Discussion in 'Community' started by The2ndQuest, Jan 3, 2006.
What is? The development of this new series? Or the telling of the Telepath War?
More details from the B5 Books mailing list from JMS:
Last year, the studio offered a full season of a new and rebooted B5 as part of a new distribution venue they were creating (us and several other shows from the same studio were part of the same deal). We'd have a full season, a big budget, and total creative control. The negotiations (not between us but between the participants of the venue) dragged on for over a year, we were told repeatedly this is going to happen, but finally, the participants couldn't make the math work. So we and the other three shows that they were hoping to put out there got set aside.
At this point, I've told the studio that if this isn't going to move ahead, there's something else they need to consider and there's a very informal negotiation going on now in that regard. We'll see where it goes from there.
But again, B5 was never created to be a Deep Space Franchise, we wanted to do our 5 years and get out clean. That was my intent going into this, and if that's where this ends up, I'm happy to stick with that.
On FB, he also added that any reboot would include as many of the original cast members as possible (which suggests to me that it wouldn't be a total reboot but perhaps something more along the lines of the Doctor Who relaunch?).
Posted on Patricia Tallman's and JMS's FB pages, from a B5 dinner:
Maybe he is planning something along the lines of Crusade, and plans to use the B5 cast to establish a connection to Babylon 5, while also establishing distinct cast of new characters.
I never understood the logic of blowing up the station in the finale.
"Hazard to navigation"? Really? Having a fully-functional space station at the crossroads of several commercial routes? Or an emergency supply depot? Or something?
Sure, you wouldn't need it to house 250,000 people, but even a skeleton crew of 1000 or so to run it should be viable and even more self-supporting.
Thematically, yes, it went with the whole cycle-of-life&death, symbolism and so forth.
But just logically within the show it didn't work for me.
As for blowing up B5 at the end, on the lurker guide I think they talked to JMS about that a bit, if I'm remembering correctly. The station was somewhat abandoned since apparently trade routes had changed or moved on or something, and no need for it as a diplomatic station anymore with the Interstellar Alliance. I think pirates were also mentioned, in that just leaving it there abandoned would leave it a target for pirates, and it would cost too much to maintain. Also leaving it to eventually crash onto Epsilon III wouldn't be that nice to Drall (or whatever his name was). Or if left drifting it might hit the jump gate or something like that, though I'm probably messing up some of the details.
And Babylon 5 was always somewhat just scraping by. Heh, I remember long ago reading through some of the extra material which said that the first three Babylon stations fell apart due to various problems, and then they went all-out with Babylon 4 and... yeah, that was a total loss for the Earth Alliance, although it worked out great for the history of the galaxy. And then after that with B5 they really went for the low-budget kind of station, with a lot of people paying rent. Although speaking of Tallman, I always felt sorry when Lyta was booted out of her old quarters. She played such a major role in saving the day, and they can't even let her keep that apartment after the Vorlon payments ran out?
Not sure how I feel about a reboot, but oh well, more B5 is usually pretty good. I still wish they would tie up the Crusade Drakh-plague loose end. And if they do use old cast members, I hope they get something together before they lose many more. Most of them aren't that ancient (not like the TOS cast), but I know several have died off already.
Although if B5 just ended, at least the five seasons can just stand as a testament to what a great series it was. At least until they attempt a Blu-ray release someday (TNG is in progress, and I think Farscape is coming). Not sure Blu-ray would do anything, but they'll probably try it someday anyway.
Yeah, B5 was a cost-saver, which was why it was partially bankrolled by the Minbari.
It seems like B5 just couldn't be afforded anymore without a useful function or significant traffic- you gotta figure maintenance costs would have only increased over the decades as the station aged and older equipment replacements parts became more expensive or harder to find.
I've read that it will never happen. Supposedly the effects companies did the CG model work have both gone out of business and the files containing the digital models have been lost. As a result it would be necessary to re-animate all the CG effects, and there are a lot them, and that it would simply be too expensive, which is a shame, I would love to see some of those battles with photo-real digital effects.
I suspect they will do an HD reconstruction one day- especially since the series was shot in widesreen, it'd fit HD better without having to crop anything.
They'd have to redo the FX (though this would have the added benefit of allowing them to uncrop any live/CGI shots since those couldn't be made widescreen without cropping due to the lack of source files), but I think they could do that within a budget.
Best case scenario, they end up looking good for modern standards, worse case scenario, they use cheaper software/techniques to recreate something either closer to the original work or an upgrade thats somewhere inbetween.
Even if they threw in 1 million for every episode on average, that's 110 million + maybe another 10 million for the movies and another 13 if they do Crusade. So, let's just round down to 130 million as a max figure. Once you add up the costs of a full set of seasons/movies, WB would probably make at least $300 profit off of every set at a minimum (though probably more, given the higher price point for BD).
So, they'd have to sell, I think, less than half a million sets to break even, and the DVD sets did way more than that.
I think it more likely that they would do the work if a new series started. That way they'd be building the models anyway, so then working them in wouldn't be so expensive to redo the old eps--they could spread the cost with the new and the old.
That would seem to be the most logical method- but, by that measure, they've already recreated almost all the recurring models from the series for The Lost Tales, in modern detail. I think only Shadow and Vorlon ships are unrepresented.
It would just be a matter of sharing the rendering resources/budget at this point.
There's a new B5 Books series starting, similar in function to the Crusade: Behind the Scenes book in that it collects period interviews of cast and crew from The Gathering through The Lost Tales- though this series will go step further and include CD's with audio recordings and the books will be autogrpahed by a B5 cast member (Peter Jurasik signed Vol 1, Boxleitner will be doing Vol 2, Claudia Vol 3, Mira Vol 4 and Vols 5 & 6 will be announced once they're done signing). They'll also include a special note from that cast member to fans as well a postcard and bookmark with a character quote selected by the cast member.
There's an unboxing video for Vol 1 featuring Claudia as well.
Even more interesting is a note about the stalled release of the other 3 "What the Hell Happened?" Crusade books:
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?"
Please forgive this non-answer, but it's the truth: we can't commit to a specific release date for the balance of the HELL series for reasons that will be clear when the rest of that series is released.
Something brewing on the Crusade front, perhaps?
According to one friend who was at a con with Mira Furlan: Do NOT ask her about the number of cast members who have since died. The Actor who played Zathrus was a close friend. Seems he died in a motor cycle accident not long before the con, and she was... upset. Kinda ruined the mood for the rest of the session.
J. Michael Straczynski just announced on Facebook that Michael O'Hare passed away today. He had a heart attack this past Sunday. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-J-Michael-Straczynski/139652459402959?fref=ts
Horrible, saddening news.
Very sad news- he was a better actor than some gave him credit for, even if it might take a few episodes to adjust to his style. Another big loss to B5 (even if his future participation in the franchise was extremely unlikely).
Indeed. Farwell Sinclair/Valyn
Last I checked, Valyn is still alive.
Yes, Netter Digital and Foundation Imaging have gone bye bye, either through mergers, acquisitions or shuttering.
Damn, Michael O'Hare RIP.
The show from S1 to S2 when Boxleitner came onboard, I almost reagrded as two different looks at the same story. Sinclair was deadpan, Sheridan passionate.
They both had their strengths.
I had planned to watch some Amy/Rory to gear up for tomorrow's sure to be heartbreaking Doctor Who episode. Now I find myself looking through B5 clips.
RIP Michael O'Hare/Sinclair
"Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are.
One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
Such sad news indeed.
JMS jokingly tempts fate in this FB post:
I can only assume from all this that someone in the afterlife has begun pre-production on a Babylon 5 movie. I wonder who's writing the script.