The CW is developing a reboot of the groundbreaking science-fiction television series Babylon 5.
The Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter broke the news and is stating that series creator J Michael Straczynski will be writing this new iteration. They also describe the plot thusly –
The new take revolves around John Sheridan (originally played by Bruce Boxleitner), an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background, who is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space, a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers and alien diplomats at a time of uneasy peace and the constant threat of war. His arrival triggers a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined, as an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us, putting Sheridan and the rest of the B5 crew in the line of fire as the last, best hope for the survival of the human race.
While the synopsis does sound like a good condensing of the original show’s five year story arc, with Straczynski at the helm, I would not be surprised if he were planing some detours from the path he laid out before.
The original series premiered in 1994 and ran for five seasons, mostly in syndication. (Its final season ran on TNT after the show’s syndicator collapsed.) Straczynski envisioned the series as a novel for television, and had the show’s five year plotline pretty much determined before the series began production. As such, the show was the first American genre drama series to feature continuing storylines that were not being made up on the fly. Still, plotlines were modified due to unforseen occurences such as when an actor would have to leave the show.
The show was a hit with genre fans and was nominated for 8 Emmys over the course of its run, winning two. It also won two Hugo awards and a Saturn Award.
When Babylon 5 moved to TNT for its final season, the cable outlet also commissioned a small handful of TV movies and a spinoff series, Crusade. While the show and the TV movies performed well for the outlet, Straczynski balked at creative changes the network demanded for Crusade, and he would subsequently pull the plug on the series after thirteen episodes.
Straczynski previously had attempted to develop various feature film versionsdevelop various feature film versions of the series.