There's always a danger in making the show about the New Alien of
the Week, which we tend to try to avoid. As for Hypernauts, yes, they
showed a lot more virtual environments...but the resolution of those
shots were nowhere near the level of resolution needed for a show like
B5. They looked more plastic-y, more obviously CGI. The only way they
could render that much material was to go for low-res stuff, and do other
tricks. It also helped that they shot that show on *videotape*, which is
far cheaper than film. If you did the Hypernauts EFX tricks on B5,
they'd look very chintzy, for the most part.
That said, we *are* going outside the station more and more in
the last batch of year 3 episodes, and even moreso in the initial
episodes of year 4. We go to Narn, more time is spent on Centauri Prime,
Minbar, Mars, Earth, and elsewhere.