Friday, August 19, 2011

BABYLON 5: And So, It ISN'T Returning After All... (UPDATED)

The classic science-fiction television series Babylon 5 that ran from 1993 to 1998 appears to be returning...in some form or another.

A recent article posted on TrekMovie.com featured comments about the series' return from former Babylon 5 actor Walter Koenig.  Speaking at the Star Trek Convention Las Vegas last week, Koenig (who played Psi Cop Alfred Bester on B5) remarked that he had dinner with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski the week before and that there was genuine hope for the series' return.  Koenig remarked:

"He told me that he is in negotiations to reacquire the rights to Babylon 5 and it looks pretty good. Now what that portends I am not entirely sure. It could be a new series or it could be a feature film, but he was quite animated about it. He seemed very excited and Warner Brothers is dealing with him in good faith. So you might see another Babylon 5 in the not too distant future."

Babylon 5 last surfaced in 2007 with a low-budget direct-to-DVD called Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, which was originally planned as an anthology series featuring a rotating cast of Babylon 5 characters.  Future DVDs were initially put on hold due to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, but Straczynski's reluctance to continue with sub-par productions resulted in the project being abandoned, although Straczynski did comment in 2008 that he would return only if Warner Brothers wanted to do a big-budget movie release.

So is a feature film in the works?  Or a rebooted, reimagined television series similar to the Sci-Fi channel's Battlestar Galactica?  The idea of new Babylon 5 series with modern CGI special effects and alien makeup techniques is definitely filled with possibilities, and with the actors who played G'Kar, Dr. Stephen Franklin and Zack Allan sadly no longer with us, the idea of a movie reuniting the original cast seems less likely.  Personally, I'd love to see a big budget adaptation of Peter David's Babylon 5: Legions of Fire paperback trilogy, which chronicled the events of Londo Mollari's term as Emperor of Centauri Prime and resolved the frustrating dangling plot thread from the TV episode "Objects at Rest" of John Sheridan and Delenn's son David receiving a Drakh Keeper on his 16th birthday.

** UPDATE AS OF 8/23/11 **

Thanks to the Anonymous comment below, I did some checking and it now seems that Straczynski has shot down the notion of Babylon 5's return.  According to Digital Spy, Straczynski told Spinoff Online, "Walter misspoke. I am not in negotiations with [Warner Bros.] to develop more Babylon 5."


It's seems a bit odd, though, that Koenig claimed Straczynski was "quite animated" about these supposed negotiations while Straczynski says he's not engaged in any negotiations.  Two very different takes on the situation there.  So were there negotiations with Warner Brothers that fell through or did Walter Koenig completely misunderstand the dinner conversation he had with J. Michael Straczynski?

1 comment:

  1. J. Michael Straczynski this past weekend totally denied Koenig's claims, and stated that he was not in talks with Warner bros. and that B5 would not be returning. Much to the chagrin of me and many other fans!