about Crusade was that only the first 13 episodes were filmed, which are usually where you
        introduce the viewers to the series, basic premise, characters, etcetera. The show didn't have a chance to get started.

        SPOILERS AHEAD

        Two scripts were written by JMS but not filmed - episodes 14 and the season finale. They were published at a long gone website and I had a chance to read them.

        In episode 14, the ship finds the ship that attacked the Captain's ship long ago (when Galen
        rescues it), and the Excalibur manages to toast it. In the season finale, they find another one of those, track it down as it flees to its base, where they are confronted by defending fighters, which are... get this... starfuries! Yup, that ship was built by humans using Shadow tech.

        JMS hinted that the plague thing was just the way to introduce the series, and that a cure would be found early (possibly as early as season 2!), but Excalibur would become a FUGITIVE ship in the meantime...

        No, not like trek. :-)

    • Yes, and that was one of the most embarassingly lame characters from one of the most embarassing science fiction series ever. Babylon 5 had something going on at its peak, but Crusade was terrible.
  • B5 Series vs Movies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thenomain (537937) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:07AM (#11039704) Homepage
    While I was a devoted watcher of the Babylon 5 series from the first episode, even when my local syndicate started showing it at 1:30 am Sunday Morning, I've been disappointed in every one of the B5 Movies. In fact, I think each movie was progressively worse than the next.

    Have things changed? I don't know. I certainly hope so, but B5 Fan that I am, I'm still probably going to wait until the dollar theatres for this one.

    Unless the previews look absolutely fan-freaking-tastic, of course. Then I'll probably get suckered in, like always. *raises a fist at the sky and shakes it* I swore after Legend of the Rangers, never again. Damn you!
    • by Rollie Hawk (831376) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:20AM (#11039769) Homepage
      In fact, I think each movie was progressively worse than the next.

      That's deep...
      • yeah, I thought they got better as they went along too :)

        I think that's what he wrote - the mixed up propositions in that sentence just makes my head hurt.
    • by bl968 (190792)
      Any time you go into a movie with preconceptions and your own ideas and what is going to happen or what should happen you will be disappointed. It's like the person who goes into a movie and 15 minutes into it has guessed the ending and of course they don't enjoy the movie quite as much as someone who lets it happen in it's own pace without trying to look behind the scenes for the solution.

      Me personally I enjoyed the series and I have enjoyed the movies. I expect this one to be no exception.
  • by sarice (26064) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:07AM (#11039708)
    Oddly, the first post to this slashdot story
    was submitted 1000 years ago.
  • Summary from the article
    In "Shadows," the technology of the ancient and extinct Shadow race is being unleashed upon the galaxy by an unknown force, and Earthforce intelligence officer Diane Baker, whose brother was recently killed in a mysterious explosion, it out to find out who is behind the intergalactic conspiracy.

    Sounds more like Legend of the Rangers than the Telepath War, which is what some of us figured any feature film would be about. Too bad.
    • What, no Telepath War?


      Now, I'm more of a B5 fan than most people and I love the idea of the upcoming telepath war and all, but I don't think two hours of people opening their eyes real wide while giving a stern look to someone and having the other person fall over dead makes good movie watching.

  • by MagicDude (727944) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:11AM (#11039727)
    I'm not sure I'm going to want to see it when it comes out. Not because I don't like B5, but I don't get what's going on. I've tried several times to get into B5, but I keep finding myself not understanding what was going on. If I watch an episode in the middle of season 3, I don't get half the references to things that have happened already, so I don't understand what's being done in that episode. I have tried to watch it from the beginning when Sci-fi loops around and starts showing it from season 1 episode 1, but my schedule isn't such that I can set aside that same bit of time every day to watch it, so I invariably end up missing episodes. Being a poor student, I can't afford a TIVO, and I'm not going to buy a VCR just for this (and I'd probably forget to set it sooner or later anyway). Thus I'm continually left out of a series I really want to get into. So when this movie comes out, if I haven't seen B5 through, I don't know if I'd want to go to see this movie if I don't think I'd be able to get what they're talking about in the movie.
    • by Macrat (638047) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:35AM (#11039833)
      You're the reason the networks have to dumb down programming.
    • Yeah that was always one of the marks against it, in terms of mass consumption. I rather liked that as opposed to STNG, things actually lasted more than one episode. Like somethin bad would happen to a character, but would be better by next episode.

      Funnily enough in Amazing Spider-Man when it was being written by J. Michael Straczynski there was a scene where two Nuclear Something or Other Facility Guards hold a (in comic books) lengthy discussion over this point. I forget the exact wording, but one guar
      • Wait, are you saying that jms wrote "Amazing Spiderman" for a time, and put plugs in for "Babylon 5"? That seems kinda... crass.

        --grendel drago
      • I rather liked that as opposed to STNG, things actually lasted more than one episode. Like somethin bad would happen to a character, but would be better by next episode.

        OMG, yeah. I bought series 4 of ST:TNG, and whilst it was definitely worth the money in terms of entertainment, the formulaic nature of the episodes *really* starts to grate if you watch them in a relatively short period of time.

        They *always* wrap things up neatly in the last 6-7 minutes, about half the time in a contrived ST "pseudo-s
    • Being a poor student, I can't afford a TIVO, and I'm not going to buy a VCR just for this (and I'd probably forget to set it sooner or later anyway)

      You can get a VCR for $10 or less at a garage sale. Get a T-160 tape, put it on EP. Set a timer. If you start to get busy with school, buy antother tape for $3.

      If this is too much effort, you don't want to see it that badly.
    • by Siener (139990) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @03:45AM (#11040091) Homepage
      Not because I don't like B5, but I don't get what's going on. I've tried several times to get into B5, but I keep finding myself not understanding what was going on. If I watch an episode in the middle of season 3, I don't get half the references to things that have happened already, so I don't understand what's being done in that episode.

      This is the reason why the networks never really liked B5, but it's also the thing that makes B5 way cooler than any other tv series. Instead of the old "problem of the week" format of most tv series, B5 has a five year coherent story line.

      I love the feeling when in (say) series 4 they reference something that happened way back in series 1. Totally mind blowing: "No way ... that was planned that three years ahead!"

      My wife hates most sf, end even she became an addict after I showed her the dvds.

      PS If you can't afford the dvds, maybe try something like netflix
      • by Max von H. (19283) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @05:09AM (#11040329) Homepage
        I love the feeling when in (say) series 4 they reference something that happened way back in series 1. Totally mind blowing: "No way ... that was planned that three years ahead!"

        All five seasons of B5 were written before the shooting of the pilot episode. It allowed much deeper storylines and made B5 the most consistent sf serie ever, for it wasn't written to please advertisers or even modified to influence ratings. There lies the secret of a good series.
        • No, the overall story arc was written when JMS pitched the idea at the start, but each season was written as the season was being filmed - at one point JMS was throwing out scripts 48 hours before filming started, rewriting them in 24 hours.
        • All 5 Seasons (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thegameiam (671961)
          >>All five seasons of B5 were written before the shooting of the pilot episode.

          Not quite - what there was was a consistent, single story arc which had FAR more detail than a typical series. The episodes were written on a season-by-season basis. JMS wrote the entirety of season 3 himself, but had help for some of the episodes in other seasons.

          I agree that this approach allowed a much richer story to develop, and made it the best SF TV series we've seen yet.

          [ flamebait]That said, the 1st and 5th se
        • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @08:40AM (#11040973)

          As others have pointed out, the episodes were written a season at a time. This partly explains why season 5 was only OK compared to the brilliant seasons 3 and 4: they suspected that they might not be able to make it, so the final episode (ultimately shown as the final ep of season 5 when it did go ahead) was actually filmed at the end of season 4, and a lot of the details seem to have been moved forward a series to guarantee that they were there. Series 5 didn't fit in as well as the others, because most of it was expendable to the main story arc.

          Personally, I would rather they hadn't made that final episode anyway, nor the official final episode to season 4 (the one jumping into the future more and more). IMHO, they should either have done season 5 properly, or have finished everything with Sheridan and Delenn on the ship on the way back to B5, with a stronger voice-over about space being ours to look after now. Alas, the TV execs apparently didn't leave this as an option they could plan for in advance.

          The looking into the future episodes, particularly those so far ahead that all my favourite characters are long-dead and the universe has moved on, always diminished the scale of the main series to me, rather than showing how worthwhile it had all been as I suspect JMS intended. Far better to set another series slightly after the original -- as Crusade would have been, and the film apparently will be -- where you've got the grand framework of the main series as a backdrop, making a difference.

          Oh, and the fates of Marcus and Lennier -- the only two truly honourable characters in the whole series -- were very sad, too. Their destinies may have been perfect for the reality of the series, but if we can save the whole universe, couldn't they at least have found room for two characters in five whole series to have the happy endings they deserved?

      • ...although it was supposed to.

        The fact is that news came through the series was gonna be cancelled while they were filming the early stories of season 4. So, in a truly Herculean effort, JMS rewrote the last *two* seasons on the fly, compressing them down into one season.
        The Shadow War was supposed to take up the whole of S4 and the Earth Liberation War was supposed to be the main arc of season 5.
        Then Sod's Law kicks into play and TNT announced they'd pick up the fifth season of B5 as the last episodes o
    • so what you're saying is that even though B5 is aired more or less continually in a loop on one or more channels, and a VCR can be had for 20 bucks anywhere, you still cant force yourself to watch it? I guess you dont want to see it very badly then (which is ok, but dont whine about not being able to)... and also: that type of attitude is the reason we only get crap on tv these days (and not just sci-fi crap)
    • Ask for a Netflix subscription for Christmas.
    • In the beginning, I had my first taste of Babylon 5 while I was traveling. My own cable service wasn't showing B5 at the time, so I figured I'd check it out. It seemed bad to the extreme--a bunch of humans and aliens on a space station, with bad lighting and cheesy makeup. It felt like DS9 done on a really cheap budget. If you know the series, it was the last half of the Soul Hunter episode--definitely not the best intro for a newbie.

      My second encounter with B5 was...let's say it was less negative. It wa
  • Catch Up (Score:2, Insightful)

    I was never into B5. It was cool and all, but the plots were so interwoven it never grabed me. (Maybe if I saw it from day one things would be diffrent) Aneway, will I need to do any serous catchup before this movie makes sence. BTW, the SCI-FI Icon is a guy from the original Star Trek. w00t! Sory, trekey moment has passed.
    • I saw a few episodes here in Hong Kong when it was on TV, got into it about the third series. They never showed the 5th season. A few months ago I found the DVDs on sale in China, bought 5 box sets, the entire series, at about $12/box. Now I'm working my way through them at one episode every day or two. One nice thing is that I can check out the Lurker's Guide [midwinter.com] after watching each episode to see commentary, and especially JMS's responses, on various things. As far as media SF goes, it's pretty cool, way bett
  • Re:Galen (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ran93r (671906)
    Crusade did have a Galen, played by british actor Peter Woodward, son of the other british actor Edward (affectionately known as edwoodwoodwoodwood). Same guy? Most probably although crusade was pretty much on a par with the dire made-for-tv movies.
    • I hope Peter Woodward does play Galen. He was good in the role, and it would jar to see somebody else in it. One of the best episodes of Crusade was the one his father was in.
  • by Random Chaos (831686) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:19AM (#11039766)
    Well, this is news that is long awaited. It looks like this may be a follow-on to the Crusade spin-off series since it is dealing with leftover Shadow technology. Plus Galen, being present in Crusade, draws a link between those two. There have been rumors that Lando might show up in it...and where he goes G'Kar goes too. JMS also made some comments a while back about having to rewrite the script some after Richard Biggs died (Dr. Franklin) so clearly it looks like some B5 crew from the original show might show up beyond the ambassadors.

    Can't wait to hear more news.

    *Waiting for JMS to release some info directly still
    • Holy crap, this is the first time I heard Richard Biggs died. I met him at a convention in 2002 I think, shook his hand, and then he ran off. I always thought I'd have another chance to grab an autograph or something...

      Truly the loss of a great, if relatively unknown actor...
      • Passed away in May this year, according to IMDB:
        http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0081863/

        At least he won't be forgotten.
      • Truly the loss of a great, if relatively unknown actor...

        I agree completely. You can actually catch him one last time in one of the new "Dawn of the Dead"'s bonus features. He played a news anchor who was broadcasting live during the crisis. The scene also featured an audio appearance by another B5 alumni, appropriately cast as the president.

        That said, I have high hopes for this movie. I've always loved JMS's B5 universe, and it was only after the property was aquired by Turner that it's quality took a n
    • There have been rumors that Lando might show up in it...and where he goes G'Kar goes too.
      Londo (Mollari) was in Babylon 5, Lando (Calrissian) was in Star Wars films. Probably a typo, but anyway. (Surprised I remember this, actually--I forgot all about Star Wars after seeing Babylon 5.)
  • by phaln (579585) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @02:48AM (#11039884) Homepage
    Most. Underrated. Series. Ever.
  • OMG! OMG! (Score:2, Informative)

    by -noefordeg- (697342)
    -My first thought when reading this :)

    I think Babylon 5 is without a doubt the best sci-fi series I've seen. And the last time I watched it through, I had located some of the best sites (IMO) on the net with references/story/background/everything for each B5 episode and read everything before watching an episode.
    Especially reading the Lurker's Episode Guide added a lot to the series.

    Lurker's Guide. [midwinter.com]
    Timeline from Babylon 5 History Page [chronology.org]
    • Obsessed? Me? No, I just have a healthy understanding of the importance of...
    • I entirely agree. Remember the episode where Sheridan nukes the city on Za'Hadum? Every time I watch it it still makes my hair stand on end. Such a masterful piece of drama, ratcheting up the tension, putting Sheridan in a seemingly impossibly bad situation, pulling the greatest climactic moment in TV Sci-Fi history, and then leaving the ending hanging on a limb as you try to figure out if Sheridan is dead or alive. God I've got to borrow the season 4 DVDs from my mate again!
  • by QuantumFTL (197300) * <justin.wickNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 09, 2004 @03:23AM (#11040027)
    This spring my boss at the Jet Propulsion Lab invited J. Michael Straczynski out for a tour of the place... I was very lucky to spend an afternoon with him and his wife (shameless pic! [cornell.edu]). I somehow managed to stave off most of the B5 references that came to me as we were showing him around (but alas I still came off as the fanboy I am).

    I asked him what he thought about the upcoming movie project, whether he thought it would be good or not. He replied, "It's going to be shit." After a moment I caught the sarcasm and I realized that he would not be doing this movie if he didn't have a great story to tell.

    Judging from the stories he has already told, I think it's going to be well worth the wait.

    Cheers,
    Justin Wick
    • I asked him what he thought about the upcoming movie project, whether he thought it would be good or not.

      You may have thought it was a great insightful question. In fact, it was highly insullting. How can you ask an artist if he thinks his next project is going to be good or not? That's as if you're telling him, "Is it going to be better than the shit you normally churn out?". Think about it.
    • Wow. He's taller than I thought he'd be. When I saw his cameo at the end of "Sleeping in Light", he seemed kinda little. And I really thought I was going to cry at the end of that. I almost did. But not quite. Oh well.

      --grendel drago
  • Oh darn... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Vulcann (752521)
    For a minute I read that as "BabylonX" Movie starts filming...

    No such luck ;).
  • by Kaimelar (121741) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @03:51AM (#11040109) Homepage
    While you're waiting for the movie, check out the fan-created flight sim, complete with a detailed story, realistic physics, and great ship models:

    http://ifh.firstones.com/ [firstones.com]

    Enjoy!
  • If it doesn't have Claudia Christian, I'm not gonna see it.
    • Ivanova, AND a Warlock class Earth ship, one in command of the other. Thats what will make a great movie.

      I've never seen her in command of that much firepower before. Thought a few screws fell loose when she fought Clark's "elite forces"?

      See what happens when she commands a pair of GOD cannons, a wad of railguns, two huge missile banks, and I forget what else...
  • As long as someone else writes the dialog
  • by Mictian (541036) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @05:55AM (#11040475) Homepage
    I'm a huge old school fan of Babylon 5. Old school in the sense that I started watching when it was in it's late first season / early second season, was back in 1994/1995 (or thereabouts). I'm sure there are plenty of more "seasoned" folks who started with the initial broadcast of the first episode.

    As far as the popularity or "perceived quality" of Babylon 5's seasons go, I think a lot of fans (dare I say most?) would agree that it increased from season one through season three, each successive season being better than the previous.

    To me personally this was the case all the way until the end of season four. But I realize not everyone prefers season four over season three. Many seem to like the grander scale of the Shadow War over the civil war.

    The good thing about season four was that there were hardly any "filler" or non-arc episodes. I assume everyone knows the reason for this so I won't go into it any further (in short: the series was in danger of cancellation after season 4). This is also, at least in my mind, the root cause of the problem with season five.

    JMS, having the initially well laid out and pre-planned story arc completed by the end of season four, was suddenly faced with the fact that the show was renewed for season five (thanks to TNT picking it up from Warner) and he had a very limited timeframe to come up with scripts and some sort of a mini story arc for the last season.

    Add the very last minute leaving of Claudia Christian from the show (which forces JMS to toss out Ivanova's character and come up with a replacement) and you have a recipe if not for disaster, then at least for a "not so great" season. Under the circumstances I would say JMS did a decent job (I remember reading on the usenet B5 newsgroups that 4 or 5 hours a night was pretty much a good night's sleep for him at the time).

    Now don't get me wrong, I hated (and still do) the whole Byron / Tragedy of telepaths subplot. A lot. I don't know anyone among my friends who likes it (and they're pretty much all big fans of B5). Imho the only good part about it is that the annoying teeps get what's coming to them. But the whole thing takes up only about eight episodes from the start of the season (which some will argue is 8 episodes too many). That still leaves almost two thirds to take care of the pretty decent mini arc dealing with the shadow tech and the Drakh's plot concerning Londo and the Centauri.

    I think season five overall is a bit underrated. It has a host of good episodes (including one of my favourites, The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father) and the latter part of the season is pretty good with a nice build up to the Fall of Centauri Prime. Also, at this point in the series the "weight of history" (for lack of a better term) of the character's and their actions gives a lot of the scenes and drama some extra gravitas, which I like.

    With this rather long and boring rambling I've hopefully arrived somewhere near my actual point. Which is that Babylon 5's main strength in my view is the pre- planned, conceived and written story arc that tells a great story and a bunch of smaller stories intertwined over a (long) period of 110 episodes. It allowes for such wonderful foreshadowing that carefully builds up to the dramatic and climactic events. This is very hard to replicate in the time constraints of a motion picture.

    And this is the reason I believe the four TV-movies haven't been the best B5 can offer (although I personally like In the Beginning a lot). Also this fundamental issue or problem probably can't simply be undone with a larger budget (which the big screen adaptation will likely have compared to the TV-movies).

    So with a somewhat spotty track record of B5 (TV) movies so far and the aforementioned problem my expectations are moderate at best. Having said that, I'll probably be in line to get a ticket to the premiere..

    Btw, in case you already haven't done so, remember to check out The Lurker's Guide's page for The Memory of Shadows @ http://
  • by smacktits (737334) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @07:36AM (#11040760)
    ...nothing will ever surpass the greatness that was Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
  • Bomb (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ralphclark (11346) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @08:39AM (#11040968) Journal
    I loved Babylon 5 unreasonably, but I'm still convinced this movie will bomb because the things that made the series great are *gone*.

    Another thing: other posts analyze why the series peaked at season three. I always wondered about that. The answer, it appears, is that Straczinsky was screwed around by Warner Bros and could never be sure if the series would continue as planned or be axed early. Way to go, Warner, there's nothing quite like shitting on your own doorstep is there? How ironic that the very worst thing that can happen to TV, is TV executives.

    I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since the very same dynamic operates in the movie industry. Just look at Highlander II (oops, sorry for reminding you...).
  • by chiph (523845) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @10:51AM (#11041919)
    Ambasador Kosh comes out of the closet
  • by Lord Satri (609291) <alexandreleroux@NospaM.gmail.com> on Thursday December 09, 2004 @11:10AM (#11042089) Homepage Journal
    These words are probably useless, too many comments already (/. suffering from its own success). Anyway, there goes some links I have not seen yet in the threads.

    The Lurker's Guide (already in the threads) [midwinter.com]

    B5 quotes [leroux.net]

    More quotes [midwinter.com]

    I Found Her - Free great B5 game (worthed a look) [firstones.com]

    Probably much more interesting links. I *really* liked B5. It helped me see things differently and actively participated in my "growing up". I published a Babylon 5 book of quotes if you're interested. Like many others, I fear a movie won't be good enough. One of the strengths of B5 was telling a story over countless episodes, not only 2 hours. Time will say.

    "We create the future, with our words, our deeds and with our beliefs"
    - Lady Ladira, B5: "Signs and Portents"

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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