Last September The CW announced they were rebooting the cult favorite Babylon 5. In February, however, the series was not mentioned as one of the network’s pilot pickups. Thankfully, creator J. Michael Straczynski took to Twitter to say it was still alive. Not much has been heard since and with the recent cancellations bloodbath at The CW, many wondered if the new Babylon 5 made the cut. We now have our answer: yes!
The CW Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz spoke to Babylon 5’s fate at The CW Upfronts this past week. Deadline reported Pedowitz saying, “It is very much in active development, I personally spoke with Straczynski back when we picked up the pilot. I’m a huge fan of Babylon 5, on a personal basis, I’ve seen every episode of the series. I’ve known Joe for a long, long time. I’d love to bring back that story in some shape or form, I think it’s perfect for the CW.”
Babylon 5 premiered in 1993. The series was a first on many levels. Television had not seen science fiction like this before. The world-building was rich and wonderfully complex. So much so that it was one of the first series ever to employ serial storytelling for its five-season arc. Babylon 5 also had groundbreaking special effects for the mid-90s.
The new CW series will be a full reboot from the ground up and will focus on John Sheridan (played by Bruce Boxleitner in the original series), 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.
The original Babylon 5 series is currently streaming on HBO Max.