Television reboots and revivals are all the rage mostly because the entertainment industry prefers name recognition over original ideas. But there are some properties that truly deserve a re-look because they didn’t quite achieve their goal the first time around or they were cut short.
What Is It? This classic space opera centered around the space station named Babylon 5 which acts as neutral ground for all of the races on the known galaxy to meet and work out their differences. Throughout the course of its five year run, the station and its personnel find themselves dragged into a cosmic battle between two of the most ancient forces in the universe.
When Did It Originally Air? PTEN Network & TNT, 1993-97, 5 Seasons Totaling 110 Episodes + 5 TV Movies
Where Did The Original Fall Short? Not only did it not fall short, this counts as one of the greatest sci fi shows of all time! But it still has plenty more story to tell in the universe it created.
Why Revive It? Since I see the torches and pitchforks already headed my way, let me make very clear that I am proposing a revival, not a reboot of the property. The latter would be sci fi sacrilege while the former would be most welcome to many fans of the genre. Creator J. Michael Staczynski was able to tell the original tale he wanted over the show’s planned five year run, but he still had plenty more stories in the universe. We have already seen glimpses of this with the failed Crusade TV series as well as the Legends of the Rangers pilot that the Sci Fi Channel elected not to pick up as a series. There was also the Lost Tales direct-to-DVD movie that touched on other story ideas. Since so many genre fans are clamoring for a good space opera these days, why not bring back one of the best ones seeing as it still has plenty of life left in it? A new series could possibly resolve some of the storylines left hanging by the truncated Crusade and also expand on some of the ideas touched on by Legends of the Rangers and Lost Tales. Or it could go in a whole new direction. Think of all the spin-offs that Star Trek spawned (with yet another headed our way in 2017). Why not a similar continuation of the B5 franchise? I know that JMS is busy now working on Sense8 for Netflix and Red Mars for Spike, which means his time is limited. And he would have to be onboard for any revival to work. But I’m thinking this is one that would get plenty of support from long-time fans of the show as well as curious new ones. The Too-Much-TV Era still hasn’t given us the next great space opera (shows like The Expanse and Killjoys aren’t quite there yet), so why not revive one of the great older ones, especially when it has so much untapped potential? This is something that needs to happen. (I am currently doing a re-watch of B5 and commenting as I work my way through the episodes. You can follow that at this link.)
Where Can I Watch the Original? Sadly, the show has not been picked up by one of the streaming services and none of the cable networks currently has it in reruns. But the full series as well as Crusade and all the movies are readily available on DVD and usually at economical prices (typically $20 or less for a full season).
Did You Know? J. Michael Straczynski made history by becoming the first person to write all of the scripts for a twenty-two episode television season (the show’s third). In total, he wrote 92 of the show’s 110 episodes.
Buy Babylon 5 on DVD from Amazon.com: