Lost and Found

babylon5_02.jpgBabylon 5: The Lost Tales is go! Yes, two days ago these new Babylon 5 stories began production. Written and directed by B5 creator, J. Michael Straczynski, the direct to DVD series will start with two roughly 45 minute stories. This first DVD will feature Sheridan, Lochley and Galen (yes, you Technomage fans, Galen!)

Back in August I first mentioned this new Babylon 5 project and, thankfully, it has gotten somewhere – unlike the failed attempt to make a feature film a couple of years back or so. Ain’t it Cool News has the full press release from Warner Home Video and JMS News compiles JMS’s newsgroup postings, including an explanation on what to expect with the first disc or so.


A quick summary of the news:

  • Yes, Bruce Boxleitner, Tracy Scoggins and Peter Woodward are reprising their B5 roles (and, of course, Crusade for both Scoggins and Woodward).
  • JMS as writer/director/producer, along with the return of B5’s Doug Netter as Executive Producer again.
  • B5’s Chris Franke will be writing the music. No word on returning themes yet, though.
  • The first disc is concentrating on the Human characters while they get their prosthetics and effects back up to speed.
  • Originally there were to be 3 half hour stories on the first disc but a Garibaldi story has been held over to, hopefully, the second disc as the “Garibaldi story was the most complicated visually and technically, also the most difficult from a CGI perspective”, according to JMS. The other two were increased in length to make up for the loss.
  • The look of the series will be improved over the original, again JMS: “while I will keep the feel of the show the same, and the silhouettes and designs, there’s no reason to limit the look of the feel to what we could do six years ago (from when we stopped). So we’re going to invest a lot of time, effort and money into really re-imagining some of the visuals at the present level — looking at shows like Battlestar and the like — and bringing those tools into B5 while still maintaining the feel of the show.”
  • From the Warner’s Press Release: “The story of The Lost Tales picks up several years after the events of its original story, and follows several of its major characters in new adventures set against the backdrop of the Babylon 5 universe.” I presume that means before Sleeping in Light, however!

If the first disc sells well then we should see more. You all know what you’ll be getting for your next birthday present! The format is likely to remain as three half hour stories per disc, each story concentrating on a B5 character.

It’s an interesting idea. I’d also expect to see it available via iTunes and the like in time. Babylon 5 pushed the envelope back in the 1990s with ground breaking CGI and preplotted multiyear story arcs. Perhaps it is now bringing the future of TV to us – series paid for directly by those wanting to watch it, with no TV stations or adverts to get in the way and no TV execs to kill it (what was Fox thinking when it canned Firefly?!)

Let’s just hope the rest from B5 that JMS has had means we don’t get another Legend of the Rangers… I’m confident. Fairly confident!

2 Responses to "Lost and Found"

  1. hobbit says:

    The Folically Challenged One will be very happy. I, on the other hand, will never forgive them for making me cry like a baby at the end of Sleeping in The Light (or whatever it was called).

  2. Ian Mc says:

    Hurrah and Yippee and stuff! This has to be good news – especially as JMS has negotiated and had written in stone that he won’t be messed about with by the studio – evidently they’ve promised not to try and change a single word. I’m keen to see the Galen & Lochley stuff particuarly, as Galen’s story was cut off in it’s prime with the Crusade cancellation, and as Lochely only really got one year (with some of the Ivonava poltlines shunted on to her and the rest bounced onto Lyta). Go to have old Brucie there on the first one I suppose – I wonder if there’s any chance of a Valen story with Hairy Michael and Zathras? Perhaps we’ll finally see Sinclair’s Duck?

    I actually enjoyed B5 LOTR as it goes – it showed potential, a good deal more than some pilot episodes do… trouble was the expectations were so high and the network didn’t have the courage of it’s own convictions. Some lovely performances there including a cracking turn from the late, great Andreas Kastulas… but the story in LOTR just wasn’t up to much. As Andy Lane memorably put it (and I paraphrase) once in a while JMS forgets what a brilliant writer he is and churns out something unworthy of his talents…

    I’m sure the Lost Tales will be excellent, or at least jolly entertaining… certainly no less than very watchable!

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