There seem to be a lot of Babylon 5 fans on this board so I thought that this would be a good question. I feel that it is best suited in the Cafe Society Forum due to its TV/pop culture nature, even though it asks a question, as the audience it is intended for may not see it otherwise.
Recently JMS (creator/writor/producer of B5)asked the public (via jmsnews.com) to support his interest in pursuing a new star trek series with Bryce Zabel (creator/producer of Dark Skies and head of the Television Academy). It appears to be getting a lot of web publicity. An article about this can be seen here as well as other places. This was in response in part to a poll on scifi.com in which 48% of 18000 polled would be interested in seeing a JMS spin on Trek.
So having said this, my questions are
would JMS make a trek good series and should they let him do it
Will they let him do it?
what angle do you think he would take/what would you like to see
Let Trek lay fallow for a however many years, maybe a decade or more, and then try it again but with someone that has as few preconceptions about the series as possible which is one of the reasons Trek has sucked so badly since the end of Deep Space Nine.
Or, failing that, bring back people that really ***know ***Trek and have proven themselves. Ronald D. Moore, one of DS9’s key players, is also one of the developers for Battlestar, the current Sci-Fi crown jewel. Bring him back, along with Behr, Piller, Wolfe, and others. If Straczynski (or however it’s spelled) wants to be a part of that, sure, but this egotistical nonsense that he’s spouting off about he alone can take the franchise back to its roots makes me think very little of what he could do for the series.
You know, I’ve never watched Babylon 5, but I have a healthy respect for Straczynski’s other work, and (Mudd prepares for a drubbing from Star Trek fans) I think he’s too creative to be yoked to an established canon.
Maybe that doesn’t sound right. How’s this: There’s a surrealism and subtle mysticism that permeates everything of his that I’m familiar with. I can’t imagine that married with Star Trek, and it would break my heart to see him working to spec on a Trek series-- and I’m sure that the existing fandom would resent the hell out of it if he brought his signature stuff into the Trek universe.
I agree that DS9 was the last (heck, I’d argue the only) Trek show that didn’t suck. Considering how heavily that show cribbed from Bab 5, maybe JMS has a point about being the only one who can save the franchise.
Cripes, he certainly couldn’t do any worse than the last two series, could he?
I liked *Enterprise *despite its failings but fully admit it’s because I’m a fan of the series and its mythology. I’m more a Trekkie than a sci-fi fan but I’ve been trying to make it more equal in the recent past and hope to gain equilibrium one of these days.
So far as *B5 *vs *DS9 *goes, I’ve not seen the former so I can’t comment and am withholding judgement until I see a truly non-partisan comparison between the two shows. Every time this discussion comes up, it’s just like the political threads in GD with people taking sides and flinging feces around like rabid chimpanzees. There might be some truth to the idea and I admit that some of the similarities are entirely too coincidental but I don’t believe it’s as bad as what it has been made out to be and have yet to see conclusive evidence to prove it.
Well apparently one of the claims is that they need to get back to the core of trek, which is why paramount would not want to bring in some of these producers. The solution of waiting 10 years may be the best solution. Although actually one of the things that JMS offers is writers from the classic trek like ellison and fontina participating in writing of the show. Many believe that Harlan Ellison wrote some of the all time best (and certainly most famous)star trek episodes.
It isn’t so much that JMS simply thinks that he is better than everybody else, it is just that he does have access to the perspective of the orginal writers that others simply don’t have, plus he shares similar beliefs and understanding in the importance of character plots instead of just effects and technobabble that many current fans have issue with.
Ellison wrote only one episode for TOS – City on the Edge of Forever – and it was heavily edited by Roddenberry and his writers and DC Fontana was a part of modern Trek… she had a huge hand in the absolutely abysmal first season. Bringing them back is no guarantee of anything and would just be a further retread, which is what most people are wanting to avoid.
I’ve heard this claim before. I’ve never seen Babylon 5, so I can’t say if it’s true or not, but if DS9 really did rip off B5, then I say give ol’ Straczynski a shot. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. The best thing about DS9 was that they were willing to toss aside Roddenberry’s ideas about the Federation being a perfect utopia, and give us things like the Maquis and the Changeling witch hunt.
Well actually it should be noted that the editing roddenberry did is generally considered to be a bad thing and somewhat of a butcher job. Actually the orginal version won a writers guild award. The only reason that anyone even knows about the editing is because Ellison has been bitching about it for 30 years.
That whole issue has been debated for like 30 years and certainly isn’t going to be resolved here.
Well, I didn’t like the aired version and from what I’ve read about the orginal, it didn’t sound any better and completely fucked up some of the characterization of the characters so I doubt I would have liked it either so the distinction’s minimal to me.
Yeah you are right. I am a true fan of both series and I hate it when people try to compare these 2 shows. They are very different shows and I think that the similarities of DS9 are nothing more than coincidence. I believe that even JMS has stated this.
As you say this is one of those things people love to debate about, but will never be answered.
Have you checked out any of the work he’s been doing in comic books? Rising Stars was pretty good, and his run on Spiderman was, IMO, superb, although I suspect Spidey purists feel the same way about it that Aesion feels about JMS doing Trek.
Well crusade was good but never had a chance of succeding trying to live off b5. Jeremiah on the other hand was a brillant show in my opinion.
Frankly we probably would be better off letting Trek die for a while and picking it up in ten years as someone suggested.
JMS is a good writer , but trek has been screwed up badly and frankly I think that the writers are not the problem, but rather too much feedback from paramount. Let it settle for a while, then try it again
I’m not really a fan of the Original Series and am more of a modern Trekkie. If movies count, my favorites are The Undiscovered Country, The Wrath of Khan, and The Voyage Home, in that order. The tension in the first two makes for compelling drama and they weren’t quite as hamfisted in execution as the original episodes. If I had to pick an episode though, it would be The Corbomite Maneuver.
In case you’re curious, my preferences run DS9 > TNG > ENT and TOS Movies > TNG Movies > VGR and TOS.