1 0

So here I am, enjoying the last day of my vacation by staying up since about 2 in the afternoon yesterday (yeah, I slept way late) and watching my new Babylon 5 Season 1 DVD collection.

The special effects have not aged terribly well, but the story is incredible and it's amazing what they did on a TV budget (a shoestring TV budget at that). And the creator, J. Michael Strazynczki, was screwed out of his profit sharing by Hollywood accountants.

As he put it:
"The show, all in, cost about $110 million to make. Each year of its original run, we know it showed a profit because they TOLD us so. And in one case, they actually showed us the figures. It's now been on the air worldwide for ten years [this was 15 years ago, if anything he's now been screwed even worse by now]. There's been merchandise, syndication, cable, books, you name it. The DVDs grossed roughly half a BILLION dollars (and that was just after they put out S5, without all of the S5 sales in). So what does my last profit statement say? We're $80 million in the red. Basically, by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits."

B5 invented the season-long story arc, the series-long story arc, the mythology arc, all the things we now expect from a TV series. LOST, Breaking Bad, Lois & Clark, The Sopranos, Heroes, The Walking Dead, even a series like Veep, all owe their structure to Babylon 5 and JMS having faith in an audience's ability to follow a plot over the course of not just multiple episodes, but multiple seasons.

All that, and there's some actual science in the science fiction.

Paul4747 8 May 12

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account

1 comment

Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


I just finished watching all five seasons. I enjoyed the series immensely in spite of the computer graphics. Considering they made the show on no budget, I don't mind them. I can't see them making a show like it again. Hollywood is famous for creative accounting, whole new fields of mathematics are involved.

There was the 2003 Battlestar Galactica reboot, which followed some similar themes and indulged in long character and plot arcs- if you haven't seen it I recommend it (although it becomes a little uneven in later seasons). Buffy and Angel are similar without the sci-fi setting.
Firefly was on course to be even better until Fox killed it... arguably, Firefly could never have even existed without the previous work of JMS on Babylon 5.

@Paul4747 There are many shows I plan on watching. I get them from the library.

You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:345679
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.