Forgotten Babylon 5?

Blaster

Rear Admiral
Someone I know recently watched Babylon 5 for the first time since it originally aired and they told me that they didn't remember the show being so good. This surprised me because I know they enjoyed it a lot the first time they saw it. So it made me think, sometimes things are really cool to think about but not very much fun to actually see. Maybe Babylon 5 is the opposite and the reason people seemed to forget it so quickly is that it's a lot of fun to watch but not as much fun to think about.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Someone I know recently watched Babylon 5 for the first time since it originally aired and they told me that they didn't remember the show being so good. This surprised me because I know they enjoyed it a lot the first time they saw it. So it made me think, sometimes things are really cool to think about but not very much fun to actually see. Maybe Babylon 5 is the opposite and the reason people seemed to forget it so quickly is that it's a lot of fun to watch but not as much fun to think about.
Babylon 5 never really clicked with me when it originally aired. I should probably revisit it, but it just didn't grab me like Star Trek I guess (and it looked cheaper... a dumb reason not to watch but that's how the teenage brain works I suppose). I do know that some of the CIC gang recently rewatched the entire series and discussed it on discord, so I'm sure one of the other guys will be able to comment more authoritatively on how well it holds up.
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
It's absolutely worth the time. Unfortunately, the first season can be difficult to get through; much of it is essentially stand-alone, and the writing just isn't very solid in a lot of places. The second season is what will hook you.

You also have the option of watching the prequel movie In the Beginning before watching the series. The movie was shot after the fourth season and seamlessly incorporates scenes from earlier in the series. It gives away the answer to the first season's main mystery, but also gives you a much better sense of the overall scope of the show.

Babylon 5 was very clearly produced on a much smaller budget than Star Trek; it's clearly visible in the sets and the special effects, but these aspects actually take on a certain charm after a while. Unfortunately, while the show was shot on film, and the producers did have the foresight to frame the live-action shots for widescreen (starting way back in 1992!), the CGI was all done at "standard" definition 4:3... which was later cropped for the 16:9 release. So despite having cool high-def TVs these days, the special effects in the show actually look worse now than when it originally aired, and there's pretty much no chance that we'll ever see a proper high-definition version.
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
Unfortunately, the first season can be difficult to get through
Basically every Star Trek series ever made :p

It has been a long while since I watched it through I do remember, once you got through the first season it's a total blast all the way through the fourth season. Then it seems they thought the show was ending so they wrapped up most of the major plot-lines, and it seemed they had little left where to go with the fifth season. They managed to scrounge one last plotine that was pretty minor up until then, and it was fine, but it never got back to that high point.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
LOAF, his wife, and myself finished watching the entire series (Babylon 5, all the movies, Crusade, Lost Tales) a few weeks ago. LOAF's wife had never seen the series so we watched it in airing, not in-universe, order.

I disagree about the first season. If anything, it's the one that sticks with me the most because it's all about building the world that will then be used in seasons 2 - 4 and the main arc. It also "feels" like the longest season as it does this. Whereas season 2 seems to go by in a flash. Season 1 helps you understand the universe that the later events unfold in. I think the story loses a lot when you cut that out.

The first part of season 5 isn't good because of the Byron plot. All you hope is for it to end and the show to get back to the bigger issues facing the galaxy instead of a whiny Fabio-wannabe. He just straight up sucks.

In the Beginning is what originally hooked me on the show when TNT started reairing it. I was the perfect age where that type of grand story and lots of space battle just sucked me right in...I didn't really put two and two together on the plot points it raises in connection with season 1 until much later. I just loved the world building it did and the style of the universe.

The other movies are....eh. None is particularly good. We went into Crusade with open minds (I owned the boxed set but had never watched more than a few eps) but I can't say that it was anything but really not good. It's very obvious which episodes were filmed first (people actually try to act) compared to those filmed after it was canned (when they hardly bothered to read the lines with zero acting). I really like Babylon 5 but Crusade is just not good by any stretch. It's only "useful" for the few tidbits about Galen and the technomages. And the less said about one particular homage episode, the better...that was painful.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
Season 1 is not just about the world building, though it helps a lot. Though you likely won't notice much of it on the first run through, there is SO MUCH foreshadowing.

I've seen the whole series maybe a dozen times. Every time I come back to it, I spot something new in season 1 that references something to come. Sometimes something that seems like a throwaway bit of dialogue.

A story arc is nothing unique in TV nowadays, but back when this was broadcast it was almost unheard of. Even then, Babylon 5 is really is a novel for TV - planned for 5 years (though truncated to 4) from the outset in a way that few modern 'arc' shows are. Lost springs to mind...
 

Blaster

Rear Admiral
I'm curious if anyone has an opinion on my theory. Was the reason everyone stopped talking about B5 because it's not really that fun for most people to think about, so when new content stopped being released they weren't interested in having discussion about it?
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
I think it's due to the lack of new content, and the relative inaccessibility of the old content. As I wrote above, the show will never get a proper HD treatment, and the effects look worse today than they did when the show originally aired. That makes the show harder for new audiences to get into. The franchise will also have a very hard time tapping into the recent nostalgia bubble because so many of the elements that went into creating it have been lost. Many cast members are no longer with us: Michael O'Hare (Sinclair), Jerry Doyle (Garibaldi), Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar), Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin), Stephen Furst (Vir), Jeff Conaway (Zack), and Tim Choate (Zathras) have all died. Foundation Imaging, the effects house, no longer exists, and neither do the CGI assets (so far as I'm aware). Two spinoffs were attempted (Crusade and Legend of the Rangers), but neither was successful, and the last attempt at a continuation (The Lost Tales) was actually pretty bad and didn't get much attention. Lastly, I believe JMS's contract with Warner Bros. included a creative control clause that prevents the studio from making any B5 creative properties without his involvement and approval. He's been busy with other projects lately, such as Thor and Sense8 and who knows what else. (IMDB lists a Red Mars project, based on the Kim Stanley Robinson books.)

Anyway, the point is that the franchise is basically stuck. There's nothing the studio can really do with it right now, so they don't have much incentive to drum up interest. The show itself requires some up-front investment of time and interest from a new viewer; the way it's presented today (in a technical sense) is likely to drive away the casual crowd. Its popularity can really only spread by word of mouth, and it's been two decades now since the series ended.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I've never watched Babylon 5, and I don't think I will try in the predictable future, as five seasons of TV at the moment are just too much of a time investment, when there are so many other movies I'm desperately trying to find time for.

I did, however, recently watch another show from the same period - and I apologise for the off-topic comment, but I don't think there's any point in starting a new thread for this one post. I watched Space: Above and Beyond, from 1995. I do recall, in a past age, this show used to get a lot of traction here at the forums, because obviously its premise of fighter pilots flying off a space carrier and fighting off an unknown alien race has a lot of appeal to Wing Commander fans. I'd never seen it before now, however, and ironically, the main reason I chose to even watch it now was because I felt like watching a 1990s sci-fi show, and as far as these types of shows go, S:AaB represented a relatively small time commitment. Only one season, after all.

The funniest thing about Space: Above and Beyond: there I am, watching the two-hour pilot episode and the first battle comes to a happy end, the heroes are being awarded their special fancy medals and... whoa! Hold it! That place! I know that place! Yes! It's my university - Bond University over on the Gold Coast in Australia, where I first did my bachelor's and master's, and then a decade later came back for the PhD. They filmed the awards scene literally right outside the doors to the humanities faculty, that I'd been going through almost every day for the four years of the PhD. And then the hero decides to throw his medal away (...for no reason at all as far as I can discern. It seems to be a cool and fashionable thing to throw medals away), and this is filmed against a large, enormous star-shaped mosaic outside the library (big enough that you can easily see it on Google Maps. Boy, that star would have worked well in a Wing Commander-themed show as well. But the irony here is that right at the time around 2000-2001 when these forums were at their most active, and Space: Above and Beyond was regularly talked about, I was already studying at this university, and had no idea whatsoever of the connection.

Anyway, I don't want to distract too much from the Babylon 5 conversation, so aside from that filming location thing, I wanted to mention the special effects and space ships issues, which I believe would be similar for almost any show of that era (I certainly do recall seeing footage from Babylon 5 that indicated it had the same problems). Namely: I was utterly flabbergasted by how bad all the CGI was, not compared to present-day CGI (that's a given, obviously), but compared to video games of that same era. I mean, seriously: maybe not Wing Commander 3, but Wing Commander 4 had superior CGI to this TV series. Prophecy even more so. When you read about how many of the ships in S:AaB were untextured, to speed up rendering, and you compare it to what our favourite series was doing at the time, it's astonishing. It really makes you wonder why there wasn't more synergy between game developers and TV productions at the time, of the type we'd later see with the Wing Commander movie, where Chris Roberts' game studio also handled the CGI for the movie. And it makes you realise what a smart and eminently sensible thing the Privateer TV show would have been, if only it had gone ahead into production.
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Little-known fact: The DVD menu for Space: Above and Beyond features the station from Babylon 5. Yes, really.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Checking in from the recent Babylon 5 rewatched mentioned by Dundradal; in fact, we were talking about doing Space: Above and Beyond next! To comment on the season one debate: I think it is necessary and it's almost a missed opportunity. It's absolutely true that you don't especially enjoy it straight off like you do later episodes... but it does intentionally create a base upon which you base your hopes later in the series. When you get to the huge epic war for the galaxy it gives you an expectation: that if our heroes win against these dire odds then life will go back to how it was then, a lighter and more fun episodic baseline. I think the biggest mistake season five makes (and it makes a bunch!) is NOT giving us that.

Anyway, I don't want to distract too much from the Babylon 5 conversation, so aside from that filming location thing, I wanted to mention the special effects and space ships issues, which I believe would be similar for almost any show of that era (I certainly do recall seeing footage from Babylon 5 that indicated it had the same problems). Namely: I was utterly flabbergasted by how bad all the CGI was, not compared to present-day CGI (that's a given, obviously), but compared to video games of that same era. I mean, seriously: maybe not Wing Commander 3, but Wing Commander 4 had superior CGI to this TV series. Prophecy even more so. When you read about how many of the ships in S:AaB were untextured, to speed up rendering, and you compare it to what our favourite series was doing at the time, it's astonishing. It really makes you wonder why there wasn't more synergy between game developers and TV productions at the time, of the type we'd later see with the Wing Commander movie, where Chris Roberts' game studio also handled the CGI for the movie. And it makes you realise what a smart and eminently sensible thing the Privateer TV show would have been, if only it had gone ahead into production.
The 'throwing away your medal' trope may be specifically American; it references a type of protest from the early 1970s in which returning Vietnam veterans threw out their medals (sometimes en mass) to protest the war. Media usually borrows it as a way to remind us that these are heroic warrior characters but they're fighting for the greater good and not for their corrupt/incompetent superiors (I'm sure you remember Wing Commander Academy had exactly the same scene in the finale.)

I think we give Babylon 5 way too much credit for its CGI. The reason we remember that it's CGI at all is because so many edges showed at the time… it wound up with a very unique look but a huge part of that look is 'a computer obviously made this.' Compare it to seaQuest DSV that actually started the previous season (93)… Spielberg had the money and experience to do CGI that was good enough that you didn't notice it. The thing that makes B5 special in that area is how spit and glue it feels. (Similarly, no one talks about the CGI in Star Trek because it's utterly seamless when they switch from models to 3D ships towards the end of B5's run…)

The CGI in Space: Above and Beyond is a bit odd given that it started two years after Babylon 5 was the most expensive TV show ever made (per episode) at the time. The low quality has a lot more to do with Fox Television not having developed a mature pipeline for CG work yet than it did lack of technology. Interestingly, the inclusion of your university is part of what made Space Above and Beyond so expensive. The studio wanted them to shoot the pilot movie in Australia where they had access to a real military base… then they abandoned all of those sets and built everything on a sound stage in Burbank for the series. The reasoning sounds crazy today but until the mid-1990s you could amortize an expensive production by airing a pilot movie as a film in some foreign territories.

I'm curious if anyone has an opinion on my theory. Was the reason everyone stopped talking about B5 because it's not really that fun for most people to think about, so when new content stopped being released they weren't interested in having discussion about it?
I've been thinking about just this lately. It's not just Babylon 5, it's something that happens to specific fandoms regularly. I've followed this sort of thing informally by watching the 'tracks' that the big sci-fi conventions run each year. Something like Dragon*Con always has a programming track devoted to Star Trek and Star Wars... and then the rest of a limited schedule is filled with tracks for the communities with the most clout that year. Beyond the evergreen Wars/Trek, there's usually two possible cases. In the first, a fandom remains strong for five to ten years after a finale or a movie and then finally fades: Stargate, Buffy, Firefly. But just as often it will disappear immediately after ending: Babylon 5, Space Above and Beyond, seaQuest, Battlestar Galactica.

I think that it has very much to do with the fandom's mindset at the end of a show. For Babylon 5, people felt bad about how it ended. We can debate until we're blue in the mouth the virtues of season 5, those last movies and Crusade... but at the time the reaction was 'meh.' B5 was a franchise that sold itself by convincing fans they were rebelling against the status quo to support something BETTER and that it would pay off in the end despite the other kids having better... sets, FX, actors, writers, etc. But the ending wasn't as satisfying as it needed to be for people at the time and while no one would outright say it, folks moved on. That's not to say "communities die when things are bad"... it has to do with how a community's group effort is focused. Space Above and Beyond has one of the most saisfying endings for any series and the show retains a high production quality all the way to the end... and I went to the 25th anniversary event and there were maybe 8 other fans there. But I think it's the same thing: the community in 1996 was wrapped up in a massive SAVE OUR SHOW campaign and when the result wasn't that the show was saved... people moved on.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
The 'throwing away your medal' trope may be specifically American; it references a type of protest from the early 1970s in which returning Vietnam veterans threw out their medals (sometimes en mass) to protest the war. Media usually borrows it as a way to remind us that these are heroic warrior characters but they're fighting for the greater good and not for their corrupt/incompetent superiors (I'm sure you remember Wing Commander Academy had exactly the same scene in the finale.)
Yep, I do recall it in WCA. What struck me here was that unlike WCA - and unlike the historical precedents - here there was no indication of conflict or disagreement. But, I suppose it may have been meant to signal that his primary motivation remains his girlfriend rather than medals or promotions. That would make sense, I guess.

I've been thinking about just this lately. It's not just Babylon 5, it's something that happens to specific fandoms regularly. I've followed this sort of thing informally by watching the 'tracks' that the big sci-fi conventions run each year. Something like Dragon*Con always has a programming track devoted to Star Trek and Star Wars... and then the rest of a limited schedule is filled with tracks for the communities with the most clout that year. Beyond the evergreen Wars/Trek, there's usually two possible cases. In the first, a fandom remains strong for five to ten years after a finale or a movie and then finally fades: Stargate, Buffy, Firefly. But just as often it will disappear immediately after ending: Babylon 5, Space Above and Beyond, seaQuest, Battlestar Galactica.

I think that it has very much to do with the fandom's mindset at the end of a show. For Babylon 5, people felt bad about how it ended. We can debate until we're blue in the mouth the virtues of season 5, those last movies and Crusade... but at the time the reaction was 'meh.' B5 was a franchise that sold itself by convincing fans they were rebelling against the status quo to support something BETTER and that it would pay off in the end despite the other kids having better... sets, FX, actors, writers, etc. But the ending wasn't as satisfying as it needed to be for people at the time and while no one would outright say it, folks moved on. That's not to say "communities die when things are bad"... it has to do with how a community's group effort is focused. Space Above and Beyond has one of the most saisfying endings for any series and the show retains a high production quality all the way to the end... and I went to the 25th anniversary event and there were maybe 8 other fans there. But I think it's the same thing: the community in 1996 was wrapped up in a massive SAVE OUR SHOW campaign and when the result wasn't that the show was saved... people moved on.
Hmm, that is an interesting question. I'm sure you're right that things like "save our show" campaigns serve to galvanise fans to some extent, but I think ultimately, it comes down to the show, but not the show understood as a standalone product, but rather the show understood in its broader cultural context, In other words, not how good the show is, but how "special" the show is.

Now, it goes without saying, the quality of the show is also a huge factor, not just in the sense that the show has to be good to begin with, but in the sense that declining quality saps fan interest. This is what happened to SeaQuest, I think. Imagine, if SeaQuest had been canned after the first season rather than after the third. You'd be left with the memories of a show that was incredibly, incredibly unique - a mostly non-violent, science-oriented underwater exploration show (with Bob Ballard!) set in a more or less conceivable near future. But then the show dramatically changed in the second season, and again in the third, with a strong decline in quality to go with that. By the time the show was cancelled, I don't think it had a chance to retain a strong fandom, simply because so few people were left who genuinely loved the show. Most people liked it - they liked it enough to keep watching it week on week, but when it ended - oh, well.

But "specialness" is more important. Again, look at SeaQuest - it started off as its own thing, but by the time it ended, a lot of people were saying it's basically Star Trek under water now. So, why keep loving SeaQuest after it disappeared, when you can just shift your loyalties to on-going Star Trek shows? Something similar, I think, was the issue for Babylon 5. It's a show about a space station deep in space, where various races meet. Ok, cool - but it's going almost in parallel with Deep Space 9. Now, technically, Babylon 5's spinoffs outlived DS9, so it's not like its audience could switch from one to the other - but there wasn't that feeling that Babylon 5 is unique and special, and there's never going to be anything else like it. Combine that with a feeling of exhaustion - Babylon 5 did decline in quality, as you note - and you end up with a fanbase that's just not going to stick around for ages. I think the fact that the fan base exists at all today, and that periodically, there are attempts to revive the franchise, is already impressive enough.

Compare this to Firefly: it's not just that the show was short-lived enough that it never suffered a decline in quality. It's not just that the fanbase was upset about how it got cancelled - actually, many Firefly fans had no idea the show existed at the time it got cancelled, as in many cases, they only transitioned into Firefly later (typically: Buffy fans developing an interest in "this other show" Joss Whedon did). But Firefly was palpably "special" - for all the other space operas out there, there wasn't anything that was similar to Firefly. So, the show retained a strong following for a long time. Ironically, I think the reason people ended up drifting away from Firefly after a while was the film, which, though well-reviewed in terms of quality, plain and simply spoiled the franchise, both by making it less unique in story elements, and also by breaking up the crew in a way that prevented even fanfics from carrying on the story in an enjoyable way.
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
Babylon 5's spinoffs outlived DS9, so it's not like its audience could switch from one to the other - but there wasn't that feeling that Babylon 5 is unique and special, and there's never going to be anything else like it.
I strongly disagree on this point. Babylon 5 was and remains very special. It's not just about surface-level elements, such as being set on a space station; the real story of Babylon 5 spans centuries. No other show I've ever seen has quite the same scope, and the focus on a galactic war as a coming-of-age story for civilization is entirely unique. For me, the reason I'm not shouting for more is because the story already feels complete. The show's finale did such a good job finishing the story that anything coming after that always felt like an awkward add-on. I actually really liked Crusade, even more after reading the unproduced scripts, but even that suffers from feeling unnaturally jammed into the B5 universe. Only the (canonical) books and comics really feel like natural parts of the B5 universe, largely because they explore elements that the show already hinted at without trying to kick-start something entirely new. As far as the series goes, I feel entirely satisfied with it as a complete work and don't really want anything more.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I think there's also probably an underlying psychological mechanism at play here that's totally independent from the quality of the show. Over the years, there have been multiple shows (beyond sci-fi) that I've just *loved* - to the point of watching and rewatching the existing seasons many times up through the show's original run. And then after the last finale episode was broadcast, I pretty much never went back.

I think there's something inherently special about a show/series/etc being alive with another new episode to look forward to someday/somehow. When that goes away, it's almost like watching the existing material is depressing in a way to some people. Star Trek/Wars are kind of the perennial exception, because even when they're seemingly dead, a few years go by and they're back better than ever. The same cycle doesn't exist for most franchises though, so that finale really hits some people hard and they move on.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I think there's also probably an underlying psychological mechanism at play here that's totally independent from the quality of the show. Over the years, there have been multiple shows (beyond sci-fi) that I've just *loved* - to the point of watching and rewatching the existing seasons many times up through the show's original run. And then after the last finale episode was broadcast, I pretty much never went back.

I think there's something inherently special about a show/series/etc being alive with another new episode to look forward to someday/somehow. When that goes away, it's almost like watching the existing material is depressing in a way to some people. Star Trek/Wars are kind of the perennial exception, because even when they're seemingly dead, a few years go by and they're back better than ever. The same cycle doesn't exist for most franchises though, so that finale really hits some people hard and they move on.
There's probably some truth to that, yet with the examples of Star Wars and Star Trek (but more specifically trek) the universes were created with the idea of ongoing episodic stories in mind. You can tell a million different stories within the context of Star Trek and have them all be very different and still philosophically meaningful. Many shows designed with a story arc in mind or that have some kind of mystery gimick have nowhere to go once all is revealed and the show is done.

Or maybe the main draw is a singular character? Often in those worlds there's not much room to expand beyond the original scope of the show or anything to be gained from exploring the world outside the show.

About the best example of a show that made a decent effort of mirroring the success of Star Wars and Star Trek was probably Stargate. (Maybe the answer is to put Star in the title ;)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Many shows designed with a story arc in mind or that have some kind of mystery gimick have nowhere to go once all is revealed and the show is done.

Or maybe the main draw is a singular character? Often in those worlds there's not much room to expand beyond the original scope of the show or anything to be gained from exploring the world outside the show.
I agree that it's ultimately easier to understand why particular shows end up forgotten rather than why other shows continue. Definitely, basing your show around a big mystery goes a long way to ensuring the show will be abandoned by the fans. We saw how basically no one cared about the X-Files revival. Similarly - maybe I'm wrong on this one, but I have a hard time imagining somebody picking up the Lost franchise. This was lauded as an excellent example of a modern show that very effective uses transmedia storytelling to expand into something bigger… but once the show ended, it feels like no one even talks about it any more. The same goes to some extent for single character shows, though I'd argue this is much easier to build around. Even if the show is about a single character, you still end up building a lot of the world around the character; there's a support network of other characters and events, which may (or may not) be enough to attract a more enduring fan interest.

I mean, hey, you could argue that for a long time, Wing Commander was considered to be all about Blair. Even the small spin-off games like Academy and Armada were built around pseudo-Blairs, and the transition between WC4 and WCP was a dangerous one not only because Chris Roberts left, but also because the player character changed. Yet, inevitably, along the way, we got a non-Blair game (Privateer), and a bunch of non-Blair books, and it all worked out in the end (or… did it? I mean, if WCP's sales were lower than WC4, and this led to the series eventually dying, then….).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I agree with all but the example: the first season of the X Files revival did great numbers and FOX was heavily invested in the idea of turning it into a viable franchise... but it completely lost its audience hard with the second revival season. And I think that's purely creative... the Chris Carter mythology stuff that book-ended both seasons was awful and self-important, drowning out a bunch of pretty neat standalone stories.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I agree with all but the example: the first season of the X Files revival did great numbers and FOX was heavily invested in the idea of turning it into a viable franchise... but it completely lost its audience hard with the second revival season. And I think that's purely creative... the Chris Carter mythology stuff that book-ended both seasons was awful and self-important, drowning out a bunch of pretty neat standalone stories.
Interesting. I admit, I was kinda going by my own feelings on this one - I was very invested in the original show, but when the revival happened, I found myself totally disinterested. Now that you mentioned this, I had a look at the audience ratings, and it seems the first season indeed had very good viewership. It's also funny that the second season appears to have had better reviews, yet the viewer numbers plummeted. Anyway, from what I've read, it does sound like you're right, that it was the mythology that failed to catch on. The thing with the X-Files was that however the mythology was wrapped up originally (and for the life of me, I cannot recall how the original series ended), ultimately this mythology was born and bred in the 1990s, a time when it felt like space exploration was still going somewhere, and of course that SETI would identify aliens any minute now. All of this evaporated practically overnight in the post-9/11 world, and the last remnants vanished after the global economic crisis. So, even if the mythology were done brilliantly in the revival, it would still feel two decades out of place.

...Which, of course, is another factor that must be considered with all of these 1990s sci-fi series (including Wing Commander). The zeitgeist is against them. Though, ironically, Wing Commander in the WC4/WCP-era timeframe actually has so much space for stories that would be relevant to today's socio-political climate.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
...Which, of course, is another factor that must be considered with all of these 1990s sci-fi series (including Wing Commander). The zeitgeist is against them. Though, ironically, Wing Commander in the WC4/WCP-era timeframe actually has so much space for stories that would be relevant to today's socio-political climate.
For however on the nose some stuff may have been (Space Nazis in WC4) I'd definitely say that the ideas in the games definitely became more relevant as time goes on. All the political jousting that went on with regards to whether there were WMDs in Iraq or not, comes to mind. Even the ideas in the movie (despite being poorly executed) would be more at home on TV or in theaters today. As shot, sure the themes aren't necessarily clear, but Blair in the movie faces racism and is struggling with the idea that his lineage doesn't automatically fate him to be a religious terrorist.
 
Top