I recently bought the first season of Star Trek (The Original Series, of course) on Blu-Ray. It’s very cool, because you can switch between watching the episodes with the original special effects or the nicely redone versions they syndicated a couple years back. Unlike most revisions to classic shows, the updated effects took nothing away from the episodes and were handled very tastefully.
I don’t buy a lot of series on DVD, but the original Trek is definitely worth the purchase. This spiffy set makes me wish another of my favorite science fiction shows would receive the same treatment: Babylon 5.
B5 is perhaps the best written show of its kind, groundbreaking in that it was plotted out as a complete story intended to run five seasons. Its themes and characters hold up exceptionally well, but its special effects look horribly dated. If it’s hard for me, a die-hard fan, to stomach the ancient Amiga-era CGI, it would no doubt be tough for a modern audience used to the glorious effects of Battlestar Galactica to get past them.
Releasing a remastered Blu-Ray and DVD of Babylon 5 with new CGI would allow the show to stand the test of time and catch on with a new audience. Is it likely to happen? Who knows. Though the show always struggled in the ratings, it has sold extremely well on DVD and prompted Warner Brothers to fund further TV movies and DVD projects (including a couple attempts at follow-up shows). In fact, Warners keeps flirting with the idea of a theatrical film, though it’s still uncertain as to whether it will happen. If B5 does make it to the big screen, reviving the franchise with a remastered DVD set would be a natural promotion for a movie.
So while I won’t hold my breath for B5 being revamped, I can look forward to seasons 2 and 3 (yes, even 3) of Trek to grace my LCD screen. And that’s not a bad thing at all.