There is an incredible amount of great science fiction on TV, so much so that some of it inevitably has similarities. Normally, those similarities are accidental, generated by telling a story in a genre with many hard and fast tropes. Other times, it seems like science fiction series are the same because one is a copy of the other.
That's kind of what happened with Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Another installment in the long running Star Trek franchise, DS9 hit airwaves in 1993 and ran for seven seasons. It focused on the crew of a space station which was made up of Bajorans and the Federation. Babylon 5, on the other hand, was an original series that debuted in 1995 but only ran for five seasons. Also on a space station, it was set after a devastating war.
While there are some stark differences between the two series, their similarities run deeper than just the settings. Despite never filing a lawsuit, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski has indicated in the past that he met with Paramount, the company behind DS9, in the late 1980s to discuss the concept with them. The materials he brought may have been used by executives to build the next Star Trek series.
If any of that is true, it would explain why the two series have so many similar touchstones.
Ian Goodwillie is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, SK, Canada. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Saskatchewan and completed the Writing Program at Vancouver Film School. More importantly, Ian is also a wrestling fan, comic book reader, video game player and photographer. He loves to write and writes about what he loves. Ian's also an unrepentant, unapologetic Cougar Town fan, a show he will defend until the day he dies.