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Cosmic twins

TV’s ”Deep Space Nine” and ”Babylon 5” look suspiciously alike

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In 1988, says TV writer and producer Joe Straczynski, he pitched Paramount a science-fiction series set aboard a deep-space station. Paramount eventually nixed the treatment, according to Straczynski, because the series might conflict with its perennially lucrative franchise, Star Trek. Straczynski then walked his material over to Warner Bros.’ new TV consortium, which promptly commissioned a pilot, titled Babylon 5.

But even before Babylon‘s first two-hour segment went into the can last month, Babylonians were buzzing about their show’s many similarities to Paramount’s new Star Trek spin-off, Deep Space Nine (#137, Sept. 25), which was reportedly pitched to then-Paramount chief Brandon Tartikoff in January 1992. While Paramount has no comment on either show, both will debut in 1993, and the similarities are striking. Consider the following:

*Babylon 5 is a humongous space station poised near a hyperspace ”jump point” providing a shortcut to far-off worlds.

Deep Space Nine is a humongous space station poised near a ”wormhole” providing a shortcut to far-off worlds.

*B5 is a watering hole for assorted smugglers, thieves, hookers, and rogues, the set of which features a bar, a casino, and a bazaar.

DSN is a watering hole for assorted smugglers, thieves, hookers, and rogues, the set of which features a bar, a casino, and a promenade.

*B5 is populated by humans and assorted aliens who can barely stand each other.

DSN is populated by humans and assorted aliens who can barely stand each other.

*B5 is run by Commander Sinclair, who is haunted by his experiences in a recent war.

DSN is run by Commander Sisko, who is haunted by his experiences fighting the Borg.

*B5‘s female second-in-command defends the station against attack from her post on the bridge in the pilot episode.

DSN‘s female second-in-command defends the station against attack from her post on the bridge in the pilot episode.