To answer all the questions, yes, it’s true, Babylon 5 is in active development as a series for the CW. We have some serious fans over at the network, and they’re eager to see this show happen. I’m hip deep into writing the pilot now, and will be running the series upon pickup.
The network understands the uniqueness of Babylon 5 and is giving me a great deal of latitude with the storytelling.As noted in the announcement, this is a reboot from the ground up rather than a continuation, for several reasons. Heraclitus wrote --
-- “You cannot step in the same river twice, for the river has changed, and you have changed.” In the years since B5, I’ve done a ton of other TV shows and movies, adding an equal number of tools to my toolbox, all of which I can bring to bear on one singular question:
if I were creating Babylon 5 today, for the first time, knowing what I now know as a writer, what would it look like? How would it use all the storytelling tools and technological resources available in 2021 that were not on hand then?
How can it be used to reflect the world in which we live, and the questions we are asking and confronting every day? Fans regularly point out how prescient the show was and is of our current world; it would be fun to take a shot at looking further down the road.
So we will not be retelling the same story in the same way because of what Heraclitus said about the river. There would be no fun and no surprises. Better to go the way of Westworld or Battlestar Galactica where you take the original elements that are evergreens and --
-- put them in a blender with a ton of new, challenging ideas, to create something fresh yet familiar. To those asking why not just do a continuation, for a network series like this, it can’t be done because over half our cast are still stubbornly on the other side of the Rim.
How do you telling continuing story of our original Londo without the original Vir? Or G’Kar? How do you tell Sheridan’s story without Delenn? Or the story of B5 without Franklin? Garibaldi? Zack?
The original Babylon 5 was ridiculously innovative: the first to use CGI to create ships and characters, and among the very first to shoot widescreen with a vigorous 5.1 mix. Most of all, for the first time, Babylon 5 introduced viewers accustomed to episodic television to --
-- the concept of a five-year arc with a pre-planned beginning, middle and end…creating a brand new paradigm for television storytelling that has subsequently become the norm. That tradition for innovation will continue in this new iteration, and --
-- I hope to create additional new forms of storytelling that will further push the television medium to the edge of what’s possible.

Let me conclude by just saying how supportive and enthusiastic everyone at the CW has been and is being with this project. They understand the --
-- unique position Babylon 5 occupies both in television and with its legions of fans, and are doing everything they can to ensure the maximum in creative freedom, a new story that will bring in new viewers while honoring all that has come before.

Onward!

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More from @straczynski

Apr 1
As noted in my profile, I have a Patreon page (patreon.com/syntheticworlds) because for every writer, even in TV, the work is feast-or-famine: you may make a good living one year then not work at all for the next 2-3. So the page was created initially to provide the stability --
-- needed for me to work on passion projects that I might not have the freedom to tackle otherwise.

Since then it’s grown into something rather remarkable: a community. Rather than just putting up posts for passive consumption, we’ve created a give-and-take environment --
-- engaging and encouraging participation more than many other such pages.

In some ways, it’s one-stop-shopping for all things JMS. Patrons get first word about news that’s set to break. They were first to hear about the B5 reboot, and follow along through the development --
Read 11 tweets
Mar 30
To Merrick Garland...it is said by many and with increasing alarm that the DOJ has no intentions, and has made no steps toward holding Trump and his inner circle accountable for criminal actions they may have committed while in power. The speculation is that you are acting in --
-- the mistaken belief that you are protecting the office of the president, failing to see that the actions of the prior administration did more damage than any attempt to seek justice under the law could incur, especially since giving those involved a pass guarantees that --
-- this will happen again, further damaging the office of the presidency and plunging the country further into a resemblance to a Russian oligarchy...that this administration does not want to be defined by dealing with this event and simply wants to ignore it, which further --
Read 13 tweets
Jan 2
Folks who have been following my feed from 2019 know that I was among the first on Twitter to say of Covid, even before it showed up in the US, "This is going to be really really bad." And I got yelled at by doctors and other folks for spreading unwarranted fear, with some --
-- absolutely insisting it would never even come here, or if it did, that we'd have to shut down for maybe two weeks. (Remember that one?) I kept insisting that this would be a very long process and folks needed to get ready. Since then all of those data points have been --
-- confirmed by experience. If anything it was even worse than I thought because it was impossible to predict just how inept the prior administration would be at addressing the problem. No, I'm not an epidemiologist but I know a lot of them from having worked with them and --
Read 8 tweets
Dec 3, 2021
Okay, since so many have inquired (with some taking hostages) here's what I figured out about the Prisoner that was confirmed by one of the key cast members.

1) Yes, it's the same character from Danger Man, but McGoohan didn't want to use that name because it would have meant --
-- legal/contractual entanglements with another individual and he wanted to do this show clean of encumbrance.

2) His superiors asked him to run the Village program, as #1 but when he was read in, was horrified by the idea and said that it was pointless because not everyone can-
-- be broken, which was the entire reason the Village was created, as a way to break anyone. But they felt that was just his opinion and weren't about to shut it down. So he made a deal: he would resign, which would put him on the Village, radar same as other agents, with a --
Read 14 tweets
Nov 21, 2021
Teeing off this to emphasize a point I kind of blew through in a prior tweet, as an FWIW for those curious about the new show's direction, which is: I'm a process nut. I like seeing how we get from here to there...how a war starts, how we get into it, what happens, how we get --
-- out of it and what happens after. It's about the journey. Yes, you know Londo and G'Kar end up strangling each other; that's a data point. It's the journey that gives it meaning. That's why I'm terminally uninterested in answer questions of, "What would have happened if" or --
-- "what happened after...?" Because they're just data points, not journeys, not *stories*. If I said, "They all turned into hamsters," then it's oh, okay, and we go on our way because the information comes without any emotional resonance. Absolutely not interested in that --
Read 7 tweets
Jun 7, 2021
In the life of every writer or artist there's one work which they believe marks a point of transition, a work that will survive them. In television that’s #Babylon5 and #sense8. In prose, for me, it's Together We Will Go, which debuts July 6 in the US & UK tinyurl.com/yye7z5du
It’s a deeply personal novel that I could not have written ten or even five years ago. I had to grow into it. Or it had to grow into me. Funny how these things work. It’s a book composed entirely of risks --
-- a mainstream character story, not genre; an epistolary novel told in texts: voicemails, emails, audio recordings and journal entries by a dozen people rather than through one conventional narrator; and the subject examined by the book is suicide, but not in the expected way. Image
Read 10 tweets

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