It Is a Good Day to Be a Babylon 5-Loving HBO Max Subscriber

The Babylon 5 eight.
The Babylon 5 eight.
Image: Warner Bros.

Hey, you know that sweet remastered edition of the beloved ’90s sci-fi series Babylon 5 that came to Amazon and iTunes a few months ago? Well, the spruced-up titular space station has now docked over at HBO Max, too, meaning all 110 episodes of J. Michael Straczynski’s space opera-cum-political drama are finally available to stream without the $30-per-season price tag.

But before you start thanking the Centauri gods, this most likely isn’t the perfectly remastered Babylon 5 of your dreams. The series is its original 4:3 ratio, and not 16:9, even though the show was filmed for widescreen and released on DVD in widescreen. On the plus side, however, the show doesn’t look like crap anymore (as it did on those DVDs).


According to Engagdet, Warner Bros. actually scanned the original film negatives for all the live-action footage, so they’re finally in real HD. All the CG shots and effects have been algorithmically upscaled so they’re in HD as well, and the whole shebang has been cleaned up and color-corrected. You can see the massive improvement for yourself:

If you didn’t release this remastered edition existed, don’t feel bad. Warner Bros. released it on Amazon and iTunes last November with zero fanfare, possibly because the fans had been so irate over the DVDs. And if you don’t know Babylon 5 and wonder if it’s worth checking out, it pretty much drew the map for mature, sophisticated, serialized sci-fi TV shows designed for adult audiences; io9 has a handy, informative, and proselytizing guide at the ready.

For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom. 


Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


I’ve been meaning to watch this show, since I’m a huge fan of DS9 and I’m aware of the.... similarities. Getting used to the super dated special effects will take some time, but I’ll power through it. Hopefully it’s worth it.