The original cast of Babylon 5 will reunite for a new, top-secret project. Next year will see the return of one of the best science fiction shows ever.
The creator of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, has announced a new top-secret project that will star the whole original cast of the program if they are still alive.
Straczynski, better known to his fans as “JMS,” tweeted out the news, claiming that the project has been completed and will make its debut at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con. “As far as the tonal similarity goes, it’s the closest we’ve come to the original B5 since then. Just like nothing had changed “on Twitter he made the following comment: (opens in new tab).
The tale of Babylon 5 took place on the titular space station, a diplomatic outpost in orbit around a planet near the star Epsilon Eridani. The station’s crew and extraterrestrial ambassadors fight conspiracies and the growth of fascism on Earth while becoming entangled in an intergalactic battle with an ancient species, the Shadows, over the course of five seasons.
Of the show’s 110 episodes, 92 were written by Straczynski (as well as six TV movies, the straight-to-DVD project The Lost Tales, and 10 of the 13 episodes of the ill-fated sequel series, Crusade). The five-year plot of Babylon 5 was planned out in advance, earning the show praise for its novel-like storytelling.
Different from The CW’s still-in-development Babylon 5 revival, this new project is just getting started (more on that shortly). Aside from a few hints, its nature is still being kept under wraps for the time being.
In March of 2021, Straczynski tweeted (opens in new window) that he was in need of the CGI files used in the original show’s special effects, and asked anyone who worked on them to please get in touch with him.
Fans in the know began to speculate that Warner Bros. was developing an animated Babylon 5 film or films. Although no confirmation has been made, alternative mediums such as audio plays and perhaps live action cannot be ruled out. As for the CGI files and getting around the fact that the actors have aged, animation would work.
While discussing the cast, Straczynski shared the fantastic news on Twitter that every single original cast member who is still alive will be featured. Patricia Tallman, Bill Mumy, Bruce Boxleitner (John Sheridan), Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova), Peter Jurasik (Londo Mollari), Tracy Scoggins (Elizabeth Lochley), and Lennier (Tracy Scoggins) (Lyta Alexander).
Since Straczynski was adamant that “all means all”(opens in new tab), this should also include regulars like Jason Carter (whose character Marcus Cole died at the end of season 4) and Julie Caitlin Brown (who played Ambassador G’Kar’s aide, Na’Toth, in seasons 1 and 5) and Andrea Thompson (who played telepath Talia Winters until she left in the season 2 episode “Divided Loyalties”).
We are currently only speculating about the potential plot of this new project, but given that it is set two or three years after the end of the show’s fifth season, the much-hyped Telepath War would be a good option for a story we have heard about but have yet to see.
As an added bonus, Walter Koenig’s Psi Cop Bester, a fan-favorite villain, could potentially be incorporated into the plot as well, making this an appealing option for those hoping to see Talia Winters return. In a post on his Patreon, Straczynski promised that backers would be the first to learn about his upcoming work.
The pilot production for the reboot has yet to receive the green light, therefore the team is sitting on their hands for the time being. The reboot series had been set to begin filming this year, but production has been delayed due to the sale of The CW to Nexstar Media Group(opens in new tab).
Fears that the relaunch would be scrapped were unfounded, as The CW president Mark Pedowitz just delayed it until the dust settled from The CW’s change of ownership. Since Pedowitz is a fan of Babylon 5, he got in touch with Straczynski (opens in new tab) to reassure him that the reboot wouldn’t be happening anytime soon and that The CW would be delaying their option on the pilot script until 2023.
For this reason, some viewers were concerned that the revival will air on The CW, which is known for producing programming aimed at a younger demographic. But Straczynski has assured viewers that the new series is not aimed at a young adult demographic.
Younger viewers are more likely to watch TV shows online via streaming services than on traditional broadcast networks, according to a recent survey of The CW’s audience. Therefore, shows like Babylon 5, which originally aired between 1993 and 1998, will be more appealing to The CW’s target demographic of older viewers.
All five seasons of the original show have been remastered by Warner Bros. and are now available for streaming on HBO Max in the United States, Amazon’s Freeview in the United Kingdom, and download sites like Apple TV for those who haven’t seen them yet but want to catch up on the best science-fiction show of all time.
There has been no announcement regarding a home video release, but if anyone from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment happens to be perusing this, we would much appreciate it!