One Year On

We’ve almost reached the one year mark for the #FreeBabylon5 campaign. Here’s a little recap of what we have achieved in that time.

In The Beginning

Remember that time hit TV show Breaking Bad referenced Babylon 5? That was a good day. But it was a little sad to be a running joke in TV series up to that point, a joke that was not lost on series creator J Michael Straczynski:

Babylon 5 mentioned in tonight's Breaking Bad. Between this and Big Bang Theory we have apparently become the nerd version of Jeopardy.

— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) September 2, 2013

Some days I think the "Free Mars!" campaign should now be "Free Babylon 5!"

— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) September 2, 2013

And that’s what started it. That reference riled us enough to move us to act, and the #FreeBabylon5 hashtag was born:

Ain't never gonna be sufficient heat for any new B5 as long as the original sits on a shelf gathering dust instead of viewers. #FreeBabylon5

— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) September 2, 2013

JMS probably didn’t realise how well that name was going to serve us. As well as genuine campaign interest, the site still gets many hits from people who are trying to find out how to “watch Babylon 5 for free” … which really helps our SEO ranking.

(If you came here looking for the answer to that question, please visit

Within 2 months, UKTV’s Watch Channel began reruns of the series from Season 1:

News for UK Babylon 5 fans: the #freebabylon5 campaign has brought the show to the Watch Channel starting 11/4….

— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) October 29, 2013

Around that time, this website also went live. We opened on October 28 last year and had 150 visitors on the first day.

To those of you who have stuck around since the beginning: thank you.

January 2014

Things went a little quiet in December, but in January the Thunderclap campaign went out. Over 205 people signed up to support the campaign, which would send out tweets, Facebook messages and eMails to all supporters’ contacts in a single day. We had over 3,000 hits as a result, which has really put us on the map and no doubt alerted many long-time fans that something was afoot.

January 26 was the 20th anniversary of Midnight on the Firing Line, the first time Babylon 5 aired on television. Do you remember watching that first episode? Did you ever imagine the series would get so good?


March saw the Facebook page reach 5,000 “likes” and on the 24th Danish TV station 6’Eren started reruns of the series


April and May saw Rangers spreading the word and distributing badges, lanyards and other merchandise at conventions around the world including FedCON, LonCon, Away Mission Tampa, FL, San Diego Comic Con, MegaCon Orlando, FedCon Dusseldorf, BayCon and Comicpalooza.

The Turning of the Tide

At San Diego Comic Con JMS announced that he was going to do a movie. And that put the campaign even more squarely on the map.

In the four months since then we’ve reached a lot more audiences. We’ve heard from new fans getting into the show via the reruns, have seen long-time fans (“First Ones” as site editor Ana likes to call them) reengage with the series, and more people get interested as a result of the reboot.

There have been many lively discussions on Twitter between fans, just check out the hashtag #FreeBabylon5 to join in.

The Burning Question

The question is, are we still “the nerd version of Jeaopardy”? Do people still look down on us fans because our show is under-represented, all but lost and forgotten?

I would shout a resounding NO.

There will always be naysayers of course, but we’ve proven that the show shouldn’t be allowed to rest in ignominy, that is deserves to stand tall and be counted next to its forbears Star Trek and Star Wars, and recognised and respected if not as a father, at least as a worthy uncle, of the new Battlestar Galactica, Stargate and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What have we achieved? A huge amount. We can all be proud of the part we’ve had to play in keeping the show alive.

What is yet to be achieved? To get Babylon 5 on air in the US. That has been our core goal all along, and it remains to be conquered.

Let’s keep on the campaign trail as we enter our second year. We’re not going to rest on our laurels but keep up the letter writing campaign, keep on sticking up for the show, keep on introducing new fans and keep on hashtagging #FreeBabylon5.

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