...with some news I have struggled and struggled to avoid reporting.
But I made promises.
Promises to myself that I would let Coaxial readers know whenever I found out anything about the Babylon 5 spin-off Crusade - and its great migration away from TNT (where the series is currently in a production freeze). Promises to the readers of this page that I would tell them whenever I heard anything about the possible fate of the series - as long as I believed it to be solid.
So let's roll back the clock...
LAST WEEK: I started getting multiple hints that the Sci Fi Channel (the network towards which Crusade was believed to be headed), Warner Bros. (the company who...for all intents and purposes...owns Crusade), and Babylonian Productions (the company which handles the day-to-day development and operation of Crusade) were unable to come to an economic agreement which would allow the series to move from one network to another.
LAST NIGHT: I received a two separate message indicating Crusade will not be resurrected. Both messages were from names who would be well known in the Babylon universe (not JMS). One message simply read: "Crusade is dead."
While that matched-up with pretty much everything I'd heard about an inability to strike a mutually agreeable arrangement to continue work on the series, I still sat on the information until further indication came about. But then:
THIS MORNING, another message came in.
This message was sent by CAPPO. Cappo cited a message from another well known Babylon 5 source (when I call them "well known" - I'm suggesting they are names fans of the show would immediately recognize). The source in Cappo's message indicated that the cast of Crusade had been "released from their contracts".
SO: we now have three "name value" sources who are indicating Crusade is not to be. I don't know how publicly vocal these sources are going to be over the next few days, and I'll be damned if I'm going to assume the responsibility for exposing them here. If they "come out" on their own volition, more power to them.
HOWEVER - the message sent in this morning by Cappo appears to be circulating around the Internet to some degree. This was my primary and motivation for moving forward with posting this news. I wanted to tell the world that...should you see the message about Crusade's demise buzzing around in in cyberspace...there's likely a lot of truth to it.
Finally - can anything be done? It appears Babylon 5 fans have already done as much as they can by writing & messaging & calling the Sci Fi Channel in support of Crusade. When all was said and done, it seems the economic beast simply could not be conquered.
I know that...over the last few weeks...a few fans have messaged B5 and Crusade overlord J. Michael Straczynski, asking him if some sort of campaign would be useful. He apparently felt that the fans had already done what needed to be done, refused the offer, and thanked them very graciously for their offers of support.
Needless to say: the ball is in the court of The Powers That Be now. All of this information will need to be pointedly and officially confirmed by Mr. Straczynski,. Mr. Copeland, TNT, et. all. There was periphery indication that an official statement about the series' fate may arrive as soon as next week, perhaps considerably sooner.
Please understand, good readers, I AM NOT POSTING THIS INFORMATION TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE OR INFLAMMATORY. I've waited as long as I could, and heard the same information too many times not to say something about it at this point. I'm trying to do the job I said I would do - and feel my efforts over the past few months have more than demonstrated my sincerity towards...and affection for...the project in general.
I don't like saying any of this. Frankly, it makes me sick to the stomach. But sometimes that's part of the gig...