Rewatching Crusade

Foxbat

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With only 13 episodes, it’s a fairly short binge watch. To be honest, it’s pretty mediocre and I think its biggest fault is that despite hinting at a five year story arc, it’s just not there. In reality it, simply slipped into that typical ‘alien of the week‘ format. I found it becoming very similar to the ‘5 year mission to seek out new life forms and new civilisations’ from another show.

Another problem is the characters. They’re pretty forgettable. They’re the usual collection of almost RPG -style characters, the thief, the mage etc. The CGI seems below par compared to Babylon 5. You’d have thought being made after B5, the graphics would have improved even if it was produced on a tighter budget. The outer skin of the Excalibur looks like grey plastic.

There was a hint of a story arc with Gideon’s Apocalypse Box but I guess we’ll never know where Straczynski was going with this. I suspect that he didn’t know himself.

On the whole, it’s not terrible, just not particularly good. It just feels like science fiction by the numbers.
 

Biskit

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Some years back we bought the complete B5 box set and re-watch every so often, but last time through we decided to skip Crusade for pretty much those reasons.
(We did watch "The Legend of the Rangers", which would have been better skipped for many of the same reasons.)
 

Foxbat

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I don’t think I’ve seen Legend Of The Rangers. I should perhaps hunt down a copy just to complete my B5 experience:)
 

Biskit

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Just remember to set your expectations low.

We got it as part of the box set and might have been lured in anyway by the cast list where Andreas Katsulas has second billing, and G'Kar appears prominently on the cover, however he's only really there to hook B5 fans and has very little to do. Yes there is some cool stuff, but overall not really memorable, and if we had remembered that, we probably wouldn't have bothered watching in the hope that G'Kar might do something.

For whatever reason, every time JMS tried to do any sort of spin-off from B5, the result was mediocre. :oops:
 

.matthew.

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The spin-offs were nowhere near as good, but I honestly miss the whole monster/alien of the week episodes of the older generation. These days everything is stupid dragged out arcs done without Babylon 5's skill. Not to mention most last longer than 5 seasons and sometimes you'd have to spend a decade of your life on them :)
 

Vladd67

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The spin-offs were nowhere near as good, but I honestly miss the whole monster/alien of the week episodes of the older generation. These days everything is stupid dragged out arcs done without Babylon 5's skill. Not to mention most last longer than 5 seasons and sometimes you'd have to spend a decade of your life on them :)
That's why I think I preferred the earlier episodes of the X Files, they were more monster of the week, once the series got bogged down in the conspiracy it began to decline.
 

Droflet

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Crusade, hmm. We were all looking forward to another B5 but were all disappointed, to say the least. It had the feel of a show rushed into production for the quick bucks. A sad ending to the B5 legacy.
 

.matthew.

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I remember reading somewhere that the reason B5 was able to do a lot of what they did because they flat out ignored studio 'suggestions' to the point that their first studio simply ignored the show completely.
 

Rodders

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I remember enjoying it, but it wasn't as good as Babylon 5. Shame that JMS couldn't finish it off with a novel, though. (In fact, i'd love some spin off novels)

It's tough to judge something like this though. I'm sure if you watched the first series of B5 with no knowledge of what was to come, you'd find it wanting too.

I never got around to watching Legend of the Rangers. I remember seeing a clip with the floating gunnery station thingy and found it just awful and never bothered with the movie.
 

BAYLOR

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I remember enjoying it, but it wasn't as good as Babylon 5. Shame that JMS couldn't finish it off with a novel, though. (In fact, i'd love some spin off novels)

It's tough to judge something like this though. I'm sure if you watched the first series of B5 with no knowledge of what was to come, you'd find it wanting too.

I never got around to watching Legend of the Rangers. I remember seeing a clip with the floating gunnery station thingy and found it just awful and never bothered with the movie.

It's a shame TNT network didn't give it a chance. :confused:
 

BAYLOR

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I remember reading somewhere that the reason B5 was able to do a lot of what they did because they flat out ignored studio 'suggestions' to the point that their first studio simply ignored the show completely.

Given how great the series was, I glad they ignored the studio.
 
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Rodders

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Given the fact that B5 actually made money, the studio response to is is a little confusing as they've almost buried it. Given the current leaning of all studios toward Franchises and sequels, this is odd,to say the least.
 

Bagpuss

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I think its biggest fault is that despite hinting at a five year story arc, it’s just not there.

Part of the problem is that the series was cancelled before it got to the episode that was intended to kick off Crusade's main story. Episode 14, titled "To the Ends of the Earth" would have been that episode and there is a script for it. However, the series was cancelled before they filmed it.
 

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I knew the series had been cancelled prematurely and I don’t understand why the main story kick off was left so many episodes on.

Perhaps in a way it signed its own death warrant because of that. If I was an executive, and given the general tedium of the previous episodes, I wouldn’t wait and cross my fingers hoping things were going to get better when there were no indications that it might. I’d cancel. Plain and simple. Sometimes you need to understand that the battle is over and cut your losses.

I know it can be painful for any writer to face this. I’ve done it myself. One day I asked myself why I was spending so much of my time writing. I couldn’t give myself a satisfactory answer so I decided to call it a day.
 

Bagpuss

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I knew the series had been cancelled prematurely and I don’t understand why the main story kick off was left so many episodes on.

Perhaps in a way it signed its own death warrant because of that. If I was an executive, and given the general tedium of the previous episodes, I wouldn’t wait and cross my fingers hoping things were going to get better when there were no indications that it might. I’d cancel.

If you look at B5 season 1, the main story arc isn't introduced until episode 13, with "Signs and Portents". The Shadows appear in that episode briefly and don't appear again in season 1 until the last episode. Essentially, Crusade was following the same story-telling pattern as B5 did, with the main antagonist appearing mid-season and then again at the end of the season.

In terms of the cancellation, it's more complicated than the quality of the episodes was poor and so they cancelled it. In fact, none of the episodes had aired when it was cancelled so there were no ratings. Essentially, TNT realised that their regular audience weren't watching B5 and the B5 fans didn't stick around to watch other TNT programming. This meant that TNT was spending a lot of money on producing a programme that wasn't helping them to build their audience, which isn't good if you're TNT. Unfortunately, by the time they realised this they'd produced the first 5 episodes of Crusade and TNT was contractually committed to making 17 more.

Given the situation, TNT decided to resolve their problem by demanding changes to the series. And making those demands as outrageous as they possibly could. When JMS eventually said that he wouldn't make further changes, TNT claimed that JMS wasn't making the show they wanted and it gave them the excuse they needed to get out of their contract and cancel the show. The Sci-Fi Channel wanted to pick up the show, but couldn't find the money for it.
 

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