J. Michael Straczynski is returning to outer space, with a “from-the-ground-up reboot” of Babylon 5 for The CW.
The original Babylon 5 debuted in 1993 and presented a future-history story covering the years 2257-2262, with each year corresponding to one season. In doing so, Babylon 5 is regarded as the first TV series to introduce viewers to the concept of a five-year arc, with a defined beginning, middle and end. Straczynski won over a dozen awards for his work on the series, including two Hugo Awards, the Saturn Award and the Ray Bradbury Award.
Following the original series’ five-season run, which netted five Emmy nominations and two wins (for makeup and special visual effects), Straczynski continued to tell stories in the Babylon 5 universe — with the TNT series Crusade, feature-length films, and a series of novels, novelizations, short stories and comics from DC.
TVLine has learned that the reboot Straczynski is developing for The CW follows John Sheridan, an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background, who is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space. Babylon 5 serves as a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers and alien diplomats at a time of uneasy peace and the constant threat of war. Sheridan arrival triggers “a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined,” when an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us, putting him and the rest of the B5 crew in the line of fire as the last, best hope for the survival of the human race.
Straczynski — who most recently created, wrote and show-ran (with the Wachowskis) Netflix’s Sense8 — will write and executive-produce (through his Studio JMS) the new Babylon 5, which is a Warner Bros. Television project.
What is your knee-jerk reaction to a Babylon 5 reboot from the original series’ creator? Do you think a CW series would really put pretty young actors under prosthetics and unflattering wigs?