In shocking but exciting news for sci-fi fans, The CW has announced it’s moving forward with a reboot of cult favorite 90s series Babylon 5, with original creator J. Michael Straczynski attached to helm the show. As revealed by Deadline this Monday, the network is developing a “from-the-ground-up” reboot of the Emmy Award-winning show which originally ran for five seasons—and six TV movies—from 1993-1998.
Deadline confirms that the reboot will focus on John Sheridan, the second protagonist of the original series—as played by Bruce Boxleitner, who was introduced in season 2 following Michael O’Hare leaving the show as Jeffrey Sinclair after season 1. The official synopsis revealed for the new Babylon 5 confirms that it will feature many elements in common with its predecessor. Here’s how it reads:
“The reboot revolves around John Sheridan, 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.”
Babylon 5 was hugely groundbreaking for its day, as Straczynski envisioned the series as a “novel for television” and each episode as a “chapter.” This meant that storylines stretched across multiple episodes, and sometimes seasons, with a constantly evolving status quo. This was a stark contrast for the case-of-the-week style storytelling that was so common at the time. Its ensemble cast also changed much over the course of its 110 episodes, with O’Hare and Boxleitner joined by the likes of Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, and Bill Mumy.
Straczynski has continued to be a prominent player in the industry, having co-produced Netflix’s Sense8 with the Wachowski’s. He also recently threw his hat into the ring as the next Doctor Who showrunner, prior to the news that Russell T. Davies was returning to the job. It’s ironic that he’s also now coming back to the TV show that made his name to restore it to life.
We’ll bring you more on this Babylon 5 reboot as and when further news comes in. In the meantime, fans, let us know your thoughts about this in the comments.