Status of Babylon 5?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ric Easton, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    77
    I heard a rumor on another forum that Warner may be bagging the idea of any future releases. Anyone know the scoop? I want this one badly!

    -Ric
     
  2. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, the first season hasn't been bagged. WBHV did a deal with Columbia House for the first season on DVD to be sold there as well as in stores. Several sites have reported that the first season will be released before the end of the year. The Digital Bits' Rumor Mill:

    Our sources tell us that more Babylon 5 episodes will be released widely in stores on DVD by Warner later this year.

    The sales on the pilot disc were very decent, so unless something has changed in the last 6 weeks, they are still planning a release.
     
  3. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Messages:
    7,150
    Likes Received:
    71
    I wonder if they are waiting to see how the Friends season one box set sells. Also, where is Joseph DeMartino? He usually has the most recent info or rumors.
     
  4. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    0
    So does that mean you are gonna do covers for 'em Ric? [​IMG]
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    It was Columbia House that recently bagged their planned 2-episodes per disc, one disc every 4-to-6 weeks subscription deal, as they announced in a letter sent to those who had signed up for the series. (I'm guessing this was due to insufficient interest in the project, since most people who follow B5 are aware of the rumored Warner Home Video release later this year.)
    That's probably where the latest rumor comes from. I'm confident that "The Bits" knows what they're talking about. WHV has been going back on forth on B5 for years. They were in a quandry: They knew there was a lot of interest in the show. But they also gradually figured out that there was only interest in a specific kind of release: Widescreen, full-season sets, some kind of extras. Since they were concerned about costs, and very skeptical about the appeal of TV shows on home video in general, and B5 in particular, it has taken a series of events to move them towards finally releasing the show in an edition they can reasonably expect to sell. 1) The success of the X-Files full-season sets, 2) Sci-Fi's demand for a widescreen version to broadcast (paid for by Warner Bros. television, not Home Video), 3) fan response to the "Best of Friends", 4) the success of the movie "test disc", 5)Paramount's plans for TNG. (And a change in management in the WHV marketing department.)
    WHV has had plans for B5 for some time - at "Studio Day" in 2000 a Warner Bros. rep told me face-to-face (Bill Hunt of "The Bits" was standing next to me) that B5 was on the schedule for 2001, but that he had no further information because he wasn't involved in the project himself. (Still, it is revealing that somebody briefed him to expect the question, and supply him with an answer.) I suspect someone got cold feet about the idea again, so they fulfilled their "promise" (just barely) by releasing the "test disc" right before the end of the year.
    JMS reported back in December that they were "conforming" the S1 episodes for DVD release, so preliminary work would seem to have begun even before the end of last year. At this point I see no reason to doubt the information from "The Bits" or believe the usual "sky-is-falling" rumors. It is true that Warner Home Video has not officially announced anything about further B5 DVDs, but if the release is scheduled for "this fall" (meaning September, October or November) we may not see an annoucement for several more months. I remain cautiously optimistic.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 1999
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Instead of seeing how Friends does, they ought to look at how ST:TNG does. I know it's a different company, but Friends insn't Sci-Fi either.

    For the ST:TOS Covers, those were deffinity needed (thanks Ric) but the B5 should hopefully be of better caliber. But, unfortunatly, I hate the Warner cases. I thought they were going to get rid of those last year.
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    TNG will tell them nothing. Trek (along with Twilight Zone) is one of the rare exceptions to the rule that "TV shows don't sell." (The various shows have all sold well on LD and VHS, when most other TV shows died. Even the inferior TOS release sold, just not in the numbers that Paramount expected anything with the magic Trek name to reach. If anything the TOS experience made Warner Bros. say, "If that's all they sold with Trek, we have no chance with B5.") Within the industry Trek isn't even thought of as "SF" - it is simply Star Trek, a genre unto itself. That's why the success of TNG didn't help any other space shows (except for its own sequels) get on the air. If anything, it hindered them all, including B5.
    WB will look at the TNG numbers and say, "Of course it sold, it's Trek." The Friends release will tell them much more, because it is exactly the kind of show that wouldn't have sold in full-season sets on VHS, because of cost, storage and deterioriation problems. It is exactly the kind of series that Warner Bros. needs to see succeed in order to finally convince them that the DVD market really is different than the VHS market, especially as far as TV series are concerned. They still haven't quite figured this out. The only reason they've been looking at season sets of B5 for so long is that even they realize that a continuing story like that has to be released in its entirety or not at all.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  8. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    I wonder if WB USA ever considers how well (or not) full season boxsets do in UK (R2)? after all, Friends has been available in UK for some time now.
    or do they consider Brits to have different buying habits? [​IMG]
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    Brits do have different buying habits, going back to the VHS days. TV series have always done well on home video in the U.K., while they died on the vine over here.
    That's why B5 was released on VHS over there years before any tapes appeared here, and why the release was completed there. (And why you got Crusade on tape, which has never been released on this side of The Pond.)
    There are such differences between most countries, which is why Warner Home Video (U.S.) will pay absolutely no attention the the U.K. market - why should they? Whichever department or division within Warner Bros. is responsible for releasing DVDs in different countries will reach its own, independent, decision on what (if anything) to do about B5. One of the reasons I snapped up an "hackable" Apex DVD player a few years ago was precisely the fear that B5 would eventually be released on DVD in the U.K. and not released over here - given their contrasting experiences on VHS. (The Apex can not only be made region-free, but it can read a PAL disc and display the output on an NTSC TV.)
    Granted, a U.S. release makes it more likely that the show will be released elsewhere (since a lot of the heavy-lifting in terms of mastering, menus and supplements will have been done), but there is no direct connection between releases here and those elsewhere for something like this. The markets are just too different. WHV already knows B5 does well on home video in the U.K. (That's why they released The Gathering and In the Beginning on separate discs for more money over there - they figured that's what the market would bear. Over here they were worried that there was no market - so they made the price as attractive as possible and issued them on a single disc to save costs.)
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  10. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want it!
    Some of us can't afford or don't want the crappy cable service that's provided in our area. The only good way I get to see these shows is on DVD.
    I'm still waiting for season 2 of SG-1. I hope B5 sets arrive a little quicker, well, alot quicker.
     
  11. Jonathan David

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2000
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joe, is there any word on whether the 16:9 versions of B5 for a future DVD release will have corrected effects shots? I know that there has been some concern about this in the past.
     
  12. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
     
  13. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    2,003
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shouldn't it be a lot easier now to re-render these shots? After all, computer speeds have improved exponentially in the past however-many-it-is years? Or is it not just a matter of loading up the source from CD, hitting the "render for 16x9" button, and sitting back?

    edit: I am, of course, referring to the CGI-only scenes.
     
  14. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes, but isn't much of the source data is lost I believe, and companies don't exist anymore
     
  15. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's right. When they went to do the Legend of the Rangers movie, it was discovered that WB had lost all the CGI models and other digital assets. The only thing they could lay their hands on were the models given to Sierra for the aborted B5 PC game.

    So the chances of a re-render for 16x9 are none and none.

    Ryan
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    I asked JMS about this on usenet the other day. Here's his reply:
     
  18. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    I'm astonished that nobody has commented on this in two days. Is there a B5 convention I don't know about somewhere that's pulled everybody off the forum? [​IMG]
    Joe
     
  19. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 1999
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL joe nah im just hanging over with the other guys at the B5lr boards :)
     
  20. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joe, we're just waitin' for you to come up with more info. Although what you gave us so far seems hopeful, I can't wait for something rock solid!

    -Ric
     

Share This Page