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(Engadget)   Classic 90s sci-fi television series about a space station caught in the middle of a devastating war has been remastered in HD   (engadget.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD, Warner Bros., Film, Remaster, perfect version of the show, Time Warner, visual quality  
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3233 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 26 Jan 2021 at 9:50 AM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-26 10:44:44 AM  
Honestly, the only thing they really needed to do was fix the effects.  There are some good performances in there.  No need for a remake/reboot.

Same with The Last Starfighter.
 
2021-01-26 10:45:23 AM  

bostonguy: GardenWeasel: Season 5 is proof that there is nothing that studio execs can't f*ck up

Once you get past the Byron arc, it's actually not that bad. It's not as good as seasons two through four, but it's not bad.


In the original vision, it would have been a much stronger, with the Between the Darkness and the Light/Endgame/Rising Star story arc taking the place of the Byron arc. The first half of the season as aired was really just treading water until the Fall of Centauri Prime storyline kicked in.
 
2021-01-26 10:47:08 AM  

GardenWeasel: bostonguy: GardenWeasel: Season 5 is proof that there is nothing that studio execs can't f*ck up

Once you get past the Byron arc, it's actually not that bad. It's not as good as seasons two through four, but it's not bad.

My complaints were more to do with the cast changes and dumping Claudia.


Yeah, casting Scoggins wasn't a smart move. The woman might be easy on the eyes but she couldn't pull off commander of a Mini Cooper never mind a space station.
 
2021-01-26 10:47:20 AM  

Mad_Radhu: optikeye: UNC_Samurai: That couldn't be helped, PTEN fell apart before they could finish the series

Ahh..Nope. JMS said from the get go on the usenet groups that he had a vision of ending at season 4 (or  3?) and that would be it. Right at the closure of 'the rock called out' and head on spike.
Then PTEN pulled up a truck of money and he said "well fark it...we can change our minds"

Wheee did you hear that? JMS always had a 5 year plan for the show. Season 4 was originally going to have more of the Earth Civil war, ending with the cliffhanger of Sheridan being captured and tortured.

When PTEN went under, the ending of the Earth Civil War was collapsed into that season and they even shot the series finale as the last episode of season 4. When TNT gave them a chance to do Season 5, they shot a replacement season finale and added the telepath storyline and a few extra filler episodes to pad out season 5 (although we did get a Neil Gaiman episode as part of the filler), which was originally going to cover the ending of the Earth Civil War, the founding of the Interstellar Alliance, and Fall of Centauri Prime.


Yeah, it was always intended as a 5 year run.

Newsarama: JMS, you've called Babylon 5 a "novel made for television".  What made you want to tell the story on television, at a time when the serial format was the norm? And what kind of push back did you receive initially?

J. Michael Straczynski: The idea of saying "This is gonna go five years, and we're done" and "It's gonna have the structure of a novel," and that we're building toward a conclusion really had never been done.

But I've always been kind of a contrarian, so when someone tells me, "This hasn't been done" or "This can't be done," my first instinct is to go off and do the d*** thing.
 
2021-01-26 10:52:19 AM  
Cool. I don't remember much from this series, only that I think it was shown late at night. Currently re-watching Farscape....didn't remember much of that series as well. Some episodes are like acid trips:

denofgeek.comView Full Size
 
2021-01-26 11:09:11 AM  

gilgigamesh: kbronsito: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

I saw it for the first time a few years ago. The production is dated. Even by 90s standard it was low budget. But the story was decent and there are a few good acting performances that made it worthwhile.

I think that's probably what threw me off originally. I'm pretty sure I tried watching an episode or two, and it just never clicked despite the fact that I'm a huge scifi fan.

Oddly enough I'm much more forgiving now of bad fx, as long as the story's decent.


The thing is the effects were perfectly serviceable for when it was made, rather imaginative, and really showed an era in which the special effects were still there to serve the story, as opposed to distract from a bad story or even a non-existent one. We now live in an era where the effects budget takes up two-thirds of a film's production and they often spend 2 years on them, but seem to knock the script out on the weekend and never look back.
 
2021-01-26 11:11:05 AM  

Mad_Radhu: although we did get a Neil Gaiman episode as part of the filler


An episode which might be the worst of the series, which isn't precisely Gaiman's fault- it's just a complete tonal shift from the rest of the show, but not in an interesting way, and plus it's saddled with celebrity guest stars doing a weird riff on their real-world personas. It's a weird historical curiosity.

gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?


So, the biggest hill to climb is the production value. It's lit and shot like a soap opera. The sets look cheap. The main cast is game for doing a lot of heavy lifting, but minor guest roles tend to go to whoever was on the lot that day, so you'll get some really really terrible line reads from minor characters. Weirdly, I'd actually say the CGI holds up better than most people say- they understood the limits of the tech they were working with, and designed to it. It's a lot of recycled FX shots, sure, but you have to keep in mind it was a weekly series, not intended to be binged.

But it's a fun story with interesting characters.
 
2021-01-26 11:14:29 AM  

t3knomanser: Mad_Radhu: although we did get a Neil Gaiman episode as part of the filler

An episode which might be the worst of the series, which isn't precisely Gaiman's fault- it's just a complete tonal shift from the rest of the show, but not in an interesting way, and plus it's saddled with celebrity guest stars doing a weird riff on their real-world personas. It's a weird historical curiosity.



Zooty zoot zoot!
 
2021-01-26 11:14:52 AM  
Awww I was kind of hoping the news was about Space: Above & Beyond...
 
2021-01-26 11:15:29 AM  

Nerfballhead: Awww I was kind of hoping the news was about Space: Above & Beyond...


Earth 2
 
2021-01-26 11:15:58 AM  

Bslim: I thought the version I watched on Prime back in 2019 was a remaster.


And does this mean that Amazon gave up the rights to HBO?  I'd prefer if that's the case, since I try to not do any business with Amazon anymore...
 
2021-01-26 11:17:00 AM  
I still have the entire series on regular DVD.. and threw out the old VHS recording I'd made off the air.  I haven't had much desire to rewatch in a while, because I remember everything so well still.

When I can still rattle off early season episode names in order, yeah, I invested a lot of time and energy in the show back in the day.
 
2021-01-26 11:18:29 AM  
En-til-zha Valen.  We live for the One, we die for the One.
 
2021-01-26 11:21:34 AM  

Tarl3k: Bslim: I thought the version I watched on Prime back in 2019 was a remaster.

And does this mean that Amazon gave up the rights to HBO?  I'd prefer if that's the case, since I try to not do any business with Amazon anymore...


Then you miss The Expanse.
 
2021-01-26 11:21:49 AM  

gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?


Yes.

A good story overall, still stands up well a quarter-century later.

The special effects are just a tad dated, but they were done on a shoestring budget in the 90's so it's understandable, it's amazing they could do that back then (even if any random home computer could make better graphics now).

There's a reason we've been using the "Babylon 5 is NOT an instruction manual" meme. . .some parts, especially the whole plot arc with President Clark and a fascist takeover of EarthGov seemed rather prescient.
 
2021-01-26 11:26:23 AM  

gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?


I've watched it more than a few times :\

That said, Season 1 is not the same as Seasons 2-4, and Season 5 is not the same as either of those.

I'd guess that season 1 could be a bit of a slog for a newcomer.
 
2021-01-26 11:29:59 AM  

optikeye: UNC_Samurai: That couldn't be helped, PTEN fell apart before they could finish the series

Ahh..Nope. JMS said from the get go on the usenet groups that he had a vision of ending at season 4 (or  3?) and that would be it. Right at the closure of 'the rock called out' and head on spike.
Then PTEN pulled up a truck of money and he said "well fark it...we can change our minds"


Not exactly.

PTEN collapsed as they were starting to make Season 4, and they wouldn't have funding to make anything beyond Season 4.  JMS condensed it down so that if that was it, the storyline would be wrapped up.  The actual finale was shot during Season 4, for example.

Towards the end, TNT came along, bought the show, and funded a Season 5.  The thing is, he'd wrapped the story up.  So, he took some various subplots and filler plots and stand-alone episodes he'd planned for Season 5 and those became Season 5, which is why it feels more disconnected.

The Telepath Colony plot arc?  That was supposed to just be one or two episodes, for example.

Then TNT commissioned Crusade, the spin-off series.  The problem is, as JMS would later describe it, is that after they committed to the show, their market research indicated that Babylon 5 was pulling in the "wrong" kind of viewer: that people who tuned in to watch Babylon 5 weren't too interested in the rest of the stuff on TNT and nobody was sticking around after watching B5 to watch other things on TNT.  So, they wanted to cancel the show, but they had a contract, so they kept making increasingly absurd and unrealistic content demands during production, knowing that either JMS would comply (and the show would be awful drek that would get lousy ratings and give them an excuse to cancel the show), or he'd keep refusing to comply, giving them a reason to cancel the show by saying the producer of the show was breaking network mandates.  So, Crusade was cancelled halfway into first season.
 
2021-01-26 11:31:14 AM  

Nerfballhead: Awww I was kind of hoping the news was about Space: Above & Beyond...


That one is also in my rewatch cycle. Great pilot. That series had potential.
 
2021-01-26 11:32:11 AM  

Relatively Obscure: I'd guess that season 1 could be a bit of a slog for a newcomer.


Honestly, I started a rewatch awhile back (got sidetracked for reasons), and I was actually surprised at how much work S1 does to get the story moving. It's definitely more "episode of the week" than later seasons, but there's an important arc advance in every episode. The pilot movie is a bit rougher to watch- G'Kar and Londo aren't figured out as characters quite yet.
 
2021-01-26 11:39:32 AM  

Mad_Radhu: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/OKL_I4pJ​s84]


Still my favorite line in the series:

"Captain, i think you're about to go where every man has gone before."
 
2021-01-26 11:43:25 AM  

bostonguy: Mad_Radhu: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/OKL_I4pJ​s84]

Still my favorite line in the series:

"Captain, i think you're about to go where every man has gone before."


Everyone, not every man.
 
2021-01-26 11:48:42 AM  
Couldnt someone take The Last Starfighter and redo all of the CGI.  Leave all the acting scenes untouched, just replace every single CGI shot?
 
2021-01-26 11:50:24 AM  

Tarl3k: Bslim: I thought the version I watched on Prime back in 2019 was a remaster.

And does this mean that Amazon gave up the rights to HBO?  I'd prefer if that's the case, since I try to not do any business with Amazon anymore...


Babylon 5 was a Warner Brothers production, so the rights were always retained by Warnermedia, just sold off to Netflix, Go90, and then Amazon for streaming before Warnermedia had a proper streaming service to offer. Now that HBO Max is a thing, I'm expecting it to be Babylon 5'a forever home.
 
2021-01-26 11:51:50 AM  

Alphax: I still have the entire series on regular DVD.. and threw out the old VHS recording I'd made off the air.  I haven't had much desire to rewatch in a while, because I remember everything so well still.

When I can still rattle off early season episode names in order, yeah, I invested a lot of time and energy in the show back in the day.


IIRC, there was a B5 message board drinking game where one of the qualifiers was "If they awkwardly shoehorn the title into the dialogue, finish your drink."

/distinctly remembered that the week "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place" aired
 
2021-01-26 11:54:44 AM  
I came in expecting Deep Space 9 since they already did remasters of the first Star Trek series.
 
2021-01-26 11:58:31 AM  

Relatively Obscure: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

I've watched it more than a few times :\

That said, Season 1 is not the same as Seasons 2-4, and Season 5 is not the same as either of those.

I'd guess that season 1 could be a bit of a slog for a newcomer.


Season 1 is necessary, but I'd recommend a newbie watch select episodes that set up future plot lines instead of doing the whole 20-some episodes (Midnight on the Firing Line, Mind War, And the Sky Full of Stars, Signs and Portents, The Quality of Mercy, A Voice in The Wilderness, Babylon Squared, Chrysalis).
 
2021-01-26 11:59:56 AM  

Mad_Radhu: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/OKL_I4pJ​s84?autoplay=1&widget_referrer=https%3​A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&start=0&enablejsap​i=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&​widgetid=1]

Pretty damn good, actually.


Damn, so that's Kellyanne Conway's role model.
 
2021-01-26 12:05:42 PM  

Alphax: Everyone, not every man.


You're correct -- good catch!
 
2021-01-26 12:06:46 PM  

Latinwolf: Mad_Radhu: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/OKL_I4pJ​s84?autoplay=1&widget_referrer=https%3​A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&start=0&enablejsap​i=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&​widgetid=1]

Pretty damn good, actually.

Damn, so that's Kellyanne Conway's role model.


I'm fairly sure that character never sent topless pics of her 16 year old daughter out over StellarCom.
 
2021-01-26 12:07:59 PM  

gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?


Yes.  You need to go in realizing that it is a low budget, syndicated, 90s sci-fi show.  This means that the effects and some of the acting (mostly by guest stars) is below modern standards.  There are some cheesy subplots and a few bum episodes.  Season 1 is slow, and is mostly concerned with setting up the setting and characters.  Season 2 is the rising action.  Season 3 and 4 are some of the best things ever put on TV.  Season 5 has its issues, but the last 5 episodes and the Neil Gaiman episode are pretty good, and the last episode is probably the best series finale ever.

It is worth watching as a history lesson if nothing else.  B5 was one of the first modern shows to serialize a coherent story.  Before that, you could miss an episode or even a season of a show and pretty much pick up where you left off.  Without B5, I don't think modern TV would exist in its current state.  B5 also did it better than most modern shows, with arcs for the show and characters set up before anything was even filmed.

Things to watch: Take note of where characters start and end in the show.  Character development like that is pretty rare even today.  Pay attention to small lines of dialogue. They can sometimes pay off 50 episodes later.

/Disclaimer: B5 is my favorite show of all time.
 
2021-01-26 12:09:52 PM  
Let me know when Quark is redone.  Not that little freak from DS9, I want to see someone hold up to Richard Benjamin.
 
2021-01-26 12:10:37 PM  
"Classic" and "90s" don't even belong in the same sentence

/Trust me, I was there
 
2021-01-26 12:11:10 PM  

optikeye: UNC_Samurai: That couldn't be helped, PTEN fell apart before they could finish the series

Ahh..Nope. JMS said from the get go on the usenet groups that he had a vision of ending at season 4 (or  3?) and that would be it. Right at the closure of 'the rock called out' and head on spike.
Then PTEN pulled up a truck of money and he said "well fark it...we can change our minds"


I've always heard that his original plan was to go 5 seasons, but when it looked like it was being cut short to 4 seasons, they took some scenes that were intended for season 5 and used it for a flashbacks episode in season 4 that took place in the future as well as filming a series finale.  When season 5 was green lit the finale was moved to the end of that season which is why you had actors who didn't appear in season 5 showing up in the series finale.
 
2021-01-26 12:34:20 PM  
Space 1999?
 
2021-01-26 12:35:35 PM  

Mad_Radhu: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

[YouTube video: Babylon 5 - Voices Of Authority (Restaurant Conversation)]

Pretty damn good, actually.


An attractive blonde spouting lies about the issues.  Sometimes they were too spot on.
 
2021-01-26 12:36:53 PM  

gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?


No.
 
2021-01-26 12:41:50 PM  

netizencain: Couldnt someone take The Last Starfighter and redo all of the CGI.  Leave all the acting scenes untouched, just replace every single CGI shot?


Why? I mean where do you draw the line? It's one thing to go back and clean up a few effects such as doing wire removal or cleaning up matte lines, but to go back and replace effects is both a disservice to the original film and an insult to the people who originally created them with the technology and time that was available. And if the film is a good movie just sit back and enjoy it and don't try and judge its technical qualities to something that could be done today with vastly more resources.
 
2021-01-26 12:46:27 PM  

Two16: gilgigamesh: I never watched this series. Maybe I will. Does it hold up after 20 years?

No.


I disagree seeing that there are some parallels to recent events.
 
2021-01-26 12:51:56 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-01-26 12:53:07 PM  

bostonguy: [Fark user image 750x1500]


^ Obligatory in a B5 thread.
 
2021-01-26 12:59:50 PM  

cocozilla: netizencain: Couldnt someone take The Last Starfighter and redo all of the CGI.  Leave all the acting scenes untouched, just replace every single CGI shot?

Why? I mean where do you draw the line? It's one thing to go back and clean up a few effects such as doing wire removal or cleaning up matte lines, but to go back and replace effects is both a disservice to the original film and an insult to the people who originally created them with the technology and time that was available. And if the film is a good movie just sit back and enjoy it and don't try and judge its technical qualities to something that could be done today with vastly more resources.


For the Last Starfighter, the original effects were groundbreaking, so they should probably be left as is, just like with the Tron effects.

For Babylon 5, they always intended to redo the effects in HD later on with better technology, and there is a loss of visual quality when they go to a CGI scene in the HD version, so so I think for Babylon 5 it would make sense to do a full replacement that was in the spirit of the original composition (like with the updated effects for the HD versions of Star Trek TOS).
 
2021-01-26 1:06:10 PM  
I watched the series in the 90s.
I bought the DVDs.
I bought the improved 4:3 version on Vudu.
.
.
.
And now I'm going to spring another $150 to buy the remastered versions.

/JMS went to the George Lucas school of milking your nerds
 
2021-01-26 1:07:26 PM  

Mad_Radhu: cocozilla: netizencain: Couldnt someone take The Last Starfighter and redo all of the CGI.  Leave all the acting scenes untouched, just replace every single CGI shot?

Why? I mean where do you draw the line? It's one thing to go back and clean up a few effects such as doing wire removal or cleaning up matte lines, but to go back and replace effects is both a disservice to the original film and an insult to the people who originally created them with the technology and time that was available. And if the film is a good movie just sit back and enjoy it and don't try and judge its technical qualities to something that could be done today with vastly more resources.

For the Last Starfighter, the original effects were groundbreaking, so they should probably be left as is, just like with the Tron effects.

For Babylon 5, they always intended to redo the effects in HD later on with better technology, and there is a loss of visual quality when they go to a CGI scene in the HD version, so so I think for Babylon 5 it would make sense to do a full replacement that was in the spirit of the original composition (like with the updated effects for the HD versions of Star Trek TOS).


And I have no problem with that as long as the original is also preserved. that's what they did with the original Star trek series on Blu-ray which was a wonderful idea and one that I wish they would do with the Star wars films.
 
2021-01-26 1:09:55 PM  

madgonad: JMS went to the George Lucas school of milking your nerds


Merchandising!

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-01-26 1:11:16 PM  

madgonad: JMS went to the George Lucas school of milking your nerds


So did Civilization. They want us to buy the new release, and then buy constant updates to the new release. Fah.
 
2021-01-26 1:16:59 PM  

bostonguy: madgonad: JMS went to the George Lucas school of milking your nerds

So did Civilization. They want us to buy the new release, and then buy constant updates to the new release. Fah.


Yeah, I got off the Civ-train. The series peaked at 4. Civ 5 was still pretty good, but just wasn't as groundbreaking. Six kind of took the fun away from it.
 
2021-01-26 1:18:05 PM  
That's gonna end up on my plex server pretty soon
 
2021-01-26 1:24:46 PM  

bostonguy: bostonguy: [Fark user image 750x1500]

^ Obligatory in a B5 thread.


Someone should correct the typo in Claire Danes name (Claire Dames).
 
2021-01-26 1:34:24 PM  

bostonguy: [Fark user image 750x1500]


You'll never again see a cast that large have that many white people in it.

And that's a good thing.
 
2021-01-26 1:35:04 PM  
I do not remember if B5 was native 16x9. Is this just another worthless 4x3 blown up to 16x9 conversion? Where we lose the entire top and bottom of the original screen?
 
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