Originally released in January 1994, J. Michael Straczynski‘s television series Babylon 5 quickly became something of a cult classic for fans of hard sci-fi. Now, the epic series has a remaster, and it’s as close as fans will likely ever get to experiencing the famously troubled show as it was meant to be seen.
Engadget reports that color-corrected, CGI-enhanced versions of all five seasons of Babylon 5 are now available via Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and HBO Max. Get crackin’!
Babylon 5 centered around a future where Earth had established a unifying Earth government and obtained the means for faster-than-light space travel. There is obviously so much more to it than that, but if you want more context, go give the show a shot! It is absolutely worth every minute.
Over the course of its five-season run, Babylon 5 explored themes of religion, addiction, order versus chaos, etc. It filled each episode with richly layered stories and dynamic characters that endeared themselves to countless viewers.
Fans of Babylon 5 have undoubtedly been desperate for some good news, especially because Mira Furlan, the actress who played the Minbari Delenn, died of unknown causes a few days ago. This does not exactly alleviate the pain many feel after her passing, but it will allow fans of Furlan’s outstanding performance to honor her by revisiting her most famous work. Let’s hope the series finds a new audience!
Not everyone loved the show, though. In 2019, Tor published a lengthy article titled, “Babylon 5 is the Greatest, Most Terrible Sci-Fi Series.” As this piece makes abundantly clear, the show has its critics (many of them outspoken), but even people who did not like the series initially have at least come to appreciate what it brought to the sci-fi genre.
The studio didn’t comment on the potential for an upcoming Blu-Ray release of Babylon 5, but a spokesperson did say that the remaster took more than five years to complete. Warner Bros. also referred to the project as a “labor of love.” As a bonus for fans, Warner Bros. has thrown in a digital, unrestored copy of the series’s pilot movie, The Gathering. Even if we never get a proper Blu-Ray release (fingers crossed we do, though!), we can rest easy knowing that HBO Max will be the show’s home for the foreseeable future.
It will be interesting to see just how noticeable the Babylon 5 remaster really is. Sometimes, shows and movies get a much-needed polish that is immediately evident to most viewers. Other times, though, it’s a far more subtle remaster, one that only super attentive, eagle-eyed fans will catch. And then you have that ridiculous reworking of the original Star Wars trilogy. That’s another level of “remastering” that I refuse to get into here. Another discussion for another day, maybe.
What do you think of this news, though? Will you be watching the Babylon 5 remaster, or are you not a fan of the series? Let us know and stay tuned for any Babylon 5 updates that may find their way onto our radar!