“When Dreams Grow Teeth”Posted on: 06 July, 2014
What has the #FreeBabylon5 campaign achieved in under a year? A great deal, it turns out. Here is a short reflection on some of our achievements and quick look at the future direction of the campaign.
I’m sitting here writing this, at about 2am on a Sunday morning, having tried unsuccessfully to get to sleep for the past 4 hours.
Trying to banish insomnia is sometimes an impossible dream — as I know some of you fellow fans already realise — but I decided tonight that I would flat out give up and do something constructive.
So I picked up an old issue of Titan Publishing’s Babylon 5 Magazine. The very first issue, as it happens, published in the UK in May 1996. Here, take a look:
The first page contains an introduction by JMS entitled “When Dreams Grow Teeth”. In part, JMS writes:
“Just as those series that preceded Babylon 5 changed the world […], just as they changed millions of lives, B5 is now touching millions more, as the inheritor of the dream.”
Twenty years on, what is Babylon 5’s legacy?
It’s a show that has changed the landscape of US and international television. From the use of digital FX to multi-episode arc storytelling, Babylon 5 contributed greatly to the possibility that we would have shows like Battlestar Galactica, the ill-fated Firefly, and plenty more non-sci fi shows like Prison Break, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
But what does it mean to us?
“Dreams planted in fertile minds first grow teeth, to gnaw their way out into the real world. And then they grow wings, to fly to new places, leaving behind new dreams for those who follow”
— J Michael Straczynski
What it means for us individually is something that we’re still analysing.
From moderated newsgroups to fan forums to this website, on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter, Babylon 5 continues to generate chatter. We talk about the show’s plot threads and nuances, it’s philosophy and meanings, we chat with the actors and the show’s staff who remain with us, we mourn together those who have “passed beyond the rim” to use the show’s parlance.
But we talk.
And talking generates interest.
And that’s where this dream grows its wings.
Where Do We Stand?
Where do we stand after a mere 10 months’ campaigning? I’m sure you’d agree the campaign has grown teeth!
Three countries have already responded to the call to #FreeBabylon5 — the UK, Denmark and Germany — UKTV’s Watch channel even produced a trailer featuring the campaign — and we have no doubt that more countries will follow.
We also now have a presence at major conventions across the US and internationally, thanks to avid fans that I am pleased to know and support. And we have this website, an attempt to focus the campaign, gauge interest, centralise the campaign and act as a hub to other sites and mediums that are still discussing the show.
But I’m sure you’d agree, there are more wings to grow if we want to achieve our goal.
What are our goals again? We have only one: to get Babylon 5 back on the airwaves in the US.
Everything after that (whether it’s DVD reissues, HD quality releases, a big-budget movie, a restart of Crusade or anything else) is negotiable.
Why are fans in the US on such a battleground? Because you’re the demographic the show’s owners use to make their decisions. If there are enough fans in the US clamouring for more B5, or the fan base reaches an as-yet unknown critical mass, gears will start to turn. As they did for Star Trek, Firefly and … yes … Family Guy.
Personally, I would only like to see Babylon 5 recognised for what it is. A ground-breaking, emmy-award winning TV series that hopefully is no longer in any danger of being lost or forgotten.
Today, Sunday 6th July 2014, 3.00am, we are much closer to that goal than we were a year ago.
Here are some of the sub-campaigns still ongoing we are involved in:
- We’re all still talking about the show. Please keep joining in and contributing!
- We’re to keeping up the pressure on Warner Brothers by our letter writing campaign
- We’re doing what we can to introduce new audiences to the show by lending out DVDs, or buying copies on iTunes, Netflix or other services that are available.
If you’re able to go to San Diego Comic Con, it’d be great to meet up with our Rangers there and help spread the word using fan-produced mementos.
In that introductory article to the first Titan-published B5 magazine, JMS signed off by thanking us fans for being a part of this process, the process of building dreams.
It certainly feels great being a part of this process.
Let’s not give up the fight now. That would be premature.