J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), who was executive producer along with Doug Netter, created the show. It had been in development since 1987.
JMS has been involved with genre television for many years, as story editor and writer for the Twilight Zone TV series (syndicated version), Captain Power, and the animated The Real Ghostbusters. He has also written for Jake and the Fatman and Murder She Wrote. JMS has also had many published short stories, an anthology, and two fantasy/horror novels. He was also co-host of Hour 25, a Los Angeles area science fiction radio talk show.
Doug Netter was an equal partner in Babylon 5 and has been in the business for a long time. He was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MGM Studios from 1970-1975, where his nickname was Rattlesnake, thus Rattlesnake Productions, the production company he founded in 1978. Doug mainly handled the business side and left the creative work to Straczynski, which is how they first worked together on Captain Power. Recent executive producer credits include "Captain Power" and "The Wild West" 10-hour miniseries documentary.
John Copeland is Babylon 5's producer. Copeland has been working with Netter since 1977 and together they have produced "The Wild West" and the "Wild Times" miniseries, "Roughnecks," "The Sacketts," and the pilot for "Captain Power," among others.
John Iacovelli was the production designer, in charge of coming up with new sets and other visual elements. In the past, he has worked on "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" among other films.
Christopher Franke, formerly of Tangerine Dream, composed the show's soundtrack and wrote the main title themes. His film credits include McBain, Universal Soldier, and the miniseries The Tommyknockers. (Franke has released a soundtrack album of music from the first and second series of the show.)
Ron Thornton of Foundation Imaging was in charge of the special effects, which won an Emmy for the pilot movie. Thornton has worked on Terminator 2, the Addams Family, Captain Power, Blake's 7, Doctor Who, and other projects.
Harlan Ellison was the conceptual consultant for the series. He has written a "manifesto" for the show that explains to other writers how to write science fiction for television and Babylon 5 in particular. On a day-to-day basis, he had no preassigned duties (though he wrote a script or two) but is something of a generalist, helping refine many aspects of the production, from writing to sets. JMS refers to Ellison's position as "a free-roaming agent of chaos."
Everett Burrell and John Vulich headed the make-up team at Optic Nerve studios, and won an Emmy for their work in the first series of B5. They have worked on productions such as Batman Returns, Aliens, Tales From The Crypt, Night of The Living Dead, and The Lost Boys.
Well-known science fiction writers, including Ellison, David Gerrold, Peter David, and D.C. Fontana, contributed scripts to the show.